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October 22, 2010 - Image 4

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4 - Friday, October 22, 2010

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

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

JEFF ZUSCHLAG

E-MAIL JEFF AT JEFFDZ@UMICH.EDU

((0)).--

JACOB SMILOVITZ
EDITOR IN CHIEF

RACHEL VAN GILDER
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR

MATT AARONSON
MANAGING EDITOR

Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board. All other signed articles
and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
Legislation on the rocks
State should override governor's veto of liquor bill
W ith an already-tight budget, ebbing tax revenue and
a lack of business growth, Michigan is in no position
to deny legislation that would increase state revenue.
But on Oct. 12, Gov. Jennifer Granholm did exactly that when she
vetoed a bill altering the sale of liquor that would have paid an
estimated $500,000 into the state's general fund. The liquor bill
would have been an easy fix to bring in added revenue needed to
fund higher education and unemployment benefits, and repeal
an antiquated law. To give the state's pocketbook a much-needed
boost, the Michigan legislature must either reintroduce the bill
or overturn Granholm's veto.

Video games and crap for brains

0

The liquor bill approved by the state
legislature in late September would have
expanded the hours when liquor can be
sold. According to an Oct. 13 article in The
Detroit News, retailers would be permit-
ted to sell alcohol from 7 a.m. on Sundays
until 2 a.m. Monday with the purchase of
a special $160 permit. It also increased
the hours that liquor sales are allowed on
Christmas, allowing for purchase after
midnight on Christmas Eve and noon on
Christmas day. The bill included provi-
sions allowing for beer and wine tastings
at grocery stores, alcoholic beverages to
be served at restaurant-catered events
and for community colleges to use alcohol
for culinary classes. Granholm has stated
that though she is in favor of extended sale
hours, she didn't approve of the other pro-
visions, which is why she vetoed the bill.
The governor's veto will prove hurt-
ful to both the state and small businesses.
The legislature has already been forced to
cut spending across the board - the esti-
mated $500,000 in revenue could have
funded some valuable programs. As noted
in yesterday's editorial from the Daily, the
funding could have been directed toward
stabilizing unemployment insurance ben-
efits. And small businesses will now lose
out on profit that could have been made

from sales during the extended hours. In
this uncertain economy, any chance to
increase profits is valuable for struggling
businesses.
Granholm's decision also keeps in place
an antiquated, paternalistic law that was
designed to promote puritanical Chris-
tian morality in legislation. Laws like this,
often called blue laws, while seemingly
unimportant, limit citizens' personal free-
doms. Granholm needs to recognize that
ideals about the use of alcohol shouldn't be
thrust upon citizens by the state.
The legislature needs to recall the eco-
nomic benefits of this bill and put it back
on the table. Granholm stated that she
would be willing to work with legislators to
rework the bill. Due to the Nov. 2 elections,
however, many are unwilling to revisit
the topic during a lame-duck session. But
that shouldn't stop legislators. Granholm
shouldn't have vetoed the bill in the first
place - now, the legislature shouldn't stop
supporting such a beneficial change.
Extending the hours of liquor sales
would not only help businesses, but also
help cut away at a large deficit. Whether
legislators introduce the bill again or gath-
er the required votes to override the gover-
nor's veto, they should find a way see this
bill turned into law.

eople often think that those
with a sense of humor under-
stand the more complex things
in life, like the
male psyche or
sexual intercourse.
But sometimes I
don't get the male
Specifically, I
don't get the male
obsession with
video games. in
today's column, WILL
we will explore GRUNDLER
what link - or
links - between
,Neanderthals and
modern-day men causes such unin-
telligent aggression toward innocent
televisions.
I'm joking, of course. I'm not a
geneticist. And some people are just
really stupid, like - my housemates.
(Note to English majors: Don't just
write about what you know. Write
about WHO you know, and then
threaten to publish their names along
with it. This will probably make more
money than writing in the long run.)
The situation in my house is
becoming intolerable, if you want to
know the truth. If you don't want to
know the truth, this column is good
for that, too. Anyway, all my house-
mates do is play Xbox games like
"Red Dead Redemption," in which
you go around killing people and
horses in the Old West. You can even
skin a horse, if you want to, which of
course they want to.'
Housemate: "Hey, watch me skin
this horse!"
Me: "What is WRONG with you?"
They also play "Call of Duty 4:
Modern Warfare," in which, as the
title suggests, you go around killing
terrorists in a modern and humane
way. You can even radio in big planes

