Onions, snow cones, and
girl named Rowena
Pepper’s hot today!” This was a common expression from the mouth of Pepper
Smith’s baby-sitter, who is the source of the nickname. Apparently, he
was a very hyper child before an early bout with pneumonia, which left
him with a more toned-down personality.
Sidney “Pepper” Smith is finishing up his
sixth and final year as a communications instructor here at the largest
college in the Clinton area. Despite his leaving and his uncertainty
about his next career move, Smith definitely keeps an optimistic attitude,
asserting, “Well, I’m sure there’s a new vest waiting for me at Wal-Mart.”
may sound like a strange comment, but Smith is no stranger to odd jobs.
After receiving a degree in English from Millsaps, Smith had aspirations
of beginning a snow-cone company that would establish stands at various
Jitney Jungle locations. Unfortunately, legal reasons prevented these plans
In another failed business attempt, Smith
tried to start a necktie business by the name, “Pepper Tie Company.” This
endeavor folded when Smith ran out of the free fabric samples that he obtained
from his grandmother and had to actually buy the materials.
Smith holds that career options were not his
highest priority, because his primary concern at the time was his girlfriend
named Rowena. The low point in Smith’s early career occurred when he applied
for a job as a dishwasher at a restaurant named “Chappy’s,” which Rowena
liked to refer to as “Crappy’s.” Fortunately, a clothing store hired him
before “Chappy’s” could, rescuing Smith from his potential career as a
Finally, Smith attended the University of
Mississippi where he achieved a Master’s
Degree in Journalism. He then took a job
at the Center of Study for Southern Culture.
began his teaching career as a sixth grade teacher in Honduras. The hardest
part about his experience in Honduras, says Smith, was that he was teaching
sixth graders. This feeling is best summed up by a strange incident, in
which Smith was tricked into turning around and looking at an empty blackboard
by a deviant sixth grade girl--oh, the cruel games kids play.
After his time in Honduras, [our college]
hired Smith, and he has since been teaching students all that he knows
about the process of journalism, that is, when he is not reading “The Onion”
in his spare time.
Smith contends that the prospect of teaching
originally made him nervous and uncomfortable; what drives him is his concern
for the students. “It sometimes takes a long time to accept yourself
the way that you are,” explains Smith. “I don’t consider myself a journalism
expert, but I do my best to get all of my knowledge across to the students.”
Smith is also the faculty advisor for The
Collegian. His replacement in this department is yet to be determined.
What Smith will miss most about his current
job is his interaction with the students and having an office right next
door to Web Drake. “He’s always full of upbeat comments,” said Smith. “One
time he stood outside the door and sang, ‘What a difference you’ve made
in my life’.”
Although Smith’s future is unclear, he is
not too nervous about finding a job. “You get to a point where you realize,
hey, I’m gonna be alright,” said Smith. He’s applied for employment with
the Peace Corps, but he does not know if that will work out or not.
“I always have the option of just growing my hair long and playing the
guitar all day,” cited Smith.
Whatever the future holds for Smith, one thing
is sure. Students here are sure to miss his laid back personality, his
teaching style, and his optimistic, lighthearted view of life. -- E.Z.
article was intended for parody purposes only.
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