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April 12, 2002 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-04-12

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4 -The Michigan Daily - Friday, April 12, 2002

OP/ED 0

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420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
letters@michigandaily.com

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

JON SCHWARTZ
Editor in Chief
JOHANNA HANINK
Editorial Page Editor

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.

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
We were basically
going to sue a congressman
or, for $13,000, we were
goingto own him."
- Former contractor Anthony Bucci
testifying in the trial of Rep. James Traficant
(D-Ohio), as quoted in The Washington
Post. Yesterday, Traficant was convicted of
10federal corruption charges.

WgCJ1zE1 HELL tDIx "
THIS COMrI. Eot47
THE FRMMAN IIF&Em.n
I'ur YOur $flWT FACK Dal
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THOMAS KuLJURGIS TE-NT ATIVELY SPEAKING
A.S UIER1 .fowsT Yeaor VCOLLEGE WINJDS Dot//, fKooMMATES LPKVY
41D P9IfL ZnFLar l T -MiM71&S IW6STNYVE GAIAJEb...

i

Keep the plot simple ...
BABAWOLE AKIN AINA STRANGER IN THE CORNER

o it is upon us again,
the end of another
year at the Universi-
ty. For some, it has been
their first year here, a year
filled with forbidden
delights perhaps, but most
likely with successes and
failures. For those of us
who have done this before,
we are reminded that sooner or later, all this
will end.
For people like me, who see the light at the
end of the tunnel, this is a sobering thought. It
seems like it was only yesterday that I stepped
through immigration and caught my first
glimpse of Ann Arbor. It wasn't entirely awe-
inspiring, but at the very least I was glad to
have gotten away from the diktat of my African
parents.
I really wasn't sure what to expect. For
months beforehand, Michigan was simply a
blue thumbtack in the middle of the North
American Map in my father's study. All I knew
for sure was the fact that Ann Arbor was not a
big city and that it snowed. I really had not
done much research. Michigan had been my
backup; I had my heart set on a slightly more
prestigious school in Philadelphia. However, I
got my small envelope and my large one. The
large one was postmarked Ann Arbor, thus the
decision was made.
I had no idea what these Midwesterners
would be like. I was quite apprehensive that I

would be stuck with an idiot of a roommate, the
kind of person who would ask whether I lived
in trees and how come my English was so
good. Thankfully, both for my sanity and for
his personal safety, my roommate freshman
year was a decent fellow and remains a friend
to this day.
Growing up in Africa, you really do not
appreciate the weather, so when I arrived here
and was talking to an older African, he inquired
if I "knew about winter." I replied that I knew
it got cold here, but it got bad in Kenya too. At
that point in time being cold in my limited
experience meant 15 Celsius (that's about 60
degrees for all you metric system deniers out
there). He chuckled and then proceeded to
inform me that sometimes it got so cold your
soul froze.
I came to understand what he meant per-
fectly when I would make the thrice-weekly
pilgrimage to Dennison together with the rest
of the freshman collective for introductory cal-
culus. With snow hitting me in the face and try-
ing to avoid slipping and falling on my behind
on the ice bridge, I would curse and swear all
the way to class and back, wondering why the
hell I did not apply to UCLA.
My first year was an amazing experience,
as have been the years after.
However now as I move onto the final lap, I
stare into the great abyss of uncertainty. I enjoy
college life. I enjoy being able to go to bed at
all hours, I enjoy spending hours adding to and
organizing my large collection of mp3 files. I

enjoy arguing about the similarities and differ-
ences between Fight Club and American Psy-
cho at 3:40 AM over beer and pricey Pizza
House pizza. I enjoy being able to go to Mardi
Gras and Miami on Spring break. I like the fact
that sometimes I feel most productive at 2 a.m.
and as a result, I do a lot of work, such as writ-
ing columns and papers at those hours.
However, is there room for creative bursts
at two in the morning in the corporate world? Is
there any room at all for the kind of originality,
creativity and wild living that college epito-
mizes in the real world?
After thinking about this for a while, I
believe, contrary to popular perception, that
there is. As an old friend put, keep the plot sim-
ple. Despite the fact that the environment
around us changes and at many points in time
there seem to be vast amounts of uncertainty,
the real world still offers seductive opportuni-
ties to live life to its fullest.
Perhaps you may never again do the Irish
jig on a table top on a whim or argue on the
merits of Sartre and existential philosophy at 5
a.m. No matter, you will find new challenges,
new conquests and new things to live for.
Thus even as some of us journey towards
graduation day with trepidation and hesitation,
we should still realize that the adventure is only
beginning. Always, always remember life is
about living and keep the plot simple.
Babawole Akin Aina can be reached
at babawole@umich.edu.

