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Morton Rhue "The Wave"Chapter 1On a beautiful day, Laurie Saunders, a pretty girl with short light-brown hair and a permanent smile, sits alone in the publications office at Gordon High School and works at the next outlay of "The Grapevine", the school newspaper, because she is the new editor-in-chief. She leaves the office and goes into the empty hall. Laurie walks through the corridors and stops outside a classroom and looks through a window, where she sees her best friend Amy Smith. Amy is a petite girl with thick, curly hair, who sits in Mr. Gabondi's French class. While trying to stand the last few minutes she sees her best friend Laurie outside making funny an idiotic faces. Amy has to cover her mouth with her hand to suppress laughing, but after a while tears run down her cheeks. Then a very angry Mr.Gabondi stands at the door and fortunately the bell rings and everybody leaves the class, also Amy together with Laurie. The two girls go to their next history class taught by Ben Ross, who is trying to make a film projector work. He is married with Christy a music and choir teacher at the same school. He is famous for his mechanic inabilities, but also for his energy, dedication and creativity in his lessons. Some of his colleagues think skeptical about him and his way of teaching. They are the meaning, that he is just young, naive and overzealous. Then the first students arrive in the classroom. Mr. Ross asks David Collins, a tall, good-looking runing back of the football team to get that film projector set up. Meanwhile Ben Ross watches Robert Billing, who comes into the class. He is a heavy boy with untidy hair and shirttails perpetual hanging out. He also is something like the class loser. Then Ben Ross starts to hand out the homework sheets of the student. Ross says that their homework is getting more and more sloppy. After that he goes in front of the class and pulls down the movie screen.Chapter 2Actually the class handels with the World War Two at the moment. Ben starts the film about the cruel atrocities the Nazis committed in their conzentration camps. Ross tells the students some facts about the person Adolf Hitler, who has seized control of the German government in 1934 as a brutal leader. In the fil the students can see the gas chambers now, the piles of bodies and human skeletons. Another point are the death camps with the gas chambers, which are called the "Final solution of the Jewish problem" from Hitler. Then the film shows the building with the huge ovens. Ben suppresses himself telling the students, that the smoke that came out of the chimneys once were human beings. Then the film ends. Most of the students look very stunned because they haven't expect such cruelty. Robert Billings admittedly sleeps. Ben wants his students to think about what they saw in the film. Amy raises her hand to ask Mr. Ross if all Germans have been Nazis and why didn't anyone tried to stop them. Ben Ross tells her that less than ten percent belonged to the Nazi Party. The next question he can only guess. He says that they might have been scared or something like that. Everybody can't imagine and believe that such a minority could intimidate the rest. At the end of the lesson Laurie discusses with Mr.Ross because this theme is just totally sick for her. As Robert Billings tries to sneak out of the room, Ben Ross pleases him to stay for a minute. Ross sais to him that he has to do something for his notes, when not he maybe would fail the class and nobody espects from him to be like his brother Jeff, who always was a straight-A student. Then Robert leaves the room.Chapter 3David Collins sits in the outdoor courtyard next to the cafeteria, as his girlfriend Laurie comes. They watch Robert Billings searching for a seat at a table for having lunch. David calles him "Gordon High's very own Untouchable". Laurie wonders if something is wrong with him, but David says he has always been so. Laurie is still upset about the film in the history lesson. That's why Laurie has no appetite and so David helps himself to Laurie's burger. Then Amy and Brian Ammon, the quarterback come to them. After their arrival they talk about the next football game and calculus. A short time later Laurie and Amy go to the Grapevine office. Amy sits at the open window smoking a cigarette. If somebody would come in, she would drop it to the ground. The two girls talk about the relationship between Laurie and David, as it knocks on the closed door. The deep voice of Principal Owens appeares and Amy quickly throws her cigarette outside the window and searches a chewing gum. As Laurie opens the door there are only Carl Block, the Grapevine's investigative reporter and Alex Cooper, the music reviewer. The girls are a little angry about their joke. The two guys want to see how the paper makes some advance. A short time later they leave the office, because Alex has to get a plane to Argentina.Chapter 4Ben Ross is troubled about the questions of his students he couldn't answer. So he takes some books out of the school library home. After reading several books he hasn't already get the answers. He wants to give his students a taste of the life, like it was in Nazi Germany. At eleven o'clock Christy Ross arrives at home from playing tennis with a friend. She finds her husband in the kitchen with lots of books. She wants to tell him, that she beats her friend Betty Lewis at tennis, but Ben isn't interested in that. Christy remembers that Ben often looses himself in several adventures and so she picks up a book