2007-09-29: Home Rooms


Cam_icon.gif Lee_icon.gif


Cam begins his scam of Brubaker Secondary School and discovers Lee's very attentive.

Date It Happened:

September 29, 2007

Home Rooms

Brubaker Secondary School

Assistant Principal O'Donnelly brings Cam though the halls. A tiny woman with big plastic glasses, she is saying, "As part of the program, the school will pay for your uniform. What size do you wear? I'll have someone pick up the clothes for you today by lunchtime."

They come to a door marked 'Civics'. It's between classes, so Lee is in there by himself. "Mr. Jones?" says O'Donnelly, and it doesn't take much to see the two don't have much love lost between them. "Yes, Ms. O'Donnelly?" replies Lee.

"This is Cam, a new student. Cam, this is Mr. Jones. He'll be helping catch you up in civics." the small woman says, apathetic to the implications that Cam is 'behind' - she just assumes he is, and assumes he knows it, and assumes he doesn't care if she openly says it.

Cam blinks at the question of the size of clothes he wears, and gives a little shrug, "Whatever fits, I dunno." As they get to the door, he indeed doesn't seem to care at the mention of his being behind, and says a cheerful, "Hi." The boy seems a little nervous, though, from his slight fidgetting. He's not exactly perfectly clean, though not too badly dirty either.

Lee says, "Hi, Cam. What was the last grade you were in?" He seems more comfortable with kids that haven't been in school in a while.

O'Donnelly says: "I'll get you a large. It'll be waiting for you at lunch." She turns on her little businesslike heels and goes.

Cam looks up to watch O'Donnelly go, and then looks ack to Lee, stepping in a little farther. "I've never actually been to school, my mom taught me at home. But I was doing grade six stuff. Never really took anything called civics, though, I don't think."

Lee says, "They may have called it government or social studies?" He watches O'Donnelly walk away somewhat sourly. "Okay, walk with me a little bit." He rummages in his desk and produces a new-looking sign depicting, in bold colors, General Patton in a landing boat. It says "I Will Return - Come In And Study Quietly." This sign Lee attaches deftly to the door and closes it behind them. "What happened with your mom, is she in the shelter too?" Apparently he knows about the program.

Cam shakes his head a bit and says, "She died of the flu. My dad had run away when I was little, so I've been by myself all year. Still think there's gotta be a catch to this whole school thing," he adds. "Why would a rich school like this, with uniforms and stuff, want homeless kids?"

Lee says, with energy, turning around to walk backwards in front of Cam for a minute, "Excellent question. Got any theories?"

Cam considers that a moment as he walks, "Advertising? They wanna look generous and stuff so it looks like the school's more about kids than the money?" He looks up to Lee curiously as he asks.

Lee says, "Interesting theory. How could you find out if that was the reason? Hold that thought. Library is that building over there, computer lab is that way. You'll need a login on the school system, we'll go handle that after your locker." He pushes open the door and emerges into the courtyard. "How would you go about finding out the school's reasoning on getting kids from the shelter here?"

There's a flash of interest at the mention of computers, and he asks, "Can we go on the net and everything too? I mean, I know no bad sites or anything, but normal ones?" Then at the question he considers, walking along still, glancing around the courtyard. "Listen in on them talking, I guess? And seeing how much they show us off?"

Lee says, "You don't need to jump right to eavesdropping. You can check out the advertising material first, see if they're actually promoting it. Another possibility is that they want to help out the community. Another is that there's some money involved, say, a federal grant." He nods to Cam. "Sure, they have Internet here." He doesn't think it's a dumb question - at his old school, they only had one computer with an Internet connection.

Cam nods and smiles, "Cool. I tried going to the library, but they don't like me much. Too much dirt, I guess. Or maybe 'cause I keep freezing up their computers," he jokes. Then he adds more seriously, "I don't, really."

Lee grins. "Well, Ms. Cassidy is an excellent computer teacher, she will be able to help you with whatever you need. I've frozen my share of computers, so relax. Now about that dirt. Here's your locker. The gym showers are right through there. I know it's hard to get it done at the shelter." And he's not grinning, he's quite serious when he says: "I expect you to take the early bus - get cleaned up - get something to eat at the cafeteria - it's right over there - and be clean and ready to learn when you're in my class or anyone else's."

Cam stops to look at the locker and asks, "Do I have to buy a lock or anything?" Then he looks in the direction of the showers as they're pointed out, and he suddenly looks nervous. "Early… there won't be anybody else here then, right?"

Lee says, "Nope…lock's right there in the locker, with the combination card. Probably no one will be there - maybe one or two other students who are in athletics and have practices in the morning. Later there might be the track team, once their season starts…. It's nerve-wracking, I know, but we expect a lot of students here, and I know you're capable of handling it."

