There’s a famous scene in the classic gangster movie Goodfellas where Karen Hill (played by Lorraine Bracco) tells Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) that she needs money to go shopping, and Henry asks, “How much money do you need?” She responds by holding her thumb and index finger about an inch apart, indicating the thickness of the stack of bills: this much. It’s a moment where we see the ways that the gangsters in the movie think of cash in ways very different from the rest of us. What are some of the ways that you use money that are different from the ways that Pullman natives or WSU professors use money? What can and can’t you buy as students, and how are those things that you can or can’t buy different from what these other categories of people can buy?
When it comes to Washington State University and the ways in which students and professors use money are not only different from each other but they are different from the way in which Pullman natives use money. While much of what students spend their money on are much different than professors and natives, the way in which they spend money is different as well. For example, students are able to upload money onto their CougarCard in order to pay for printing, tickets to events, various products at businesses that support cougar card. The card is used like a debit card yet acts as a major identification tool at the school. Once, however, a student travels outside of Pullman the card merely acts as a separate form of identification, different from an actual state-issued I.D. card. What students spend their money on varies from other citizens of Pullman as factors such as low income, differing agendas/priorities, and age all affect the way we spend our money. For example, a student at Washington state may spend $30 in a week which includes a little bit of food, a lot of bit of beer, and anything else they may drunkenly mistake as a good purchase. Professors and Pullman natives, however may spend hundreds of dollars a week on various needs such as groceries for a family, parts for houses/cars, nights out on the town, etc. The main factor for the differences in the way that students and professors/Pullman Natives use money is disparity of the income gap between the parties. Less money and access to various forms of payment outside of the normal realm of debit cards and credit cards separates students from the heavier, traditional spenders of Pullman Natives.