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March 19, 2008 - Image 10

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2008-03-19

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THE EDITOR'S NOTEBOOK by GABE NELSON
A look at the big news events this week and how important they really are. Conveniently rated from one to10.

2

VOTING FOR FUTILITY
Michigan Student Assewbly
elections are today and tomorrow.
You probably don't care, but you
should. This is your chance to select a
representative who will protect your
interests, someone who will work
to add lighting on campus, lower
textbook prices and extend Entr6e
Plus to off-campus restaurants.
Representatives have been promising
to achieve these same goals for years,
but iflthey actually got anything done,
what would their platform be?

MGO0 EASY
The venerable Ann Arbor News used
valuable page space typically dedicated
to coverage of middle school principal
scandals and Marshmallow Peeps
dioramas to publish a four-part series
this week investigating academics for
Michigan student-athletes. The series
revealed many startling facts, including
that many athletes don't work too hard
in school and that Athletic Department
officials might bend the rules to help
them get by. Don't let the series worry
you too much, though. The News will be
back with more Peeps dioramas soon.

Help wanted
Tired of your desk job at the University? Consider the alternatives.
Mike Dolsen I Daily Staff Writer

MagazineEditor:Jessica vosgerchian
EditorinChief: Andrew Grossman
Managing Editor:Gabe Nelson
Photo Editor: Shay Spanola
Junk Drawer: Brian Tengel
Centerspread design:Allison Ghaman
Cover photo:Rodrigo Gaya
Cover ilustration:Shay Spanola
rule 90: If you hit it
off with someone at a
party, but afterwards
can't remember what
you said, don't call
for a date. rule 91: If
studying in the UGLi
by yourself, don't snag
one of the nice group
tables. You know,
which tables. Fourth
floor, in the window
nooks. Back off.
- E-mail rule submissions to
TheStatement@umich.edu

MOTOR VEHICLE
OPERATOR:
$8.60 -$9.80
Instead of opting for a cushy clerk posi-
tion that an MCard-swiping squirrel could
do, LSA junior Richard Caneba decided to
take a more active work-study job.
Have you just recently realized we're in
the midst of a China theme semester after
reading a banner on a light post? Thank
Caneba.
Being a "motor vehicle operator," does
in fact involve operating a motor vehicle.
But Caneba's real job is to decorate cam-
pus with banners and displays advertis-
ing University events, and to avoid hitting
pedestrians on sidewalks in the process.
"We'll be driving around in the middle
of the Diag going through the sidewalks
essentially trying to dodge pedestrians
without hitting anyone," he said. "We've
been fortunate to not have any accidents,
so that's agood thing."
Possibly to avoid such accidents, or to
surprise campus with a dazzling new ban-
ner display come sunrise, Caneba's job
requires the occasional late-night shift.
"The hours can be kind of funny," he
said. "Sometimes we have to do banners at
night, like 9 or 10 p.m. It'll be the middle
of January and be 5 or 10 degrees outside,
and you'll see us out in the Diag pulling
things down and postingthings up."
Aside from dealing with odd hours and
Michigan's perilous winter climate, Cane-
ba often puts his life on the line in order to
inform students of the next Umix event.
"A lot of times we'll drive out and need
to get wires down, so it ends up being me
who climbsup there, because I'm the short
one and I like to climb stuff," Caneba said.
"I end up climbing poles which is really
dangerous in the winter, and I probably
shouldn't be doing that. My insurance
company would throw fits if they saw me
doing it."
Although there are definitely easier
work-study jobs available, Caneba main-
tains his is one of the most fun.
"It's a cool job because where else are
you going to get the chance to drive a
van down the sidewalk legally?" he said.
"Well, maybe not legally but we haven't
been pulled over yet."

