In chapter seven, the Ceremony of Twelve begins as the Chief Elder takes center stage and briefly elaborates on Asher's childhood before she calls him to stand in front of the audience and presents him with his Assignment. The Chief Elder tells a story about Asher's difficulty acquiring language and mentions that he used to confuse the word "snack" with "smack." Jonas remembers Asher constantly confusing the word and recalls how the Childcare specialists punished Asher using a "discipline wand." The discipline wand was a thin, flexible weapon that stung painfully. The Childcare specialists continually struck Asher in the hands and on his bare legs for mispronouncing the word over and over again. Asher became traumatized by the beatings and refused to speak for an extended period of time when he was three years old. The reader finds the form of corporal punishment very disturbing and gains further insight into the nature of Jonas's community.