The Week I Became a Genius Hank Zipzer


The Week I Became a Genius

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Mm... Sometimes, just sometimes...

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I love Mondays.

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Yeah, all right, what's going on?

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You two swapped brains in your sleep?

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It's the last week of term, Dad.

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Which means no tests. Or homework.

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Mr Rock is doing an American-themed week.

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Just imagine - a whole week of fun at school!

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No learning objectives, no formal lesson structure.

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Just collages and glitter glue. I HATE glitter glue.

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Do you know what? I don't feel very well.

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I think...I think I have an incredibly high temperature.

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Nice try, Emily!

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See, just sometimes...

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Mondays rule.

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So.

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Another year over.

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Some of you have done well. Others less so.

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And, in the process, dragging us down

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below Eastbrook Academy in the league tables.

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Therefore, instead of American theme week,

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those students will attend extra classes with Ms Adolf.

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So, if you're on the right, please go and have fun with Mr Rock

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and if you're on the left...

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don't.

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Yes! On the right. I win!

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USA fun week...

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-here I come!

-AMERICAN NATIONAL ANTHEM PLAYS

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MUSIC CUTS OUT

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Henry Zipzer, you're on the left. Which means you are with me.

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And I have a strictly enforced no-hats policy.

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Especially that ridiculous one. Take it off.

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Now.

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So I don't know my left from my right.

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I lose.

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Goodbye, happy fun.

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-All right, then.

-Here we go...having fun!

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Left, right.

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As quickly as you can.

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ALL CHATTER

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We shall start with punctuation.

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None of you know how to use it properly with your LOLs

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and excessive use of dashes.

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First, the full stop...

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or, as it's known in North America, the period.

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A personal favourite.

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So modest.

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So pure.

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Unlike the arrogant, egotistical exclamation mark.

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ANGELIC CHOIR

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ELECTRIC GUITAR

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EXCLAMATION MARK CHUCKLES

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Ten things worse than punctuation class with Ms Adolf...

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I've got nothing.

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We are going to have such a great time.

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It is "The Wild West Trail" week.

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Ladies and gentlemen...

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You're breaking the no-hats rule.

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I know about the no-hats rule.

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I also think that hats rule!

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-LAUGHTER

-Eh?!

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OK, open your maps, take a look.

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19th century, thousands of Americans

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went from one end of America to the other in order to get a better life.

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And this week, your school is your Wild West.

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You're going to run the rapids of the Platte River -

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which will be the unisex bathrooms on either floor.

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You're going to climb the Rockies - and that will be the fire escape

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on the back of the art room -

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and you're going to come face to face with the devil himself

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at the Devil's Gate...

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and that of course will be Ms Adolf's classroom.

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Don't you say that I said that - I'm looking at you, pal!

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Sorry. You can't sit next to me any more.

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My boyfriend just texted saying you and him are, like, "Rarrr."

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I'm not "Rarrr" with anybody.

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Hang on, is your boyfriend Nick McKelty?

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Yes. He really likes leotards. And my hair flick.

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So, you have to go.

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Henry Zipzer, I did not approve seat movement.

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Sit back down.

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Don't even think about it.

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Something worse than punctuation class with Ms Adolf.

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Punctuation class while hovering with my bum in the air.

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You all have dice?

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Let me see...when you get to a specific location

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you're going to roll that die, and whatever number comes up,

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that's going to be your fate - for better or for worse.

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And the first person that makes it all the way

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from one end to the other end of the trail

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will get a bunch of tickets to the Wild West Land fun park.

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-ALL:

-Wow!

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Wow - that would be amazing.

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Shame you, me and Hank never win anything.

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Yeah, but have you noticed something? Hank's not here.

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Which means for once we have a real chance of winning...

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I can't believe I just said that.

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If we win the trip, he can be the guest of honour.

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-Deal?

-Deal.

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But don't tell Hank what I said about the winning...

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-I didn't mean to...

-Frankie, my lips are sutured.

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You will all walk to the canteen in an orderly fashion,

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where I have arranged a special treat for your lunch.

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Brain food - mackerel salad with a side order of sardines.

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Henry, I've ordered you a double serving.

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Right, now let's get our books together -

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and stop sighing like that.

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Hello, tiny dancer.

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And you are here...

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why?

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-You didn't get Mr Love's e-mail?

-No, I didn't.

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And I check my in box every 12 past the hour.

