Wednesday, May 7, 1997 - The Michigan Daily - 5
"For as many changes as I've seen at the University,
probably the biggest ones are the changes I've made
personally because of the University."
- Graduating Kinesiology senior Russel Ordonia,
reflecting on his years at the University
0 THE DAILY:
I would like to express my
streme disappointment in this
ear's choice of University
resident Lee Bollinger as the
pring Commencement speak-
The University has a repu-
ati n of being a first-class,
ai~nally recognized institu-
on. What message does it
end when schools such as
larvard are having Secretary
ifState Madeline Albright
hile the best the University
ould do is to have their own
Commencement is one of
he few times our family and
rIs will have any contact
ith the University. If the
Iniversity wants to keep its
eputation of being in the
ame class as Harvard, it must
ttract speakers of the same
aliber. The president of the
.niversity usually speaks in
ddition to the main speaker
- why couldn't that be the
ase this year? With no disre-
p to Bollinger, on May 3,
shtudents and families of
he University of Michigan
ad to settle for second best.
nd after the time and money
we seniors have put in, that
just doesn't seem right.
To THE DAILY:
I am writing this letter in
response to Brian Gnatt's col-
umn ("Goodbye, Michigan.
Love, Brian," 4/17/97) on life
here in Michigan. First of all,
if his article is strictly tongue-
in-cheek, fine. He made-a few
accurate observations about
Michigan and, in general, the
Midwest. However, by the tone
of his piece, I'm led to believe
that he is either inept at con-
veying humor (sorry, preten-
tious sarcasm is trite) or just
plain bitter about his years
here at the University. Why? Is
it not sophisticated enough for
him? Then why didn't he trans-
fer to a place where he would
be happier? It's his life; he
wants to be happy, right?
As to the specifics of his
piece, what was most ludicrous
is his self-aggrandizing adver-
tisement of tolerance for other
people and cultures. Yet he slan-
ders Michiganians for saying
"pop" instead of "soda," our dri-
ving habits (what's the big
hurry?), and the fact that it
snows here (he must have seen
snow before he came here;
every time there's a snowstorm
back East, it's a big deal on
NBC). Brian, one standard will
do, thank you. Also, has he ever
travelled throughout Michigan?
It's a pretty large state - there's
much more to it than what you
see on 1-94 coming to and from
Detroit Metro Airport. Before
Gnatt leaves, he should take a
day or two and travel up north
to the Upper Peninsula. If you
come back to campus some
summer, take a short trip to
Lake Michigan, perhaps to the
Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes.
Granted Michigan doesn't boast
of large cities and rat races, but
isn't variety the spice of life?
As for myself, I did grow up
in Michigan. While I have had
the fortune of seeing other parts
of the country, I have never
been to the East Coast, so I
can't pass judgement on it. It
sounds like a great part of the
country and I look forward to
going there someday and seeing
why Gnatt loves it so much.
Please, save your narrow world-
view to yourself. That newspa-
per space could've been used
for something more valuable
and meaningful - like a Nike
The Naked Mile: Reflections and regret
N obody ever believes me when I tell them I reverberated through my head. "Keep running!" I
ran the Naked Mile. Yes, 1, the picture of told myself, "don't pay attention."
health, shucked my clothing and followed a wast- But it's hard not to. It's hard to ignore the eam-
ed herd of frat boys through Ann Arbor - and eras placed at crotch-level, it's hard to ignore the
I'll never do it again. audience members grabbing your chest and to
I faintly remember that ominous last night of this day, it is still hard for me to ignore the voic-
class two years ago. My roommates and neigh- es yelling, "Yo, you're a fat bitch!"
hors in Mosher Jordan decided they I wanted to scream, "Sorry I don't fit
were going to run. Agreeing to hold your ideal of beauty - I don't see your
their clothes for them, I proceeded to lazy ass baring all to Ann Arbor and run-
alter my chemicals and color in my ning through the streets!"
Sesame Street coloring book until p Instead I ran - ran from the voices,
midnight rolled around. Suddenly, I the cameras, the ignorance.
found myself amidst a room of drunk- Reaching the 'M' in the center of the
en peer pressure: "Come on Kristin, Diag (the only time I stepped on it my
everyone's doing it" - and if your whole freshman year) one of my room-
friends jumped off a bridge, would you mates and I stopped running, lit up ciga-
do it too? Probably. rettes and walked the rest of way, trying
Unfortunately in my cloudy state of KRISTIN to ignore the bullshit surrounding us.
