About the Book

Princess for president!

Student body president, that is. It's all the fault of Princess Mia's power-mad best friend and campaign manager, Lilly, who nominates her in the first place. This is not how Mia imagined kicking off her sophomore year, even if Grandmère thinks ruling her high school makes good practice for ruling Genovia someday.

As usual, Mia has bigger problems to worry about, though. Sophomore geometry appears to be just as hard as freshman algebra, and a shocking B on her first English assignment has Mia reeling. And with Michael, her one true love, uptown at college, what is the point of even getting up for school in the morning? The last straw is what Lana whispers to her on the lunch line about what college boys expect of their girlfriends.

Really, it's almost more than a princess in training can bear.

Excerpt

Tuesday, September 1

Homeroom

OH MY GOD.

So I thought it was going to be so depressing to be back here. I mean, because school

totally sucks anyway, but without Michael, it's REALLY going to suck.

And it was kind of sad to pull up in front of Lilly's building this morning and not see Michael there waiting for me, his neck all pinkly shaved. Instead there was just Lilly, not wearing any makeup and with her hair in ten thousand barrettes and her glasses on instead of contacts. Because now that Lilly has lost her one true love to another, she barely bothers to Make an Effort. Grandmere would be APPALLED.

And hello, I have even less reason than Lilly does to look good, but at least I washed my hair this morning. I mean, I still have a boyfriend, he's just going to another school. Lilly's the one who has yet to meet the man of her dreams.

Who is going to run from her the way people ran from Britney's last album if she doesn't at least TRY to look a little more attractive.

But I didn't mention this to her, because it's not the kind of thing anyone wants to hear first thing in the morning.

Besides, as Lilly put it, we both have PE first thing. Why shower BEFORE PE when you're just going to have to shower again after?

Which is a good point.

Except that I think Lilly sort of regretted her decision not to bathe pre-PE when we stepped out of the limo in front of school and there was Tina Hakim Baba stepping out of HER limo. And Tina was all, "Oh my God! It's so good to see you guys!" tactfully not mentioning anything about Lilly's glasses or hair, and we were hugging when this guy walked up and at first I was like, Whoa, hottie alert, because even though I'm taken, I'm not DEAD, you know, and he was so big and tall and blond and everything….

…until he reached out and took Tina's hand and I realized he was BORIS PELKOWSKI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BORIS PELKOWSKI GOT HOT OVER THE SUMMER!!!!!!!

I know it sounds completely insane but there really is no other way to put it. Tina says Boris's violin teacher told him he'd have more stamina and play better if he started lifting weights, and so he did and he must have put on like thirty pounds of pure unadulterated muscle.

Plus he had laser surgery to correct his myopia so he wouldn't have to keep pushing up his glasses as he plays.

Also, he got rid of his bionater and must have grown like two inches or maybe more because now he's as tall as Lars and almost as wide in the shoulders.

Plus his hair has these blond highlights in it—Tina says from the sun in the Hamptons.

Seriously, it's like he got one of those Queer Eye makeovers or something.

Except they left out the part about not tucking his sweater into his pants. That's the only way I recognized him. Well, that and he still breathes from his mouth. Seriously, I was all, "Hi, who are—BORIS?"

But MY astonishment was NOTHING compared to LILLY'S! She stared at him for like a whole minute after he was all, "Oh, hey, hi, you guys"—even his VOICE has changed. It's sort of deeper now, like that kid's who plays Harry Potter in the movies.

When Lilly heard it, then turned around and recognized him, she kind of sucked in her cheeks…

…and just headed into school without a word.

But then when I saw her in the Ladies just before the bell rang, she'd put on some lip-gloss and had slipped her contacts in and taken some of the barrettes out.

As soon as Lilly was gone I totally grabbed Tina and was all, "OH MY GOD, WHAT DID YOU DO TO BORIS????" but in a whisper in her ear because I didn't want Boris to hear.

But Tina swears she had nothing to do with it. Also, she said not to say anything in front of Boris about it, because he totally hasn't realized he's hot yet. Tina is trying to keep him from finding out about his new hotness because she's afraid as soon as he does he'll dump her for someone thin.

Except that Boris would never do anything like that because you can see the love light for Tina shining in his eyes every time he looks her way. Especially now that he doesn't have those thick lenses.