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Well, you better hurry up and check your spam box,

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because Mr Love said that we should swap classes.

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He said in bold, "Ms Adolf should work with the high achievers

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"because her talents are under-utilised."

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He wants you to take over the Wild West.

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Oh...well, my talents SHOULD be more utilised.

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I was thinking the same thing. You're going to need the map.

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Oh, those kids are in for a treat!

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They are.

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They really are.

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DOLEFUL MUSIC PLAYS

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C'mon Hank, one foot in front of the other.

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Drag yourself to Ms Adolf's class.

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-Change of plan...

-RECORD SCRATCHES

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I'm in charge of this classroom now

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and there's no more punctuation.

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Full stop. That was the last bit.

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Wow!

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The gods have listened, the sun is shining!

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Goodbye mackerel salads, hello fun times.

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To learn, I think you need to be inspired.

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Who inspires me?

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Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

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Who inspires you?

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I want to know who your hero is

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and by the end of the week I want a presentation.

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Who knows who their hero is right now?

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Ooh, ooh! I've got my hero!

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Joelle, who's your hero?

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Me. I'm going to do my presentation on myself.

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Well, that is fantastic.

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I guess we can skip the confidence building sessions with you.

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Dysentery? Why do I have dysentery?

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You contracted it from drinking infected river water.

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Mr Rock's outcomes just weren't realistic.

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As if any of you would be capable of taming a horse.

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Hah! Realistic outcomes are...

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1, you get dysentery.

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2, your food runs out.

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3, your oxen are stolen.

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Or 4, we catch cholera and die,

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5, we fall into a ravine and die

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or 6, we lose a foot to gangrene... and die.

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Ms Adolf, there isn't a single good outcome on this list...

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I know.

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And Ashley...you should be wearing a bonnet.

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Change immediately.

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Thank you.

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This is bad.

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-Very bad.

-We can still win.

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Just keep thinking about those tickets to Wild West Land.

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This is 57,000 miles better than Ms Adolf's class.

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Just one problem...

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I don't know who to do my presentation on.

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-I am totally...

-Stuck?

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That's weird, I was just thinking that.

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I can recognise a stuck face 57,000 miles away.

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All right, let's do it this way... What sort of person inspires you?

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-I guess someone who's smart.

-Mm-hm.

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Not classroom smart, but quick-thinking smart.

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You know, someone who can just think of something

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that nobody else could.

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Oh...somebody like you?

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Somebody like, erm... Albert Einstein.

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I have nothing in common with that giant-brained genius.

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I think you will be very surprised once you do a little research.

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Trust me.

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Don't argue.

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Number 5, you fall in a ravine and die.

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We've rolled a 6.

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-Our horse has been eaten by wolves.

-Ugh.

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So, how are you going to get to Oregon now?

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Oh, that's right, you're not.

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Losers.

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Right...

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Oh, dear.

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4, all your food supplies are stolen. Starvation beckons.

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-Bad luck.

-Who's the loser now, McKelty?

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Yes, but neither of us needs to be.

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GUNSHOT

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GUNSHOT You have food...

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I have horses.

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Ashley, are you willing to go to the dark side, to work with the enemy?

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No.

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Yes. No.

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Come on, Ash. It doesn't mean he's our friend. It's purely business.

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You want to win, don't you?

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I suppose. On one condition.

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What happens on the Wild West Trail stays on the Wild West Trail.

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-Right?

-Right.

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So, are you in?

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# La la la-la la-ley

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# La la la-ley

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# La-la la la la... #

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Are you all right, Miss Adolf?

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I am moderately happy.

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-I didn't know you had happy in you.

-True.

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Normally I am to be found somewhere between mildly irritated

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and furious.

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But your Wild West activities have quite enthused me.

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Seriously?

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Thank you, Miss Adolf.

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(Wow!)

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So, how's life on the Wild West Trail?

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-It's tough out there.

-The trail is long and full of darkness.

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Well, use a torch and find a shortcut!

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And whatever you do, don't let McKelty win.

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Gotta go now, Hank. Sorry.

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Yeah, me too. See ya, Hank. Bye.

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'Good job I'm so secure about being their best mate.

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'Cos I am. Totally secure.'

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I'm Mason. Mason Williams. That's my name.

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Hi, Mason Williams. I'm Hank. And you're tiny.

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Should you even be in this school?

