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August 10, 1998 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1998-08-10

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Monday, August 10, 1998 - The Michigan Daily - 5

PMost of it was luck. I got involved with a great team and
things just fell into place."
- Cancer researcher Chris Fields, a recent graduate of the University,
on the recognition he received as an undergraduate
working on a promising cancer treatment.


echnology CPS does not
ee should not need more
e used for caseworkers
J1acintosh to correct
omputers problems

While I appreciate the fact
at the College of LS&A is
ing to keep the University
the cutting edge of tech-
logy by charging its stu-
nts an additional $30 to
grade and enhance what we
rrently hold, I would like to
litely request that my $30
go toward any Macintosh
I know that there are many
z alots out there who believe
the Mac to be the greatest
invention since sliced bread,
but the fact is that the
Macintosh is a dying breed,
and Michigan needs to face
this fact. The marketshare is
dwindling, and soon there will
not be anything out there for
University to buy in terms
software. The "U" should
cut its losses now and start
buying some new PCs as soon
as possible to start replacing
the Macs in various labs
throughout the University. It
isn't always a question of what
.works better, it is a question of
.rvival of the fittest.

I am writing to respond to
the editorial entitled
"Overload," which ran on
10/28/97. 1 know this editori-
al is from a while ago, but
please hear me.
This article states that
CPS isn't doing their job to
protect abused children, as 25
percent are slipping through
the cracks. It calls for adding
more caseworkers to an
already financially burdened
government system.
I disagree. I have had
many dealings with CPS as a
parent of a special needs
child in Washtenaw County.
What these caseworkers need
is training so that they can
identify which situations are
serious or not.
There is a flipside to the
CPS debate over whether they
are helping our abused chil-
dren or not. The flipside is
this: Children who are not
abused are often placed in
state custody "just in case."
It's true: 3,000 children are
taken from their homes and
placed in foster care dailv.
Only 20 percent of these
involve actual physical/sexual
abuse. The rest of these cases

are considered "neglect" and
the definition of neglect
varies from caseworker to
caseworker, Regardless of
caseworker opinion, poverty
seems to fall into the "envi-
ronmental neglect" category.
Caseworkers are actually
taught to discriminate against
persons due to age, ages and
number of children, marital
status, dealings with family,
disability, etc., by a chart
from Lansing that rates our
risk factors. Caseworkers
with little or no training
assume these charts to be
accurate in every case and act
upon the recommendations of
these charts. Some are even
worse and discriminate fur-
ther, going to issues of sexu-
ality, breastfeeding, home-
schooling, etc. This has to be
stopped. If they spent as
much money on keeping fam-
ilies together (short-term
process) and helping them up
as they spent on foster care
(long-term process) there
wouldn't be all these children
in the system eating our tax
Issues and statistics such
as this need to be brought to
the attention of society so
that change can take place. If
we create change we can pro-
tect our children. If we can
protect our children we can
do what we say we do - put
families first.