Cam opens up the locker then to see the lock, and smiles again, "Awesome." He looks back up as Lee mentions others in the shower, looking very nervous at the prospect, but nods a little. "Yeah..um..I probably can."

Lee says, "If you have trouble, the gym supervisor is Mr. Canez, his office is right over there. He's very cool. Now come on and I'll have Ms. Cassidy set you up with a login, while you're with her, I'll get your textbook and materials. You'll sit in the class today just to see how it is, and after school before you get on the bus we'll meet and discuss what you'll need to catch up." He's very confident in how things will go, very calm and matter-of-fact.

Cam nods a little, though he doesn't seem very reassured for some reason. But, as talk returns to the computer lab he brightens again and nods, closing up his locker again and following along. "Do we get any free time at all? Or just before and after school?"

Lee says, as they walk towards the newer building. "There's a lunch period, and everyone has a study hall. That's not free time, exactly, that's to give you some time to work on school projects. It can be in your homeroom, the library, the computer lab, anywhere you need. Have you had a homeroom assigned yet?" What, O'Donnell work with a /non-paying/ student?

Cam glances around again as they walk along, taking in the other students and adults they pass, if any. He looks back up to Lee and blinks, "Um… I don't think so. Dunno even what a homeroom is, really," he admits with a little embarassment.

Lee says, "Basically, it's your home base. You're there during announcements, if there are special events, you're organized by homeroom, and so on. I'll check on that and make sure you have one assigned by tomorrow at the latest." He says this in almost the same collected tones, but it's clear that he doesn't appreciate having to do work that should be done by the administration. "Okay, here's the computer lab…Ms. Cassidy, this is Cam, can you set him up with a school login and explain the rules? He's eager to get started. I'm going to go get his books and materials." Ms. Cassidy clearly does not think a /whole/ lot of Lee, or Cam for that matter, but she does her job.

Cam smiles up to Ms. Cassidy with that same cheerful smile he first gave Lee on meeting him, "Hello, ma'am. I'll follow whatever rules you want me to." He follows along while said rules are explained and the login is setup.

Cassidy shows him the basics, the computer programs on the network, and so on. Internet access is monitored, according to the packet she gives Cam. Lee is gone for about fifteen minutes….it's not much, but there is a bit of a window…

Cam takes a chance in that brief window, after his login is explained and all that. He moves to a computer, as if to try it out, and logs in to start a search. Looking through news reports, searching for the words 'FBI' and 'thief'. He's no computer expert, though, so he isn't covering his tracks or anything of the kind.

In such a short time, there's not much narrowing he can do, but it's a start. Lee comes back in. "Already going, huh? Did you get practice on this at the public libraries?" He looks over Cam's shoulder curiously, but without immediate suspicion.

Cam jumps slightly at the voice, looking up, and nods quickly, "Yeah, a little. Heard some stories about some stuff happening where I used to live, was looking it up, just to see if it's true." He bookmarks his search results and logs off, then asks, "What's next?"

Lee hms. "Good research skills…there's always newspaper archives at the public library too, if you know how to use microfilm…" Then he says, "Next I have to get back to my fifth period class. Here are your books, and here's your schedule. Turns out your homeroom is Mr. Connors. He's a good guy, I knew him from the last school we taught at together. He used to be a Navy SEAL. Do you have any questions before we get things moving here?"

Cam blinks, "Microfilm? What's that?" Then he nods quickly and says, "Sounds cool. Um… yeah. Will I be getting lots of homework? And can I stick around after school to do it?"

Lee says, "Microfilm is what they used to keep newspapers on before the Internet. If you're looking for early stories, the librarian will be able to help you…There's a late bus for students with after-school activities, and there's a train station about a block and a half away - you can get a subway pass at the office if that's how you want to do things. You'll be getting a lot of homework, and it might be a little boring at first while we get you up to speed on different subjects."

Cam nods a little, looking a bit disappointed at that but says, "Guess that's ok. 'Least most of the stuff here seems cool. Food here's free, right?"

Lee says, "Yep. Gotta eat it here, though." He looks rather wry. "That's the rule." He clearly doesn't think too much of it.

Cam nods quickly to that and says, "Ok, great! Bet they got better stuff here than at the shelter too." Then he smiles and says, "Thanks for the help and everything."

Lee leads him out, pointing the way to his next class. Lee says, "I'll see you tomorrow morning in second period. Good luck, Cam. Come and see me if there's anything you need."

Cam nods quickly to that and smiles, "Thanks! I will." Then he's looking at his schedule, figuring out where he should be next probably, and then heading in that direction.

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