"The Miseducation of Cameron Post" by emily m. danforth, Chapters 17-19

After the death of her parents, a teenage girl struggles with her identity.

Here are links to our lists for the novel: Chapters 1-4, Chapters 5-8, Chapters 9-12, Chapters 13-16, Chapters 17-19
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definitions & notes only words
  1. discernible
    perceptible by the senses or intellect
    Other than those substitutions, and the syncopated thump-thump-boom of remixed gospel songs, the only thing discernibly Christian about Tandy’s workouts were the warm-up and cool-down meditations, wherein she would use the Word to motivate us toward our fitness goals.
  2. propensity
    an inclination to do something
    The worst thing about the sticky hands was their propensity for collecting tiny fibers and hairs, dust, muck, and the difficulty of properly cleaning them after that happened.
  3. fey
    suggestive of an elf in strangeness and otherworldliness
    I had determined, after the first few sessions, that even with my dead parents, Steve’s textbook lisp and unyielding fey ways, and Mark’s preacher dad, we three couldn’t really compete with Dane and Helen...
  4. elicit
    call forth, as an emotion, feeling, or response
    Usually she’d then ask some sort of question intended to elicit a lengthy response, but that day, with Mark waiting patiently, his giant Bible on his lap with literally hundreds of page markers and slips of paper protruding from it like feathers, she said, “Is there something specific you’d like to focus on this week, Mark?”
  5. feral
    wild and menacing
    His face just looked, in that moment, feral.
  6. exalt
    praise, glorify, or honor
    “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.”
  7. buffet
    strike, beat repeatedly
    “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.”
  8. beseech
    ask for or request earnestly
    “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.”
  9. infirmity
    the state of being weak in health or body
    “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
  10. reproach
    a mild rebuke or criticism
    “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
  11. clique
    an exclusive circle of people with a common purpose
    When Adam walked into the dining hall alone, there were obvious glances and whispers from the cliques in the food line and those already pulled up to a table, starting in on their mac ’n’ cheese with cut-up hot dogs and a side of green beans and canned pears.
  12. gouge
    force with the thumb
    I kept seeing these flashes of Mark with all of these Biblical kinds of tortures applied to him, his eyes gouged out or his hands impaled, and not knowing wasn’t making it easier: “Did he do it in front of you?”
  13. ponderous
    having great mass and weight and unwieldiness
    I already knew why they hadn’t: It was much faster just to drive him than to wait for one to get all the way out to Promise, but I was just trying to think of things to say because I didn’t know what else to do and I didn’t want to sit there in silence with Rick looking one of his ponderous looks at me.
  14. androgynous
    having both male and female characteristics
    Rick didn’t call me Cam, nobody was supposed to at Promise, because it was, according to Lydia, an even more masculine adaptation of my already androgynous name.
  15. secular
    not concerned with or devoted to religion
    It was one of like three secular films in the Promise video library, but I couldn’t lose myself to it with so many red- and puffy-eyed disciples in there watching together and breathing and shifting around on the couches, the floor.
  16. euphemism
    an inoffensive expression substituted for an offensive one
    “Comprehensive plan? Are we building a deck or escaping? Let’s just go. I’ll steal the van keys—seriously. Right now we do it. We could be in Canada by morning, all-you-can eat Canadian bacon. Now there’s a euphemism for you.”
  17. reverent
    feeling or showing profound respect or veneration
    “I can't believe I don’t have my camera,” Jane said again, her voice almost reverent.
  18. mundane
    found in the ordinary course of events
    He started with a series of mundane questions: How often do you eat meals?
  19. fastidious
    giving careful attention to detail
    Maybe I picked him because I thought he would have to take me seriously, whatever I said, he seemed so fastidious and by the book, and he also seemed, precisely because of his position and that fastidiousness, a little nonjudgmental, I guess.
  20. befall
    become of; happen to
    She didn’t write anything about possibly doubting the treatment I was receiving, or blaming it, or worrying that a similar fate might befall me.
