ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-SIX YEARS OF EDITORIAL FREEDOM
Friday, January 13, 2017
Ann Arbor, Michigan
A mindful approach
Michigan quarterback Wilton Speight uses the lessons he learned from his high school coach to help him to bounce back from mistakes.
» Page 8 ACADEMICS
DEFUNDING PLANNED PARENTHOOD: REPERCUSSIONS AND STATISTICS WHAT IS PLANNED PARENTHOOD? - safety-net provider - steps in where providers stop accepting Medicaid patients - Medicaid reimburses services PP provides
WHO IS MOST AFFECTED? - low income households - rural areas
WHO USES IT? 60,000 people were served by Planned Parenthood of Michigan (PPMI) last year.
WHO HAS ACCESS? Less than a quarter of MIchigan’s counties have no OB/GYN doctor. PPMI is often the only place patients can access health care. DESIGN BY KATIE BEUKEMA
Planned Parenthood funding is currently in the process of being repealed, sparking concerns both locally and nationwide.
Students, activists protest expected Planned Parenthood defunding
Congressional Republican initiative spurs discontent from campus community CARLY RYAN
Daily Staff Reporter
On Jan. 5, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R) announced a budget bill that would begin to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care law and would include language
that would strip Planned Parenthood of more than half of a billion dollars in annual federal funding. “Planned Parenthood legislation would be in our reconciliation bill,” Ryan said at a press conference. Republican lawmakers have tried for years to strip
the reproductive health organization of its federal funding, particularly since it faced an investigation by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in 2015 dealing with the purported illegal sale of fetal tissue. Although the investigation found no evidence of illegal
acts, it placed Planned Parenthood and its Democratic allies on the defense. Ruth Lednicer, Planned Parenthood of Michigan director of media and communications, said in an interview the protestors are active even at the traditionally liberal Ann Arbor locations. See DEFUNDING, Page 3
M-Write tool expanded to intro, STEM curriculum
Expansion of program to include bio, material science and economics classes EMILY MIILLER Daily Staff Reporter
M-Write — a program promoting conceptual learning through writing housed inside the Digital Innovation Greenhouse in the Office of Digital Education — continues to grow as it introduces writing and a peer review program to introductory-level STEMoriented and social science courses, though this is the third semester of its use. M-Write will be utilized in three courses during the winter 2017 semester: Economics 101, Material Science Engineering 250
and Biology 174. Economics is the largest class that will use M-Write, with over 300 students. A computer program called M-Write II anonymously distributes prompted writings to three other members of the course for peer review. The program then returns the student commentary to the original student, who revises their work accordingly. Anne Gere, professor of education and English and Director of the Sweetland Center for Writing, initiated the project and said the goal is to promote deeper learning through the inclusion of a writing component. See STEM, Page 3
Colson Whitehead discusses parallel Dems, GOP Legislature strive for between current events and slavery considers
inclusive ‘U’ policies
The award winning author also read passages from famous novel to 300 gathered
Campus political groups reflect on their goals for the upcoming year
Around 300 gathered in the Lydia Mendelssohn Theater Thursday night to see the 2016 National Book Award-winning novelist Colson Whitehead read passages shining light on the horrors of slavery from his book “The Underground Railroad.” Throughout his speech, Whitehead explained the novel’s conception; he first thought of writing about slavery in the year 2000, but he didn’t begin writing it until three years ago, when he felt he had matured. “I knew if I had started then, I would have fucked it up,” Whitehead said. “So I was like, ‘I will wait and write more books and perhaps become a better writer … and hopefully I will be more mature and able to tackle it.’ ” Whitehead said he is fortunate to be able to use his novel and platform to illustrate the torture and abuse his ancestors and others suffered under slavery in America. “When I was working on the book, I had to start grappling with the horrors of slavery,” Whitehead said. “I don’t know where my family came from … I don’t know who they were or where they died, but part of writing this book right, writing it good, was honoring them.” Whitehead also offered commentary on America’s current racial climate, stating
HEATHER COLLEY Daily Staff Reporter
The beginning of a new semester is traditionally a time of recruitment and increased student involvement in different organizations on campus. At Winterfest, the University of Michigan chapters of both College Republicans and College Democrats had tables to promote mobilization and their respective agendas for 2017. With President-elect Trump’s inauguration only a week away, the two political groups are focused on how the new administration will affect their future efforts to promote various ideologies, as well as increasing student political efficacy, which would lead to wider involvement and student knowledge about current political events. While the University College Republicans are “thrilled” about President-elect Donald Trump’s victory, according to LSA junior Enrique Zalamea, president of the organization, they plan to focus largely on local Michigan state politics during the winter semester. They have See GOP, Page 3
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CALEB CHADWELL Daily Staff Reporter
the election of Donald Trump as president is proof white supremacy is still prominent in the country. Whitehead said he believes certain passages of the book, such as when free Blacks are stopped and frisked, have greater meaning now. “When the election happened, I did start reading different sections from the book,” Whitehead said. “The book sort of does read differently now that we have this sort of re-entrenchment of white supremacy.” LSA sophomore Colin Page said he attended the event
both because he has read “The Underground Railroad” and because one of his professors recommended students attend. Page said his interest piqued when Whitehead talked about his approach to writing about the theme of oppression, specifically the parallels he drew between race relations during slavery and today. “I specifically enjoyed when he talked about how he mingled historical aspects of the book with realism in order to comment on society and the oppression he sees that was prevalent 200 years ago, and is still unfortunately very
prevalent today,” Page said. “He used the mixture of the two to show the duality between the two ages and how we’re still wrestling with a lot of the same issues that we were.” LSA freshman Scott Bays echoed Page’s sentiment, saying his major takeaway from Whitehead’s lecture was his use of the past in his novel to draw parallels to and comment on oppression in today’s society. “I thought it was really interesting how he could use fiction and genre to expand the scope of what he was saying,” Bays said.
