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kpatton
Posts: 206
Registered: ‎11-27-2006
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Re: Friendship and Popularity

As I read posts, I am glad to see that we have readers who appear to still be in high school.  I am so glad for your perspective as we read.  Sometimes as we have gotten older and look back we have years of a lens that we filter those experiences through.  If there are any males out there, I would love to know your take on Rob.  I'm not saying I like his character, but I am wondering if he is as heartless as most of the people posting think.  I only raised daughters, but through friends I get the sense that boys are a little more immature in the whole arena of relationships.  Any thoughts?

Kathy

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jb70
Posts: 179
Registered: ‎07-06-2009
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Re: Friendship and Popularity

I think Lindsay became the queen bee from putting people down starting in elementary school, the other kids learned to defer to her and to go along with her to avoid being teased themselves and she carved out her own niche as the most popular, she may have done this due to some sort of inadequacy she felt she had and wanted to deflect from or simply because she was born with a dominent personality with a tendancy to bully.  The other popular kids are there because they feel entitled to the position and took it, self confidence can take you far and these kids seem to feel an inflated sense of worth.  I hated the way Lindays put down lower classmen like they couldn't matter because they weren't seniors.

 

I absolutedly hated middle school, I was bullied there and never asked for help because I thought it would make me seem weak so to go into a high school where 2 1/2 middle schools were combined, plus all the 10th, 11th adn 12th graders who were already there was wonderful.  I wasn't at the top of the heirichy but had gone to elementary school with a lot of the kids who were so I was left alone, not bullied and not ignored, invited tosomeparties but not others.  I had my activities and friends and felt accepted there and never competed to go higher than that.  I can think of people from my high school experience who were like these characters.

 

i think Rob is way too shallow and stereotypiclaly interested in just sex (I am hoping teenage boys want more than that but who knows, maybe that is it).

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Vermontcozy
Posts: 5,276
Registered: ‎10-20-2008
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Re: Friendship and Popularity

Vt cozy wrote:I am also glad to be "Invited" into the YA world here..reading  their responses are enlightening.,and very familiar....I raised one daughter and have 2 very close nephews..A bit immature,but not bad guys at all..I think Rob is just being a Jock..not at all out of character....Susan
kpatton wrote:

As I read posts, I am glad to see that we have readers who appear to still be in high school.  I am so glad for your perspective as we read.  Sometimes as we have gotten older and look back we have years of a lens that we filter those experiences through.  If there are any males out there, I would love to know your take on Rob.  I'm not saying I like his character, but I am wondering if he is as heartless as most of the people posting think.  I only raised daughters, but through friends I get the sense that boys are a little more immature in the whole arena of relationships.  Any thoughts?

Kathy


 

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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Bonnie_C
Posts: 168
Registered: ‎08-07-2009
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Re: Friendship and Popularity

I'm not sure that Sam and her friends should be considered popular in the sense that popular usually means well liked.  Feared, yes.  Admired by some, maybe.  Popular, probably not.  How could you like someone like that unless you yourself were like that? 

 

These girls have done an excellent job of creating their own world and declaring themselves nobles.

 

 

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dandyMW
Posts: 41
Registered: ‎11-11-2009
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Re: Friendship and Popularity

Sam and her friends are "movie" popular. They're the type of characters whose personalities are exagerated in many movies, but I think this definition of popular is different than the real world meaning of popular.

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."
— Groucho Marx
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Bethie2
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎01-04-2010
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Re: Friendship and Popularity

What makes people popular at Thomas Jefferson?

Being in the right crowd makes you popular.  For Sam it is being friends with Lindsey.

 

Do you recognize yourself in any of Sam's descriptions of her friends or of the other kids in her high school?I

I was  a cheerleader in High School and although I never considered myself mean at the time,  I do see my crowd in some of the things that Sam's friends do.  When I left HS and went to college I ran into a girl from my HS.  She was kind of nerdy and was totally not on my radar in HS.  Well I was so happy to see a familiar face I went running up to her and she totally called me on the way I acted previously.  She actually asked if I was going to talk to her now that I didn't have all my friends around!  Then we laughed about it and we even became friends.

 

 

How would you describe each of Sam's friends? Do they show that they care for each other?

I truly believe that Sam's friends care about each other.  They are all flawed and the snobby act is just a way to cover that up.

