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August 08, 2013 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2013-08-08
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Thursday, August 8, 2013
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
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.
ass information
Past course syllabi should be available to all students
As the summer comes to a close, students are anticipating their
fall classes. They signed up for many of these classes back
in April - but they likely knew very little about the classes
themselves before signing up. Though information from friends, pro-
fessor ratings at Rate My Professor and the paltry class description
listed in course guides gives students a very rough idea of what their
classes will be like, this isn't enough. Students should know more
about their classes before they have to sign up for them. University
administration should require course instructors to make past syllabi
available to students well before we have to sign up for classes as well
as to make abundantly clear what materials are required for a class
prior to its start.

Thursday, August 8, 2013
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com


Life outside

t's truly been a "Wet Hot Ameri-
can Summer" - just under very
different circumstances than

the movie.
One of the worst
allergy seasons
in recent memory
and the erratic
weather have made
one of the great
pastimes occasion-
ally difficult to
enjoy - spending
time outdoors.
Working at a


summer camp, most of my day is spent
outside. Besides meals, I'm either at a
beach, field or amphitheater doing all
kinds of activities. Unless it's raining -
a common occurrence this summer -
times inside are extremely short-lived.
But, there's another aspect of camp
that makes for a great way to experi-
ence the outdoors. By actually camp-
ing. Yes, with the tents and everything.
Twice this summer through my job
at camp, I've staffed a trip that travels
across Michigan's upper peninsula -
yes, it really does exist. I - and nearly
40 other campers and staff - drove
to Newberry, Munising and Han-
cock, and then topped it off with a
morning on Mackinac Island. Rather
than staying at hotels, we stayed at
various campsites ranging from state
parks and Kampgrounds Of America
to private ones. We also cooked our
own meals and entertained ourselves
with card games, conversations- and
S'mores - that's a graham cracker,
chocolate and marshmallow sand-
wich, for the uninformed.
For five days we traveled by coach
bus. At each stop we made we got into a
routine of settingup camp and bringing
enthusiasm from place to place. With
everything that went on - all that was
discussed above - by the end of the trip,
it's clear that the group became signifi-
cantly closer than at the beginning.
In short, camping builds community.
Jason Tisdale, a co-counselor of
mine, explained the bond-building
ability of camping to me, specifically
for kids. "Every experience is special
and significant its own way. Extraor-
dinary, lifelong memories and build-
ing new, unbreakable communities are
the foundation of camping. This is why
kids will come back to camp summer
after summer, and sometimes never
truly leave it."

But this also goes . for everyone,
includingthe smallest families and cou-
ples on a weekend getaway.
Camping brings camaraderie. The
state of Michigan has well over 100
state and national parks that contain
campgrounds. And many of the camp-
sites are in very close proximity to one
another. Especially on the busy holi-
day weekends, it's commonplace for
fellow campers to meet, talk and learn
about each other's lives. And because
the goal of most campers is to leave
technology behind, conversation is
often the only form of entertainment
- unless the group is fortunate enough
to have someone musically talented.
This is why the bonding happens.
In short,
camping builds
Camping is a lesson on indepen-
dence and responsibility. Packing
for trips has to be done efficiently
and correctly. On my trip, the camp-
sites were only near small towns that
might not have carried the necessary
equipment in case of an emergency, so
it's important not to forget anything.
And of course, there's also no one
else to cook meals and clean up - you
only have you. The feeling of choos-
ing when to wake up, when to eat and
what to do is exhilarating in a world
that often follows a rigorous schedule.
The health benefits also shouldn't
be ignored - mentally and physically.
Camping provides the opportunity
to exit the comfort zone, which I dis-
cussed in my last column. The fresh
air is powerful along with the reduced
stress of justbeing outside.
Comedian Daniel Xosh has said,
"Camping is not fun. It's just what
poor people do for vacation." But that
couldn't be further from the truth. Not
wanting to spend to a weekend in a tent
rather a hotel is understandable. I admit
sleeping on the floor doesn't always feel
great. But if you really want, renting a
recreational vehicle is always an option.
I promise - camping's worthwhile.
-Derek Wolfe can be reached
at dewolfe@umich.edu.

