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June 04, 1997 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1997-06-04

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Wednesday, June 4, 1997 - The Michigan Daily - 5

"I understand that (the University of Georgia) was
* on a very tight schedule and was supposed to make
a selection very soon, so I am just delighted."
- Former University President James Duderstadt, referring to University
Provost J Bernard Machen ' candidacy for the University of Georgia s
presidency, announced last Wednesday by Georgia s Board of Regents

1tter is 'self-
In reading Jason Runnels's
tiresome and self-righteous let-
ter about smoking ("Smokers
violate others' rights, safety,"
5/21/97), 1 became somewhat
annoyed. As a light smoker, I
l it to be generally irritating
that a person who smokes cig-
arettes is instantly derided by
some as a disgusting health
hazard who should be shunned
and reviled by good citizens
everywhere. In defense of
obviously evil, pernicious and
crazed smokers everywhere,
may I point out that in general,
s kers are polite about
king and will even - gasp
- put out their cigarettes if
Runnels points out that
smokers generally infest the
outdoors. Look, smokers don't
have a choice in the matter.
Given that smoking is banned
in most public buildings,
smokers have to stand outside
order to enjoy a simple
. This is annoying but
generally acceptable, and
smokers put up with it. The
last thing smokers need is a
self-righteous do-gooder com-
plaining about smokers out-
side of a building, especially
when smokers do so that our
smoke does not impinge upon

those inside of the building.
It's not as if smokers are
deliberately attempting to fan
smoke in the vicinity of non-
As for the "flick," the ciga-
rette butts are going to the
ground. Where else are they
supposed to go? In places
where there are no receptacles
for the spent cancer sticks,
what else should smokers do
with them? Save them? Pocket
the burning stub? I can see it
now - if our clothes don't
burn, we can turn them in for
Marlboro Points in the hope
that by the time we get
2,692,592,044 butts collected
well have enough for that
spiffy windbreaker. I would
think that smokers would use
the large municipal "ashtrays"
if they were provided, but in
most cases they are not.
In conclusion, smokers
have taken non-smokers' rights
into account by making quite a
few concessions - not smok-
ing in buildings, on airplanes
or in the preferred-seating
areas of restaurants. Give
smokers a concession -
minor in comparison - please
cease and desist lecturing us
about smoking in those self-
righteous, arrogant tones as if
we were children. We smoke
with full knowledge about the
health hazards and aesthetic
concerns of our vice - now
let its be.

650 grams of
justifies life
This letter is concerning
the Daily's editorial on the
650-gram sentencing policy
the state has for possession of
cocaine or heroin ("650 to
life," 5/28/97). Although the
policy does not look at individ-
ual cases and instead passes a
blanket sentence for posses-
sion greater than 650 grams,
anyone who thinks that some-
one with approximately 1.5
pounds of cocaine is going to
put it up just their nose is nuts.
Keep in mind that these sub-
stances are sold by the gram,
and anyone with 650 of them
is going to distribute and
should be punished according-
The slim, slim potential for
"lopsided justice," as you call
it, is there but highly unlikely.
Your article supports tough
punishment for distribution,
and this policy provides it. The
law maintains its original pur-
pose of throwing the book at
distributors and should be kept
as is.