 

Is Rob as wonderful as Sam thinks he is? What makes him popular? How does Sam describe her feelings for him?

Rob is no where near as great as Sam thinks he is.  His looks and his place on the LaCrosse team make him popular.  She doesn't describe how he makes her feel, but how she feels because she is with him.

 

 

Does Sam see any difference between being popular and being cared about?

I don't think she sees this in the beginning.  But as the story goes on, she begins to get it.

 

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Kimmes
Posts: 55
Registered: ‎11-29-2009

Re: Friendship and Popularity

As a mother of 5 adult children (4 now in college) I read this book and this post and can honestly say I believe "popular" is really ones perception of themselves.  My children are now ages 18-23 (yes 5 in 5 years).  Three of these were in band - popular kids called them "band geeks", one was homecoming queen, one was up for homecoming king, all 5 were in sports, 4 national honor society - popular kids called them geeks for studying.  

 

All are self confident and on their way to being self sustaining, productive adults.  Were they popular???  They have lots of friends but would ever have selected friends like Sam.  None were considered "cool" kids - and I am proud of each of them for being individual and having the confidence to follow their own paths.

 

I'll take my group of "geeks" over the "popular" crowd any day!  We tried to teach them that they are citizens of a diverse world, to have patience with others, listen to others opinions and form their own once they had the "facts".  It disturbs me when I hear parents talking about their kids in terms of "popular" or in the "in" crowd.  Why is that important?  

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TheEagerReaders
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎01-10-2010

Re: Friendship and Popularity

[ Edited ]

What makes people popular at Thomas Jefferson?

I would say that confidence & a sense of entitlement are high on the list of factors that lead to popularity.  The popular kids believe they have a right to an elevated status and a right to step on the rest of the student body as they see fit.  I think Sam's memory of the dodgeball incident reveals a lot about what she thinks makes someone popular.  In that instant she felt she was making a choice between being someone who laughs with the cool kids or someone who is laughed at by the cool kids.  She chose to laugh with the popular kids, but at what cost?  I feel like she had to shut down her sense of empathy in that moment to make herself feel justified in her decision.  Since that time, she's thought of it as the natural order of things, something basically inescapable.  She assures herself that there will always be popular vs. unpopular, and if you want to be inside the popular circle you have to make some sacrifices for that (including checking your sense of compassion at the door).

 

I also think it is important to note that we are hearing this whole story & getting our sense of who is "popular" and who is not through a single character's eyes.  We know that she believes herself to be in a very elite group of extremely popular, influential girls.  But having personally survived (and enjoyed) high school as a girl outside of the most "popular" clique, I have to say that "popular" people weren't always as powerful & adored as they may have imagined themselves to be.  So I do think we need to take Sam's analysis of social status and popularity with a grain of salt.  In my personal experience, there was definitely something pitiable about the most "popular" people at my high school.  They often seemed to float on a sea of superficiality that made their lives seem plastic and hollow to me.  And the exclusivity of popularity actually seemed to limit their choices rather than opening up the school for their taking.  I think the same set of seven girls & six guys had only each other to date and to be held socially accountable to for their entire high school lives.  While they might have received attention & accolades like homecoming queen votes, they essentially had to be stabbing each other in the back to reach top status within that clique over and over again each year.  Basically, I don't think think they were as envied or respected by their classmates as they may have believed themselves to be.

 

Do you recognize yourself in any of Sam's descriptions of her friends or of the other kids in her high school?

 I recognize aspects of myself in just about all of the characters.  I can relate to some of Sam's insecurities about standing up to her friends, and I can relate to her fears about being teased or harassed by her friends.  I understand her impulse to deflect her friends' attention from veering toward conversations about things that were important to her in the past (like horse riding), just to fit in and to avoid having them tease her.  I also find her relationship with Rob to be a pretty common and familiar type of high school relationship, particularly the fact that her long-time crush turns out to have built Rob into something more desirable than he really is.  I can also relate to Kent's optimism and hopefulness when it comes to Sam.  I definitely had friends that I wanted to believe in & wanted to see as the people I'd known them to be in the past, even long after they'd started making choices I strongly disagreed with and our friendships drifted apart. 

 

How would you describe each of Sam's friends? Do they show that they care for each other?

