Sept. 25, 2003
Everyone makes mistakes
To the editor:
Everyone makes mistakes. Some mistakes are out of anger, some out of frustration, and others are made out of bad decisions.
I have had the great privilege of having Mr. Earnest Smith as a friend and an instructor. He is a man who stands for excellence. He doesn't work for the paycheck. Nor does he work for the acclaim. Mr. Smith teaches for the love of his students and also for the love of teaching.
As a student in Mr. Smith's chemistry class during the 10th grade, I learned, not only about chemicals, equations, formulas and valences, but also about life. Although Mr. Smith was strict, he was the kind of teacher that made you always want to come to class day after day after day. Meridian High School was not quite a school to me without Earnest Smith there to add his colorful personality and greatly inspired thinking.
Students would try to play around in other classes, but not Mr. Smith's. The tone in the classroom was always serious, always quiet. No distractions. No interruptions. Just chemistry. Chemistry the way it should be. The board was always full with work. There was always homework to be handed in. There was always a worksheet to be done. Earnest Smith's chemistry class was The Chemistry Class.
When I finished the semester in his class with a hard-earned B, I could safely say one thing: I KNEW CHEMISTRY.
He doesn't always get the respect he should, but he is the only teacher, of many, who truly cares for the well being of students. If someone wanted to help themselves, he was there to help them after school from 2:30 until 5 every day. If you didn't understand, he was there. If you didn't know what to do for homework, he was there. If you needed a scholarship for college, he was there. If you needed someone to talk to, he was there.
Mr. Smith has helped countless students gain scholarships to continue their education. How many other teachers or counselors can one say that about?
He is an outgoing citizen of Meridian that doesn't mind extending a helping hand to others. Not having Mr. Smith at the high school has a great impact on students there. It deprives them of learning from the greatest teacher ever to walk those halls.
Everyone makes mistakes. As fellow citizens of Meridian, let us focus on all of the outstanding and exceptional things Mr. Earnest Smith has done for the people of this city and focus less on one of the few mistakes this excellent teacher has made. He truly is the pride of MHS.
Kenneth Dustin Markham
Redmond benefit a great success
To the editor:
The citizens of Meridian and surrounding areas have once again proven the South's kindheartedness and generosity by open-handed giving and aid during the recent benefit for Tonya Johnson Redmond. The merchants, businesses and individuals who gave so generously to the benefit helped make it one of the best ever.
For those individuals who worked so tirelessly in selling tickets and collecting donations, a special thanks. Buck and Gary, your continued and faithful help in gathering assistance from merchants for worthy causes is well-remembered and appreciated.
Finally, to everyone, may you continue to amaze us with Meridian's genuine caring attitude during times of crisis. God bless all of you.