Hardy Elementary School is about to go on its annual event, A Week in the Woods, an opportunity for students to learn outdoors. Most of the children look forward to the big event, as indeed does Mr. Maxwell, the fifth-grade science teacher. For someone who loves both education and the environment as much as he does, A Week in the Woods is something of a treat.
Unfortunately for Mr. Maxwell, there's a fly in the ointment: Mark, his least favorite student, will also be coming along. Almost from the first time he met him, Mr. Maxwell figured Mark out to be a slacker, a spoiled, entitled rich kid content to glide through school without bothering to put in any effort. So one can only imagine Mr. Maxwell's reaction when he discovers that Mark will be attending his favorite event.
This happens one day when Mr. Maxwell is putting a scientific scale into the storage cupboard. Mark approaches him with an envelope full of permission sheets signed by the parents of all those students who'll be going on A Week in the Woods. Mr. Maxwell tells Mark that he didn't think he'd be going. In actual fact, he hoped that he wouldn't be going.
Mark says that he does want to go, to which Mr. Maxwell replies,
Fine ... Glad to hear it.
But his eyes give the game away; they tell us the exact opposite. Mr. Maxwell is far from glad that Mark will be joining him on A Week in the Woods.