Geez! Who knew someone could change so much in just a couple of months?

Although come to think of it Tina might have a point because with last year's senior class gone, there are a LOT of totally gorgeous girls who are completely boyfriendless now. Like Lana Weinberger, for instance. Not that I think Boris would EVER go for Lana, but I totally saw her giving him the Hey! Come over here finger crook over by the water fountain before she figured out who he was and instead of crooking her finger, pretended to be sticking it down her throat like she was barfing at the sight of him.

So I guess SOME people haven't changed over the summer.

Shameeka says she heard that Lana and Josh are totally over. Apparently their love could not withstand the test of distance since Lana spent her summer at her family's house in East Hampton and Josh was in South Hampton and the four miles between the two was just too much, especially with him leaving for Yale in the fall and thong bikini bottoms being very popular in Long Island this summer.

Excuse me. Four miles is nothing. Try four THOUSAND. That's how far Genovia is from New York, and Michael and I still managed to see each other over the summer.

Poor, poor Lana. I feel so sorry for her. NOT. For the first time in my life, I have a boyfriend and Lana doesn't. It is unprincesslike to gloat over the misfortunes of others, but TEE HEE.

Another plus about Josh being gone is that I can actually get INTO my locker this year, since he and Lana aren't splayed up against it with their tongues in each other's mouths.

Although I do have to say that the guy who's been assigned Josh's old locker is pretty good looking. He must be an exchange student because I've never seen him before. But he can't be a freshman because he's got razor stubble. At eight in the morning. Also, when he said, "So sorry," after accidentally sloshing some of his latte grande onto my boot while he was wrestling a gym bag into his locker, he fully had a South American accent, like that guy Audrey Hepburn was going to run off with in that movie Breakfast at Tiffany's before she came to her senses (or lost her mind, in Grandmere's opinion).

This is so BORING, sitting here, listening to announcement after announcement. There's an assembly this afternoon, so we've got an abbreviated seventh period. Who cares? Mr. G (FRANK. FRANK) looks as tired as I feel. I swear, I love Rocky with every fiber of my being—almost as much as I love Fat Louie, even--but the lungs on that kid! Seriously, he will NOT stop crying unless someone sings to him.

Which is okay during waking hours, because ever since I saw Crossroads I've been kind of worried, you know, about what I'm going to sing if I ever have to do karaoke to earn motel money on a road trip, and so Rocky's obsession with song gives me good opportunity to practice. I really think I've got "Milkshake" down pat, and I'm working on "Man! I Feel Like a Woman" by Shania Twain.

But when he starts up with the crying thing in the middle of the night…whoa. I love him, but even I, the baby-licker—which is SO not fair of her to call me, because I have NOT licked all of Rocky's fur off like that red panda on Animal Planet did to HER baby—just want to stuff a pillow over my head and ignore it.

Only I can't. Because everyone else in the loft is doing that. Because Mom's theory is that we're just spoiling him, picking him up and singing every time he cries.

But my theory is that he wouldn't cry if there weren't something wrong. Like what if his blanket has gotten wrapped around his neck and he's CHOKING???? If no one goes in to check, he could be DEAD by morning!

So I have to drag myself out of bed and sing the fastest song I know to him—‘Yes U Can' by Jewel—and then as soon as he dozes off dive back into my own bed and try to fall back asleep before he starts up again--

OOOOH! My cell phone just buzzed! It's a text message from Michael!

GOOD LUCK 2DAY. LOVE, M

He got up early, just to wish me luck!!!! Could there BE a better boyfriend?

Tuesday, September 1

PE

I understand that obesity is epidemic in the US and all of that. I know that the average American is ten pounds heaver that their BMI says they should be, and that we all need to walk more and eat less.

But seriously, is any of that an excuse for forcing teenage girls to have to CHANGE CLOTHES, much less SHOWER, in front of one another? I so think not.

Like it's not enough that I even have to TAKE physical education. And it's not enough I have to take it FIRST THING IN THE MORNING. And it's not enough I have to STRIP DOWN IN FRONT OF VIRTUAL STRANGERS.

No, I also have to do it in front of Miss Lana Weinberger. Who also happens to have first period PE.

And who took the liberty of pointing out in front of everyone, as we were changing into our gym clothes before class, that she "really liked" my Queen Amidala panties—which I only wore for good luck on my first day back to class, although evidently they don't work anymore-- in a tone that suggested she did not like them at all.