 Only being two chapters into the book, I am sure we'll see other sides of them as the story progresses, but for now: Lindsay is certainly the queen bee and self-appointed ringleader, and she maintains her control over the group by her bold power plays & being unafraid to cross into cruel territory when it comes to mocking and teasing.  Should one of them ever slip up and become alienated from their little elite circle, she definitely wouldn't hesitate to smear their reputations and mock them publicly,  That is a pretty strong bargaining tool as a ringleader/negotiator.  I feel like we've barely scratched the surface with Ally and Elody, so I look forward to getting to know them better.  I think all four of the girls care for each other in their own way.  They genuinely do seem to enjoy laughing together, sharing their belongings with one another, bringing coffee & bagels to each other, singing together, and just generally spending a lot of time with one another.  As much as they might tease each other in ways that teeter on the edge of intentional hurtfulness or the way they pressure each other into making choices that aren't advisable at times, I don't really think it is out of hatred.  Who would they actually have if it weren't for each other?  They've depended upon each other for so long.  I think they actually do share a caring bond underneath their snotty, insensitive exteriors.  I imagine we'll see more proof of whether that is true or not as the story continues. 

 

Is Rob as wonderful as Sam thinks he is? What makes him popular? How does Sam describe her feelings for him?

 Rob is decidedly NOT wonderful.  Even Sam doesn't believe he is wonderful anymore.  The idea of (and look of) Rob may have appealed to Sam for a long time, but this is a classic case of a pretty package not always being representative of its content.  The reality of Rob seems to be increasingly disappointing to Sam, as she finds his wet kisses uncomfortable, his lemon balm scent reminiscent of her grandmother, and his drunken inconsiderateness irritating.  I think she still wants to like him & she sometimes sees his value in terms of the way he fits in with her social status & the way losing her virginity to him would get it over with so that isn't hanging over her socially (putting a stop to the "kid" jokes & snide remarks from her friends & putting her nervousness about the idea of sex behind her).  Rob may be a stereotypical, self-absorbed high school boy who is looking to score with popular Sam while putting the minimal amount of effort into maintaining their romantic relationship, but he had also been Sam's fantasy for so long that she still wishes he'd live up to the hype.  It seems that she spends a lot of time trying to reassure herself that she's making the right choices when it comes to Rob, which is a sure sign that she hasn't been. 

 

Does Sam see any difference between being popular and being cared about?

I think she does.  I believe that is actually a big part of the reason that Kent rubs her the wrong way.  She recognizes the genuine thoughtfulness behind his feelings for her, and sees that he may actually care about her in a way that someone like Rob does not.  Being genuinely cared about could put her under a kind of scrutiny she is not ready to deal with yet.  She might even be at risk of caring back & having to hold herself more accountable for her behavior.  She's spent a lot of time constructing her identity as a part of the popular crowd, and she's sacrificed (and continues to sacrifice) a lot to maintain that social status.  She pushes down her sense of ethics (& the potential for resulting guilt) on a very regular basis, so in a way she actively chooses popularity over being cared about & doesn't want to allow herself to worry about being judged based upon the content of her character. 

 

-  Violet 

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Griffin14
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎01-06-2010
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Re: Friendship and Popularity

What makes people popular at Thomas Jefferson? Money, clothes, parties, attitude, etc. It is not what they do for the school in a positive manner, but how they can ditch and smoke at school.

 

Do you recognize yourself in any of Sam's descriptions of her friends or of the other kids in her high school? I wanted to be like Sam when I was high school. I wanted to be popluar but instead I became a nobody. I was the one in the back of the classroom with headphones on just watching the clock until it was over.

 

How would you describe each of Sam's friends? Do they show that they care for each other? I think that her friends are caught up in the social status of high school. They do care about each other on a level that makes me think they do not have anyone that has ever loved them.

 

Is Rob as wonderful as Sam thinks he is? What makes him popular? How does Sam describe her feelings for him? Rob is not wonderful, he is playing the nice guy to get what he wants. Very typical high school boy. She wants him to say those three little words and he cannot.

 

Does Sam see any difference between being popular and being cared about? I think that Sam as she progresses through the book sees a difference, but at the start they were the same.

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BaseballMomma
Posts: 22
Registered: ‎11-03-2009
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Re: Friendship and Popularity

What makes people popular at Thomas Jefferson?