ceaselessly until the words dis-
solved into shouts and guitar riffs.
The audience wasn't sure whether
to be horrified at his bad behavior
or excited by the elevated inten-
sity of his performance, but there
were a few collective gasps when
it appeared as though the beloved
singer was literally on the edge of
falling to his demise.
Meanwhile, in the VIP section at
the side of the stage, a woman who
could have very well been Lana
Del Rey in 40 years (subtext: Her
face didn't move, and an airplane
could have landed on her lips) was
dancing like nothing I'd ever seen
before, flailing jiggling arms and
shimmying immovable breasts to
the encouraging shouts from the
crowd: "You get it, Drunk Mom!" "I
love you, Drunk Mom!"
That night, on the other side of
the park, a more subdued fanfare
was dedicated to The Postal Ser-
vice, playing songs from their 2003
album, Give Up. Death Cab's Ben
Gibbard ran the show, sharing the
stage with Rilo Kiley's Jenny Lewis,
Jimmy Tamborello and Mynabird's
Laura Berhenn. The band per-
formed as if they had never been on
hiatus, with Gibbard's vocals telling
earnest stories and Lewis support-
ing him with her dreamy, beautiful
croons. The performance had an
air of intimacy unparalleled by any
other performance I had seen at
Lolla, and was the perfect ending
for the night.
Sunday: The Michigan
When I wandered into the park
Sunday morning, I was greeted by
the sounds of Alex Clare. To the
surprise of most, Clare actually
has more songs than his hit, "Too
Close." His album, Lateness of the
Hour, is peppered with softer, more
forgiving songs that never made it
to the radio scene, my favorite of
which being "Hummingbird."
On the other side of the park,
I was welcomed by the familiar-
ity of an old favorite, Tegab and
Sara. The duo exceeded my long-
awaited expectations with solid
harmonies and an amazing stage
rapport, which can only be attrib-
uted to the fact that they are twin

sisters and have been performing
together since 1998. The two spoke
to the audience and each other in a
way that made us feel as though we
were sitting in their living room,
listening to a private concert with
sisterly banter. "It is such a lovely
day," Tegan said to the crowd. "We
performed at Lolla in 2005, and
it was so hot. I remember looking
over at Sara and she waved at me,
left the stage and never came back!
She couldn't take the heat. So this is
our comeback, we'll see if Sara can
make it!"
The pair played a smattering of
old and new albums, showingoffcthe
seamless ability to play off of each
other with back-and-forth duets,
such as "Now I'm All Messed Up"
from their latest album. As their set
drew to a close, Tegan teased her
sister more about the 2005 debacle:
"Look Sara, there's a sign that says
'Sara Will Make It'! The people
believe in you!"
After an effortless performance
by the alternative group Alt-J, (fun
fact: when you press Alt and J on
a keyboard, you get a triangle, the
band's logo. Makes more sense now,
doesn't it?) I headed to the much-
anticipated Vampire Weekend. Peo-
ple were already gathering, wearing
theirbest dancingshoes for the feel-
good summer time music. Hits like
"Diane Young" and "One (Blake's
GotANew Face)",had even the most
unenthusiastic festival-goers bop-
ping as the sun set over the stage
and the city of Chicago.
Leaving Lollapalooza is a bit
like leaving summer camp, in that
it's strange to leave a world you've
been so engrossed in for so long.
As I walked down the path from
Grant Park, a voice slurred behind
me, "Aren't you so glad to get this
damn thing off?" I turned and was
greeted by a drunken man in a tank
top, pulling at his wristband. "Wait,
what the hell does this mean?" he
asked, pointing at my media pass.
After explaining that I was from
Michigan, he exclaimed, "No fuck-
ing way!" as he tripped over cracks
in the sidewalk. "I'm from Ann
Arbor! I went to UMich man! Go
blue!" He stumbled off into the dis-
tance, joining crowds of tired fest-
goers who were all Lolla'ed out, at
least for this year.

Daily Arts Writer
As far as action movies go, you
really can't get a more generic
title than "2 Guns." It's your
standard action
flick and does
nothing to pro-
pel the genre 2 Guns
forward; how-
ever, it takes AtQuality16.
nods from some and Rave
of the genre's Universal Pictures
greatest staples
to create a vio-
lent and surprisingly enjoyable
summer movie experience.
The film opens with Denzel
Washington ("Flight") and Mark
Wahlberg ("Pain & Gain") as fast-
talking, quick-witted drug dealers
seated ina small restaurant to dis-
cuss just how to rob the bank next
door. It's a scene reminiscent of
the opening minutes of "Pulp Fic-
tion," a modest but effective ges-
ture given the pulpy atmosphere
pervading the film. Washington's
Bobby Trench plays it smoothly
but safely, calculating the details
of every scenario, and Wahlberg's
flirtatious Marcus "Stig" Stigman
is a bit reckless but also brilliant
with a gun.
It turns out that Bobby is
undercover DEA and Stig is Navy
Intelligence, but neither knows
the other is with the government.
It's only after their robbery goes