And then she wanted to know if Genovia was suffering from an economic crisis, since its royals seemed to be shopping for their underwear at Target. As if all of us can afford to get our underwear from Agent Provocateur like Lana and Britney Spears!

I hate her.

Lilly told me not to worry about it…that Lana will be "getting what she deserves" shortly.

Whatever that means.

Tuesday, September 1

English

M--Could she be any cuter?--Tina

I know! When is the last time we had a teacher who wore anything that wasn't corduroy?

Totally! And her hair! That flippy thing it does on the ends!

That is so how I want my hair. So Chloe on Smallville.

I know! And her glasses!

Cat's-eye! With rhinestones! Could she be more Karen O?

Who's Karen O?

Lead singer for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Oh right. I was thinking Maggie Gyllenhall.

I think it's Gylenhaal.

I think maybe it's Gellynhaal.

OH MY GOD, YOU IDIOTS, IT'S GYLLENHAAL!

WOULD YOU TWO STOP PASSING NOTES AND

FREAKING PAY ATTENTION? DO YOU WANT TO

ALIENATE THE ONE TEACHER WHO ACTUALLY

MIGHT TURN OUT TO BE ABLE TO TEACH US

SOMETHING USEFUL?????--L

What's Lilly's problem today?

Um. I don't know, exactly. PMS?

Oh, sure. Anyway. So Maggie's brother's the one who went out with Kirsten Dunst, right?

RIGHT!

So cute!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 1

Geometry

Okay.

I can do this. I can totally do this.

Converse:

The converse of a conditional statement is formed by interchanging its hypothesis and conclusion.

Contrapositive:

The contrapositive of a conditional statement is formed by interchanging its hypothesis and conclusion, then denying both.

Inverse:

The inverse of a conditional statement is formed by denying both its hypothesis and conclusion.

So:

Logically equivalent:

A conditional statement: a à b

The contrapositive of the statement: not b à not a

Logically equivalent:

The converse of the statement: b à a

Then inverse of the statement: not a à not b

I'm sorry. WHAT?

Okay, once again, I have managed to prove to be the exception to the rule. If people who are bad at Algebra are supposed to be good at Geometry then I should be the Stephen Freaking Hawking of Geometry, but guess what? I don't understand a WORD of this.

Plus Mr. Harding? Yeah, could he BE any meaner? He already made Trisha Hayes cry over her isosceles triangles, and that's virtually impossible, since she's one of Lana Weinberger's cronies and also I'm pretty sure she's a female cyborg like in Terminator 3.

He's being totally nice to me, but that's just because one of his colleagues is my stepdad. Oh, and the princess thing, of course. Sometimes it actually doesn't hurt to have a six foot four Swedish bodyguard sitting behind you.

Oh, well. At least I have ONE good teacher. Ms. Martinez is SO cool. It's so nice to have a teacher who is still close enough to our age to know about stuff like rubber spike bracelets and The OC.

As Ms. Martinez was collecting our writing samples on what how we spent our summer, she was like, "And I just want you guys to know that you can come to me with questions about anything, not just English. I really want to get to know all of you as PEOPLE, not just as my students. So if there's anything—anything at all—you want to talk about, feel free to stop by. There is an open door policy in my classroom, and I will always be here for you."

Whoa! A teacher at Albert Einstein High who doesn't disappear into the teachers' lounge the minute class is over? Unbelievable!

Except I sort of wonder how long Ms. Martinez is going to hang onto her open door policy, because as I was leaving I noticed like ten people scurrying up to her desk to talk to her about their personal problems. Lilly was totally the first one in line.

I hope Ms. Martinez counsels Lilly just to let the whole Boris thing go. I didn't want to say anything to Tina, but her boyfriend's summer transformation into a hottie is fully why Lilly is wigging out today, not PMS, like I told Tina. It must totally suck to see the guy you dumped transforming into Orlando Bloom before your very eyes.

If Orlando Bloom had no fashion sense and breathed from his mouth, I mean.

I hope Lilly doesn't wear Ms. Martinez out so much that she doesn't have time to read our writing samples tonight. Because I'm sure when she's done with mine, she's going to want to submit it to a literary agent or something and get me a book deal. I realize fifteen is pretty young to have a multi-book deal with a major publishing house, but I've handled the princess thing pretty well so far. I'm sure I could handle a couple of book deadlines.

