Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My Teachers Win The Debate 18 Years Later

In this week's Gambit Weekly newspaper there is a piece written by yours truly. It's called Building the Perfect Mayor. On the 100 copies I picked up its on pages 9 and 10. If you are one of those people who doesn't read papers anymore because of the Internet you can find it here. I would like to thank The Gambit for the opportunity to write something like that. I have never been good at self promotion and the fact that so many people called me the last two days asking me who wrote this for me proves I don't say much about writing. The cat is out of the bag now and it's a good thing I haven't insulted anyone that knows me personally on this page.

Since school is starting I thought I would send a message to the kids with this post. In high school I was a non conformist and I never wanted to commit to doing anything. I would get offers to go places or participate in things and wouldn't tell my parents because they would have asked me why I didn't want to do it and all I could say was "I don't feel like it" (My mama is going to be mad at me after reading this). After awhile the staff at the school stopped giving me a choice and made me participate in the things they wanted me to. I had two English teachers and a counselor who were always bothering me. They would try to get me to write stuff and enter contests and I would try my best to hide so I could play basketball or wander around New Orleans with my boys. Now I am a grown man and I want to tell anyone that is still in school and happens to read this that teachers know more than you at that age and sometimes they make you do things to bring out your own potential. If a teacher tells you to do some extra work or to meet them at the school on Saturday so you can participate in something please do it. Maybe you won't have to wait until you are 35 years old to figure out what they were trying to tell you to do is what you could have been doing all along.

To Ms. Smith, Ms. Biagas, Ms. Martin, and my sixth grade teacher Mr. Williams, I want to say that you all were right and I was wrong. I owe Ms. Martin a special apology because she practically gave me a scholarship with a job and I messed that up being lazy. Maybe she will read this and feel good about all the days she had me in her office lecturing me like I was her son who wouldn't eat his vegetables. I guess it's better late than never when you are right.

7 comments:

Leigh C. said...

Once again, mazel tov to you on the Gambit op-ed, and I'm so glad the teachers kept prodding you. 8-)

Kim Hambric said...

Perhaps the next mayor of New Orleans is someone who has hidden themselves away for the last few decades, whose teachers prodded and encouraged him or her, who is now ready to get to work and pull the city together -- not just to see their own face on the television.

Why can't these teachers be as well paid as our politicians? They dedicate their lives to the improvement of children, not just the improvement of their pockets.

I don't recall being that encouraged by MY teachers, though. Perhaps that says something about me. Hmmmm.

Great Gambit article.

sussah said...

Congratulations on your Gambit article, especially for "Call me a dreamer, but now is the time for optimism." When I saw my street in early Oct. 2005, when all plant life was gray and everything was messed up, my first thought was "this can be fixed." That's a strange ironic reaction but thanks for putting it into words so well. sp, n.o.

K. said...

Congrats, Cliff! Don't be too hard on yourself for being young, once...

mominem said...

Great piece in Gambit.

After reading your blog I wonder what took them so long to ask you.

Clancy DuBos said...

Cliff, it was an honor to read your article in Gambit.

Clifton said...

Thank you for asking me to do it.