4 - Friday, December 3, 2010
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
E-MAIL JEFFAT JEFFDZ@UMICH.EDU
Edited and managed by students at
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JEFF ZUSCH LAG
Meanwhile, in Italy - We must show them how important And we must show them this
our education isto us. We must show by blocking public roads and
My fellow students! The government them how much we value learning throwing trash at people!
seeks to cut the education budget and knowledge.
and limit our research time. We can
not let this standj-
prnA\ eia\D cp\DI'f
EDITOR IN CHIEF
RACHEL VAN GILDER
EDITORIAL PAGE 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.
'U' should advertise Academic Center resources
egistration is always a chaotic time for students.
When the LSA Course Guide goes live, students
often scramble to make appointments with academic
advisers in hopes of creating an ideal schedule. To accom-
modate students looking for academic advising, the Newnan
LSA Academic Advising Center recently updated its website
to offer students more resources for managing their course
loads. The additions are a good first step - one that other
departments should consider reproducing. But simply pro-
viding the resources isn't enough if students aren't aware of
them. Advising offices must publicize changes so that stu-
dents can fully utilize available resources.
According to a Nov. 28 Daily article, a
variety of changes have been made to the
online tools available on the Newnan web-
site. Among the changes - which have been
in the works for about two years - were
updates to the Peer Academic Advising
office website and instructional videos on
how to use Wolverine Access and prepare a
class schedule. There is also a new Academic
Success Strategies website that focuses on
organizational and study skills, according to
Timothy Dodd, director of the Newnan LSA
Academic Advising Center. According to the
Daily article, many students who were asked
about the changes commented that they
weren't aware of the website.
The online updates from the Newnan
Advising Center are a great addition to
current academic advising resources. The
website allows students to quickly pick
and choose what they need to know. Infor-
mation about distribution requirements,
scheduling and everything else that goes
into registering for classes is readily avail-
able on one website. The resources are
easily accessible and enable students to
get questions answered without having to
make an advising appointment.
Though some students need time to sit
down with an adviser, others are only after
smaller pieces of information that don't
necessarily require a face-to-face conver-
sation. The extra tools also allow students
to get self-help on their own time through
the ease of the Internet, without strug-
gling to schedule a visit to Angell Hall.
This is particularly useful during registra-
tion times, when advising appointments
are often tough to come by.
Now that these additions are complete,
it's crucial that the Newnan Advising Cen-
ter makes sure students are aware of them.
Many students only seek advising when
they are new to the University or getting
ready to graduate. The center should pro-
mote online services so that students know
how to access and use the resources that
are available to them.
The Newnan Advising Center dem-
onstrated an understanding of students'
needs by giving them the option of face-to-
face help or online information. But sched-
uling is stressful for all students - not
just those in LSA. If the increased online
services prove a hit with students, other
advising offices on campus should imple-
ment similar systems.
The Newnan Advising Center should
continue to expand its online resources to
take the pressure off itself and students. If
the current changes are successful, other
schools and departments at the University
should follow in Newnan's footsteps and
update their online resources too.
A s my family gathered around grown-up's table when you laugh
the table last Thursday eve- during your mom's marathon prayer.
ning, we named what we were Your grandma still tells the family
thankful for this she wishes she never had children.
year. While my And even the most seasoned Resi-
mother answered dential College veteran isn't prepared
"God" and my for your vegan cousin's rant about
uncle chose to say innocent life slaughtered as you bite
"pie," I, being the y into a drumstick - after all, those
delightful child non-shaven, hemp-wearing, no-good,
that I am, thanked rock 'n' rollin' hippies in East Quad
the Pilgrims. After are too stoned to complain about any
all, without them, food set in front of them. The only
we wouldn't cel- MELANIE thing that has really changed is the
ebrate the worst interrogation process. That is the
holiday known to KRUVELIS horrible period during which Aunt
man. Leslie waits right until you shovel
Alright, so sweet potatoes in your mouth to ask
maybe it's a little unfair to pick on you innumerable questions about
poor old Thanksgiving. Overlook- your classes, professors, grades, etc.
ing that whole smallpox epidemic - questions that are next to impos-
and the near destruction of an entire sible to answer due to a semester-long
culture, Thanksgiving's not so bad in love affair with alcohol.
principle. Who doesn't like mashed Luckily this "helliday" feast
potatoes? And it's not just Thanks- doesn't last forever. Eventually, the
giving that brings me down - Blah- casserole turns cold and the mood
nukkah, Kwanz-ugh and the other turns from irritatingly friendly to
holidays that are not so easily turned bloated and depressed. If you play
into puns. From the time they start your cards right, the bitter battle
playing Christmas music on the radio between the Wolverines and the
up until the drunken splendor of Buckeyes can provide the perfect
New Years Eve, I can't help but feel opportunity to escape and see the
utterly disappointed. And it's not just people you really wanted to see -
because I have no one to kiss under your high school friends. But even if
the mistletoe besides my cat Patches. you're lucky enough to actually have
Let's examine Thanksgiving. In friends, odds are you'll be disappoint-
theory, last weekend should have ed, for two key reasons.
