100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

June 15, 1976 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1976-06-15

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Orientation: You've only just begun...

By JAY LEVIN
TIlS WEEK THE FIRST batch of freshly graduat-
ed high schoolers from such places as West
Bloomfield, Mount Clemens, Toledo and Great Neck,
N.Y., will begin to invade the campus in the annual
summertime shenanigans known as freshperson orien-
tation.
Fornthe first time in their sheltered lives, thousands
of prospective pre-meds, creative writers, poli-sci ma-
jors and engineers, comprising the class of 1980, will
samfple a taste of University life in Ann Arbor.
To anticipate what they will go through only takes
a little reminiscing by those who have already estab-
lished themselves in town.
Two years ago this week, I, then a prospective math
or journalism major from Queens, N. Y., flew out to
Michigan to join a host of other class of 78ers is three
blissful introductory days at Alice Lloyd Hall.
Upon arriving, I recall having considerable difficul-
ty in getting from a stately, red brick building (the
Union, as I would later learn) to some bridge (the
bridge I would later cross at least a half dozen times
a day) to Alice Lloyd. I found Lloyd's walls garish and
its corridor system confusing. Undoubtedly, I lost
myself in Lloyd's maze of halls.
And worst of all, I eventually found my orientation
roommate, a thoroughly distasteful person who snub-
bed me and took the more comfortable bed.
After unpacking my light weight valise, the Ameri-
can Airlines tag still dangling from the strap, we
were called into a meeting with our orientation lead-
er, another word for a glorified camp counselor. The
leader gave a suitable introductory speech before the
dozen of jean clad high schoolers, all fixed attentively
on this person whose experience as a student made
her qualified to lecture us. After filling out several
forms, I was issued a taxi-cab yellow, plasticized card
the same size as the Shell Charge plate my father
gave me when I got my drivers license. The shiny,
yellow card was embossed with my social security
number and the digit 9, whose presence has baffled
me to this very day.
Dinner later that sight was served in University-
style cuisine, the first of maybe 500 heavily starched
meals to which I would later surrender. The one pleas-
ant aspect of the lloyd cafeteria that night was sitting
with an alien group of five other folks. We all clicked
admirably.
"W7ELL, LET'S Gt AROUND the table, "one of us
probably uttered, in desperation to start a con-
The Michigan Dail
Edited and managed by Students at the
University of Michigan
Tuesday, June 15, 1976
News Phone: 764-0552

versation.
"Alan from Huntington Woods," came the first
voice.
"Jane, from Royal Oak," said another.
"Hey wait . . ." Alan said. "Are you the Jane
who went to Dondero High?"
"Yes, I went there," said Jane. "And I think I
remember you too. Did you go there?"
"Sure, I went there," said Alan. "I was one of the
editors of the school paper."
"Gee, it's a small world."
The introductions continued.
"Dave from St. Louis, Missouri."
"Lorene from Ioola."
"Where is that?," someone asked, between mouth-
fuls of mashed potato.
"Oh, Ionia is everywhere. Ionia is near Grand Rap-
ids "
"Jay from New York."
"Oh, God, and does he sound it!," one of them said,
igniting a flurry of comments I would later receive
from people demanding to know why I can't pronounce
"water", "sports" and "Barb" in lucid Midwestern
tones.
'Our orientation leader told us the
eerie legend behind the bold brassy
'' laid out on ... the Diag. If we step-
ped on this oversized initial ... not even
the Patron Saint of Lost Causes could
prevent us from flunking our first
final.'
v-s.1 . "?' e, . "'i". s ::{::i, :::::,-"' .,t~ {:.. .. ti; 5;ys-',8y. '. ,.
And the last person identified herself as "Joyce
from New Jersey."
Vital statistics aside, we wolfed down a dish whose
contents escaped me. That night, our orientation lead-
ers rounded up the group in one of Lloyd's brightly
carpeted lounges, distributed cards printed with the
names of animals, and led us in a group encounter
game. I was a duck. During the game, I met another
duck from my native Long Island. I didn't get the gist
of the game, but I managed to meet a lot of ducks.
LATER THAT NIGHT, Alan, Dave, Joyce, Jane and
I ventured out on those carnival Ann Arbor streets
in search of a good drinkery. Somehow we walked far
enough downtown and finally stumbled into
a handsome pub with the absurd name
"Pretzel Bell" whose interior was couched
in a rustic football motif. There the five
strangers representing fotr states downed
pitchers of frothy beer over conversation

