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December 05, 2007 - Image 9

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2007-12-05

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The MichiganeDaUhyg - Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Un ergraduate and expecting -}daDr

ometimes I feel like college
kids aren't too far removed
from kindergarten. Minus
the workload, crazy hours, a little
sex here and a little alcohol there,
we're all still waiting to pounce on
the class freaks during recess. The
only difference is that the freaks
have changed.
A couple weeks back in my psy-
chology discussion, one showed
his face. He wasn't a four-eyes, a
brace-face or a teacher's pet. His
crime against normalcy was mucli
more severe; he was 19 and engaged
to be married. Of all the 30 or so
refined, mature young adults in this
small Dennison classroom, not one
refrained from staring at him with
incredulity and disapproval. In a
psychology class, where the real
showstoppers should be mutated
rhesus monkeys or schizophrenics
who cut off their own hands, it was
this boy who earned the disgust of
his peers who got to be the freak.
And I sat there thinking, rather
hopelessly, how would they look at
me if I told them that in their midst
was not only this conjugally-mind-

ed lad, but a 21-year old girl who
was three months pregnant - and
happy about it?
The harsh reality is this: You
can change your major a hundred
times, you can transfer in and out
of schools as often as you change
clothes, you can tack on as many
super-senior years as you want, but
if you're a "non-traditional" student
attheUniversityofMichigan,you're
anoutsider. I wear this onmyshoul-
ders almost every day, worrying as
my pregnancy begins to show that
I will run into acquaintances and
friends I haven't yet told, or worse,
run into the occasional once-over
from a judgmental stranger. Preg-
nancy is hard enough, between
morning sickness, mood swings,
fatigue and dietary restrictions,
but none of the "what to expect"
books tell you how to prepare for
being a social outcast. And I have
yet to see the button or T-shirt that
says what I sometimes feel I need
to scream through a megaphone:
"I AM PREGNANT BUT I WILL
STILL BE SUCCESSFUL! I AM
PREGNANT BUT I STILL WANT

TO BE INVITED TO HANG OUT! it. I have my own doubts about the
I AM PREGNANT BUT I AM NOT feasibility of finishing a degree and
A FREAK!" pursuing a career in these circum-
I know that if I had the chance to stances. So why does it feel like I've
sit down with everyone I encounter been written off before even being
and explain how much time and given the chance to try?
From my limited research, there
are few resources for those of us
with a bun in the oven - probably
w hat it's like to because there are precious few of
us. I personally know of only two
be pregnant at other pregnant students who were
of. bold enough to stick around cam-
the University of pus - ever. Search "pregnancy
resources" on the University's web-
M ichigan site and you'll find a list of links to
UHS pregnancy testing and infor-
mation about emergency contra-
energy I've put into deciding on ception. Call the Office of Financial
parenthood and what my adjusted Aid and they'll tell you that yes,
five-year plan is, very few would there is childcare for students, but
remain unsupportive. But I'm not oh, by the way, you'll have to cover
struggling with individuals; I'm it with student loans when we tack
struggling with a system, and in the cost onto your tuition. Financ-
that system is the built-in assump- ing child care? You can't be serious.
tion that college - serious college There has to be something better
- is no place for those distracted by than this.
peripheral domestic pursuits like But there isn't.
marriage and a family. I know this It has taken some time - I'm
system well, because I am a part of five months along now - but I'm

finally realizing that these hur-
dles aren't going to go away, and
it's OK if I'm "non-traditional."
A month ago, I got my first ultra-
sound; a week ago, I discovered I
can put my hand on my abdomen
and feel a child, my child, dancing.
No amount of unwanted stares,
awkward explanations or disap-
pointing advising meetings can
diminish the magic and miracu-
lousness of that. If that's non-tra-
ditional, I'll take it.
I wish I wasn't embarrassed.
I wish I had the nerve to tell the
people I haven't told that I'm preg-
nant and thrilled about it. But some
people just aren't ready. Those
who are (close friends and the odd
professor or two) have my unend-
ing gratitude. The best advice I've
received from these lovely and
supportive people is just to buck
up. It's going to be hard, yes, but it
won't be impossible. And Iwill not
give up.
Watch out, U of M. You haven't
seen the last of this freak.
-Kendall Dorie is an LSA junior.

