Ultimately, Baltimore School for the Arts is a school that prepares students for the Darwinistic world of arts. To fulfill this mission, the school must share the stark realism of that world. Arts schools are often idealized using the same stereotypical storyline of "poor, tough-on-luck kid goes to school, is awoken by Yoda-like mentor, releases pain through art, and becomes the next big star." This storyline is a possible outcome. Under the rough exterior, Baltimore School for the Arts is a school that gives students the respect of great expectations and the space to explore their artistic selves. But this story is not a guarantee. Every student that came through Baltimore School for the Arts and found success came from a class with hundreds of other students that did not hit it big. Baltimore School for the Arts has wealth to offer students if they are willing to seize the opportunity, but the school expects students meet it halfway. Baltimore School for the Arts has never pretended its goal is to save every kid in Baltimore. It is not a place of healing but a place of growth. While I find comfort in the rigorous challenge and personal expression that is possible at Baltimore School for the Arts, not everyone feels ready or safe enough to explore what Baltimore School for the Arts has to offer. While art schools as guardian angels make great stories, in reality, arts schools are simply schools where students learn to be artists.