The Michigan Daily - Weekend etc. - September 24, 1992- Page 3
Why do new students ask so many stupid questions?
by Gwen Shaffer
It's the beginning of the semester
and campus has been inundated with
naive and confused first-year stu-
dents. (You can easily spot them -
they may identify themselves as
"freshmen" because they haven't
been around long enough to know
they're first-year students on this
politically correct campus). Yeah, I
was once in their shoes but I can still
get a few laughs at their expense.
My housemate, Vanessa, was sit-
ting outside the Angell Hall Fish-
bowl-enjoyingacopy of the Daily,
no doubt! - when she noticed a
group of people nervously pacing
back and forth along the concourse.
They appeared completely perplexed
andabitintimidated. Finally Vanessa
looked up and sort of made a friendly
expression to imply she might be able
to help. After a minute, someone in
the group caught her eye. Pointing
through the glass down onto the hun-
dreds of computers, he asked, "Ex-
cuse me, buthow do you get in there?"
Even after some first-year students
eventually find their way into the
computing center, their troubles have
only just begun. Susan, aother senior,
was innocently messaging someone
on MTS when she was distracted by a
young women feeling around the back
of the computer next to her. After
attempting to locate the power switch
for several minutes, the frustrated
woman gave up. Amused, Susan
watched the entire scene before reach-
ing over and nonchalantly pressing
the arrow on the computer keyboard.
"Oh, there it is."
It is pretty amusing how freshmen think they
can get away with all kinds of things because,
afterall, they are in college now.
Another thing thatmakesme laugh
is the way first-year students call
dorms by their full names. As I walked
down North University during the
first week of classes, a panic-stricken
women stopped me and asked, "Can
you tell me how to get to Mary Markley
Local lingo also causes a dilemma
for new students. This is quite a prob-
lem when you consider there is an
acronym for everything on this cam-
pus. Last weekend my friend Rich
stopped at the cash machine on his
way to the bar. He was wearing a shirt
that said, "A2." As he stood in line, an
obvious freshman scrunched up his
nose, gave him a puzzled look, and
asked, "A2? What's that?"
It is pretty amusing how freshmen
think they can getaway with all kinds
of things because, afterall, they are in
college now.Friday night I rode my
bike past South Quad on my way
home from work. Hanging outside
the dorm was a pack of first- year
students (naturally, since they tend to
travel in groups of 20 or more) dis-
cussing what they were going to do
that night. The women were made-up
and reaked of Obsession, and I could
tell the guys were wearing their favor-
ite baseball caps. I slowed down at the
corner just long enough to hear some
guy saying, "Ok, so how many of you
have fake IDs?" I started cracking up
thinking about their first lesson in the
stupidity of trying to use fake ID's in
a college town.
Printouts of schedules seem to be
another major source of anxiety in the
lives of first-year students. A friend
who works at the Campus Informa-
tion Center told me a kid asked, "Can
you tell me where the Aud Building
is?" "The Odd Building?" my friend
repeated. When he looked at the sched-
ule it was an MLB auditorium. I'm
sorry, but it's just not that confusing.
I am not exaggerating when I tell
you this woman in Mason Hall was on
the verge of tears because she could
not figure out where 414 Mason
Hall is located. Psyched that I would
have yet another anecdote for my
story, I approached her. Pointing to
her schedule to prove that she really
was supposed to go to 414 Mason
Hall, the woman practically shrieked,
"The elevator would only take me to
the third floor and I'm already late."
Now we are into the third week
of classes. While most first-year stu-
dents are breezing around campus
like they've been here for years,
some will probably still be faltering
up until the day they graduate.
(Like those upperclass students
who still don't know 414 Mason
Hall is actually on the first floor
because the pool takes up the entire
p, =41r7 ,
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-and who can handle the smoke
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by Jessie Halladay
I walked into the American Le-
gion Hall on a lazy Sunday after-
noon. White haired ladies and gents
alike sat at long tables arranging
their good luck charms: trolls with
hot pink hair, ceramic elephants and
family pictures. I looked around and
noticed I was the only one in the
place with an X hat on. It was as if I
had crossed over to a new dimen-
sion, the BINGO zone.
Before I could get through the
door, my friend Lis came running up
to me. "I'm so glad you made it,"
she said. She had been there for an
hour already and there were still two
hours to go before the first number
was called. You see, it is absolutely
necessary to get to bingo early and
reserve your spot.
In the blink of an eye, Lis had
whisked me over to a stand so that I
could purchase my game cards. She
began shouting orders at the men
behind the counter.
"She'll have 18 hard, 3 early
birds, 3 specials, 2 quickies, and
here don't forget your door card,"
she instructed as she thrust the cards
into my hands.
As she saw the puzzled look on
my face she casually told me I
would get the hang of it soon
enough. I was starting out slowly.
Next, we proceeded to the table
where she had already staked our
claim. I spent a good half hour try-
ing to lay out my cards the way Lis
had so that I wouldn't be conspicu-
ous. There ista whole ritual to laying
the cards out and it is very serious
business. If your cards aren't laid out
well, you could miss the big money.
Then there are the rules to mas-
ter. Big time bingo is a lot different
than the grade school variety I used
to play. Not only can you win by the
tradition line of five, configurations
of Ts, Ls, outside and inside boxes,
and the cover-all reward with
Waiting for the games to begin is
not a time to be idle. This is your
chance to buzz around the hall and
catch up on all the latest gossip. You
know, all the important stuff like
who had hip surgery and which man.
is cheating on which woman. And.
don't forget to compare notes on
who has the most ungrateful
I felt somewhat out of my ele-
ment as I sat there with my X hat on.
One man even asked me if the x
stood for Xavier. I don't think so.
However, once the games began,
I caught the fever.
"I Icy Chicken Legs," I yelled at
the man calling the numbers. "Can't
you do any better than that?"
Everyone at my table looked at
me in astonishment and it was then
that I realized why so many people,
all over the country play bingo. It's
an adrenaline thing. It gets in your
blood and you just can't shake it.
So don't be surprised if one day
you walk into a bingo hall and you
see this little old lady sitting there
talking to her trolls. It just might be
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