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February 16, 1969 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1969-02-16

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Seventy-eight years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan
under authority of Board in Control of Student Publications
0 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich. News Phone: 764-0552
Editorials printed n The Mchigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in al; reprints.



liberation -


DAY, FEBRUARY 16, 1969


WIt-i- Q([36

Witt cO() 66



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Th1- F POU~t


"Fill the cup of past regrets and future
fears and tomorrow we shall drink life's
ten thousand years!"
-rubaiyat of omhar kayam
tar the Arkansas plain in June with
a musty red loess make anyone who looks
at them swallow. And for the farmer who
spends the evenings in meetings at the
Baptist church on the hill praying for
rain, the ground eats away his soul. But
the rains come and in the early fall the
green, full soybeans and sorgun are har-
vested and winter is welcomed with an-
nual week-long fests.
For all things there is an opposite. For
those who are sad, there will be happiness
just as for the ,grout that is dry there
will someday be rain and fertility.
But the same is true for thoughts, ideas,
beliefs. One will think one way today and
another tomorrow. She will love him to-
day and hate him tomorrow.,
LIFE WAS PERHAPS intended to be re -
conciled ironically as thisparadox and
those who accept its inconsistency also
capture its beauty.
But for some, life is dampered by fear
and paradoxes are shrouded in the in-
choate feeling that destiny is directed to-
ward a single utopian ideal.

i thin
And here there is pain. For in the
thought that life has purpose and direc-
tion one precludes the opposite: T h a t
life has no direction nor any purpose -
indeed it never has.
And by precluding this possibility, the
paradox is usurped by faith and the flow
of ether throughout all time is ignored
for the rocket ship that travels 240,000
miles to the moon.
It is the mind of men who preclude
these paradoxes that is afraid to engage
fully in life, to be adventurous, to be hon-
est and sincere. It is these who fear to sip
the wine or hold the hand; those who are
stuck to the gum of Puritanical prup1ence,
captured in the tangled mesh of decision,
confusion and purpose.
But the rubaiyat lhas ten translations in
English and some have construed it to
say: Liberate t h e others! Still others:
Liberate countries! and for the dema-
gogue: Liberate the world!
And for the student: Liberate the class-
room! Liberate the burden of no identity!
Go gentle, we must say 'to ourselves.
Each must hasten to his own inner feel-
ings before he can inscribe, a litany onto


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SAT DOWN with my reading
or Polities of Disaffection and
girl two seats down from' me
I hello. She looked like the sort
girl one hopes in idle moments
meet in the UGLI. Good face,
d build, long blond hair.
he appeared to know me but
ras sure I didn't k n o w her.
en I lit my pipe she said she
d the way it smelled, and it
de her studying enjoyable. A
e bit much, but I thanked her
didn't notice them coming in.
first thing I heard was a girl
"Hello, John." It was loud
ugh so everyone in the room
Id hear. A few more of them
ie in and hugged each other.
looked up and the pipe loving
looked at me. One of those
les that say, "Well isn't that
.sing. Now we have something
alk about."



at the

Then another one of them came
over and started'to drag "John"
away by a chain. They all yelled
about making noise in the library.
The one with the chain said he
was arresting them because they
didn't know their student numbers.
screaming that the people in the
library could afford to be dis-
turbed for five minutes. She was
right, and that's when -I decided
to join them.
There was some applause as we
made our exit. We went d o w n
stairs for a repeat performance.
It went the same way as before,
only this time the arrest came
faster. I was an objector. "No, you
can't take him away." But we did.
As we walked upstairs and out-
side, a long girl (her hair, h e r
form, her eyes were long) seemed
to take charge, Thin and good-

looking, she was possessed of her
"To the Grad Library," she said.
"The reserve reading room," said
someone else. We followed. There
was a general feeling that there
we would find .he real culprits.
For a moment at least, we would
tell the hardbound book people
that we didn't care, and at the
same time, that we cared in a way
that they didn't.
Graduate reserve room. But this
time the demon of authority rais-
ed its awful head. A white-haired
librarian arrived imperiously just
as we finished the performance.
She was a tall woman, well-dress-
ed and wearing "sensible" shoes.
She was the sort of woman who is
usually described as handsome.
She did not understand what
was happening. She was enraged
by the noise in her library. She

said that we had no right to "ar-
rest" anyone for making noise, all
punishment of noisemakers should
be left to her and the staff. "This
is one place on campus where stu-
dents can expect to find quiet,"
she said. "Please be quiet."
"F*** her," the long girl said
quietly after 'the librarian h a d
left. "Let's do the reading room
now." We followed.
The main reading room of the.
Grad Library is truly an imposing
place. Hunched shoulders and
placid faces were bent over in-
dices and abstracts of untold eso-
teric magnificience. Surely this
was the life source of academia.
WE FOLLOWED o u r normal
procedure of trying to look in-
conspicuous. This was complicat-
ed by the absence of stacks and
the presence of the eyes of the
handsome librarian lady peering
empress-like from her throne.