Novelist Colson Whitehead kicks off the University of Michigan Bicentennial Theme Semester with a reading of his book “The Ungerground Raildroad” at the League on Thursday.
For more stories and coverage, visit
Vol. CXXVII, No. 8 ©2016 The Michigan Daily
income tax elimination
Bills have potential to decrease tax over years, sparking mixed reactions CALEB CHADWELL Daily Staff Reporter
It’s possible Michiganders could soon see the reduction or even elimination of the state’s 4.25 percent income tax, as discussions on different proposals in both the state House and Senate are underway. House Bill 4001, which would reduce the 4.25 percent tax to 3.9 percent in 2018 and then reduce the tax by another 0.1 percent each year over a span of 40 years until the income tax is eliminated, was introduced by state Rep. Lee Chatfield (R–Levering) on Thursday. Additionally, state Sen. Jack Brandenburg (R–Harrison Township) is also expected to soon introduce his own income tax elimination plan in the Michigan Senate that would eliminate the income tax over five years, the Detroit News reported. Brandenburg declined an interview with The Michigan Daily. Edward Cho, University of Michigan economics professor, presented some of the general advantages and disadvantages that See TAX, Page 3
NEWS.........................2 OPINION.....................4 ARTS......................6
SUDOKU.....................2 CLASSIFIEDS...............6 SPORTS....................7
2 — Friday, January 13, 2017
The Michigan Daily — michigandaily.com
ON THE DAILY: SECRETARY OF STATE RAPS WITH KANGAROOS In a move taken straight out of the “Parks and Recreation” playbook, the Michigan Secretary of State rolled out a cool and hip rap video featuring Secretary of State Ruth Johnson and Roo — a kangaroo — in order to advertise the Secretary of State’s website, expressSOS. com. The website is intended to save Michigan residents a trip to the Secretary of State’s office, offering services like renewing vehicle registrations, replacing a driver’s license and updating personal information. Johnson’s rap emphasizes that “nobody has time to lose and that time to lose is such old news”. Instead of getting in line, Johnson says, we should follow the example of
Roo, and hop online. And, in what seems to be an homage to the Sugar Hill Gang’s song “Rapper’s Delight,” Johnson instructs the audience to “bang bang your keyboard to the ‘boogiest’ of beats.” The video is a combination of clips of Johnson speaking, whether to the camera or in public, and several other non sequitur stock videos, including a man playing golf, an airplane taking off and people riding a roller coaster.
Though in the video Johnson claims to be “rapping to the beat,” the song can’t be described as anything other
Jefferey Vartabedian @JeffVartabedian
than rather unpleasant, or just bizarre. - ANDREW HIYAMA
To all the Ann Arbor drivers that might potentially hit me crossing the street one day, I’m currently accepting cash and venmo.
TH E CIRCUS IS OVE R
Jeremy Fallis @JeremyFallis3 Holy January thunderstorm, Michigan #MIwx #PureMichigan #semich #dexter
Circus Bar & Billiards on South 1st Street is closing on Saturday night.
CAMPUS EVENTS & NOTES Searching for a Responsive Environment Lecture WHAT: Dennis Crompton, a member of the architecture think tank Archigram, and the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning will give a lecture. WHO: A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning WHEN: 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. WHERE: Walgreen Drama Center, Stamps Auditorium
Leadership Crisis Challenge
WHAT: The Sanger Leadership Center is hosting a leadership competition for graduate students that is designed to simulate highstakes crises in business settings under the monitoring of faculty and business leaders. The winner will receive $5,000 scholarship. WHO: Sanger Leadership Center WHEN: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. WHERE: Michigan Stadium, Jack Roth Stadium Club
Tech Talk: Google at U-M
Colonialism in the Phillippines Lecture
WHAT: Learn tips and tricks for UM’s Google tools to organize your inbox. Attendees will learn how to create labels and folders in order to facilitate effecient work management. WHO: Information and Technology Services WHEN: 11 a.m. to noon WHERE: Michigan Union, Room G312
WHAT: Prof. Rebecca McKenna from the University of Notre Dame Department of History will be speaking about the construction of a U.S. Colonial retreat in the Philippines. WHO: Center for Southeast Asian Studies WHEN: Noon to 1 p.m. WHERE: School of Social Work Building, Room 1636
Jackra @jsalvia Yesterday we had snow, this evening we’re having a thunderstorm. Wacky Michigan weather. Detroit Auto Show @NAIASDetroit
Southern African Climates
Martin Luther King Jr. Colloquium
Photography and Anthropology in Iran
Ribbon Cutting and Gallery Walk
WHAT: Columbia University Prof. Sidney Hemming will be giving a lecture about the unique climate of South Africa. WHO: Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences WHEN: 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. WHERE: C.C. Little Building, Room 1528
WHAT: University of Chicago Prof. Lenore A. Grenoble will be hosting a colloquium about speeches given by Martin Luther King Jr. and the oratory style he pursued. WHO: Department of Linguistics WHEN: 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. WHERE: East Hall - Room 4448
WHAT: Oklahoma State University Prof. Pedram Khosronejad will be giving a lecture about how African slavery was portrayed in Iran during the Qajar period (1789-1925). WHO: Islamic Studies Program WHEN: 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. WHERE: School of Social Work Building, Room 1644
WHAT: The UM history exhibit is opening to the pubic. Showcases that show key moments of student expression, politics and culture will be on display. WHO: LSA Bicentennial Theme Semester WHEN: 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. WHERE: Hatcher Graduate Library Gallery, Room 100
Ann Arbor mainstay Circus Bar and Billiards to close over the weekend
Huei Peng of @UMich said #NAIAS its #MCity mobilitytesting center has been booked 24x7 since mid-2016
420 Maynard St. Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1327 www.michigandaily.com
Patrons reflect on nights of karaoke, pool and 25 cent beers ahead of final night
Daily Staff Reporter
Thirsty patrons lined up for 25 cent beers as billiard balls clanked off one another, a solitary singer tackled Styx’s “Renegade” and people took selfies in the fun-house mirror, it was the beginning of a normal Wednesday night of debauchery, revelry and camraderie at Circus Bar & Billiards on South First Street. For Engineering graduate student Andrew Hartman, Circus was the ideal spot for him and his friends to spend an unusually quiet Wednesday night. “It’s a very different vibe in having karaoke and the pool being the main focus,” Hartman said. “It is a fun place to be, you get to hang out with your friends, eat free popcorn
FRIDAY THE 13TH. SOS.