It does seem the more you cut down others, the more popular you are. And you better pray not to say or do something that could be potentially embarassing because you'll never live it down.

 

 

Is Rob as wonderful as Sam thinks he is? What makes him popular? How does Sam describe her feelings for him?

It's pretty obvious Rob is not as wonderful as Sam thinks he is! Rob's popular because he's an athlete, and as it goes in high school - if you play sports, you're popular. In the beginning Sam talks about Rob being her first crush and how excited she was when they first started going out. As the story goes on, Sam and the reader both discover that her feelings for him are not what she thought. The boy she had a crush on, is not the boyfriend she now has.

 

Does Sam see any difference between being popular and being cared about?

I think she does, but she cares more about being popular. Even though it's easy to hate her in the beginning you can still see pieces of her that aren't always so sure of her "popular" life and the way they treat people. I think by the end of the book you see that with each of the four girls.

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cynthial11
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎01-04-2010

Re: Friendship and Popularity

What makes people popular at Thomas Jefferson?

I think that it was the meaner you were to others made you more popular, Lindsay was popular because of the way she used to make fun of everyone else, the way she was mean since elementary school and invented rumors about other people. I thought the other students just stay clear of her and follow her because they were afraid of being made fun of.

 

Do you recognize yourself in any of Sam's descriptions of her friends or of the other kids in her high school? yes, I was very much like Sam in high school. I thought popularity was the most important thing. I left my elementary friends behind to hang out with the popular kids during my sophmore year. I used to be one of the mean girls for that whole horrible year. It wasn't as bad as the book but it was bad enough.

 

 

Is Rob as wonderful as Sam thinks he is? What makes him popular? How does Sam describe her feelings for him? I thought Rob was just your typical high school guy, very immature and self involved. He was popular because he was good looking and hung out with the right crowd. I think she was infatuated with him, and wanted to show off that she had this popular good looking guy with her which would make everybody else jealous and wanting to be in her place.

 

 

 

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jbg78
Posts: 32
Registered: ‎09-02-2009
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Re: Friendship and Popularity

When you think about who was popular when you were in high school, isn't it funny how you can see their warts now. 

 

I marvel at the amount of time these girls took making sure that everything was perfect in their own eyes.  I didn't really like any of the girls.  They were all insecure bullies. Who didn't have any friends, but each other. I don't really think they liked each other all that much, but they were good at using each other.

 

 

A book is like a garden carried in the pocket. ~Chinese Proverb~
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gte510i
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎12-02-2009
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Re: Friendship and Popularity

I think that the portrayal of social strata at thomas jefferson is a bit off-kilter.   Perhaps the author was being extreme to get her point across, but I think it makes for a weaker book.  First and formost, any school that functions as thomas jefferson does would have its administrators fired, tuite d'suite. Everything that they allow, just breeds marginalization and a lack of academic focus of people within the school.  'cupids' wearing leotards?  the short skirts that sam got away with?  No principal in their right mind would allow that.

Not a single popular person at Thomas Jefferson is protrayed as kind or having a soul, really.  Hardly realistic.  As with any group, you get a mixed bag.  cupid day?  thats a swell idea.  The administrators should know that its a tool of the powerfull to bludgeon the self-worth of the weak.  even allowing for a long standing tradition, this school just isn't right. 

 

Granted, as we read the story, we learn more and more that the meaness of the it-girls masks insecurities and it is often a means of fitting in.  While I recognized plenty of people from high school (or more likely middle school), the school just seemed phony.  Like some tv exec depiction of high school as raucus and debaucherous in order to drive ratings because its 'shocking'.

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melisndav
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎06-16-2009
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Re: Friendship and Popularity

What makes people popular at Thomas Jefferson?

Like most school cliques, I believe what made people popular in this book in if you were involved in sports, rich, or attractive.  Then those groups gang up on the other not as popular kids and the wannabes look up to them and make the popular even more popular.

 

Do you recognize yourself in any of Sam's descriptions of her friends or of the other kids in her high school?  No, I was not raised to be a selfish, spoiled individual who treats people like crap just because they are different.  I wasn't popular but I treated the same by everyone.

 

 

Is Rob as wonderful as Sam thinks he is? What makes him popular? How does Sam describe her feelings for him?  No, he is not.  He only seems to want to get Sam into bed and drink with his buddies.  He is popular because he is good looking and that's about it.  It seems to be that Sam is in 'lust' with him but wants to continue to go out with him because of the popularity status.