CUE TIPPER:
$7.15 - $8.00 PLUS TIPS
With a title like 'cue-tipper,' Engi-
neering junior Jeff Conley's work-
study job sounds like it would entail
the hospital handlingecotton swabs and
strangers' ear wax.
He actually deals with the main-
tenance of pool cues and tables at the
Michigan Union Billiards and Game
Room, monitoring wear and tear, re-
tipping cues and occasionally making
house calls to fix malfunctioningtables
in students' homes.
"When a table breaks down I fix

that," Conley said. "The only main-
tenance for tables is re-clothing. We
sometimes go to other places like
people's house and fix their tables. As
for the cues, I just refinish the cues
because we don't have a lathe or any-
thing to make them."
Despite its place in the Union, Con-
ley's workplace, which celebrated its
100-year anniversary last year, main-
tains some aspects of smoke-hazed
pool halls from by-gone eras.
"I've seen guys gambling $500 sets,"
Conley said. "A guy named Port Huron
Phil started coming over the summer
and was looking to play some one-
pocket, cheap $50 games. He ended up

playing this one guy and cleaned him
out."
Pool hustling sometimes takes on
a less cordial character. The billiards
room's regulars can get a little too
excited over friendly games.
"One time a cue was thrown across
State Street out our window," Conley
said. "He threw it like a javelin. After-
ward he said he was in track-and-field.
We made him pay for the cue tip."
A self-described pool enthusiast,
Conley believes he's landed the perfect
college job.
"I love to play pool and I get free
table time," he said. "There aren't a lot
of negatives."

FIRE EXTINGUISHER
TESTER:
$9- $11
In light of last week's house fire on
Church Street, LSA junior Eric Garnick's
work-study job is more important than
ever. Garnick works as a fire extinguisher
tester, making sure that the University's
equipment is able to snuff out at any small
blaze if needed.
"I walk around to a given building on
my list, and then check to make sure the
extinguisher is in good working condi-
tion," Garnick said. "It's pretty much a
visual inspection that's done monthly."
His monthly assessments take him to
every nook and cranny of campus, some of
which - especially trips to labs and medi-
cal buildings - expose Garnick to places
he wishes he hadn't been.
"One time I was going into a lab and I
was inspecting an extinguisher and there
was a box under the extinguisher, which
I didn't really look at," Garnick said. "But
then I looked down, and there was a mouse
sitting in it with the top of his head cut off
with electrodes coming out of his exposed
brain."
Ever vigilant to track down a faulty
extinguisher, though, Garnick continued
examining lab extinguishers despite the
threat of witnessing another gruesome
experiment.
"Another time I went into a different
lab and I saw there were these two guys
working on a board," Garnick said. "I saw
a shriveled hand on the other side of the
board, and when I went to check the extin-
guisher on the other side, I saw they were
practicing some sort of medical procedure
on a severed arm. It was creepy."
Garnick said his favorite part of the job
is in the summer when the extinguishers
receive a new supply of water and C02.
"We go into the parking lot and just
spray the water and C02, which is pretty
fun," Garnick said.

BALLOON
COORDINATOR:
$7.50 - $8.65
LSA senior Kristen Gaunt is the
"Student Balloon Coordinator" for the
University. That's right, the University
of Michigan, in all its stuffy, academic
prestige provides a work-study job
that you'd expect to find at Chuck E.
Cheese's.
"We have 11-inch latex and Mylar
foil balloons with about 1,000 total bal-

loons in stock with different designs,"
Gaunt said.
Overseeing the Union's extensive
balloon business, with its staff of 11
regular employees and two trainees,
has become a major commitment for
Gaunt.
"There's actually a pretty high
demand for balloons on campus,"
Gaunt said. "I generally have three or
four orders per week. I'm pretty busy
because I also confirm orders, let peo-
ple know we can do orders, and make
sure we have staff to do the orders if

I can't handle the orders. I come in a
few times a week extra other than my
shift."
Gaunt had initially applied for a
clerk position at the Student Organiza-
tion Resource Center, but after hearing
that the balloon coordinator position
was open, she immediately nabbed it.
Gaunt loves her job, even though it
meant overcoming a latent childhood
fear.
"I *don't particularly like balloons
popping, which can be a little loud and
can catch you off guard," Gaunt said.

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