Dearest Kitty, Our entire class is quaking in its boots. The reason, of course, is the forthcoming meeting in which the teachers decide who’ll move up to the next form and who’ll be kept back. Half the class is making bets. G.N. and I laugh ourselves silly at the two boys behind us, C.N. and Jacques, who have staked their entire holiday savings on their bet. From morning to night, it’s “You’re going to pass”, “No, I’m not”, “Yes, you are”, “No, I’m not”. Even G.’s pleading glances and my angry outbursts can’t calm them down. If you ask me, there are so many dummies that about a quarter of the class should be kept back, but teachers are the most unpredictable creatures on earth.
In this paragraph, Anne expresses her anxiety and fear to Kitty (her diary), describing how her entire class was terrified as they awaited their results. 'Quaking in its boots' is an idiomatic expression used to convey someone's fear or nervousness. It seemed that the results were really unpredictable and so it was up to teachers to decide whom to promote to the next class or hold them back in the same class. And many of Anne's friends were making bets as to who will pass or who will stay back.
Anne and her friend G.N. kept laughing the whole day, looking at the two boys behind them, C.N and Jacques who betted the amount of their entire holiday savings. The two boys kept repeating sentences like, “You’re going to pass”, “No, I’m not”, “Yes, you are”, “No, I’m not” that entire day. And so neither Anne's friend G's polite request nor Anne's angry warning did help in making them calm. Anne felt that many of her classmates should not be permitted to go to the next level because, in her opinion, they were not qualified.
Meaning of difficult words:
|Stake||At risk to be won or lost|
|Glance||A brief or hurried look|
|Outburst||A quick expression of anger|
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2007). First Flight. From the Diary of Anne Frank - Anneliese Marie ‘Anne’ Frank (pp 48-54). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.