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January 27, 2010 - Image 10

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2010-01-27

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" a ! " " "

0 0

JIM Th Satmet-/ edesay.Jnury27 21

Wednesday January 27, 2010 The Statement 7B
ABOUTCAMPUS.

statement
Magazine Editor:
Trevor Calero
Editor in Chief:
Jacob Smilovitz
Managing Editor:
Matt Aaronson
Deputy Editor:
Allie White
Designers:
Sara Boboltz
Corey DeFever
Photo Editor:
Jed Moch
Copy Editors:
Erin Flannery
Danqing Tang
Cover photo:
Sam Wolson
The Statement is The Michigan
Daily's news magazine, distributed
every Wednesday daring the
academic year Ta contact The State-
met e-mail calero@michigandaily.
com

TH EJUNKD RAWER
random student interview

NICENESS CHALLENGE

Hey. This is Sam Wolson from
The MichiganDaily.
Hello.
Who'sthis?
Karlee [last name removed].
Is that, like, Scottish?
It's Polish.
What's the difference?
Well, Polish people are from Poland
and Scottish people are from Scotland.
Oh, OK. I guess that makes sense. So
what areyou studyinghere?
Sports Management.
So, you're looking to do, I assume,
sports?
Potentially. Yeah.
Anyparticular sports interestyou?
I've always been a big hockey fan, and I
played basketball.
Areyou awomen'sbasketballfan?
No, I'd much rather watch men's 'cause
there's much more aggression.
Oh, so you just like the aggression
in basketball? Why don't you just
watch wrestling? If wrestling were
put ontotelevisionwouldyouwatch
it?
No.

For the aggression?
No.
Oh, OK. So how did you get into
sports inthefirstplace?
I started dance when I was three,
which led to soccer.
[Laughs] Dance led to soccer?
Yeah, no correlation, but it happened.
But I hatedsoccer. As a kid, I never saw
the purpose of running back and forth
chasing a ball. And the score of 2to1 to
win a game...
I thought you said you liked hockey
though.
I do. But you can hit people in hockey.
So it comes back to the aggression
thing. I gotcha.
[Laughs]
So dance led to soccer, which then
lednto...
A discontinuation of soccer because I
hated it. Then I started playing T-ball
when I was five and my dad coached
me up until high school softball. I was
the only girl on the team for T-ball, so I
loved it. And then basketball, I started
playing in third grade. And I actually
became relatively good.

Would you consider yourself a tom-
boy?
Um,no.
No? Then how would you define
tomboy?
[Laughs] Uh, I mean. [To roommates:]
Shut up.
Is this sensitive to you?
No, no. My roommates are making fun
of me because they think I've made a
new friend. I would consider a tomboy
someone who doesn't care much about
how they present themselves, or ...
I've always had more guy friends than
girl friends, but a tomboy is a girl that
doesn't really associate with girls at all.
So a tomboy is a girl who doesn't
associate withgirls?
Yeah.
But you do hang out with a lot of
guys andlike sports alot?
Yeah. I definitely have many more guy
friends than female friends.
OK.Areyou partofany clubs?
Uh, I was in Maize Rage buttthen I...
Whatis that? What's Maize Rage?
It's the basketball student section.
Oh, so with the sports again. Don't

you like kittens or anything?
Do I like kittens?
What's the first thing you look at
besides Facebook and Gmail when
yougo onthe Internetatnight?
[Laughs] Um, pretty much those are
the two, and then if I get really bored I
go to Texts From Last Night.
[Laughs] Have you ever been a con-
tributor?
Actually yeah.
What did you contribute? If you
don't mind me asking.
Um. [Long silence]. It involved some-
one wakingup to find a condom in their
bed and wanting an explanation.
That someone wasn'tyou,was it?
It was actually a friend, and I swear to
you it was ajoke. We putitinherbed to
freak her out.
Oh, so this girl woke up and found
a condom in her bed and was, like,
'what happened? Where is this
from?'
Yeah.
OK. That's funny.
- Karlee is a Kineseology freshman.