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ponkle
Posts: 81
Registered: ‎01-30-2009
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Re: Friendship and Popularity

What makes people popular at Thomas Jefferson?

I've always tried to figure out what makes the "popular kids", I think some of it is just how confident, attractive, social strata, how willing you are to put others down, your parents.

 

Do you recognize yourself in any of Sam's descriptions of her friends or of the other kids in her high school?

I never really fit into any of the categories, many people said hello to me and I had friends but I was always on the outside never really fitting anywhere. I had a little nerd, a little of this and that. It was the late 60's who knew who we were.

 

 

Is Rob as wonderful as Sam thinks he is? What makes him popular? How does Sam describe her feelings for him?

Rob is def not wonderful and I think part of Sam realizes it. She wants to be popular though and that means a popular guy

 

Does Sam see any difference between being popular and being cared about?

I don't think Sam really knows the difference or she would have kept her friendship with Kent

 

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thaisra
Posts: 432
Registered: ‎07-20-2009
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Re: Friendship and Popularity

What makes people popular at Thomas Jefferson?

Looks, money, being friends with other popular people. Same as all the other schools.

 

Do you recognize yourself in any of Sam's descriptions of her friends or of the other kids in her high school?

I didn't recognize myself in any one specific. Just little things here and there from different people that I consider similar to what I am like.

 

How would you describe each of Sam's friends? Do they show that they care for each other?

Lindsey- Queen Bee. Has secrets (don't we all?) Doesn't take crap from people

Elody- The fun never depressed person

Ally- (can't remember much, she kinda faded to the background for me)

Well, they keep eachother's secrets and stay in when they could be in a party for Sam.

 

Is Rob as wonderful as Sam thinks he is? What makes him popular? How does Sam describe her feelings for him?

 His looks make him popular, I guess? Sam doesn't really LOVE Rob, she just wants to get losing her V over with.

Does Sam see any difference between being popular and being cared about?

I think she does see it.

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melissas
Posts: 392
Registered: ‎05-25-2009

Re: Friendship and Popularity

What makes people popular at Thomas Jefferson?

Although I can't say for sure, because none of the popular kids are real stand-outs, I'm thinking it's a combination of money, attractiveness, and being able to get away with anything you want, especially hurting other people.

 

Do you recognize yourself in any of Sam's descriptions of her friends or of the other kids in her high school?

Absolutely not. I was the super-smart girl, and was involved with plenty of extracurricular activities, but was able to be friends with just about anyone. If there's anyone I could relate to, it would probably be Kent.

 

How would you describe each of Sam's friends? Do they show that they care for each other?

Lindsay is the leader. I think she must suffer deeply inside and that's why she is the way she is. It's very telling when she says that she would like to die in a plane so everyone else can go down with her. This seems to be her philosophy in living as well...since she's so troubled, she feels like she needs to make others suffer, too. Ally is weak. It seems like the other girls pick on her the most, making fun of her virginity, choosing to play "With or Without You" to upset her, etc. However, she's the rich one, and I think that money wins over the other girls. Out of all four girls, Elody seems to be the most like an outsider. She has been in the group for the shortest time. She's oblivious that her boyfriend pays practically no attention to her. Sam also says that Elody's the nicest, but maybe she's just really a pushover. They do things to show they care for each other, like Elody giving Sam a condom, and Ally cooking for them.

 

Is Rob as wonderful as Sam thinks he is? What makes him popular? How does Sam describe her feelings for him?

He's not great at all, and even Sam starts to question that after a couple of days. The only thing I know of him that would make him popular is that he's hot, plays lacrosse, and half the girls in school have a crush on him. Sam is convinced she loves him on day one, but things happen that make her question that later on. For instance, she is extremely disappointed by his Valogram that says "Luv ya". She finally admits she hates the way he kisses. By the end of her second day, she changes her mind about having sex with him altogether.

 

Does Sam see any difference between being popular and being cared about?

It seems like she feels they go hand in hand.

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emstclair
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎12-01-2009

Re: Friendship and Popularity

What makes people popular at Thomas Jefferson? I think your popularity status at Thomas Jefferson is determined by how much you treat people like dirt, make fun of them, and by how mean you are to others. It almost seems that the popular kids are popular because no one's going to stand up to them due to being afraid of what might be said about them.

