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September 08, 1988 - Image 45

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-09-08

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 8, 1988 - Page 9

MALEDICTIONARY

I MEMW

Daily

ictionar

: '*
,

I.
BGS major

What they didn't tell you at orientation

BY BRIAN JARVINEN
AND MIKE RUBIN
Auditorium A: A nice warm
room with far-too-comfortable chairs
and plenty of dark areas to catch up
on the sleep you missed trying to
complete every book on your reading
list. As long as you don't sit in the
first three rows, your lecturer won't
be able to see you, so pleasant
dreams.
BGS: Bachelor of General Stud-
ies. The ultimate major for the
Charlie Brown generation or students
who couldn't get into Business
School. A piece of paper that says
you went to college for four years,
took a bunch of different classes, had
no real interest in any of them, and
graduated without particular distinc-
tion. A BGS prepares you for a top-
level career in 7-11 store manage-
ment, so you'd probably be better
off taking those English Core
courses after all.
Blue Book: Overpriced book-
lets of paper for taking in-class essay
exams that have more pages than
you could ever need in two hours and
always have pages with no lines.
Chances are you'll forget to bring
one anyway so write your essay on
loose gum wrappers and the back of
your hand and hope that your in-
structor has a sense of humor.
Books: The University's subtle
form of organized crime. Unlike
high school, you have to buy those
books that you'll never even open.
Be prepared to pay coffee-table-vol-
ume-prices for the right to own your
instructor's "Newly Revised Fourth
Edition!" text, which is exactly the
same as the "Newly Revised Third
Edition!" except for the cover illus-
tration and the preface date. And, re-
gardless of the spine-saving TLC
you lavish on your technical tomes,
don't expect to receive more than $3
back for your $50 investment at the
end of the term when you try selling
those "new" volumes back to the
school-supply shysters who peddled
your pound of flesh in September.
The royalties House Speaker Jim
Wright received are probably peanuts
compared to the kickbacks professors
receive for "revising" their textbooks
every two years. Save money by en-
rolling in all of your roommates'
classes and "borrowing" their books
or by setting fire to the white-male-
fascist-power-grab bookstores.
Computer Lab: Crowded,
noisy rooms full of people writing
papers due four hours ago. Atmo-
spheres range from the dismally-lit,
technological torture chamber at the
Union to the Bivouac-and-Benneton
Greek Week bacchanal above Rick's.
The labs are never quiet enough to
get any work done, and it's nearly
impossible to get on a computer,
except when the labs open up for 24
hours at the end of each term and it
becomes utterly impossible.
Coursepacks: Collections
of illegible xeroxed articles and es-
says that the booklords couldn't find
for your professor. Buy them the
night before the test and try not to
spill any Mountain Dew on them
because the white-male-fascist-pow-
er-grab copycenters just might buy
them back the next day if you tell
them in a really sad voice that you
dropped the class because you had
swine flu.
CRISP: Cumbersome Required
Institutional Selection Procedures. A

pagan ritual performed every No-
vember and March that involves
waiting in line to get inra door,
waiting in line to get your papers
and forms checked, and finally wait-

ing in line for a computer to open;
all just, to see the words "CLOSED
NO WAIT LIST" appear on a com-
puter screen next to each of your
classes.
Discussion: Small classes
that meet the day you thought you
got to take a break from the big
classes (see Lectures). Everyone sits
in a circle and copies down the solu-
tions to the homework problems
they didn't do the night before.
ECB: English Composition'
Board. The University's last-ditch
fail-safe against Time Magazine
cover stories titled "Why Can't
Johnny Read (When He Has A His-
tory Degree From Michigan)?" After
three years of readin' and writin',
chewin' and spittin', typin' and
sweatin', the University makes you
finally write a paper in the first-draft,
second-draft, final-draft style that
your high school teachers tried (and
failed) to enforce. Not too difficult to
pass if you're computer disc-profi-
cient, but for all of those old-fash-
ioned electric typewriter folks out
there, writing and rewriting is a real
pain in the merkin.
Honors: A program for literary
overachievers who don't know how
to spend their free time without
reading 13th century mythological
tales of sex and corruption on the
Isle of Man and don't want to hear
any damn noisemakers outside their
room. The only reward for all this
additional agony is an extra tassel at
graduation, so you figure out their
motivation. Engineering students
should seek out Honors students to
purchase their old papers.
Inclusive Language:
Non-sexist, ungendered language that
attempts to unify the sexes and erase
centuries of primarily male-domi-
nated, gender exclusive language.
Examples are freshman/first-year
student, fireman/fire fighter, Ger-
man/Germese, and Ingmar Berg-
man/Bergperson.
Inteflex: A program for pre-
med overachievers who don't know
how to spend their free time without
studying the nuclear structure of A9
THC and want to be rich in seven
years instead of nine. If you're a lib-
eral arts student, make sure to buddy
around with some "flexies" during
your educational stint so you can
have somebody to float you some
cash after graduation when you're
still paying off your student loan.
Lab: Incredibly time-consuming
classes that should be worth twice as
many credits as they are. Basically
baffling and befuddling to all but the
most proficient twelve-toed Natural
Sciences majors. Too bad the Uni-
versity hasn't gotten wise yet and
made Biology 123 (Human Sexual-
ity) a lab-required course.
Language Requirement:
Sixteen credits of daily hell that will
make you kick yourself twice for not
dusting off French back in high
school. Luckily you only have to
get a C or better in the fourth term.
Ojibwa, Serbo-Croatian, and Yiddish
are noble and esoteric choices, but
Elementary Danish is probably your
best bet. (Ed. note: The preceding was
written prior to but not in conjunction
with the placement of the white-male-
fascist-power-grab advertisement at the
bottom of this page.)