been better than a night with that The first is Facebook. Yes, we're
dreamboat from "Dawson's Creek." supposed to miss friends when we go
Not only was it a necessary break off to college. And most importantly,
from extensive procrastination, but it we're supposed to feel satisfied when
was also a chance for students to visit we realize that our old enemies are
with family. up to no good. But thanks to constant
But it's important to note that in Facebook updates, the thrill of catch-
order to spend time with relatives, ing up is nonexistent. Scroll through
one must actually spend time with your news feed for a few minutes and
said relatives. And once you real- you'll find out all too quickly that the
ize no one brought you a check "just senior class president is now an alco-
'cause," family can get, well, old. holic, the prom queen is on the fast-
You're still getting kicked out of the track toa future in "Girls Gone Wild"
films and your ex-best friend is still
getting with that weird guy. Thanks
to Mark Zuckerburg, the excitement
of discovering you're still better than
everyone else is gone.
Thanks for the
That leads right into the second rea-
son: the development of the "Harvard
of the Midwest" psyche. After nearly
three months straight in Ann Arbor,
you'll inevitably carry the burden of
knowing you are indeed superior to
everyone else. (Take that, George-
town. Bet you wish you would've
accepted me now... sigh.) Suddenly, all
your high school friends seem to be so
... vapid ... obtuse ... cretinous ... that
they fail to recognize the intellectual
value of ellipses! No one else uses air
quotes to strengthen an argument!
What do you mean you want to go to
Macy's for "Black Friday" shopping -
don't "you" understand you're simply
bolstering a false "sense" of the free
enterprise system? Perhaps this may
seem pretentious, but we deserve it -
thevoice ofDarthVaderwenthere, for
love of Zeus's beard.
Luckily for us, the horrors of com-
ing home are long gone, along with
our decent physiques. Life's going
back to normal here in Ann Arbor,
which means we can all go back to
panicking over our econ grades and
spending evenings in the fetal posi-
tion, clutching on to our bio textbook
for dear life. Happy Finals!
- Melanie Kruvelis can be
reached at email@example.com.
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS:
Aida Ali, Jordan Birnholtz, Will Butler, Eaghan Davis, Michelle DeWitt,
Ashley Griesshammer, Will Grundler, Jeremy Levy, Erika Mayer, Harsha Nahata,
Emily Orley, Harsha Panduranga, Teddy Papes, Tommaso Pavone, Leah Potkin,
Roger Sauerhaft, Asa Smith, Julian Toles, Laura Veith, Andrew Weiner
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Break in the Big Apple
I can't shake this thought. I keep pushing it
to the back of my mind, but it creeps right back
up to the front again, refusing to be ignored.
Maybe it's because the weather has finally
made up its mind and decided it wants to be
winter. Or maybe it's those pesky final exams
on the horizon. Maybe it's because the pasta
in North Quad was so dissatisfactory today (it
takes talent to screw up macaroni and cheese,
but they did it). All these little annoyances keep
drawing me to the same conclusion: The world
For starters, while walking in front of Uni-
versity President Mary Sue Coleman's house, I
noted the elegance of 20 large, black leaves on
an otherwise barren tree. This weather doesn't
allow for many pretty things to look at around
campus, so I allowed myself to appreciate the
sight. That was, until I realized that the leaves
were, in fact, crows. Take a look up at the bleak,
gray sky (which itself foretells the end of days).
Every time I look up, there are at least 4 mil-
lion crows. That's not even an exaggeration-
I counted. Twice. There really couldn't be a
more in-your-face harbinger of doom than a
mass of black, Hitchcock-esge birds blocking
out the sun.
And the squirrels. The Daily recently
reported that squirrels' unusual social behav-
ior is because they have too much contact with
humans. Wrong. They're just trying to gain our
trust so they have the element of surprise when
they finally attack.
But it's not just the creatures of Ann Arbor that
are makingmepessimistic. It's whatI'mlearning
in classes, too. I've always known Im supposed to
feel bad about being white, but I didn't know until
this semester that I'm also supposed to feel guilty
that I'm male, middle class and able-bodied. My
sociology class has fixed that, though. Now I'm
aware of all the other things I should feel guilty
about and the millions of people who aren't as
fortunate as me.
Luckily, I won't have to worry about people
for much longer because soon we won't even
have a planet on which to be disadvantaged.
After reading Bill McKibben's new book,
"Eaarth," I have an incredibly bleak outlook
on the future of our planet. Though I can't pro-
nounce the book's title, I do understand the
idea McKibben attempts to convey. We humans
no longer live on the planet our parents were
born on - we've created an entirely new one.