I sat down next to the long gifl,
and she tried to explain away the
librarian. "She's part of the act,"
she said.
"Wonderful," I replied and
walked away to hide among the
abstracts and wait for the cue.
But it never came. While I was
absorbed in a dictionary of com-
mon. American trees, the guerilla
theatre left and I was alone again.
I had been in and now I was out.
I had seen myself become aware
of absurdity and leave it. I saw
myself become part of something
else and it left me.
UGLI, I wondered if the first girl
was still there.
She was - right where I left
her. "Did you enjoy yourself?" she
"Was it a psych experiment?"
she asked.

The ugli' ro utine
student, subculture
AS A FRESHMAN, I derived a certain satisfaction from
hearing that when my parents called, I was always
at the library. My friends tell them I spend much of my
time there, and I do.
The UGLI isn't such a bad place to live. You can ar-
range your whole life at the University to fit into, the
UGLI subculture, the 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. syndrome.
I know now that the place is quite pleasant-if anti-
septic-from eight to ten. Except 'for the lunchtime rush
from ten to noon, the place is habitable in the morning.
This isn't to say the library is dull. My Lebanese
girl friend met her Lebanese English teacher one morning
in the UGLI.
But when I think of why I break all the conventions
of "good study habits" and seize an aisle seat in the
UGLI, I think of the better things that happen there at
LAST YEAR, DURfING FINALS week somebody released
a dozen chickens on the main floor. They, must have
known the UGLI subculture because they did it around
nine, when few students study. At nine, everyone's sick
of 'philosophy and in need of coffee, or a walk.
Girls screamed and a couple guys tried to catch the
chickens and didn't. I don't think any body wanted to
because the UGLI is a sort of home, a play place,, where
its necessary and quite acceptable to break all the rules.
I know it would be better to study in an apartment
with no coffee lounges and overheard collect telephone
calls to New York City. But I can't bring myself to stay
It's certainly not to meet people. I remember the girls
who take their nine o'clock walk in search of guys they
never find. And the guys who never take a nine o'clock
But you can go to see people. As the night goes on
and books become more and more boring, students parade
their talents. There are knee walkers and waste basketball
Santa Claus came with Christmas candy and Hallo-
ween radicals soaped the windows with "Strike" signs.


The prerequisites for getting an entertaining A'

"HAS HE GIVEN any assignment
over the last five class periods?"
I asked, seeking a reply from my
neighbor that strengthened my de-
dication to continue missing classes.,
The instructor, in his past per-
form'ances, had rambled, irriated and
eventually lulled the class into sub-
mission or subversion. To combat
boredom, I watched the restlessness
of others, the shifting shoulders and
vibrating legs. Few people took notes.
The instructor appeared, noted
that the room was full, changed the
course of his prepared remarks, and
outlined the rnnirmensn for the

monium. It was a gut issue; random
collections of individuals now began
fervently discussing this newly grant-
ed freedom.
Only a few, including mayself, re-
served judgment. Would the final
logic of his statements be permitted?
Would the students be allowed to
demolish the tin-god concept of
"teacher," and be granted the re-
sponsibility of determining their own
structure, substance, and evaluation?
I doubted it.
One girl advanced a formula de-
signed to give the student as much
security on grades as possible. Doing

force the discontent into a tighter
A BAND of disseliters assembled in
the back of the classroom. Four in
number, we conceived a plan that
gained consensus.
The class was still discussing for-
mulas for grading; the topic was
"30 per cent of the grade for class
participation." That did it. It was
time for such ridiculous conceptions
of responsibility to' be attacked, I
judiciously determined.
We would demand that our group
would become self-grading. Each
mam w Pv'1 rl ' a li a +' + othr

valuable, because it called on each
not to be led and forced to blindly
follow, but because each would lead
and follow simultaneously.
They proved immune to such ar-
guments, and the remainder of the
period was wasted, as misunder-
standing prevailed. Some people I
am told, need tin-gods, are afraid of
doing the inevitable searching for
themselves. After this last remark,
however, debate was suspended as
the instructor dismissed the class.
ever, saw visible change. The in-
structor did, indeed, allow us to do



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