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March 05, 1992 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-03-05

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The Michigan Daily - Weekend etc. - March 5, 1992- Page 3

tofu ain'
that bad,
by Lars Barager
It's six o'clock in the morning and
Kathy Gibson, a University resi-
dence hall cook, glares at her alarm
clock wishing she could push it back
a couple of hours, but she knows she
has to get up to prepare her son's
breakfast before he goes to school.
Her day has only just begun when
she catches the city bus that will take
her to work at seven.
Even as Gibson arrives at
Couzens residence hall, she knows
that the eight hours she invests in
preparing meals for more than 400
* students will go unappreciated. And
as if this wasn't enough, she knows
she'll have to be a target for com-
ments like "Yuck!," "Gross!" and
"Leftovers again?!" as students file
through the cafeteria line.
Meal preparation in University
residence halls begins with fresh in-
gredients, though many students
scrutinize their meals' appearance,

Blackstone works magic
Bright and talented 'U' students are singing for glee

by Shelly Oudsema
A first impression of University conductor Jerry
Blackstone belies his warm and expressive nature. His
true emotions lie just beneath the surface, masked by a
personable but businesslike demeanor. While family
and teaching are strong elements in his life, one thing is
certain about Jerry Blackstone, his love of music is all-
Blackstone grew up listening to a diverse selection
of music. He's always had a penchant for classical mu-
sic, though. The old story of the little boy who was
forced to practice piano while his friends ran in the
baseball field doesn't apply to Blackstone's childhood.
He was encouraged but never forced to study music.
He majored in piano in college and was on his way
to becoming a professional pianist until his senior year
when, following the advice of several influential con-
ducting professors, he changed his major to conducting.
Blackstone's career path eventually led him to conduct
both the University Choir and The Men's Glee Club.
The Glee Club particularly, has polished its shining
reputation under his direction. A closely knit group of
friends, the men and Blackstone are also superior musi-
Blackstone said he enjoys working with bright and
talented college students because "they are mature
enough to make a commitment to music." He works
cooperatively with his singers. The beautiful music the
choirs produce is one of Blackstone's greatest rewards.
He believes strongly in clear communication be-
tween a conductor and his performers. "He really knows
how to get the best out of his singers. We appreciate his
time and dedication. Even with all his other
commitments, he never cuts us short," said baritone
Anthony McKee.

Many other members point to Blackstone's playful
antics in rehearsal. He has been known to crack jokes
and to imitate Julia Child's high voice to remind his'
singers to watch their pitch during warm-up exercises-"
"He acts like a kid at rehearsals - like one of the
guys," said Glee Club member Matt Dunstone. "He has
found a nice mixture between being a buddy and being
an authority figure. You always want to work hard to
impress him,"
Members of the Glee Club favorably refer to him as
"Jelly" The nickname was bestowed upon him during
the group's 1989 tour of the Orient when announcerĀ§
repeatedly mispronounced his name introducing him as
"Jelly Blackstone."
When Blackstone is rehearsing or performing, the
antics stop. The music completely envelops him. His di-
recting style resembles a dance. He is at once stretching
to the tips of his toes to signal the sopranos' entrance
and then leaning over the podium to cut off the altos. It
is obvious that his actions reflect the character of the
A memorable concert for Blackstone is the first time
he performed the Brahms' Requiem in 1974. "I can re-
member leaving the rehearsals in tears the music was so
moving." Blackstone says he feels an affinity with
Brahms, one of his favorite composers. "Brahms' music
tends to be rather melodramatic, mixing dark and warm
emotions. It can be very rewarding to perform,"
Blackstone said.
One of the conductor's most striking characteristics
is his modesty. He seems unaware of the magnitude of
his accomplishments which include conducting the-
Chamber Singers at the Interlochen Arts camp and his
increasing demand as a guest conductor. He says he
doesn't really have any unique conducting habits he,
"just tries not to mess up."

Denise Cooper drops scrumptious cookie dough onto a baking sheet..
taste and texture and swear the food nessed cooks peeling carrots and
comes from another planet. Students potatoes and grilling chicken breasts.
working in any University cafeteria
will confirm that they have wit- See FOOD, Page 8

Tea, courtesy and errant hockers

by Sarah Fette
Some friends and I were engaging
in afternoon tea the other day. I was
passing the crumpets to Victoria and,
as it so often does, the subject of
manners came up. I proudly an-
nounced that Ann Arbor has been a
gracious host during my first six
months here. Everyone always holds
doors open for me, says 'please' and
'thank you' to me, lets me go before
them in the line for the computers at
Angell Hall, and smiles and greets
me by name as I pass them on the
So it was shocking to learn that
my companions had encountered
some horribly unmannerly behavior
on campus. Their descriptions of
rude and disgusting individuals con-
trasted so sharply with my own ex-
periences here.
Our contrasting observances led
me to wonder if I was alone in
thinking that U of M stood for Uni-
versity of Manners. Slightly both-
ered by this, I decided to talk to
some random people about their per-
ceptions of etiquette on campus. I
soon came to the disheartening con-
clusion that etiquette is not a topic of
pressing importance in the lives of
most people.
First-year LSA student Liz Suhay
declared, "I try to avoid thinking
about manners as much as possible."
Horrors! Who'd have thought
that even University students could

neglect something as fundamental as
manners. What's behind this lagging
value in good old courtesy?
"A lot of people seem to associ-
ate manners with being old-fash-
ioned or not being liberated," said
Leigh Schultenover, a first-year LSA
As a result of this strange idea,
rudeness seems to proliferate on this
campus. From obscenities on your
answering machine to sliding in an
errant hocker on the way to your 9
a.m. lecture to someone tapping a
pencil or popping gum during an
exam, it's a daily torment.
"I hate it when I come home after
a long, hard day to see my answering
machine blinking out of control. I
get excited, press the button, and all
that comes out is a long string of
profanities cursing me for not being
home or, better yet, about eight mil-
lion hang ups," said a vehement
Meghan Carey, an LSA sophomore.
Answering machine etiquette
aside, LSA first-year student Ellen
Kogan brought up a very hot issue in
the wide world of manners. "I want
to know why guys feel the need to
spit," she demanded.
That's a question Miss Manners
has been grappling with for decades,
and she has yet to come up with a
logical answer. My question is,
when did the manners that our par-
ents taught us get left behind? Why
don't people see as urgent a need for
them as our grandparents did when

they were our age? Maybe too many
people have simply grown more tol-
"I used to think it was impolite
when people would sit down and just
inhale massive amounts of food in
under a minute. Now I realize that
the faster you eat dorm food, the bet-
ter it tastes, so I'm not offended
anymore," said first-year Nursing
student Karen Bogan.
While simple delicacies, such as
wearing white gloves on Sundays or
curtsying may be outdated, treating
others badly seems to be timeless
and prevalent. "When people don't
even acknowledge your presence
that burns me," said LSA first-year
student Catherine Madden.
Madden was quick to point out,
however, that there are a few well-
mannered gems left in the city.
"When someone holds the door open
for me, I smile at the University,"
she added. First-year LSA student
John Austin agreed, "I'd say people
are pretty decent and friendly around
It would certainly be impossible
for most students to aspire to the re-
finement of my tea circle, but it
seems that University students'
manners have a long way to go be-
fore they'll be accepted in the post-
law-school country club. No wonder
Miss Manners is always buried on
page 12.

University conductor Jerry Blackstone brings music to life in rehearsal with the University Choir.

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