and play pool.” Yet, as DJ Pete took control of the microphone, he reminded the crowd that Circus, which has entertained college students, karaoke enthusiasts and pool sharks from Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County for over 20 years, will be closing its doors for good on Saturday. Circus, which occupies the third f loor of a multi-story nightclub complex, shares a space with the Millennium Club on the second f loor, and the Cavern Club on the first f loor. The Cavern Club, which elementary-school teacher turned bar owner Nick Easton opened in 1997, was the first of the three clubs to occupy the building, with Circus the last to open. However, despite its recent popularity, Circus has recently been sold to buyers from New York.
puzzle by sudokusyndication.com
Yet, as the Cavern Club became a venue for large groups to rent out and the Millennium Club a spot for those who wished to immerse themselves in a world of LED lights and disco balls, Circus possessed a more laid-back atmosphere that attracted swaths of groups. To longtime bartender and former manager Race Rogers, Circus’ unique atmosphere allowed guests a diverse experience. “Hundreds of people could come here in a night and socialize with each other without being segregated by tables or by segregated by too loud of music at the dance f loor,” Rogers said. “This place really is just a place to come and hang out and it is one of the only places people can do that in Ann Arbor in that kind of social environment.” With Circus’ karaoke attracting hundreds of people to the stage to sing along to their favorite tunes, Rogers feels there is a renewed need for a karaoke bar in Ann Arbor’s nightlife landscape. “For at least five years, we have done karaoke at least four times a week and it is packed almost every night, with three to six hundred people every Friday and Saturday night,” Rogers said. “With that said, that means there will be a lot of people looking for a place to sing karaoke … as karaoke is a bonding thing to do on any given weekend night, as you go out with a group of friends and sing some ridiculous songs.” For Rogers, on a more personal level, not only is Ann Arbor losing a karaoke club and bar, but he is losing a place that he has come to spend a large amount of See CIRCUS, Page 3
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STEM From Page 1 “The big piece is that writing fosters learning and we need to take advantage of that in the courses where students are least likely to think about writing,” Gere said. The winter 2017 semester is the third semester during which the M-Write program has been used. It was used in MSE 250 as a pilot course in the spring of 2016 and five courses in the fall of 2016. However, Gere said she began work on incorporating writing-tolearn pedagogy in more STEM courses in 2009. According to Gere, her work was largely based on her observation of the paucity of upper-level writing courses within STEM majors and on the inspiration of Structured Study Groups that bring together upper- and lower-level undergraduates to facilitate learning and teaching. Gere said, after receiving grants, the program was able to expand to include the computer program and will continue growing over the next five years. She added that she hopes the program becomes an integral part of courses across campus. “The vision would be that ultimately this becomes part of a bigger initiative, so that it’s just sort of assumed that in these big courses there is going to be writing,” she said. “And because of that writing, students are going to do better, they’re going to learn better and they’re going to feel more positive about the course that they’re in.” According to a University of Michigan press release, M-Write II received $1.89 million over five years from Transforming Learning for the Third Century Initiative. M-Write developer David Harlan, who is collaborating with Sweetland on the project, said this program is unlike other peer review systems used on other campuses, which tend not to be user-friendly. “Sometimes, even if they present a pretty face, they don’t necessarily track the student through the process in the specific ways that we’re looking to do,” he said. “And so one of the things we set out to do from the very beginning is to involve people who would
GOP From Page 1 specifically decided to support University Regent Ron Weiser in his campaign for Michigan Republican Chair. “We decided to support him, and we’re going to be helping him out throughout conventions — there’s one convention in February that he told us we could send as many volunteers over there as we can, and we definitely plan on doing so,” Zalamea said. According to Weiser’s website, his campaign for Regent included promises to “straighten U of M’s books and reduce the burden on the taxpayers of Michigan.” Weiser also states on his website his history and political credentials are focused centrally on “defeating Barack Obama’s liberal agenda” and fighting hard against the power of Unions. Similarly, Weiser ran with the promise of cutting costs so students at campuses such as UM-Flint or UM-Dearborn may receive the same quality education as that which is provided by the University’s main Ann Arbor campus. College Republicans also expressed their plan to tackle the issue of identity politics — the phenomenon of people in particular groups of society, such as race, religion or socioeconomic status, forming political alliances that deviate from traditional broad-based parties — within the campus community this semester. The Michigan College Republicans believe this tendency has a profound impact on free speech on college campuses, and has decided to take a firm stance on expanding free speech rights at the University. On campus, the question of what constitutes hate speech, and whether or not the
