How do Miss Hopley's actions in paragraphs 7 and 8 of Barrio Boy help Ernesto decide whether the principal is a possible friend or a menace? What does he decide about her? Cite specific evidence from the text to support your answer.

Miss Hopley's actions in paragraphs 7 and 8 of Barrio Boy help Ernesto to realize that she is a possible friend in that despite her intimidating appearance and efficient manner, he finds something innately likeable and trustable about her.

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The action that Miss Hopley undertakes that persuades Ernesto to like her is her choice to stand up. The answer might seem peculiar or curious, but if you look at the text, the act of standing seems to have had a decisive impact on Ernesto and his view of her.

When Ernesto first enters the office of Miss Nettie Hopley, he says that her eyes relay a “warm welcome.” He also notes how she smiles “wholeheartedly.” Yet these friendly signals still leave Ernesto on the fence. They could be misleading. He still has to decide “whether she was a possible friend or menace.”

Then, after he and his mom sit, Hopley stands. Ernesto calls this action a “formidable thing.” Now, Ernesto can see Hopley in her entirety. He embarks upon a rather vivid description of her. He describes her forehead, her cheeks, her nose, her nostrils, her shoulders, and her “buxom superstructure.”

After the detailed examination, Ernesto decides to like her. You might argue that Ernesto likes her because...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 814 words.)

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