General Writing and Grammar Help/The Drop

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Question
Dear Ted:

Would you please explain the meaning of the parts that I have put in capitals? This excerpt is taken from the book "The Drop" by Michael Connelly.

"Harry," the lieutenant said. "Hang back a second."
Bosch looked at Chu and raised his eyebrows. He didnít know what this was about. The lieutenant came around from behind her desk and closed the door after Chu and Marcia had left. She stayed standing and businesslike.
"I just wanted you to know that your application for an extension on your DROP came through. THEY GAVE YOU FOUR YEARS RETROACTIVE."
Bosch looked at her, doing the math. He nodded. He had asked for the maximum ó FIVE YEARS NONRETROACTIVE ó but heíd take what they gave. IT WOULDN'T KEEP HIM MUCH PAST HIGH SCHOOL but it was better than nothing.
"Well, Iím glad," Duvall said. "It gives you thirty-nine more months with us."
Her tone indicated that she had read disappointment in his face.
"No," he said quickly. "Iím glad. I was just thinking about where that would put me with my daughter. Itís good. Iím happy."
"Good then."
That was her way of saying the meeting was over. Bosch thanked her and left the office. As he stepped back into the squad room he looked across the vast expanse of desks and dividers and file cabinets. He knew it was home and that he would GET TO (What does "get to" mean here?) stay ó for now.

Thank you very much for the help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Would you please explain the meaning of the parts that I have put in capitals?
This excerpt is taken from the book "The Drop" by Michael Connelly.

"Harry," the lieutenant said. "Hang back a second."
Bosch looked at Chu and raised his eyebrows. He didnít know what this was about.
The lieutenant came around from behind her desk and closed the door after Chu
and Marcia had left. She stayed standing and businesslike.
"I just wanted you to know that your application for an extension on your DROP
came through. THEY GAVE YOU FOUR YEARS RETROACTIVE."
Bosch looked at her, doing the math. He nodded. He had asked for the maximum ó
FIVE YEARS NONRETROACTIVE ó but heíd take what they gave. IT WOULDN'T KEEP HIM
MUCH PAST HIGH SCHOOL but it was better than nothing.
"Well, Iím glad," Duvall said. "It gives you thirty-nine more months with us."
Her tone indicated that she had read disappointment in his face.
"No," he said quickly. "Iím glad. I was just thinking about where that would put
me with my daughter. Itís good. Iím happy."
"Good then."
That was her way of saying the meeting was over. Bosch thanked her and left the
office. As he stepped back into the squad room he looked across the vast expanse
of desks and dividers and file cabinets. He knew it was home and that he would
GET TO (What does "get to" mean here?) stay ó for now.

****  Paolo, I am assuming that you have read the book.  I have not.  Since I have not
read the novel, I will be guessing at these answers.  None of them has to do with grammar, so I am NOT an expert.

The DROP of the title is explained in this part of a book review:

And back in the office, Bosch receives disappointing news about his Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP). That imperiled plan has kept him in the field and maintained the income he desperately needs as a newly single parent to a 15-year-old daughter (a relationship that really blossoms in this book).

Bosch has been the "hero" of many of Connelley's novels.  He has been around for a long time.
Apparently, he has asked that his mandatory retirement be postponed for five years.  He needs the money from those five years to take for his 15-year-old daughter, who, apparently, he has just discovered he has.  From the way I read it, he was granted 4 years, not 5.  The clock on the 4 years was set RETROACTIVELY to when he applied for the extension.  4 years x 12 months = 48 months.  Duvall says Bosch has 39 months remaining, so it has been 9 months since Bosch first applied for the extension.

"It wouldn't keep him much past high school" refers to his daughter.  She must be a sophomore in high school, so she will leave high school in about 36 months.  His official retirement [with only a percentage of his current salary] will become effective three months after his daughter leave high school.

"He knew it was home and that he would get to stay -- for now" refers to the "squad room" at the police department.  Bosch is looking over that room when he reflects that he GETS to stay.
GET means that he GOT most of what he asked for, the DROP of extension of his current job until his retirement in 39 months.

That's how I figure it out.  Maybe someday I'll get to read the novel.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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