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October 21, 1987 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1987-10-21

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Wednesday, October 21, 1987

The Michigan Daily

Edte m ra btn a nfichigan
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Fat

Al

replies

to

Vol. XCVIII, No. 30

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

FAT
AL

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board. All other
cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion
of the Daily.

C - minusism

B Y UNANIMOUSLY VOTING to
accept only grades of C-minus or
better towards fulfillment of the
foreign language requirement, the
LSA faculty instituted a soundly
unfair requirement last week.
Although the faculty may be
commended for eliminating the
existing double standard which
allowed a pass/fail student to pass
with a C-minus while a graded
student needed only a D-minus it
has created another inequity. The
University has unfairly prioritized
foreign language grades so that
students who could graduate in
other departments will have to
achieve a C-minus in foreign
languages.
This emphasis on foreign
languages is unfair in several
respects.
Rather than allowing students the
freedom to balance the time they
devote to different subjects, this
new requirement forces students to
expend a disproportionate amount
of time on languages.
Further, inadequacies within the
foreign language department have
been noted by both students and
faculty. Will more stringent grade
requirements really contribute to

better oral and written language
skills when oversized classes
persist? Such a requirement may
even exacerbate the problem by
flooding the classes with the
estimated ten percent of students
who in the past have received
grades below C-minus and may
have to retake part of the sequence.
Setting higher standards for
students will not necessarily
increase their competency unless
teaching standards are also raised.
The foreign language department
is also notoriously difficult. The
fairness of placing so much weight
on grades which may b e
disproportionately low is
questionable.
Thus, in attempting to rectify an
intradepartmental double standard
and inadequate achievement, the
LSA faculty has unfairly predicated
graduation upon foreign language
grades. In the interest of academic
equity the faculty should have either
implemented an across the board
grade standard or left the system as
it was. LSA cannot correct the
dearth of foreign language skills
solely by raising minimum grades;
curricula and teaching must be
revised as well.

L '
I hate TV timeouts. They're insulting.
They're moronic. They suck. Understand
how much I love football. I haven't
missed a home game in my eight and half
years as a student here, but these TV
timeouts... the damn things are driving me
to drink-which is a bad idea if you're at
the game because the timeouts add about a
half hour to each half and your wait for the
watering wall. They turn the football
stadium into a TV set, complete with a
live studio audience of 105,000.
Sure, when you're at home curled up on
the couch or reclining in your Archie
Bunker chair, commercials are great-a
chance to hit the john, make a sandwich,
or head for the mountains with an icey
Busch, but at the Stadium... well, they
suck. Is nothing sacred? I hope that rodeos
never prostitute themselves like that.
...Has anyone else noticed that Iraq was
the one who killed 38 of our compatriotes
aboard the USS Stark last spring but now
our old pal the Ayatollah is our sworn
enemy? What's going on Ronny? Far it be
for me to stand up for the bearded despot
but the Fat man's confused. I hope
someone out there knows what the hell's
going on?
On a lighter note, Eight is Enough had
a reunion show. Heh-heh-heh. Who the
hell watched this show anyhow? Write and
let me know if you did and why...

Remember James at 15, 16? That would
make a great reunion special, James at 28.
I got some mail this week. So here she
blows.
Fat Al,
Can I avoid a three dollar sitting fee for
the yearbook, by standing?
Signed,
I've paid enough.
You've paid enough, I've paid enough.
Hell, we've all paid enough and ain't a
sweeter truth been put down on these
pages in many a year. What else can we
say. We've paid enough. We've paid too
much. To answer your question, I'd have
'On a lighter note, Eight is
Enough had a reunion show.
Heh-heh-heh. Who the hell
watched this show anyhow?
Write and let me know if you
did and why...'
to say sure. I like the idea. In fact, I think
it's right fine. Maybe we could lead a little
protest. Don't sit and don't pay! Yeah,
yeah, and then a rent strike....
Fat Al,
You bitch. You porcine name caller. I
don't care what you don't care about or
who you want to call what. What are you
doing in my newspaper? Why don't you
take a few. laps around Student
Publications to shrink some of those fat
cells in your head instead of reminding
readers of all this crap that we don't want
to see.
Dick Smith
Yeah, that's it. Uh-huh. Whatever you
say, DICK. You are more damned smug

