6B The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008 - The Michigan Daily
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
BULLSH ITTI NG
I touched her hand and
she smelled like cherries."
- DYLAN MCAFEE, Georgetown Day School
second grader, about Michelle Obama after the
future first lady toured McAfee's school last
week.-Obama has been touring private schools
in the Washington D.C-area to decide which
the first children will attend
"I'm suggesting that they
have sex for seven straight
days. And my wife and I
are looking forward to it."
- ED YOUNG, pastor and founder of Fellowship
Church in Texas, explaining his call for all married
couples in his congregation to have sex for seven
consecutive days. He says the initiative is meant
to promote safe sex and celebrate it as a way to
Bulishitting is an art form.
Do it right and you'll score an A
and a place in your professors'
good graces. Do it wrong and
everyone will know that you're an
asshole - or you'll cross the line
Look for discussion-based classes where you can just talk
about yourself. Often in American culture classes, so many
people will talk about how their grandparents were immi-
grants that the professor won't have a chance to get to the
- For every distribution requirement, there is a bullshitty
way to satisfy it. For foreign language, take Ojibwa. For natu-
ral science, stack up the minicourses.
E Don't take Ratemyprofessor.com rankings at face value.
Read the comments thoroughly. It could be that a professor's
"easy" ranking came from students who took his freshman
class, while the few commenters who took his 400-level
course you're looking at thought he was a hard ass.
If you can't find a professor on RateMyProfessor.com, it
could mean she's a visiting professor or a graduate student
instructor - and that's a good thing. These people only teach
for a semester or two to pay the bills and forward their per-
sonal research. What they often lack in delivering coherent
and engaging lectures, they make up for with lax attendance
policies and lenient grading.
Read the class description closely - figure out the book list
and how many graded assignments would be due. Then take
the rules in the next section and apply them to the course
description. Can the full textof all thebooks be found online?
How well does Wikipedia cover the subject?
Here's how to do it right.
Stay true to your class discussion identity. Some students
speak up every seven minutes, others make occasional com-
ments between diligently taking notes and the rest of the
class just stares or sleeps. To safeguard your participation
grade and win your GSI's favor, don't be the latter. But being
one of the most talkative means that it will be conspicuous if
don't say a word one class. Amateurbullshitters might be bet-
ter suited to the middle group. Take notes. Make eye contact.
Smile. Nod. Stay alert.
Remember the rule of old comment plus an older com-
ment equals insightful new comment (OC + OC2= INC). It's a
common trick to piggyback off of what another student said.
Master bullshitters make their point sound original by apply-
ing another student's comment and to something discussed
in a previous class. "Katie makes a good point. It reminds
me of what we saw in chapter 23 with..." It doesn't matter if
you didn't read chapter 23 - if you're quick, you can recall a
similar point made about earlier material. Now you're doing
a "multi-text reading."
To most lecturers, comprehensive questions are just as
good as comprehensive answers. If it's asking too much to
draft an argument out of thin air, take the last tip and put it in
question form. "Katie makes a good point, butI wonder how
that idea might be applied to chapter 23?"
Every 20-page article can be understood in three pages.
Read the introduction until you get to a thesis. Skip the
author's self-serving exposition. Skim the first and last para-
graphs of every new section. Read the last few pages until the
conclusion. For bonus points, make sure to get a handle on
one big quote or important source in the article to bring up in
class. Something toward the end will tell your GSI you read
the entire piece. Remember, the key to good bullshit is a good
Three things you can talk about this week:
1. Secretary of State Clinton
2. Political Science Prof. Lawrence Greene
3. Fidel Castro's new book
And three things you can't:
1. Diane Sawyer on Ashley
2. Martin Eisenstadt
3. The pregnant man
BY T HE NUMBERS
Number of children who have been abandoned at hospitals in
Nebraska under the state's "safe haven" law
Number of the abandoned children who are infants. The state
"safe haven" law intended to allow parents to give up their
newborns anonymously does not specify an age limit.
