Boarding school wouldn’t be the way it is without notorious rivalries. While the Academy has a fair share of enemies among other secondary institutions, the biggest rivalry at the Academy is itself.
The boys at the Academy live in two different dorms on campus ~ Parker and Hayward. Parker is what you’d expect of a boys dorm – a simple layout, composed of mostly quad dorm rooms with a common room in between bedrooms. The boys in Parker are usually younger, stinkier, and arrogantly narcissistic. The boys in Hayward, however, live in an older dorm where no two rooms are the same. Hayward boys tend to be older, overly opinionated, and prideful of their awkward individuality.
While the girls in Oliver often get involved in the dormitory rivalries, the war is truly between the boys. Not that I care, though ~ that’s not my thing.
It starts off slowly in the fall term – taunting here and there, maybe an occasional prank. Cabin fever sets in the winter term and things start to get real. Most of the time, one dorm decides to dorm raid the other – last week I stood at my door and listened as the Parker boys ran through our hallways at 4 in the morning, spraying ‘fart gas’ all through the dorm. The next night, Hayward placed rotten eggs and expired milk all over Parker’s basement and first floor; apparently, the smell travels upward.
In the spring, however, each dorm is assigned Chores. Not as in cleaning, no, that’s for kids who have detention. Chores are tasks set by upperclassmen for each of the dorms to complete. These tasks are usually outrageous dares set by rivalries and serve as a way to ‘one up’ each other. The most recent chore was an scandalous prank: one of the Hayward boys asked the Parker boys to deliberately interrupt the Headmaster at our morning assembly. Their response? The Parker kids recorded the audio of a hardcore porn movie and set it to automatically play at 7:55, ten minutes into our morning meeting. The Headmaster was none too pleased when he was interrupted by a moaning girl and especially since they couldn’t find where the sound was coming from.
But last night, the boys took it a step farther.
Because they couldn’t decide who was better at completing Chores, they decided to settle it the old fashioned way: a good ‘ole match of dodge ball.
I watched from the sitting area of the gym as the two dorms duked it out at 2:30 in the morning. The rules were simple: Knock out the other team before the faculty showed up, and that dorm was ‘better’ than the other. I kicked back and watched as the rubber balls smashed into the boys, making that resounding popping sound. You could smell the testosterone in the air. It was against my morals to even bother to stand up for my own dorm, Hayward.
Of course, boys are boys, and soon the balls were discarded and the fists began to fly. I smirked when the faculty struggled to break apart a mob of 100 teenagers feebly swinging at each other. Because what these fools don’t understand is that neither of the dorms truly won that night: If you want to be on top, you don’t do it physically. The best sabotage is physiological.
And that’s why I’m going to bring it all down: the Chores, the dorms, the rivalries. Let me teach you how to make the best of a sticky situation.