Dad says that he would fire Wayne if he worked for him. Paul does not agree. Wayne just told the truth. And, Dad should have known about the muck fires before he purchased their new house.
Paul and Mom unpack. As they do, Mom complains about the lack of storage space in Florida homes. As usual, Mom had solved the potential problem before it became a problem. When they had packed to move from Houston, she had packed and shipped approximately half of their things to a storage place on Route 22.
Paul and his mother then go to Lake Windsor Middle School. Mom wants to give him an opportunity to become acquainted with the layout of the campus before school actually starts. Mom is unhappy to find out that the classrooms for Paul’s class, the seventh grade, are temporary, portable rooms connected by board walkways.
Paul and Mom find out that Lake Windsor Middle School uses their cafeteria as their auditorium. And they find out that the school uses the gymnasium in the high school because they do not have one of their own.
Mrs. Gates, the school principal, who has been showing them around the school, asks Mom to complete an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for Paul because of his vision problem. Paul does not want anything to do with this.
On the way home Paul says that he will overlook the outdoor classrooms and lack of a gym because the soccer team seems to be okay. But, to himself, he wonders what else Dad overlooked in Tangerine.
Today there are tryouts for the football team at Lake Windsor High School. Because of them, the whole Fisher family is at the school. But, Erik, who this year is a senior, is not really there to try out. Coach Warner already met him and accepted him onto the team earlier. Dad saw to that.
While a seemingly invisible Paul watches a circling osprey, Coach Warner tells Dad about Antoine Thomas. He was the team’s only star player last year. Dad, not unexpectedly, brags about Erik.
Paul remembers the past, when they lived in Huntsville. Back then, Erik played soccer. He practiced making goals. When the family moved to Houston, Erik decided to switch to football. He switched to kicking a football.
After the afternoon rainstorm, Paul joins some soccer players on the soccer field. After stopping all their goal shots, Paul decides that they are not very good players. He decides that he won’t have any trouble becoming the team’s goalie.
This is the first day of the new school year. As Paul heads to the bus stop, a memory of another bus stop comes to him. In the memory, Paul was a kindergartener and his brother was a fifth-grader. Someone called him Eclipse Boy. He had never before been called that. But, he soon realized that the name had been given to him. He didn’t know why. To this day, Paul does not know why.
At the bus stop everyone seems depressed. Paul finds Joey Costello at the bus stop. They talk about their big brothers, Mike and Erik. On the bus, Paul gets his schedule out. He also finds the note that Mrs. Gates sent to his mother. It tells what vision-impaired students should do. It irritates Paul.
Paul first goes to Homeroom in portable P-9. It only lasts ten minutes. Ms. Alvarez is the teacher. Next, Paul goes to P-12. Mrs. Hoffman is the teacher. She directs him to a seat in the front row. Soon, a girl comes to the class requesting that Paul go with her to Mr. Murrow’s office. . Mr. Murrow is the head of guidance. He wants the girl, Kerri Gardner, to help Paul find his way around the school. Paul goes along with the plan until they reach the steps going into Mrs. Hoffman’s class. There he dismisses Kerri from her task. She doesn’t understand why he wears the thick glasses if he doesn’t need her help. In response to a question, he tells her that he doesn’t know what hurt his eyes.
Later, Paul is puzzled why he did not give the response that he used to give, that he looked at a solar eclipse.
Johnson, Jane. "TheBestNotes on Tangerine".
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