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February 22, 2001 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-02-22

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 22, 2001

Uabe 9hirbig&rn JttIg

420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
daily.letters@umich.edu

Spring reak fun in a world without beauty
CHRIs KULAUsAA

EDITED AND MANAGED BY
STUDENTS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
SINCE 1890

GEOFFREY GAGNON
Editor in Chief
MICHAEL GRASS
NICHOLAS WOOMER
Editorial Page Editors

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the
Daily's editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not
necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

-1ditor 's note.: Pop-
ular Daily colum-
nist Chris Kula
has le(t to wn early for
spring break, so writing
in his place this iiweek is
pecial guest T Dunn, an
aspirrin? postmodernist
w'Ordr-rtisft and part-time
(,vnploy,: _of the State St.
Starbucks.
Spring break: A facetious mirage in the
desert of youth. A devious median on the
road of broken promises. An all-night diner
for the lost souls of man-cujidren. Spring
forth, spring break, and claim me as your
dark love child.
I pack my bags with swim trunks and
wistfulness, sunscreen and longing. The
airport is rife with destinations, but I have
none. My only arrival: Despair. My sole
departure: A true love. I fly United, dis-
jointed.
The stewardess taunts me with nuts salt-
ed with the tears of a clown, but I do not
indulge. I feast instead on the sweet, sweet
remembrances of my past, of puppy dogs
and ice cream, ice dogs and puppy cream. I
try to look out the window, but the clouds
are too poignant. The seatbelt light is off,
but I am restricted by the lead weight of
my grief jacket - and it is two sizes too
small.
I sleep the tormented dreams of Italian
filmmakers. The captain - I believe him a
devil, or my uncle - slaps me about the
face and shoulders, prepares me for land-
ing. The flight will soon be over, and

spring break will begin.
Oh, spring break, how I loathe (love?)
you! How I wish to smother you (mother
you?)! How I long to be in a ciocoon (Can-
cun?)!
As I walk alone to my hotel, the Mexi-
can sun oppresses me. I remove my scarf,
trade it to a young boy for Chiclets. He
curses me. The streets of die town are
filled with my student body brethren. I lis-
ten to them speak of things I once knew.
"Senor Frog's, dude, Voe're getting
fucked up!"
"Hell yeah, Steve-o!"
I press against Steve-o, 'whisper in his
ear, "Lost! I am but a dinghy in a squall of
unrequited love!"
Steve-o punches me in the mouth. The
"blood" tastes like "irony.".
I check into my hotel and retire to the
lobby bar. There I suckle at the giving teat
of Jose Cuervo. My sorroiws drowned in
the nectar of the agave plate, I am left star-
ing at the worm. He sings:sweetly, a song
yet untitled. I weep for the worm.
Darkness strangles the. city. I wander
from nightclub to nightclab in a loveless
stupor. The neon lights a* as blinding as
the truth that was kept from me. The
pounding bass of the dancie music reminds
me of my mother's hearabeat, only less
mocking. I call out, "Qrtll the rage that
burns within me!"
My cry is met witlh the collective
"Whoo!" of 100 Caucasian girls.
I later find myself stauding at the bar. A
man wearing a brazen mitmstache offers me
sex on the beach. Shaking my head, I say,

"I'm sorry, barkeep - no amount of alco-
hol can cure the malady that is I." The man
tells me he's not a bartender, and again
offers sex on the beach. Frustrated, I gnash
my teeth, tear my clothes. The man seems
excited.
Quickly I walk away, stumbling over
my apathy. When I right myself, I am
standing before a goddess. Clad in a hood- 0
ed sweatshirt, her short blonde hair is spiky
with ennui and, behind her black-framed
glasses, she has eyes of the bluest skies
that remind me of childhood memories.
"I dropped my existence," she says to
me, "and when I stooped to pick it up, I
found only my toothbrush." I nod, feeling
her words, her syllables, her sad fricatives.
"My alarm clock shames me daily with
the sounds of impending failure," I reply.
"And there is no snooze button, only the
lose button." She turns 90 degrees so that I
am facing her profile.
"I wish to massage your essence," she
says.
"Don't look at me," I respond, covering
my eyes with the back of a hand.
We embrace. She wears the perfume of
utter humanity. Her reality cries out to me,
and I find myself rapt with the passion of
she.
I throw back my head in laughter, as
does she. A single crow flies above. The
end of spring break draws nigh (a sigh?).
We are in the moment, regardless.
Chris Kula's true words of choice run
every Thursday. Give him feedback at
wwwmh andailacomi/rum.
or va-mia3cu umic .e du.

