"You're going to have to call your mother if you don't have any other clothes in your locker, Dalia. I don't know why we keep having to have the same conversation over and over again."
"I don't have any other clothes."
"Dalia, do you have the student planner we gave you at the beginning of the year?"
Dalia stared down at the ground, knowing where Dr. Jackson was going with this. If she told him 'yes' then he would tell her how the county dress code policy was written right there in the front of the planner. If she told him 'no,' then he would reach under his desk to give her a replacement copy. Then he'd lecture her about losing her planner.
"When I ask students a question," said Dr. Jackson, "I'm accustomed to being answered. It's a simple question, Dalia. Do you have your student planner?"
"Just let me call my mom," Dalia said. "I can use my cell phone."
"You know that's not allowed during school hours," Dr. Jackson said. "And while we're on the subject, I've had more than one teacher complain to me that they see you on that phone in the hallways. You know if I catch you with it, I'm going to take it and put it right here in my safe. You don't get it back until your mother comes to collect it, during office hours."
"Fine, whatever. Just please let me call my mother."
"That attitude of yours is going to really get in your way next year," Dr. Jackson said, picking up the phone and dialing her mother's number from memory. He called her house so often, Dalia was surprised he didn't have her on speed dial.
"I'll keep that in mind," she said, reaching her hand out for the phone.
"You'd better do that," he said, staring right into her eyes.