Euler diagram= relate two or more conditional statements to each other by representing them as circles

Tuesday, September 1

French

Mia—The new kid, second row from door, three seats down. Boy or girl? –Shameeka

Boy. He's wearing pants!

Hello. So am I. I forgot to shave my legs this morning.

Oh. OH.

Yeah. See what I mean?

Well, what's his/her name?

Perin. At least that's what Mademoiselle Klein said when she called roll.

Is Perin a boy's name or girl's name?

I don't know. That's why I'm asking you.

Well, did Mademoiselle Klein say Per-run or

Per-reen? Because if she's a girl, it would be

Per-reen in French, right?

Yeah, but Mademoiselle Klein doesn't call role in French. She just said Perin, in English, with no accent.

So in other words…this is a mystery.

Totally. I just want to know whether or not to think he's cute.

OK. Here's what we'll do. We'll keep an eye on him/her, and see which bathroom he/she goes into before lunch. Because everyone goes to the bathroom before lunch, to put on lipgloss.

Not boys.

Exactly. If he doesn't go to the bathroom, he's a boy, and then you can like him.

But what if he's a girl who just doesn't wear lip-gloss?

Argh! Mysteries are okay in books, but in real life, they kind of suck.

Tuesday, September 1

Gifted and Talented

WHY? WHY WHY WHY did I think this year was going to be better--in spite of Michael not being around--than last year, just because at least Lana and Josh wouldn't be making out in front of my locker?

Because the thing is, when Josh was around, Lana was DISTRACTED, and not actively seeking out targets to destroy.

But now that there's no man in her life, she has ample free time to torture me again. Like today at lunch, for instance.

It was all my fault in the first place for being greedy and going back to the jet line for a second ice cream sandwich. Really, one ice cream sandwich ought to be enough for a girl my size.

But there was something wrong with the three bean salad. You would think with all the money the trustees invested in those surveillance cameras outside they'd have tossed just a LITTLE the cafeteria's way, so we could get something decent to eat in here beside frozen dairy products. But no. Lilly seems to have a point: apparently finding out who is stubbing their cigarette's out on Joe's head is more important than providing digestible sustenance for the student body.

So I was standing there waiting to get my ice cream sandwich when I heard this voice behind me say my name and when I turned my head there was Lana and Trisha Hayes, who seemed to have recovered from Mr. Harding's tongue-lashing—at least enough to join Lana in her quest to humiliate me publicly as often as possible.

"So, Mia," Lana said, when I made the mistake of turning around. "Are you still going out with that guy? You know, that Michael guy, with the band?"

I should have known, of course. That Lana wasn't trying to make up for all those years of being mean to me. I should have just put the ice cream sandwich back and left the jet line then and there.

But I thought, I don't know, that maybe she was sorry for the whole underwear remark from the locker room that morning. I thought—don't ask me why—that maybe Lana really had changed over the summer, too, just like Boris. Only instead of changing on the outside, Lana had changed on the inside.

I should have known something like that would be impossible, since in order to have a change of heart, Lana would actually have to HAVE a heart in the first place, and she obviously does NOT since when I said, cautiously, "Yeah, Michael and I are still going out," she went, "Isn't he in college now?"

And I said, "Yeah. He goes to Columbia," kind of proudly, because hello, at least MY boyfriend had chosen to go to a college in the same STATE as the one I live in, unlike Lana's ex.

"Well, have you two done it yet?" Lana wanted to know, as casually as if she were asking me where I'd gotten my highlights done.

And I was like, "Done what?" because I SWEAR I had no idea what she was talking about. I mean, who ASKS people things like that????

And Lana went, "IT, you idiot," and looked at Trisha and the two of them started laughing hysterically.

That's when I realized what she meant.

I swear I could FEEL my face turning red. Seriously. It must have turned as red as Lana's nail polish.

And then before I could stop myself I went, "NO, OF COURSE NOT!" in a very shocked voice.

Because I WAS very shocked. I mean, this is a topic I barely discuss with my best FRIENDS. I certainly never expected to be discussing it with my MORTAL ENEMY. In the JET LINE.

But before I had a chance to recover from my paralyzing astonishment, Lana went on.

