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Identity: reading realistic fiction; Oscar's Musical Odyssey 6


Read the passage, then answer the practice question.

Oscar’s Musical Odyssey

  1. “Hey, Oscar,” Kevin yelled to his friend standing in the lunchline. “Do you want to come over to my house tonight? A bunch of us are going to watch a movie and stuff.”
  2. Oscar grabbed two cartons of chocolate milk, put them on his tray, then joined Kevin.
  3. “Yeah, maybe,” Oscar said, but as they reached the lunch table with the rest of the soccer team, Oscar gloomily remembered what the evening had in store for him. “Umm . . . no, I can’t,” he muttered. “I just remembered that I have to go somewhere with my parents.”
  4. “Where?” asked Kevin, taking a lengthy gulp from his water bottle.
  5. Oscar was hesitant to say it out loud, as he knew exactly what would happen when his friends found out where he was going. “I have to go to the symphony tonight,” he said quietly.
  6. The water in Kevin’s mouth exploded into the air, propelled by the laughter that closely followed. “The symphony?! Hey fellas,” Kevin exclaimed as his voice rose to address everyone within earshot. “Guess where El Capitan Rico over here is going? He’s gonna go sip tea and listen to the symphony!”
  7. Instantly, the other soccer guys joined in mocking Oscar.
  8. “I didn’t know that you had a thing for old gringo music,” laughed Lorenzo.
  9. “What’s next, bro?” shouted Juan. “Watching the evening news in your bathrobe?”
  10. “What kind of soccer player goes to the symphony?” said Javier.
  11. Oscar sighed. He knew this would happen. Although he loved the camaraderie he had with the guys on the soccer team, the amount of grief he was going to get over a stupid night out with his parents was going to be rough—very rough. While Oscar almost always felt tight with this group, this was stirring up some feelings of isolation within him.
  12. When Oscar got home from practice, he begged his parents to let him stay home. “I have a lot of homework to do . . . besides that kind of music is really for old people, like . . . you two!” he said, trying to be funny. It didn’t work.
  13. “You don’t get it,” continued Oscar. “The guys are giving me a really hard time . . . what kind of real soccer player goes to the symphony, anyway?”
  14. Oscar’s pleas were not effective, however, and instead his dad handed him his dress shirt. “Get ready,” he said. “We’re leaving in 15 minutes.”
  15. Later, as Oscar looked over the program the usher handed to him at the concert hall’s entrance, he rolled his eyes. The titles of nearly every piece of music was written in a language he didn’t understand. “Well, this will be fun,” he said.
  16. As Oscar waited for the musicians to take the stage, he idly scanned the empty chairs and instruments to pass the time. Suddenly, a wave of recognition washed over him—he spotted a familiar instrument. “Aren’t those trumpets?” he asked, pointing. Oscar had a hazy memory of watching his dad play an instrument like that in a mariachi group . . . but it was so long ago that he had forgotten about it until now.
  17. Oscar’s dad smiled. “Yes!” he said, winking. “I thought you might remember!”
  18. Soon the lights dimmed. The conductor raised his wand, and the instruments on stage came to life. The interwoven harmonies of the strings and brass worked together to create a soaring tapestry of sound, unlike anything Oscar had ever experienced before. Oscar was spellbound. From his vantage point on the balcony, Oscar could see the musicians working together as their hands moved to create music that didn’t sound all that different from what often played in the movies he loved. Some of the songs even seemed familiar, as if he’d heard them in a commercial or something. Oscar settled in and let the captivating melodies engulf him.
  1. On the way home, Oscar’s mom said, “I know this wasn’t what you would have chosen for tonight, but I hope you enjoyed it.”
  2. “I thought it was great!” said Oscar. “I had no idea . . . I was so wrapped up in what the guys were saying about me that I didn’t give it a chance. I bet they would love this music!” he said.
  3. “Maybe,” said his dad. “But if they don’t, does it matter?”
  4. And that’s when Oscar understood something. His whole identity didn’t have to be defined by only one or two things. Who he was could be a mix—an interwoven harmony of many things.

Practice question

Which TWO things are implied by the author’s use of the words gloomily and hesitant to describe Oscar’s actions?
Choose 2 answers: