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October 25, 1994 - Image 3

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-10-25

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

.Dyslexia
By NICHOLAS J. COTSONIKA
Daily Staff Reporter
Most University students have no
trouble reading newspaper articles.
They walk across the Diag, bookbags
over their shoulders and reach for a
paper out of instinct.
They scan the pages and then dis-
*card them without much thought.
Reading is just taken for granted. After
al, to get into Michigan, a student has
to be able to read, right?
But some cannot read that easily.
It is neither due to a lack of intelli-
gence, nor a lack of an education. It is
due to a learning disability.
Dyslexia.
Benjamin Bolger, an LSA senior,
is one of those with dyslexia. He has
battled the disability his entire life,
yet he has crammed many accom-
plishments onto his resume already.
As hard as it can be for him to sort
out letters on a printed page, it is
much less of a problem for him to sort
out information in his head.
"I've always viewed myself as
unique," Bolger said. "I went to a
umber of private elementary schools,
ut I felt stymied by the conformity in
a regular school setting. I needed to
be challenged."
Bolger finally found a challenge

The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, October 25, 1994 - 3

teaches 'U' student to succeed

in college. He entered a local college,
then transferred to the University at
age 16. He is now an 18-year-old
senior with a 4.0 grade point average
and will graduate with an honors de-
gree in sociology in December.
Academics have not been enough
of a challenge for him, however. He

University libraries. Bolger has had
as many as 322 books checked out at
one time this year. But despite his
early inability to read, this infatuation
with books is not new.
As a kid, his favorite book was the
dictionary. He studied it, relentlessly
searching for words he didn't know.

has been in-
volved in a
myriad of politi-
cal groups, won
a number of es-
say contests and
boasts a long list
of academic dis-
tinctions.
He has done
all of this while
battling a disabil-
ity that crippled
his capability to
read.
"(Dyslexia)
has been a very

'The key to knowledge
is to be able to sort
out information
coherently. My problem
with reading simply
made me more
interested in it.'
- Benjamin Bolger
LSA senior

Booksrecordedon
audio tape were
also common in
the Bolger house-
hold.
Bolger and his
mother were al-
ways trying to
beat the devil that
was scrambling
the text in front of
him.
"I had a lot of
books on tape
when I was a child
and my mother
would read to me

read to him, and he would devour
work after work.
"My mother suggested resources
and books and I became increasingly
personally driven," Bolger said. "But
she also made it a point that I should
be involved in other things and that I
should volunteer."
That volunteer spirit has mani-
fested itself in Bolger's involvement
in literally dozens of organizations,
ranging from groups devoted to pub-
lic advocacy to others seeking pre-
vention of domestic violence. He has
also volunteered his time to help his
fellow dyslexics.
"I interned at the Michigan Dys-
lexia Institute as a public awareness
coordinator," Bolger said. "I have just
tried to let people know that dyslexia
is not a barrier. Albert Einstein was a
dyslexic. A lot of very bright people
are dyslexics, and they just have to
battle it and use it as a motivation to
succeed."
Dyslexia has certainly fed Bolger's
inner drive. That drive will make him
a college graduate four years early
and will likely send him to Harvard,
Yale, Cambridge or Oxford for law
school. He would like to attain a law
degree, with which he would practice
law or run for political office to ini-

MICHAEL FITZHUGH/Daily
LSA senior Benjamin Bolger is shown at the Law Quad yesterday afternoon.

strong impetus in my education,"
Bolger said. "The key to knowledge
is to be able to sort out information
coherently. My problem with reading
simply made me more interested in
it."
His interest in reading can be a
little overwhelming at times for the

constantly," he said. "She really chal-
lenged me to have a stronger drive. She
was certainly an inspiration."
Thus inspired, and unimpressed
with regular schools, Bolger decided
to teach himself. He went to the li-
brary and borrowed every book that
caught his eye. His mother would