and helicopters to transport injured
terrorists to hospitals, I think. Or
maybe the planes just bomb them. I
can't remember - it's all very stupid.
The most annoying game - even
more annoying than killing horses
and terrorists - is FIFA soccer. Good
god is it aggravating. Not so much the
game, but my housemates' wild reac-
tions to it. Here is a typical conversa-
tion when a goal is about to be scored:
"Woah."
"Woab!"
"Ooooh!"
"OOOOOOH!"
"OOOOOOH!"
"WOOOOOOAH!?!"
This usually takes place at one in
the morning and is not a conversation
that normal people have. It's the kind
of conversation that the ape-men in
"2001: A Space Odyssey" have when
they discover tools and go and kill
some other ape-men.
My housemates would tell a differ-
ent story, no doubt. If you could hear'
their side, you would hear something
like, "Hey, don't listen to this hotshot
columnist! He is very good-looking,
and funny, and we will be calling
him for money in the future because
he will become rich and famous, but
he just uses the TV to watch trashy
B-movies like 'Spring Break Shark
Attack!"'
This is entirely untrue, of course. I
TRIED to watch "Spring Break Shark
Attack" but the idiots wouldn't let
me. They have complete sovereignty
over the TV.
But that's not the issue here. The
issue here is that there's a right and
a wrong way to waste your time.
The right way includes things like
watching bad movies on purpose for
comic effect, like "Cocktail" with
Tom Cruise. It means singing popu-
lar songs with offensive lyrics in
place of the real ones. And discover-
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS:

ing obscure and bizarre videos on
YouTube. (Search "world of chemis-
try rod and balls.") Drugs. All these
activities stimulate the brain in posi-
tive ways and can be brought up at
parties. ("Have you seen 'Cocktail'?"
"Do you have drugs?" It's simple.)
'Red Dead is
the wrong way to
waste time.
The wrong way includes playing
video games. And the Michigan Quid-
ditch club, but that's another column.
Good lord. Anyway. How manyvirtual
goals canyouscore? How many terror-
ists can you shoot? How many horses
can you skin? It's meaningless. Try to
talk about it with a friend, or bring it
up at a party. Not that my housemates
go to parties anymore. Our next-door
neighbors threw a party and they
stayed at home to play FIFA.
I'm afraid it's too late to save them.
This column is really a last resort. If
you or your friends are acquainted
with Walker McHugh, Tim Pituch,
Jeff "The Sloth" Sorensen or Ryan
Aliapoulios (don't bother trying to
pronounce that one), please inform
them of your concern for their health.
They're, not busy, they don't have
funerals to go to, etc. They are just
playing Xbox. And if this plea is suc-
cessful - if they lay down their con-
trollers - I will provide, at only $5
a head, a screening of "Spring Break
Shark Attack" to all those who helped.
- Will Grundler is an assistant
editorial page editor. He can be
reached at wgru@umich.edu.

CURTIS KOWALK, JOHN OLTEAN, FELIX LOPEZ AND LAUREN ROSS
Consider Teach for America

0

Aida Ali, Jordan Birnholtz, Adrianna Bojrab, Will Butler, Eaghan Davis, Michelle DeWitt,
Ashley Griesshammer, Will Grundler, Jeremy Levy, Erika Mayer, Harsha Nahata, Emily Orley,
Harsha Panduranga, Tommaso Pavone, Leah Potkin, Asa Smith, Laura Veith

