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October 09, 1983 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 1983-10-09

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I

Page 2 - The Michigan Daily - Sunday, October 9, 1983
Johnson's offbeat style hooks class

By BARBARA MISLE
Nobody wants to be in Cheryl Joh-.
nson's English class - and she knows
it.
But it doesn't bother her. Johnson's
i job is getting students out of her class.
EVERY SEMESTER Johnson works
with 16 students whose English
placement exam scores were not high
enough to earn them a spot in a Fresh-
man Compositon class.
Although the class is more commonly
known as "football English," Johnson
maintains the seven-week Writing
tutorial course is not for "slow"
students.
Johnson says her students are bright
some even received "'A"s in high
PROFILE
school English classes - but their
\writing skills weren't up to English
Composition Board standards.
IN ENGLISH 100, students and
professors are not pitted against each
other with students trying to pin down
exam questions.
Johnson is attuned to students' ner-
vous anticipation about the course's
final exam and tries to quell their
anxiety. She empathizes with students'
fear that if they don't pass the test,
they'll have to take the tutorial over.
Class often is sidetracked with
questions about the final exam. One
student asks, "When will we find out if
we passed?" Another queries, "Will
they be looking for style or structure on
the test?"
INSTEAD OF skirting these
questions with vague hints, Johnson
tells her students exactly what they
need to know.
"They'll definitely be looking for
structure," she warns the class. "They
want to make sure you know how to put
something together that is logical and
consistent."
"And don't get fancy," she adds. "It's
better to be practical, clear, and to the
point than to be fancy."
IN THE FIVE years she has been an
ECB lecturer teaching English 100,
Johnson's methods have proved suc-
cessful. Only four of her students have
failed the final exam and a good num-
ber place out of Freshman Com-
position, she said.
Johnson is smooth, controlled, and
confident, when she teaches. She paces
the floor, looks directly at students and
adds an "all right?" or an "okay?" to
the end of her sentences to make sure
they are listening.
After a few weeks in Johnson's class,
students usually stop resenting being
placed in a tutorial. They fin!h erb non:
traditional teaching style a welcome
change from more rigid English
teachers who are fanatical about verb
tense disagreement or split infinitives.
"I GUESS I'M just not that kind of
person. , I point out (grammatical
errors), but not to give a sense that
your whole world will fall apart if you
split an infinitive.
"I don't like to intimidate writers,"
she says.
And Johnson's students are quick to
back her up.
"SHE'S NOT like most professors
where you feel low compared to their
high. She's on your level and she wants

V VU,

Daily Photo by DOUG McMAHON
English Lecturer Cheryl Johnson teaches Writing Tutorial for students who don't qualify for Freshman Composition.
Despite students' disappointment with being in a tutorial, they say Johnson's enthusiasm for writing is contagious.

our opinions," says LSA Freshman
Rick Bancroft, one of Johnson's studen-
ts.
Adds Greg Cain, also an LSA fresh-
man, "She doesn't slice through your
papers with a red pen. She's down to
earth. You can say anything to her -
she might not agree with you, but she'll
listen."
Yet Johnson's laid-back personality
doesn't make students regard her as a
"blow-off" teacher; her informal style
works in her favor.

ths, married, barefoot and pregnant,
and heating up pot pies - if they knew
how to do it. It would be rough, though."
Teaching isn't the only area of John-
son's life she has approached in a non-
traditional manner. Unlike many of her
high school friends who marriedand
had children soon after graduating,
the 33-year-old Johnson said she is con-
tent to live on her own.
But the path she has chosen has not
been an easy one.

'I had something to prove...that I could
come from my environment, from my
poverty, and do whatever I wanted to do.'
- Cheryl Johnson
English lecturer

my own. I had to sit there in that big;
cornfield and come to terms with some
things."
"I HAD something to prove, not to my
family, but prove to myself, that I could
do it. That I could come from my en-
vironment, from my poverty, and do
whatever I wanted to do," she explains,
But in the process of pursuing her
career goals, Johnson was treading on
ground that for the most part was
previously unexplored by black women.
Even now there are few black women
professors at the University, which
Johnson says is disconcerting.
"I GUESS IT bothers me that there
aren't more black women here on cam-
pus. I'm not exceptional. I like what I
do, and I think I have something to con-
'tribute, but there are so many more.
Why aren't they here? I don't know,"
she said.
But success can be a "double-edged
sword," according to, Johnson. When
she returns to' Atliita, there is 'more
distance between her and her family
because they live in such different
worlds.
In spite of the obstacles she has over-
come and still has to deal with, Johnson
is content with her life, although she
aspires someday to go to law school.
"I'd like to be a revolutionary and get
lawyers to stop using that horrible
prose they use sometimes that no one
understands.
"I've come to terms with who and
what I am, and insist on being accepted
for who and what I am," she says. "And
generally I am. That is rewarding."

