How does Nick act during the conference in Andrew Clements' Frindle?

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In chapter 9 of Andrew Clements' Frindle, Mrs. Chatham, the school principal, visits the Allens' home to have a conference with Nick Allen and his parents. Just as he usually does, Nick tries to distract the adults around him and redirect the conversation by asking what he thinks...

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In chapter 9 of Andrew Clements' Frindle, Mrs. Chatham, the school principal, visits the Allens' home to have a conference with Nick Allen and his parents. Just as he usually does, Nick tries to distract the adults around him and redirect the conversation by asking what he thinks is a "first-class thought-grenade." However, Mrs. Chatham is not fooled and very easily redirects the conversation to the topic of disrespecting authority.

Mrs. Chatham visits the Allen family because, in her mind, as well as in Mrs. Granger's mind, the children are disrespecting authority by refusing to stop calling a pen a frindle. As Mrs. Chatham explains, Mrs. Granger forbidding the children from using the word is just like forbidding them to use the word ain't: "There have to be standards" (p. 48). Since Mrs. Granger thinks there should be language standards, she is keeping kids who use the word frindle in detention and treating the usage of the word as an act of rebellion.

When Mr. Chatham brings up the point about preventing kids from using the word ain't, Nick tries to redirect the conversation by pointing out that the word ain't actually has been added to the dictionary:

You know that big dictionary in Mrs. Granger's room? The word ain't is right there in the book. I looked it up, and there it was. I don't see why I can't use a word if it's in the dictionary. Mrs. Granger even said that her big dictionary was the law. (p. 48)

Nick bringing up the usage of the word ain't is a bit off-topic since the main topic concerns Nick's usage of a word that he completely made up, a word not in the dictionary. However, despite his efforts to distract the conversation, Mrs. Chatham gets the conversation back on track by saying that neither the usage of the word ain't or frindle are the real problem; the real problem is the lack of respect for authority kids at Nick's school are showing because of Nick's influence.

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