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December 02, 2004 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-12-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


-mimir

4B - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, December 2, 2004

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The Michigan Daily

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OWN

Looking for something to do on a Friday or Saturday night?
Choose any area of Ann Arbor, and you won't be disappointed.

auto-neurotic 1with Alexandra Jones
WHAT I LEARNED
THIS SEMESTER

Ti

Story and design by Ashley Dinges, Daily Arts Writer

One of the newest additions to the chicken wings priced at 35 cents, and
shopping experience on State Street lines sometimes extend out the front
is Henrietta Fahrenheit, a hip indie door. Located at 205 S. State St., the
fashion boutique in Nickels Arcade. restaurant is often open until 2 a.m.
The boutique. tucked back in the-

It's dark in here. If not for the tall
column of pre-dusk light bleeding
in through the window in the cor-
ner, I wouldn't even be able to see
myself write. I'm supposed to be
somewhere else. If I get caught,
I'm disgraced, but that won't hap-
pen. Even if it was possible, every-
body already knows my secret.
I've become a deplorable stu-
dent. During the fall 2004 semes-
ter, my academic superego - the
voice in my head that convinced
me that getting a double degree
would be easy, the part of my mind
that wrote apologies to my teach-
ers next to the incorrect answers
on my worksheets in third grade
- quit working. Whatever it is
that makes - or made - me com-
plete assignments, turn them in,
and show up to classes and meet-
ings on time simply shut off.
I never made a conscious deci-
sion to become a fuckup, but it
happened: I started showing up to
my one pre-noon class bedheaded
and half asleep. Stopped doing
homework - not because I didn't
want to, but because most of the
time, I didn't realize I had any. I
never found the time to even buy
most of the novels on my English
class reading lists.
And yet, with so many corners
cut and classes skipped and assign-
ments disregarded utterly, I still
had no time to do shit.
A few anxiety attacks and cry-
ing jags at office hours later, I
think I've realized why: I really
hate college. The whole student
community aspect of attending
college died for me when I figured
out that seeing the same people
in the same buildings doing the
same stuff semester after semester
is a really easy way to start hat-
ing everyone you come in contact
with. Once I detached myself from
the student body - elevated myself
above it, rather, as I'm wont to do
- I came to understand that having
a real life is a lot richer than living
as a student. I get to have hobbies,
think about my career, spend time
with the b.f., hang out with people

I don't know just because they're
in one of my classes.
I can't kid myself that paying
absolutely sick sums of money to
sit in a classroom and listen for
dozens of hours every week is
important to me, or even valuable
to me, any more - not in a char-
acter-building way, or an I-need-a-
high-GPA-to-get-into-grad-school
way. People can't do that kind of
shit to themselves.
I wrote all that up there around
5 p.m. this evening. I was back-
stage at Britton Recital Hall in the
School of Music, as I was stage-
handing for my studio class. I
should have been listening to my
classmates' performances, but I
was thinking about work.
Right this second, it's 11:27 p.m.
There really hasn't been a moment
in the past four days that I haven't
been doing about four things at
once, or at least thinking about
how I'm going to have to do four
things at once, or eviscerating
myself psychoemotionally because
I know I won't be able to do four
things at once and everyone's
expecting me to.
I've calmed down a bit since this
afternoon. Maybe everything's
just getting to me; the rhythm of
the second half of the semester -
always stuff to do, a few moments
of unfilled time and sudden hell-
ish whirlwinds of poorly-executed
activity - have a way of eroding
my faith in that BA (which I'm still
about two years away from achiev-
ing).
Or maybe, since this is my last
column, I'm delivering a sort of
ultimatum to myself. God knows I
inflicted all this on myself. Who
knew that after kicking ass for two
years with 18 credits each semes-
ter, 14 credits would totally screw
me? I've learned my lesson: 12
next semester, half of which will
probably be independent study.
But then again, there's also
The Michigan Daily, the glori-

ous high-speed timesucker that's
somehow absorbed my life. It's
sick how much time I've spent in
the Student Publications Build-
ing, how many hastily-considered
words I've crammed together in
pursuit of journalistic adequacy,
how badly I want to keep doing it
until I graduate (current estimate:
2007).
By the way, it's 11:59 now, and
no, it didn't take me 32 minutes
to write two paragraphs. I've just
been multitasking.
Okay, so here it is - what all
my bitching and screaming and
tears and excuses taught me this
semester:
I've learned to write my column
to fit the page, and that dead ads
are an editor's best friend. I've
learned that the best teachers are
the ones who will consider your
unexcused absences and begged
requests for extra time on assign-
ments with a whole-but-desper-
ate person in mind, not just a
nodding, note-taking automaton.
I've learned that if I'm doomed
to suffer, to never have a moment
to myself, I'm going to do it for
something I love, and that's why I
ran for an editor position in next
semester's Arts section. I might
spend the next two summers tak-
ing highly-concentrated distribu-
tion requirements in Ann Arbor,
but there's no way I would've even
made it to junior year without
quality motivation - something
more substantial than credit hours
and a framed piece of paper to look
forward to.
If leading a normal goddamn
adult life - cooking dinner,
spending time with my boyfriend,
thrift shopping, playing Scrabble,
doing, dare I say it, grown-up stuff
- means becoming a mediocre
student, I'll take it.
Alexandra doesn't want to hear
you complain, but rest assured that
she'll bitch to anyone who comes
close enough about how busy she is
for hours on end. Tell her to get a
grip at almajo@umich.edu.

Patrons enjoy drinks at Ashley's ba

G EMSTR'

ii

WASHTENAW
Friday, Dec. 3
Saturday, Dec. 4
Sunday, Dec. 5
Uniqi
Admission: $6 - Chi
Free Parking
uww.gem

- -1
4V#

:: i,
. *

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