4B - The Michigan Daily - Weekend Magazine - Thursday, February 6, 2003
Students bringing up babies ... and Ph.D.s
The Michigan Daily - Weeked Migaie -
ELITE ENTERTAINMENT EXPOSITIO
By Rebecca Ramsey
Weekend Editor ____ _____
Its 9:00 p.m. A multitude of col-
lege students have finished their
time-consuming assignments. In
a moment of utter relief, they anx-
iously settle into recliners and turn
on the television.
At the exact same time, Lisa
Jackson tucks her two children into
their beds so that she may finally
begin her homework.
Every day, students complain about
the amount of school and work they
have to balance and often take for
granted the luxuries that are presented
to them, such as housing near campus
and access to recreation facilities.
Yet, while most students spend
their time with only themselves to
care for, student parents have to
make sure that their children are
given enough attention while worry-
ing about their own midterms.
"Student parents want to feel like
and be treated like all the other stu-
dents," said Jackson, a Rackham stu-
dent. "So far, graduate school has
been doable, but it's been extremely
difficult. I honestly think that it's
designed for people without children."
The belief that one must graduate
from high school, go to college and
then start a family may not be a realis-
tic ideology, but the conviction is still
ingrained in many people's minds.
"Generally, it seems to me that the
attitude has been that graduate school
is not a good time to have a baby,"
said Jayne London, coordinator of
initiatives at the Rackham School of
London, a parent advocate for stu-
dents with children, works closely with
the Center for the Education of Women
in order to relieve the hardships facing
student groups that are marginalized.
"Students say it's assumed that
academics are the highest priority in
college life, and that puts a lot of
pressure on them to succeed. Things
change when you have children."
Misconceptions can make student
parents feel inadequate in comparison
to the students in their classes. In par-
ticular, women can feel the emotional
burden of being judged by others.
"There is a special impact of the
presumed criticisms of expecting
women. They fear that certain profes-
sors are writing them off as less seri-
ous students because they are walking
around pregnant," London said.
Still, judgments are not only
restricted to student mothers.
Fathers also get a surprised reaction
from the public, yet the reactions
rarely seem to be negative.
"People are usually a little sur-
prised to see a father running
around with a young baby strapped
to him, and that was kind of fun,"
said David Fencsik, a Rackham stu-
dent with a two-year-old daughter.
"I suspect I get a little more leeway
than a mother would."
Jackson admits that she some-
times feels awkward around her
childless peers and that she suffers
from relentless self-criticism simply
from regular class activities.
"If you can't meet your presenta-
tion -group at the library at 8:00, its
hard admitting you can't be there
because you have kids. It's a very
isolating feeling," Jackson said. "I
have standards to uphold, and
there's a lot of pressure."
The ticking clock of child-rearing
"A biggest drawback about being
a parent and a student is that I never
ANDY TAYLOR-FABE - THE EUPHIO QUESTION
OIL IS MY ANTI-DRUG
.. ..... ... ......
Raising a child in college can be a difficult experience.
Kid Rock practically Invented Dirrty.
1. Come Away With Me,
Norah Jones - Norah's so bor-
ing that even we don't feel like
making fun of her.
2. Chicago, Soundtrack -
It's bad enough the movie will win
a shitload of Oscars, but does it
have to take all the Grammys too?
3. Let Go, Avril Lavigne -
Why'd ya you have to go and make
things so complicated, eh? That's
what Canadians say.
4. Home, Dixie Chicks -
Natalie Maines is a certified beast.
5. This Is Me ... Then,
Jennifer Lopez - Are Jennifer
and Ben divorced yet?
6.8Mile, Soundtrack - Wow,
at least he didn't release three good
songs with a bunch of filler crap to
accompany an overhyped movie.
7. Cocky, Kid Rock - Kid
Rock: White-trash dirtball chic
8. Under Construction,
Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliot -
Damn. Those teriyaki subs must
9. ICare 4U, Aaliyah - We
care 4 U shutting the hell up. U R
10. The Last Temptation, Ja
Rule - If it involves crucifying Ja,
we'll buy it.
Have you had a hankerin' for a brand-new, shiny
SUV, but you don't have the cash? Worry not.