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We're here for - what's it called - tran...

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Transition week. I absolutely do not recommend it.

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You should stay where you are. They actually let you have fun.

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Is that a dragon?

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I've got one of those, she's called Miss Adolf.

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I do it when I'm nervous.

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That's cool. They should give gold stars for that.

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Wow, drawing on yourself. You know that's what little kids do, right?

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Wow, picking on Year 6s. You know that's what cowards do, right?

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Yeah. Well, I'd rather be a coward than a...

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Oh, shut up, Zitzer.

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Oh!

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Thanks, you're cool.

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I know he's a Year 6, but I'll take it.

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I know this sounds unusual, but, er...

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I think I need to know more about Einstein.

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I know a lot about Einstein.

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Whereas I know an exceptionally large amount about him.

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First time ever, her bragging isn't annoying me. Like what?

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He developed the theories of both special and general relativity,

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he derived the equation E = MC squared

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and he won the 1921 Nobel physics prize

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for his explanation of the photoelectric effect.

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Well, that's... exactly what I was going to say.

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-Well done, Emily.

-Didn't he go out with Marilyn Monroe?

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No, that was Arthur Miller, the playwright. (Back of the net!)

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-Einstein went out with the playwright Arthur Miller?

-No!

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Guess I'll just look on the internet, then.

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The internet is not research. The library is research!

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No way! the library's just a terrifying mountain made of words.

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You have to feel the pages, Hank, smell the knowledge inside.

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So. Many. Heavy. Books.

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Mmmm! Best smell in the world.

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Apart from salami.

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Speaking of, er... I think

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we both need to fire up the brain with some spicy...

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-BOTH:

-Sopressata.

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'Get this. Albert Einstein didn't get great marks at school.

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'He was easily bored, found it hard to concentrate

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'and didn't do as well as he should - remind you of anyone?

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'Papa Pete found out some amazing stuff too.'

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Did you know Albert Einstein once said "I have no special talents.

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"I am only passionately curious."

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I don't want to compare myself to Albert Einstein...

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but I'm passionately curious too.

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Yes... you are.

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Does Ashley love Nick? Does she want to be his girlfriend?

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I bet she can't even flick. Flick.

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What are you talking about?

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Ashley doesn't want to be Nick's girlfriend.

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Did you just say "flick" when you flicked your hair?

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It's a new thing I'm trying out. Flick.

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Are you sure she doesn't love him?

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Not in this universe or in any parallel universe.

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Or in any parallel universe of a parallel universe.

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That's the kind of thing Einstein might have said. Cool.

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Then why is she working with him? Her and Frankie.

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I have photos.

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I'm so cross. Flick.

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So my best friends are working with my worst enemy.

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But I'm cool with that. Really, honestly.

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Doesn't mean I'm going to go over and talk to them, though.

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All right, Mason Williams?

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This place is so big. I keep getting lost.

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Yeah, but you must be less nervous,

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so far today you've only drawn a very gory exploding toad.

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What's the book?

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It's about Albert Einstein. He's a physicist.

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-Sounds boring.

-Actually, it's not.

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Like, when he was thinking about the speed of light,

0:16:050:16:07

he actually imagined himself riding on a beam of light. Cool, eh?

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I'm doing a presentation on him.

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Can I come?

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I guess, if you want.

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I've got loads to read up about him.

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He had such an eventful life.

0:16:190:16:21

Could you read it out loud, so I can hear?

0:16:210:16:23

Um... yeah, OK. Sure.

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'I had to guess some of the words and skip a couple,

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'but you know what?

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'Reading aloud to someone else? That was pretty great.'

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I'm what?

0:16:420:16:43

Dead. You died of cholera.

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Slowly. So now you miss all goes...forever.

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Being dead sucks. What do I do now?

0:16:510:16:55

Well, you have to stay with Ashley, but you can't join in

0:16:550:16:58

as you're a corpse. And Ashley, as a widow it would

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be inappropriate for you to continue the journey with an unwed man.

0:17:000:17:03

-That's not fair!

-Life in the Wild West wasn't fair.

0:17:030:17:06

But, I am giving you a choice. You must roll again.

0:17:080:17:11

Odd numbers mean you bravely risk continuing as an independent

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woman with no need of a man to give you a sense of attractiveness

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and self worth.

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Even numbers mean you marry Nicholas for protection on the road.

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Oh, please, please be an odd number.