mind, I thought, "hmmm, uhhh ... AROLA I made a snap decision to never run
OK." Big mistake. Reaching the cor- AN i. naked through Ann Arbor again. Yet
ner of South University Ave. and iF some of my female friends continue to
Washtenaw Ave. and seeing the colos- run - even after their own terrible expe-
sal flock of nakedness is something I will never riences. One friend was blocking people's cam-
forget. Yet the mass of white baseball hats eras with her hands when a guy proceeded to slap
should've clued me in that I was in the wrong her across the face. She screamed, "He's a tough
place. guy, he hits girls!" and ran away. But it still boils
Getting naked in a crowd of nudity was not a her blood to this day. Another friend fell during
problem until those wandering hands started the Mile, got a concussion, and nobody helped
coming my way. While I am sure the Mile is a her. She had to stumble home on her own. It sure
different experience for men than women, being is great to feel the love that the Mile emanates.
a female participant is definitely not a bowl of The Naked Mile should be a fun celebration of
cherries. Running - OK, walking - dow- the end of classes and if people weren't such
South University Ave. single file is quite an idiots, I'm sure it would be. More power to you,
adventure. The guy behind me kept managing to my fellow women, if you choose to run, but real-
put his hands where I, quite frankly, didn't want ize what you are getting yourselves into. And
them. But that didn't bother me nearly as much as audience members, until you get naked and run
the comments yelled from the crowd. along with the participants, please shut the hell
"Look at the fat one!" I heard some 300-pouid Lip - and leave the camcorders at home.
drunken bastard yell in my direction. Granted, - Kristin Aro/a can be reached over e-mail,
my state of mind did not help, but his words fid/ clothed, at email@example.com,
Multiple choice tests: The real American pastime
Tn America we have one institution that is big- and soda from Fifi the cocktail waitress and pay 10
Iger than apple pie or illegal campaign contri- bucks to take a random multiple choice test, say on
butions. A tradition so powerful it outshines even the literary masterworks of Idaho, weather patterns
the torch of Lady Liberty. Is it A) the puritan in Guam or something really obscure, like organic
work ethic; B) the country music industry; C) a chemistry. Whoever gets the highest score walks
democratic system of governance that rewards out with a shiny new Buick and the rest of the
competent politicians; or D) high-quality net- suckers give it another shot or take on more intel-
work television programming? lectual pursuits, like video poker. Plus,
Actually the answer was E) none of you take side bets on what the mean will
the above. The institution that best ' " be or that the winner is sitting in seat G-
characterizes the good ole' U.S. of A. is 95. I think the plan has potential.
the multiple-choice test and for people Perhaps even our public schools could
ages six to 22, it pretty much nudges get involved for fundraising purposes. It
out baseball as the national pastime. would sure beat selling summer sausage
Only in America could you possibly and cheese logs to Aunt Gertrude and
pass an examination by randomly fill- Uncle Herb. You could pay for the new
ing in circles on an answer sheet. Heck, pool or the new set of history books just
you really don't even need the ques- by letting people bet on everything from
tions or even know the subject matter. PAUL first grade math quizzes to the SATs. I
But Americans don'tjust love multiple SERILLA can even hear ESPN2 running for the
choice tests because of the capitalist coverage rights to fill that empty spot
growth spurred by our world domi- WAr AR' between the "World's Strongest Man
nance in the production of No. 2 pen- Competition" and "NASCAR Today:"
cils - we are really in it for the sport. "Calling the Curve" with commentary by Chris
On an essay exam, you know the answer or you Berman and hall-of-famer Yogi Berra.
don't. No one ever leaves an essay test praying Berman: "I like little Timmy Harris on
that the statistics god grant one small miracle to Thursday's geography test, it's a long shot -he's
shift the law of averages in favor of the letter 'C' 17-1 to score higher than 60 percent - but I
It's really the thrilling risks, the chance that think he's showing improvement."
keeps us bellying up to multiple-choice bar. Berra: "Yep, I really think the fourth grade is
Americans love to gamble and this is the best going to be Timmy's year."
practice oi the planet. All the years of penciling I know what you're thinking: "Paul, your logic
in scantron circles prepares Joe and Judy is solid, but are multiple-choice tests the answer
Americano for a rewarding life filling in remark- to funding our public schools?"
ably similar circles on Super-Mega-Lotto- Well, just look at the rousing success of using
Jackpot-Extrasaganza sheets or Keno cards at state lotteries to raise money for schools - oh
the Fabulous Tiki Lounge of Reno, Nev. wait, forget that, no one knows where that money
In fact it is a wonder that the kingpins of Vegas, goes. So, I guess just like a multiple choice test,
Atlantic City and St. Ignace have not tapped in this your guess is as good as mine.
treasure trove of chance. People walk into the casi- - Paul Serilla can be reached or
no of their personal predilection, grab a whiskey e-mai at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1iaT R t"T H ttC5s
A tMASJ DiiERse
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