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November 20, 2013 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2013-11-20

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WenedyNoebe 0,203 Th1Saemn

Friends in the end
by James Reslier-Wells

the fashion voyeur: coat of color by adrienneroberts

Jerry May: Selling green for blue
By Peter Shahin
"Love this guy I used to work for him when he was the VP
here at Ohio State. We miss you Jerry."
- Karen Longbrake
"He made us good ... and successful!"
- Lynda Heyl
"Your article is very nice, but I have to take some pause to
think about the goals of university fundraising. My own experi-
ence as a 'small donor' is not quite in line with what Mr. May
describes. I believe he is a sincere fundraiser, and I have had
positive interactions with some of the regional developmental
people, but this office has allowed athletics to take over vis-a-
vis students.
I desired to increase my gift last year to UM, but as a season
ticket holder, was forced to increase my gift to the 'personal
seat donation', for which university donations did not count. I
believe that 80 or so per ticket is actually a good donation to the
university, since players do not get paid and since we have more
fans than any other school attend games. When I complained
to Mr. May, to President Coleman, and to Dean of LSA, nobody
cared--they said they don't control athletics ... "
bi l/TsX

Oh, winter. It's a season that
comes with so much promise -
the chance to hide your inevita-
bly paling, dry skin under layers
of patterned tights, plaid vests
and large sweaters. But, more
often than not, you end up throw-
ing on black yoga pants, those
Ugg boots you promised you'd
never wear again and a North
Face pullover most likely layered
under a North Face parka. With
the cold weather rolling in these
past few weeks, our campus has
accurately reflected that change
in wardrobes. This physical
manifestation of the mood of stu-
dents at this point in the year isn't
exactly a cheery one.
However, there are histori-
cal and "scientific" reasons for
dressing in dark colors in the
winter and whites in the sum-
mer. Many of us probably grew
up with our parents telling us to
wear lighter-colored clothing in
the summer, as they reflect the
sun's rays better than dark colors
do. This is, in part, true. Howev-
er, the reason we feel hot in the
summer has more to do with how
breathable the material is, not the
color. And thus wearing dark col-
ors in the winter isn't really going
to absorb the sun's rays and keep
you warmer.
This somewhat faulty logic
became a fashion rule in the
early to mid-twentieth century,
according to Charlie Scheips,
author of "American Fashion."
Magazine editors usually lived
in Northern cities, and they saw
white as a color that could combat
city heat. Dark colors were thus
saved for fall due to the threat of
being splashed by mud during a
cold rain. This strategy of dress-
ing was seen in magazines at
the time, and quickly permeated
throughout the rest of America.

According to TIME maga-
zine, many historians argue that
around the 1950s, the rule of not
wearing white after Labor Day
became more rigid as the middle
class expanded and the elite held
onto their more traditional rules
as a way to separate the decorum
of their "society."
Labor Day marks the end of a
summer of leisure, and the return

Isa junior danielle karp pairs
black boots and a scarf with an
oversized camel color shearling
of more serious values, like hard
work and stability. Dark colors,
such as black, brown and navy,
tend to draw those associations.

This isn't the first time I've been to
Michigan. Five years ago, I went
through the state on my way
home to New Jersey after protesting
the Republican National Convention
in Minneapolis. I didn't stop in Ann
Arbor, but spent most of my time with
an anarchist collective in Detroit, The
Trumbullplex crew. We partied, then I
continued on to my destination.
That trip was one of many adventures
that punctuated my post-high school
years. That is to say, I didn't spend six
years at community college before
coming to University of Michigan -
I traveled, worked, played and did ...
other things. But six years and two
associate's degrees later, I find myself
back in the lower peninsula, this time
for an extended stay.
I find that the return gives me an
opportunity to reflect on some of the
long-term changes in my life. Some are
obvious: I am engaged to my partner of
two years, Alex. Some changes, though,
are a little more insidious. Something
happened in the last three years, which
were devoted primarily to excelling
at community college - I became
To my younger self, this state of
affairs would have been antithetical.
I had been restless and desultory and
feared stagnation, which many people
call contentment. But I suddenly had
friends with whom I shared more than

a few days of my life. Friends that I
could go have a drink with after finals,
instead of just drinking because it was
that time of the day (noon).
The common term for this
transformation is "growing up," but
I have to be honest - it's really hard
to feel like a grownup as a junior in
college, regardless of my age. Every day,
I am surrounded by people as much as
six years my junior, whose sole intent is
to find themselves, and I see them doing
so, sometimes several times a day.
Meanwhile, my application to the
University was predicated on the
assumption that I had already done
that. Not that I was naive enough to
assume that I had figured out exactly
who I was and would always be, but I
had worked hard to get where I was,
and I felt somewhat duty-bound to
build on my successes.
With that in mind, I tackled my
degree head-on, trusting the reserves
of confidence I had built over the past
few years to see me through to my
bachelor's. I took only three courses,
to give myself room to acclimatize, and
diversified my remaining time with
undergraduate research, clubs and The
Michigan Daily - by all accounts a
well-balanced college lifestyle.
It took me a month and a half to realize
my mistake: I hadn't factored in that most
crucial element of a college experience -
socialization. It had been so many years

since I'd had to make new friends that
I didn't just forget how, I forgot that I
needed to try at all. Sure, I was amicable
and friendly, but I somehow forgot that
actual effort has to be made in order to
connect with others.
With that understanding, I have
started to reach out more, striking up
the odd conversation, suggesting a
study session here and there, and seeing
where it leads - I even got invited to a
party! (Not the kind that you could just
walk into without knowing anyone.)
Still, there is a consistency lacking. I
can see most of Central Campus and the
Hill neighborhood from the desk where
I write, and I still feel disconnected;
the athletic fields and south campus
neighborhood forming a gulf between
me and the crucible of relentless social
interaction that would presumably
define a "normal" college experience at
one of the residence halls.
I know that such assumptions are
pulled from pop culture and probably
bear little resemblance to the collective
reality of a majority-defined sense of
"normalcy," but I can't help it, I want
my "storybook" college experience -
replete with silliness, feuding, hijinks,
adventures and most of all, friendship
(really, the only piece that I wouldn't
mind leaving out at this point is
But it's not just any friendship I want,
I want the kind of friendship where

you make plans and promises that you
could never rationally keep. I want tom
get calls at 3 a.m., just because someone
else can't sleep and wants company;
I want people to look at me, with my
group of friends, and think one word -
My path through higher education
could single-handedly define the
"nontraditional" college experience,
and it's difficult to rationalize my
accomplishments with everyone I see
having their "normal" ones. I know that
I have seen, done and accomplished
things that some dream of - important,
meaningful things - but I can't shake
this envy. All too soon, my peers will
consist of professionals in situations
where childish wistfulness is, at best,
I know that I can't force this. These
are the types of relationships that take
years to form, but at this point, I have
less than two. I am scared that I will
come away from my college experience
unfulfilled. But don't they say that
admission is the first step towards
recovery? I suppose the only thing leit
to do is go out and recover my sense
of adventure. These years are still my
opportunity to try new things; I just
hope I can find the right people to share
those experiences with.
James Reslier-Wells is a Daily Stif
Videographer and an LSA junior.


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