0:17:230:17:25

Ah. You marry Nicholas. He will now inherit all your food and property.

0:17:280:17:33

No!

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This game is fun.

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Isn't it?

0:17:370:17:39

Did you know that Albert Einstein used to play the violin

0:17:450:17:48

and he gave it a name? It was...

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BOTH: Lina.

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How did you two know that?

0:17:520:17:54

-Hank told us.

-Mmm. He's been telling us lots of "interesting"

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facts about his new friend Albert.

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Where is he?

0:17:590:18:01

He's in his room. "Being" Einstein.

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KNOCK ON DOOR

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Come. Come, enter.

0:18:070:18:09

I reckon that's more the sort of thing Einstein would have

0:18:090:18:12

said, rather than...

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What?!

0:18:140:18:15

I was thinking that if you like I could take a look at your cards.

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See if you've made any mistakes.

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Thanks, that's really nice of you.

0:18:210:18:23

Yes. I am nice.

0:18:230:18:24

She's not nice. Except to Katherine.

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She only wants to read my cards.

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She's worried because I might know more about something than her.

0:18:300:18:34

Why is there a drawing of a brain and then a drawing of the school?

0:18:340:18:37

That's to remind me of one of my favourite quotes.

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Einstein said "Imagination is more important than knowledge."

0:18:400:18:43

Imagination is more important than knowledge?

0:18:450:18:48

I don't like it.

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All right, it's really early.

0:18:590:19:01

I've got a presentation to prepare for and...

0:19:010:19:03

OK, I admit it. I really don't want to bump into Frankie and Ashley.

0:19:030:19:07

Hey.

0:19:090:19:11

'This is awkward. But I'm going to be cool.'

0:19:110:19:13

-Hello.

-Hi.

-When were you going to tell me

0:19:130:19:16

you're working with McKelty?!

0:19:160:19:18

OK, that wasn't cool.

0:19:180:19:19

What happens on the Wild West Trail stays on the Trail.

0:19:190:19:22

-So you weren't going to tell me?

-We just didn't want you to be upset.

0:19:220:19:25

Great job there(!)

0:19:250:19:27

We just want to win.

0:19:270:19:28

BOTH: For once.

0:19:280:19:30

You mean, cos I'm not there to mess things up?

0:19:300:19:33

No, go on, fine, go and win with McKelty, then...

0:19:350:19:38

and enjoy your trip to the Wild West Land.

0:19:380:19:41

With McKelty.

0:19:410:19:42

'Great. So my best friends hate me

0:19:530:19:56

'and I've managed to get glue all over my cards.'

0:19:560:19:58

Very good. Are you ready?

0:19:580:20:00

-Er. Yeah.

-OK. Ladies and gentlemen, Hank Zipzer as...

0:20:000:20:05

LAUGHTER

0:20:070:20:09

Hello. I'm Albert Einstein, I'm a theoretical physicist with

0:20:100:20:14

an amazing mind.

0:20:140:20:16

When I was ten, my father showed me a compass

0:20:160:20:18

and I knew that something was causing the needle to move.

0:20:180:20:21

One moment, please. Arghhh.

0:20:250:20:28

I can't get it off.

0:20:280:20:29

I am Mason Williams, assistant to Albert Einstein.

0:20:340:20:38

Yesterday, he told me that E equals MC squared.

0:20:380:20:42

It sounds confusing with all the letters, but E is energy

0:20:430:20:47

and I've got a lot of that, and M is mass, which is

0:20:470:20:50

basically stuff, and C is the speed of light.

0:20:500:20:53

TEARING

0:20:530:20:54

LAUGHTER

0:20:560:20:57

'And R is the rip of my trousers.'

0:20:570:21:00

And L is me leaving, fast.

0:21:040:21:06

Come out of there this instant.

0:21:130:21:15

Let me think about that. No.

0:21:150:21:18

I found these in lost property.

0:21:180:21:20

I'm sorry for letting you down.

0:21:230:21:25

First of all, mister, you didn't let anybody down.

0:21:250:21:28

Second of all, you learned all about Einstein, you learned

0:21:280:21:31

about how his brain worked, then you passed it onto somebody else.

0:21:310:21:34

So, I'm giving you an A for the presentation,

0:21:340:21:38

and a plus for teaching somebody else.

0:21:380:21:40

How about that?

