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September 02, 2003 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-09-02

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---mn

4A - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 2, 2003

OP/ED

U ie £ tctt *g

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

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

LOUIE MEIZLISH
Editor in Chief
AUBREY HENRETTY
ZAC PESKOWITZ
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.

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
It's important to
look good, and feel
good if you want to
confront the
male-dominated
executive world."
- Avon Brazil planning and marketing
director Marcia Gonsales, commenting on
a recent study that found Brazilian
women to be the vainest in the world,
as quoted by Reuters.

SAM BUTLER'TuS0Ae
*eoN,I neA on~e IO( -
4 0:
s C 0

4

Once more back to never-never land
JESS PISKOR jo; , " Pis,-

Im in hiding. Politi-
cal exile if you will.
SSeekingrefuge from
the rest of the world and
its outrages of igno-
rance and intolerance.
I've retreated to my cas-
tle, my fortress, my last
bastion that is the Uni-
versity.
My political opinion was for the most
part, battened up this summer and I stayed
quiet. I could only give a one-minute syn-
opsis of my opinion of the affirmative
action decision followed by the same basic
questions that didn't touch on any of the
case's intricacies so many times before I
began to retch. When talk at my summer
job turned to the news it was about Laci
Peterson and other grisly murders.
Finally, I thought I found some outlet
with my co-workers one day when Rick
Quickly, a construction worker and a 50-
year-old father of three, said, "Jess, you
seem pretty well informed, and I'm curi-
ous, can I ask your opinion on something?"
"Sure," I responded, eager, finally for
some discussion.
"So, Kobe Bryant, did he do it?" That's
all. Nothing real, nothing I could possibly
weigh in on.
Sometimes, I just can't deal with it -
can't handle the constant outrage I feel I
must express. The defenses I feel I must
erect against assaults on human decency.
This summer, in a fit of anger over Iraqi
attacks on U.S. soldiers, Rick Quickly
exclaimed, "I know this sounds a little
prejudice, but all those Arabs here should,
be forced to go back to where they came
from."

Always before, a comment like that
would have provoked me to grandiose
speeches about tolerance and our tradition
of immigration, but instead, feeling hope-
less, I mumbled something along the lines
of "Arabs are nice people." Why bother
tying to change his mind, I thought - Rick
is a lost cause.
It's so tiring and stifling being home
and having to deal with that. It's disheart-
ening to know that all the political debates
and decisions and squabbles here on cam-
pus are lost on so many at home and that
blanket statements like "Arabs should
leave" rule the day. It's hard being places
where your most basic premise is chal-
lenged before you can get to the heart of
the real matter. When trying to discuss gay
rights with my co-workers, they would not
accept the basic premise that gays and les-
bians are capable of love. Where do you
even begin?
It's refreshing to be back here amid
rational discourse and usually reasonable
political differences. But, the pleasure I
find in this political asylum that the Uni-
versity grants worries me. Am I becoming
too complacent? Here, I can get away,
often unchallenged, with statements like,
"The United States exploits the rest of the
world to subsidize our personal lifestyle,"
and, "Gay people should be allowed to
marry, adopt and share a will."
Which isn't to suggest that I find total
agreement on campus - even here I know
my politics are not exactly the norm - but
just that for the most part, we approach
each other rationally. Here the debates and
disagreements are on a tolerable level.
Maybe the difference is in the approach
and my reaction to challenges. Here, when

my opinions are questioned it is usually in
the spirit of mutual learning and in a desire
to truly understand the world. At home,
without the shared community and spirit of
the University, I feel like it's an attack,
designed to destroy me beliefs.
It's this horrible paradox, the curse of
an elite education. At the University I learn
to think and confront the wrongs of our
world and feel inspired and hopeful, then I
come home with all these great ideas and
opinions to express - only to find myself
biting my tongue. I can't invest the time
required to share what I need to share. I get
discouraged, beaten down, overwhelmed,
ready to compromise my ideals.
I want to change the world, maybe only
on a small local level, but change it for the
better nonetheless. Yet how can I expect to
do that if I can't relate to people outside of
an academic environment? Ann Arbor isn't
the world and neither are the other little
liberal places in this country. Opinions
need to be changed in Middle America and
Northern Michigan, not confirmed in the
relatively small circles of academia.
So I guess now I'm a liberal elite,
unable to relate to the people I supposedly
champion. Is that really a bad thing? It cer-
tainly shouldn't be looked down upon -
everyone attending the University is an
elite, and better to be an elite championing
others than one's self. I knew going into
college that my education would elevate
me above others less fortunate. Now it's
my duty to elevate as many others so they
can begin to live as I do. Otherwise, my
brief time in this fortress has been wasted.

