Out of My Mind


Sharon Draper

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Out of My Mind: Chapter 18 Summary & Analysis

Melody goes home upset at being underestimated once again. Catherine calls Mrs. V to explain what a bad day Melody has had, and Mrs. V is furious that Mr. Dimming treated Melody so dismissively. Mrs. V convinces Melody that instead of sulking, she should get started studying. Melody is resistant at first, believing she won’t be allowed on the Whiz Kids team, but Mrs. V insists that if Melody proves herself indispensible, the team will need to have her. Mrs. V and Melody study together all afternoon and into the evening. Melody’s dad is worried that Melody is being set up for failure, but she insists that she really wants to try.
Mrs. V and Catherine help convince Melody to channel her anger and frustration at being underestimated by Mr. Dimming into studying for the Whiz Kids team. By overlooking her, Mr. Dimming just inspires Melody to try even harder to prove herself. Mrs. V is Melody’s biggest advocate, and she even stands up to Melody’s father who worries that Melody will be disappointed. He knows that Melody is smart enough to get on the team, but worries she will nonetheless be denied a spot. Ultimately, Melody is let down by the Whiz Kids, but it’s right that Mrs. V is encouraging Melody to push herself.
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The next day Melody studies for the Whiz Kids test with Catherine. Melody admits she’s nervous, but Catherine assures her that she can do it. Melody skips her inclusion classes to prepare for the test, and she is aware that nobody notices she’s missing.
Melody continues to funnel her frustration at being overlooked into her studying. She’s disappointed to realize that, although she has felt like she is part of her immersion classes, her classmates don’t seem to notice or care that she’s in the class, making her feel like she isn’t a real member of the community.
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