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February 04, 2004 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-02-04

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, February 4, 2003


le ArI~tdmx

opinion. michigandaily. com

SINCE 1890

Editor in Chief
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.

Its going to
take one tough
hombre, and I'm one
tough hombre."
- Democratic presidential candidate
Wesley Clark, while courting
Hispanic voters in New Mexico,
as reported Monday by WXIA-Atlanta.

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w a ys}y " l c yk


Five simple steps for increasing your GPA

There are numer-
ous books you
can read to bet-
ter your performance
on law school exams,
but search the shelves
of the local Borders
and you'll find almost
no helpful material on
how to better your
undergraduate grades. Until now.
In the paragraphs that follow, I lay out
a simple, five-step process for increasing
your grade point average. If you're look-
ing for better grades, this is the system for
you. If you're already happy with your
4.0, my process will show you how to
maintain that level of excellence while not
putting in as much effort. And if you think
a degree is about "reclassifying the tradi-
tional notions of race, class and gender in
"economics," "experiences" or "diversity"
and that I shouldn't be promoting a system
that undermines the integrity of a liberal
arts education, you're probably in the Res-
idential College and beyond help anyway.
The premise of my system is based on
the simple, irrefutable fact that the majori-
ty of college professors are liberal. More-
over, contrary to popular belief, these
professors are not as open-minded as they
would have us believe. From the follow-
ing, it can reasonably be suggested that in
order to do well, one must write and
express ideas as the professor would. This
means writing and expressing liberal
ideas. If you're a conservative, this means
selling out.
So, if you're not afraid, keep reading.

It's the ultimate form of capitalism: selling
out in the short run to increase your over-
all net benefit (measured in dollars, of
course) in the long run.
Now, without further ado, here is my
process for increasing your grade point
First, before you register for classes,
search the courseguide for classes whose
descriptions use one, or all, of the three
liberal buzzwords: "race," "class" or "gen-
der." There should be hundreds of these
classes, so don't worry about not finding
Second, when you register for a class,
make sure it is a 300-level class that has
essay/paper requirements only. English
313 - Ancient Greece and Modern Gay
Identity - is a perfect example. Take a
300-level class because the subjects are
generally more nuanced than 100- and
200- level classes (which require a great
deal of memorization and work). Also, you
can write an A-quality essay without any
substantive knowledge of the'reading, as I
illustrate in Step 5.
Third, do not read any of the assigned
Fourth, participate in class. Yeah, I know
what you're thinking: How can I participate
if I haven't done the reading? The answer is
easy. Wait until someone raises his hand and
makes a comment about the reading. Then
wait until someone else makes a contrary
point. Immediately raise your hand and sug-
gest that the actual interpretation is some
combination of the two, and add a general-
ized theme which brings the comments
together. Because the assigned reading

undoubtedly deals with some form of oppres-
sion, your generalized statement should say
something to the effect of "and when consid-
ered in light of the fact that women at that
time couldn't vote, is it really surprising that
(character Y) is searching for a way to vindi-
cate her civil rights?"
Fifth, when it comes time to write a
paper, skim the reading material for a few
quotes that could reasonably be suggestive
of some underlying liberal theme - for
example, that "The Red Badge of
Courage" is actually about lesbianism-
and use these quotes as evidence of the
underlying theme. Make sure you empha-
size in your paper that "although this topic
is not explicitly addressed in the text" your
excerpted quotes can reasonably be sug-
gestive of whatever generalized theme you
chose. Any substantive knowledge is not
required because - surprise-surprise -
most 300-level liberal arts classes have no
substantive basis. They're merely a front
for teaching the politics of race, class and
Finally, sit back and watch the A's
pour in. You'll rile like the privileged
class and separate yourself from the rest of
the pack like the blacks, whites, Asians,
Indians and Hispanics in the Mary
Markley cafeteria.
For additional information or a more
personalized system, feel free to contact
me. I teach a weekly seminar for the rea-
sonable price of $100 an hour. RC students
need not apply.

Lee can be reached
at leedc@umich.edu.

