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Onward Debates: Don’t Cancel Classes to Honor Joe

The first word to describe the life of Joe Paterno under his name at his statue outside Beaver Stadium is not “Coach”. Certainly, Joe would’ve been opposed to that. No — the first word is “Educator”, forever emblazoned in bronze for generations to see. And rightfully so.

There has been much discussion these past few days, concerning the University and professors potentially cancelling classes Thursday for the 2 p.m. memorial service. Penn State released a statement instructing professors to be flexible with schoolwork this week.

One of the greatest dishonors that could result from JoePa’s death would be to alter the educational process. Anyone who knows what Joe Paterno was about knows how much he valued education.

Remember, this is a man who read the Iliad to his team, and two of the first words out of his mouth after he was fired were “Go study!” The memorial service will be recorded and replayed on the Big Ten Network, likely for generations. What’s a better way to honor such a special man on Thursday than to go to class, and maybe do a little extra studying that you wouldn’t normally have done?

Imagine what Joe would think if he knew that us “youngsters” were skipping class for him. I can picture him saying,”Why are those darn kids making such a big deal about me? They’re here to learn!”

Go to class for Joe. We owe it to him.

Click here for Sam Cooper’s opposite Onward Debates post.

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About the Author

Kevin Horne

Kevin Horne was the editor of Onward State from 2012-2014 and currently holds the position of Managing Editor Emeritus, which is a fake title he made up. He graduated from Penn State with degrees journalism and political science in 2014 and is currently seeking his J.D. at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law. A third generation Penn Stater from Williamsport, Pa., Kevin is also the president of the graduate student government. Email: [email protected]

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