My Day in the Movement

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May 10 2000 3:00 AM

My Day in the Movement

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They found out I had a severely sprained ankle and gave me crutches and painkillers and sent me back to the campus, now under military curfew. I was checked back into my dorm by a National Guard sentry. I fell asleep and dreamed I was an insurance salesman during the Eisenhower administration.

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T he next morning, my roommate shook me awake and told me I was wanted on the hall phone. I hobbled out and picked up the phone and begin to speak. My ears were assaulted by a decibel level commonly associated with jet aircraft. It was my next of kin again. Furious. After a bit, the patterns of human speech were faintly detectable. "Did you see this morning's Baltimore Sun?" I had not. But I quickly got hold of one. Emblazoned across the front page was the headline "GUARD PATROLS U. OF M. CAMPUS AS STUDENTS PLAN NEW PROTEST." In the accompanying article was a list of names of those injured in "the violent confrontation." Featured in that list, among the lacerated state troopers and the abraded demonstrators, was a certain clumsy basketball player. It seems that some fledgling Jimmy Olsen had gone to the hospital and figured out that if you were hurt, you must have been involved. Great. I was going to be disowned and probably deported because I can't dribble.

Fortunately, that didn't come to pass. But the incident did leave me with a few lasting core beliefs: Always read newspapers skeptically. And in politics and basketball, avoid moving too sharply left or right.  

Scott Shuger was a Slatesenior writer and the original author of "Today's Papers." He died June 15, 2002.

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