The Michigan Daily - New Student Edition - September 8, 1998 - 5B
4naomy of a class discussion: Nkltzsche disciples, ki _pies and butt-sm oockcrs
ilasses large enough to require dis-
cussions tend to be filled with all
different types of people. In such an
environment, one has the opportunity to see
Yellow classmates up close and personal and
Jecome privy to their innermost intellectual
thoughts and personal
otions regarding the
bject matter of the
And it's scary as hell. A -
Honesty hn o
could get a more bal-
ainced and level-headed
g~roup of people if you JAMES
took 30 people at ran- MILLER
dom from the West Miller on
Virginia State Fair and Tap
t5 un Show.
jHaven't you ever
wondered how the University manages to
find such a huge crop of yo-yos for each
:Mass and what they do when they're not sit-
ting next to you, doing a crossword puzzle
atnd trying not to get drool on their shoes?
Well, somebody has to. And since I get paid
to do this
Let's start off with my favorite: The
.Nietzsche disciple. Generally, they have a
slow, vacant look on their face, apparently
weighed down by their giant intellect. They
have a lot of stuff scribbled on their back-
pack and are covered with little pins from
hang dog leftist causes that they rabidly
support and barely understand.
He/she will usually reek of clove smoke
and espresso and have a copy of "Beyond
Good and Evil" hanging conspicuously
from their pocket, as if to scream "I-iy, I
read complicated books of philosophy! I'm
smart and all of those guys who beat me up
in the eighth grade for painting my nails
black are just tools of the establishment.
Favorite quote: "Yeah man, that's jest like
what Nietzsche says in this book I'm read-
ing. It's by Nietzsche. He's sayin' that all
those Christian weirdos are just sheep, man.
He says you just gotta do your own thing,
man. You know, like be your own God, or
like, Superman, or sonmething. Yeah mail.
The Lost Stoner. This guy is easy to
spot. A whiff of patchouli and the rustling
wool of his Guatemalan sweater will herald
His hair is in the horrid middle stage of
dreadlock transformation and looks as if he
spent the niorning smearino it with rubber
cement and putting those little rings In it.
Kind of a Timothy Learv Christmna, tree.
Favorite quote: None, really. The men ot
the species usually keep quiet. The women
can often be overheard speaking in high,
childishly excited voices that come from
the joy of being bra-less. Something about
how they hugged a puppy in the Diag on a
sunny day and will now~ be happy for the
rest of the week and might even write a
short story about it.
Oh, by the way, they 'just spent their last
S50) on a navel ring and are grubbing quar-
ters in front of Stairway to H1eaven, but
that's okay because they're really cool. Like
a Phish show, or something.
The Apple Polisher (also known as
Bobby Butt-Smoocher). The dead give-
away of the Aipple Polisher is the nod. They
nod vigorously to everything the professor
says, as if having a personal conversation.
Often, he/lshe will have taken at least one
other class with the professor and will use
this previous relationship to foster a mis-
placed sense of intimacy with them.
Favorite quote: Given the fact that they
hav e such a close relationship with the pro-
fessor, they are given to addressing theme by
their first name, in that grating, nose-first
w~ay that raises the hackles on the back of
They make frequent comments like:
"Well1, Robert, my reading of Joyce here is
that all of Western civilization is construct-
ed upon the supremacy of the phallus. I
mean look, even the book itself is shaped
like at penis, if you roll it up and look at it
right. See, I'm an expert otn the phallocracy
because I let the girls at the NOW meeting
cut my hair. I've been to three whole
Women's Studies semninars, so I know
wh tsg o o l o e .'D facto Urban Outfitter employees.
Just look for a crossw~ord puzzle. These are
the ones (girls for the most part) xvho
would rather be anywhere else but class.
Their eyes move about the room nervously.
They shift their clogs under the desk in
If asked a direct question they will stare
blankly and repeat the question back to the
GSI, rephrased with a few hundred "likes."
Most of the time they travel with a partner
(because obviously, nothing is good if your
friends don't think so), one in the same
sorority or with the same shade of brown i
Favorite quote: "\o % ay! With hime'?
Lww. that is so gross,! Well, she w~as so
drunk at that tw~o-way she probably didn't
know what she was doing. I think she's fatt.
Do you think she's fat'? Are we supposed to
turn in a paper today or something''"
Th~z,re are thousands more. Those of you
dealing with thesec (and other) nimrods.
please send me your observations via e-
mail. The quest for knowledge and small-
minded. personal attacks must not be
-- James Nfi//er is a Daily columinist. He
call be r-eachedl via e-mail at
Edlitor :x note: This column or-iginalli' ran on
Fd'uarv 19, 1997.
ht tp://www.pub. umich. eduldaily Roommates can be fun,
__________________________even fthey're strangers
Won't you be won't you be
VW ~please won't you be..
