uninterrupted in time and indefinitely long continuing
By the third day, I abandoned my umbrella entirely and walked around in a
perpetual state of wetness.
an integrated course of academic studies
Now, I’m quite sure that you’ve all read the
syllabus for this class with such frequency and seriousness that by now you’ve committed it to memory.
without any others being included or involved
The miracle, at least in that time and in that place, was that Jesus—a peasant, a Jew, a nobody in an empire ruled
exclusively by somebodies—was the son of that God, the all-powerful God of Abraham and Moses.
a usually brief state of excitement and mental confusion
Or Robert E. Lee, who, many years after the war, in a dying
delirium, announced, “Strike the tent!”
showing inventiveness and skill
And that’s pretty
ingenious, to divert water from the gutter to her room.
the quality of being guided by sudden impulses
I didn’t know whether to trust Alaska, and I’d certainly had enough of her
—cold one day, sweet the next; irresistibly flirty one moment, resistibly obnoxious the next.
earnest and conscientious activity intended to do something
Although she certainly does not excel at
endeavors such as teaching the French language, Madame O’Malley makes a mean stuffing, and she invites all the students who stay on campus to Thanksgiving dinner.
refuse to stop
I hated cranberry sauce, but for some reason my mom
persisted in her lifelong belief that it was my very favorite food, even though every single Thanksgiving I politely declined to include it on my plate.
a longing for something better than the present situation
The snow may be falling in the winter of my
discontent, but at least I’ve got sarcastic company.
deeply agitated especially from emotion
I’d always found the Colonel’s I-hate-the-rich routine a little
overwrought until I saw him with his mom.
the set of facts or circumstances that surround a situation
He was the same Colonel, but in a totally different
a feeling of thankfulness and appreciation
We laughed and drank our wine, and then after the meal, we each listed our
tediously repetitious or lacking in variety
I sat in the back of the hatchback on the drive home—and that is how I thought of it: home—and fell asleep to the highway’s
goods whose trade or possession is prohibited by law
Alaska went in alone and walked out the door five minutes later weighed down by two paper bags filled with
contraband: three cartons of cigarettes, five bottles of wine, and a fifth of vodka for the Colonel.
a cataclysm resulting from a destructive sea wave
“I don’t. . .” she started, and then a sob came like a
tsunami, her cry so loud and childlike that it scared me, and I got up, sat down next her, and put my arm around her.
sufficiently valuable to justify the investment of time
I wish I could say I was in it for the thrill of learning, but mostly I was in it for the thrill of getting into a
effusively or insincerely emotional
Even my dad, who is affectionate but not, like,
sentimental, randomly, while we were watching The Simpsons, said he missed me.
a pattern of symptoms indicative of some disease
When I left, they both cried, my mom explaining that it was just empty-nest
syndrome, that they were just so proud of me, that they loved me so much.
a servile or fawning dependant
"What we need is a pre-prank that coincides with an attack on Kevin and his
minions,” she said.
calm by deception
“A prank designed to
lull the administration into a false sense of security,” the Colonel answered, annoyed by the distraction.
an acute but unspecific feeling of anxiety
This never happened to me in Florida, this oh-so-high-school
angst about who likes whom more, and I hated myself for letting it happen now.
a belief accepted as authoritative by some group or school
Buddhists are more complicated—because of the Buddha’s
doctrine of anatta, which basically says that people don’t have eternal souls.
lasting a very short time
Instead, they have a bundle of energy, and that bundle of energy is
transitory, migrating from one body to another, reincarnating endlessly until it eventually reaches enlightenment.
in a state of decay, ruin, or deterioration
We walked on the dirt road over the bridge and back to the school’s barn, a
dilapidated leak-prone structure that looked more like a long-abandoned log cabin than a barn.
conspicuously and outrageously bad or reprehensible
Everybody was sitting on sleeping bags, Alaska smoking with
flagrant disregard for the overwhelming flammability of the structure, when the Colonel pulled out a single piece of computer paper and read from it.
violent and needless disturbance
We’re just, you know, wreaking a little
the feeling you have when you are satisfied with yourself
He was trying to lull us into
complacency, but it would not work.
walk or tramp about
You’ll say that while you were
traipsing through the woods lighting firecrackers you were simultaneously hacking into the faculty network and printing out false progress reports on school stationery?
not possible to contradict
It was an
undeniable fact: The Colonel would have no chance at a scholarship to a good school if he got expelled from the Creek.
the act of forcing out someone or something
For me, it was just fun, particularly since we were risking
contrary to or forbidden by law
The nice thing about the constant threat of expulsion at Culver Creek is that it lends excitement to every moment of
done or made or performed with purpose and intent
I didn’t think it was lame so much as more of Alaska’s
intentional vagueness, another example of her furthering her own mysteriousness.
oppose, as in hostility or a competition
When the Eagle
confronted her with expulsion, maybe she blurted out Marya’s name because it was the first that came to mind, because in that moment she didn’t want to get expelled and couldn’t think past that moment.
not secure; beset with difficulties
A dozen white tulips in a plastic vase were precariously perched atop one of the book stacks, and when I asked her about them, she just said, “Jake and my’s anniversary,” and I didn’t care to continue that line of dialogue, so I went back to scanning titles, and I was just wondering how I could go about learning Edgar Allan Poe’s last words (for the record: “Lord help my poor soul”) when I heard Alaska say, “Pudge isn’t even listening to us.”