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February 04, 2009 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2009-02-04

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Personal Statement
The tantric New York Times ByBrianTengel

friend of mine once told me
that reading the Sunday
ew York Times was better
than sex.
Being unfamiliar with the paper
at the time, I couldn't validate his
statement. But it gave me pause.
The Sunday Times must really be
something, I thought, if he's argu-
ing that it's better than sex. So I
started reading to find out.
Originally, I bought the paper
every Sunday at Starbucks on State
Street. But this became too risky -
if I showed up any later than noon,
I'd walk in and find an empty news-
stand, an experience that left me
paralyzed with rage and despair. To
prevent any health complications, I
soon switched to home delivery.
It Now, I walk outside my apart-
ment every Sunday morning at
about 11 a.m. to get the paper. The
heart palpitations begin immedi-
ately. "It better be there, it better be
there," I murmur under my breath,
as if this chant will somehow guar-
antee that my paper has been deliv-
ered. As anyone with a subscription
will tell you, a delivery is anything
but certain.
On those blessed days when I get
the paper, I take it inside and glance
at the content to whet my appetite.
Then, I make a pot of coffee, put on
my beige slippers and go to work. A
From Page 5B
ment's payout, or the percentage of
money that's taken out each year
for use by the University.

feeling of utter bliss soon sets in.
And so I've become addicted to
the knowledge the paper provides.
Without it, I feel shamefully igno-
rant of what's happening in the
world. I feel stranded in Ann Arbor,
enclosed in the bubble of academia.
The paper is my antidote to obliv-
Three years after I first held the
Sunday Times in my hands, I've
realized that my friend's claim
reflects an impassioned reverence
for the art of print journalism and
an enthusiasm for the power of
ideas in shaping society.
But I've also realized something
else - reading the Sunday paper is
perhaps not so unlike having sex.
Both are an art to be pursued with
patience and dedication.
Just as there are different sex
techniques, there are different
techniques for reading the Sunday
Times. And in both cases, some
techniques are much more suc-
cessful than others. It takes time
to discover what works and what
doesn't. If you're impatient, in both
cases things are bound to go less
than smoothly.
Since I've been reading the Sun-
day Times, I've worked tirelessly to
come up with a way to peruse the
entire paper in a reasonable amount
of time (three hours).
The endowment currently pays
out 5 percent of its average market
value each year to the University for
operating costs, financial aid and
other expenditures. At the time of
Lundberg's proposal, the time span
taken into account when calculat-

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,I read every word of text and Sports sections, none of which
ront page of the paper. That I spend much time reading. In fact,
have a sense of what's the I mostly just glance at the pictures.
aportant news, which helps I'd feel guilty if I didn't at least
erstanding other sections look.
paper. Once I've read the I spend virtually all my time
ge, I move quickly through reading the Book Review, the Week
ternational and National in Review and the Sunday Maga-
zine. For me, these three sections
constitute the cornerstone of the
hy reading the Sunday Times. They represent the
climax of my week, an orgasm of
imes may be incisive news analysis and literary
reviews. On some wintry Sunday
:tter than sex. mornings, these sections are the
only reason I get out of bed.
In the Book Review, I start with
the cover article and then read each
s, scanning the headline successive review. There's one ele-
t paragraph of each article. ment of the Book Review, though,
n tackle the Arts and Sun- that makes it indispensable: since
yles. For Arts, I restrict the reviews are so comprehensive,
to reading the major movie it becomes unnecessary to actually
. The Sunday Styles see- read the books themselves. When
hich features articles on the you're short on both time and
rends, can be hit or miss. I money, this proves really helpful.
d the pleasure of reading an For the Week in Review, I read
ing piece on how Obama's the feature stories first, then the
f basketball distinguishes political cartoons and opinion
om past presidents, whose pieces. Of the four Sunday colum-
of choice have often been nists, I find two essential: Thomas
or golf. But I also had the Friedman on foreign policy and the
une of reading an article environment, and Nicholas Kristof
sen who are obsessed with on humanitarian problems. The
ts. other two, Maureen Dowd and
t come the Business, Travel Frank Rich, are liberal satirists

