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September 15, 1994 - Image 11

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-09-15

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

A new look at
life on campus
So, now we are all back into the
groove of school, which is all too
familiar to some of us and all too
unknown for others. And now that
everyone has once again descended
g ust aTouh
*on Ann Arbor, I am left with many
thoughts and observances.
"Being a senior gives me a new
gerspective on life here at the Univer-
ty which I find most interesting. It's
bs if I were seeing everything with a
"dew set of eyes. Suddenly, things
which I have observed or experienced
many times before take on a whole
iew meaning.
--Take for example the herds of
kt-year students who can be found
traversing the streets in groups no
smaller than 10. At one point in my
college career I would have identified
with the pack mentality, the whole
idea of safety in numbers and all.
However, now I fear the night I meet
up with one such group and get swept
up in a cloud of plaid.
Maybe it is because the usual pur-
*se of these groups is to seek out free
beer at parties that I find them so
obnoxious. (Now that I am 21, beer
comes with greater ease.) Or maybe it
is just that these groups are simply an
unwelcome reminder of those clueless
days of yore.
Whatever the reason, I find my-
self thankful that I have a valid I.D.
and a fantastic set of friends (you
ow who you are) who free me from
oup travel.
Having spent the summer in Ann
Arbor for the first time, it is clear that
something definitely happens to those
people who make it their lives to work
for the University, both negative and
positive.
Suddenly, those employees who
staff such places as the academic ad-
vising and the financial aid offices
se the lilts in their voices. It is no
longer their pleasure to serve you but
apparently a major pain in the ass.
This strikes me as being contrary
to their job descriptions. Aren't they
supposed to be helpful instead of rude?
Now, I am speaking generally of
course. I know there must be some
helpful people in those offices; it's
just that their colleagues must keep
m tied up and away from the stu-
nts.
One of the best examples of be-
havior transformation happened in our
very own president, James J.
Duderstadt. I heard tell of our es-
teemed leader handing out free ice
cream to students and parents as they
moved into the residence halls. This
is my favorite example because it is
all too rare occasion to see "the
de" interacting with us common
students. I can only hope he keeps it
up.
But for me the most disturbing
change in how I see things comes
from being a senior. This September
is not just any September - it is the
last one of my college career. The
Notre Dame victory is not just any
victory - it is the last Notre Dame

'ctory I will experience as a student.
Not only will I be spending the
next eight months experiencing my
lasts as a student, but I will be trying
to figure out what I will be doing with
the rest of my life. That's a lot of
pressure. Hence, I will be looking at
things not just as a college student,
but as someone who will go on to
have a life and find her place in the
world at large.
S So, that is what I hope I will share
with you this year in my column.
We'll explore how I see things on
campus, in the world and just in gen-
eral. Hopefully we'll be serious, sad,
random and, most importantly, we'll
have a few laughs.

