The Michigan Daily
Thursday, January 26, 1989
BY ANDREW GOTTESMAN
This space is usually reserved for
lengthy dissertations on the
objectivity of journalism, timely di-
atribes on the morality of protest, or
"academic" recitations of how deca-
dent government can be.
Not this time.
I'm going to tell you about the
joys of Oreos. Oh, and dunking
In other words, we're gonna for-
get all that adult-sounding stuff for
five minutes, and hopefully be a lit-
tle happier for it. Take a break from
being grown-up for just a moment
and be childish. It's more fun.
Way back when I was in high
school (it seems like years, but in
actuality it's been only seven
months), my best friend, Jim, and I
ran the student newspaper. He was
probably the biggest reason I re-
mained sane through many of the
more pressure-packed situations, in-
eluding biology and college appli-
Just when adulthood was knock-
ing, telling me to write as many ex-
tracurriculars down as I could to en-
hance my application, Jim saved me
from taking life too seriously. He
saved me from being...uh...a mod-
What was his wonder-cure for
That's right: Batman. You see,
Jim would write these articles,
which we collectively called the
"Childhood File," that included dis-
courses on almost anything you
hadn't thought about in years:
Saturday morning cartoons, comic
books, Sesame Street, Babar and,
Admit it. Every one of you has at
some time wanted to take Green
Eggs and Ham or The Little Engine
That Could down off the shelf. Or
play with Silly Putty. Or put to-
gether a puzzle with only 15 pieces.
Those with the big, easy pieces.
I'm not advocating living in the
past; I don't want to be surrounded
by a bunch of screaming nursery
schoolers again. Jim simply
thought, and he has been proven
correct, that by checking in on
childhood every so often we can use
all that it meant to us in our
And I think many people here at
the University of Michigan could
use a little of that treatment.
I see many in our midst who have
the "High School Senior (First
Term) Syndrome." I see people who
have totally forgotten how to be a
kid. You know who you are: the
ones that take yourselves, and life, a
little too seriously. You haven't de-
clared a major, but you're already
planning how fast, or slow, you'll
be able to get an entry-level job after
You've written up an "I'm mad at
" form and just fill in the
You've become, dare I say it, a
Grown Up, with all the miseries that
can accompany the title.
You will only be young once,
but you can be immature all your
life, goes the old saying.
And while you are still somewhat
young, you should take advantage of
both your age and immaturity. Just
because one is a college student
doesn't mean that one has to grow
Many here don't, however, seem
to think this is the case. For them,
college means adulthood; and adult-
hood means that they must take an
active role in their world. After all,
they are fighting to make their own
life better now.
I used to collect baseball cards
with a passion. Until I was about
14, I spent all the money I had on
those little packs of 15 cards, and
even chewed the gum. After a while,
though, I was able to buy fewer and
fewer cards. Why? Because I was
More money was needed for adult
things. Money for dates, tapes and
clothes. Soon I had stopped collect-
ing baseball cards altogether.
Until last year. Another friend and
I began simply buying cards. Lots of
them. Not to collect as investments,
but just to buy, open and marvel at.
It felt like we were kids again, and it
A few days ago I was buying food
for my dorm room. On the counter
was none other than a box of this
year's baseball cards. I've been buy-
ing a few packs every day, just to
keep me from going crazy.
Unfortunately, however, even
baseball cards, that bastion of young
adolescence, have become just
another stock in the profit market of
life. Kids go to these "Baseball Card
Conventions" with wads of money
spilling out of their jean pockets.
Old, fat men, smoking old, fat cigars
then charge our young heros hun-
dreds of dollars for pieces of card-
Today's collectors don't flip their
cards anymore; God forbid, that
might damage them and decrease
their value. Now kids keep their
cards carefully stored in plastic
sheets in a safe closet to appreciate
"Wow, Bobby, my cards are
worth $4,000 dollars," is heard much
more often than, "Look Bobby, this
card has my favorite player on it."
It's a shame that the newest fans
can't enjoy something just for the
feeling it gives.
Another thing I bought was a bag
of Oreo cookies and milk. How
many of you used to dunk Oreos
back in the days of junior high and
even before? How many have taken
part in that ritual since entering the
so-called "real world?" If not, do you
feel more real? I think not.
Look, all of us are getting older;
nobody is disputing that. Just the
other day, in fact, a guy on my hall
bought the most recent issue of
Playboy. For the first time, those
flipping through the pages (ok, they
were looking at the pictures; but
guys, don't tell me you don't still
occasionally do the same thing!)
were actually older than the Play-
mate of the Month.
Now I know how our parents feel
when somebody tells them they are
old. These girls were always on a
pedestal. They were considered al-
most unreal. Now they seem a lot
more, well, young, and I feel a lot
more "grown up."
And I don't feel any better for my
new-found adulthood. But not to
worry, we never actually have to be-
Take some time out. Stop trying
to look and act your age. Just for a
while, be a kid again, even if you are
at college. Everyone has their own
"pack of baseball cards" out there
somewhere. Take a break from your
protest, intellectual argument or
worries about the future. Be a kid for
a few minutes, or a few hours, or the
rest of your life.
Look, I got a Spike Owen card!
The corners are frayed and it's worth
about two cents. Couldn't be better.
\ .... ..
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