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10Fbuay 21 - h - - .. . S.Wedesay
Wednesday, February 3, 2010 The Statement 7
Editor in Chief
The Statement is The Michigan
vily's news magazine, distributed
every Wednesday dsring the
academic year. To contact The State-
met e-mail calero@michigandaily.
random student interview
Hi. Is this Natalie?
No. This is ... she's not here
right now. This is her room-
mate, Genevieve. Want me to tell her
No. Actually, maybe you can help
me out. My name is Trevor Calero.
I'm calling from the Daily. Do you
mind if I interview you?
So, do you have a boyfriend?
Did you have one in high school?
Um, yeah, I guess you could say that.
Well, I mean ...
[Laughs] What does that mean?
Well ... I don't know.
OK. You don't want to talk about
No ... it's just. [Laughs]
[Pause] I don't know.
I know a lot of people come to
Michigan and they want to look for
that 'one person,' or whatever. Do
you think about that at all?
Not really. It's my freshman year.
Yeah. Freshman year I wasn't
looking for anybody either. But
I've found it's hard to meet people
here, I think. Agree? Disagree?
I mean, I don't know. I go out rela-
tively alot and, I don't know.
Do you date?
I haven't dated anyone since I'vebeen
Would you date? Are you a dating
If I met someone and really liked
Uh huh. What do you look for in
a guy? Cause I've been having
problems getting dates, so can you
maybe give me some advice?
Are you kidding?
[Laughs] Do you really want me to
Yeah. What do you look for in a
Um, OK, um, someone who is kind ...
OK. I think I've got that one.
I think sometimes I'm funny.
Um ... just easy going, laid back, fun
to be with ...
That's pretty broad. I think that's
a lot of people. Tall? Short? Bru-
nette? Blond? Come on, give me
I guess tall.
Do they have to be taller than you?
Um, no, but I guess that's preferable.
Have you ever heard of the pro-
gram This American Life?
I don't know if it was two weeks
ago but they had some thing, the
show was about these physicists
or statisticians and they wanted
to calculate the odds of them find-
ing a date. And it was surprisingly
depressing, the chances of finding a
compatible person. So they're from
Boston and they took the amount
of people in the city and divided
that by two,'cause half of them are
... and if you, like, once you factor
in all of the characteristics you're
looking for - height, intelligence,
age - it's very slim. It's kind of dis-
Yeah. I guess that would be, especially
if you break it down statistically like
Exactly. So what's your favorite
Ann Arbor dining establishment?
Actually, this past weekend I went to
Oh, Ijusthad Sava'sfor dinner.
Oh it's great. What did you get?
I got the tomato bisque soup.
You gotta try the pecan chicken
My friend was gonna order that but
they were out of it.
Oh that's disappointing. Where
would you go on a date? I know you
don't date, not the dating type, but
where would you...
I never said I'm not the dating type. I
just said I'm not dating right now.
Oh, OK. If you did go on a date with
someone where would you go?
Maybe I'd ask him to take me to Sava's.
That's probably a good choice. It's a
good first date venue, I think.
- Genevieve is an LSA freshman.
Last we heard, she's still single.
LEAVE NO STONE UNTURNED
BY SAM WAINWRIGHT
in the mid-50s, a group of wayward
Michigan State hooligans defaced
the surface of the stoictmonument
with three hig green letters. Ohvi-
ously, this could not stand.
The "M.S.U." insignia was quickly
covered with a coat of paint, and a
tradition was born.
While the city initially attempted
to keep the rock clean - and have
continued to try at the behest of graf-
fiti-averse neighbors - their efforts
have failed in the face of the over-
whelming popularity of the pastime.
So we're only talking about SO
years of paint here, right?
According to Ann Arbor native
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 email@example.com.
Spin the Cube. Sled in the Arb.
Get steamy in the stacks.
These are the things your
campus tour guide told your starry-
eyed high school self had to be done
before graduating. After all, what is
being a Michigan Wolverine without
some tried and true collegiate tradi-
In your quest to complete this list
of must do's, you've probably painted
The Rock on the corner of Hill and
Washtenaw. If you haven't, you will
before you graduate. And if you don't,
you will be seen as a college failure.
