ACT Reading Apr. 2016 73E - Passage I

Questions 1-10 are based on the following passage.


LITERARY NARRATIVE: This passage is adapted from the memoir "My Glove" by Katherine A. Powers (©2008 by the Creative Nonfiction Foundation).



My oldest personal possession is my baseball

glove, which I bought for eight dollars at Woolworth's

in St. Cloud, Minnesota, in 1960, when I was almost

thirteen. It was a "modern" glove in that it had shape,
5 unlike the ancient specimens I came across in my

grandfather's house that looked as if they'd been fash­-

ioned for trolls and exhumed from a bog. My glove

had-has, I should say-a good deal of rawhide lacing.

Its metal eyelets number twenty-five. The strap's black
10 nylon label boasts a "W," which might stand for

"Wilson," except it doesn't. The glove's inside surface

sports another beguiling "W," as well as "Style 2681"

and "[illegible] Set Pocket." I can't remember what sort

of "Set Pocket" it was. Deep, T'd say. The inscription
15 has been flattened out of existence by almost fifty years

of service.

I bought this wonderful thing secretly, because my

father had met the few remarks I'd made about "'think­-

ing of getting a glove" with his rote response: "You
20 don't want that." (Other things I "didn't want" were

blue jeans, a bicycle, a penknife, a fishing pole, a per­-

manent wave, and a pet of any sort.) A baseball glove?

What would I do with it? Who would I play with? Boys

at school? I was a girl. And what was I going to play
25 with? Not a hardball: we were not having anything to

do with hardballs. That's how people got their teeth

knocked out and the next thing you knew there'd be a

broken window and 'I'll be out there doing my act with

the putty knife."

30 For a week or so I fraternized with my new glove

on the sly. Behind the closed door of the room I shared

with my younger sister, I cradled my glove and pushed

my face in it, inhaling the deep, fertile leather smell it

pumped out. I kneaded it, shaped it, and slammed a
35 ball-a brand-new baseball-in it. Outside the house,

around the corner, out of sight, I found a clandestine

battery mate, the wall of a brick college dormitory that

had no windows on the lowest story. The glove acti­-

vated all the baseball boilerplate I had amassed from
40 incessant baseball-book reading. Confronting the wall,

I flicked off the sign, looked in for another, slapped the

glove against my thigh, wound up, and poured one in.

Sometimes (if the wall was hitting) I cupped my knee

with my glove, waiting for the batter to try to punch
45 one through. I snagged the ball, pounced on it, speared

it, whipped it home.

I walked around (out of sight of the house) with

the glove tucked under my arm, wishing I could shove

it in my back pocket like boys did in books, but of
50 course my pants, when I was allowed to wear pants, had

no pockets because my mother had made them. I

wished I knew where to get neat's-foot oil, not avail-

­able at Woolworth's, but no one I could confide in

knew anything about that. Another thing I could not do,
55 I might as well confess, was spit in my glove. I could

direct the occasional spitting noise at the pocket, yes.

But shoot a gob of spit right in there and work it in like

you read about? No, I couldn't.

I brought the glove to school, placing it beside me
60 on the old-fashioned bench seat, on top of my books­--

just like the boys did. In that distant day, or perhaps

only in that parochial school, the boys and the girls

were not allowed to play sports together at recess, and

none of the girls had gloves. But we did play softball
65 and my glove had no problem at all handling the larger

sphere. It could handle anything.

Soon enough, unable to keep my love object to

myself, I came clean with my parents. Fairly clean at

least: I kept the hardball under wraps, nestling a tennis
70 ball into the glove's pocket in a prissily responsible

manner. I told my father I thought I better tell him I'd

gotten a baseball glove. It was a really good one. He

massaged it with his thumbs, sort of churning them

around in the glove. The leather seemed okay, he
75 allowed, but he said he didn't see why the glove had to

look the way it did. He whapped his fist in it a few

times and then Look it with both hands and bent it back

and forth as if to reprimand it for the affectation of its

deep pocket. He entered briefly into the subject, famil-
80 iar to all baseball-book readers, of infielders sitting on

their gloves to keep them flat so they could turn the ball

over fast. I said I knew about that.

He said, "Is this the best you can do for a ball?" I

told him that actually I had bought a baseball, but that I
85 only used it against the side of the brick dormitory­--

you know the wall that doesn't have any windows low

down you could accidentally hit. He said that's how

you ruin a good ball, leather gets all nicked. I said that

was true.

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Question 1 It can most reasonably be inferred from the passage that compared to what the narrator thought her father s reaction would be to her purchase of a baseball glove, his actual reaction is