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February 11, 2009 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2009-02-11

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I B Th ichgnDil ensdy .erur 1 009

My mark of destiny

o one asks to be different.
It's just something that hap-
pens, something that you
sort of get stuck with. Some choose
to accept their circumstances, and
others try to change them. I have
learned to accept the fact that I'm
different, but I still can't help but
wonder how different things would
be if I never walked into the kitchen
of my old home years ago.
The incident happened when I
was four years old, living in Port-au-
Prince, Haiti and left unsupervised.
My mother had hired a babysitter
for the day, but the girl was young
and not too careful. With a single
parent's income, my mother could
only get what help she could afford,
which wasn't much. That morning, I
started off in the care of a stranger,
and by nightfall, I was on my own.
Unaccompanied in my house, I wan-
dered aimlessly from room to room
until I found myself in the kitchen.
In Haiti, it's custom to prepare
dinner in the morning and leave it
stewing on the stove for the rest of
the day. The smells that wafted into
my nostrils all day were intoxicat-
ing, and even now, I still remember
them. That day, desperate to cure my
hunger pains, I found myself drawn
to those smells even more. Standing
on the balls of my feet, I stretched
FREEGANS
From Page 5B
grocer's habits. "Whole Foods
sucks," Cat declared, because they
compact and lock their dumpsters.
So, of all places, don't start there.
Although this adventure
focused on food, freeganism
applies to anything that's free. Cat
has also dived behind thrift stores
and recommends freecycle.org,
where she once procured a wash-
ing machine.
That's the story of the intrigue
behind a simple recycled 'rose.
Now that I know the economic,
environmental, and community
benefits of freeganism, I under-
stand why someone would fall
head over heels for a few bouquets
of dumpster flowers. What can I
say? My rose, in a measuring cup
of water on my desk, is now even
redder and more radiant than
when I first received it.

the tips of my fingers across warm
smooth metal.
The moment I yanked, my head
was engulfed in extreme heat. Clos-
ing my eyes and covering my face
with my hand, I felt the boiling slime
penetrate my hands and cover my
back. I stood there screaming while
the oil burned my skin. There was
no longer the aroma of spiced chick-
en and buttered rice, but instead, the
smell of burnt hair and flesh filled
the room. That's when I realized I
was burning. My hair, my scalp, my
back = all of me was burning.
After the skin grafts, after I left
the hospital and after I was "fixed,"
I returned home and looked in the
mirror. I no longer saw a happy lit-
tle girl with sparkling brown eyes.
Instead, I saw half a little girl and
half of something scary - half a
head of hair, half a face and half a
person. Although the hospital had
done what they could, the medical
care in Haiti at that time wasn't up
to par. My mom tried to bring up
my morale, but I wasn't her happy
little girl anymore. She decided that
I needed to go to the United States
so that I could have a proper opera-
tion.
With the help of a friend, I was
introduced to the Kline family, who
already had 13 kids of their own
LANGUAGES
From Page 7B
AFTER THE SEPT.11 ATTACKS
In the early 2000s, the Center
for Middle Eastern and North
African Studies attracted little
interest. Near Eastern Studies
Prof. Gottfried Hagen said there
was a short period in the early
2000s when the CMENAS pro-
gram lost federal funding.
"Title VI is a renewable grant
every three years," he said. "In
one of those grant cycles, we just
didn't come out at the top."
But now that the Middle East
has become an area. interest,
chgnces are that won't happen
again.
In 2001, Title VI funding shot
up again, shortly after Sept.
11.Hagen said federal support
has been easier to maintain since
9/11.
"9/11 was a crucial event for