Number of children from other states, including Michigan and
Florida, who have been abandoned in Nebraska hospitals
"It looked like lava coming down a volcano."
- LESLIE HOLLIS LOPEZ, a resident of Santa Barbara, California, commenting on television
images of houses burning because of wildfires raging across southern.parts of the state. Some
firefighters have estimated that as many as 500 houses may have burned. Last Friday, Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency
For many rappers, metaphors are
a vivid way to get their point across.
But of course, such literary devices
are- only effective if they actually
make sense. That's precisely this rap-
In this video, a young producer
is recording the rapper's new "hot"
track, which deals with something
near and dear to the pugnacious rap-'
per: his penis.
In order to illustrate the size and,
perhaps, desirability of his penis, the
rapper uses some metaphors that
don't quite make sense. This leadsto
intermittent squabbling between the
two characters, with each disputing
the applicability of the metaphor.
During his first take, the rapper
insists that his "dick gets more work
than the cast of 'Friends.' " At which
point, the producer stops the music
and argues that the cast of "Friends"
really doesn't get that much work. An
intense debate about the popularity of
the cast ensues.
The rapper then says that his penis
is as popular as President Bush, whose
current approval rating is about 17
percent. His penis is also, apparently,
"fatter than Jared from Subway."
When the producer suggests a dif-
ferent metaphor for the girth of his
penis, the rapper says that it wouldn't
rhyme with "bitch buffet."
See this and other
YouTube videos of the week at
Call your GSI's bluff. Your GSI has a good idea of what is
going to be on the exam. He's not going to tell you, but he's
not not going to tell you. It's like poker, so go to office hours
with your poker face on - earnest, hard working, but dumb -
and prepare to ask "do we need to know this" many times. By
monitoring your GSI's irises and tone of voice you can discern
what the main focus of the exam will be. Or if you act dumb
and desperate enough, he might just tell you.
Praise Google. Again. Google is in the process of uploading
every volume in the University's library system. The best part
of the Google Books search, though, is that these free, online-
accessible, full-text copies include internal term search.
Writing a paper on a secondary character? Geta list of every
page she appears on. Forgot to take notes on a crucial section
of your textbook? Type in the few words you remember.
e Go ahead, ask for an extension. Most professors have few
qualms about granting extensions for papers. You might run
into trouble with some young bucks who still take their syl-
labi seriously, but seasoned professors have made so many
exceptions over the years that your case needs little plead-
ing. If you want to e-mail with a specific excuse, blame some
extracurricular activity or say you came down with the grue-
some flu that's going around. Really, you could say a dog ate
your research and it wouldn't matter.
THEME PARTY SUGGESTION
007 martini hour - "Quantum of Solace," the 22nd
installment in the James Bond series, opened last
Friday. Before you see the film, gather some friends
and watch the preceding 21 movies continuously.
Bathroom and food breaks are acceptable, but noth-
ing else. No sleep, no homework. Before you begin
this Bond odyssey, go to Meijer and load up on pop-
corn, caffeinated soda and an array of candy. You
know you're having fun when the headaches start.
Throwing this party? Let us know. TheStotement@umich.edu
STUDY OF THE WEEK
Sexual content on TV impacts teen pregnancy rates
Sexual content on television strongly correlates with rates of teen
pregnancy, according to a study published in this month's issue of the
journal Pediatrics by the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit organization.
For the study, the researchers examined the results of three surveys
from 2001 to 2004 that included 2,000 adolescents ages 12 to 17. In par-
ticular, the researchers looked at 700 teens across the nation who had
engaged in sex by the time of the third survey.
The researchers questioned the group about an array of dramas, ani-
mated and reality shows and sitcoms, all of which were deemed to be
laden with sexual content.
Adolescents with high levels of exposure to television shows with a
lot of sexual content were twice as likely to become pregnant or impreg-
nate someone than those who watched fewer of these programs overthe
three-year course of the study. While the findings may not be surprising,
researchers said, it is the first time this association has been shown.
- BRIAN TENGEL