"Well, if you want to hang onto him, you'd better hurry up," she said, while Trisha giggled behind her. "Because guys in college expect their girlfriends to Do It."

Guys in college expect their girlfriends to Do It.

That is what Lana said to me. In the JET LINE.

Then, as I stood there staring at her in total and complete horror, Lana poked me in the back and went, "Are you going to buy that, or are you just going to stand there?" and I realized the line had moved up so that I was standing in front of the cashier with my ice cream sandwich melting in my hand.

So I handed the cashier my dollar and went back to my table with Lilly and Boris and Tina and Shameeka and Ling Su and just sat there not saying anything until the bell rang.

And no one even noticed.

Guys in college expect their girlfriends to Do It.

Can this possibly be true? I mean, I have seen a lot of movies and TV shows where guys in college seem to expect their girlfriends to do it. Such as Fraternity Life. And MTV's Spring Break. And Revenge of the Nerds.

But the guys in those movies and shows had girlfriends that were in college, too. None of them were going out with sophomores in high school. Who will shortly be flunking Geometry. Who happen to be princesses of a small European principality. Who have six foot four bodyguards.

Oh my God, is Michael expecting to have SEX with me??? NOW????

Naturally I assumed we would have sex ONE DAY. But I thought ONE DAY was way way in the future. As far into the future as the day we go out to sea together to stop those whaling ships for Greenpeace. I mean, we have only been to second base ONCE and that was at the prom and I'm pretty sure now it wasn't even on purpose and I didn't even FEEL anything because of my strapless bra having way too much metal in it.

Am I supposed to believe that all this time I have been supposed to be getting ready to DO IT? But I am NOT ready to DO IT. I don't think. I mean, I didn't even want Michael to see me in a BATHING SUIT back in Genovia, let alone NAKED—

OH MY GOD!!!! Last night he asked me to come over on Saturday to see how he and Doo Pak have set up their dorm room!!!!

WHAT IF THAT WAS REALLY AN INVITATION TO COME OVER AND DO IT AND I DON'T EVEN KNOW IT BECAUSE I AM SO UNSKILLED IN THE WAYS OF LOVE?????

What am I going to do about this? Clearly I need to talk to someone. But WHO? I can't talk to Lilly, because Michael's her BROTHER. And I can't talk to Tina, because she already told me the most precious gift a woman can give to a man is the flower of her virginity and that's why she's saving herself for Prince William, who is only allowed to marry a virgin.

She says she will settle for giving her flower to Boris if the Prince William thing doesn't work out by the time our senior prom rolls around, though.

I can't talk to my MOTHER about it, because she can barely concentrate on the things she's SUPPOSED to be concentrating on—like raising my baby brother—as it is, without the added distraction of her teenaged daughter wanting to talk to her about sex.

Besides, I know what she'll do: she'll schedule an appointment with her gynecologist. Excuse me, but EW.

And obviously I can't say a word to Dad, because he would just arrange to have Michael assassinated by the royal Genovian guard.

And Grandmere would just pat me on the head and then tell every single person she knows.

Who does that leave? I'll tell you who:

MICHAEL. I am going to have to talk to MICHAEL about having sex with MICHAEL.

What am I, NUTS??? I can't talk to a BOY about SEX!!!! Particularly not THAT BOY!!!!
WHAT AM I GOING TO DO????????????

Oh my God, I think I'm having a heart attack. Seriously. My heart is beating like a million times a minute and practically exploding out of my chest. I think I have to go to the nurse. I think I have to--

Mrs. Hill just asked me if I'm all right. Since it's the first day of class, she is pretending like she actually intends to supervise us this year. She made us all fill out a form stating what our goal for the semester is. You know, in this class. I peeked at Boris's and he'd written, "To learn Antonin Dvorak's Concerto Royale by heart and win a Grammy like my hero, Joshua Bell."

Frankly, I don't think that's a very realistic goal. But Boris is almost as hot as Joshua Bell now, so maybe it really is doable. If hotness counts to the Grammy judges.

I tried to peek at Lilly's goal, but she is being way secretive. She put her hand over her paper and went, "Back off, baby-licker," to me in a very rude way.

I doubt she would be so mean if she knew the intense emotional maelstrom currently swirling within me concerning the future of my relationship with her brother.

