88 - New Student Edition - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 8, 1999
A Look Back
Your education won tjust be
handed to you, whicis OK
Continued from Page 18
year chemistry class? Your GSI could be enrolled in
the medical school. In addition to their academic
qualifications, all GSIs in the college of Literature,
Science and the Arts take a mandatory course to
prepare them to teach at the undergraduate level.
And often, throughout a course, your GSI will be
monitored by a professor.
The point here is clear; just because some of your
teachers haven't earned the title of "professor"
doesn't mean they aren't worthy or capable of
expanding your horizons.
In fact, many students relate to the GSIs better
than to professors.
Due either to a smaller age gap or lack of the fear
commonly associated with approaching a professor,
GSI-student relationships can be very positive
Still, there is nothing like working with a profes-
sor. Professors at the University bring a combina-
tion of life experience and knowledge to the class-
room that graduate students have not yet attained.
That said, as first-year students, you will have no
shortage of professors in your academic lives.
Another advantage of attending a large research-
based university is that, if properly applied, faculty
teaching can be excellent. And at the University,
with the help of some relatively new programs, this
is becoming the case.
By offering courses like "Introduction to Global
Change," and research opportunities like the
Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program
(UROP), the University is positively applying grad-
uate resources to help improve undergraduate study.
During the 1998 budget proposal to the board of
regents, Provost Nancy Cantor spoke about the
Global Change course, calling it "an example of the
kind of course that only a large research university
By being involved in courses in which you are
taught by top professors from a variety of top grad-
uate programs, you will be getting an education that
is not available at many other schools.
Of course, this does not mean that undergraduate
education at the University is perfect.
Despite the likely excellence of your professors,
GSIs and research opportunities, you will receive
less personal attention than some other smaller col-
leges might offer. But perhaps you should look on
the bright side of this situation. A big university
makes you take the first step. Ultimately, your
undergraduate experience will be up to you. If you
seek to find it, the University can offer it to you,
whether you are looking for higher-level research
with a professor, or more attention from a GSI.
While you may have to work a little harder in the
beginning, when four years have gone by, your
experience will have been much more rewarding.
Opinions at 'U' defy nearly
all forms of measurement
No matter how well-thought out or not, everyone has plenty
By Jeffrey Kosseff
Daily Editorial Page Editor
They are more numerous at the
University than freshmen studying
their campus maps in the rain.
They are larger than a Blimpy
Burger quint with onions and cheese.
They are often more confused and
out-of-touch than a sociology profes-
As you enter the University, you
will encounter a plethora of opinions
-,in all shapes, sizes and flavors.
As an institution that thrives on
fresh ideas and loud debate, the
University hosts millions - nay, tril-
lions - of opinions.
Some of them come in the form of
passingcomments. "Hey, baby, nice
(any body part between the neck and
knees)," the white-capped meathead
yells to a woman from his Jeep. In
non-primitive English, that means
that he recognizes that she is a
breathing woman and he hasn't got-
ten anything but the latest issue of
Hustler for a while.
.More lengthy opinions are issued
in undergraduate social sciences
classes. "Like, I mean, it's just that,
what I was going to say, is that it's
like so wrong that they were
oppressed by the white male society.
And, you know what I'm saying,
with the media and everything?" the
chick with the nose ring attempts to
Many harsh opinions are issued in
red ink by professors on term papers,
starting out positively but somehow
ending with a C-. "Well-thought-out.
It looks as if you put a lot of research
into this. But it would have been bet-
ter if you actually followed the
assignment, which had nothing to do
with a Darwinian analysis of 'Happy
Days' and 'Laverne and Shirley."'
There is even a special club for
people who think their opinions are
so brilliant that everyone should hear
them. You pay more than $10 a year
for Michigan Student Assembly
enthusiasts to dish out their own
brand of trivial politics.
"It is absurd that you would actu-
ally consider joining the Burgundy
Party. Everyone knows that the dumb
frat boy vote is with the Tequiza
Party." But don't worry, most MSA
members don't really believe in their
opinions - they just want to get into
You might even come across a
neo-fascist "opinion" journal. But
don't take those thoughts too seri-
ously. They are just opinions of peo-
ple who write so poorly that they
would never cut it at a real campus
newspaper. To compensate for their
inadequacies, they resort to third-
grade potty humor.
Of course, there are the Diag
preachers. As you walk to class, you
have the privilege of learning ten dif-
ferent reasons why you are going to
hell. From government cover-ups to
genital herpes, these fellows have
opinions on everything. I caution
that it is their
you not to speak to them. They are
louder and more obnoxious than sec-
ond-year Law students.
There are even people who wear
Look, over by the Cube, there's a
Goth girl with black blush and a
Batman cape. She's trying to tell you
that you need to spend more money
on Marilyn Manson records.
And who is that high school kid
over there by the corner of State
Street and William Street? His pants
are so loose that they're around his
toes - oh, he must be a skater. His
opinion is that more people must be
conform to being nonconformist,
Look at that studious fellow in the
UGLi, wearing a "Harvard:
Michigan of the East" T-shirt. He is
trying to say that even though his
entire family went to ivy league
schools, he really doesn't care. If
only his SATs were 10 points higher.
But Michigan is considered a public
ivy. It's just as good, if not better.
Really. What, you don't believe him?
It is important for you, the future
of the University, to express your
opinions. But do them directly, with
as little annoying sugar coating as
possible. Most importantly, don't
allow someone to defend their
ridiculous comments by simply stat-
ing that it is their opinion. That is
like a murderer saying he kills peo-
ple because he is a murderer.
Challenge opinions with fact, and
they'll go away quicker than a one-
- Jeffrey Kosseff can be reached
via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
the office of
And you think there are a lot of fans In this Rose Bowl photo? Imagine how many opinions each student in the stadium has.
23®oo THE DAILY.
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