letters
and self serving than even me. "Your
paper?" You make me laugh. You don't
know nuthin'. You missed the whole
point of my last column. I was speaking
of things which lie in the back of the
minds of folk with common sense. And
can't you come up with a better
pseudonym than Dick Smith? What are
you trying to say with this cute little
moniker anyhow, DICK?
Dear Fattest Al,
Does the S on the East Lansing football
teams' helmets stand for State, Spartans,
or both? By the way, just how fat are you
and what do you think of Bob Talbert?
Rumour has it that the adjective does not
describe your weight but other aspects of
your manliness.
Mike Behm
Your first query is real interesting,
Mike. I mean, it's right fine. I've been
puzzling over this one for quite some days
and it's plumb impossible to come up
with a satifactory response. Some
possibilities:
S stands for sheep-which have kept the
boys and girls in Lansing warm on so
many a winter night.
S stands for sharecropping-the most
popular major in East Lansing.
Or S may stand for stupid, which speaks
for itself. Who knows, it may even be one
of the things you mentioned.
How fat am I? It's fluctual and I've been
on a watermelon diet lately. If you read his'
column and mine then you should know
what I think of Talbert. As to the last
question, I'm fat all over.
Thanks for the letters, friends and
DICKS alike, and keep 'em coming.

ski; HE'S o Z P~Mcc~A~y~ ~

Wasserman

Z Wq4T NVTAN4D
Y(2ESItE.NT f/AGAI4

EClON4S AND AGAINST I TAToS2I
c.

WNM DoEgNl M SACW SOME
CONTRAS DOWN WERE ?

BCAV% 'tEEYRE
ALREADY IN ?PO)NC

Suffering close to home

LETTERS
Cartoon has disturbing implications

MANY APPEALS ARE ISSUED TO
students to participate in various
demonstrations and marches;
occasions of public protest in
response to national a n d
international politics are more
highly supported on this campus
than virtually anyplace else.
Ironically, students are significantly
less informed about injustices closer
to home.
If they knew, for instance, that
battering is the single major cause
of injury to women, exceeding
rapes, muggings and auto accidents
then perhaps students would see the
desperate need to raise their voices
on the behalf of abused women.
Unknown to many, a woman is
battered every 18 seconds in the
United States. Three out of four
murdered women are killed by
husbands or lovers.
The energy and concern generated
on campus in response to the
suffering of those abroad, must also
be directed towards the many that
suffer here in Ann Arbor. At 8:00
p.m. tonight, the 4th Annual
Candlelight Vigil for battered
women takes place at the ,Federal

Building for those who have died
from abuse and support those who
have survived.
This month has been made Dom-
estic Violence Awareness Month;
an effort to call attention to the
ongoing abuse within many families
and the failure of the legal system to
effectively address this reality.
Marital rape is not a crime in
Michigan and 26 other states.
Varying among counties, Michigan
state police usually do not arrest in
misdemeanor assault and battery
cases. It is encouraging that Ann
Arbor is one of a handful cities in
the country that identify domestic
violence as a crime, and arrests
batterers.
Students commit years to recog-
nizing the myths and realities within
history, politics the economy. It is
only appropriate that their
examinations extend to the lives of
those around them; the myth of the
secure "nuclear" family needs to be
revealed. Last year 3 to 4 million
women and their children were
affected by domestic violence; this
reality is another truth to be learned
in Ann Arbor.