President Bush's new economic plan increases
the deductions that small-business owners can make on
"equipment" and other business expenses, which is fan-
tastic news, especially if you just have to have a business
expense that gets l miles to the gallon.
That's right, a much-talked-about section of the plan
would make it profitable for these small-business owners
to use the capital equipment deduction (which, combined
with other allowed deductions, could total $87,000) to
buy the biggest, gas-guzzling, road-hogging SUVs on the
market. Additionally, the language used in the proposal
would allow hardy small-business owners like doctors,
lawyers and accountants to use the deduction.
Bushies have responded to liberal criticism of the plan
by citing the fact that it allows for deductions on all cars,
not just the Expedition and the Canyonero (it's 12 yards
long/two lanes wide/ts 65 tons ofAmerican pride). But
since oversized SUVs (those heavier than 6,000 pounds)
have different restrictions (due to finely-crafted loop-
holes) and different depreciation rates than cars and
smaller SUVs, there is an incentive to buy the bigger car.
It's all very technical (read: I don't understand a goddamn
word of it).
The attack being launched on Bush's plan targets the con-
#tradictory position that the president seems to be taking on
the issue of conservation, for around the same time that Bush
was further loosing the SUV demon upon our homeland, he
also attempted to show his commitment to fuel efficiency.
During the State of the Union Address, somewhere in-
between his smirks and his prayers, he proposed that $1,2
billion be set aside for the development of fuel cell-pow-
ered vehicles. He explained, surprisingly lucidly (appar-
ently Dubya has been watching "Bill Nye The Science
Guy" religiously), how this completely clean form of fuel
could revolutionize energy consumption.
So how could he propose such incompatible measures,
you ask? Well, although Bush's proposals are muddled to
say the least, most people do not seem to understand the
depth of the treachery that is actually at play.
Bush's endorsement of fuel cell technology, while it
may seem progressive on the surface, should not be so
comforting. Ever since fuel cell technology started to
receive attention, the Republicans have been on it like
stink on shit. Is this out of an environmentally-conscious
desire to clean up the planet and save areas like the Arctic
National Wildlife Refuge from being strip-mined?
(Columnist laughs hinself stupid at this idea until snot
begins to run down his nose,) No, you boob, it's because
now they can roll back or at least cripple efforts to make
regular old gasoline-powered cars more efficient.
After all, why spend time and money developing more
fuel-efficient cars when we'll all be driving magic fuel
cell cars that expel, as Dr. Science explained during the
State of the Union, "water, not exhaust fumes."
The problem with this little shift in priorities is that the
fuel cell cars are not exactly lining up to replace current
automobiles. Beside the fact that the technology has not
been perfected, you have to remember that the infrastruc-
ture needed for such an industry is practically non-exis-
tent. And even if it only takes a few years to install the
technology at gas stations, in the meantime, the SUVs
keep getting bigger and the soccer-moms driving them
keep getting smaller, thinner and blonder.
Now I'm not saying that fuel cell cars are apipe dream;
Eventually, they will be a significant presence on the
road. But Bush and his posse are so dead-set against nor-
mal fuel efficiency that I can pretty much guarantee that
if I went to the White House with a plan to fuel cars with
chocolate syrup and cat pee, l could get at least $1.2 bil-
lion in funding. In fact, what the hell am I doing writing
this column? I should be working on my C.FU. (choco-
But the real point that should be sticking in everyone's
minds is that when it comes to anything having to do with
oil, Bush has a conflict 'of interests the size of Texas. I
mean, has everyone forgotten that we are talking about a
man who has a great deal to gain by having America con-
tinue to be dependent on fossil fuels? And beyond his
own personal, financial benefit (now to get really con-
spiratorial ...), there is a simple line of logic that should
be intuitively obvious.
Under this new system, more people are able to buy
SUVs; More people drive cars with crappy gas mileage,
requiring more fossil fuel; more oil is needed by the U.S.,
so more support is given (at least tacitly) to Bush's plans
for Iraq (i.e. bombing the ever-loviing shit out of it). OK,
perhaps a little simplistic, but the general idea is sound.
