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September 06, 2000 - Image 33

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-09-06

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Wednesday, September 6, 2000 - The Michigan Daily - New Student Edition - 5B
THE PLIGHT AND MIGHT OF OMER A. KUDAT

14 Monroe St. is my pad, my
shack, my humble abode. I share
it with 12 other people -all gentle-
men, all kings in their own right. We
encapsulate the very essence of
diversity that the University stands
We are Americans, Europeans,
Asians (a.k.a Yanks, Imperialists and
forced laborers, in that order). From
VcCainian candyboys to Menshevik
e-traders, from nuclear physics buffs
o SNRE bottom dogs, and from
Sammy Adams ascetics to Blind Pig
buddhas, we are the UN poster chil-
Iren of campus. Proud of our eclec-
icism, we are, more importantly,
,ood friends. When one falls among
>ur ranks, we all of course take heed
* try to bail him out. Such is the
tory of Omer A. Kudat, my friend
tnd fellow of common residence.
But sometimes, things work out dif-
erently.
"Hey Waj, can we talk when

you're done with your game?" An
unusual anxiety in his voice and I am
more than piqued. This bugger usu-
ally seconds the
motion for bat-
tering my
Playstation dur-
ing our house
meetings. I was
not going to let
this one go by.
"FIFA '00"
could go to the
gulag.
"Sure Oak," I
refer to his Waj
abbreviation/
nickname. "I'm Syed
done. Talk on"
And so we,
talked. For _ _
Omer's sake, I
cannot (and should not) disclose
everything discussed that night at

514 Monroe, but the following,
printed with his permission, is an
attempted conglomeration of his
thoughts:
"It seems like naivete is over ... I
met with my mother over winter
break. She said I don't smile any-
more, and I said that was because I
was not happy. I didn't even know
what I was saying at the time, but it's
been bothering me since them. And
that's the problem. Things are fine
and I am not happy ... not unhappy
or dissatisfied, but not exactly happy
or contented either. I got two A's last
term, and I was like 'Now what?' I
i got the Jeep, and I was slightly
stirred. I'm scared. Things are rush-
hing by, but I feel the same. Soon, I'll
have a job, where I will work billion-
hour weeks for some asskicker com-
puter program. I hope I am happy
then, but I am scared that I'll feel the
same, that nothing will change. I

miss being young.
What's the song? When we were
young, we were kings"
Omer's tirade was more recondite,
more human than the print appears.
Unfortunately, its true spirit and
essence cannot be resurrected
through this edit page echelon. Even
more hapless is the fact that though
my friend sought my help, he aided
me more through his honest self
inquiry than I could assist him.
Omer's plight made me peer inside
that perennial chest of college life. I
rummaged through class schedules
and loan repayments, pass-fail dead-
lines and job interviews, football
tickets and GPAs, past all of those,
looking for the real stuff, the future.
And there it was, clad in the form of
a thousand questions. The queries
were the same as anyone else's. Am I
getting by, or happy? Driven, or
forced? Educated, or trained? The

answers could have been one, or
both, or a myriad options in the mid-
dle.
The process of questioning was
also disturbing. Employing broad
rhetoric, we all know that it's a bad,
bad world out there. Idealists,
reformists or whatever, we are all a
protuberance of pragmatists at the
end of the day. I have zero doubts
when .I make the statement that we
are all here to build on a future. I
also have no qualms (and I know
that I generalize) in saying that the
term 'future' for many of us has
been institutionally and systemati-
cally perverted - itis now directly
related to the manifestation of the
ideals of dynamic professionalism.
It is a hybrid of prime-time airing
and coffee-house chatter and
between neo-capitalists, social Dar-
winists, quasi-intellectuals and utili-
tarian bohemians - a state of being

which is also and more commonly
referred to as The Suit.
The Suit (also accompanied by
The Girlfriend, The Car and The
House): The perfection of the post-
graduate, this-is-what-four-years-
of-college-taught-me lifestyle. The
smart, sharp manners. The clean,
focused professionalism. The singu-
larity of purpose. The supreme
achievement attitude. All the nice
and shiny accoutrements of success
(another loosely defined term). All
the stock options and the 401k
plans. All the essential nutrients for
the 21st century American profes-
sional.
All the things which never mat-
tered.
Yes, Omer. I, too, miss being
young.
- Waj Syed: Old, wrinkled and
balding, can be reached via e-mail
at wajsved@umich.edt.

I

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