There’s always the slight possibility that the Dollar Bandit might not be in fact a student at the Academy. He or she could be in fact a student from the local regional high school.
There’s something special about the local high school. It’s almost like taking a bunch of small, deprived, and hungry children to a candy store with hundreds of levels and unlimited sweets … And then restricting them from eating any of it.
Sometimes I feel bad that our school operates on the high sociological level that it does and right outside our doors lies a body of students who will never understand what it’s like to go to the Academy. It’s a harsh reality to walk in our halls, full of kids dressed in the finest clothes, with the coolest gadgets, and an amazing education, when you walk outside and down the street you encounter poverty and a mediocre education system.
But the townies aren’t stupid, by any means. They feel the same divide we feel, yet unlike us, they take advantage of it.
When I’m out walking alone, I notice how they lurk in the corners. Boarding students aren’t allowed to have cars, yet the townies all have their pickups and beat down Subaru’s. I see how they look at us, how they despise us without even truly knowing us. And it’s the same with the students at the Academy. We look at them with pity and disgust, without even knowing who they are or what they do.
It is an unspoken war between the two groups and it wages on every day. In her first year, my close friend Anne Carey was walking to the small grocery store when they pulled up behind her. I’ve heard her tell the story, and she says she just made it out of their grasp as they tried to grab her. She said she felt the tips of their fingers brush her hair. Every day, students from the Academy walk around town and encounter their own version of ‘savages.’ They call us names. Whistle at us from their car windows. Spit at our feet as we walk past each other on the small sidewalk streets. They roam our campus at night, when we are restricted to our room, vandalizing our buildings and making loud noises to scare us. They even try and get us online, on Facebook, where the most recent comment I’ve read is how “we all love to spend Daddy’s money and wear our Grandma’s chunky, overpriced sweaters.”
Yet, I still look at these students with pity, despite all they do to piss me off. That’s how society works, I guess. We always feel bad for those who can never fit in.
Because, at the end of the day, a pig is still a pig no matter how you dress it up.