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November 26, 2008 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-11-26

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4A - Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com


Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
. tathedaily@umich.edu

How to move from whining about the
economy to whoopee!"
- Rev. Ed Young, explaining the benefit of his Seven Days of Sex program, which supposedly puts
parishoners closer to God, as reported yesterday by The New York Times.
WhatI didn't plan for




Unsigned editorials reflect therofficilposition of the Daily's editoria board. All other signed articles
sod illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
W hy you shou be here
'U' needs to give students day before Thanksgiving off
J you're the only one currently sitting in your usually packed
lecture hall, you may be wondering if you didn't get the
memo about class being canceled. The good news is that you
were technically correct to go to class - there's no blanket can-
cellation today. But there should be. Having class the Wednes-
day before Thanksgiving is an unnecessary inconvenience for all
students, but especially for out-of-state-students whose delicious
turkey dinners are a plane flight away and getting cold. The Uni-
versity needs to reform this ridiculous scheduling policy and give
students the day off before Thanksgiving.

Last week I paid $140 to miss an
afternoon of classes and take
a standardized test on which
I'm certain I could
have scored better
without three and a
half years of higher
my memory of high
school geometry.'
This weekend
I paid $50 to have
a university in my EMMARIE
home state tell me
that the fact that HUETTEMAN
I've possessed a
Georgia driver's
license, driven a car registered in
Georgia, paid Georgia income taxes,
voted in Georgia elections and - oh
yeah - lived in Georgia for more than
17 years isn't "adequate" proof that
I'm a Georgia resident.
Why? I am trying to avoid the
recession - I mean, apply to gradu-
ate school.
To be honest, this isn't how I pic-
tured the fall semester of my senior
year. For one thing, having fulfilled
my LSA quantitative~ reasoning
requirement, I was fairly confident
my weakness in mathematics would
never be relevant again. Last winter
I started planning for graduation,
deciding that I would follow the
advice of seasoned journalists and
jump right into the job market, then
either save up enough money for
graduate study or see if my employer
liked me enough to foot the bill. I
spent the summer cultivating con-
nections, bulking up my resume and
clipping ads for entry-level posi-
Then the economy tanked. I lis-
tened in silent terror as my room-
mate, who is graduating in a few
weeks with only a vague notion of
where she'll go next, related stories
about job interviews that ended with
sighs of "we like you ... but we can't
hire you right now." And like many

of my classmates, I looked at my still
unemployed friends who graduated
last year and decided that graduate
school seemed like the perfect place
to wait out the storm.
It's not an uncommon plan. A
recent study conducted by Kaplan
Test Prep and Admissions showed
that there has been a nearly 45-per-
cent increase in interest in business,
law and graduate programs in just
the past few months. As the direc-
tor of graduate programs noted, the
level of interest in such programs is
often dependent on the economy -
specifically, the worse the market is,
the more likely college students are to
pursue post-graduate degrees.
It's sound logic, really: If you can't
find a job, you might as well devote
your energy to becoming more
employable. My father figured that
out in the 1970s, and it's still a good
option today.
Unfortunately, as the "how to get
into your dream graduate school"
books have informed me, we eco-
nomic refugees are late - about six
months late, in fact. So armed with
little more than a list of graduate pro-
grams out of U.S. News and World
Report, I've tried to condense sev-
eral months of painstaking research
into the past several weeks. And
now, with less than one week until
the application deadline for my first
choice school, I have seven partially
finished applications, three recom-
menders in various states of confu-
sion, two undergraduate classes in
which I'm falling behind, a head cold
and the growing conviction that I'm
being punished for graduating this
There are so many details that
make this process more difficult than
it needs to be. For instance, finding
references who fit each school's spe-
cific criteria can be nearly impos-
sible, even for students who go to
office hours and have friendly bosses.
The GRE is basically the SAT four-

plus years later with more esoteric
vocabulary words and, bizarrely,
inadequate preparation tools for Mac
users. (Don'tworry, "I'maPC" people
- the free tutorial software works on
your computers.) And unless you're a
dirt-poor undergraduate at the school
to which you're applying for gradu-
ate study, forget about application
fee waivers. By the end of this pro-
cess, I'll be down almost $600 - and
at least I don't have to worry about
flying myself across the country for
But hassle aside, I can't deny that
college graduates gain something
from this process: a mature, distinct
sense of self. When I applied to col-
lege four years ago, all I had was a
How the economy
drove me to apply
for grad school.
vague notion of what I wanted to do
and how I was going to do it. I may
have filled out most of the paper-
work and written the cliche essay
about challenges, but I had my par-
ents, teachers and one very helpful
guidance counselor telling me where
to sign.
And while I've developed that
plan for my life over the past few
years here at the University, nothing
has shaped the image of what comes
next more than choosing the pro-
gram that will help me distinguish
myself as a journalist, as a student
and as a person.
I just hope that that plan is willing
to forgive my tardiness.
Emmarie Huetteman is an associate
editorial page editor. She can be
reached at huetteme@umich.edu.

