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September 10, 1997 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-09-10

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 10, 1997


Continued from Page 1
es. This was our first great lesson: Civilizations are varied and
unique. They evolve over time to precisely meet the demands of
their environment. No matter how educated you are, there is
always something to be learned from unexpected sources. We
had a lot to learn.
Our project was to build 28 rural, elementary schools with
accompanying houses for teachers. There would be no plumb-
ing or electricity but the buildings would be permanent struc-
tures built with cement block and have cement floors. The
buildings were to be bright, cheerful and appealing to young
school children. Bureaucracy threatened to stall the project
when supplies were slow to arrive. But sand was plentiful at the
river beds during the dry season and rocks were scattered across
the fields, needing only a wheelbarrow, truck, or strong arms to
collect them. So, natural, native building materials became sec-
ond-choice building components and they looked great. Frank
Lloyd Wright would have been proud. This was our second
great lesson: Leave a little room in your life for flexibility.
Things might turn out better than you planned, and necessity is
still the mother of invention.

Each member ofGabon I was proficient in a building skill -
carpentry, stone masonry, cement finishing, etc. - that we
taught to teams of our native co-workers. We all lived and
worked toward a common goal and shared the joy of accom-
plishment and the bonds of friendship. We were each other's
dinner guests and experienced applesauce or monkey and man-
ioc for the first time. We celebrated the birth and mourned the
death of the same child in our village and learned our third great
lesson: Everyone laughs, sweats and cries in the same language.
There is dignity in every human life.
Finally, we realized there was as much to learn as there was
to teach, and we became eager students. One day I followed a
man and two boys carrying hatchets into the jungle. Two days
later, they carried out a pirogue (canoe). Lesson four:
Everything you really need and the means to obtain it have been
At the end of 26 months, I metamorphosed into a dedicat-
ed, inquisitive student ready to learn more about everything.
So I returned to Ann Arbor and became a student of zoology.
And, with the exception of Calculus 115, was a much better
student than I was before learning the lessons of the jungle.
-- Gary Marsh is a 1969 University graduate.

Continued from Page 1
in the Ivory Coast, Dorsey compares
the Peace Corps experience to a
National Geographic Magazine.
"National Geographic Magazine
gives you pictures, but the Peace Corps
allows you to live a National
Geographic life," Dorsey said. "On my
five-day boat trip up the Niger River, I
saw the land turn from Savannah, to
marshland, to desert."
The first Peace Corps volunteer group
left the United States for the African
nation of Ghana in August, 1961. Since
then, 150,000 volunteers have served in
132 countries. Today nearly 6,500 Peace
Corps volunteers serve in 87 countries,
working to fight hunger, bring clean
water to communities, teach children,
start new small businesses and stop the
spread of AIDS.
According to Brian Anderson, a
recruitment representative, one in every
five volunteers teaches some form of
English. Anderson volunteered in
Namibia teaching English during 1990-
As a recruiter, Anderson said flexi-
bility is the biggest asset a volunteer

can have. Louise Baldwin, the campus
program coordinator for the Peace
Corps, was an English teacher in
Afghanistan from 1970-73 and agrees
with the need to be flexible.
"The (Afgan) government changed
its mind about what I was supposed to
teach.' Baldwin said. "I still taught, but
it wasn't exactly what I thought."
Kay Clifford, who taught English at a
girls' secondary school run by Italian
nuns, was part of the first Peace Corps
volunteer group to train in Uganda in
1969. The Peace Corps volunteers were
pulled out of Uganda in 1972 for safety
"It was the golden years when I
arrived in Uganda, but after the politi-
cal coup, things just went downhill,"
Clifford said.
Cliffford's experience is one she
has never regretted. She met her
husband while in Uganda and is still
in contact with other Uganda volun-
"It was a wonderful experience and I
recommend it for everyone" Clifford
- To receive more information on
the Peace Corps, visit the Website:


Continued from Pane 1
M. Michael Sharlot, dean of the
Texas School of Law, said that
despite the low number of nw
minorities enrolled this year, the -
dents and faculty still want a diverse
student body.-
"The great majority of the student
body remains committed to diversity,"
Sharlot said. "If there has been any r
of sunshine since the clouds of t
Hopwood case moved in on us, it has
been the admirable reaction of our stu,
dents." e '
Many students and faculty mem-
bers said they are concerned that the
publicity caused by the Hopwcd&
case has given the University Of
Texas a reputation of being intolerant
of minorities.
"We are not letting Hopwood spak
for the university," said Mari
Whitley, president of the University-
Texas student government. "There is nbO
correlation between race relations dnd
the court decision."
Jeff Hagler, vice president of the
Texas School of Law's student bai
association, said the lawsuit spurred
discussion in and out of class.
"It has raised everyone's awareessa
as far as how homogeneous the laW,
school population has become" Hagl*
Others said that most students are
indifferent to the case.
"There is only a small group that is
upset," said Texas senior Brin
Livingston former president of the,
Texas College Republicans. "it hasn'V
really had a large impact."
In the meantime, some University of
Texas administrators and state lawmak-'
ers are finding ways to diversify I
campus without going against
Hopwood ruling.
The Texas State Legislature recetly
passed a bill that guarantees admission
to all state universities for all in-statd
students in the top 10 percent of thei
high school class.
"There are still some ways to nudge
up the numbers," Sharlot said.
The district court in Austin is 6%r
rently deciding what to aw
Hopwood. The decision could inclu
financial compensation from the
University of Texas or admission torte
law school.
Hopwood said she is unsure if she
will attend the law school if she i
awarded admittance.
"That's the million dollar question
right now," she said. "I would definite-
ly consider it very seriously."
Currently a certified public accou
tant in Maryland, Hopwood said s
has kept a low profile since the dci:
sion last year. If she attends law schodl,
she said she plans to study business
oriented law, unlike the case in which
she was involved.
"I really don't want to go into eciI
law," she said. "I have always planned
to focus on accounting and law." '




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