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2B Wednesday, April 6, 2011 // The Statement
Weneda, prl6 211//Te -taemnt E
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random student interview bysarahsquire
Welcome to the Ran-
dom Student Inter-
view, where the line
between journalistic integ-
rity and personal boundaries
becomes blurred. Hello there!
What do you do on campus?
I'm like not really involved in
much because I'm a senior.
So what do you do all day?
I go to class some days. Other
days I probably go to the bar. Um,
I study sometimes. I try to study,
but I've been bad lately about that.
Do you have a job for next year?
Do you know what you want to
I want to do human resources or
Do you know where you want
Why New York?
Because I'm from there.
Where are you from?
I'm from Connecticut, from like
right outside of New York.
That's not New York.
But I'm right outside. I'm like an
hour by train.
It's a different state.
Not really though.
Do you exercise at all?
I do exercise, butI don't like run
outside. I usually do like tread-
mill, elliptical. I'll do like free
weights. I'm working on getting
some bigger guns, but it's not
going so well.
Have you ever done jazzercise?
No, I do Zumba. I love Zumba, it's
awesome. I recommend it - with
Jane, Fridays 6 to 7.
What is Zumba like?
Zumba, it's a lot of African Latina
beats and alot of shaking your
body, moving your arms, alot of
arm exercises so it's good for me.
Sounds pretty good. What kind
of bars do you like to go to?
I like the usual. I love Ricks. I
like Charley's. I'm not that big of
a Skeeps fan anymore. I feel like
I've outgrown it. I go to Brown
Jug sometimes, Blue Lep.
Do you usually go on regular
nights - like Thursday through
Saturday - or do you tend to go
Mondays and Tuesdays?
I'm going out tonight actually, I
wasn't going to.
Where are you going?
I think I'm going to go to BTB and
Charley's tonight. I want 80 cent
drinks, really badly.
What classes are you taking
I'm taking art history, I'm taking
Latin American studies, I'm tak-
ing the like IGR Dialogue Race
and Ethnicity and I'm taking, oh,
like an African art class.
Which is your favorite of them?
Um, I like the art history class,
but the teacher is, like, really
She's just, like, angry all the
time. She just randomly yells at
people. She'll be, like, "I know
you're on your laptop looking at
Facebook. Stop it." And someone
might not be doing that, but she
calls everyone out. It's horrible,
it's really bad.
Why do you like the class so
I like the material. I don't like
her. I like the subject matter.
Did you see Obama kicked off
his campaign for re-election?
Oh did he? I'm not really into
Really? Why not?
I don't really like what he's
doing with, like, Middle East,
and I don't like really what he's
doing with education. I'm just
not a fan of him. I'm a really big
Israel supporter, and he in his
campaign was all about Israel
and creating peace, and he's just
not doing that.
Who did you vote for?
I voted for McCain. I don't like
Palin. I don't think she's an intel-
ligent person, but I liked McCain,
some of his issues, more. I'm more
of a moderate. I'm not liberal,
I'm not conservative, I'm, like, in
the middle so I was like...Obama,
McCain, Palin's the worst, butI
don't know. I just like McCain.
Do you like the old man thing?
Um, not really. I mean if that's
what some people are into that's
cool. But noI don't like the bald-
ing thing. I like hair.
Yeah, hair's good. And he's very,
very white. Like super white.
Kind of pasty.
Yeah a little pasty. He needed to
like, when he was in Arizona with
all his people loving him, he prob-
ably should have gotten a little
There is a study that says taller
people with good hair tend to
do better in business.
I believe that. I definitely believe
Do you like Obama's hair?
There's not much there.
Not much, yeah, he's O.K. He's a,
he's a decent looking guy. I'll give
How about Michelle?
I would not mess with her in
like an alley. I would be more
scared of her kicking my ass than
Obama. Like, those guns are like
Maybe she does Zumba also.
I think she does.
I think she'd be really intoit.
I think we would have a lot of fun
doing Zumba together. I feel like I
should like talk to her about that.
How do you feel about Snyder
for commencement speaker?
I'm very upset about it.
Because, first of all, it's boring.
We should have gotten a celebrity
because we had Obama last year.
Who would you have liked
I wanted John Stewart. Every-
one in my grade wanted John
Stewart. We were all hoping for
him because Colbert is going to
Northwestern to speak, so we
were like "Oh, we'll definitely get
Stewart," and there was an article
in the Daily about like getting
him, and I was like "Oh, it's going
But it was just a column.
I know, butI thought like he
had some sway there. I thought
maybe, like, I thought John Stew-
art would read it and be like "Oh,
I have to come to Michigan."
You think John Stewart reads
The Michigan Daily?
I think he might. I think he
might, definitely...I mean we all
signed a petition, I think almost
everyone in my grade signed a
petition to get rid of him.
To get rid of Snyder?
Yeah there's like, I think maybe
like 100 or 200 didn't sign...You
can't speak at a college if you're
like, ruining education.
But it'll still be interesting to
hear his point.
I think I might boo him.
That's still interesting.
Maybe I'll like throw things at
him. I don't know, I'm gonna do
You'll probably be sitting far
away - you can bring like a
Oh, that's probably a good idea. I
should bring like a NERF gun. I'll
think of something creative to get
Do you like Jenny from the
block better? Jenny Granholm?
The old governor...you've never
heard her called Jenny from
No, no, I did not. That's really
funny. Is she from like the Bronx?
No, I don't think so.
That's really funny, I've never
heard that before. I'm like, what
are you - I was like J.Lo is going
to come here?
J-Lo is kind of past her time.
