This is the initial setting for the book. The main character and narrator, Holden introduces himself and his backstory. He is standing atop a hill watching a football game on a gloomy day. He is lamenting about his current situation as he is all alone and thinks about the mistakes of his past and the consequences he'll have to face in the future.
The weather worsens as he walks to Mr Spencer's house. Mr Spencer was Holden's history teacher who wanted to bid him farewell. Since Holden flunked out of his private school, Mr Spencer wanted to see him before he went home. Holden didn't like Mr Spencer's class but did like him as a person in general.
When Holden gets inside, he is thankful to finally be warm, but is also made uncomfortable by Mr Spencer's house in general and its old man smell. Mr Spencer reads Holden his own embarrassingly bad history essay out loud to him. Mr Spencer is trying to teach Holden life lessons about how important responsibilities are, but just ends up shaming and belittling him on his laziness and terrible work ethic.
When Holden gets back to his dorm, a kid named Ackley who lives in the dorm next door came over to his dorm, cutting his fingernails, popping his pimples, messing with Holden's personal belongings, and being an overall annoyance. Ackley is annoying on purpose, which makes him even more annoying. He is basically the most odd kid at the school and was the only kid not at the football game other than Holden.
Holden's roommate Stradlater came back from the game. Stradlater has a date with a childhood friend of Holden's and needs to borrow his jacket. Stradlater also asks Holden to do his English paper while he's out since it's the one class that he didn't fail. Holden keeps wanting to say hi to his old friend who he used to have a crush on but doesn't ever man up to it.They horse around while Stradlater shaves and Holden even tries to teach himself how to tap dance.
When Stradlater gets back to the dorm after his date, Holden asked him how it went of course. Stradlater bragged about giving her the time in the back of a coach's car. Holden is jealous especially considering he had a crush on this girl. She was even his type. Holden starts yelling at Stradlater for being a man whore who doesn't treat women they deserve to be treated. Stradlater punches him hard in the nose and he bleeds everywhere.