Kids, it’s your time to choose: Be a student or be a slug

Published 9:30 pm Saturday, July 28, 2012

I remember vividly the day I got tossed out of class for being a clown. My punishment did not include a trip to the principal’s office — I had the lay of that land already — but a trip to a class of senior Honors English.

“Find a seat and watch how ‘real students’ act,” the teacher said in scolding tone.

A few laughs followed, but not as many as foul stares in my direction due to the unexpected interruption. The class continued with a discussion of an anonymous poet’s classic English work “Beowulf,” while I sheepishly looked around for someone to clown around with. I found no one. These were real students, successful students.

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On Saturday, the citywide pep rally is scheduled for the Outlets at Vicksburg. I’d like to offer a few words in hopes of spurring dormant minds.

To the students who act like those “real students” in Honors English, congratulations on a splendid effort. You put in the extra hours of study. You sit in the front row, quietly and engaged with the topic of study. You will be successful. You should not have to deal with the likes of me — the clowns who are nothing more than disruptions to your spectacular quest for educational greatness. For those who act like I did, you are killing us. Your nonsense, clownish behavior and lust for mediocrity are helping keep this state at the bottom of myriad educational levels.

Maybe your brains are not formed enough to realize the future consequences of poor, or no, education. This is the baseline for your future, and that future is passing the uneducated by every second of every day.

The choice is to either stay an uneducated slug who leeches off the producers of society, or to drop the nonsense, buckle down, put face to book and learn. Drive around this city, and it is so easy to tell who studied hard and who sat in the back of the classroom. The students are the future; you are the slugs.

And how do I know? Because for some time in school, I was a slug whose self-proclaimed duty was to keep the class in constant laughter while foregoing the lessons being taught. Because of that, I cheated those “real students” who no more wanted me in class than the teacher did.

And you are cheating them, too. So, stop it and decide today to be a student.

The clock of the future is ticking. What a shame it would be for you not to know how to tell time.

Sean P. Murphy can be reached at