IN BRIEF
Compiled from Associated Press and
United Press International reports
Mondale wins Iowa straw poii
DES MOINES, Iowa - Former Vice President Walter Mondale won a
presidential straw poll of more than 4,000 Iowa Democratic activists last night,
winning 47 percent of the votes cast.
California Sen. Alan Cranston polled 37 percent, followed by Ohio Sen.t
John Glenn with 5.9 percent.
Of the 4,143 votes cast, Mondale polled 1,948 to Cranston's 1,534.
Colorado Sen. Gary Hart scored 3.5 percent, while former South Dakota,
Sen. George McGovern, the party's 1972 presidential nominee scored 1.8
percent.
Former Florida Gov. Reubin Askew and South Carolina Sen. Ernest
Hollings each drew less than 1 percent of the vote, and 2.8 percent of the ac-
tivists said they had no preference. The straw poll was conducted by The
Associated Press.
Both Mondale and Cranston had launched substantial organizing efforts to
turn out supporters at the Democratic Party's annual Jefferson-Jackson
Day dinner, where Jimmy Carter brought his name to prominence eight
years ago.
Two of the presidential contenders, Askew and Hart, told party loyalists
yesterday that the party must change if it is to command a new national
majority.
Airline talks near settlement
MIAMIA - A settlement reportedly was near yesterday in contract talks
between flight attendants and Eastern Airlines, which went to the brink of
bankruptcy before winning a truce with its labor unions.
After a 13-hour bargaining session Friday, and negotiators reported un-
precedented progress in the wage talks.
Sources close to the talks said Eastern had dropped its demand for produc-
tivity increases and the only remaining issue was pay.
Full details of the pact agreed upon by Eastern and its three unions were
not disclosed, but Eastern President Frank Borman agreed to drop the Oct.
13 deadline he had set for acceptance of the wage cuts.
In return for the elinihation of the deadline, the unions promised to abide
by the findings of two New York financial firms that will do a study on
Eastern's financial condition.
In another development, police reported a break-in at the offices of local
553. headuarters of the 5,800-member Eastern chapter of Transport
Workers Union. Police spokesman Doug Reese said there was no infor-
mation available on what was taken, if anything.
Klansman clubbed in Lansing
LANSING, Mich. - A man whom police identified as a KKK member was
clubbed yesterday by counter-demonstrators who foiled plans for a rally on
the Capitol lawn by the Klan and a neo-Nazi group.
Three people were arrested and two were being held on felonious assault
charges, police said. A man who identified himself as Bobby Patterson of
Detroit said he was charged with disorderly conduct and released on $50
bond.
In another Klan-related incident yeserday in Lanett, Ala. a black man was
arrested yesterday after firing two shots at a robed Ku Klub Klansman who
was handing out literature with other Klan members in the town square,
police said. No one was hit by the flying bullets, police said. The only injury
occurred when a scuffle broke out and the assailant allegedly struck the 18-
year-old Klansman over the head with the gun, said Police Chief James
Smith.
Willie Truitt, a 52-year-old city employee, was arrested on a charge of at-
tempted murder and placed in the Chambers County Jail in Lafayette under
$25,000 bond, Smith said.
The police chief said a dozen robed members of the Invisible Empire,
Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, were handing out literature in the town square
and causing no problems until Truitt approached with a .38-caliber pistol at
about 12:15 p.m.
Reagan says Russian missiles in
Syria justifies U.S. in Lebanon
WASHINGTON - President Reagan, questioning Syrian claims of
"peaceful intentions" in Lebanon, expressed concern yesterday over the
Soviet Union's move to arm Syria with a new generation of mobile missiles.
In his weekly radio address, the president said Syria "today has some
5,000 Soviet adviers and technicians and a massive amount of new Soviet
equipment in its country - including a new generation of surface-to-surface
missiles, the SS-21."
With a range of 75 miles, the SS-21 missiles could hit major population cen-
ters in Israeal and Lebanon - or ships of the U.S. Sixth Fleet offshore.
Reagan asserted that the increased Soviet presence in Syria leaves no
doubt about the need for the continued presence of 1,600 U.S. Marines in
Lebanon
He also accused Syria of reneging on an agreement to withdraw its troops
from war-torn Lebanon if Israel did.
In view of the Soviet arms buildup in Syria, he said, "we have to wonder
aloud about Syrian protestations of their peaceful intentions."
Reagan's radio address marked the first U.S. statement indicating that
the mobile missiles were already in Syria.
Reagan quoted a lette that he said a "young Marine corporal"
stationed in Lebanon had written to his hometown newspaper. In his letter,

the soldier wrote: 'It is our duty as Americans to stop the cancerous spread
of Soviet influence wherever it may be, because someday we or some future
generation will wake up and find the U.S.A. to be the only free state left, with
communism upon our doorstep. And then it will be too late."
Reagan commented that "the corporal may not have spelled out the
specifics as to why it was in our best interest to be there in Lebanon, but he
was certainly correct in his conclusion that it is our business."