to see, what it is this time. She reads " The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich." She tries to make a joke to encourage her husband, but she has no chance. Ben only tells her, that he has been asked a question from a student he can't answer. After that Christy gives Ben a kiss and goes to bed, leaving her husband sitting the whole night involved in books.Chapter 5The next day the pupils come into the classroom like usual. Brad pulls a "kick me" sign at Roberts back. But that is nothing new or special. Mr. Ross writes large letters at the blackboard, which say: "STRENGTH THROUGH DISCIPLINE". When Ben wants to talk about this the students groan. Ben convinces them by asking if they want success and power. He focuses on Robert an the football team. The students don't take this serious and some are making jokes that make all laugh for a long time. Ben asks them, what they think about creating power through discipline, even in this classroom. The students give uninterested their OK. First Ben says they have to have a new correct posture. He wants Amy to come in front of the class sitting on a chair and showing everybody to sit right by placing the hands flat across the small of their backs and force their spines straight up. All of the students try to imitate this posture and Ross checks this by walking through the room. And precisely Robert Billings has the correctest posture of all. And so the students try to copy him. Ben goes into the front and wants the students to stand up and walk around. When he gives the command they have to go back to their seats. After they started, Ben quickly says "Take your seats!" and they dash back to their chairs. Ben is very disappointed with the result and says that they are unorganized. But he gives them another try and that is what they practise in the next twenty minutes. Ben shouts more and more like a drill sergeant. From now on he uses a stopwatch. For the first time they need fourty-eight seconds and for the second time they only need thirty seconds. After David makes a suggestion how to get faster they only need sixteen seconds. As Ben Ross stands in front of the class there is an eerie silence. Next Ben gives them 3 rules they have to obey. Number one is to have pencils and note paper for taking notes. Number two is when asking or answering a question they have to stand beside their chair. Number three is that the first words when saying something are "Mr.Ross". As the students nodd with their heads Ben tries the new rules. The first "victim" is Brad, but he failed as he forgets the rules. The next is Robert, who does everything right. Ben does this again for several times and as he is satisfied with the results the bell rings, but no one stands up to leave. Only when Ben gives them homework and says the can go, they stand up and leave the room. Some students discuss about what has happened and they all think that it is kind of weird. But they all have the feeling of a unity group. David goes into the john and sees Robert Billings there tucking his t-shirt, straightened his hair and practicing the moves. At the evening in their bedroom Ben talks with Christy about the stunnable results in his class. He tells her, that the students stayed after the bell. That's why Christy calls the experiment a monster. She also asks what he wants to do, but he says that he will not continue it tomorrow. Ben has only enjoyed the students accomplishment. Then the two get into their beds.Chapter 6As Ben arrives at school he forget his books on Japan in his car and so he has to run back. When he comes into class, everybody is sitting in the right posture, they were learning yesterday. Everybody is silent. Ben decides on the spot to find out what happens if this experiment will go on. Ben Ross adds the word "COMMUNITY" to the last title of the lesson the day before. He tells his students that they are a team now. Then he let them repeat the so-called mottos. The students stand beside their seats and recite "STRENGHT THROUGH DISCIPLINE! STRENGHT THROUGH COMMUNITY!" Only Laurie and Brad stay in their seats. But after a while they also rise. Ross says that they need a symbol now. He draws a circle with a wave inside at the blackboard. He says that their movement is now called "The Wave". Then he shows them a salute by cupping his right hand in the shape of a wave, tapping it against his left shoulder and holding it upright. After this he orders the class to give the salute and they do so, however with mistakes, but they have to practise it till they get it right. Ross orders Robert to salute and give the mottos. After Robert other students have to do so and at the end, everybody in the class salutes and gives the mottos. Ben thinks for himself, that it is like a regiment. After school David and Eric are sitting in the gym and talk about The Wave. David is the meaning, that The Wave will help the football team, because they are not really good in the last times. When Brian comes in, he is asked by David what he thinks about getting The Wave into the team, but Brian only makes some jokes and the others cannot suppress laughing. Then Deutsch, the second-string quarterback behind Brian comes in and he and Brian start to argue. That is exactly the point, what David wants to change. He is fed up with the fightings between the teammates. So he begins to talk about unity, discipline and acting like a team. Later on he starts to tell them about The Wave. He even learns them the mottos and the salute.Chapter 7In the evening Laurie tells her parents about the last two days of her history