 

Do you recognize yourself in any of Sam's descriptions of her friends or of the other kids in her high school? The only friend of Sam's that I can see in myself is Kent. I was the shy girl in school, but I was always willing to help others and I tried to treat others the way that I wanted to be treated.

 

How would you describe each of Sam's friends? Do they show that they care for each other? I think Lindsay is very shallow and self absorbed. I have this feeling that something may have happened to her to make her treat others the way she does...I don't know; I'll have to keep reading to see what happens. Ally comes from a rich family where she's taught by example that having money and expensive, big possessions, as well as your social status, are what's important in life and is what determines your success in life. Elody is a little ditzy, and she's a follower. She doesn't really seem to have or form opinions for herself - she just agrees with Lindsay because she doesn't want to get into an argument and she seems to want to try to keep the peace between the girls...but, she does seem to care about others. I believe that they do care for each other (but only each other) and that they would do anything for anyone in their group.

 

Is Rob as wonderful as Sam thinks he is? What makes him popular? How does Sam describe her feelings for him? No, Rob is not as wonderful as Sam thinks he is. She seems to be infatuated with this idea of being with him, but I think she's starting to realize he's not mister perfect anymore. I think Rob is popular because he's on the Lacrosse Team and because of the people he hangs out with. He seems to be the definition of a jock.

 

Does Sam see any difference between being popular and being cared about? At first, I would say no. She knows that her friends care about her and I think she misinterprets everyone else paying attention to her, as them "caring" about her; however, I think she's starting to see the difference thanks to Kent by him always being there for her.

Inspired Correspondent
CharlieG31
Posts: 257
Registered: ‎01-06-2010

Re: Friendship and Popularity

What makes people popular at Thomas Jefferson?

As in everyone high school what makes people popular at Thomas Jefferson are being mean to everyone, making fun of people , having great parties and free or be pretty good in a sport but being good at a sport will make you popular only with a small group.

 

Do you recognize yourself in any of Sam's descriptions of her friends or of the other kids in her high school?

I recognized my self in a part with Sam because at a time I did change all of my friends and even hurt some, but now I have learned how to balance my friendships so now I get along with everyone with no problems.

 

How would you describe each of Sam's friends? Do they show that they care for each other?

 I dobt think Sam's friends do not care for each other , and I believe they will betray each other when a situation comes up.

Is Rob as wonderful as Sam thinks he is? What makes him popular? How does Sam describe her feelings for him?

 I dont think Rob is wonderful , I believe he is popular because he is a jog and he is always popular because of how many girls he has dated and how he acts stupid and girls are into that. Sam believes he loves him but her only reason is because she has had a crush on him for years but she does not have any more reasons to love him , she even feels she has to date Rob in order to fit in with the popular type instead of with someone else .


Does Sam see any difference between being popular and being cared about?

Sam does not see the difference and it appears she does not care if shes not cared of as long as shes popular you can see this by the way Rob treats her , and this shows she would rather be popular than be cared about , she feels popularity is her life.

"The questions are more essential than the answers."
Karl Theodor Jaspers

Inspired Correspondent
Wrighty
Posts: 1,762
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Friendship and Popularity

 

This is a very interesting question and I've thought about this myself. When I was a kid my friends and I could never figure out boys and were always wondering why they hadn't called, etc. I am now the mom of three wonderful boys ages 21,19 and almost 17 and I see things from their perspective now. Girls can be so complicated and emotional (I sure was!) and most boys just don't think about that stuff. My boys are active in sports, have jobs and plenty of friends. They've all had girlfriends but have never responded well to the hoops they were sometimes expected to jump through. I get that now. Girls are more emotional and boys are more physical. I'm speaking in general of course but after seeing both sides (my own youth and my sons') there is such a difference! We really are wired differently.

kpatton wrote:

As I read posts, I am glad to see that we have readers who appear to still be in high school.  I am so glad for your perspective as we read.  Sometimes as we have gotten older and look back we have years of a lens that we filter those experiences through.  If there are any males out there, I would love to know your take on Rob.  I'm not saying I like his character, but I am wondering if he is as heartless as most of the people posting think.  I only raised daughters, but through friends I get the sense that boys are a little more immature in the whole arena of relationships.  Any thoughts?

Kathy