whose ranting can become trite
after a few columns.
In the Sunday Magazine, I first
read "The Way We Live Now," a
column on current events and cul-
tural trends. I then read the weekly
interview, which typically features
a prominent person in politics (Karl
Rove) or the arts (Sheryl Crow).
Next comes William Safire's col-
umn, "On Language," in which he
examines the etymology of words
that are often used in the media.
Finally, I read the cover story,
which is almost always relevant
and illuminating.
So that's what I do for three
hours every Sunday. Yes, it's time-
consuming. Yes, the whole endeav-
or may seem a bit strange. But that's
how I remind myself that there's
more to life than homework. Read-
ing the Sunday Times is my reward
for all those sleepless nights spent
studying at the UGLi. It's a remind-
er'that I can learn without being
graded and that an intellectual dia-
logue exists outside the classroom.
The Sunday Times may or may
not be better than sex. But if you
haven't had much luck at Score-
keepers lately, it might be worth a
-Brian Tengel compiles The
Junk Drawer for The Statement
man or Lloyd Carr. He has culti-
vated a renowned investment team,
consistently grown the total value
of the endowment and implemented
measures to protect the endowment
fromcrises.And with his impressive
track record, he has helped encour-
age more giving to the University,
illustrated by the $3.1-billion Mich-
igan Difference fundraising cam-
paign, which is-the largest ever for
an U.S. public university.
But you won't hear Lundberg talk
about his legacy. He is too invested
in his job at the moment to think
about how he will be remembered
after he leaves it. This October will
mark 10 years since Lundberg came
here. Hearing him talk, he could
still be CIO for another decade or
"Before I got here, it was, you
know, 'Where am I going to next?
Where am I going next?'" he said.
"But now it's, 'I don't want to go
anywhere else. I'm happy here.'
This is a great institution. A great
place to work."


18 Congrats!.
January Mtarch 2
ry MiP: Anything metal
U-M placed 4th in overall can be placed in the
toal tonnage of reclablescontainer bin, like old
total t nb nails and staplers!
But 56th overall for the recycling percentage!
University of Michigan Waste Management Services

ing the average market value for the
5-percent payout was three years.
But to better shield the endow-
ment from volatility in the market,
Lundberg proposed extending that
average market value calculation to
seven years. The longer-term fore-
cast would keep the payout consis-
tent from year to year, regardless
of financial market behavior, and
allow University operations that
use endowment funds to confident-
ly plan for a fixed amount of funding
each year. Lundberg's payout plan
was given the go-ahead, and was
instituted at beginning of the 2006
fiscal year. And today, as many uni-
versities make painful budget cuts
due to decreasing funds from their
endowment, the seven-year payout
has allowed funding for University
operations to stay consistent.
In retrospect, what was so
impressive about implementing a
seven-year average market value
was Lundberg's prudence to do
so in the midst of an overwhelm-
gly bull market. "It's easy to be

complacent when things are going
well, but, you know, we know that
markets will go up and they will
go down," Lundberg said. "And so
when markets go up, it's a good time
to take action and look out and say,
'What could possibly happen?"'
to tell you that crises like the burst-
ing of the dot-com bubble in 2001 or
the fallout on Wall Street this sum-
mer aren't nearly as destructive to
a university endowment as they're
made out to.be. That's because a
major university endowment, like
the University's, is invested in per-
petuity for an infinite amount of
time. There's no end date for the
endowment and no terminating
point when allassets are sold off.
Barring any unforeseen disasters,
the endowment will be around for
as long as the University.
With that in mind, Lundberg's
legacy as the first CIO, though not
as easily seen, could be far more
lasting than that of Mary Sue Cole-

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