class, because she cannot stand listening to her father talks about golf, while they are sitting in the dining room having dinner. She says that it is incredible to feel the energy inside. Lauries mother doesn't like it. For her it is too militaristic. Mr. Saunders likes the positive aspect. That the students pay attention and cooperate. Mrs. Saunders thinks that in that way the kids are not acting like individuals anymore, like they bring up Laurie. She wants to remember Laurie, that a popular thing is not always the right thing. Mr. Saunders trusts Mr. Ross, because he as a teacher should know what to do. Laurie's mom asks where David is tonight. As Laurie says that he is home studying for tomorrow, it makes her mother wondering. At the same evening at Ben and Christy's , Christy finds her husband at the table covered with books again, when she arrives. Ben says that he has much to prepare for his history class. Christy inquires how the experiment goes ahead. Ben answers that his students now come prepared into the lessons. His wife means that they don't think for themselves and she wants to know how far he will push this. But Ben doesn't know. He is only interested in seeing, what will happen, but it is contagious. Finally Christy tries to warn him by making a joke.Chapter 8In the morning, Laurie and David walk together to school. David says seriously that The Wave is, what the football team needs and that he involved them yesterday with the help of Brian and Eric. And even the team coach Schiller is impressed because he says they are like a new team. Then Laurie tells David what her mother thinks about it. David thinks that she's crazy, when she makes a justice without feeling the team energy. Their conversation ends in a quarrel. That is when Laurie decides to change the subject. She wants to deflect from their disagreement by asking if he find a help for calculus yet. But David doesn't want to ask somebody from his class. Laurie gives him the advice to ask Amy for help. As the students arrive in class, they see a new-dressed Mr.Ross and a big The Wave-poster in the back of the room. As they all sit, Mr. Ross hands out small yellow cards - The Wave membership cards! Some cards are marked with a red X on the back. The owner of such a card is a monitor, whose task it is to report Mr.Ross if somebody doesn't obey the rules. For example Robert and Brian are such monitors. Laurie asks what the point of this is. Ben Ross says it is an example of how a group controls itself. As Laurie has no more questions, Ben Ross adds a new word to the mottos. Today it is "ACTION". He explains that a group can only achieve something by action. He tries to convince the students, that they have to work together, obey the rules and guarantee the success of The Wave. Laurie feels such a single-mindedness and absolute obedience to Mr.Ross, that is already creepy. Ben tells them more about the equality and a team. Then he gives a first action to them: they have to recruit new members. To be a new member the others have to demonstrate the knowledge of the rules and promise a strong obedience to them. David especially thinks about the football team. Suddenly a student called George Snyder raises his hand and says that he feels like beeing part of something for the first time in his life. Likewise Robert stands up and says he feels like he is born new. Even Amy confirms what the two have said. Now David says that he is proud of The Wave. All these meanings surprised Ben and he could not deny what they said. So he orders the salute and the mottos: "STRENGHT THROUGH DISCIPLINE! STRENGHT THROUGH COMMUNITY! STRENGHT THROUGH ACTION!" Ben realises that The Wave has become much more interesting and more than only an experiment. The same day at lunch all members of The Wave sit in the cafeteria at a long table. Even Robert is allowed to sit there, because David says they are all part of it. The students discuss about The Wave until Laurie asks if anybody feels strange about it. But the others don't understand her. Brian pulls his membership card with the red X out of his jacket and reminds Laurie what about breaking the rules. As Robert says something, everybody is astonished. He says that the mean idea of The Wave is to support it. As Brad patts Robert on his back and says that he is glad to have him in it, Robert makes a joke, asking if Brad sticks him something on his back.Chapter 9Ben Ross is still not sure what to make with The Wave. In his lessons students from free periods, lunch and study halls come to get to know The Wave. The recuiting is more and more successful, but influenced by all these facts the class don't fall behind. They even come prepared now into the lessons, but Ben Ross complains about their less thinking behind everything. Ben is concerned about how they would do on exams consisting of essays. Ben decides for himself to find out, what the attraction for the students is. Some think it is only something new. Others like the equality in it. Ben thinks that he creats something good and he even daydreams about a story in the Time magazine. Meanwhile Laurie sits in the school publications office with some other Grapevine members, for example Alex and Carl. The problem of this meeting is the same as usual. They don't have enough stories for the publishing next week. As they talk about several themes, Carl has the idea to write something about this Wave thing. The others find that this is the biggest thing in school now. But Laurie isn't sure to write about this. The others convince her and so she says she will write a story and try