be using the tool in its design.” Additionally, Chris Teplovs, a leading Digital Innovation Greenhouse developer, said M-Write is also expanding with the research of postdoctoral students, who analyze the papers students have written for M-Write classes to potentially codify quality work in each subject and facilitate efficient grading. However, he said the emphasis is not on the technology, but rather the learning they hope to promote with the technology. “The technology is integral and yet should fade away as much as possible,” Teplovs said. “So we don’t say it’s all about M-Write, we say it’s all about writing-to-learn. So it’s about the pedagogy.” Another component of the M-Write program is the use of more advanced undergraduate students as writing fellows to aid students in the peer review and revision process and to grade the essays. Business sophomore Cassandra Wong, a writing fellow for Economics 101 for the past two semesters, said she felt writing brought a different type of learning to the
The vision would be that ultimately this becomes part of a bigger initiative course that cannot be achieved with the typical homework for economics courses. “I feel like with these large introductory STEM classes, writing kind of gets lost in the process of just learning the material because it’s a lot of memorization and models and graphs and whatever,” she said. “I feel like having actual writing assignments, you get to see students with their thinking process when they’re answering these prompts.” Business sophomore Brandon Staarman, also a writing fellow for Economics 101, said M-Write provided deeper learning not only from writing itself, but also from the student commentary component. “The peer review process is really important because not only are they receiving
vocalization of certain ideas may lead to an unsafe environment, has been called into question. Immediately following Trump’s victory, certain violent images painted on the Rock, a University landmark at the intersection of Hill Street and Washtenaw Avenue, caused the community to examine potential divisive issues
We definitely want to address identity politics, and how it plays a role in the University of certain speech. “We definitely want to address identity politics, and how it plays a role in the University,” said Zalamea. “That’s one of our biggest focuses, and how it ties into free speech on college campuses.” The College Democrats at the University too are changing their trajectory for the winter semester and replacing electoral work, which focused largely on the potential success of Hillary Clinton in the general election, with work toward progressive issue advocacy. Four issue committees are housed within the greater College Democrats organization: women’s rights, the LGBTQ community, social justice and the environment. Each of these committees has wide discretion regarding policy and the ability to confront very specific issues that are increasingly relevant. Despite the loss during
News feedback about what they’ve written, they also get to look at three other essays that students have written,” he said. “So they can learn from each other.” Staarman also noted how this type of writing is different from the writing students are exposed to in the first-year writing requirement. “Writing is such an important skill that it’s important to see how you can apply it in other different areas, and also important to realize you can learn a lot through because it teaches you how to narrow down your arguments and how to be clear and concise and really get your point across,” he said. However, Business sophomore Mira Sanghvi, another writing fellow for Economics 101, noticed how several students in the fall reacted negatively to the program, namely because only two sections participated and all other sections did the typical homework for economics. “They felt like they were kind of at a disadvantage; they were not as pleased with it,” she said. “But what we noticed is that their grades in the class were no different than the other sections.” Gere said she has also encountered faculty members who view the program positively but have doubts about incorporating it throughout all STEM classes. “It’s a mixed picture,” she said. “I’ve not talked to any faculty who have said this is a really bad idea, but many of them say ‘it’s too much work,’ ‘I can’t figure out how I could fit it in,’ that kind of thing. But everybody says ‘we need students to do more writing, what you’re doing makes a lot of sense, I’d really like to do it.’ And then the ‘buts’ come in.” However, Teplovs said the program is an effective way of improving both methods of teaching and learning. “It’s understanding that teaching and learning are intrinsically linked,” he said. “And the role that M-Write plays is in facilitating the improvement of both by ref lecting on the opposite. So we see improvements of prompts and the extension of that is thinking deeply about how you’re teaching what you’re teaching to get to the prompt, to get to the answer, to get to the understanding.”