No, I'm not Mister Rogers. I
never give my shoes that little,
playful toss when I take them off
My mailman would probably beat
me up if I called him Mr. McFeely.
Idon't even have a trolley running
through my living room. (Unless
the ants in there have built one
while I've been at the Dily. Don't
laugh, I came home from it softball
game last month to see a tiny
Stonehenge on my porch: I'm sure
and 1 have a
problem All of
RICK inmy roommates
FREEMAN have been well,
Freeman at little odd.
of the Press And now, I'm
living with a
friend I've had
since freshman year and some chick
I don't even know. This is my
senior year, and I'm still rooming~
OK, OK, before you guys come
and break down my door (you know
where I live, don't you?) let me say
one thing. We're all adults here. I
know I wasn't the best roommate
And now, as an adult, I'm going
to whine about you all. Just like
any self-respecting adult with the
mentality of a seven-year-old would
First, of course, there's the first
roommate every student has, the
one assigned scientifically by the
H-ousing Department based on the
very scientific principle of
Whichever Names "They Felt Like
Sticking Together at That Particular
According to the University's
system, I was a perfect match for
my roommate. And we had a lot in
common. For example, both of us
Other than that, we had about as
much in common as Janet Reno and
lFabio. (I get to be Fabio, in this
one, of course.)
We realized this, and now when
we see each other, we stop and
chat. We get along great. But then,
we kept to ourselves, mostly. And
kept a bottle of air-freshener in the
closet. H e did bathe regularly, an
underappreciated quality in a room-
mate, if ever there was one. But he
had a number of small eccentrici-
ties that can only be described as "a
number of small eccentricities."
Sam - as I call him, because
that's what everyone calls him -
was a world-class bridge player.
I'm not making this up. He also
took writing papers seriously. His
mom, clad in her purple tie-dye T-
shirt, would come by and help him.
Not that he wasn't snart - he was
probably the smartest person in
.......East Quad. But I beat him at chess,
Sophomore year, I roomed with
four hallmates from the dorm, After
living with each other for approxi-
mately four minutes, we realized
H e has this vinyl recliner that is the
most study-ime-sucking object
known to man. He has a 95-inch TV
(OK, I'm exaggerating, but it's really
big.) Fi-I has a refrigerator. Hle has a
Jeep. All of which are in my apart-
ment now. (Except the Jeep, but that'sn
another story -- even though he's
gone. His microwave would be there
too, but he lost it,
Yes, he lost his microwave.
Hasn't everyone done that once or
Gary can be a little scatter-
brained. But there's no better per-
son to procrastinate with. Or mooch
stuff from (I think I still owe him
ten bucks and a microwave.)
But I can't be sure my new roomn-
mate will be like this. She's from
New York, and likes theater. Which :x
explains why my old roommate -
the one who's leaving - refers to
her as "the theater chick."
I've already found out that she's'
from New York, doesn't expect to E
be in the apartment much, and 4
ktnows a classmate of mine from
high school and grade school.
But does she have any cool, big
ticket consumer goods I can use
when she's not home? Or any cool
power tools'? Gary was great for"
Will she come to my room to
close my door if the stereo's too
loud, the way one ex-roommate of
mine did, leaving her own door
wide-open'? Will her significant
other come stink up our bathroom
(yes, this happened) while we're
watching the Michigan State game?
See, I shouldn't have to deal with
this. I'm a senior, and (probably)
leaving here in eight short months.
I'm supposed to know my room-
mates by now. Mornings, I'm sup-
posed to be able to walk around my
apartment in my underwear --,,
scratching myself, if I feel so
inclined - and not worry in the
least who sees me.
I mean, with a new roommate
moving in, it'll be at least a week".
before I can do that.
But maybe that's one of the
things I'll miss about college. Not
so much the scratching - I can do
that anywhere - but the way cor-
plete strangers are accepted blindly.
You go to Michigan? OK, I guess I
can trust you enough to live with
This doesn't happen elsewhere.
You can't get a spiffy new job mov-
ing numbers from one side of a
piece of paper to the other at somec
faceless office tower in New York
and say: You and I, we live in New
York together, sure let's get a place. -
Think about this, think about ran-
domly living with a coworker (or a
New Yorker) out of nowhere. No,
way. Wouldn't even think about it.
But in college, it's somehow OK.
Solely because we go to the same
school, Joanna -- or whoever she is
- and I are roommates. We will
share a kitchen, aliving room, ants,
a bathroom and the strange room
upstairs that's kind of like a hall-
way. Maybe she'll figure out what
to call it.
I don't care. I just want to relish
LLLUU lr:&VI' livlVJ
r. v v v es ,.