I don't really know if this is a prep school thing per se. I was rather enjoying my transition from gifted but troubled nerd into one of the stupid, troublemaking kids in the back of the class which is attendant on entering a more competitive educational atmosphere, and it just seemed like a natural thing to do.

After all, in a place where being in a room with a girl and having the door closed by more than 45 degrees was a serious offense, and getting caught smoking twice, or cheating once, was grounds for expulsion, what else is there to do to keep your sanity but start boning up on your B&E skills?

We printed the MIT Guide to Lockpicking and studied it like it was porn. We broke into boiler rooms and machine rooms and equipment lockers and tunnels. We learned to pick locks with paperclips. We learned to do it blindfolded. It was much more fun to steal locks on things people thought where secure than to actually break in, and vandalism was far beneath us. For the most part.

They say leaders are made in prep school. In mine, at least one former US president had attended. And leaders, if nothing else, must find it in their hearts to love exploring, uncovering, peeling back the layers that restrict us, to say, "I am smarter than the person who decided I should not know this," to discover the deep secrets within. To entitle themselves to grasp the whole world, to finally say: "I am an adult, and there is no knowledge which should ever be profane or forbidden."

Usually, what the school chose to lock up was pretty boring. But it's the principle of the thing. And occasionally, we found something really surprising.

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