There was a time when I was in Advanced Science, you wouldn’t believe it now, I know. Science class with Simone Hobbs, her white face just like Snow White with bloodlust lips. That school was all of us from the Far Hills, us advanced kids, the top of the pile, one up from the really poor kids, we didn’t have Jordans, but at least our water was on at home so we didn’t wear dirty clothes when we colored in ovals on tests about atoms, plant systems and the definition of work. That one was my favorite, the meaning of work. Work hard, Johnny, they said. Work your way right out of the Hills into the water plant. They’ll pay you $550 a week, honest work too, keep on studying. Step away from that window, don’t listen to the gang calls that chase you deep into your nightmares and leave you grappling for the edge. It’s a fine edge too, gleaming and sharp as a razor. I was also in Advanced English, but that was only for 8th Grade. I somehow got lost between the purpose for writing and the main idea. My English teacher said my thesis was loose. After that, it was all downhill in 9th Grade.