which became more probing as the night wore an
Rather than discussing our names and hometowns, we
discussed our prospective majors and toasted our aca-
demic success and newly found camaradie with Strohs.
The next day, however, University life began to
come into focus. First came the walking tour of the
entire campus, setting our eyes on the architecturally
diverse buildings whose corridors we would all later
be able to navigate blindfolded. Our orientation leader
told us the eerie legend behind the bold, brassy M'
laid out on a cement plaza called the Diag. If we step-
ped on this oversized initial, we were told, not even
the Patron Saint of Lost Causes could prevent us from
flunking our first final.
After the walking tour, which blistered quite a few
pairs of feet, we were administered a battery of ex-
ams, one of which I took in a sterile little booth in a
modern, well scrubbed mausoleum I would later af-
fectionately tab the MLB. The test, part of which was
dictated to me by an authentically Latin-sounding
tape, informed me that yo supe bastante espanol to
place out of 101, and into Spanish 103. Bravo.
Later, we were given strange, soft covered books
with miniscule printing, known as time schedules,
were told how to use these basic instruments of aca-
demia, and were warned that "Staff" did not refer
to Professor Staff, that man of steel who taught class-
es in every department, but denoted graduate student
instructors. With that fresh knowledge firmly planted in
my mind, I concocted a schedule and registered the
next morning, electing three eight o'clock classes
because I thought that since I had to wake up at 6:30
every morning during my high school era, surely I
would be able to swing three early lectures a week
at the University of Michigan.
I had a lot to learn.
IT'S BEEN TWO YEARS since I pretended to be
collegiate for those three days. In the interim,
I've stepped on the 'M' just one time - it was acci-
dental - I've failed a final, slaved over my Espanol
in the language lab, found new places to quench my
thirst, suffered from indigestion in the dorm, encoun-
tered three more rommates, one of which drove me
to move across the hall, registered six more times,
and slept through countless morning classes.
Jane and Lorene became good friends of mine, and
I would later rent an apartment with Alan from Hunt-
ington Woods.
Orientation, therefore, served its purpose in that it
showed me what to expect in this often crazy fantasy
world known as college. So when you see bands of
wide-eyed pre-freshpeople roaming about the Diag this
summer, carefully dodging the big 'M' for fear of
failure, feel for them: they've only just begun.
JayLetin is co-director of the summer ditorial
Page.

GENERAL REAG4AN -
NOWMUCH FUIRTHE1z IIT 1 ANM~~ rv?----
-m PANAxMA Cfl v? THOL*Hr W W

To Ford or not to Ford
('ONSIDER YOURSELF an uncommitted delegate to the
Republican convention for just a moment. Remem-
ber that you are probably more conservative than the
party's mainstream, probably a white male, probably
think Barry Goldwater, while too radical,. represented the
best of party doctrine in 1964, and probably have resign-
ed yourself to the polls which indicate that Jimmy Car-
ter is going to beat any Republican in sight in the fall,
from Reag an to Ford to Paul McCiskey. With all this in
mind, answer the following questions.
Has Gerald Ford matched your expectations of a Re-
publican president, in view of his administration's con-
tinuation of federal restrictions on free enterprise, his
policy of detente with the ever-advancing Communists,
his Secretary of State, who admits he thinks the United
States is doomed, his negotiating away the Panama
Canal?
Who can most eloquently represent the party in the
first presidential election since Watergate, at a time
when the party is trying to shed the crooked image cast
upon it by Richard Nixon? Which candidate is associated
with Nixon, the betrayer of the party, and which is not?
Would you rather take a quiet, dignified loss with
dull, wishy-washy Jerry Ford, or take an exhiliarating
gamble on exciting, give-'em-hell Ronald Reagan, a bril-
liant campaigner who might pull off an upset against
Carter in November?
Choose carefully. You have nothing to lose but your
self-respect.

w r oom r i

Back to Top

© 2020 Regents of the University of Michigan