BYALLIE WHITE

nspired by my roommate who,
a few years ago, implemented
something her and her boyfriend
called "Niceness Movement '08"
to curb the pattern of involun-
tary meanness they had developed
toward each other, I decided to
undertake a movement of my own.
As humans, it's only natural to
have negative thoughts during the
course of a day. Whether it be a
mean mental note on how ugly that
girl's sweater is, a sarcastic laugh
at the boy who slammed into a wall
while looking at his phone or an
outright bashing of a contestant on
American Idol, we all do it.
Feeling I was more judgmental
than most of my peers, I pitched
a story to my editor about a self-
imposed "week of niceness" dur-
ing which I would wholly refrain
from any sort of meanness, spite or
hatred.
Initially, my editor wanted me to
immediately apologize to everyone
I had a negative thought about in
an attempt to remedy the situation.
But after realizing that route might

cause more harm than good (read:
black eyes and broken limbs), we
settled on the following guidelines:
Each time I did, said or thought
something unpleasant, whatever it
may be, I'd have to counter it with
an equal, yet opposite reaction. I
would also go out of my way to be
kind, regardless of who the recipi-
ent was.
Unsure how to kick off my week
of niceness, I baked cookies for my
friends and co-workers. And while
the cookies were much appreciated
- and delicious - I realized that
though the treats were palate pleas-
ing, my action was entirely self-
ish. I had made the cookies. I had
passed them around. I was receiv-
ing the compliments. I felt great
about myself, but what was I really
accomplishing for others?
With my first attempt an epic
failure, I quickly changed gears.
I decided the week wouldn't be so
much about being excessively nice
to others, but rather seeing what
kind of effect the no-meanness
mantra would have on me.
and lifting a few weights," Ricco says.
"Nothing Arnold Schwarzenegger-
like."
After working out Ricco loads his
patrol car with equipment - defibril-
lator, digital camera, rifle, body armor
and administrative papers - double

focus on.
But then, when you think about
it, who was I to judge these people
who I didn't even know just because
I had nothing better to do with my
time and couldn't get my mind off of
my own neuroses? The kid with the
irritating shoes had bought them
for a reason. The stupid conversa-
tion was obviously important to the
girls. The odor from the restaurant
smelled good to someone.
Walking to class post-rule I tried to occupy myself during
change, I was truly appalled with those first few walks by looking at
myself. I'd never been so conscious trees, the sidewalk, squirrels even
of my own thoughts before as when - anything to keep me from glanc-
I was forced to pay attention to ing at something I could potentially
them. Things I would have never find fault with. It was difficult, as I
given a second thought were sud- again found myself thinking things
denly on the forefront of my mind: like, "what a fat rodent." Why did
the annoying noise someone's boots my brain insist on functioning at
made on the sidewalk, the vapid such a mean and lowbrow level? My
conversation I overheard from two thoughts were spinning out of con-
girls in front of me, the nauseating trol and the harder I tried to stay
smell coming from that restaurant. away from the malicious thinking,
Normally, I would have made the faster it flooded into my head.
a mental note of my distaste and I soon realized that being nice all
instantly moved on. Now, I was so the time is incredibly hard.
aware of what I was thinking, and After a few days, and a yoga class,
how truly mean and unnecessary I was able to get my mind out of
it was, that self-loathing quickly the proverbial negativity gutter. I
set in. In my attempt to avoid nega- focused my energy on, however cli-
tive thoughts, I found I was having cha, "happy thoughts," and though
more of them than ever. it felt unnatural at first to force a
It's like when a friend points out smile and find the best in even the
that the professor says "um" at least most dismal of situations, doing so
once in every sentence. You had eventually became second nature to
never noticed before, but now that me. When I stopped obsessing over
your friend has made you aware unpleasantries and just let myself
of it, the "ums" punctuating the be, niceness - or at least ambiva-
lecture are the only thing you can lence - came easy.

