The Pony is a small-town celebrity. News of his recent academic accolades was splashed on the front page of the local paper Friday. He didn't make the three revolving pictures, but he was one of the four top stories in the online edition. That means people clicked on his story, then saw his picture. Scholars enjoy the fame of athletes in Backroads.
fact, when he ran into Casey's to pay for the gas I treated T-Hoe to on
Friday afternoon, the clerk congratulated him. "Way to go man! I read
that, and told everybody, 'Hey! That kid comes in my store all the
time!'" Not that The Pony is a stunning creature to rival the
self-assessed beauty of Ashton Kutcher's character in Cheaper By the Dozen.
Nor is he misshapen and rememberable, like The Elephant Man. He's
actually kind of nondescript. But he DID twice take back money that the
(other) clerks had handed back by mistake. So now he's famous in that
store for being honest AND smart.
The guy who runs the
school sent me an email congratulating The Pony. He said that The Pony's
news, posted on our school Facebook, had garnered over 6100 hits, the
most ever since the page was started.
I daresay that if
The Pony was to get his driver's license next week, the license office
gal would make sure she took a good photo. People congratulate me all
the time now. I don't know why, it's not like I got the score. They add
things like, "He can write his own ticket now." "He can go to college
anywhere he wants." "Colleges will be fighting over him." "He won't ever
have to pay for college now."
Au contraire. That's
where reality sets in. Nobody's breaking down the door offering The Pony
a full ride. It's not like when he DOES choose a college, and sign a
letter of intent, the paper will show up to photograph him at the table
with a pen, his parents and teachers standing behind him.
That's reality. To the Backroads citizens, The Pony is worthy of a free
education for being one of the less than 1/10 of one percent of
students who achieve a perfect score on that test. Like an accomplished
athlete. But not to the colleges.
He is going to an
informational dinner Tuesday night, in the city, to talk to a
representative of the University of Oklahoma. They actively recruit
National Merit Scholars, and have a package worth $124,000 to offer
them. That does not include room and board.
The Pony could probably get a full ride at a smaller university. One not known for the strength of its engineering program.
He remains undecided. Yet still tickled pink over his score, as he awaits the results of his SAT.