Small Steps Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Who is Theodore Johnson; what is his nickname; and, how did he acquire it?

Theodore Johnson is an African-American teen, who has been given the nickname Armpit because venom from a scorpion bite infected his armpit.

2. What happens that makes Theodore decide to turn his life around?

Armpit digs in the lawn of Austin mayor Cherry Lane, a task he becomes used to from digging holes during his time at a juvenile detention center. After three years at the center and extensive counseling, Armpit has resolved to reform his life.

3. What does Armpit's counselor advise Armpit about taking steps?

A counselor advised Armpit that life after an experience like Armpit's in the detention center has to be taken with small steps.

4. Who is X-Ray and what does he want of Armpit and what is Armpit's initial response to X-Ray's proposal?

Armpit's work is interrupted by his friend from the detention center, the slick X-Ray, who tries to convince Armpit to go in with him on what he says is a sure business deal. Armpit, reluctant to let go of the cash he has struggled to save, resists at first.

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