0:21:400:21:42

Mr Rock, are you ill? I've never got an A plus before.

0:21:440:21:48

The other teachers might pick on you.

0:21:480:21:50

Well... let the chips fall where they may.

0:21:500:21:53

Wow, those pants look like they were made for you.

0:21:530:21:55

Oh, I see they were. Can I ask you a question?

0:21:570:22:01

How did you lose an entire pair of pants?

0:22:010:22:03

"You and your partner, if you have one, die from exhaustion,

0:22:100:22:13

"scurvy, and being trampled by a bison."

0:22:130:22:16

Ugh. We were so close!

0:22:160:22:18

Great. I thought Zipzer was the loser in your gang.

0:22:180:22:22

Turns out it's infectious.

0:22:220:22:24

This is a horrible, horrible game.

0:22:240:22:26

-..statistics.

-Well, of course it does. But how can we...

0:22:270:22:30

I died, Miss, we're out.

0:22:300:22:32

I thought you were taking the Literacy Progress Class, Miss Adolf?

0:22:320:22:35

Yes, I was. But Mr Rock said that...

0:22:350:22:37

Mr Rock!

0:22:390:22:41

Mr Rock was fun. But then it changed.

0:22:410:22:44

People died of horrible diseases, or they drowned.

0:22:440:22:47

And the women were forced to marry annoying mean men.

0:22:470:22:50

Honestly, Mr Love, our generation, we just don't know how easy we have it.

0:22:500:22:53

I have been waiting a long time to hear a student say those words.

0:22:580:23:02

Excellent work, Miss Adolf. Excellent work.

0:23:020:23:05

Good.

0:23:050:23:06

-Hank!

-Wait up.

-You think I can't stay mad at them? Just watch me.

0:23:160:23:20

The Wild West show was a nightmare. I died!

0:23:220:23:24

Even worse, I had to marry McKelty!

0:23:240:23:27

Your best friend McKelty!?

0:23:270:23:28

It's not our fault! We were seduced by the dark side.

0:23:280:23:31

Our souls were twisted by the desire to win.

0:23:310:23:33

And we had, like, no fun.

0:23:330:23:34

If you want me back, you're going to have to work for it.

0:23:340:23:38

First, I want a full account on how awful McKelty was,

0:23:380:23:41

a huge American-style burger,

0:23:410:23:44

and for starters - give me that hat right now.

0:23:440:23:46

'OK...so I can't stay mad at them.'

0:23:490:23:52

Can I put my name down?

0:23:550:23:57

It'd be awesome to have a Japanese student to stay.

0:23:570:23:59

...and the lucky student is... Hank Zipzer.

0:23:590:24:04

-Yes!

-I put Henry's name right at the bottom of the bucket,

0:24:040:24:07

just as you said.

0:24:070:24:08

We'll have Zipzer running riot and a child returning to Japan

0:24:080:24:11

minus a couple of limbs.

0:24:110:24:12

This is one permission slip you cannot lose.

0:24:120:24:14

If you were to lose it, Henry,

0:24:140:24:15

we would have to look elsewhere to host our Japanese guest.

0:24:150:24:19

Guys, nothing is going to go wrong.

0:24:190:24:21

May I present my permission slip.

0:24:210:24:23

-It's not in here.

-No permission slip, no exchange student.

0:24:250:24:28

If Hank can't look after a permission slip,

0:24:280:24:31

how can he be trusted to look after Yoshi?

0:24:310:24:33

Let us host a special Japanese banquet.

0:24:330:24:38

Sorry! Who's coming round for dinner?

0:24:380:24:40

I categorically refuse. I'll be lucky to make it out alive.

0:24:400:24:43

Miss Adolf is going to have an evening that she will never forget.

0:24:430:24:46

Great. It's like someone created a special Hank Hell.

0:24:460:24:50

It is the last week of term and most of the school are taking part in a fun activities week. Except Hank. Ms Adolf has prepared a week of punctuation catch-up classes and Hank is soon bored out of his brain. But when Mr Rock tricks Ms Adolf into swapping tasks, the catch-up classes become much more fun. Mr Rock tasks the pupils with doing a presentation on someone they admire and suggests to Hank that he does his presentation on Einstein because he thinks Hank and Einstein have a lot in common. Hank can't initially see the connection, until he starts to do his research and learns that Einstein had learning difficulties too. Soon Hank is fired up about the presentation.


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