Rose Richard:Class is the answer: Don’t walk out!

Last month or so, I got this e-mail about protesting the impending war by walking out of class. See, the president will totally respect the opinions of students if they start behaving like him. Yeah! Cut class! Now, someone find us some really good blow!

According to, this protest was worldwide. “Hundreds of thousands” of American college students participated. Many of the students in the MSNBC article attended rallies about caring for Iraqi children and no more war and other college hippie things.

Why am I so disdainful? Why will tons of people ostensibly be filling my e-mail box with accusations of rightist leanings on my part? Because the Iraqi children need us to get an education. Because the Iraqi children are depending on right-minded people, like those well-intending class-walker-outers, to do the right thing and keep them from getting the shit bombed out of them. We need to go to class, and keep that passion that moves us to protest, and write angry articles, and run for student government offices to fuel what we do in the future.

“Drop books, not bombs” doesn’t mean YOU should be dropping your books. You should be hitting your books harder. You see, you can bitch all you like about the government and what the government is doing, but I don’t think you’ll achieve anything other than TV time by skipping class to go to a protest. Sure, that was the grand plan of our parents, and for them, it worked to some degree.

But now, our parents ARE the old guard, and they are wise to our tricks. The Jerry Rubins of yesteryear are dead or working for Microsoft. What we need to learn from them – and yes, even Ralph Nader – is that there is value to cutting your hair, stepping in the shower and putting on a suit.

Do you really think, and I’m asking you to think hard, that by stinking of patchouli and wearing a dirty “Meat is Murder” T-shirt, some polished politician is going to take you seriously – and that’s if you get in the door in the first place? They aren’t expecting a clean-cut, well-groomed person to come into their hallowed halls and Just Say No to War. There have been precious few people who have the courage to do this and, sadly, one of them is Ralph Nader, on whose shoulders I firmly place the burden of the Bush administration. But that is another story for another time. Besides, it’s way too late to be assigning blame.

Putting on a suit and tie and working from the inside is far more innovative than a sit-in or a class-walkout. Though I do believe that having passion like that is the first step.

No, go to class, then go to law school or medical school, or learn that language. It’s so much more important than you think.