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January 29, 2014 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-01-29

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014 // The Statement7B

my first time: all ears on Bey by daniel feldman

Personal Statement: Thanks, grandma
by Carolyn Gearig

"Rocking out to Beyoncd's new
album while studying for my finals.
All hail Queen Bey!"
This is essentially all I saw on
social media for two weeks of school
during fall semester.
While I wanted to join in on the
fun, I felt like listening to the Queen
would distract me from studying for
the fast-approaching final exams and
just tempt me into singing the entire-
ty of Destiny's Child songbook.
It wasn't time to cater 2u, Bey. I'm
sorry.
But today, right now, Jan. 13th,
2014, it is time.
I originally wanted to watch all
the music videos that came along
with the self-titled album, BEYON-
CE, butlIrealized I had alreadyspent
a good amount of the day on Beyon-
ce's Instagram. It was time to let my
ears enjoy. My eyes had seen enough
for the day.
Get at me, girl. #NP #Beyonce
Wow. Beyonce is coming out hot
with this first track, "Pretty Hurts."
She's jokingthat pretty hurts though,
right?Beyonce knows she's Beyonc,
right? Did Jay Z say something mean
to you, Bey? I can be back in Brook-
lyn ina snap if you need me.
"Haunted" is spooky. I won't lie.
Is it bad,though, that when Ilisten to
this song all I see is Patrick Swayze's
character from "Ghost" in real life
gliding all over the world watching
people. I'm onto you, Bey. "Road-
house" is one of my favorite movies,
too. Much respect.
Just put "Drunk in Love" on.
Already feel a rich connection to
this song. Guess I just have party-
ing on my mind - or as Bey pointed
out in her track "Party," WE LIKE
TO PARTY. Do you think Beyonce
would be down with being my date
this weekend? I know it's not a night
out on the town with Jay - "Brook-
lyn" - but a random house on Ged-
des with free Backroom Pizza and
unlimited carrots is a tempting

ILLUSTRATION BY MEGAN MULHOLLAND

She enjoyed life and
liked to share the delight
witO oMterNLs.
ILLUSTRATION BY MEGAN MULHOLLAND

alternative.
Alright, Beyonce just said she
"woke up in a kitchen." Beyonce is
clearly foreshadowing my weekend.
Why did Bey just say surfboard
three times? Please don't blackout.
Please don't blackout. Answer me,
Beyonce.
Jay Z just popped up on the track.
He's on to me. Skipping ahead now.
Wait, did 'Yonce- just say this
album is just for all the "grown
women out there?" Do I have to
call my mom now, or whatever, to
get special permission moving for-
ward?
Moving on, "No Angel." First of
all, I am an angel. Second of all, if
you're saying you aren't one, I can
help fix that. But you need to stop
saying I'm not an angel if you want
my help. Bey. Bey. Bey. Clearly you're
not listening to me. Whatever.
Got to be honest, that track just
made me upset. But I see my favorite
Canadian rapper, Drake, is featured
four tracks from now, so I'll give you
a second chance.
Where is this penthouse? I know
I just ate dinner, but after listening
to "Jealous," I seem to have room for

dessert.
Siri, search for Beyonc's pent-
house, Brooklyn, N.Y. Hello? Siri?
Now finally, "Mine," feat. Drake.
Why did I know Drake would sound
exactly this way when I saw he was
featured in the song? I know he has
intentions of upstaging Beyonce
here, but his voice fading in and out
of the song is just so Drizzy.
OK, all he says is "good girl." I get
it Mr. OVO. Do you have anything
else to say? Glad to see you put a lot
of effort into your lines, sir. This is
not even close to the best you've ever
had. You can do better, Aubrey, and
you know it.
I know the point of "XO" isn't
necessarily about losing electric-
ity, but telling me I can "turn (your)
lights out" is a bit misleading. I think
Beyonce is blackout, guys. I will
NEVER let you lose power, Beyonc.
If such an event were to ever occur
I would find you, light a candle and
make sure you can see forever.
It's been an emotional couple of
hours till this point, but I'm not even
going to question Beyonce on the
notion that she "woke up like this."
Flawless.