Losing my (voting) virginity

or a couple of
months now, I
have been looking
forward to this Saturday.
Feb. 7 will be my first
time and I have been
waiting with bated
breath for the day to
come. I have toyed with
local elections before,
but this is it: Finally I can vote in a nation-
al election.
I have been thinking about this moment
for quite some time now, becoming some-
what obsessed with the candidates: I read
about Clark's argyle sweater, saw Edwards
on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart"
and heard the remixes of Dean's now infa-
mous yelp. But mostly, I have been dis-
cussing my vote for the past few months.
Unfortunately, after hours of discussion, I
am no closer to choosing for whom I will
vote on Saturday. And for someone who
has scheduled her entire month around this
date, this indecision creates a great deal of
Presently, it isn't a matter of who I
think is the best candidate for the job.
Instead, I am at the point of choosing
someone I don't completely dislike. Star-
tled that the caucus crept up without me
choosing a candidate, I made a sad attempt
at writing down my many random thoughts
in some cohesive way.
Much like high school, Howard Dean
was the hot new kid that everyone just fell
in love with. And then they realized he
wasn't saying anything substantial and that
he wasn't pleasant even to be around,

much less run the country. While initially
people claimed Dean motivated them, the
speed with which supporters abandoned his
camp indicates that he did not offer any
distinct options to begin with.
Even his charming good looks could not
save John Edwards from stumbling into
questions about the Patriot Act. Though he
searched, he found no way to justify allow-
ing such an extreme and corrosive piece of
legislation to pass through his committee.
Though Wesley Clark also used his
charm to capture his audience in one-on-
one interviews and campaign videos men-
tioning OutKast, he failed miserably when
debating about his domestic policy, or lack
thereof. Clark was so badly beaten at the
debate in Detroit that he was too embar-
rassed to meet with reporters after the
While Kerry scored major points in
Iowa and New Hampshire by playing the
electability game (and for those of us glued
to C-SPAN, some hockey too), he offers
few concrete proposals. However, he
remains the strongest candidate simply
because people are impressed with both his
Vietnam War experience and his opposi-
tion to the war in Iraq.
These four have at least separated
themselves from the three candidates that
offer entertainment value but little to the
actual ticket. Lieberman's policies seem
more in line with the Republican Party's
than with the Democratic Party's. Also,
that Gore supports Dean is a huge indica-
tor of Lieberman's incapabilities. Sharpton
entertained the audience by maintaining
his delusion that he would win. Unlike

other candidates, Kucinich actually pro-
posed ideas to improve higher education;
however, the biggest concern - that of
electability - bars him from getting even
my idealistic support.
All this deliberation leaves me in the
same situation I was in few hours before -
without a single candidate for whom I
would waste getting up on a.cold, Febru-
ary, Saturday afternoon to vote. The polls
from the mini-Super Tuesday are even
more discouraging: A, few remote states
have determined the electability of a hand-
ful of sorry candidates that later states like
Michigan now face.
While I may pretend to be frustrated
enough not to vote, my determination to
not become yet another disheartened youth
will get me out of bed and up to the Michi-
gan Union. When I get to the caucus
though, the awkward process of wading
through the many volunteers fighting to
have bigger signs and more memorable
slogans will only make me more tentative.
I hope that at least the process itself will
be exciting - I have, after all, been saving
myself for something memorable.
I am saddened, though, by how my first
voting experience in a national race will
turn out: I will end up choosing someone
who doesn't inspire me but instead man-
ages to just not irritate me. The person
who least represents my interests but who
has waded off bad publicity will win, not
because of innovative policy proposals,
but simply by default.

Chirumamilla can be reached
at schiruma@umich.edu.


Consumerism now a
worldwide phenonemon,
not just an American vice
Jess Piskor's column (America is about
to learn the lesson of the elm tree, 2/03/04)
portrays the American people and Ameri-
can business in a negative manner. Piskor

approaches a universal norm. If, as Piskor
puts it, America really does fall off the
cliff, then we will pick ourselves right
back up again.
LSA Senior
Spoof article ignorant of
past incidences of anti-
Semitic violence

explained to those of us on the outside of
undergraduate culture. I also assume that the
editors were unaware of the history of anti-
Semitic rhetoric, which is chillingly echoed
in their play on Jewish names. Perhaps they
were also unaware that the memory of the
Holocaust is still too raw in the minds of
many readers to allow them to see the humor
in jokes about the murder of Jews.
I want to make clear that I am not denounc-
ing the editors or asking for an apology. As
member of the LSA faculty, I am hoping to ini-

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