Page 4A - Thursday, December 4, 2014,
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Page 4A - Thursday, December 4, 2014 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom
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Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
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Ann Arbor, MI 48109
PETER SHAHIN and DANIEL WANG KATIE BURKE
EDITOR IN CHIEF EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS 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.
The stuffing story
H appy belated Thanksgiving. glucose (the main building block of dietary car-
Question: did you ever wonder what bohydrates) levels in the blood are through the
stuffing actually is? Well, not only roof. Insulin then inserts glucose channels into
what it is, but also how it got the cells, which act like microscopic vacuum
there? And what happens as cleaners and suck up glucose from the blood.
you consume it? And what it Glucose, when inside the cell, is either stored
does after you eat it? or used to produce energy. Since we've been
Let me tell you a smidge sitting on our butts for the past three hours
of the story of the most watching the Lions win their Turkey Day game,
neglected ingredient of your our cells store the glucose by converting it to
Thanksgiving feast. Oh, and glycogen. This glycogen, in excess, is further
I'll apologize in advance for transformed into triglyceride (a form of fat),
making you feel even more which is stored in adipose tissue. Adipose
guilty than you probably ELI tissue, in turn, is what belly fat and love handles
already do for so enthusias- C AN are made of.
tically commemorating the As an aside here: gluten, the archnemesis of
most fabulously gluttonous yogis, juicers, soccer moms and hypochondriac
holiday on the calendar. dads everywhere, is actually a protein, and
Prologue doesn't contribute significantly to your adipose
Let's start from the beginning. The primary tissue load (read: polar bear syndrome).Michael
ingredient in stuffing is generally bleached Specter of The New Yorker wrote a brilliant
white bread. Bleached white bread flour comes piece on this. The punch line? Gluten (to most)
from a combination of wheat, yeast, supple- is as dangerous as monosodium glutamate,
mental gluten, enzymes and chemical additives better known as MSG, or in other words,
(typically preservatives). Some of the white not at all. The real enemies are the copiously
wheat that constitutes the flour is produced by added sugars, salts and preservatives in mass-
the $12.5-billion U.S. wheat industry. The mas- produced bread.
sive mono-cultured (onlywheat) fieldsrequired Epilogue
to fill international demand are quickly deplet- So now that we've sufficiently harmed the
ing soil nutrients. Wheat, thus, like other com- environment and plumped ourselves, what's
mon non-legume field crops, requires fertilizer next? Well, from a population health stand-
to nurture growth in nutrient-poor soils. point, obesity is the obvious chronic concern
Excessive use of fertilizers has been a nota- associated with excess consumption. Some 35
ble ecological issue, particularly due to what percent of U.S. adults are obese and 17 percent
is called runoff. Runoff relates to the flow of U.S. children are obese. A seminal 2009
of fertilizers into irrigative bodies of water, paper showed that medical costs per obese
which subsequently leads to unregulated algal person are about $1,500 per year higher than
growth. These algae, which under normal con- those of a healthy individual, with total excess
ditions are constrained by a lack of nutrients, costs in the United States derived from obesity
proliferate when fed by fertilizers. While living, close to $150 billion. These costs are due to a
some algae produce toxins; upon dying, these vast variety of co-morbidities - or symptoms
algae remove oxygen from the water, lead- associated with obesity - ranging in severity
ing to hypoxic conditions ominously deemed from high blood pressure to heart disease. As
"dead zones." Fishand other oxygen-dependent for our stuffing story, correlations between
aquatic species cannot survive under these refined, mass-produced -white bread and the
conditions, and die off rapidly. Since the Mis- development of obesity pervade the medical
sissippi River runs through some of the largest literature. The End.
wheat-producing states in the country down to At least I apologized in advance, right? But
the Gulf of Mexico, it is literally the case that on a serious note: these are important issues to
to some degree, the Wonder Bread produced be aware of, and they reach far beyond stuff-
in Kansas is killing fish in Mexico. It's possible ing. At the same time, the sky is NOT falling,
there was Wonder Bread in your stuffing. yet. The moral of the story is not to swear off
Anyways, for the sake of brevity let's mediocre-tasting slop. Rather, I just hope to
ignore all the other inputs (converting, show that it is the obligation of each of us to be
mixing, packaging, transporting, storing and educated on even the seemingly most mundane
so on) that got the mushy brown glob onto things that we come in contact with every day.
our plates. Oh, and also that science can be interesting.
Inner Pages In any case, the holiday season is a time for
Now to think about how the stuffing story food, stories and resolutions for a new year.
develops when we come in touch with it. So, Now you know one more story. How will you
down the hatch goes the stuffing. Undoubtedly, change next year?
since we've already eaten a full meal's worth
of cheese and crackers, our bodies release the - Eli Cahan can be reached at
"full" signal: insulin. Insulin tells our cells that email@example.com.
