Every weekday afternoon for the next two weeks the Whiz Kids team meets after school to practice. Although all of the kids are in the room together, and Melody knows her teammates appreciate that she gets the answers right, she doesn’t feel like she’s part of the team. She’s able to answer multiple-choice questions quickly, but she can’t contribute to the discussions that make up most of the practice time. She’s also unable to participate in bonding activities, like eating pizza, which she can’t do without help. Claire still makes rude comments about how Melody will look strange on TV and expresses surprise at Melody’s intelligence, but Melody defends herself with Rose’s help.
Although Melody is officially on the team, she doesn’t feel like a part of the team. The team interacts in ways that make it hard for Melody to join in, so although she is physically there, she doesn’t become socially integrated into the group, and doesn’t feel like she can contribute to general discussions. This is similar to how Melody feels in many of her classes—physically present, but not accepted.