The bathroom: A haven from political correctness
ve slowly come to realize one of the steps out my pen and add something. Some deep theolo-
Itowards having a fulfilling experience at the gian had posed the question, "What is your favorite
University: Finding your favorite campus bath- city inthe world?" Answers varied from "Paris, the
room. One of my friends brags of the peacefulness city of love" to "Detroit, rock city," to "anywhere
the Natural Science Museum bathroom provides, but the U.P" Did someone just dis my hometown?
some students delight in the cleanliness of the Michigan's Upper Peninsula is an interesting
Chemistry building toilets while others enjoy the place many teens can't wait to get out of. I admit,
get-stoned-during-class accessibility of after 18 years of living there, I was ready
the MLB basement restrooms. Yet over to put on my walking boots and venture
three years of college, my choice has to elsewhere. Once someone leaves a small
be the dirty, busy, National Women's town to enter a diverse, liberal city, they
Rights Organization Coalition-stickered seem to think they've won - they
ambiance of the Mason Hall lavatory. escaped the close minded ignorance of
i recently noticed a sign has finally Small Town, USA. I know I held this atti-
returned to my favorite between-class tude my first year in Ann Arbor, yet as
pit-stop. Since I can remember, the only time progresses, I realize that this city isn't
clue the door led to a bathroom was the diverse, loving place I once thought.
somebody's sloppy handwriting reading At least it my hometown you know
"womyn." Now, because of the cutesy KRISTIN when somebody doesn't agree with you.
figure of a woman in a perfect 1950s AROLA They get their stereotypes right on the
housedress, all women can rest assured 'A<N : N table without any politically correct
that this is indeed a public restroom. iNI A cover-ups. When my neighbor from my
Sitting upon the porcelain goddess, I hometown says, "All those niggers are the
begin to notice the conversations scrawled across same, doing drugs and listening to that rap music'
the walls. Conversations often start with a state- you basically know where they stand when it
ment that pisses the masses off, for example: "God comes to race relations. But in Ann Arbor when
created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!" or someone says, "I have an African-American
the female chant in times of male problems "All friend, I attended Martin Luther King Day festivi-
men suck!" Such statements create a barrage of ties with her," you have no idea if they're trying to
responses from hate slurs (yes, let's fight ignorance hide some deeper racial hostility, or if they're hon-
with ignorance) to 300-word diatribes by political- estly color blind (which I doubt anyone is.)
ly correct "womyn" trying to change the world. I'm not saying that my U.P neighbor is right
Most times, a conversation is started with a and the Ann Arbor bleeding-heart liberal is
question from some lost soul - yes, chances are wrong, but it's hard to work past differences
you're pretty lost if you're searching for answers in when you never know how someone really feels.
a bathroom stall. "Should I go on the pill?" "I have The faceless words of the bathroom provide a
a crush on a girl, what should I do?" Then every- forum for open, honest conversation. At the
one and their mother adds their two cents, most University, we have been brain-washed to say
likely confusitg the hell out of the poor lost soul. certain things as to not offend anyone, yet words
Being the observer I am, I usually keep quiet in don't breed tolerance, they just hide ignorance.
these bathroom dialogues, butone day I had to fish - E-mail Kristin Arla at aroak@tmtich.edu.
Internships fill in the gap between reality and desire
A rguably, college is one of the best opportu- In short, the internship is a step toward selling
A nities in life to build up your dreams. I don't out a mental image of accomplishment and hap-
mean dreams like winning the lotto, or dating the piness for some self-sufficiency and stability.
supermodel and definitely not the one with As you might have guessed, I am testing the
cigar-smoking snake who chases me through the waters of this so-called "real world." I commute
magic land of doughnuts and tells me my moth- every day to my internship and sit in a cubicle at
er thinks I am a failure - I mean big dreams. the Detroit offices of a huge multinational corpo-
Life ambitions. The big cartoon light ration. As far as I can tell, the company
bulb above your head that clicks on and does very little, even though people are
says, "This is what I want to do for the busy and overloaded with work.
next 50 or so odd years." Everyday I have more work and I pro-
Its not always an easy thing to do, vide a vital link in making sure nothing
especially for all of us whose future gets done. My father likes to call me
career path is less than crystalline. I Dilbert, after the cartoon character who
know some people that practically have has become a pop icon through jokes
a flowchart that lays out a schedule for about paper clips and computer failures.
success. From a lunchtime interview A lot of what I do is recycling - sum-
next Thursday to their Nobel Prize vic- marizing reports that are really sum-
tory in 2020, they have a clear direction. PAUL maries of several other reports that are,
Sometimes my "plan" looks more SERILLA in turn, summaries of data. I am sure the
like a painting by Jackson Pollock or, company made one study in about 1952
scarier yet, one of those M.C. Escher A A and has kept everyone busy re-summa-
sketches where stairs are moving in rizing earlier reports without taking
every direction without going anywhere. another study.
The problem for those of us in the average LSA The work is not incredibly fulfilling, but I have
humanities-style major is we sometimes fill in not completely abandoned the bigger dreams I
the huge holes in our master plans with desires spent so many hours daydreaming. Ironically, I
we liberally substitute for reality. I often wonder am keeping my dream of writing for a living (I
where ambition ends and self-delusion begins know, don't quit my day job) as I type this col-
(the best I can figure it is somewhere around me umn in my office cubicle (the boss went home
and an Oscar-winning screenplay). early). It's a mix of cold corporate "reality" and
Those dreams are the reason summer internships something I like to do, but am not sure I can ever
exist. Real people do not often do interesting feed myself with. For now, it works.
things. They work in offices for huge corporations The bottom line is that gainful employment does
doing what is questionably called work - that is not mean you stop chasing that intangible portrait
where we are headed. Around junior year, many of of who you are and what you want to be. Relentless
us start looking for summer employment that does- dedication to that same image does mean you can
n't involve an apron or - even worse - a paper accomplish everything on your own terms.
hat. Internships help qualm the mighty fears of an Corporate summary: Don't sell your dreams,
empty resume, the only symbol of refuge beyond just downsize them.
campus and outside your parents' house. - E-mail Paul Serilla at pserilla@umichkedu


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