Feelings of not belonging sweep over me in the hallways,
in the coffee room, in the lunchroom.
In High School (applying some behavior modification techniques
she had learned for dealing with Samuel)
my Mother paid me twenty-five cents
every time I was able to start a conversation
with someone with whom I'd never talked before.
Samuel got M&M's for not repeating questions.
I got twenty-five cents for talking to strangers.
My Mother didn't have to part with a lot of M&M's or quarters.

"I'll be happy if you talk to one researcher a day,"
said the program director.

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