Melinda made some mistakes and poor choices in the book, but no body is perfect and life is all about learning from the mistakes you have made in the past and striving for a better future. In fact, Melinda needs to forget about the mistakes she has made in the past, because that is dragging her high school experience down. Mr. Freeman and Melinda are talking one day and he tells her “Art is about making mistakes and learning from them.”(122) Mr. Freeman is talking about more than just art to Melinda. He realizes that Melinda is holding something in and that she needs to talk. He thinks that maybe she made a mistake, or something went wrong that she needs to talk about. Mr. Freeman is one of the only people in her life that actually pay attention to her, and that actually partially understands her.
In high school life, Melinda has made some mistakes but everyone does in this game of life. The mistakes that she has made in high school affect her experience; and mostly in a negative way. But, by the end of the book she realizes that she needs to speak up for herself. And speak up she does. “I said no.”(195) is what Melinda says the second time that Andy is trying to rape her. She screamed and people helped her. This is when people started to realize what she went through and why she was the way she was. But in the end she learned to speak up for herself. She did indeed learn from her mistakes she found her voice to speak. That is what Mr. Freeman basically teaches her, but instead it is taught through artwork. The main point he is trying to get across is that people will listen to your story and try to understand you; you just have to have the courage to speak up.