to explain what it is about. In the evening at home Laurie's mother knocks at her door and comes in. She wants to talk with her daughter about The Wave, because she met Robert's mom, Elaine Billings today and she tells her that her son is almost like a new person and that makes Laurie's mom worrying.She thinks that such a personality change is dramatically, not real and only in the classroom. Laurie thinks that The Wave will be over soon. But on Saturday it will be a pep-rally for the football game. Laurie also tries to convince her mom that Mr.Ross knows what to do, because he is a good teacher. Admittedly her mother wants Laurie to be careful with this situation. Chapter 10As Ben Ross sits in the faculty lounge, somebody comes in and tells him, that Principal Owens wants to see him. Ben assumes that it has to do with The Wave. On his way to the office he meets several students saluting him. But Ben still wonders, what the principal wants from him. His door is open and Ben enters, but he feels slightly confused. Principal Owens is in a good mood and so Ben has nothing to fear.Owens wants to know from Ben, what The Wave is about. So Ben tells him, how it started and explains it. And he assures the principal that the students are not faling behind. What's the agony of the principal are the mottos and the salutings, but that's just a part of the game like Ben explains. Ben promises that the experiment can't go any further than he wants to. The principal wants to keep an eye on Ben and especially on The Wave. The only thing Principal Owens wants to avoid is to have a parade of parents in his office. Ben promises that Owens will not have to doubt in him.Chapter 11As Laurie goes into the publications office on the next day, there lies a white envelope on the floor. She picks it up and opens it. Inside she finds a sheet of paper with a handwritten story on it. It comes from a junior, who doesn't want others to know his name.The anonymous author informs Laurie about an incident just three or four days ago. When he and some friends heard about The Wave, of course they wanted to know what it is. Therefore they went to one of Mr.Ross's class and when they left, a senior asks them to become a member. Two friends immediately agreed, two others were only interested and he refused. The senior convinced the two other friends and told the author of this letter that if he didn't become a member, he would loose all his friends. A few days later the senior asked him again if he had changed his opinion, because if he didn't join soon it would be too late. All he asks himself now is: "Too late for what?" After that letter Laurie begins to focus The Wave. When Ben leaves the principal's office there are several putting up a big banner of The Wave in the hall, because today is the pep rally. Then he sees Brad and Eric shouting the mottos and handing out prospects. As Ben walks through the school he sees Wave posters all over the school. A little later Ben thinks that he is pursued. It is Robert, who wants to be Ross's bodyguard. Ben agrees an Robert's entreaties, although he doesn't think that it is necessary. He remembers that this might be important for Robert and having a bodyguard can only enhance Ben's image.Chapter 12Laurie has to think more and more about The Wave and especially about this letter. Suddenly her thoughts are interrupted by some screams outside on the courtyard. She looks through a window and sees Brian Ammon fighting with another guy. But then a teacher comes to divide the two boys and bring them to Principal Owens. In that moment Brian shoutes the Wave mottos. Beside Laurie there suddenly stands David and he says that the other fighter is Deutsch, the guy who's after Brian's football position. What makes Laurie wondering is that Deutsch isn't a Wave member. In the next moment Laurie decides not to go to the Wave rally, because everyone just takes it too serious. David cannot believe, what his girlfriend says. He tries to explain her opinion, that she is now not somebody special anymore. After this little difference of opinion David goes alone to the gym and Laurie feels confirmed that everything is going out of control. Later Laurie sits in the publications office and hears that the rally must have been a great success. Then she decides that she and The Grapevine have to do something. As the doors opens, Alex comes in. He makes some jokes about The Wave until Carl comes, too. Carl feels like he reaches the Anne Frank's attic. All three are united, that The Wave must be stopped. So Laurie announces an emergency meeting at her's, only for non-Wave members. That night Laurie is alone at home, because David has not come yet. So she tries to write an article for the newspaper about The Wave. As it knocks on the door unsualy her father enters and wants to talk to his daughter. He is concerned about something he heard on the golf course today. He begins telling about the fight at school. The boy who has been beaten up, didn't want to join The Wave and beside he is new at school and he is a Jew. He talks about Deutsch. Laurie can't believe what she's hearing and that it has to do something with the conflict. Her father also tells her, that some parents will talk with the principal in the next time and he wants Laurie to be on the right and safe side. She enlightens him about the special issue of The Grapevine, where they want to expose everything. And she promises to be careful.Chapter 13During every football afternoon game on Saturdays, Laurie sits near Amy for the la...
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