It's Cady's first day of school. Mom and Dad make sure she has her milk money and that she knows her phone number, which would be totally cool if Cady was five and not sixteen.
Through voice-over narration, Cady acknowledges that, yeah, her parents are kind of babying her, given that she's a teenager and all, but this is her first time in a real school.
Mom and Dad are both research zoologists, so Cady's been home-schooled for her whole life—but she's quick to point out that that doesn't make her a freak or weirdly religious. For the last twelve years, she and her folks were living in Africa. Now, they're back in the States. More specifically, Evanston, Illinois, the town just north of the Chicago city limits.
Mom and Dad drop Cady off in front of the school—actually, they're just standing there with her, across the street from her high school; it's kind of weird.
They say their goodbyes, and Cady heads onto campus through the crowd of unfamiliar and unfriendly teens. She looks super-nervous, and we don't blame her.
Cady walks into her first class of the day, and things don't get any easier. First, she mistakes a tall student for the teacher. Whoops.
Then she can't pick a good seat; every time she makes a move toward one, two more classmates dissuade her.
One seat belongs to some chick's boyfriend, so it's off-limits. Another is directly behind a sheepish-looking guy who "farts a lot." Welcome to Evanston, Cady!
When Cady circles back around to the front of the classroom, she runs right into the teacher, Ms. Norbury, causing Ms. Norbury to spill her coffee all over herself.
Just as Ms. Norbury's accidentally pulling off her coffee-coated shirt and tank top off, Mr. Duvall, the principal enters. Yeah, it's awkward. Cady helps Ms. Norbury cover up.
Mr. Duvall wants to know how Ms. Norbury's summer went. She got divorced. His carpal tunnel came back. She wins.
Mr. Duvall announces that there's a new student who just moved to Evanston from Africa. Ms. Norbury automatically assumes it's an African American student. Turns out she's from Michigan.
Then Cady's introduced to the class. Before leaving, Mr. Duvall tells Ms. Norbury that if she needs somebody to talk to, he's there for her. Then he leers at her wet tank top, and it's gross.
Through voice-over, Cady tells us that her first day of school was a surreal blur. She's not used to adults not trusting her, and she's not used to having zero friends.
When she tries to befriend a table full of African American students in the cafeteria by issuing a cheerful "Jambo!" they're not having it. We don't blame them. Cady eats her lunch in a bathroom stall.
Cut to Cady arriving home from school. Mom and Dad are reading on the front porch. Predictably, they ask how her first day went. Cady grimaces and keeps on walking straight into the house.