Earth is a receding memory. In his book,
McKibben details the many, many ways in
which our planet has changed. Some of the
facts he points out are downright terrifying.
Storms are getting more frequent, stronger
and are happening in places that they have
never happened before. Spain recently had its
first-ever hurricane. Florida has been bom-
barded with hurricanes more than ever. Storm
intensity has increased so significantly that
it's becoming a problem for the interior of the
United States as well.
But hold on - that's only the beginning.
Things are going to get much worse. The parts
per million of carbon dioxide in the atmo-
sphere is far above the number scientists say is
the absolute safe maximum. And even though
we know how to fix much of the problem, there
are many government and corporate interests
standing in the way of progress in order to pro-
tect their profits.
One of the most shocking discussions in
"Eaarth" is the problem several small island
nations are facing. Because so many millions of
tons of ice are melting, oceans are slowly but
surely rising. The Maldives, an island nation
off the southern tip of Africa, has recently
been buying large tracts of land in Australia -
not for vacation homes for its citizens, but for
emergency relocation sites. The Maldives fears
that the entire nation will soon be underwater.
I know I live in Ann Arbor, notthe Maldives.
But when I suddenly feel the shadows of bil-
lions of crows pass over me, I can't help but
think, "What has this world come to. And why
are there crows? It's December!"
Andrew Weiner is an LSA freshman.
This Thanksgiving break, I knew I wouldn't be going
home. But I wouldn't have thought that I'd be spending
Thanksgiving Eve at Pacha - the nightclub franchise
from the Spanish island Ibiza - in New York City.
I have been to New York City multiple times. The city
never fails to blow my mind. My first trip to NYC was at
age of 7. I remember the time when everything seemed
so big and glamorous, and the World Trade Center tow-
ers still dominated the city's skyline. The New Yorkers
whizzed past me to get on with their busy lives. They
were clearly distinguishable from the tourists with maps
and brochures in hand, wearing expressions of wonder
and excitement. Over my repeated visits, I have noticed
different things about the city like its layout and the
architectural marvels. The glamour of the city is like a
strong gust of wind that hits you as soon as you arrive.
No other major city in the United States holds a torch to
New York. Whether I'm in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chica-
go or Boston, none of these places make me feel like NYC
does. There's an "X-factor" in New York that is unlike
every other city in the U.S.
New York's uniqueness is largely the media's doing.
"Friends," "Sex and the City," "How I Met Your Mother"
and several other television shows revolve around the
lives of young friends living in NYC. The city has a big
role in shaping this lifestyle and identifying the char-
acters. And that's not even mentioning the hundreds of
movies based in the city. It might just be the glamorous
portrayal of New York City that makes it beautiful when
I visit. Or perhaps it's the glamour that people see in the
city that leads them to portray it as such on the screen. It's
probably a bit of both.
Lately, the news surrounding New York has focused
on the financial difficulties facing the city. According to
a Dec. 1 article from the New York Daily News, a survey
reported 52 percent more stalled building projects this
year compared to last. This is horrible for a big city like
New York. The financial crisis in the city has not only
affected the livelihood of its residents, but also the land-
scape of the city itself.
But on the other hand, celebrities face no trouble in
finding homes for themselves. Sarah Jessica Parker and
her husband Matthew Broderick bought a $21.5 million
apartment yesterday in New York "after a marathon
house hunting expedition," according to ninemsn.com.
An impressive number of big celebrities from all over the
world have luxurious houses in NYC. This has become a
style statement for movie stars, singers and performers. It
adds to the glamour and fashion of the city.
But New York is more than just a financial hub and
celebrity dwelling. The art and culture of the, city is
diverse. Broadway shows, Madame Tussauds wax muse-
um, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, various parades -
including the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade - and the
brilliant graffiti markings throughout the city give New
York its rich culture that doesn't seem to be affected by
the financial crisis.
A visit with friends made me see a whole different side of
New York. I can now boast that I have ridden the subway at
3 a.m., walked the streets all night long and shopped at 5th
Avenue on Black Friday. It might not be a lot to some, but for
me, this trip marked a special pointin mylife.
Like any other city, there are the darker sides to NYC
too. But the culture and charm of the city overshadows
these shortcomings. I could get used to living in New York
City - or at least the New York City I have created in my
mind, thanks to media portrayals and my experiences as
a tourist. But I am a city girl through-and-through and
have put it down as my dream to one day belong on the
streets of New York as a resident and not a tourist.
Aida Ali is an LSA sophomore.
The Daily is looking for a diverse group of strong, informed, passionate
writers to be columnists for the winter semester. Columnists write a
700-800 word column every other week on a topic of their choosing. If you
are an opinionated and talented writer, consider applying.
E-MAIL MICHELLE DEWITT AT DEWITTM@UMICH.EDU FOR MORE INFORMATION.