Yeah, she's overrated.
She came out with a song
recently and everyone was like
"Who are you?"
It was the worst. It was the worst!
I listened to it, and I was like "Oh,
J-Lo and Lil' Wayne. This is going
to be good." No. Like do not even
listen to it on iTunes, like it's not
Do you have a shout out to your
readers? Say hi to Mom and
Hi Mom and Dad in Connecticut.
I guess I'll be seeing you, gradua-
tion. I'll probably be unemployed
so you're going to have to support
me. That'll be fun for them. Not.
- Elana is an LSA senior.
marked governmental bag that has immunity from search
"There were many ways," said Ellendea Proffer in a phone
interview from California about getting literature back into
Russia. "If we had friends going and they were not going to
be searched, or there was a good chance they were not going
to be searched for one reason or another, we'dsend stuff with
them, butwe were in Ann Arbor, hardly the center for travel
The Proffers often sent literature back with Russian trav-
elers and scholars hoping that, because the government
couldn't search everyone, some of their contraband would
get through. Much of their literature was sent to Paris and
was sold there. They also used the CIA-funded International
Literary Center in New York that helped smuggle literature
In the Ardis archives that Ellendea donated to the Univer-
sity Libraries, Crayne said there are coded letters that were
indecipherable to the Soviet authorities.
"We have extensive correspondence about sneakingthings
back in, sneaking things out," she said. "There were all kinds
of verbal codes that were used to try and communicate that
something had started moving in the right direction or some-
Carl Proffer often enlisted the help of his students in the
Slavic department to help translate the literature and work in
the publishing press. According to Crayne, Ardis was closely
tied to the reputation of the Department of Slavic Languages
and Literatures, and Carl was a rising star in the field.
"I was in Wisconsin, and I can tell you that one of the pro-
fessors was screaming at another professor saying, 'Get this
guy over here!' " Crayne said. "They wanted him. They want-
ed him badly."
When Russian poet, essayist and eventual Nobel Prize
winner Joseph Brodsky was deported from the Soviet Union
in 1972 for poetry that was considered "pornographic and
anti-Soviet" and for "social parasitism," Carl Proffer helped
him adjust to life in the United States. Brodsky came to Ann
Arbor and taught at the University. He remained a staple in
the Slavic department, teaching poetry and often visiting
other universities until 1981.
"That was an amazing thing, that he saved this guy who
would later get a Nobel Prize," Suny said. "And Ardis and the
Slavic department, and having Brodsky here - all the things
that they did, the publications, all that stuff put Michigan on
the map as a center of Slavic Studies."
Brodsky was met at Detroit Metro
Airport by the Proffers and a large
amount of press. In order to per-
suade the United States to let him
into the country, they had to cre-
ate publicity around the possibility of his arrival, according
"Joseph gave a lecture at Rackham. That was his first act
- was to read his poetry - and Carl whipped up sometransla-
tions," she said. "Eleven hundred people came to hear a poet
that they didn'treally know much about, butthe publicity was
extreme around this."
One of their more risky endeavors was the publish-
of thought would
- Janet Crayne, head of the
Slavic division at the
Hatcher Graduate Library
ing of "Metropol," a literary anthology of 23 writers. Vas-
ily Aksyonov had organized and submitted the anthology to
Soviet censors. It was denied publishing rights in that coun-
try, and he resorted to asking the Proffers if they would pub-
lish "Metropol." They obliged, but were punished for their
participation and had their visas denied.
were banned from
Russia and, actu-
ally, the United
going," Crayne said. "Ellendea referred to them as revolu-
tionizing Russian culture and universal knowledge of it.
The United States saw them as a threat. By that time, Carl
was diagnosed with cancer, and he was never able to go back
According to Crayne, this crushed the Proffers. They had
never wanted their project to get political: For them, the pub-
lishing house was solely about preserving the quality of lit-
"They didn't start getting involved in politics because they
wanted to," Crayne said. "They loved Russian culture, and
politics just had to get played to get done what they wanted
to get done."
Ellendea said their "aim was not to get in trouble and not to
get our authors in trouble," and noted that "there were other
According to Suny, Stalin's regime was very restrictive
when determining what literature could be published. Under
Khrushchev's rule a "thaw" occurred - more freedoms were
slowly being allowed and more books were being published,,
When Brezhnev took control, he began another crackdown
on Russian artists. In 1965, the government arrested writ-
ers Andrei Sinyavsky and Yuli Daniel and sentenced them to
labor camps for "anti-Soviet agitation."
"There was this struggle going on as to how much freedom,
how much openness, how much criticism they were going to
allow," he said.
According to Crayne, Ardis was a threat to the Soviet
regime because it gave people the power to think critically
"Whenever .you have a society that's basically a dictator-
ship in one way or another, in order to maintain that author-
ity, information has to be limited so that people can't let
themselves think freely," she said. "Any literature that would"'
encourage freedom of thought would be considered to be
Today, Ardis is still well known in Russia. When Univer-
sity Libraries had an exhibit focusing onthe publishinghouse,
Russian patrons came to celebrate the publisher's assistance
to the dissident movement. Last spring when The Maly Drama
Theater of St. Petersburg came to the University to perform
Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya," many of the performers had heard
of Ann Arbor because of its history with Ardis, according to
"Ardis was really, really famous in Russia and actually still
is," Ellendea said. "That's howthey know Ann Arbor. To them
it only means one thing." -
While Ann Arbor may be known for its Football Saturdays
and staples like Zingerman's Deli, to a large group of people
on the other side of the globe, Ann Arbor is a symbol for free-
dom of creativity.