The Esteemsters Code: Part 3
The Morgendorffers were having dinner.
“...So Mack, Kristen and I went to Jennifer's, and I joined the Computer Club. After that we went to Andrea's creepy house...” Quinn began.
“Quinn! That's not nice!” her mother, Helen said. 'Why would a house be creepy anyway?' she thought.
creepy!” Quinn said.
“Did it have spirits?” Daria asked. 'She would be one to be frightened of the possibility of such spectres,' she thought.
“I did ask Andrea if there was a ghost, but she didn't answer,” Quinn said, giving a nervous laugh.
“Go on, sweetie,” Helen said.
“Anyway I filled out this form and Andrea said I am now a probationary member,” Quinn said.
“Anything else?” Helen asked.
“I was invited to join the Fashion Club, but I turned them down. The President seemed rather belligerent. While I like to dress nice, unlike you, Daria, I am not interested in fashion.”
“I dress this way because it feels comfortable!” Daria shot back.
“Dar-i-a! You can dress nice and
“Any other invitations?” Helen asked, hoping that Quinn would continue to tell her and Jake about her day rather than continuing to antagonise Daria (although the antagonising behaviour was usually mutual).
“Right,” Quinn said, changing tack. “Well, there was the pep squad, the Anime Club and the Ham Radio Club, that is about it.”
“As long as you can join them later, if you want,” Helen said. “You never know, how much we can handle until we try, though,” she continued.
'Like I'd want to join the pep squad, or the Ham Radio Club. They are seriously behind the times! I will have to think about the Anime Club though,' Quinn thought.
“What about you, Daria. How was your first day?” Jake asked.
“Well, my history teacher hates me because I know all the answers, but there are
some interesting idiots in my class.”
“That's great!” Jake said.
” Helen shouted. She did not want her husband condoning her older daughter's disdain of her classmates.
Jake tried to recover “I mean...”
“Daria, your father's trying to tell you not to judge people until you know them. You're in a brand-new school in a brand-new town. You don't want it to be Highland all over again.” 'I hope she doesn't hang out with anyone like that Duo again...'
“Not much chance of that happening... unless there's uranium
in the drinking water here
, too,” Daria said.
“I'm talking about you making a friend or two. Don't be so critical. Give people the benefit of the doubt.” Helen said.
'Mom, you're talking to Daria
. She doesn't give people the benefit of the doubt,' Quinn thought.
“It all boils down to trust,” Daria said.
“Exactly. It all boils down to trust. Show a little trust,” Helen said.
Daria was about to say something in response when the phone rang.
“I hope that isn't the Chess Club again,” Quinn said. The Chess Club had called three times before Keith had picked Kristen up.
Helen picked up the phone. “Hello?” A pause. “Uh, yes, she's my daughter.” Another pause. “I see. Listen, will this require any parent-teacher conferences or anything, and if so, is this the sort of thing my assistant can handle?” Another pause. “Okay, great. Bye!” She hung up.
“You girls took a psychological test at school today?”
“Yes. What of it?” Quinn responded.
Helen turned her attention to Daria. “Daria, they want you to take a special class for a few weeks, then they'll test you again.”
“What?” Quinn wondered.
“It seems that she has low self-esteem,” Helen said.
“What?! That really stinks, Daria!” Jake said.
“Easy, Jake. Focus.” She turned her attention back to Daria. “We tell you over and over again that you're wonderful and you just... don't
... get it!” Helen said, slamming her fist angrily on the table. “What's wrong with you?!”
“Is she going to have, like, a breakdown or something?” Quinn asked., with a little concern. 'We may not get along, but we are sisters,' she thought.
“Don't worry. I don't have low self-esteem. It's a mistake,” Daria said.
“I'll say,” Jake said.
“Definitely,” Quinn said.
“I have low esteem for everyone else,” Daria said.
'Maybe, Daria, maybe.'
Tuesday, September 21, 2005
10 minutes prior to Homeroom, Jennifer Burns entered the office carrying Quinn's application form.
“Hi, I'm handing in a filled in application form for the Computer Club,” she said to the receptionist as she handed it over.
The receptionist placed the form in the IN tray. “Wait a moment, Ms Burns,” she said. Jennifer sighed. She knew where this was going...
“Here you are, Jennifer Burns. You have been re-entered into the Esteem-a-Teen class. It starts 3:30 at the usual classroom. Mr O'Neill will be taking attendance,” the receptionist said.
She then printed out Jennifer's new timetable and handed it to her.
“Thanks,” Jennifer said, as she left the office. 'It's a mistake. I don't
have low self-esteem. I have low esteem for the system at this mis-run high school,' she thought.
Andrea Hecuba passed Jennifer Burns as she entered the office, carrying Quinn's application form. “I'm handing in a filled in application for Probationary membership in the Programming Club,” she said, handing it over.
“Thank you,” the receptionist said, placing the form on top of the form that Jennifer had handed in two minutes prior.
“That's strange, I don't remember adding Dewey Rogers as Vice-President,” the receptionist said, as she looked at the Programming Club information. She then looked like she was in thought.
“Interesting,” Andrea said, enigmatically.
“Someone else may have entered it,” the receptionist said, showing some confusion in her voice.
“I am sure of that,” Andrea said, flatly, as she turned to leave the office.
Lunch time. Sandi Griffin entered the cafeteria and looked around. 'That Morgengeeker is just as popular as yesterday! She has single handedly turned everything upside down!' she thought. 'Right, time to change things back!' She saw Tiffany and Stacy sitting at a table near the gaggle surrounding Quinn.
“Tiffany, Stacy, something is rotten in the state of Lawndale High,” Sandi said as she put her food down. 'A bit dramatic, but it is the truth,' she thought.