tiate action in his two largest areas of
interest: divorce and dyslexia-related
issues.
Bolger also served one term on the
Michigan Student Assembly, the
University's student government.
"I see such atrocities in electoral
politics," he said. "I want to get in-
volved in the trench warfare of national
politics to hopefully get some positive
work done in a number of areas."
Until then, Bolger will just finish
his 58,000-word honors thesis on do-
mestic violence and end his colle-
giate career as he began it, in extraor-

dinary fashion.
"My life is nearly one-third of the
way done," he said. "I have so much
to do and there is so much I want to
do. I detest wasting time and taking
things for granted."
Dyslexia has taught Bolger many
things. As he walks across campus
with this paper under his arm, he will
not take the words for granted. The
devil of dyslexia has scrambled them
for him for too long, and he has no
more time for that.
The problems of a nation await
unscrambling.

SAFEhouse acquires new
facility with miliage funds

AP PHOTO
Israeli police secure the Western Wall in Jerusalem yesterday in preparation for President Clinton's visit later this week.
Clinton begns Mdest tri tod

New building should
eliminate problems,
volunteers say
By DANIELLE BELKIN
For the Daily
Washtenaw County residents
voiced their support for SAFEhouse,
a refuge for victims and children of
batterers, by passing a millage in 1992
to fund a new shelter for the program.
This marks the first time a millage
has been approved for a shelter in the
state, said Lori Grubstein, a graduate
student in the School of Social Work
and a SAFEhouse intern.
Sixty-one percent of the elector-
ate voted to tax their homes $250,000
for two years. That money will be
used to pay back $3 million generated
through the sale of bonds.
The total cost of the project is
estimated at $3.5 million; $3.25 mil-
lion has been raised so far. The Do-
mestic Violence Project,

SAFEhouse's parent program, re-
ceives funds from many different
sources, including the United Way.
SAFEhouse is still looking for
donations to furnish and equip the
new shelter.
In addition to the novel way the
building is being funded, the shelter's
location is being treated with sensi-
tivity and discretion. The old location
was next to the Washtenaw County
Sheriff's Department, but the new
location is confidential.
The building will be leased to the
Domestic Violence Project for $1 for
50 years. Grubstein said SAFEhouse
suffered problems maintaining the old
structure, which has been utilized
since 1978.
LSA senior Tiffany McLean, who
has served as an on-call volunteer for
three years, said, "We have needed a
new shelter for many years."
The new structure can house up to
45 occupants, who are allowed to

stay for a maximum of one month. It
has separate rooms for men and
women and is wheelchair accessible
- two needs that could not be met in
the old shelter.
The administrative offices will also
be housed at the same location as the
shelter. This expedites solving prob-
lems that may arise with the shelter,
staff or residents because the over
seers of the shelter are on site to
handle them.
The construction is well unde-
way. In fact, they are ahead of sched!
ule. The new shelter is slated to open
in late January or early Februarys
The opening depends on when the
construction and furnishing is com
pleted. Volunteers already particia
pated in a painting weekend for the
building.
Volunteers are still needed to work
on the shelter. To volunteer, call 995
5444.

Newsday
WASHINGTON - With little
-.personal effort or risk, President
Clinton has basked in the glow of
Middle East peace agreements signed
in Washington between Israel and the
Palestinians and Jordan.
But today, as he sets out on the
most extensive presidential journey
to the Middle East in 20 years, Clinton
is taking a personal plunge into the
explosive diplomacy of the Arab-Is-
raeli conflict, with all its physical and
.po litical dangers.
"The president has left the issue to
the leaders in the region and his sec-
retary of state until now," said a State
Department policy-maker. "But there
comes a time when only the
president's personal involvement can
make a difference. This is such a time.
He couldn't not go."
And the president insisted on in-
cluding the most sensitive stop-Dam-
*scus, Syria - because U.S. officials
gave high hopes that Clinton's personal
call on Syrian President Hafez Assad
could move Assad toward a break-
through in stalled peace talks with Is-
rael before the end of this year.
On the record, senior administra-
tion officials cautioned reporters