Things that would normally
annoy me and trigger a snide remark
didn't seem that bad. Instead of
complaining about a dirty dish left
in the sink, I rinsed it off. I found
myself smiling and laughing more
frequently, enjoying minor details
in things I'd never noticed before
due to a fixation on something I
deemed off-putting.
Negative Nancy was taking the
week off, and I routinely woke to
birds singing outside my window
and furry woodland creatures
bringing me fresh flowers Cinder-
ella-style.
Though my new outlook was test-
ed, most notably when I received
some bad news about my applica-
tion to Teach for America, while a
very good - and deserving - friend
was accepted, I took everything in
stride, choosing to embrace the pos-
itive aspects of the less-then-ideal
circumstances.
But then Sunday rolled around,
and though I hadn't been count-
ing the days, I knew the week was
over and I could revert back to my
old self. Despite my mini-epiphany
at the value of positive thinking, old
habits die hard.
I've had a negative thought or
two - or three - since official
"niceness week" ended, but I was
able to find the value in my person-
al thought experiment. It would be
silly to force myself to be someone
I'm naturally not- a little mean is
fun sometimes. And yet, a little nice
is way more satisfying.
WANT TO
WRITE A
PERSONAL
STATEMENT?
Send an
e-mail to
calero@
michigandaily
.com

THE STATEMENT IS CURRENTLY TAKING SUBMISSIONS FOR ITS ANNUAL LITERATURE ISSUE.
If you would like to submit original works of poetry or fiction, please e-mail calero@michigandaily.com.

DPS, From Page 4B

WANT TO
INTERVIEW
A RANDOM
STUDENT?
Come write for
The Statement.
E-MAIL CALERO@
MICHIGANDAILY.COM

Ricco says he has made some strong
friendships while working the mid-
night shift. Because there are fewer
people he's been able to establish
closer bonds. The midnight shift also
frees up time during his day to do
things he normally wouldn't be able
to. "I get a lot of time during the day
to do what I want to do. I get to see
my wife more than if I worked regular
hours," he says.
On a typical workday, Ricco drives
the 30 minutes from his home to
"base," the DPS headquarters on
Kipke Drive. Once at the base, Ricco
changes into his uniform and gets
briefed by the midnight shift super-
visor. Ricco then takes his 50-minute
cumulative wellness break to work
out at the gym. Officers on midnight
duty can opt for one 50-minute cumu-
lative wellness break or two 15-min-
ute breaks and one 20-minute break.
"I do simple things, like running

downs.
"The first few hours are usually
easier and bearable," Ricco says. But,
he continues, it can be hard sometime
after 3 a.m., which the officers call the
"bewitching hour." "If we're not driv-
ing around, it will be really easy to
nod off. It's known as the

"I get a lot of time to do what I hanging neck hours." To
help stay awake, officers
want. I get to see my wife more typically stop to get cof-
fee around this time.
than if I worked regular hours." Before the end of the
shift, they return to base
to fill out reports of the
checks the vehicle and begins patrol- night's activities and do other admin-
ling his designated campus area. istrative duties.
Ricco's patrol area is different every The one notable difference between
night but varies between four zones, midnight shifts and regular day shifts,
which DPS has specific names for - Ricco says, is the occurrence of alco-
Austin (the area south of the Univer- hol related incidents. On Friday and
sity), Baker (Central Campus area), Saturday nights DPS is usually busy
David (the area around Fuller Road with calls about intoxicated students
and North Campus) and Charles (the in the dorms and buses, fights in par-
medical campus). ties and students stealing traffic signs.
Though Ricco likes the midnight' Traffic violations are also very com-
shift, he says it does have its ups and mon.

"Are they bad people? No. Are they
piss drunk and doing silly things?
Yes."
He urged students to realize that
DPS is a necessary evil because, he
says, when intoxicated, some students
are at risk of endangering themselves
and those around them.
"I wish students could see that we
don't wander around hoping to catch
every student for any silly action. It's
all under an officer's discretion and if
I see something that could potentially
be dangerous, my conscience will not
allow me to simply drive past it."
Despite the fact that Ricco enjoys
most parts of his job, there is one
thing that gets to him - the changing
sleeping patterns. "On my off days,
I have to switch to real people time
and that is sometimes tiring." But
Ricco says he can see himself con-
tinuing t work the midnight shift
in the future. "I feel dedicated to
the campus community and keeping
campus safe while people are asleep
is important." U

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