Mr. Guthrie wiped his forehead. "I see. However, gender aside, I do need to put a last name."
Ron looked thoughtful, then she glanced up at me. "What's your last name, Dad?" she asked.
She cocked her head to one side a bit and pursed her lips judiciously, making her look like a very small, very scruffy Jan Sleet. "That's alright," she said finally. "I was afraid it was going to be something stupid." She turned to Mr. Guthrie. "I'll use that."
"I see," he said. "Is she a transfer from another school?" He had apparently decided that it was a better idea to address the questions to me.
I shook my head. "She has not been going to school. I don't know for how long."
"Indeed. That is rather irregular." I had the feeling that, if I hadn't been part of the government, his disapproval would have been expressed more forcefully.
"Also, Ron will only be able to attend classes in the afternoons," I added. "She has important governmental responsibilities in the mornings."
He nodded, filling out a few more things on the form. His new plan seemed to be to process us quickly and get us, or at least Ron, out of his office as soon as he could.
"Now," he said, referring to a clipboard, "we just have to figure out the best class –"
"Don't put me with the stupid kids!"
"Heaven forbid. Here." He wrote something on a pad and handed it to her. "Take this to room 404 and give it to Mrs. Baum. She'll take care of you."
"See you tonight, Ron," I said.
She nodded, looked around as if a last-minute reprieve might appear, and then she left.