andit o
from di
I was ju
a home.
the ans
more m
geon lo
procedu
thought

T
ti
a
C

f whom had been adopted quarter of my face. Instead of going
fferent countries. To them, back to Haiti, I became the 14th
st another kid who needed child to join the Kline family. While
But to my mom, they were my mother and I have stayed close,
wer to her prayers. Even I spent most of my childhood in
iraculously, a cosmetic sur- another country with another fami-
oking to perfect an intricate ly. It's not the normal family dynam-
re involving burned skin ic, but then again, my accident had
I was the ideal candidate. I made sure that my life has been
anything but "normal". That hasn't
been a bad thing, though. As I grew
up, I began to more resemble more
Che accident of a happy child and less a deformed
being. I was able to make friends, go
hat gave me on play dates and interact well with
others.
new family, A while ago, I was asked how I
t and grew up tobe the person Iam today.
ountry a This person was confused - how
lifestyle do I walk around slightly disfigured
and yet act so outwardly confident?
For a while, I couldn't answer the
question. I just said that I must
be lucky. But once I truly thought
move to Los Angeles and live about it, I knew that getting buried
e Kline family for a three- wasn't an accident but more a step
ocedure that would give me in my life journey. My scar is how I
ad of hair, minimal scarring came to America and how I met my
chance to lead my life look- family. My entire life, I've had to try
everyone else. harder to let people see the "real"
forward 17 years, and here I me because I wanted to prove that
duating from the University I was something special and not
higan. After my surgeries, just the "girl with the scar". It has
ned a full head of hair and never been enough for me tobe like
with a scar covering only a everyone else because I know that

was tot
with th
year pr
a full he
and the
ing like
Fast-
am, gra
of Mic
I regait
was left

I am not, and I couldn't allow peo-
ple to judge me based on my looks.
Strangely enough, the scar that
might seem to be a source of embar-
rassment has actually given me a
stronger sense of self than I might
have otherwise had.
About six years ago, I received
a call from the same doctor that
helped me before. He was inter-
ested in doing a surgery to remove
my scar. This was something I
had dreamt about in the past, but I
was shocked when I automatically
responded, "No." At that point in my
life, I had spent more than half my
life with the scar. With everything
I had been through, the scar had
molded me into a strong, fearless
person. If I had never been burned,
never been adopted and never lived
this life, I would never be in the
positionI am today. I would most
likely never have graduated high
school, let alone gotten to attend the
University of Michigan.
My scar is a keepsake of how I
left Haiti, of all the people that have
helped me and of all I have had to
overcome to be the person I am
today. What I see in the mirror now
is just a souvenir, a one-of-a-kind
and indestructible memory.
- Tatiana Kline is an LSA senior.
Business School senior Jack
Dart studied Chinese for two
semesters last year because of the
China theme semester and the Bei-
jing Olympics.
He said that the attitude of most
non-Asian students taking the
language is to better understand
China for business relations.
"They hear it's going to become a
superpower," he said. "They're try-
ing to get a leg up in terms of going
into International Relations."
The Ross School of Business
offers a study abroad program to
China, which fills up quickly each
year. It also hosts an Asia Business
Conference each year, with panel-
ists who work with companies in
Asia.
Business school junior Sarah
Horvitz said a lot' of students in
the business school are looking to
work abroad because the economy
here is not at its most stable.
"The economy isojust blowing up
over there," she said.

CMENAS in the sense that all of a
sudden itcreated anenormous pub-
lic awareness that the Mid East is a
crucial region, and there's an enor-
mous need for expertise both in the
public and political reason," Hagen
said. "Since then, for instance, fed-
eral support for the area studies
and especially language studies,
more particular for Arabic, has not
been questioned anymore."
The center was first interested in
the area stretching from Morocco
to Iran and Iraq, McCarus said. But
as areas like Pakistan became more
newsworthy the Center expanded
its area of study.
"Usually when there's a crisis
in some part of the world, those
languages increase," McCarus
said. "For example, when the U.S.
opened diplomatic relations with
China, there was a lot of Ping
'Pong."
GROWING DEBT TO CHINA
In light of China's rise to eco-

nomic prominence, the Center
for Chinese Studies has seen an
increase in student and campus
interest. Unlike some of its fel-
low area studies centers, CCS only
offers graduate degrees, leaving
the undergraduate education up to
the Asian Languages and Cultures
department.
Political Science Prof. Mary
Gallagher, Director of the Cen-
ter for Chinese Studies, said the
Center is in charge of much of the
campus outreach on China such
as weekly documentary film view-
ings, lecturer talks on campus and
support to other departments that
choose to offer classes pertaining
to China.
Gallagher said Chinese has
become more relevant as Chi-
na's economic importance has
increased.
"It used to be you went into the
Foreign Service," she said. "Nowa-
days, there are plenty of places who
will hireyou."

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