Cont'd: Legislation promises new hope for dorm room poker players

From previous page
aiding economic growth. Look no
further than Metro Detroit.
Card rooms at GreekTown Casi-
no and MotorCity Casino have seen
a boom in attendance. MotorCity
Casino recently made a brand new
poker room to accommodate the
increase in demand. A third casino,
MGM Grand Casino, also welcomes
players with its new, state-of-the-
art poker room.
Unlike home games, casinos are
legally allowed to take a rake of
pots. In cash games, the casinos can
take up to $6 from each pot. When
the casinos hold tournaments, they
charge a "seat fee" on top of the
entry fee, which goes into the prize
pool.
Though a lot of the occupants
in these card rooms are part of the
"old guard" - the group of poker
players who don't knowa computer
mouse from a field mouse - more

and more of the people playing in
card rooms first learn the game
online.
The online poker craze is good
for brick-and-mortar casinos
because it gives people experience
they need before playing live and
for money. With the intimidation
factor gone, more people feel com-
fortable playing at casinos.
Despite the complimentary
nature of live and online poker, the
rise of online poker has seemingly
cut down on campus poker in gen-
eral. Although there's never been
a real big poker culture at the Uni-
versity as on some other campuses,
campus police rarely deal with
gambling - which is prohibited in
all University buildings and pun-
ishable with a misdemeanor.
"As far as poker at U of M, there
are not as many games as I thought
there would be. I'm not sure if that's
because of the casinos or what," said
Egerer, who, like a lot of University

students, can't play at Detroit casi-
nos, which require everyone to be
at least 21 years old.
Egerer is trying to increase
the visibility of poker on campus.
He founded the Michigan Poker
League last fall. Just one short year
later, the MPL mailinglisthas about
350 people on it, and 30 to 45 people
come to the MPL's weekly games.
Though there's a difference
between live and online poker, the
two complement and bring atten-
tion to each other.
"I think it's all a catalyst for each
other," said Egerer at a recent MPL
event. "The exposure - it brings
more and more people in. These
guys bring their friends along and
they start coming back."
LOOKING FORWARD
Online poker is once again
becoming more accessible. Casi-
nos are catering more and more to
poker players, both in the Detroit

area and around the nation. And
groups like the MPL are making
the game more visible on a campus
that traditionally hasn't had much
of a poker presence.
But where does poker go from
here?
Live poker looks to be extreme-
ly healthy. Aside from the World
Series of Poker itself, which is held
in Las Vegas each summer, there's
also a separate World Series of
Poker Circuit that goes year round.
Combine that with the World Poker
Tour (a televised tour with weekly
purses in the millions) and the Mid-
west-based Heartland Poker Tour,
and there are plenty of chances to
make it big if you play your cards
right.
Even with live poker gaining
more mainstream acceptance and
with the government starting to
rally behind online poker, the sec-
ond online poker boom could be a
short-lived one.

Without government regulation,
online poker could be a mere after-
thought that thrives in the other
markets. Because poker sites can't
operate in the United States, most
poker-related jobs are outsourced
too.
With the success of the newly
formed Asia-Pacific Poker Tour, it's
evident that the poker boom has
extended beyond the United States.
If the government can't find a way
to make both sides happy, it would
not only be missing out on millions
of dollars it could potentially make
from taxes, but it could once again
start losing the game that millions
of Americans play in some form or
another.
To those close to the situation,
though, a solution may be on the
horizon.
"I think eventually it's going to
be regulated in the U.S.," Egerer
said. "It's a $3 billion a year indus-
try. How could it not?"

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