14

.4

"There is a certain distance, you still
know she's a teacher and you respect
her," said Cain.
"YOU KNOW YOU'D never blow off
an assignment," adds another student,
Jennifer Buchanan.
Johnson shares her passion for good
writing with students and her en-
thusiasm is contagious.
"If prose is lucid, if your prose is
cogent, if it's coherent, consistent,
comes together just right - love it,"
said Johnson.
SO GREAT IS her love for words, she
quips that despite her strong feminist
views, a skilled persuasive speaker
"could probably have me in two mon-

AFTER PUTTING herself through
Spellman College, a small, black
women's school in her home town of
Atlanta, Ga., she received a master's
degree in English from the University
in 1973. Johnson, who is completing her
doctorate in English and education this
year, then taught at Northern Illinois
University in Dekalb where she lived on
her own for the first time.
Away from the insulated support of
her large family Johnson had to make
her own decisions and deal with people
who rejected her simply because she
was black or from the south.
"I had no one's shoulder to
-cry on for the most part, but

4

China to purge 3 million Mao followers

4

(Continued from Page 1)
PEKING (AP) - Chinese leaders
will purge at least 3 million of the
Communist Party's 40 million mem-
bers in a re-registration campaign
aimed at expelling adherents to the late
Chairman Mao Tse-tung's radical
views, diplomatic sources who
requested anonymity said yesterday.
China's state-run press refers to the
three-year campaign as a "rec-
tification," a housecleaning to rid the
party of leftist opponents to the policies
of China's ranking leader, Deng
Xiaoping. But official accounts have
never specified how many party mem-
bers are likely to be expelled.
DENG IS THE ranking member of
the party's ruling Politburo and chair-
man of the Military Affairs Com-

1

mission. He rose to power following
Mao's death in 1976.
In contrast to Mao, Deng has allowed
peasants to engage in limited private
enterprise, invited foreigners to invest
in China, reinstituted aptitude testing
in colleges, shifted the economic em-
phasis to consumer goods and made
state-run industry more accountable
for profit and loss.
These changes have angered party
members who adhere to Mao's
philosophy of unending revolution,
class struggle and self-reliance. Many
of these members were able to join the
party during the 1966-76 Cultural
Revolution, a chaotic period inspired by
Mao's radical directives aimed at ex-

pelling those he considered rightist
"capitalist roaders" - such as Deng.
WHEN THE intention to conduct a
rectification was announced in Septem-
ber 1982, party General Secreatary Hu
Yaobang said the emphasis would be on
re-education and "curing the illness to
save the patient."
The party leadership is trying to ease
fears of members who recall the bloody
purges of the Cultural Revolution. At
that time, many of Mao's suspected op-
ponents, including Deng and his
associates, were stripped of their
authority.
Experimental rectifications already
have started in provinces. Accounts in
the state-run press say that some have

and
presents
SWEET DEELSFOR
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encountered resistance.
"THERE ARE signs that local of-
ficials are hanging on, protecting each
other, and the central authorities are
not able to dislodge them - that's why
this may require three years," said one
foreign analyst.
Hu told a delegation of Japanese
socialists last week that "troublesome
elements" left over from the Cultural
Revolution will take up to 10 years to
eliminate.
"I have the impression that this time
it will be very strict," said Masashi
Ishibashi, head of the Japan Socialist
Party.
Publications
cover left,
ri ht center
(Continued from Page 1)
The Review is funded by private con-
tributions from students, alumni,
business people with "an interest in
Ann Arbor," and a grant from the In-
stitute for Educational Affairs in New
York, Mathieson said.
The Michigan Student Assembly's
nublication. MSA News. returned to

Vol. XCIV - No.29
Sunday, October 9, 1983
(ISSN 0745-967X)
The Michigan Daily is edited and managed by students at The University
of Michigan. Published daily Tuesday through Sunday mornings during the
University year at 420 Maynard Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48109. Sub-
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I

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Editor-in-chief .
Managing Editor.
News'Editor ..........
Student Affairs Editor.
Features Editor.
Opinion Page Editors.
Arts/Magazine Editors.
Associate Arts Editor .....
Sports Editor ..........
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