While you were out in the cold at
3 am. pouring buckets of industrial-
grade paint onto the wet surface,
trying to convince yourself that you
could successfully cover the old
coats with your gallon, you probably
had the following conversation with
your friends/sorority sisters/campus
You: "Hm, I wonder how big the
actual rock is?"
Friend: "I bet it's tiny!"
As I've asked myself this question
before, I thought it appropriate that
as my final act of required collegiate
pride, I'd answer it for everyone out
there who's ever wondered just how
deep the years of paint on the campus
landmark actually are. What follows
is my quest to - literally - uncover a
piece of campus legend.
To start at the beginning, I'll admit
I've always assumed The Rock had
been slathered in paint since time
immemorial. I imagined a basket-
ball-sized stone somehow accumu-
lating paint over hundreds of years to
grow to its present day girth.
Not so much.
When I realized my error - start-
ing with the fact that the University
was founded in 1817, not the begin-
ning of time - I headed to the Bent-
ley Historical Library to see if their
records could steer me in the right
_; t _ .
- < - a
direction. ington's birth - February 22, 1732 -
Here's what I found: the rock was and convinced the city to foot the $15
initially placed on the little triangle bill to transport the stone to its cur-
of grass at the intersection of Hill rent location.
and Washtenaw in the winter of 1932. There it has sat, atop a time cap-
Ann Arbor Parks Superintendent, Eli sule and cement slab, unchanged
this memorial erected in celebration
of the two hundredth anniversary of
his hirth, 1932."
I was starting to doubt the idea
that paint was adding any kind of sig-
nificant size to The Rock, so I looked
for concrete, photo evidence.
A 1991 article in the Ann Arbor
observer featured a photo of the
planting of the stone at its current
location. Though its surface was
paint-free, the boulder appeared fair-
ly sizable even from the beginning.
Further sleuthing in the Bentley
revealed a number of photos featur-
ing sororities from the 1950s through"
the 80s happily painting a rather
consistently-sized boulder. Yet, I
still wasn't convinced. Old myths die
hard, and I wasn't going to let this
one go without some first-hand evi-
If it took Brian Durrance two days
in the '80s, surely advances in pow-
er-tools over the last 20 years could
facilitate my investigation.
- Under the cover of darkness, I took
to the streets, ready to prove once
and for all how big The Rock truly is
under all of those layers.
I fired up my drill and started in on
the side, still hoping I'd end up arm-
deep in fossilized paint.
My core sample? One and a half
I stared incredulously at the small
cylinder of dried paint I had extract-
ed. I could see hundreds of thin
layers of different colors, like multi-
colored tree-rings, and looking into
the hole I had just created, I could
see the chalky grey rock just over an
Guessing that the paint had to be
deeper than one and a half inches
somewhere on the surface, I drilled
into a large bump on the opposite
side and got down three inches
before hitting limestone. Better, but
not by much.
I took a final stab near the bottom
just above the acrylic stalactites at
what looked like the deepest point of
paint. I only got five inches in before
the limestone snapped my drill bit.
Certainly not the endless depth of
paint I had imagined.
So there it is: the facts. The Rock
is actually not much bigger than the
original limestone Eli Gallup hauled
out of the landfill 78 years ago.
W EdNEdAyS 17Opr
$OO WELL DtiNks
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Come write for
Gallup, found a large limestone boul-
der in a county landfill and became
quite smitten with it. He decided the
rock would make an ideal monument
for the bicentennial of George Wash-
barring the addition of a commemo-
rative copper plaque in 1939 - and
So, why do we paint the rock?
The story continues: sometime
ILLUSTRATION BY LAURA GARAVOGUA
Brian Durrance, he himself chipped
away the layers of paint over the span
of two days in the 1980s to reveal the
commemorative plaque's original
message: "To George Washington
GRADUATING THIS YEAR? WHAT'S THE ONE THING YOU'D LIKE TO DO
WITH THE TIME YOU HAVE LEFT?
The Statement is taking suggestions for its first ever Bucket List issue.
Tell us what you'd put on your bucket list. Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.