against expecting any dramatic devel-
opment during the president's stop in
Damascus. But Middle East expert
William Quandt, a former diplomat
now with the non-partisan Brookings
Institution here, said that without the
visit to Syria, Clinton's trip would
have been little more than "a great
photo opportunity. The Middle East
would have looked no different for his
coming. But going to Syria could make
JERUSALEM
Continued from page 1
a Jerusalem pedestrian mall.
It has become a common view
among Israeli commentators and po-
litical figures that Rabin's coalition,
with its brittle mandate for peace with
Palestinians and Syria, would not long
survive a continued pattern of cata-
strophic attacks.
Rabin, whose political capital
draws heavily on an image of tough-
ness, allowed the military censor to
permit local news reports of the Hamas
arrests. He also told a Labor faction in
parliament that those in custody in-
cluded the brother and cousin of the
Tel Aviv suicide bomber and two

a difference."
Against the bloody backdrop of
terrorism by the military wing of
Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Move-
ment, Brookings scholar Yahya
Sadowski said, "The president could
not easily cancel plans to go. It would
have seemed as if the United States
was not willing to take the risks it was
asking of the leaders in the Middle
East."
religious leaders associated with the
militants, Sheik Abdel Rahman
Hamad Daoud and Sheik Anwar
Muraabeh.
But Rabin's crackdown, which
also includes a ban on entry of Pales-
tinian workers from the occupied and
autonomous territories and an attempt
to bring in 19,000 Asian workers to
replace them, is at least as conspicu-
ous for what it does not include.
Rabin thus far has failed to invoke
other measures that his opposition
has demanded: slowing peace nego-
tiations with Palestinian leader Yasser
Arafat's self-rule authority, sending
security forces after Hamas leaders in
the autonomous areas of Gaza and
attempting to deport militant Pales-
tinians as he did to Lebanon in 1992.

NWROC
Continued from Page 1
views.
Engineering senior Kathy Wilt,
an NWROC member, spoke about
her own plight as a single mother at
the University. She said Ireland's situ-
ation, like her own, was a Catch-22.
"I have to know my (studies) 10
times as well as other students here at
the University," Wilt said, adding that
she was providing for her child's fu-
ture as well as her own.
Another NWROC member, RC
junior Jodi Masley, said the decision
sets an unacceptable precedent, and
compared the decisions to policies
during Hitler's reign.
Masley and the coalition advo-
cated free 24-hour day care for Uni-
versity students and employees dur-
ing her speech.

'If women don't have the right to use day care,
women will be forced back into the home.'
- Melissa Greene
NWROC member

Ireland was absent from the dem-
onstration. NWROC representatives
claimed she was under advisement
from legal counsel not to attend ral-
lies. NWROC representatives also
said they were unable to contact Ire-
land to inform her of the rally.
NWROC representatives said the
organization is trying to form a mass
public-support campaign for Ireland
by the time Ireland's appeal is heard,
probably in December.
"This is a clear attack on women's
rights in general. If women don't have
the right to use daycare, women will
be forced back into the home," said
Melissa Greene, a student at Wayne

State University who came with
NWROC.
LSA first-year student Andre Bell
Watkins stopped to observe the dem-
onstration.
"They came out here to make a
point and it seems from the people
here like (NWROC) is making it," he
said, pointing to passersby.
Yesterday's demonstration was
the first on campus for Ireland by
NWROC. The group plans to cones
tinue its protests.
"This is the first demonstration
and I'm sure it will be the smallest,"
said LSA sophomore Jessica Curtin,
an NWROC member.

Know of news? Call The M~~~~icgnDiynw eka 6-5

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call 76-GUIDE, 7 p.m.-8 a.m.
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Peer Tutoring, Angell Hall
Courtyard Computing Site, 7-11
p.m.
U Campus Information Center,

Student Ih et ries
are here!
Dormitory residents may pick up a Directory in
their hall lobby this week (one per room, please).
if you don't live in a dorm, don't despair...
On-campus Directory distribution:
*Monday, Oct. 31 Fishbowl 10am-2pm
IA i h*Wednesday, Nov. 2 Diag 10am-1pm

Ivzz 7

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