Games chains play change the faces
If you left Ann Arbor last spring then you left Ann Arbor with a music store cadre not too changed from what it had
TED WATbeen for the last few years. But change is never far away in a world as rag tag chaotic as one with Presley-Jackson
y TED WAnuptials as part of its space time continuum. You are now in a city being molded into the chain store world's vision
of their music world. Welcome to a world of interior design, the new face of massive music stores in Ann Arbor.
Let's go through the ups and downs, the ins and outs of these redesigned places, and let's go alphabetically. Borders
hotos by MOLLY used to be a small, unassuming bookstore. This is a lie, of course. Borders seems to have always been immense. An
ocean of books, it was marginally less daunting than the stacks of the UGLi. Now it is only marginally less daunting
STEVENS than the Grad. Borders is impeccably decorated in the tastefulness of a wooden rec-room (or, more aptly, of a wooden
private library) instead of the basement-like qualities more associated with the bibliocroples of our university. From
ts disgustingly pretentious in-house coffee shop to the fact that it resides in the old residency of oh-so-snobbish
k Jacobson's, the new Borders Books and Music exudes as much "class" as it can muster.
So, with Borders exposed in its attempt at respectability, look at the music section. There are two
wooden entryways on the second floor to it, one labeled "Music," one labeled "Multimedia." "Music"
y. enters closer to the classical and jazz sections. As one wanders away from these sections, the notes
of Brahms will suddenly pick up a heavier underlying beat until the classical strains melt
~~ away into whatever more modern composition is being spun in the section containing
pop/rock, indie/imports and soundtrack CDs as well as movies and computer
a software.
< < = _ So, what's the selection like? The indie/imports section is pretty slim,
but it has some bold choices. One might find a better use of funds than
three Borbetomagus CDs, but for a small section it contains some
y .very good, harder to find material. The omissions are far
outweighed by the inclusion of things like imports of
Boredoms' records. The really special thing is that the
r section has vinyl. The new Liz Phair 7" resides
there amongst several other noteworthy slabs of
f music, thumbing its nose at those who call for the
death of vinyl.
So The soundtrack section is as normal as anyone could
reasonably expect from a national chain. The things you are
likely to find in most places can be found here. Nothing to
rack of CDs at Borders, write home about.
The pop/rock section has some striking similarities to the
'en above, is not really allorer. indie section, only on a different scale. There are a few very odd
aty d n o B .omissions of albums that a current music store should not be out of
stock on, but for the most part the standard record store stock is there.
And, as with the indie section, there are some very tasty yet not usually
available discs on the racks.
A r Of course, the selection reaches nowhere near Tower's. The space is
b . ultimately smaller and the store has not had the experience to build an entirely
acceptable stock. They have ugly and unwieldy plastic squares covering their
compact discs. And, finally, the fact that the books section and the music/
multimedia section have different check out counters gives the music section
an unnecessary feeling of sequesteredness. You can't just get a CD, wander
around and get a book and then go back and get another CD without making
s a multiple stops at the cash registers. Well, unless you like setting off alarms. Its
corporateness makes it lose some of the organic feel you might get in a more
independent record store. It is hardly a laid back place. Nevertheless, Borders
Borders and Tower in the See GENERAL, Page 10
realmof an older fine art

By MATT CARLSON
At first glance, Tower Records
and Borders Books and Music appear
to be directly opposite each other on
the retail food chain. Tower is prima-
rily a record store with a small section
of books, while Borders is a book
store with a separate music section.
Upon closer examination, how-
ever, one similarity that the two stores
share seems to stand out. Both classi-
cal music sections appear to be the
same size and hold roughly the same
amount of classical compact discs,
video tapes and laser discs.
Both offer the same perks like a
Muze computer/encyclopedia that
offers a listing of virtually every re-
cording ever printed in the United
States or a listening station where you
can hear a selection of, say, the new
Van Cliburn or the latest Kronos Quar-
tet disc before you make your final
purchasing decision. Both also seem
to be swept up in the 3 Tenors mania
that's sweeping the nation, but that's
another story.
And, in a city as culturally rich as
Ann Arbor is, with many great local
and national orchestras, choruses,

operas and soloists paying visits to
Hill Auditorium, the Power Center
and other venues, it's exciting to know
that U students have the opportunity
to take advantage of these musicians'
recorded works in stores such as Bor-
ders and Tower. Not to mention the
completely classical store SKR Clas-
sical.
As far as ambiance goes, Borders
wins the blue ribbon. Their plush car-
peting beats Tower's hard tile any
day. But as far as selection goes, both
are equally good, although Tower has
a wonderfully large section of budget
classical compact discs. Beautiful
pieces by lesser known artists or out-
of-print recordings for roughly one-
third the amount that you would pay
for a new release.
Tower Records and Borders Books
and Music are both excellent stores
housing two of the best classical mu-
sic selections in Ann Arbor. So,
whether you're in the mood for music
and books or books and music, try
your luck at Tower or Borders. You're
sure to find what you're looking for,
and if you don't, they both special
order products.

Borders, seen above, has only recently moved.
B~ooks:How they

staci

By Kirk Miller
After K-Mart bought out Borders
last year, I had fears of badly lit aisles
stacked a mile high with the latest
bestsellers of Oprah's diet guru or
"Rat- Q of a; Madi,,n C n .hint

At first glance the Tower book
"department" seems like an after-
thought. It's in a very small section of
the store near the classical music sec-
tion. There is little consistency; I can't
.h-nlr of nn-my .nrP Paal o t-s. nrn thta

.da I

m

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