THE MICHIGAN DAILY
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 7,1954
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'ALL THE RAGE':
Mistletoe Prompts Unusual Reactions
Dean Discusses Methods
Of Roommate Selection
"Go NOW To Your Nearest Store --"
By ERNEST THEODOSSIN
and TAMMY MORRISON
"Everybody's doing it. It was all
the rage at the opera season last
year," said Marie Bourbonnais,
This was only one student's re-
action to the time-honored Christ-
mas custom of kissing under the
mistletoe. Eugene Kreuzberger,
'56 growled, "It's nothing but a
contributor. to. juvenile. delin-
quency." "So who needs mistle-
toe?" commented Marjorie Dena-
"Mistletoe" is the popular name
for related shrubs which are para-
sites upon various trees, such as
apple, maple, poplar, thorn and
linden, but rarely oak.
The European or common mis-
tletoe is the one referred to in
poetry and prose. But one of its
relatives with the imposing name
of "Phoradendron flavescens" is
the species most commonly found
at Christmastime in the markets
The former, common throughout
Europe, is an evergreen, fork-
branched shrub, with opposite, ob-
long, leathery leaves, small flow-
ers and whitish, translucent ber-
ries about one quarter inch in
"I think mistletoe is a parasite,;
and like all parasites, should be
encouraged," said David Kessel,
Grad. Ann Sterling, '57, queried,
"How do you think I get my dat-
es?" Recently engaged Gerry Win-
decker, '58E, asserted, "I hate it!
It spreads germs!"
Use of mistletoe at Christmas
is a relic of pre-Christian times.
The druids of ancient Gaul held
it in special reverence when they
found it growing on oak. They
gathered it and hung it in their
homes during the winter feasts-
Pliny gives us an impressive ac-
count of the druid ceremony of
culling the mistletoe. American
mistletoe has fallen heir to some
of the traditions and functions of
its European cousin, especially the
Christmas practice of kissing un-
der a suspended sprig.
No More Frustrations
"How else can you relieve your
frustrations at Christmas?" ques-
tioned Peter Letterer, '57. When
asked if he was frustrated, he re-
plied, "What man isn't?" Elaine
Vetengle, '57, seemed to close the
subject with her terse, "Don't make
fun of it. It's the only time of
the year I get kissed!"
For those interested in doing
first 'hand research on mistletoe,
it is available in 4-sprig bunches
at local dime stores and florist
By JANE HOWARD
"My roommate? She's the great-
est-whoever matched us up really
must have had supernatural pow-
Freshmen women who attribute
the success of their roommate re-
lations to a mystical higher being
need look no farther than the
Office of the Dean of Women.
There, under the guidance of
Assistant Dean Elsie R. Fuller,
the four women's deans work all
summer, and often before, process-
ing thousands of green applica-
New Coeds List Interests
Each would-be coed lists her
special interests and abilities, phy-
sical handicaps, smoking habits,
usual bedtime, study preferences
and any other qualifications on
the slip-and leaves the rest to
Freshmen are asked, too, wheth-
er or not they contribute to their
own support. But no questions are
asked about religion or race pref-
erences, so that such factors do
not, according to Miss Fuller, en-
ter into the matching up of the
thousands of incoming women.
As well as general similarity of
wardrobe of clothes won't com-
pletely overshadow the other's.
Special Requests Granted
Women who specify they'd like
a roommate "of my own faith" or
"from a similar background" us-
ually have their hopes satisfied,
Miss Fuller said.
"Girls are given arbitrary room-
mate assignments," she added,
"only for their first semester here
-after that tehy're on their own."
Although an overwhelming per-
centage of freshman and transfer
women are completely satisfied
with their roommates, Miss Fuller
explained there's a set method for
settling other cases. When neither
roommate is happy, they're asked
to accept the situation for a two-
week trial period.
"There's no magic on our part
in putting roommates together,"
Miss Fuller said. "Many freshmen
come here with the preconceived
idea they've simply got to have a
roommate - otherwise college
wouldn't be college.
"With this attitude, they're gear-
ed to thinking along positive lines,
and usually can get along con-
genially with their roommates.
And when differences do arise,"
"Ain't there anyone here for
love, sweet love?" C o o k i e
Schwartz seeks romance. Miss
Schwartz demonstrates one of
the most popular uses of the
flowering berry, mistletoe, whose
mysterious and potent powers
were first discovered by the
Buses, Trains, Planes in Gear
For Mass Campus Exodus
habits and abilities, Miss Fuller she explained, "most roommates
added, roommates usually are as- learn to respect each other on a
signed with an eye to similar eco- give-and-take basis, and can settle
nomic backgrounds-so that one's their troubles independently."