Since I didn't know what to put as my goal—I don't even know why I'm IN this class this semester—I just wrote down, "To write a novel, and to not flunk Geometry."

I can't believe Mrs. Hill noticed that I was having a heart attack. She never used to notice anything we did. Well, that's because she was always locked in the teachers' lounge. But still.

I told her I'm fine.

But the truth is, I don't think I'll ever be fine again, thanks to Lana.

Tuesday, September 1

Earth Science

Great. As if my day hasn't been bad enough. Guess who I have to sit by in this class this semester? Well, let's see, what letter of the alphabet comes right before T? That's right, S. Kenny Showalter.

Seriously. Did I stumble into some bad karma today or WHAT?

Apparently Boris isn't the only one who grew over the summer. Kenny also sprouted up a couple more inches. Except that Kenny doesn't appear to have been doing any sort of weight training. So he just looks like the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz instead of Legolas.

Minus the pointy ears, of course.

Unlike the Scarecrow, though, Kenny actually has a brain. So he remembers all too well that the two of us used to go out. And that I dumped him for Michael. Well, technically, Kenny dumped ME. A fact about which he seems all too eager to remind me. He just went, "Mia, I hope you can put aside your personal feelings about me and allow us to work together in a professional manner this semester."

I said I thought I could. The thing is, if I were still going out with Kenny, and Lana said something about him expecting me to DO IT with him, I'd have just laughed in her face.

But Michael is different.

The other thing is, what does Lana even know about college boys? I mean, she's never even gone out with one! She could be totally wrong about Michael. TOTALLY WRONG.

I wish I had thought of saying this to her back in the jet line.

Kenny just asked me if I intended to spend this semester writing in my journal during class and then expect him to do all the work like I did when we were lab partners in Bio last year. Excuse me. I think someone is rewriting history here. I did NOT write in my journal during class last year.

Well, okay, maybe I did. But Kenny OFFERED to do all the lab work for me. And write it up afterwards. I mean, he LIKES that kind of thing. And he's good at it, too.

If everybody would just concentrate on their own personal strengths, the world would be a much better place.

I guess I better stop writing now or Kenny will think I'm taking advantage of him. And then maybe he will expect me to DO IT with him to make up for it.

EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Orbital mechanics—systematic long term changes

1. Shape of orbit not constant circle—extreme ellipse over 100,000 years

2. Angle of tilt of axis varies—wobbles from 22 degrees to 24 degrees 30 over 48,400 years

3. Precession—21,000 years

Tuesday, September 1

US Government

THEORIES OF GOVERNMENT:

DIVINE RIGHT—Creation of gov. is divine intervention in human affairs. Religious and secular were interwoven. People were far less likely to criticize a government created by God.

In Christian civilization, kings maintained that with the blessing of the church, the monarch was the legitimate ruler.

{Um, hello, except in Genovia, where the king of Italy, not God, gave the throne to my ancestress Rosagunde because of her bravery in the field of battle. Or the bedroom, I guess, considering that's where she killed her people's mortal enemy, Alboin. It is good to know that at least one of my family members excelled in something bedroom-related, since I have a feeling I'm going to be sadly lacking in that area, as I don't even like to look at MYSELF naked, let alone permit anyone ELSE to look at me}

John Locke, a 17th century philosopher, opposed Divine Right. He and others said:

Government is legitimate only to the extent that it is based on the consent

of the people being governed.

Ha! Good for you, John Locke! Psych on all you kings and pharaohs, going around saying GOD put you on the throne! IN YOUR FACE!!!!

PE: No Assignment

Geometry: Exercises, pages 11-13

English: Pages 4-14, Strunk and White

French: Ecrivez une histoire

Gifted and Talented: N/A

US Government: What is the basis for Divine Right theory of gov?

Earth Science: Section 1, define perigee/apogee

Tuesday, September 1

Assembly

There really ought to be some kind of constitutional amendment to abolish high school convocations. Seriously. While they are abolishing PE.

Because not only are they a huge waste of school resources (how many times can you sit and listen to some paralyzed dude talk about how he wished he'd never driven drunk? Hello, we KNOW), but also I'm beginning to think convocations are just an excuse for teachers to take a break from teaching. I fully saw Mrs. Hill sneaking a cigarette outside the gym doors just now. I guess the front of the school isn't the only place where we need surveillance cameras.