Bush's attempts to push SUVs on the public makes him
no better than a drug dealer, offering his potential cus-
tomers a complimentary hit to get them hooked on their
drug of choice: in this case, bubblin' crude. Oil, that is;
black gold; Texas tea. The first one is free, America.
-Andy Taylor-Fabe can be reached at
have as many hours in the day as I
need," said Jackson. "I would love
to spend more time with my chil-
dren and my dissertation."
Rigid schoolwork schedules also
hinder a student's ability to give
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complete attention to his or her chil-
dren, even when a parenting emer-
"You feel like a horrible person
when your kids are sick and you
can't stay home with them because
you have a midterm that you can't
miss," said Jackson.
Although time constraints create
difficulty, being both a student and
a parent can teach one multi-tasking
and organization skills.
"Having a baby requires a great
deal of flexibility - from lack of
sleep to a sudden illness requiring a
day off - and grad school allows
for this in a way that a full-time job
does not," said Fencsik.
On a larger scale, the length of
time it takes to complete schooling
is greatly affected by having chil-
dren. Some students find that being
a parentextends the duration of
Suzanne Perkins-Hart, a Rackham
student and mother of two,
explained that women have to, be
mindful that they cannot wait too
long to have kids.
"It takes longer and longer to com-
plete your Ph.D. candidacy," she said.
"Some students need five to six years
for their program, and depending on if
they waited to come to school, they
need to be mindful that their biologi-
cal clock is ticking."
While some students may adjust
well to parenthood, others find that
college can make their experiences
more difficult. Rackham student
Melanie Boyd who became pregnant
and had twins during graduate school,
noted specific inconveniences.
"There is no official maternity or
paternity leave for graduate student
instructors.," said Boyd. "Although we
are in school, it is also a job for us."
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WHAT'S, NEWS IN ENTERTAINMENT
DAYS OF THUNDER - Former
"Beverly Hills 90210" heartthrob
Jason Priestley recently expressed
wishes to get back in the racing car
circuit, just six short months after
being involved in a serious crash that
literally left him dead for 45 seconds
before he was revived by doctors.
The Internet Movie Database
reports that the one-time FOX star
has undergone months of physio-
therapy to repair his broken feet and
back and a face smashed almost
beyond recognition. Priestley says,
"After the memory of what hap-
pened recedes, I start thinking
about getting back.
The thrill is to drive the vehicle to
the absolute limit." Originally rac-
ing orr the celebrity circuit,
Priestley joined a professional dri-
ving league and quickly proved his
worth until his career came to a
sudden hait last Sunday.
TERROR AT 20,000 FT. --
England's New Music Express
reports that former Hole front-
woman/Kurt Cobain widow/mildly
talented actress, Courtney Love
was arrested upon arrival at
London's Heathrow Airport
Tuesday. Virgin Atlantic issued a
statement alleging the 38-year-old
Love became "disturptive and abu-
sive" towards the crew of flight
VS008, screaming and refusing to
take her -first-class seat or buckle
Although the airline initially
planned to seek charges, yesterday
they announced Love would not
face prosecution. Peter Buck and
Liam Gallagher could not be
reached for comment as of deadline
for this publication.
WHAT WOULD JIM . DO? -
Billboard.com reports that former
Doors drummer John Densmore has
filed a lawsuit on behalf of Jim
Morrison and his wife, Pam Courson,
against surviving band members Ray
Manzarek and Robbie Krieger, alleg-
ing that the two violated an agreement
that states the Doors' name and logo
can only be used by the band's original
Manzarek and Krieger have been
touring with ex-Cult singer Ian Istbury
and former Police drummer Stewart
Densmore backed out of the tour
because he developed tinnitus, a con-
stant ringing in the ears common to
musicians who don't wear earplugs.
THE O.J. ALL STAR
OF THE WEEK
The legendary music producer of
such hits as The Righteous Brothers'
"Unchained Melody" and John
Lennon's "Imagine" was arrested and
charged for murder after a shooting
Monday morning at his home in
Alhambra, Calif. Spector, making his
million dollar bail Tuesday afternoon,
will be represented by former O.J.
Simpson attorney Robert Shapiro.
Cr'. . . . .
See KIDS, Page lIB