  21. folksy
    characteristic of country life
    I know all the reasons why people say stuff like that, the good-natured kidding about a state you’re actually completely in love with; the folksy way of articulating the suffocating qualities of a seemingly endless Montana winter and the dry heat and annoyances of the summer that so soon follows; the way a saying like that encapsulates just how present the natural world is in Montana, and how aware of it you are—the sky, the land, the weather, all of it.
  22. farce
    a comedy characterized by broad satire
    “It’s such a farce. Did I ever tell you that Lydia did her studying at Cambridge? And she looks the other way while they have us apply to the University of Christ on a Cross.”
  23. providence
    a manifestation of God's foresightful care for his creatures
    “Actually, I think it’s providence,” Jane said fast.
  24. malignant
    dangerous to health
    But they pulled a small one off her thigh (she's had them there before, you remember) and that one was malignant (the bad kind), so they have to give her some radiation to kill the cancer cells there.
  25. lore
    knowledge gained through tradition or anecdote
    Just picking that as my subject made me feel sort of close to my mom and her work at the museum, but then I decided to research Quake Lake as my specific topic, to really find out all the history of its formation and how the facts might differ from family lore, and so Bethany’s find was very, very timely.
  26. harried
    troubled persistently, especially with petty annoyances
    ... harried men in untucked shirts hoisting stretchers with bandaged people on them; crowds of onlookers come to view the damage, their big-finned cars lining the sides of the nonruined highways...
  27. mousy
    quiet, timid, and ineffectual
    ...the mousy mother carrying a kitten, the eldest daughter with her arms folded across her chest, refusing to look at the camera but smiling a shy smile off to the side...
  28. admonition
    a firm rebuke
    But the thing was that her near-constant admonitions actually made me like her more.
  29. lofty
    having or displaying great dignity or nobility
    Her voice was sort of lofty and speechified, as though she was talking into a handheld tape recorder for all of posterity and not to the person sitting across a picnic table from her, the person about whom the claims were being made.
  30. posterity
    all future generations
    Her voice was sort of lofty and speechified, as though she was talking into a handheld tape recorder for all of posterity and not to the person sitting across a picnic table from her, the person about whom the claims were being made.
  31. blatant
    without any attempt at concealment; completely obvious
    Choosing to hide the cottage-cheese containers when you knew that they would be easily found was one thing, but then continuing to hide them even after you had decoration privileges and they were no longer contraband was a blatant cry for help.
  32. imbue
    spread or diffuse through
    You chose to try to imbue them with significance by hiding them.
  33. fickle
    liable to sudden unpredictable change
    We lay in that strangeness for minutes and minutes, the furnace kicking on, turning off, kicking on, the way it does in the spring when the temperature is fickle.
  34. reprieve
    the act of postponing or remitting punishment
    ...she was granting her a weekend reprieve to celebrate the completion of her finals and the progress she’d been making in her one-on-ones.
  35. seedy
    shabby and untidy
    Sometimes it wasn’t a hotel at all, but instead a seedy motel sandwiched between a truck stop and an all-night diner...
  36. gnarled
    old and twisted and covered in lines
    Still they rose up out of the water, like gnarled walking sticks left behind by a race of giants.
  37. connoisseur
    an expert able to appreciate a field
    Adam stooped over the ground, hunting for smooth stones, skipping stones, I could tell, the way he connoisseured what he plucked: flat rocks, most about palm size.
  38. trivialize
    make insignificant
    “Is it okay to skip this? I don’t want to trivialize the situation or whatever.”
  39. conspicuous
    obvious to the eye or mind
    Not wanting to look conspicuous as we’d headed off on our hike, we’d each brought only one school-size backpack of belongings and supplies.
  40. pilfer
    make off with belongings of others
    For a moment he put his hand on my bare shoulder, and then he walked past me back into the forest to gather sticks. Jane set out our pilfered food supplies, both of them busy with their little jobs.

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