And any time you get a thousand teens in one room together, you just know there's going to be trouble. Principal Gupta already had to yell at the varsity girls' la crosse team for throwing Swedish fish at the kids from the Drama Club, who weren't even doing anything, for once. Except, you know, looking weird, in their dyed black hair and facial piercings.

And I saw a couple members of the Computer Club sneak beneath the bleachers just now. They had expressions on their faces I can only disguise as diabolical. I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out they're down there unpacking their killer robot and programming it to unleash a reign of terror upon the world.

Principal Gupta is telling us how happy she is to have us all back. Lilly's hand just shot up. Principal Gupta said, "Not now, Lilly," and just went right on talking. Lilly is now muttering to herself beside me.

Tina, on my other side, is playing hangman with Boris. So far she only has the letter E right and has already earned a head and body. The spaces are

__ __ __ __ __ __ __ E __ __

I can't believe she can't figure it out. But I'm not helping. Because what she does with her boyfriend is her own business. Just like what I do with MY boyfriend is MY own business. Or at least it WOULD be my business, if, in fact, I was doing anything with him. Which I'm not. Which is apparently a huge problem, bound to lead to his breaking up with me for some college girl who WILL do it with him.

But why SHOULDN'T I Do It with him? People Do It all the time. I mean, I wouldn't be here if my mom and dad hadn't—

Oh, great, now I feel like barfing. Why did I have to think about that? My mom and dad Doing It. Ew. Ew ew ew ew ew ew. That's even worse than the thought of my mom and Mr. G—

Okay, now I'm TOTALLY going to barf. EWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!

Now Principal Gupta is talking about the wonderful extracurriculars that exist at Albert Einstein High, and how we should all really try to take advantage of them. Lilly put her hand up again, but Principal Gupta just said, "Not now, Lilly." Nobody else is paying any attention. Tina got another letter. Now the spaces go

__ __ __ __ __ A __ E __ __

But Boris has added two arms to his hangman. Why doesn't Tina try the letter L? This is so aggravating.

Now Principal Gupta is introducing the different student groups, to show how many extracurriculars AEHS has to offer. It turns out the other new guy who got assigned Josh's old locker and who spilled his latte on my boot is an exchange student from Brazil named Ramon Riveras. He is going to be on the soccer team.

That ought to make all the soccer moms very happy. Especially if after he wins, he whips off his shirt and swings it around his head the way Josh used to.

Ramon is sitting with Lana and Trisha and all the rest of the popular people. How did he know? I mean, he isn't even FROM this country. How could he know who the popular people even are, let alone that he's one of them, and should sit with them? Is this something popular people are just born with? Something they know innately?

Now Principal Gupta is talking about student council, and how we should all be eager to join, and what a wonderful opportunity it is to show your school spirit, and how it also looks good on your transcript. She is almost making it seem as if anybody who wanted to could run for student council and win. Which is so bogus, because everyone knows only popular people ever win elections for student council. Lilly runs every single year and has never once won. Last year the person who beat her wasn't even smart. No, last year she got soundly defeated by Nancy di Blasi, captain of the varsity cheerleading team (Lana Weinberger's mentor in evil), a girl who spent way more time organizing bake sales so that the cheerleaders could get a well-deserved trip to Six Flags than she did lobbying for real student reforms.

"Do we have any nominations for student council president?" Principal Gupta wants to know. Lilly's hand just shot up. Principal Gupta is ignoring it this time.

"Anyone?" Principal G keeps asking. "Anyone at all?"

Tina just said, to Boris, "Um, gee, let me see. Is there a Y?"

"Oh for God's sake." I can no longer help myself. Maybe it's the looming threat of defloration. Or maybe it's just that I don't get to play hangman during school hours with the love of my life anymore. In any event, I went, "It's JOSHUA BELL, okay? JOSHUA BELL!"

Tina's all, "Ooooooh! You're right!"

Ramon Rivera is laughing at something Lana has whispered in his ear

Lilly's waving her arm around like a crazy person. Hers is the only hand in the air. Finally, Principal Gupta has no choice but to go, "Lilly. We discussed this last year. You can't nominate yourself for Student Council President. Someone has to nominate you."

Lilly stands up, and out of her mouth come the words, "I'm not nominating myself this year. I NOMINATE MIA THERMOPOLIS!!!"