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September 07, 1978 - Image 21

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1978-09-07

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The Michigan Daily-Thursday, September 7. 1478-Page 2t,
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A man strolls across the Diag,
dressed in khaki shorts, muslin shirt
and strums a guitar as his waist-length
brown hair sways in the breeze. An
ROTC officer passes him hurriedly, but
the two nod their hellos.
There is a great variety of students
who come to this University and this
fact tops my list of the University's at-
tributes. For me, it's the one quality
that makes the University continually
appealing. Since I've been here, I have
een able to meet some of the most
nusual, friendly and crazy people
rom every part of the globe. And
hrough each experience, I honestly
eel that I have grown. My horizons
ave broadened, as the saying goes,
and my sheltered perspectives have
been enlarged.
COMING FROM A very small high
-chool (about 600 students in grades 7-
2 with 100 in my graduating class) in
oledo, Ohio, one can easily understand
hy my outlook was limited and why
the University's student diversity was
o refreshing. I had gone to school with
he same people all of my life-a place
where I knew everybody, and
yerybody knew me. Thus, my craving
or new personalities emerged.
My first brush .with a new set of
peers inevitably came at orientation. I
played all the sily "mixer" games,

went to the fabricated disco, registered
for classes and participated in all the
little activities that were scheduled. In
the confusion, I met all different types
of people who, like myself, were all a
little scared of their upcoming,
inescapable fate: college. I met people
from New York, Chicago, Honolulu and
of course from every city in Michigan. I
even met someone from Toledo!
As it now turns out, one of the orien-
tees I met there has since become one
of my closest friends and she is presen-
tly my roommate. It all happened
though, quite by accident-we lost
track of each other after orientation but
bumped into each other one day during
the fall of our first year, exchanged
phone numbers and have since become
good friends. But this experience is
fairly common at the University-you
never know if you'll bump into these
people again, but more often than not,
you do.
Your first real acquaintances begin in
the dorm. Whether it's your roommate,
someone down the hall or on a different
corridor, there's always a new face to
meet or a small group of people to join,
The dorm quickly forms a comfortable
niche and introduces you to a large
cross-section of University students.
Can you actually meet people in
classes? From my experiences, the an-
swer is yes. You can not only meet

classmates, but start friendships, too.
And it is in the classroom where most
of yen you find the wide variety of people
and viewpoints that make such a
positive contribution to the University
learning process.
But you might not have to look far-
ther than your roommate's desk to find
someone totally different. My first year
I was placed in a quad in Alice Lloyd. I
had three very different roommates: a
woman on the Michigan women's
swim team, a woman very hung up on
her boyfriend problems, and a 45-year-
old woman from Brazil.
Maria was perhaps the most bizarre
roommate-never in my wildest pic-
tures of dorm life had I imagined
having an older foreign student sharing
my abode. But for the eight weeks that
she studied at the University (she took

intensive English at the English
Language Institute) she became a
source of amusement and at the same
time a vehicle for getting to know my
other roommates-we were almost for-
ced to become friends because of
Maria's lack of communication, through
no fault of her own.
My other roommates proved to be
quite normal by comparison and
although one eloped in the middle of the
year, I still gained something from our
friendship. It's really not so hard to un-
derstand: after getting to know others,
you get to know and understand your-
There are many things I have learnea
from the various people connected with
this University, be it fellow students,
faculty, administration or even the local
Ann Arbor celebrities who constantly

hang around, setting the city's at-,
mosphere. You just don't live at the
University without running into
Richard "Dr. Diag" Robinson or
Shakey Jake. They and all the in-
teresting students and people add to the
color of this University andits town.
In high school, you usually don't have
the opportunity to meet those totally
opposite from you. You may not have
gone to an integrated school, for exam-
ple, or know a gay person. I've now had
the opportunity to meet both in this at-
mosphere where no one limits your
freedom to be what you want to be or be
friends with whomever you like. And
because of my limited background I
was (and I admit it) a little surprised
but happy to learn my first year that
people are people regardless of their
sexual preference or race.

I recall the time when one of my
closest friends told me he was gay. It,
surprised me greatly, but didn't change
our friendship. It made us /closer
because he knew I was a good enough
friend that he could confide this secret
to me and not have to worry about my
reaction. And his confidence in m(
made me feel good about myself, that I
do indeed possess an "open mind" and-
that of course this admission wouldn't
change anything-it was just a part of
his personality I would probably nevert;
fully know. So, although I don't know
what it's like to be gay, I know what it's:
like to have a gay friend-something I
had never experienced in Toledo.
Shelley Wolson is co-editor of the;
new student edition.

Camera Shop


ut the UoWerity of1tc :gn

is your Jewish space
on campus
is also home to these
independent groups
and activities:

Aktsia (Action for Soviet Jewry)
Belt Midrash (15 non-credit Judaica
courses-registration Sept. 10-15)
COJO (Council of Jewish Organizations)
Grad Students Organization
Hebrew Chorus & Israeli
Dance Performing Group
Dorm Outreach Programs
The Jewish Star (Student paper)
Jewish Elderly Project
(psych. 201, Outreach)
U.J.A. Hatikvah Campaign
Union of Students for Israel

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Thurs., Sept. 7, 8-10 pm-OPEN HOUSE
Fri., Sept. a-Evening-EREY SHABBAT
7 PM-Orthodox Minyan (time varies with season)
8 PM-Liberal Minyan (alternatives between
Conservative and Reform)
8:30 PM-Comrpunity Dinner ($3, need reservation by noon)
9:30 PM-Oneg-welcome to new Associate Director,
Rabbi Michael Balinskv
Set., Sept. 9, Morning-SHABBAT SERVICES
9:30 AM-Orthodox
9:30 AM-Conservative (in Beth Israel's part of building)
San., Sept. 10,
11 AM-OPEN BRUNCH (lox-bagels, $1.50)
Our Guest: U-M Vice-President for
Academic Affairs, Dr. Harold T. Shapiro
_ .A UCflACI I riAKirmir t1 ( nn~j.r, _ $1.50)'

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Color Analyzers-Print Tongs-Thermometers, etc. etc.
Complete selection of paper and chemicals for
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Get acquainted with our staff and

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