I was once an accomplished sell-
er of Girl Scout cookies. In elemen-
tary school, I sold more than any
girl in my troop for five years in a
row. Every Saturday and Sunday
during selling season, my dad and
I would map out a route and walk
around our neighborhood, knock-
ing on doors.
But my all-time record of 478
boxes would not have been pos-
sible without the help of my grand-
mother.
One of my favorite memories
is from the January when I was
in the third grade. My grandma
worked at the University, and she
took me to her office at the Insti-
tute of Social Research on Thomp-
son Street to sell Girl Scout cookies
to her co-workers. We went out for
lunch to her favorite Middle East-
ern restaurant where the servers
knew her name and her favorite
order, and we walked over near
West Quad to spin the cube. I sold
over 100 boxes of cookies that day,
but more importantly, I got to miss
school to hang out with my grand-
ma.
In the four months that fol-
lowed, I came to Ann Arbor more
frequently, but this time it was to
visit the hospital. That April, my
grandma was diagnosed with pan-
creatic cancer. To put it in perspec-
tive, the five-year survival rate is
six percent. Two months later, she
was gone.
My grandma was special. While.
I don't have a very strong'memory

of my elementary-school years, I
remember her vividly. She had a
bubbly, outgoing personality. She
was one of those people who filled
up a room when she walked in
because she was so personable and
friendly. Every day with her was
an adventure - whether we were
taking her RV to the Upper Penin-
sula of Michigan to go camping and
visit her cabin, eating at McDon-
ald's (she would always get Happy
Meals so my brother and I could
have the toys)
or visiting the
American Girl
Place in Chicago.
She's been r
gone for nearly gran
10 years, but my
grandma still that sh
inspires every- .
thing I do. She of girl
had my mother at
19, but managed career
to attend East-
ern Michigan
University while
caring for a child and working as
a clerk at the University Hospital.
While my grandfather pursued a
bachelor's and then a master's and
PhD in Engineering at the Univer-
sity, my grandmother rose through
the ranks of administrative posi-
tions at the University of Michigan
Health System, simultaneously
working toward her undergraduate
and graduate degrees while help-
.isgto raise two sdaghtersShg twas,
eventually hired at the Institute for

Social Research, where she worked
for the last 15 years of her life as an
assistant director.
After her death, a scholarship
fund was established in her name.1
The Laurie Staples Staff Devel-
opment Fund awards scholar-
ships each year to ISR employees
concurrently - pursuing college
bachelor's or graduate degrees.;
This fund is particularly spe-
cial because it is dedicated to my:
grandmother's legacy of hard work
[t's a testament to m
dmother's loving nat
le made selling 1001
scout cookies seem1
-changing businessc
and perseverance. She worked for
years just to make ends meet while
never letting go of her academic
pursuits. She was a young mother
who raised children in the 1960s,
'70s and '80s, when opportunities
for women were more limited than
they are today. This didn't deter
her from becoming an administra-
tive leader at the ISR. The hope is
that the Laurie Staples Staff Devel-
opment Fund has and will continue.
to help employees, who, like her,

show potential for great accom-
plishment in the midst of financial
and other difficulties.
On the website for her fund,
there are testimonials from her
colleagues. Some of my favorites
are:
1. "Laurie enjoyed life and liked
to share the delight with others.
She felt strongly about celebrating
accomplishments and encouraging
success."
2. "By contributing to this fund,
one not only
helps to keep
y T Laurie's memory
alive, but also
makes it possible
sure for individuals to
have the resourc-
boxes es necessary to
improve their
like a knowledge and
skill base, which
deal." is something that
Laurie would be
- quite proud of
and honored to
be associated with."
3. "It is safe to say that you are an
unforgettable, as well as remark-
able and irreplaceable, member of
the Institute."
Meanwhile, I continued to grow
up an hour from Ann Arbor and
occasionally returned with my
family to visit my mother's home-
town. I fell in love with the cam-
pus, and all I worked for in High
,chpol was an acceptance tother
University where my grandmother

worked. Now, I'm a freshman and I
live in a residence hall five minutes
away from her former office, and
I'm reminded of her everyday.
I was covering an Ann Arbor
City Council election watch party
for The Michigan Daily in early
November when I struck up a con-
versation with a University profes-
sor attending the event in support
of a candidate. When he told me
he was a research professor at the
ISR, I asked him if he knew who
Laurie Staples was. His response
was immediate; he had been her
friend back when my grandma was
still working at ISR, and one of his
research assistants was among the
first to receive a scholarship from
the Laurie Staples Staff Develop-
ment Fund. He remembered her as
being a dedicated, funny and hard-
working woman. When I told him
I was her granddaughter, he was
shocked.
It's a testament to my grand-
mother's character and accom-
plishments that her granddaughter
can mention Laurie Staples to a
former colleague after 10 years and
receive an instant outpouring of
positive memories. It is atestament
to my grandmother's loving nature
that she made selling 100 boxes
of girl scout cookies seem like a
career-changing business deal. It
is a testament to her memory that
a fund in her name has been going
strong for nearly a decade.
Thanks, Grandma., Ityse,yop
always.

COVER BY RUBY WALLAU & NICK CRUZ

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