"The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian," Vocabulary from Chapters 1-7

August 15, 2013
Sherman Alexie charts a young boy's journey through his decimated American Indian culture on the reservation to an all-white school and asks how a heritage can be preserved in "The Absolutely True Diary of A Part-Time Indian."

Learn these word lists for the novel: Chapters 1-7, Chapters 8-14, Chapters 15-21, Chapters 22-26, Chapters 27-29
I was actually born with too much cerebral spinal fluid inside my skull.
My brain damage left me nearsighted in one eye and farsighted in the other, so my ugly glasses were all lopsided because my eyes were so lopsided.
But the thing is, I was having those seizures because I already had brain damage, so I was reopening wounds each time I seized.
I haven’t had a seizure in seven years, but the doctors tell me that I am “ susceptible to seizure activity.”
You wouldn’t think there is anything life threatening about speech impediments, but let me tell you, there is nothing more dangerous than being a lad with a stutter and a lisp.
So I draw because I feel like it might be my only real chance to escape the reservation.
And now I’m sure you’re asking, “Okay, okay, Mr. Hunger Artist, Mr. Mouth-Full-of-Words, Mr. Woe-Is-Me, Mr. Secret Recipe, what is the worst thing about being poor?”
He whimpered in pain.
When I touched him, he yelped like crazy.
I was too young to deal blackjack at the casino, there were only about fifteen green grass lawns on the reservation (and none of their owners outsourced the mowing jobs), and the only paper route was owned by a tribal elder named Wally.
Tsunami mad.
Poverty doesn’t give you strength or teach you lessons about perseverance.
After Oscar died, I was so depressed that I thought about crawling into a hole and disappearing forever.
This was the 127th annual one, and there would be singing, war dancing, gambling, storytelling, laughter, fry bread, hamburgers, hot dogs, arts and crafts, and plenty of alcoholic brawling.
Rowdy isn’t a fast reader, but he’s persistent.
I’m ambidextrous.
prison-work farm for our liberal, white, vegetarian do-gooders and conservative, white missionary saviors.
Some of our teachers make us eat birdseed so we’ll feel closer to the earth, and other teachers hate birds because they are supposedly minions of the Devil.
Some of our teachers make us eat birdseed so we’ll feel closer to the earth, and other teachers hate birds because they are supposedly minions of the Devil.
And let me tell you, that old, old, old, decrepit geometry book hit my heart with the force of a nuclear bomb.
He was, like, interrogating me.
Those romances always featured a love affair between a virginal white schoolteacher or preacher’s wife and a half-breed Indian warrior.
I was carrying the burden of my race, you know?
We all got really mad and vowed to kick their asses the next game.
“I’m as serious as a tumor.”

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