Good Friends and Snooty Students
Two things are always going on. Even the first year of Billie's high school is marked by the enrollment into and out of two different girls' school establishments. Her parents think their daughter's ambition to become a doctor is ridiculous. Nursing is noble, the church essential. Typical for Billie, she is an upstart and will endure some tough lessons. Her mother constantly tells her 'You have to stay in your place and tend to your station my girl.' Billie feels some relief at not being taken seriously - then it does not matter what school she goes to. Best of all, she needn't say anything about it to them anymore.
A few weeks at the first school it's soon obvious the focus is on commerce and secretarial skills. Teachers find it unusual one lone thirteen year old girl knows the answer to every anatomy question, and the names and number of every part of the human body including all the bones. Only then did anyone ask Billie what she had in mind for the future. After some confusion it's thought more appropriate she attend another school.
Billie likes the girls in the first school,they all spoke the same language of dictation, typing, bookkeeping and shorthand. They sit around at lunch times, their checkered, pleated skirts fanning out around their knees on the school's brick fence,talking about clothes, the new boyfriend and the latest girl to get her periods.
On the other hand,the girls of the second school are the snootiest girls Billie had ever known; they are, in the main, from wealthy and important families. Some of them arrive at school by car, a few driven there by chauffeur. These girls cluster together in small select groups of two or three, whispering their chatter and giggling appropriately with varying degrees of finesse. It matters who sits with who and when. Billie thought it
astounding the girls know their religion, and why did it feel so uncomfortable not knowing her own 'Religion'.
The differences were unmissable. In the first school, everyone filed into class with rushing feet, some restless and loud, some softly shuffling; all of it moved in an ordinary quiet insignificant manner. In the next school it was more like a muster of a roar thumping on the wooden floors of the
classrooms which echoed on down the yawning halls; long after the stamping feet had stomped on into the classrooms before becoming still beneath the desks.
During that year, never once was there a meaningful talk or connection with another girl. Billie was sure if one of them even nodded their head in recognition, it would fall off their shoulders and smash on the concrete schoolgrounds.