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Nora then explains her reasoning: The focus on grades makes the kids who find school easy feel superior, and behave poorly, while the kids who have to work harder feel stupid, which is not fair.Nora finds some support among the teachers, who have their own misgivings about the focus on grades.
She remembers when she started kindergarten and thought she could get away without participating by hiding under her desk and pretending to be a cat instead of a girl.Nora tells her parents that she does not wish to go into the advanced classes; she likes being â€›normal.’ She sees Stephen and goes over to him and thanks him for still being her friend and treating her like a normal person even though he now knows she is a genius.Nora Rose Rowley is a genius, but don't tell anyone. I’ve been discovering facts about myself for a long time.In fifth grade the pressure gets worse, because the next round of grades and scores will determine which kids get into the advanced classes, and Stephen is close to despair. At home, Nora’s brother and sister read their report cards at dinner and her parents are very interested.When it comes time to read hers, Nora regrets her plan and refuses to read it out loud.Stephen is stunned to find out that Nora is so smart, and stung that she hid it from him.He tells the school’s most gossipy girl, Jennie Springs, that Nora is a secret genius, and soon the whole school knows.Nora researches the tests in order to get a perfectly average score, but Stephen tries very hard and gets low scores, which depresses him.This led to Stephen experiencing stress and anxiety all the time.When her parents force her to reveal her grades, they are alarmed and unhappy.Stephen confronts Nora about her poor grades, and she confesses that she did poorly on purpose.