Lecture: The monotone ver-
batim reading of a textbook and/or
autobiography written by a bearded,
middle-aged, male or female called a
professor.

Mealcard: A vital piece of
plastic with your ugly mug on it.
The photo is taken at orientation
when you look like the world's
biggest goober and you've got to
live with it for four years. Guaran-
teed to make your driver's license
photo look stylish. Don't ever let
anyone outside of Food Service get
their hands on it or your friends will
slap up a stupid poster making fun
of you all over your dorm. After
.eaving the dorm it will have so
many resin stains on it you won't be
able to see your picture anyway.
The Mean: A mathematical
grading system that is just as nasty
as its name, insuring that a certain
percentage of students fail, a major-
ity get a C+, and a lucky few win
the prize known as "beating the
mean," no matter what any of them
actually know about the subject.
MTS: Mystery Task Solving. A
nebulously large computer which
few people have ever seen, much
less, understand. Most of the com-
puters on campus are connected to it
and probably to the Regents' code
administrators as well. Requires
mastering gigabytes of arcane sym-
bolism to produce real physical out-
put.
Office Hours: The one hour
your instructor sets aside each week
to meet individually with all 50 stu-
dents in your class, usually right
before dinner. Your big chance to
beg for paper extensions, argue
about the D you got on that last pa-
per, and listen to your professor/TA
talk on the phone a lot.
Override: Sardine slip. Yet
another form the University prints to
make life difficult. This one is re-
quired to get you into overcrammed
classes after they have started. Easier
to forge than you might think -
who can read a professor's writing?
Professor: The bearded, mid-
dle-aged, male or female who gives a
monotone verbatim reading of their
textbook and/or autobiography, cal-
led a lecture.
RA/RF: Resident Authoritar-
ian/Fascist. Some schmuck who
gets free room and board for taking
your abuse all day. Make sure they
get abused all night by pulling fire
alarms at 4 a.m., vomiting in the
hallway, and setting your roommate
on fire in his sleep ("spontaneous
combustion"). After all, you're pay-
ing to live under their thumb. Be-
ware of RFs carrying volumes by
Goebbels between textbooks, how-
ever.
Reading List: Long lists of
long books with long words and
long titles that take, you guessed it,
a long time to read. Recent studies
have shown that an average LSA
semester reading list takes 2.3 years
to fully complete, so good luck tak-
ing finals after four months.
Regents: The University's
Board of Regents is an eight member
committee elected by state voters
every eight years to govern the Uni-
versity. They are descended from an
obscure branch of Druidism devel-
oped by Teutonic tribes of Northern
Europe during the 5th and 6th cen-
turies. They periodically hold ritual
sacrifices of oak trees in the Re-
gent's Room at the Union. They

prey on human flesh, but can be re-
pelled by brandishing clusters of
holly berries at them.
Residential College: A
bunch of loafers who don't wear
shoes and get to take really small
artsy classes like "Writing For
Children and Young Adults" and
"Central European Cinema" without
having to get letter grades. No,
that's not true. They actually wear
bunny slippers.
ROTC: Reactionary Olive-drab
Tightass Crewcuts. The future Ar-
lington tombstones and '50s retreads
who march, march, march into all of
your engineering and political sci-
ence courses. Generally affable and
good-natured, except in discussions
about the Vietnam War and mutual
nuclear disarmament. Not to be con-
fused with the similarly-coiffed
skinheads who hang out at the corner
of State and North University
Streets, who are neither good-natured
nor particularly conversive (for high
school-age white supremacists).
Syllabus: An fancy, blood-
less, and misleading word for reading
list. The plural is syllabi, as in
cacti, as in prickly and painful. The
odds are better than six to five that
you will "misplace" your syllabi in
less than three weeks time, making
it truly impossible to ever catch up
in your work.
TA: Tireless Academic. Students
who aren't content just researching
and writing their own assignments
but want to correct yours as well.
Actually, they are poor graduate stu-
dents (future professors) who attempt
to explain to you the meaning be-
hind the mundanity of lectures. Can
be differentiated from real adults by
their old Wrangler jeans, plaid shirts,
and Crosby, Stills, and Nash T-
shirts:
WOMBAT: Whiny, Obnox-
ious, Materialistic, Bitchy, Asshole
Type. A secular, inclusive, non-reli-
giously offensive term for the cod-
dled and well-dressed elite that you
can still use under the code. WOM-
BAT replaces the archaic, intolerant,
and non-progressive JAP and
WASP. Natural habitat is Hill and
Oxford Streets or on the steps of the
Graduate Library, checking out what
everyone else is wearing, doing, and
saying what about whom.

M TS

Books

Professor

I~J

i

SOPH SHOW,
MUSKET,
JOIN TH
CAST

-.4

Honors
student

q

INO ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROL!

DEFEND YOUR RIGHTS, JOIN

5 GOOD REASONS TO TAKE DANISH
1. Danish classes are small, the atmosphere relaxed.
2. D;nish classes meet 2 times 2 hrs. a week, making your schedule
more efficient.
3. Danish grammar is as simple as English - no intricate case-
system, no complicated verb-patterns
y4,A T*S ' U 1 . 4A A Al/.: Y l r:- ti 1n. lA 11

ABLY'S
T

lm"Imm--w

MICHIGAN STUDENT ASSEN
STUDEN

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