Step up to the plate and take one final swing ...
W hen Ted Williams stepped up to bat with ue to move through a rapid succession of peri-
one out in the bottom of the eighth ods in our lives. We went through junior high,
inning on September 28, 1960, it was a special then high school. Now, college is rapidly pass-
occasion. This was the 42-year-old Splendid ing us by before we even realize time could
Splinter's final at bat. And on a 1-1 pitch from move so quickly. And in these periods, so many
Baltimore's Jack Fisher, he hit a home run to experiences come and go.
close out the summer and his great career. We have a succession of jobs in high school
Obviously, I wasn't alive to see the that carry over to college. Then maybe
game. But that's one of the great we get that internship, or that research
things about baseball: No other sport job, or what have you. And we try and
has such strong traditions, where the make our marks and prepare for the
great stories from days gone by are future. Some of these experiences we
handed down with each generation. '.don't miss, but every once in awhile,
The myths and the legends build. we get one that means a lot to us.
This moment has always stood out And as we leave those periods of our
to me. I've never been a fan of the lives that we'll remember, we want
Red Sox - in fact, I've disliked something special to light them in our
them for being a division rival of the memories. That's why we have gradua-
Tigers until this season. But some- DAVID tion ceremonies, with all the cheering
thing about this moment transcends WALLACE and all the crying and all the picture-
baseball and makes it special. CATCHEIR IN taking. Let's find a particular moment
It's the notion of hitting a home run THE W RY to remember.
in your final at bat. Baseball For me, graduation still looms in the
metaphors have so worked themselves into the distance, but it's visible on the horizon and
American lexicon that today a "home run" rapidly catching up to me. The period of my
means any big success in any undertaking. life I'm leaving behind now is my summer as
Situations make home runs all the more dra- an editor and columnist and all the growth and
matic. responsibility it's been. I know I'll remember it
Consider Ted Williams: The man is arguably all my life, and I'll keep some, if not all, of the
the greatest baseball player ever. Among his issues. I have enjoyed my time, but I know that
accomplishments are 521 career home runs, new things await, and I look forward to them.
and he holds the exalted title of being the last Only some of the important periods in our
man to hit over .400 for an entire season. So lives allow us to take even a final swing. But as
when he hit that 521st home run, he finished Ted Williams shows, great endings are possi-
with the bang befitting him, and not the whim- ble. So I feel very privileged to close out the
per so many finish with. summer with my last swing.
But it wasn't just a baseball career, it was a - David Wallace is looking forward to
stage of the man's life. There's something mag- spending the remaining few weeks before
ical about not just leaving a period of life school watching baseball and relaxing. If you
behind you, but leaving it on a peak. would like to contact him, he is available at
Those of us in college have been and contin- davidmw@umich.edu.
I'll always remember it in my own, inaccurate way
guess that old saying is true after all - you all sat on that bench together and cheered each
don't know what you got till it's gone. It, in other on. The smell of the re-heated hot dogs
this case, being my career as a Daily colum- from the concession stand. The bottle of Jack
nist. Indeed, it is about to be gone. we all swigged from before taking our "cuts."
This is my last column for The Daily. No, not Those little green pills we thought would "pick
the Summer Daily. I refuse to use a qualifier us up a bit" when we faced a tough foe.
such as "Summer" in describing my presti- Everything about those times just gets me
gious job. A highly qualified crop of right ... right here - you know where
maybe five or six students competed r'I mean.
for this one spot, this one shining The nights my colleagues and I
opportunity to dole out one's opinton, would go down to the pub after
one's inner thoughts, one's ... use- putting the paper "to bed." We'd retire
less, drab, pointless dribble. And I to those seedy, dark, you-must-be-an-
happened to be that lucky person. So old-depressed-man-to-come-here
it's The Daily -just The Daily - to ! bars. Arms around each other, like a
me. scene out of St. Elmo's Fire, singing
Indeed, it is about to be gone. and touching, drinking and feeling,
So I sit here, on my couch and in groping and swearing, making out
front of my little black lap-top. I sit CHRIS and punching. All the things that
here as the muggy air seeps into my LANGRILL drunken colleagues do together.
apartment, and my sinuses drain and itoT Those were some good times, indeed.
drain and drain. I sit here and look W ND And they too are about to be gone.
around the room, as - you may have And all of those letters and e-mails
noticed - I often do. See, not only am I about you sent. The homemade brownies. The cup-
to move out of my apartment for the last two cakes with the chocolate sprinkles. (Thanks
years, leaving behind a huge piece of my col- for the home-made muffins, by the way. They
lege life, but I am also writing my last column were scrumpcious - you know who you are.)
for The Daily. How much can one human being I never had a clue my columns would touch
bear at once? people in such special ways. I just wish I had
When I go and clear out my desk at The the time to thank you all.
Daily, I know it won't be easy, and all of my And yes, it's true. This is the summer before,
hopefullness that life will go on will break not after, my senior year. I shouldn't be bid-
down into tearful emptiness. Because when I ding you farewell. But I was too much of a
slump back in that soft, familiar chair which I slacker to apply for a Fall column. It's OK.
have sat on virtually seven times, and I begin Don't start a write-in campaign or picket or
to pile my awards, press passes, letters and anything like that. I'll get by. Who knows? For
other momentos into my cardboard box, I now though, itsis and I am ... gone.
know it will all be too much to bear. Talk - or - Chris Langrill wishes he actually had a desk at
writing in this case - is cheap, after all. The Daily and a better sense of sarcasm, more so
But god. All the memories. Our Daily soft- than any ofthose other things. To send Chris e-mail
ball team. The breezy summer nights when we or baked goods, each him at siremid/astich.edu.

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