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April 06, 2000 - Image 18

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-04-06

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2B - The Michigan Daily - Weekend, etc. Magazine - Thursday, April 6, 2000

The .Michigan Daily - Weekend, etc. Magazir
YOU SAY GOODBYE,I SAY HELLO

The last time I had my picture in the
paper was more than two years ago, and
I didn't even notice it for a few weeks
afterwards.
It wasn't as stupefyingly clueless an
oversight as it sounds. I was only slight-
ly bigger than a knuckle, a little bit
blurry and surrounded by a mob of my
fellow students. It was a full-page color
photo on the back of the Detroit Free
Press sports section, and the date was
January 2, 1998. The rest of the
Michigan student section and I were
storming the field after the Wolverines
won the Rose Bowl and the national
championship.
I don't think I ever would have
known of my marginal entrance into the
public eye if my mom, a much more
long-suffering and fanatical fan of
Michigan football than I, hadn't clipped
the page and stuck it on the fridge. The
next time I visited the family back
home, I spent a few minutes standing in
the kitchen, absently gazing at the
pygmy-sized screaming faces, until one
of them started to look awfully familiar.
When I spotted the guy with the mega-
extendo 'M' flag, whom I remembered
being only a few feet away as we
swarmed the celebrating players, I was
sure. Not only that, I was inexplicably
pumped.
After all, I was damn near a celebri-
ty. You could see my unkempt, sun-
burnt, 30-plus-hours-without-sleep
mug without even using a magnifying
glass. My family was appropriately
supportive, and I got a poster reproduc-
tion of the page framed - it still hangs
on the wall of my bedroom.

At that point, I was a sophomore and
that photo
memorialized
what had proba-
bly been the
highlight of my
college experi- =9
ence up to that
point. In retro-
spect I'm a little
mystified why it
seemed so
Sure, it was a Jeff
great game, but I
didn't really Druchniak
contribute orc
sacrifice to it, 15 inches
except by of Fame
shelling out the
dough .to make
the trek and spend New Year's in south-
ern California instead of Livonia. Way
to take one for the team.
In the photo, I'm grabbing the gigan-
tic forearm of an oncoming offensive
linemen in congratulation, but he defi-
nitely wasn't a starter and doesn't even
look like he got in the game. I felt silly
for not noticing my picture sooner, but
I'm fairly certain nobody else did
either.
This time around, it feels much more
meaningful to have my face out there
for public perusal. First of all, I look at
least a trifle better than I did in the
California twilight. What's more, in a
way I'm putting the finishing touches
on the year's worth of work I've put into
Weekend, Etc.
Back in '98 I hadn't even set foot

inside the Daily offices, but my two
years as a member of the press are def-
initely, upon further review, the most
prized part of my time at the 'U.' And
since I'm graduating in a month, it'll
take something seriously miraculous to
unseat its status. Something along the
lines of the president issuing an execu-
tive order that established a national
day of honor for my exemplary college
career. With a parade where I get to
wave a funny scepter and ride the Lamb
Chop float.
Actually, I just got as goofy as I
could manage in concocting an
extreme-case scenario, and as I con-
template the possibility of my addled
fantasy coming true, it still wouldn't be
enough to put the work I've done on
this paper in the shade. The collabora-

tion with as fine a class of people as
' I've ever encountered, the satisfaction
of seeing rows of students read "my"
finished product in lecture Thursday
morning - it sounds corny, but I
wouldn't even trade it for the parade.
Not even if Kate Winslet sat next to me
on the float as my queen and gave me
her phone number.
The time I've spent here has been
alternately a riot, a burden, a quest and
a mind-blowing trip. Writing a column
in my own voice makes me feel like I'm
being recognized for something, but
that's misleading. My colleagues,
friends and family have been the MVP
of my pursuits for their invaluable sup-
port, and they're the reason that
"although these days are ending, mem-
ories remain." Maybe some of them

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