01

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Daily neglects importance
of Palestinian casualties
To THE DAILY:
In the Wednesday paper, the largest headline
was Ambush kills 13, wounds 9 Israeli troops
(4/10/02). It is alarming to see that when 13 Israeli
soldiers are killed it makes headlines but at the
same time when the same Israeli soldiers 1611 "over
500 people in the Nablus and Jenin refugee camps"
(according to CNN.com) the news is ignored.
I guess it is expected because the killings of
the Palestinian people is no longer "big news"
or anything out of the ordiiary. It is not a big
deal that Palestinian dead bodies are piled on
top of each other in the streets. It isn't headline
news when the Israeli army shoots 19 missiles
into a refugee camp. When 14 Israeli civilians
die it is a front page "massacre" but when 500
Palestinians die it doesn't even make the paper.
On April 9, 13 Israeli soldiers (who were
armed with their semi-automatics and bullet
proof vests, who probably already had the blood
of any innocent Palestinians civilians on their
hands) were killed, it made headlines. It sickens
me - and I ask you why? Is it because a Pales-
tinian life is just not worth as much?
Under no circumstance do I think that killing
of innocent people (or for that matter any peo-
ple) is right - whether they are Jews sitting in
cafes or or Muslims in their refugee camps. But
when one man straps on a bomb and kills 13
armed soldiers who have already killed thou-
sands of his fellow people you cannot call it a
suicide bombing. It is justified self-defense. It
is not a suicide bombing - it is one armed sol-
dier killing another armed soldier.
SALIHA AFRIDI
LSA senior
First no Naked Mile, then
mandatory school uniforms
for 'U' students
To THE DAILY:
While some of the reasoning behind the Uni-
versity's sudden outcry against certain campus
activities is understandable, the administration is
going much too far in its sudden crackdown on
student traditions and the scare tactics it uses to
accomplish this - especially with the Naked
Mile. Yes, we understand that the Naked Mile
can be dangerous for the runners for a number of
reasons. In all honesty, though, is there really'

us confirmed that they felt the same. It was the
perfect example of the skewed priorities being
displayed by those in authority. As years pass,
our University traditions are being increasingly
strangled into non-existence. The next thing you
know, we'll be mandated to wear uniforms to
class and be forbidden to sing "The Victors"
unless the administration dictates otherwise.
CORTNEY DUEWEKE
NICOLE MUENDELEIN
CRYSTAL GOLDING
LSA seniors
BRIAN BURSTEIN
Engineering senior
Feminism has no need to
apologize to its critics
TO THE DAILY
LSA junior Mari Poulos brought up an inter-
esting topic when quoted in Feminist Fair attempts
to debunk myths of feminism (4/11/02). It saddens
me that she, like so many people, thinks of a
"stereotypical feminist" as a woman that hates
men. If this is the stereotype, it is one that those
opposing the Feminist Movement began. In order
to discredit the pioneers of the movement, people
portrayed them as man-haters wearing combat
boots who opposed everything natural, wanted to
disrupt the family structure, castrate all men and
turn America on its head. Oh, yes, and they were
supposedly all lesbians, too. When you can't beat
the logic, just question someone's sexuality, right?
Seriously, thanks to the courageous women
who fought for suffrage and equal pay and against
sexual harassment and gender discrimination,
women today are more free than ever to pursue
their dreams. Not too long ago, my graduate
school program admitted a mere two or three
women each year. Today, close to 50 percent of
the students here are women.
And yet, people still talk of "those man-hating
feminists" and, perhaps my least favorite term in
the world, "femi-nazis." They still give power to
the close-minded view that women are not equally
as valuable as men and should not be given the
same opportunities. What is most troublesome is
that women are using these terms to describe
themselves! Ladies, let me be clear: If you are
asking for an equal opportunity, you are not a
"femi-nazi." Even women who realize there is
more to life than scrubbing a bathtub or setting the
table often feel the need to apologize for taking
opportunities our grandmothers could never
dream of This must stop. If you believe men and
women are equal how ever you wish to define that

men and women are equally valuable, ybu
should be sent back to the Dark Ages from
whence you came and take some combat boots
with you.
PIPER HENDRICKS
Law school
Student thinks of super-
lame tradition and wants
all to join in the 'fun'
To THE DAILY:
I ask all of you to join me in a new tradi-
tion at the University of Michigan, The
Skivvy Mile! It is clear that the powers that
be of Ann Arbor are not thrilled to have all of
us running through the streets naked, but why
not the next best thing - in our underwear?
This idea is not new, it is done annually the
day before the Iron Man Triathlon World
Championships in Kona, Hawaii. I am sure
that the students of Michigan can do it bigger
and better. If we are in our underwear there is
no indecent exposure, just a bunch of stu-
dents that happen to be out for a jog. We may
at least preserve the tradition for future gen-
erations. Perhaps they will some day be able
to run naked in the streets of Ann Arbor
again. But until then, it's boxers, tighty
whities, or leopard print who-knows-whats!
We'll start the running around 11:30 along
the usual route ... or as close as we can get.
NICK NOREUS
Engineering senior
Israel fails to recognize its
own human rights atrocities
To THE DAILY
Recently on campus there has been rising ten-
sion between those supporting Palestinian humap
rights and others in favor of the Israeli occupation
of Palestinian land. Individuals that support the
Israeli military offensive have voiced accusations
of nearly every variety, in reference to all subjects
other than one that addresses the core issue of the
problem in Palestine - that Israel, in violation of
international law and international human rights
agreements, is in fact attempting to ethnically
cleanse a population out of existence.
For the past week people protesting the ille-
gal occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip
have been confronted with allegations of racism

*I

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