Piskor can be reached
atjpiskor@umnich.edu.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Hyland has led effectively,
helped maintain status of
'U' aerospace engineering
To THE DAILY:
I offer a different perspective to add to
the information in the Daily article, enti-
tled, Intellectual fraud trial against 'U' post-
poned (07/28/03). My perspective is that of
a department chairman in engineering, like
Prof. David Hyland, but at the University
of California at Santa Cruz. I also taught
design classes with Hyland when I was on
the Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sci-
ence Department faculty at the University
of Michigan through June 2000.
My principal point is that in spite of the
controversy discussed in the article, Hyland
has led the Aerospace Engineering Depart-
ment very effectively, maintaining its high
position in the academic world of aero-
space. The Aerospace Engineering Depart-
ment has been ranked in the top three in the
quality of its undergraduate program and in
the top five in their graduate program by
U.S. News and World Report. This is an
achievement by the whole of the depart-
ment, but first-rate leadership is essential.
This level of achievement is the goal of
every department chair in the nation and
greatly benefits graduates of the Aerospace
Engineering Department as they enter the
working world.
Over the past five years I have worked
with Hyland and later Prof. Alec Gallimore
in design courses both at the University of
Michigan and later in collaborations
between Michigan and the University of
California at Santa Cruz. This team-teach-
ing collaboration has brought an interdisci-
plinary design team experience to
hundreds of students. During this time, I
formed a very high opinion of Hyland's
expertise in aerospace engineering and his
ability to communicate with and inspire
students. The dedication he has to under-
graduate students is illustrated by a trip he
made to Santa Cruz to work throughout an
entire day with Santa Cruz students on a
design course collaboration. My design

lenge. A good way to start would be a
speedy and just resolution of the conflict
discussed in the Daily article.
PROF. JOHN VISECKY
Chairman
Department of Electrical Engineering
The University of California at Santa Cruz
Reader takes issue with
Pesick's word choice, notes
that 'at least Bush exercises'
TO THE DAILY:
Thank goodness there are no "touchy-
feely" liberals in the White House, (When
the "cat's" away, 08/04/03). We've been
there and done that and it caused great con-
flict and diverted attention away from the
real work when the touchy-feely king was
in the Oval Office. Bad choice of words,
Jason Pesick.
So Pesick doesn't like President Bush
and doesn't like Republicans, I can deal
with that, but Pesick should get his silly
facts right before criticizing. Presidents
through all the years have vacationed in
August and maybe Pesick doesn't know
this in his uninformed way, but a president
is never truly on vacation. And what was
the other thing you criticized the president
for? Exercising. Don't we want our presi-
dent to be fit? At least Bush exercises in
the White House pool and in the exercise
room. Poor Bill Clinton did all his exercis-
ing in the Oval Office.
Now let's move on to the next very
intellectual statement you make. "Some of
Bush's officials are really creepy," I can't
even comment on that it is so insubstantial
and meaningless. Pesick sounds like a val-
ley girl. I always expect too much from
University students. How foolish of me.
Pesick can do better than this.
LARUE COCHRAN
LSA stafl
Gays are having way in
schools and on 'IV don't

ones who want special rights. God made man
to be with woman; it's not my law, but our
almighty God's law. I do not believe they
should be discriminated against because of
their sexual orientation as far as their jobs go.
Nevertheless, they are beginning to have their
way in our schools and on television.
I will never accept this. However, being a
Christian, I do feel compassion for them and
I pray for them.
TAMMY BENNET
Reader
FII I.
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