"Alfonzo, one of my eighth grade students,
wrote to me that he wants to be a doctor.
Alfonzo spent the past two years in the middle
school where I now work - one of the lowest
performing middle schools in Baltimore City.
As a result, he reads on a fifth grade level and
has difficulty thinking critically. Although
Alfonzo is bright and hard-working, he may
not graduate high school on time, let alone
make it to medical school, simply because of
where he was born."
Lindsay Miars, a University alum and Teach
For America corps member, is currently teach-
ing eighth grade language arts at a middle
school in Baltimore, Maryland. She is the only
language arts teacher in the middle school.
Miars's students, who are performing well
below grade level, are unfortunately typical
victims of a broken education system in which
students in low-income communities signifi-
cantly underperform compared to their more
affluent peers.
This academic achievement gap is one of
our nation's greatest social injustices. Unfor-
tunately, a child's place of birth has become a
powerful factor in determining the quality of
education he or she will receive. In fact, only
1 in 10 children who grow up in low-income
communities graduate from college. This is
unacceptable. In the so-called "land of oppor-
tunity," nothing is more fundamental than pro-
viding a quality education for each and every
child, regardless of where they happen to live.
Teach For America is leading the movement
against educational inequity, and we need the
help of University of Michigan students to
address this problem. We have an obligation to
ensure that future generations of Americans
have the tools and opportunities needed to
achieve academic success, regardless of their
racial or socioeconomic background.
The persistence of the achievement gap is
painfully obvious - even in our own backyard.
Though only 40 miles separate Ann Arbor and
Detroit, there is an enormous disparity stu-
dents from these two districts. Accordingto the
Ann Arbor Public School website, "Over 96% of
third graders and 93% of seventh graders met or
exceeded state standards in math. Also, 91% of
third graders and 91% of seventh graders met or
exceeded state standards in reading."
While Ann Arbor Public Schools have been
extremely successful, the Detroit Public School
system is struggling. According to Teach For
America, "Detroit's academic achievement is
among the lowest for major U.S. cities - only
three percent of Detroit's fourth-graders and
four percent of its eighth graders meet national

math standards. As an example, test scores sug-
gest that only one in three of Detroit fourth-
graders can correctly subtract 75 from 301, even
when given a choice of three multiple-choice
answers." A proper education system cannot
simply cater to children in higher income neigh-
borhoods. Every student is entitled to an excel-
lent education regardless of his or her zip code.
Teach For America is working to close the
achievement gap by enlisting college gradu-
ates to commit two years to teaching in a low-
income community in one of 41 regions across
the country. Within these communities, Teach
For America corps members make a dramatic
difference in the lives of their students, aca-
demically and beyond. Corps members receive
full salary and benefits as employees of their
school district and also have access to loan-for-
bearance programs that help make Teach For
America a financially viable option for recent
college graduates.
Many college students have never consid-
ered a teaching career. Many are also under the
impression that without a major in education,
they are unqualified to apply for Teach For
America, which isn't the case. In fact, while
admission is highly competitive, Teach For
America recruits students from all majors.
Though 39 percent of Teach for America
teachers choose to stay in the classroom, Teach
For America recognizes that after fulfilling
their two-year teaching commitment many
corps members will choose to attend grad
school or enter the private sector rather than
continue with a career in education. Teach
For America seeks to hire individuals who
will become leaders in education as well as
in medicine, business, law, policy, engineer-
ing and other fields. These individuals will
be able to continue advocating for students in
low-income communities in a broader scope in
every professional sector. As America's future
leaders, Teach For America corps members
will soon be in positions of influence, where
they can continue to affectbroad social change.
Together, we can fight educational inequity
and close the achievement gap. If you are inter-
ested, please join us Monday, Oct. 25 for a Teach
For America Alumni Panel, featuring Unversity
and Teach For America alumni from a variety of
academic disciplines at 7:00 p.m. in the Pendle-
ton Room of the Union. Also, learn more about
Teach For America and the next application
deadline, Oct. 27, at www.teachforamerica.org.
Curtis Kowalk, John Oltean, Felix Lopez,
and Lauren Ross are University seniors on
Teach for America's recruitment team.

