“Patiently Alice”

Alice and friends are beginning the summer after the 9th grade (15).


Alice, Pamela, Elizabeth, and Gwen prepare to be Assistant Counselors for 3 weeks at a camp for disadvantaged kids.


Page 6-12:  Elizabeth and Alice are in a drugstore picking up items for camp.  Elizabeth buys condoms “just in case” anyone needs them.


Page 55:  The girl counselors discover the boy counselors skinny-dipping in the river.  The girls sit on the boy’s clothes; the boys climb out of the water naked, and throw the girls in.  Elizabeth tells her friends later that she’s “pretty sure her foot touched somebody’s. . . well . . . you know.”


There is constant tension between two of the campers in Alice’s cabin:  Estelle and Latisha.  They fight and frequently use the “N” word.  On page 72, Estelle says, “No, I don’t have her stinking shoes, smelling up the place. . . those nigger-smelling feet.”  And then Latisha counters with, “She thinks niggers smell, she ought to smell her own shit.  Her shit smells worse’n anybody’s, all that dog food she eats.”  And on page 99, Estelle says, “I think she ought to get her black ass whipped.”


During the camp, condoms are a major theme.  On p. 86, the girls joke about condom sizes:  “extra small, small, average, large, extra large, super stud. . .” and Pamela tells Elizabeth that “you have to carry several different sizes and you bring a ruler and measure.”


On page 122, there is another skinny-dipping scene.  This time, both boys and girls are naked.  Gwen and Joe have gone off together (kissing).


On p. 144, Elizabeth and Ross “hook up”.  Elizabeth doesn’t wear a bra and tells her friends afterwards that Ross felt and kissed her breasts.


Page 148—At the end of camp, the counselors have a condom ceremony.  They make a wish and toss a condom into the river.


Back home (end of summer), Alice hears the rumor that Gwen and “Legs” have had sex.  Alice doesn’t believe it, but on pp. 218-222, Gwen tells her friends that it’s true, along with details of where they did IT.