Under the current schedule, students
can't officially get out of class and start
Thanksgiving break until 5 p.m. on
Wednesday, the day before the holiday.
This just happens to be the busiest travel
day of the year, and many students have
no choice but to book evening plane flights
in order to get home. Plane tickets on this
day cost hundreds of dollars more than
they do even one day earlier, meaning that
students who can't miss Wednesday class
are literally paying for it. With roughly
one third of the student population hailing
from places outside of Michigan, this is a
significant inconvenience.
Another clear sign that Wednesday
should be a day off is that many students
just skip it anyway. And many professors
and graduate student instructors have
recognized this reality by canceling their
classes ahead of time. Unfortunately, most
teachers don't notify their students of this
until the week before Thanksgiving. Out-
of-state students, the perpetual losers in
this situation, have to book their plane
flights weeks in advance, meaning that
while other students just drive home atday
early, these poor students' schedules are
already solidified.
The teachers who haven't canceled class

end up with lecture halls that are half filled
at best. The resulting classes are generally
a waste of time not only for the few stu-
dents who show up, but also for the pro-
fessors who feel compelled to follow the
rules. And the University is taking a hit,
too, because it wastes energy heating and
lighting mostly empty buildings all day.
The solution to all of this would be for
the University to just cancel classes on
Wednesday. This would give all students
more time to get home for break, and out-
of-state students could buy plane tickets
for Tuesday night when they aren't nearly
as expensive. And while planning the aca-
demic calendar may be difficult, it's hard
to believe that there's no way to move a
different off-day up to the beginning of
Thanksgiving break, especially consider-
ing the fact that this year we have a longer
winter break than we did last year.
Since not all students can benefit from
their professors spontaneously cancel-
ing class the week before, the University
needs to step in and just let Tuesday be
the last school day before break. Or just
give students the whole week off. This will
allow out-of-state students to save money
on plane flights and everyone can enjoy a
break that's a little longer. Now go home.

Nina Amilineni, Emad Ansari, Elise Baun, Harun Buljina, Ben Caleca, Satyajeet Deshmukh,
Brian Flaherty, Matthew Green, Emmarie Huetteman, Emma Jeszke, Shannon Kellman,
Edward McPhee, Emily Michels, Kate Peabody, Matthew Shutler, Robert Soave, Eileen Stahl,
Jennifer Sussex, lmran Syed, Radhika Upadhyaya, Rachel Van Gilder, Margaret Young

The Daily is looking for a diverse group of strong, informed writers to be columnists next
semester. Columnists write 750 words on a topic of their choice every other week.
Readers are encouraged to submit letters to the editor. Letters should be less than 300 words and must
include the writer's full name and University affiliation. Letters are edited for style, length, clarity and
accuracy. All submissions become property of the Daily. We do not print anonymous letters.
Send letters to tothedaily@umich.edu.
Something to be thankful for


Giving thanks for the
Michigan football team

American Mo
dents Allied F
soring an ev
personal polit
debate on car

TO THE DAILY: everyday occu
I love Michigan. I love the people I've met I would als
here, the experiences I've had here and, most the Union of P
of all, I love Michigan football. Not 10 minutes ing the logistic
after the clock ran out against Ohio State, my that UPZ andi
Facebook newsfeed was littered with com- praise for thee
ments like "Rich Rod is blowing up all kinds of and effort into
records" and "What a fabulous record-breaking without the w
season" on their statuses. My status said that I have been neat
was "proud to be a Michigan Wolverine."
We all should be proud to be Wolverines, no Aaron Willis
matter what the scoreboard says. Did we hon- LSA senior
estly think we could completely change our
style of play and compete for a Big Ten titleY
after just one season? This was a rebuilding
year in every sense, and Michigan fans need to d
be patient. I'm confident we'll be back atop the
Big Ten soon. But with a winning tradition that
has run deep for 129 years, we need to realize TO THE DAIL
that seasons like this one will happen. How many1
While this year's men in maize and blue about our foot
didn't perform nearly as well as past teams, we the number ha
should focus on the positives. At the onse
The Michigan defense held both Penn passed up a cl
State and Ohio State, two of the best offenses I couldn't sit t
in the country, to 14 points in each first half. upon us. Little
Let's thank Michigan's defensive coordinator as severe as it
Scott Shafer for that. And Michigan sacked the Ohio Stat
Terrell Pryor, who was averaging 50 rush- hurt too much
ing yards a game, three times. That gave him My fear is n
a grand total of negative 7 yards rushing. er fan or one t
Thank you Mike Barwis for the speed and like to tell to "
conditioning training that made that hap- somehow in tl
pen. And thank you, Zoltan Mesko for never decided that M
ceasing to amaze me when you punt the ball really matter.I
into orbit. And thank you Rich Rodriguez for up a new Big H
sticking with this team. a new coachu
Next season will bring better things. So all that wasn't
reset your Ohio State countdown clock, proud- offense. I amn
ly wear your maize and blue and remember ly. But I think
everything that makes Michigan the absolute correctly you I
best place to be. tory and tradit
upon them.
Adam Mael Rodriguez h
LSA sophomore dence. I'm hoi
Because if the
*rrecord of cons,
UPZ deserves credit for certain that he
Israe-.alestine foruml too of people who
OI~ t- Ct~ tL.JL'L ' tit, too There are th
Our football te

