"Today, Sunday, is the first day of Red Hat High, and I'm
expecting 47 kids. It's 4:00 in the afternoon, and orientation
starts at 4:30. Of those 47 kids, how many have arrived so far?
Three, that's how many. Three anxious middle-schoolers and their
families, all milling around the huge, empty meeting hall at Red
Hat headquarters. The parents mostly make small talk about the
weather outside, which is incredibly hot. Maybe it's global
warming, they say --as if the fact that it's Raleigh in July isn't
enough to explain the 95 degree temperature outside. I check my
watch again: now it's 4:02 pm.
"I feel like an anxious party host, worrying that maybe all the
guests just didn't want to be rude when they accepted their
invitations, when they never really intended to come to the party