election season, Michigan College Democrats stated their objective is not abandoned, but rather that their agenda has been altered to promote and recognize progressive ideals. According to LSA junior Colin Kelly, president of College Democrats, they plan to mobilize students through transparency, Democratic values and awareness within the campus community. “Though we don’t have a central goal like we did last semester, we now have an opportunity — and obligation — to continue fighting for and advocating our progressive values that we know are the right choices for our campus, state and nation,” Kelly said. Nursing freshman Kristen Reynolds, a member of College Democrats at the University, agrees that mobilization is vital to progress, especially following the impassioned atmosphere at the University in the wake of Trump’s victory in November. “I read so many Facebook posts from friends that aren’t usually politically active, but were angry with the outcomes,” Reynolds said. “I hope that College Democrats can get more people involved on campus politically and harness that passion.” In the wake of the 2016 election, many students have shared a desire to promote togetherness by increasing cordiality between Michigan College Democrats and Republicans. LSA freshman Haya Akbik criticized both the College Democrats’ and the College Republicans’ uncompromising natures. “I think both campus groups need to show that compromise and respectful dialogue must occur in order to create good political change,” said Akbik. “Being so stuck on being a Democrat or a Republican is
DEFUNDING From Page 1 “They try to convince women not to go in,” Lednicer said. “They don’t even know what they’re going in for, whether it’s something very personal, or just a check-up.” Now, with Republicans in control of Congress, Republican lawmakers have a renewed interested in defunding Planned Parenthood, arguing that funding should be routed to health care providers that provide similar services, but not abortions. LSA senior Rachel Crawford, president of Students for Life, has a similar plan that she would like to see implemented. “Students for Life would like to see Planned Parenthood defunded, but we want that funding to go elsewhere to help women and impoverished communities,” Crawford said. “(Federally Qualified Health Centers) are public clinics for women’s care and children’s care in impoverished neighborhoods. They actually provide more services than Planned Parenthood.” LSA freshman Matthew Brosky, who identifies with conservative views, agreed with Crawford’s goals. Though he said he doesn’t support federally funding these programs, he still believes quality health care should be accessible. “Even though I’m not for funding Planned Parenthood or supporting the Affordable Care Act, I don’t think we should turn away from those who really need support in paying for health care,” Brosky said. “There are alternatives. I’m pretty sure you can get contraceptives and treatment at UHS.” Lednicer pushed back at claims that routing funds toward health care providers that don’t offer abortions would help those in poverty. “There’s been an argument that if people can’t come here, they will just go somewhere else,” Lednicer said. “But anyone who uses Medicaid would not be able to come to Planned Parenthood. That would mean that they would have to find another willing provider who takes Medicaid, and many do not.” Additionally, Lednicer said alternative women’s health care providers aren’t
harmful to our country and our relations with one another.” Reynolds agreed with the sentiment of togetherness and stated that the prevention of a hateful atmosphere following the Trump victory supersedes loyalty to traditionally stagnant party differences. “After the election, many College Republican clubs came out and said they don’t stand for this racism, bigotry, hate and sexism,” said Reynolds. “I would love for our groups to put our political beliefs aside to fight the hate and hate crimes that have occurred as a result of the election.”
CIRCUS From Page 2 time over the past eight years. “I have seen a lot of people come and go, hundreds of employees have come through and I have seen parties and anything you could ever imagine.” Rogers said. “This is my home. I do everything here; from if somebody punches a hole in the wall, I fix it, if someone kicks a toilet off the drain, I fix it and if a fight breaks out on the dance f loor, I go and take care of it.” For part-time doorman Todd Howland, who has worked at Circus off and on for eight years, Circus was not simply a job, but rather an enriching glimpse into the lives of today’s youth. “It has been an interesting time to put myself in the culture of young people,” Howland said. “It is nice to see young people who really want to work hard and seeing young people enjoying themselves.”
Friday, January 13, 2017 — 3 as common or inexpensive as Planned Parenthood opponents think. Planned Parenthood is free of copays, a cost she said could burden many patients. Although many people think Planned Parenthood receives their federal funds like an allowance, the federal funding they receive is instead reimbursed through Medicaid, and often at less than the cost of services.
With birth control hard to obtain, there will be more pregnancies “We take reimbursement levels usually lower than the costs of the service because we fundraise so much,” Lednicer said. “The people most affected are those in low income and rural areas. A quarter of the counties in Michigan do not have an OB/GYN. For those people, often we are the only way to access health care.” Currently, about 40 percent of Planned Parenthood’s revenue is federally funded. The $500 million dollar fund has been criticized for being too high; Brosky said it shouldn’t be the responsibility of taxpayers. “I don’t think it’s the taxpayers’ job to support Planned Parenthood,” said Brosky. “I am just not comfortable supporting abortions.” This concern is shared by many, as most conservative taxpayers want to avoid funding abortions. However, the Hyde Amendment, which was passed in 1976, bars federal funds from paying for abortions, unless in the case of rape or to save the mother’s life. Joanne Bailey, a women’s studies professor and the director of the Nurse Midwifery Service at Michigan Medicine (formerly University of Michigan Health Service), said emotional responses that don’t consider the legislation we have in place are fueling the issue’s polarization. “I try to de-emotionalize the issues in class,” Bailey said. “Let’s take it back to the facts. Let’s look at actual research. It’s not just about emotional responses, but is rooted in information.”
