Mr. Guthrie sat in a small office, behind a small and much-worn wooden desk, in the U-town school. He wore a dark suit and horn-rimmed glasses. He was balding, but his remaining hair was trimmed and neatly combed. I got the impression that he had been working here long before U-town had been founded, and had just stayed on.
"This is Ron," I said, indicating my rather sullen-looking daughter. Her freckled face was stern but clean, and I had made sure her thick brown hair was washed and brushed. Her clothes (denim jacket, sweatshirt, jeans, and sneakers) were shabby but clean. I had told her it was important to make a good first impression. She hadn't been convinced, so I had had to insist.
"Ron's a new student," I explained.
"Ah, very good," Mr. Guthrie said, taking a blank form from one of the racks on the wall next to him. "First name?" he asked.
"Ron," she replied.
"Short for Veronica?" He asked with a smile.
"No, just Ron."
"I see. Last name?"
"Just put Ron. Everybody knows me."
"That may be, young lady –"
"Don't call me that!" she snapped.
His eyes widened. "Oh, I am sorry, young Ronald. I –"
I put a hand on Ron's shoulder. "Ron is a girl, but she is not a young lady," I explained.