The infamous all-nighter

h, the first college all-night-
er. The first caffeine-fueled
panic attacks during which
evenings melt into
mornings withoutA
a blink of an eye
(mostly because
you taped your
eyelids open).
The first of many
nights filled with
more self-pitying
thoughts than all
the years of puber- MELANIE
ty combined. It's KRUVELIS
truly a mystery that
rapper Asher Roth
left these evenings
out when he wrote "I Love College."
It wasn't supposed to come to this.
Schedules had been made. Timeta-
bles had been drawn. The philosophy
essay could be tackled. The Spanish
work could be completed. And yet,
somehow, after 46 nights of some-
what consistent sleep at the Univer-
sity, I had finally made it to the first
all-nighter of my college career.
Like many problems developed
during the college years, the first
stage of my all-nighter began like a
line out of an Alcoholics Anonymous
handbook: denial. "I don't need to
stay up," I thought to myself as the
clock struck one. "I can finish my
homework, no problem."Twenty
minutes later, I found myself passed
out, drooling on the keyboard, with a
half-completed Sporcle game the sole
fruit of my labor. Feeling defeated
and marginally disgusting, I ven-
tured downstairs to the Madrigal
Lounge in East Quad, hoping that
a change of scenery could give the
boost I needed,
Maybe it's like this in every resi-
dence hall (yeah, right), but the occu-
pants of East Quad are truly weirdos.
The most bizarre nightlife scene at
the University isn't late-night Quid-

ditch matches in the Diag or outside
of Necto - it's the parade of night-
crawlers, insomniacs and Adderall
addicts that fill residence hall loung-
es on Tuesday evenings.
There's the nerdy couple that's
more into their calculators than each
other, toiling away at their Calc 4
homework that's not due for another
three weeks. or the girl tucked away
in a corner, blubbering on the phone
to her high school boyfriend with
sobs so strong it's nearly impossible
to tell if she's even speaking English.
And then there are the poor sexiled
souls who spend their evenings either
watching "Glee" on their laptops or
crashing on the stained couches.
But, of course, the main stars of the
3 a.m. show are the procrastinators -
those who spend more time planning
out how to do homework instead of
actually doing it. Swearing to any-
one awake that they work best after
Leno is over, they attempt to regain
a shred of sanity by taking solace in
nature. "This isn't so bad," they think
to themselves. "Bear Grylls said you
should see the sunrise at least once
in your life, right?" Be careful, how-
ever, when identifying a student with
a delayed sense of motivation. Often
the best procrastinators - those
with twitching hands and blood-shot
eyes that you develop from chug-
ging two Red Bulls - are confused
with flat-out stoners who simply sit
in the lounge because: a) they can't
find their room or b) they believe that
they're being incepted and cannot
leave the general area until Leonardo
DiCaprio comes to the rescue.
At any rate, these excursions into
the Twilight Zones of college life
aren't experienced fully until the
shuffle to the 9 a.m. class, a.k.a. the
lecture from hell. If you think it's
hard pulling yourself out of bed on
a normal Wednesday morning, try
doing it after you spend the major-

ity of Tuesday evening blasting Avril
Lavigne ballads as you slave away at
a paper analyzing the Mexican Drug
Wars.
Have you ever
seen an East Quad
lounge at 2 a.m.?
As it turns out, those ugly eve-
nings transition into the ugliest of
mornings. After my first all-nighter,
I found myself getting odd stares
from my classmates during my Span-
ish lecture. Later, an amigo told me I
had been twitching and drooling all
over my workbook as I kept a steady
gaze at the fluorescent lights above
me. I wasn't ostracized by my peers,
thank God, though I did later find
pamphlets for rehabilitation clinics
wedged under my door.
An annoyingly correct devil's advo-
cate may argue that anyone with even
a smidgen of organizational skills
can avoid burning the midnight oil if
she simply does the work instead of
watching reruns of "The Office," fill-
ing out Facebook notes or creating
fake user profiles on eHarmony.com.
But all-nighters aren't merely evenings
of cramming and panicking - it's an
experience to see a part of the world
that no one else really sees on a regular
basis. it may not be beautiful. It may
not be fun, and it may not be...
Sorry, I dosed off. Good thing I
waited until 5 a.m. to start this col-
umn. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm
going to go catch some of The Today
Show before I hit the sack.
- Melanie Kruvelis can be
reached at melkruv@umich.edu.

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