TAX From Page 1 the elimination of the 4.25 percent income tax could have, saying the chief argument for scrapping the tax would be that people would have more disposable income and thus spend more money. “The one benefit that you can see here is that by scrapping the tax, you put more money in people’s pockets, and they might spend more,” Cho said. Conversely, Cho said the main issue with eliminating the tax is the loss in revenues. “If you scrap the 4.25 percent, the question then becomes, ‘what do you do instead,’ ” Cho said. Offering two predictions, Cho said the government would then be forced to decide between either doing nothing and cutting infrastructure spending or raising revenues another way, such as increasing the sales tax. According to Cho, the government would have to be careful with raising the sales tax, because taxes on basic goods disproportionately affect lower-income individuals. “If you don’t do anything, you have to give up infrastructure spending,” Cho said. “If you decide to raise the sales tax, that would get back revenue, but the downside is a sales tax is relatively regressive … the tax burden now starts to fall disproportionately on the low income.” The nonpartisan Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency reported that $9.6 billion — 19 percent — of all state revenue was collected from the personal income tax in 2014 and 2015. Gov. Rick Snyder is willing to discuss tax reform with the legislature, but he expressed concern over the loss of state revenues from Brandenburg’s proposal, the Detroit Free Press
Although emotional responses could confuse the issue at hand, Lednicer said there could be tangible consequences to repealing Planned Parenthood. “When they talk about defunding us, they are talking about defunding patients,” Lednicer said. “Across the state, we saw about 60,000 patients last year and in Ann Arbor, we saw over 8,500. One in 5 women in this county come to Planned Parenthood.” Republican lawmakers are attempting to defund Planned Parenthood by defunding Title X, a federal program devoted solely to family planning services. Although those lawmakers are interested in limiting abortions, Bailey said getting rid of Planned Parenthood could actually end up directing women toward needing the procedures more often. “Ironically, what (lawmakers) are trying to do with this is going to lead women towards needing more abortions,” Bailey said. “They’re trying to defund an institution that provides birth control, and with birth control hard to obtain, there will be more pregnancies.” Regardless of the consequences of defunding Planned Parenthood, Bailey said the premise of defunding Planned Parenthood has been altered by the use of inflammatory “buzzwords.” “I believe that our lawmakers are really interested in the big buzzwords,” Bailey said. “They make Planned Parenthood associated with abortions only, and the Affordable Care Act is nicknamed ‘Obamacare’ and associated with Democrats only. When you look at what Planned Parenthood actually does, most people will get behind it. It’s really the label that’s leading the charge as opposed to reality.” Regardless of whether or not Republican lawmakers are successful in the repeal of the President Obama’s health care law, Crawford said the debate alone would inspire change. “I think that with (Planned Parenthood) being in the news, whether or not it’s defunded, brings up a really important discussion about where the funding should go,” Crawford said. “Even people who are in favor of the Affordable Care Act want some new changes to be made and those are being brought into the spotlight.”
reported. “The governor is always open to new ideas and welcomes the discussion on tax reform,” Anna Heaton, spokeswoman for Gov. Snyder, told the Free Press. “For this particular proposal, there would need to be concrete data to demonstrate that there is adequate revenue from sources besides the income tax to ensure that services for residents and investing in our statewide infrastructure would not be adversely affected.” LSA junior Enrique Zalamea, president of the University’s chapter of College Republicans, said from a conservative perspective, he is supportive of the tax cut because he believes it would benefit business and families. “If you look at all those states that have eliminated their income taxes, such as Florida, Texas and Tennessee, those are all states that are characterized by a lot of growth, especially in small businesses,” Zalamea said. Zalamea also said he is supportive of the plan in part because people in economically weaker cities such as Detroit and Flint could benefit from a tax cut. “When you look at Detroit and you see where it’s come from, you see the income tax as a way to spur growth there,” Zalamea said. “When people have more money to spend, then they’re going to be spending more of it.” Zalamea said he believes it’s evident that Lansing wants the tax cut, but they still have to explore how to replace the loss in revenues. “The main thing for me personally is I think there shouldn’t be an income tax,” Zalamea said. “I approve of this plan that they have, but realistically speaking, I don’t think it’s going to happen for another few years.”
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4 — Friday, January 13, 2017
CHRIS CROWDER | COLUMN
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MEGAN BURNS | COLUMN
Striving for perfection MEGAN BURNS
s our bodies change, so do our perceptions of the body types we consider “normal.” As a young white girl growing up in a small town, surrounded by other young white girls, it was easy to pick out my own flaws in comparison to theirs. In the classic comingof-age fashion, I came to realize that the world of bodies was incredibly diverse outside of my community, yet in spite of this, the representation of bodies in media is still focused narrowly on the same young, white, feminine bodies with which I was so familiar. For centuries, there have been women who have been unhappy with the way they look. Though trends have changed, this commonality of a negative body image has remained. This critical self-perception is most prominent through adolescence and typically persists into adulthood. Various literature suggests that perfectionism, defined by Merriam-Webster as “a disposition to regard anything short of perfection as unacceptable,” is a core factor in body dissatisfaction and eating disorders among women. What I quickly learned was that the University of Michigan is home to an exceedingly large population of perfectionists, which explained both the intense academic standards to which students held themselves and the consistent physical regime which those very same students follow. I personally do not have the necessary determination and work ethic that is required for a perfectionist personality, but many of my friends and peers do. While in various circumstances such a personality is useful and rewarding (by holding oneself to high standards, one is more apt to travel upward in terms of career and success), in terms of body image and the perfectibility