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For Everything .. .
With Christmas vacation rapidly
approaching, (though not quite
rapidly enough for some students)
the campus will soon be almost de
Although most of the student&
will go home, Florida and New
York can expect a number of vis-
itors from the University. Fort
Lauderdale will be a popular mec-
ca for sun-seekers, with the ocean
beach offering more incentive for
relaxation than the cold snow of
students' northern homes.
Those who will be going home
have a variety of ways to get
there. Buses and cars will be the
main methods of toransportation
for in-state students.
Many Will Fly
Greyhound lines do not intend toj
use more buses than usual, but
according to an employe, student
specials to Lansing and Grand
Rapids may be offered from Ann
Arbor as they were over Thanks-
A receptionist in the local travel
service exasperatedly estimated
that "about the whole population
of the school" intends to fly home.
After taking a more realistic view,
however, she revised her approxi-
mation to somewhere around a
thousand reservations, depending
on the weather. Most of the flights
are to New York and the East
Trains will be filled to capacity,
'With most popular destinations Chi-
cago and New York. Some stu-
dents are taking advantage of the
group rates made available to stu-
dents through Vulcan Society.
Those who want to drive home
and are without a ride can find
students with cars going to desired
vicinities through the Union Travel
Service. Others will pool finances
to rent cars and drive home.
Ann Arborites and students who
intend to stay here over the holi-
days will do their best to stay in
the "Christmas spirit," but if past
vacations are reliable indications,
in two weeks they will be trying to
celebrate on a dead campus.
By ESTHER HELFMAN
Evergreen trees have long been
an important part of our Christ-
The Christmas tree, about which
much of our Yuletide tradition
centers, is approved of by Michi-
gan students. A random survey
elicited remarks such as "nice,"
"great" and "a very fine custom."
Elizabeth Tassone, '57, claims that
"Christmas wouldn't be Christmas
without one." Harry Burke, '57,
calls the tradition "an excellent
idea," while Rolf Scharenberg,
grad., approves with the reserva-
tion that it is "a waste of trees."
The origin of the custom of
adorning evergreensduring the
Yuletide season is very obscure.
Some think it is related to wor-
ship of the "spirit of vegetation",
while others claim it had to do
with a story of St. Boniface. It
is said that the saint cut down
a sacred oak on Christmas Eve,
beneath which human sacrifices
had been offered. As it fell, St.
Boniface saw a vision of a fir
tree. He then proposed this tree,
unstained with blood, as a sym-
bol of the new faith.
A German folk tale concerning
the Christmas tree, tells of a
forester and his family who were
gathered around a fire on Christ-
mas Eve, when they were inter-
rupted by a knock. Upon opening
the door, the forester saw a cold,
hungry and exhausted child.
The child was welcomed, warm-
ed, fed and given a bed. Next
morning, the family was awakened.
by a choir of angels. They look-
ed at their guest and saw him
transfigured for he was the Christ-
Child. He broke off a branch
from a fir tree, set' it in the earth
and said, "See, I have gladly re-
My gift to you.
Henceforward this tree shall al-
ways bear its fruit at Christmas,
and you shall always have abun-
The Christmas tree as an es-
tablished custom is first found in
Germany in 1605. Popular tradi-
tion attributes its introduction to
Luther. It does not seem to have
been common until the 18th cen-
tury. It became an almost uni-
versal custom in Germany by the
19th century. From Germany it
spread to the rest of Christendom.
An American innovation to the
traditions revolving about Christ-
mas trees is the tree lighting ser-
vice, in which prophesies are re-
cited while the tapers on the tree
are lighted one by one.
Another American development
is that of the municipal Christmas
tree, which is set up in some
public place for the enjoyment of
Wanted: one red-nosed reindeer.
Rudolph, a red-nosed reindeer
who lights Santa's way during in-
clement weather with his shiny red
nose, seems suddenly to have dis-
A check with local book and rec-
ord stores revealed that only two
bookstores had the Rudolph book
and only one store the record. The
latter store reported that the rec-
ord still has notybeen sold.
As one five-year old tot said,
when encountered with the subject
of Rudy, "Rudolph? what's that?"
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