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White people love me
Accessibility in snow
As a dusting of crystalline
flakes morphs into anoth-
er potential polar vortex,
students will likely experience a
myriad of emo-
tions. My initial
a slight annoy-
ance and eventu-
into a panicky
concern to main-
tain my balance AH USA
while dashing SCHOLKE
student body will soon be reintro-
duced to ever-too-familiar winter
perils as they walk to class. Lay-
ers of ice will glaze sidewalks as
we trudge through snow piles, and
bitter winds will strike faces await-
ing the arrival of delayed buses.
Rather than endure the seasonal
hazards, some students will choose
encampment in the warm safety
of dorms. For others, indoor con-
finement might seem like the only
While winter poses safety
risks to the student community,
seasonal hazards illustrate an
issue on campus. Wintertime
proves a hindrance for able-bodied
students, but for students with
mobility impairments, the external
conditions greatly diminish
accessibility and aggravate existing
issues. Able-bodied students and
faculty - as they go through their
routines - unintentionally overlook
challenges students with physical
disabilities encounter daily. We
often move effortlessly through
our personal spheres and never
consider the tremendous capability
of our limbs to do so. Rather, we
automatically acceptthis particular
physical status as "normal."
After a few minutes, a bus -
which able-bodied individuals
enter with ease - will come whisk
them out of the cold. Students can
strategically plan a walking route
to minimize exposure to frigid
temperatures by seeking out the
nearest entrances, utilizing stair-
wells and elevators and traversing
across corridors. -If students still
feel frozen, they can warm up with
food from a dining hall. In certain
areas of campus, these options
aren't necessarily available to stu-
dents with mobility impairments.
Hindrances to mobility may be a
seasonal affliction for able-bodied
students, but for students with
physical disabilities, they're life-
Numerous buildings currently
pose challenges to students.
According to Public Policy senior
Ryan Bartholomew, chair of
the Campus Accessibility and
Disability Affairs Commission, "a
lot of the buildings, even if they are
accessible, sometimes are hard for
people to access." The commission
works to address complaints and
concerns about mobility on campus.
Even recently updated dormitories,
such as East Quad Residence Hall,
pose problems to a segment of the
student body. The handicapped-
accessible door at East Quad is
located far away from the building's
main entrance, and the door is
locked throughout the day, which
prevents students from entering
the building for class or for a meal
unless they live there.
Although I previously lived on
North Campus, I was surprised
to learn of the multiple difficul-
ties mobility-impaired students
encounter there. Parents and hun-
gry students are supposed to be
reassured by the promise of con-
venient, healthy meals at the Uni-
versity's various dining halls. Yet,
Bursley Residence Hall lacks an
elevator or any means that would
allow its dining hall to be accessible
to students with physical disabili-
ties. Likewise, the Duderstadt Cen-
ter doesn't possess a "continuous
elevator" to the facility's third floor,
which hinders students who need
to access resources at the Dude or
to simply meet with a study group.
However, the most striking
example of inefficiency is located at
the Bob & Betty Beyster Building.
Although the BBB possesses a fully
functional elevator, it currently
doesn't operate after 8 p.m. - ford-
ing mobility-impaired students fin-
ishing a late evening of studying to
walk outside to a parking lot at the
top of the hill to await Paratransit's
arrival. During a video shoot to
raise awareness about inaccessibil-
ity, I accompanied a student as he
ascended the steep slope. The side-
walk nearly encircles the building
- as well as a surrounding cluster
of trees - and the route is signifi-
cantly longer than the distance one
would take up the stairwell within
the BBB. This extended exposure to
the elements has drastic effects. As
Bartholomew noted, "People with
mobility impairments are not mov-
ing their body as much as someone
who is able-bodied ... so when they
get cold, they typically stay cold for
a long period of time."
Working in cooperation with
University Housing and other Uni-
versity departments, the Campus
Affairs and Disability Commis-
sion implemented measures such
as snow removal procedures and
protocols for removing bikes from
ramps. The University has respond-
ed to requests and complaints in
the past, but many issues persist.
The University's resources for stu-
dents with mobility impairments
areeither non-existent, difficult to
find, inefficient or unnecessarily
distant. Mobility status is a social
identity that far too often escapes
consideration in our minds. Form-
ing a diverse community requires
acknowledging the need for a wide
variety of resources for all students
in order to aid them in achieving
an education and personal growth.
While the University must ensure
resources for all students are consis-
tently accessible and accommodat-
ing, we, as students, should work to
raise personal awareness and reform
our perceptions of a truly diverse
- Melissa Scholke can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS
Edvinas Berzansk s, Devin Eggert, David Harris,
Rachel John, Jordyn Kay, Aarica Marsh, Megan McDonald,
Victoria Noble, Michael Paul, Allison Raeck, Melissa Scholke,
Michael Schramm, Matthew Seligman, Mary Kate Winn,
Jenny Wang, Daniel Wang, Derek Wolfe
VAMIKA BAJA I
Have you ever thought about how
your education might be shaping the
way you see your life? I had never
acknowledged that my studying of
economics might be influencing,
and perhaps even limiting the way
I think ... until Nov. 14.