“Huh?” Tiffany asked.
“What do you mean?” Stacy asked, recognising the Shakespeare reference.
“I mean that new girl has, like, turned everything upside down. She is popular despite her being a geek! We need to, like, put her in her place, before previously unpopular people become popular as a result of her example
,” Sandi said.
“Ok,” Stacy said, not sure what Sandi had in mind. She watched Sandi eat up her food at a high speed.
When she had finished eating Sandi got up. “Come on, We're going to put that geek in her place.”
“Are you sure that's a good idea?” Stacy asked.
” Sandi said, glaring back.
“...And so Joey asked me what Linux was and I gave him a simple explanation, but he still didn't understand. But I could see that he would like to know, so I offered to tutor him in Computer Studies,” Quinn said.
“And his being cute and on the football team doesn't enter into it?” Brooke Danielson asked.
“Maybe. Wait, he's on the football team?” Quinn asked.
“You didn't know?” Cindy asked.
“He probably forgot to tell me. I am new here, after all,” Quinn said.
“True, but what did he say?” Kristen asked.
“He said that he would think about it,” Quinn said. Sandi then made her move.
“Quinn Morgendorffer! Enough is enough!” Sandi said.
Quinn stood up. “What's your problem? I am not joining the Fashion Club! I have joined the Computer and Programming Clubs. If I want to join another club it would be the Anime Club, not something so shallow!” she said quickly (not allowing Sandi to get a word in).
“Geeks should not be popular! They are so nerdy!” Sandi said. “Why is she popular? Is it because she is cute? Sure
she is cute, but it doesn't make up for her geekiness.”
“She is popular because she is an interesting person,” Brooke said.
“Her cuteness does make up for any geekiness.” Jamie White said.
“Are you jealous
?” Quinn asked, something about Sandi's demeanour didn't add up for her.
“No! I am not jealous!” Sandi said, even though she was (and wouldn't admit it).
“Why are you confronting Quinn about her popularity then?” Cindy asked.
“Yeah? Why?” Quinn asked.
An argument ensued, and five minutes later a red faced Sandi walked away seething. Most of the freshmen had supported Quinn against her arguments. “You haven't heard the last of this, Qui-inn Geek
endorffer!” She stalked away, Stacy and Tiffany following meekly behind her. 'I hope this hasn't affect my popularity.' she thought.
“That was weird. What is up with her anyway?” Quinn asked her friends, confused.
“She has always been rather tough to get along with,” Kristen said.
“They say that her mom is a control freak. It appears that she is becoming one too,” Cindy said.
“That doesn't explain it all,” Quinn said.
“Stress, probably,” Brooke said.
“Maybe. I know Stacy's name, but who is the other one?” Quinn asked.
“Tiffany Blum-Deckler. She seems slow, but is popular by her association with Sandi,” Kristen said.
“You don't really know her, do you?” Quinn asked.
Kristen sighed. “No,” she admitted. “But then, hardly anyone here does. You would have to talk to Stacy. If you can get her away from Sandi that is,” she continued.
“What of Stacy, then?” Quinn asked, curious.
Jennifer entered the classroom where the Esteem-a-Teen class was held and sat at her usual (by now) place next to Jane Lane. Soon afterwards two new students entered. The first was a shaggy haired boy. He sat to the left of 'The Head' (She wasn't sure of his real name. It was one of those names that wasn't easy to remember. Everyone called him 'The Head' for the MTV character emblazoned on the shirts that he wore to school). The second was Daria. She smirked, remembering the previous day's history class and then telling Quinn about the events.
'There has to be a story about why she is here,' she thought.
Mr O'Neill began taking attendance, starting with her.
“Jennifer Burns?” he asked.
“I'm here,” she said. She wondered why he had started taking attendance. 'No one has truanted the first session before, as far as I know,' she thought.
“Esteem... a teen. They don't really rhyme, do they? The sounds don't quite mesh. And that, in fact, is often the case when it comes to a teen and esteem. The two just don't seem to go together. But we are here to begin realizing your actuality... “ Mr O'Neill began.
However, Daria interrupted. “Excuse me. I have a question.”
'This is new. Good on you, Daria,' Jennifer thought.
“Sorry, question and answer time is later.”
“I want to know what 'realizing your actuality' means,” Daria said.
'You and I, both,” Jennifer thought, with an inward laugh.
“It means... look, just let me get through this part, okay? Then there'll be a video!”
“He doesn't know what it means. He's got the speech memorized. Just enjoy the nice man's soothing voice,” Jane said, to Daria.
'Someone had to answer her, I guess,' Jennifer thought. She knew that Jane didn't have any friends in the school.
“How am I supposed to follow him if I don't know what he's talking about?” Daria asked Jane.
“I can fill you in later. I've taken this course six times,” Jane said.
“Ok,” Daria said.
Jennifer then listened as Mr O'Neill droned on.
Mack's Valiant once again pulled up in front of Andrea's house and Quinn got out. “Thank's, Mack,” she said. Once the car had driven away, she turned to face the house. “It looks just as creepy as yesterday!” she said. She then went through the front gate and went to ring the doorbell. 'I hope she isn't watching another movie like yesterday,' she thought.
“Why did you agree to take Quinn to Andrea's, Mack?” Jodie asked as Mack turned a corner from Andrea's street into the direction of the Landon's house.
“I'm doing a favour for her. She seems nice,” Mack said. Jodie looked at him.
“Don't worry. You're the girl for me,” Mack said. 'You have nothing to worry about, you're the girl of my dreams,' he thought.
“Good,” Jodie said, smiling.