of the body — specifically among women — perfectionism quickly becomes dangerous. The prevalence of thinness in the media can explain the ideals to which women so strictly hold themselves. What various studies (and common sense) show us is most media outlets portray women as thin, and representation matters. This topic has many branches, but focusing specifically on body type, ask yourself how many female television characters you can think of with body types that would wear anywhere between a size 16-18 (the sizes of the average American woman as reported by Psychology Today). A dangerous mix is created when women are told that the admirable body type is incredibly thin and toned, and these same women are taught to work rigorously to achieve their goals by any means possible. While it’s obviously healthy to exercise and eat well, excessive habits in any form become problematic quickly. This is occasionally apparent in the young women who go to the gym seven days a week without fail, who’ve vowed to cut sugar and carbohydrates entirely from their diets. (I cannot and do not wish to define what is or should be considered “healthy” because that term is purely subjective. What is healthy for some may not be for others. This subjectivity is the kryptonite of dealing with eating disorders.) But when this behavior is flaunted and praised, as it often is on college campuses, we come to consider it as the ideal. While for many this lifestyle is healthy and at times necessary for mental well-being, this is not universally the case. When subjective methods are applied objectively, problems arise. The adoption of a strict diet and exercise regimen may result in significant bodily and mental change for some, and not for others, thus perpetuating distress among young women
who are so desperately striving for physical perfection. Even further, there is certainly a class divide between those who are and are not able to afford gym memberships and health foods, which are considered necessary for these idealistically healthy lifestyles. The distress of lacking requisite resources to attain this bodily ideal is greater than is immediately visible, and the various racial, cultural and class-based setbacks to young women attempting to achieve this ideal are innumerable. So we ask ourselves, “How do we change this?” One possible immediate response is simply to call for more realistic representation in media or to advertise healthier, less extreme lifestyles. But these solutions fail to account for the damage that is already done. What’s more, this norm is already perpetuated by the young women it affects and those around them. I do believe that, over time, bodily ideals can be modified into more attainable and inclusive forms on a global scale. However, change such as this does not happen overnight, and there are more personal and individualistic efforts that can be made in the meantime. Instead, I argue, we should utilize mindfulness. Do not discuss with your friends how little or how much you’ve eaten that day. Do not boast how much weight you’ve lost or gained in the past week. By focusing less on physical aspects of one another, we can end the personal perpetuation of these potentially harmful ideals and simultaneously focus on aspects of our peers that do not need to be changed by diet restrictions and gym memberships. Be mindful of how others might perceive your words. What seems harmless to you may not seem so innocent to another.
EMILY WOLFE | CONTACT CARTOONIST AT ELWOLFE@UMICH.EDU
Megan Burns can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sincerely: Thanks, Obama
ver the past eight life, whether he was going to years, our country a predominately white high has gone through a school in Hawaii or becoming lot, from mass shootings and the first Black president of the arguments over gun control Harvard Law Review. He rose to human rights to the top position crises such as the in the country as a Flint water crisis Black man, giving and the Dakota faith to many that Access Pipeline they can achieve protests. Maybe it’s great things (though just because of the that isn’t possible consistent f low of for all, especially media making us with vast disparities aware of everything in the quality of wrong in the world, living conditions CHRIS but times have been and education we’re CROWDER tough lately. But born into). when it comes to Obama was a the issues of racism and police symbol of hope for many brutality, there was no better Americans, especially Black president to be in office than citizens, and certainly for Barack Obama. myself when racial tensions Obama’s campaign from were high. No matter the result 2008 seems like a distant of the most recent election, memory to some, but the slogan a clear divide has emerged, “Change we can believe in” and polarizing us to two sides: the chant “Yes We Can” still whether you believe race ring loudly in my memory and relations and racism are still have remained applicable for prevalent in the country or not. both his terms. I remember From my perspective, racism watching his inauguration in can be covert but is still a large my seventh-grade science class issue in our country. There and feeling such an aura of has been a disproportionate positivity and hope. number of Black people It personally meant so much shot by police compared to to me because someone like me whites, a clear mistreatment (mixed, born to a Black father of Black people all over the and a white mother) was the news and a disregard of the most important man in the fears and feelings of people country and perhaps the world. who are afraid of what could Who knows when or if that potentially happen to them or will happen again. He was a their loved ones. president whom I felt I could On the nights when I prayed relate to, who made me laugh that my father or sister would and smile and cheer him on. be safe and mourned for the He set a beautiful men and women who have lost example of a loving, devoted their lives because of profiling husband, father and public or oppression, Obama was a servant, combating the many symbol of hope for me. I had unfortunate stereotypes a president that probably attributed to Black men. He was mourning over the same didn’t come from a privileged issues. He shed a tear when background and faced the Sandy Hook Elementary discrimination throughout his School shooting happened and
displayed empathy whenever a tragedy struck our country. And he didn’t just mourn — he used his words to bring us all together and attempted to use his position to pass laws, such as the curbing of gun usage. In the beginning of July, after the wrongful death of Philando Castile, Obama’s words hit the nail on the head about why everyone should care that there are people dying in the streets at the hands of police: “When incidents like this occur, there is a big chunk of our fellow citizenry that feels as if because of the color of their skin they are not being treated the same. And that hurts. And that should trouble all of us.” This was a president who got it and gave extensive statements on the topic, not shying away from it or dismissing it like other politicians. I smiled at pictures giving us glimpses of Obama’s life at the White House, such as when he hysterically laughed at a baby dressed as the pope. I felt empowered listening to his State of the Union addresses as he used his gift of public speaking to comfort the nation. I know that there’s nearly half the country that voted against him and perhaps many view him unfavorably, but I think there’s an argument to be made that he is one of the most personable presidents we’ve ever had. And that side of him is what we needed at times. We needed a president to make us laugh and tell us the reality of situations while guiding us through them with poise and empathy. All in all, I’m overjoyed that my president looked like me. It’s not just that — he cared like me, too. Chris Crowder can be reached at email@example.com.
