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September 07, 1989 - Image 73

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-09-07

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The Michigan Daily/New Student Edition - Thursdav. Seotember 7. 1989 - Page 13

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* 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 Studies.
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 inter-
est in any of them, and graduated
without particular distinction. A
BGS prepares you for a top-level ca-
reer in 7-11 store management, so
you'd probably be better off taking
those English Core courses after all.
Blue Book: Overpriced booklets 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 any-
way so write your essay on loose
gum wrappers and the back of your
hand and hope that your instructor
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. Atmospheres
range from the dismally lit, techno-
logical 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 im-
possible to get on a computer, ex-
cept when the labs open up for 24
hours at the end of each term and it
becomes utterly impossible.
Coursepacks: Collections of il-
legible xeroxed articles and essays
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-power-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
November and March that involves

waiting in line to get in a 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 bog classes
(see Lectures). Everyone sits in a
vircle and copies down the solutions
to the homework problems they
didn't do the night before.
yECB: English Composition Board.
-'Fhe University's last-ditch fail-safe
,against Time Magazine cover stories
0 ;itled, "Why Can't Johnny Read

(When He Had A History 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 disk-proficient, but
for all those old-fashioned electric
typewriter folks out there, writing
and rewriting is a real pain in the
nerkin.
Honors: A program for literary
overachievers who don't know how
to spend their free time without read-
ing 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-dominated, gender
exclusive language. Examples are.
freshman/first-year student, fire-
man/fire fighter, German/Germese,
and Ingmar Bergman/Bergperson.
Inteflex: A program for pre-med
overachievers who don't know how
to spend their free time without
studying the nuclear structure of D9
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
University hasn't gotten wise yet
and made Biology 123 (Human
Sexuality) a lab-required course.
Language Requirement: Six-
teen 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.
Lectures: The monotone verbatim
reading of a textbook and/or autobi-
ography written by a bearded, mid-
dle-aged male or female called a pro-
fessor.
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. Guaranteed to make:
your driver's license photo look
stylish. Don't ever let anyone out-
side of Food Service get their hands
on it or your friends will slap a
stupid poster making fun of you all
over your dorm. After leaving 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 grad-
ing system' that is just as nasty as
its name, insuring that a certain per-
centage of students fail, a majority
get a C+, and a lucky few win the
prize known as "beating the mean,"

no matter what any of therm actually
know about the subject.
MTS: Mystery Task Solving. A
nebulously large computer which
few people have ever seen, much
fewer understood. Most of the com-
puters on campus are probably con-
nected to it and probably to the
Regent's code administrators as well.
Requires mastering gigabytes of ar-
cane symbolism to produce real
physical output.
Office Hours: The one hour your
instructor sets aside each week to
meet individually with all 50 stu-
dents in your class, usually right be-
fore dinner. Your big chance to beg
for paper extensions, argue about the
D you got on that last paper, and lis-

orientation
ten to your professor/TA talk on the
phone a lot.
Override: Sardine slip. Yet an-
other 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, middle-
aged, male or female who gives a
monotone verbatim reading of their
textbook and/or autobiography,
called a lecture.
RA/RF: Resident Authoritarian/
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
paying to live under their thumb.
Beware of RFs carrying volumes by
Goebbels between textbooks, how-
ever.
Reading List: Long lists of long
books with long words and long ti-
tles 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 taking finals
after 4 months.
Regents: The University's Board
of Regents is an eight-member
committee elected by state voters ev-
ery eight years to govern the
University. They are descended from
an obscure branch of Druidism de-
veloped by Teutonic tribes of
Northern Europe during the 5th and
6th centuries. They periodically hold
ritual sacrifices of oak trees in the
Regent's Rook 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 slip-
pers.
ROTC: Reactionary Olive-drab
Tightass Crewcuts. The future
Arlington tombstones and '50s re-
treads who march, march, march into
all of your engineering and political
science courses. Generally affable
and good-natured, except in discus-
sions about the Vietnam War and
mutual nuclear disarmament. Not to
be confused with the similarly-
coiffed skinheads who hang out at
the corner of State and North
University streets, who are neither
good-natured not particularly conver-
sive (for high school-age white
supremacists).
Syllabus: A fancy, bloodless, and
misleading word for reading list. The
plural is syllabi, as in cacti, as in
prickly and painful. The odds are bet-
ter 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, Obnoxious,
Materialistic, Bitchy, Asshole Type.
A secular, inclusive, non-religiously
offensive term for the coddled and
well-dressed elite that you can still
use under the University's anti-dis-
crimination code. WOMBAT re-
places 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.

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