I was tired, it was freezing cold, and
I was bikingto the UGLi. I only had
five minutes to make it to my Econ
meeting. That's when I realized, in
just a few weeks it would be too cold
to bike and I would have to walk
everywhere. What a bloody waste
of time ...
But that thought required me
to pause and think. What exactly
makes something a waste of time?
To me, walking or sitting in a car
is a waste of time, but writing my
paper is not. Watching the snow fall
is a waste of time, but making it to
lecture half-awake is not.
Just like in economics where a
country's GDP is defined in terms
of its output of goods and services,
I have begun to define my life in
terms of value added. A successful
omics of happiness
day is a productive day. Where
there is no tangible output, I've
wasted my time.
But I ask the economists, what
about the cumulative happiness of
the people? Is that not a measure
of a country's success? And I ask
myself, what about those great
conversations I've had in those
long car rides or people I've met
waiting in line. Are those moments
Where economists go wrong is
that they attempt to quantitatively
model that which cannot even be
measured. The entire subject lies
on the outrageous assumption that
human beings are rational. But
what kind of assumption is that?
We do the right things at the wrong
time, we say the wrongthings to the
right people. We make war, we fall
in love. We are crazy, impulsive and
irrational creatures, yet that's what
makes us human.
And where we go wrong (or at
least I do) is when we attempt to
quantitatively define ourselves. As
students, ahuge amount of our daily
lives revolves around academics.
And once you're an upperclassman,
that pressure is only exacerbated
by the stress associated with
recruitment. Suddenly our grades,
our GPA or the job we've lined up
begin to define who we are.
We can't deny that as students,
our lives are disproportionally
influenced by academic pressure.
There are days when we are happy
and excited. There are days when
we are simply overwhelmed and
distressed. Regardless of our
mental, physical or emotional
state, what is expected of us does
not change. Sometimes we need to
step out of that stress bubble and
remind ourselves of what it is we
Don't get me wrong; I'm still
just as passionate of an economics
student. But sometimes, we all need
to turn off autopilot and see where
we're actually flying. So next time I
ask you about yourself, don't tell me
what you study, tell me who you are.
Vamika Baja is an LSAjunior.
My friend Maya and I lock our bikes
simultaneously on State Street, stationed at
a pole in front of Espresso Royale. Out of the
corner of my eye, I notice a man standing and
facing us a few feet away. After pushing mylock
closed, I look up and make eye contact with
him. It seems he was waiting for the prompt to
profess: "White people love you."
I perceive this middle-aged white man say
it to me like it's scripture. Half of me is sure
of the sentiment, the other half suspended in
disbelief; maybe I've heard him wrong.
"White people love me?" I ask, and as
soon as the words are out of my mouth, my
"White people love you," he repeats, looking
me inthe eyes urgently. I feel my insides deflate
as I take in his words. He walks away before I
can shape a response, and Maya and I go into
Espresso. She whispers, "That was so strange."
If Maya hadn't been present, I probably
would have shared this event with a spare few.
I would have brushed it off while being aware
I was brushing it off. I still took it lightly; it
was a declaration about something of which I
was already aware. White people, particularly
white men, do love Asian women, for the
simple fact that we are Asian women. No great
However, this interaction solidified
knowledge: Not only do fetishization,
sexualization, tokenization of Asian women
exist, but this man (onfirmed they're also as
prevalent as I suspected. That he formulated
this thought and felt it strongly enough
to share it with me reveals how this is an
His declaration makes me feel like
a walking, talking opportunity for
men, particularly white men (because
unfortunately, the man on State Street spoke
accurately), to ogle at, to freely superimpose
images of sexualized East Asian women.
It made me realize that this is why I avoid
sexuality. This is why I try not to attract men
by the way I dress, the way I behave. This is
why I question every romantic relationship
I've had, wondering if they're seeing past the
surface of my race.
As a generation, we are realizing there
are subconscious choices we make, tugging
us in certain directions, guided by media
and historical discriminations. However,
I feel very little power to combat them.
The majority of the people I have dated
are straight white men. They are who is
available, but also whom I deem attractive. I
despise knowing that some, if not all, of this
attraction is derived from constant images
of white men as the leading protagonists in a
majority of romantic narratives.
I seethe, knowing how much I have
tailored my behaviors to this consciousness.
How much I attempt to dissuade sexualized,
racialized attention. How much this defines
my interactions. This symptom stays with
me, measuringthe sincerity of every act in an
exhausting stream of analysis.
Michigan in Color is the Daily's opinion
section designated as a space for and by
students of color at the University of Michigan.
To contribute your voice or find out more about
MiC -mail email@example.com.
When anybody in this country is not
being treated equally under the law,
that's a problem"
- President Barack Obama's statement in response to a New York grand jury's decision to not indict New
York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island, New York resident who
died after he was put in a chokehold by Pantaleo during an arrest in July.