Reducing students to
test score data tells
nothing about them
TO THE DAILY:
The article "UC Proposes Dropping
SATs," (2/20/01) related that University of
California President Richard Atkinson, rec-
ommended the elimination of the SAT in
admissions consideration. I am in complete
agreement with Atkinson on this. The ever-
increasing emphasis on standardized test-
ing today reduces people to mere numbers.
Right here in Michigan, our MEAP tests
have the same result. All teachers know
that MEAP results have an effect on the
reputation of the school and themselves,
and therefore they are forced to "teach to
the test." By virtue of this, teachers cannot
focus on the most important aspect, each
individual child, but rather have to orga-
nize their day, week and year according to
what is on the MEAP test. Apparently, the
designers of the MEAP know what each
child needs, since they are dictating what
goes on in the classroom. I'd like to meet
these omniscient people.
My agreement with Atkinson only goes
so far. Instead of using SATs to measure
applicants, he believes there should be
other standardized tests, those geared
toward the high school coursework. In
which case, they would be similar to the
MEAP's. Although such tests might be
more focused on subjects discussed in
school, the results described above regard-
ing "teaching to the test" would result.
Once again, this completely disregards
what should be the most essential factor in
determining what goes in the classroom:
The children!
The point of this letter is to emphasize
that numbers and test results are not effec-
tive methods of determining the value of a
person. People want quick fixes, and quick
ways of determining who is "good," who is
"bad," who should be accepted and who
should be rejected. What teachers, schools,
and colleges need to do is drop all those
easy methods, and do the "hard" work
themselves! Get to know the children,
learn about who they are, what they like,
what they hate. Find out what they enjoy
doing and help them.
The best form of education is not
throwing sets of facts at students and forc-
ing them to memorize and regurgitate those
facts on tests, but to let all students devel-
op in their own unique way. Colleges, for
their part, should accept students based on
who they are, and not on their test results.
DANA BENNIS
Music senior
Daily editorial racist,
current status of
affirmative action bad
TO THE DAILY:
Normally, I do not write letters to the
Daily whenever I disagree on a subject, but
the editorial about affirmative action
"Good for all," (2/21/01) and how it affects

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centage of Japanese-Americans, Chinese-
Americans and Korean-Americans attend
college; However, Hmongs, Cambodians
and other southeastern Asians are quite
underrepresented. Given the fact that APAs
are considered over represented on college
campuses, makes * even harder for disad-
vantaged APAs too be admitted into the
community. APAs from poorer neighbor-
hoods are forced to compete against APAs
from wealthy famAlies for the limited num-
ber of seats allocated to APA's. It doesn't
take much logic to see how this is com-
pletely unfair.
Lastly the editorial stated, "The Univer-
sity's obligation *; not simply to admit the
best students possible but to assemble the
best class possible. If the latter is to be
accomplished, steps must taken to preserve
intellectual and racial diversity." This is a
blatantly racist statement saying that a uni-
versity cannot admit "the best students"
and preserve ra*Eial diversity at the same
time. I find it hard to swallow that in one
editorial the Diily would say how it's
important to have minorities on campus
and then turn alrund to smack us in the
face and say that minorities cannot be "the
best students." I urge the Daily to refrain
from such clearly racist comments.
DEAN WANG
LSA junior
The letter wr4ter is President ofACTIVATE: The
Arian American Awareness Initiative
MSA hypocritically
trample constituents
To THE DAILM
This is an- open letter to all the Michi-
gan Student Assembly representatives who
were present and voted at the MSA meet-
ing on Tuesday. As a resident of the Resi-
dence Halls,, what I saw take place at the
meeting was ;proof that MSA does not care
for its consitituents. On Jan. 30, MSA
rejected the resolution to assign demerits
for violating Housing's solicitation poli-
cies. Tuesiday, MSA reconsidered the
motion andafter much debate, passed it.
Contrary to what the Daily reported,
through an amendment from a MSA rep the
demerit value of the resolution was later
lowered froom three to one. In essence the
entire resolution is moot. Candidates can
violate Holusing's Solicitation policy five
times before they are kicked out of the
election, that's potentially five 2 a.m.
"DR.01J..Immnnian ici.c"b MA A .-.2A

unfair advantage by violating the code. If
you want to become a student leader on
campus, the least you can do is respect the
policies established to protect the rights of
your fellow students. I am extremely dis-
turbed by the message MSA is sending.
Last week MSA was furious that their rec-
ommended changes to the University's
Code of Conduct were not supported. How
could MSA complain that the University
doesn't look out for student rights when
MSA passes an amendment that blatantly
condones the trampling of the rights of a
quarter of your constituents?
To do so is just simply hypocritical.
JUN TAKAYASU
LSA sophomore
Many Alaskans favor
dri llg for oil on
wilfe reserve
TO THE DAILY:
When will the voice of Alaskans be
heard? Regarding Monday's editorial
"Threatened land: Bush plan would endan-
ger refuge," (2/19/01) on Bush's attempt to
open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
was just one more agitation to Alaskans. I
am from Alaska and I know two others on
campus who feel that ANWAR should be
open to drilling along with a whole lot of
Alaskans back home. People think they're
helping some big cause when they protest
drilling in a state they've never been to and
probably never will but they're not.
The editorial stated that the country is
nearly split on the proposal of drilling but
it did not mention how many Alaskans
agree with it. I think we know a little bit
more about the impact it would have on
our state than some guy in let's say New
York. Everyone seems to have this image
of ANWAR being a mountainous, wooded
area, but it's not. It's flat tundra as far as
the eye can see, no different than where the
oil fields already are. As far as the caribou,
they have not been crammed into ANWAR
was the editorial suggests. They are free to
roam everywhere and in fact their popula-
tion has increased in the oil fidld areas.
They sleep under the pipeline because it's
the only shade up there and they are in no
way harmed-by anyone or anything up
there.
Lower 48ers also don't understand how
reliant Alaska's economy is on oil. It funds

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