wrong that each learns of the
other's affiliations. Soon, these
ebony-and-ivory thunder buddies
are on the run from a rogue Navy
assassin (James Marsden, "Robot
and Frank"), a pissed-off Mexican
drug lord (Edward James Olmos,
"The Green Hornet") and, steal-
ing the show, a twisted cowboy
named Earl (Bill Paxton, "Hay-
The story, based on the comic
of the same name by Steven
Grant, suffers from its overly
complicated structure, occupied
with too many key players and
too many plot twists. But Wash-
ington and Wahlberg are down-
right fantastic; their interplay is
so captivating, it's hard to resist
their charm.
Director Baltasar Kormakur
("Contraband") makes his stylis-
tic choices carefully, utilizing an
occasional slow-motion flourish
and gritty camerawork. The film
certainly looks terrific, and the
action scenes are well choreo-
graphed, especially the climactic
final showdown ("You looked so
badass," Stig tells Bobby).
"2 Guns" pays homage to those
action films that came before
it, from the aforementioned
"Pulp Fiction" reference to "The
Matrix"-style slow motion and
the spaghetti Western Mexican
standoff to the "Lethal Weapon"
buddy-cop premise, but at times,
it feels tiresome. This is especial-

ly evident when Kormakur tries
to bringsome sincerity to the film
by showing us Bobby's relation-
ship with his sort-of girlfriend,
played by Paula Patton ("Mission
Impossible - Ghost Protocol"),
a fellow DEA agent. The actors
give it their all, but the scenes
feel out of place, almost forcesd
into the story to show that there's
"Pulp Fiction -
won't save you,
something more to the action.
And there is something more
to this world - Kormakur sim-
ply failed to explore it. "2 Guns"
exists neither in our time nor.
any time, but is instead a strange
burlesque of past and present,
where violence is the standard
and loyalty is given only to the
man fighting next to you. It's a
world that deserves true explora-
tion and perhaps one day will be
explored; in that sense, the film
is a letdown. But, with as bad a
name as "2 Guns," we could have
gotten a whole lot worse. Don't
judge this film by its title - it
deserves a look.

'2 Guns' pays homage to
great films, falls short

Currently, schools at the Uni-
versity release information per-
taining to courses in a variety of
ways. For example, the course
guide for the Ross School of
Business incorporates its own
syllabi database that is reserved
for Ross students and some LSA
departments have made old syl-
labi for their classes available on
its website. A similar database
should be made available across
all colleges, as the brief blurbs
that many schools and colleges
currently have up on their web-
sites don't even come close to
giving students enough infor-
mation about their classes. It
should include old syllabi, text-
book lists and a rough outline
of how the class is taught and
graded, but more importantly,
it should all be available when
each school releases its course
guide - long before students'
enrollment dates come around.

Moreover, class descrip-
tions should clearly state which
textbooks are required for
each class. Many students have
learned to simply hold off on
buying their textbooks until
classes start, anticipating that
they won't need some of the
listed books. The current policy
requires professors to list books
along with the course descrip-
tions, but it doesn't seem like
they take the policy very seri-
ously. Having course instruc-
tors list only the books they
know they will use in the course
and indicate others as "pos-
sible" - perhaps by putting an
asterisk next to them on Wol-
verine Access -is a relatively
simple fix to a problem that
causes many headaches.
These changes would
put an increased burden on
instructors, and it's under-
standable that their courses

may not be fully planned
out before course guides are
available. But these changes
would make it far easier for
students to try to plan their
careers at the stressful end-of-
semester periods. As it accumu-
lates syllabi and records of class
material, the database would
also provide information that
could be useful to both students
and professors. Central Student
Government has already lob-
bied University administration
to require professors to provide
more class information to stu-
dents before classes start, and it
should continue to do so.
Students deserve to have as
much information at our finger-
tips as possible when picking
classes. A database of past syl-
labi and requiring instructors to
provide more course informa-
tion during the class selection
process would be invaluable for

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L----------- ----- ----- ------------------

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