vement for Israel and the Stu-
or Freedom and Equality spon-
vent together. Whatever one's
tics, anyone familiar with the
mpus knows that this is not an
o like to make known the role of
rogressive Zionists in spearhead-
cs of this event aswell as ensuring
its leaders are not left out of the
event that they put so much time
. I have no doubt in my mind that
ork of UPZ, this event would not
rly as successful as it was.
the price when you
ctfoot ball tradition
letters a day is the Daily getting
ball team? I would like to think
as risen to 107,501.
t of the season, I was worried. I
Iance at season tickets because
hrough the season I feared was
did I know the carnage would be
turned out to be. I didn't watch
e game Saturday. It would have
to watch.
ot in sounding like a fair-weath-
hat coach Rich Rodriguez would
get a life"; rather, my fear is that
he past year the University has
lichigan football traditions don't
The Athletic Department ordered
louse, made new uniforms, hired
without Michigan ties and, as if
enough, put in a new system of
not opposed to change complete-
that to implement the changes
have to not only be aware of his-
tion, but also be willing to build
has yet to earn my vote of confi-
peful he proves me wrong soon.
e next milestone to fall is our
ecutive sold out home games, I'm
will feela maize-and-blue wave
want to remove him.
ings you simply don't mess with.
am is one of them.

The televisions are on, and the Lions are winning.
We need a lot of TVs, because everyone's here. Even
Uncle Ernie. I've never had an Uncle Ernie, the kind of
relative who's loud, farts a lot and gets so drunk that he
chucks drumsticks at you, or your dog. I'd like to have an
Uncle Ernie.
- The TVs are everywhere, like at Buffalo Wild Wings.
There's even one in the bathroom. Whenever the Lions
intercept the ball you get excited and pee all over your-
self. It's great.
I know what you're thinking: There's a miniature TV
in the turkey, too. Nope. There's no turkey. Turkeys are
always dry, by which I mean they taste like sand.
"Put some gravy on it," you say, but I don't like wet
sand. It's time we admit that turkey is blander than Ohio,
where, incidentally, it was invented. No, we're only serv-
ingthe good stuff tonight: pumpkin pies, mashed potatoes
and Jell-O with gummy worms inside. That's all. Uncle
Ernie has already pied the dog in the face.
Hand turkeys are still allowed, though. I haven't made
a hand turkey in at least a couple months, so we've got
a bunch of supplies at the dinner table - construction
paper, glue sticks, feathers, pens to trace your hand with,
those little eyeballs that roll around. Do turkeys have

eyes? They always run out in front of your car like they
don't. But everyone in Ohio does that.
We've got pilgrims here, too. They're real ones, with
hats and diseases and everything. They add a little
authenticity to the room, even though they're in the back
scarfing down the Jell-O. So far they won't let me try on
their headgear, the ones with the big gold buckles in the
middle. It makes me feel a little like the Native Americans
must have felt. We give these guys Jell-O and they won't
give us some hat time? What is this?
Everyone is at the same table. I've been at the kid's
table for 18 years, but not tonight. The entire congregation I
is seated at one long medieval affair that spans the entire
house. We can seat about 40 at a time, which is also the
number of minutes it takes to pass the gravy. Boring talk
is not allowed. This includes politics and Ohio. Every-
one is talking about exciting, hip topics like hand tur-
keys. Also, everyone is in sweatpants and T-shirts. This 4
is what people normally wear when they sit at home and
eat, right? There's no point in coming tactfully dressed -
Uncle Ernie doesn't even have pants on.
Grace is different, too. Giving thanks is always so
humdrum, with a bunch of muttered words and bowed
heads. Tonight, Uncle Ernie launches into a treatise on
Scientology, and where turkeys
are really from, and Grandma
gets so flustered that everyone
yells at Ernie to keep quiet,
except Grandpa, who wants to
hear more from Ernie so he can
steer the conversation toward
tax reform. This is when my
imaginary seven year-old niece
Grace stands up and says, "I
can say Grace," with a big smile,
and everyone snaps at her to
shut up. She cries and asks why
there's no turkey. We're about to
apologize and act like adults when
the Lions lose.
OK, my Thanksgiving
probably won't turn
out as interesting
as that. For one
thing, pilgrims
are very hard
to come by these
days. But maybe, .
just maybe, could
the Lions win
this year?


r tl A

I want to express my appreciation for the Josie Ann Lee
Daily taking notice of the significance of the Alum


is an LSA

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