Two days later, Grandpa loaded us up in the truck. He drove into Broken Bow and the local school. As he pulled into the parking lot, we got our first look at Outer States children. They didn’t look so dissimilar from us. Their choice of clothing, however, was quite different. The girls wore dresses in various colors. Most had their hair tied up with ribbons. The boys were outfitted in what Grandpa called “blue jeans.” I suppose it was the fabric of choice for the working class.
He parked the truck and got out. The three of us were rather hesitant. I knew from what little reading I had done on the plane that these children were not GEE. They had been conceived and born like had been done for thousands of years. There was nothing special about them. I was confident they were nowhere as intelligent as we were.
“Come, children, let’s get you enrolled in school.” Grandpa led the way to the office. Along the way, I could see the kids giving us funny looks. It was as if they’d never seen school uniforms before. The three of us were all dressed similar. We wore white shirts, gray pants, and black shoes. Suz wore a dark gray skirt instead of pants. We all felt quite naked, however, without our tablets. In our society they were used so much they literally became an extension of the body.
Grandpa found the admissions office. He held the door open for us. I entered first. There was a middle-age woman sitting behind a desk. She didn’t have the most pleasant of expressions on her face. I can’t imagine I did either, considering where we were.
“Hello, Mrs. Bagley?” Grandpa said, closing the door once Suz had shuffled in.
“I’m Abe Cranwinkle. I spoke to you the other day about three children.”
“Oh, yes, have a seat.”
I looked around, there was only one chair. Grandpa quickly occupied it and left us standing against the wall.
“As you can see,” he continued, “they come from the Inner States.”
“Do you have transcripts for them?”
“No, they only showed up here a couple of days ago.”
Mrs. Bagley looked at me. “Can you tell me what school you attended?”
I straightened up. “The New Philadelphia School for Enlightened Students.”
“Mmm, you’re one of those, huh?”
Never before in my life had I heard someone berate a GEE. We were held in high esteem because of our enhanced intelligence. Here it seemed, we were going to be looked down upon. My emotions and still tender psyche weren’t ready for that. “Ma’am? Why is being intelligent so wrong here?” I finally mustered the words.
“Because you’re so smart, we don’t have a teaching curriculum for you.”
Rory spoke up. “You mean we’re too smart for school?”
“So what can we do?”
She nervously shuffled some papers on her desk. “I’ll have to make some calls and see.”
I glanced at Suz. From the moment we arrived at the school, I could see her beginning to boil. This was not a place for her, and now it had been confirmed. She began to laugh. The laugh grew louder and more hysterical until it nearly went out of control. I reached over and swatted her. “Suz, knock it off!”
Of course she ignored me. All she could do was laugh and point a finger at Mrs. Bagley. My sister knew she was too smart for this school. And she was probably twice as smart as the woman sitting behind the desk. I secretly think Suz liked that. She had power over these commoners. After a few minutes, her laughter died out.
Rory was nearly as bright. His IQ had been tested at 188. But he used his brain and applied what he was taught. Suz just seemed to let her intelligence seep out along with her stupidity. Such a waste. Strangely enough, I was the dumbest in the family. I was the one with great aspirations, and yet my IQ was only 170. But I wasn’t going to let that stop me.
Back in New Philadelphia, we all wore our IQs like a badge of honor. Sure, I was one of the less intelligent in my class, and I even got teased on occasion. Surprisingly, it was usually Rory who came to my aid. He would tell the class bullies that I’d been dropped on my head as a baby, so the lower IQ wasn’t my fault. Eventually they backed off and left me alone. I wonder how the dumb kids in this school are treated?
“Mr. Cranwinkle, can you give me a few days to figure out what to do with them?”
Grandpa stood and ran his hands down the front of his shirt. “Well, I guess I don’t have any other choice.” He went to the door, opened it, and waved us out.
Once in the hall, Suz piped up, “So, we’re too smart for school!”
“Don’t get so excited, Sis. This may mean we have more housework to help out with,” I said. That answer zipped her lips and made the smug grin on her face rapidly disappear. Touché!