To the Daily:
When I initially glanced at
the cartoon entitled, "Wash-
ington gets tough with
domestic terrorism," (Daily,
10/14/87) something im-
mediately hit me the wrong
way. It was like experiencing a
bad after-taste. It was not so
bad going down, but
something made me stop and
wonder what I had just injested
that left me with such distaste.
At first I dissected the
cartoon- the first frame made a
very good point - "the PLO
Offices have never engaged in
illegal activities." In this
country, that is true. Our first
ammendment guarentees free-
dom of speech, and any
infringement on that right
really should be fought.
The second frame stated that
"The Jewish Defense League is
suspected in a number of
terrorist incidents." This is
also the truth. I could go into a
lengthy discussion of who is
right, and who is wrong, or I
could move on into the whole
dispute over the problems of
interpretation of the first
ammendment, but let's face it,
I'd be writing forever.
So what was it that really
bothered me? It was the second
half of what would happen to
the Jewish Defense League --
"it could affect their tax-exempt
status." Whether intentional or
not, Bering managed to in-
corporate the age-old, stereo-
typical view that Jews are
tightwads. Shylocks. Money-
grubbers. Tax-evaders. I am

never be changed unless people
become aware of the
implications of what they say,
or write, or do. Are you
sensitive? Are you educated?
Changing peoples' attitudes,
helping them (and yourself). to

understand and appreciate other
peoples' religion, race, and
creed is absolutely vital in
today's world. To perpetuate
the ignorant views of bigots,
especially in the newspaper,
the source that informs us daily

of the the destruction and
horrors of fighting, is a form
of terrorism in its own right.
--Trudi Smith
October 14

A

Band critic has short memory, poor hearing

To the Daily:
After reading George B.
Trubow's letter "Band should
march too," (Daily, 10/19/87) I
was angry and confused. What
Mr. Trubow described as the
marching band showbwas not
only insulting, but also
incorrect. To begin with,
during pre-game the band
"takes the field" with the quick
cadence. It has never, and I'm
sure never will, played while
doing the entry onto the field.
It is truly impossible to do so.
During halftime the band
moved during every piece
including the "phalynx"
movement while we played
"The Final Countdown."
Perhaps arranger John Stout
should have ignored musical
quality so that the "phalynx"
could have played while doing
the snake, and maybe he should
have picked up the tempo of
"Somewhere Out There" so we
could have marched more
quickly.
I still do not understand what
Mr. Trubow meant by the band
doing a dance step while
playing. We did do a dance
during halftime and I do not
know why it would have been
necessary to play during it. If

25 years since his college days
1- ve obscured the memories of
the Michigan Marching Band.
it seems strange though that my
father and others who were in
the band in those dismal
football days think that the
Daily should f
To the Daily:
Before one criticizes students
for their lack ofinterest, w e
ought to keep in mind that any
editorial page should try to
avoid being cast or perceived as
a super critical, o m n i-
denouncing edit of all issues.
One can only expect the
individual to be current and
committed to a few primary
issues at a time. It is not each
person's responsibility to be
up-to-date and dedicated to all
things. For if he were, he
would surely be nothing more
than a "jack of all tracts and a
master of none"-Osler.
If each person chooses two
or three topics to "master," it
is highly probable that those
would be on the order of major,
personally important, primary
topics; maybe abortion, maybe
equal rights, or nuclear arms,

band looks better than ever.
Maybe Mr. Trubow should
take a more careful look the
next time the "band takes the
field."
--Thomas Carpenter
October 20
ocus attention
civil rights in foreign coun-
tries, light of the homeless, the
national debt, drugs, etc.
It is wthin the paper' s
Iti ihntepprsresponsibility to encourage and
shed lighton lesser known
issues that maybe ought to be
of primary social concern. That
is all well and good, but it is
not reasonable to expect all
people to key on all issues.
And therefore we can not fairly
or justifiably criticize our peers
for not being more actively
involved on some issues. (
Though we may feel it
personally lamentable that
John and Jane are not a s
afflicted by a particular
problem, as you or I may be,
we must grant them the
liberty, the prerogative to wave
their own banners.
-Gerald Schmit
October 17

PON N I DONT THATS WhEREV
NEED ..2E V /REEEN3 TO NEW
hI6H ON LIFE! MEANS TO HELP
HEThOE WHO CAVT
\ FI EP 7SEE.

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