CONTRIBUTE TO THE CONVERSATION Readers are encouraged to submit letters to the editor and op-eds. Letters should be fewer than 300 words while op-eds should be 550 to 850 words. Send the writer’s full name and University affiliation to tothedaily@ michigandaily.com. ANTHONY COZART | OP-ED
Resolutions for every year
n an episode of “Master of None,” the Netflix comedy produced by and starring Aziz Ansari, there’s a scene where a colleague of Ansari’s character, Dev, introduces himself to Dev’s friends at a New York City bar. The colleague only addresses the men at the table, which Dev’s romantic partner Rachel, played by Noël Wells, reacts to immediately. She points out the colleague had treated her and the other women in the group as if they were invisible. Dev and his male friends brush it off, making up excuses: Dev’s colleague was in a hurry, people aren’t so awful and they’re overreacting. Two things stand out in the scene: the initial sexist, if subtle, act by Dev’s colleague and the men’s reactions. The men tell Rachel and the other women, who have just experienced the sexist act, that they’re wrong. They (and their excuses) reject their female friends’ perceptions of what just happened and how they’re treated more generally. Later, Rachel describes what this is like: “When somebody, especially my boyfriend, tells me that I’m wrong without having any way of knowing my personal experience, it’s insulting.” Watching the episode over winter break made me think more about the experiences of my female friends and classmates. In the fall, a close friend told me that almost the same scene and treatment happened to her. I’d also heard from others about colleagues who regularly “mansplain” and about similar subtle sexist acts. Apart from listening to and encouraging my friends after the incidents, I’d done little to help.
Like many people, during the holidays I also began to consider resolutions for the New Year. How can I be happier, healthier and more successful in 2017? While I’ve adopted resolutions with this question in mind, I’ve also included several addressing the sexism and misogyny displayed in the “Master of None” scene. They’re resolutions that we (men, on campus and more generally) should keep: to avoid these common sexist acts, however small, subtle or unintended, to support our peers, interjecting instead of justifying the offense (as Dev did in the episode) and to intervene whenever possible.
Avoid these common sexist acts, however small, subtle or unintended The episode is powerful, in part, because it demonstrates these acts are ubiquitous and happen even in progressive bubbles of Manhattan (and Ann Arbor). Like the characters in the episode, I’m a feminist in principle, likely because of my mother’s experiences as a leading female lawyer. And while I try to be conscious of what I say and do toward others — for example, by avoiding using stereotypes and gendered terms — I’ve found and seen how it can be easy to make these mistakes. Last week, while walking with a female colleague
to teach our first classes of the semester, I made a quick comment that, while well intentioned, may have sounded demeaning, however slight. How can we keep these resolutions? To start, we can stop and stand up to “mansplaining,” the not-atall subtle or insignificant practice of men explaining to others, often women, a topic or idea in a condescending or patronizing way. According to research on team building, listening to and respecting others makes us more successful. (I also plan to read more, including the book “Men Explain Things to Me,” by Rebecca Solnit.) Another way is to cut out the jokes — which are often online and justified as “trolling.” At the end of last semester, a female classmate posted a reminder to Facebook about using gendered language in instructor evaluations. One of my male peers commented “No.” Whether joking or not, in doing so he delegitimized her point. Someone should have responded, yet no one did. On the same topic, we can abstain from using gendered terms and slurs in our conversations and messages. We can stop talking over, crowding out, discounting, bulldozing and interrupting our female classmates. We can reflect on what we said, saw and heard in 2016 and when we should have stood up for others. We can commit to holding our peers more accountable, to act in ways that reflect our beliefs. And we can listen to, learn from, help and support our female peers, this year and in the future. Anthony Cozart is a Public Policy graduate student.
The Michigan Daily — michigandaily.com
Friday, January 13, 2017 — 5
ALL THINGS RECONSIDERED
When you full but meemaw packs a doggy bag.
OH BOY RECORDS
Prine’s overlooked legacy FOCUS FEATURES
The Giving Tree SUCKS this year.
‘A Monster Calls’ merits mockery for mediocrity J.A. Bayona’s latest feature tramples over premise by painting in broad strokes and capitalizing in tired, indulgent clichés important because they teach us valuable lessons about life’s complexities. The shame in including this conceit in “A “Stories are wild creatures,” Monster Calls” is that while a CGI tree monster tells screenwriter and source book a young British lad in an author Patrick Ness (“Class”) otherwise tranquil home puts a premium on the power somewhere in of stories, his the meandering story itself lacks middle of “A the structure Monster Calls,” and potency “A Monster Calls” the latest film to salvage the from Spanish film from an Focus Features director J.A. onslaught of Rave, Quality 16 Bayona (“The poor choices. Impossible”). Even more The monster, frustrating is voiced by that what one Liam Neeson garners to be the (“Silence”), comes at night purpose of the stories — to to tell stories to a boy, teach that life is complex, that Conor (Lewis MacDougall, there are no easy answers — “Pan”), who is confronting is directly repudiated by the his mother’s impending simplicity of the characters death from cancer. Conor’s on screen. While Conor, an father lives in America and avid and talented artist, draws his grandmother, his new effervescent images of his guardian, is more strict than world, Bayona and Ness draw in rather wide, bland strokes. Conor’s mother (Felicity Jones, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”) is a Dying Family Member With Cancer, rapidly diminishing, hopeless, softspoken and f lawless save for a malignant tumor. We’ve seen this before, too many times. Conor’s grandmother, an abnormally off Sigourney Weaver (“Avatar”), is just cruel and cold, concerned more with her house’s orderly appearance than her grandson’s sanity. Conor’s bully lashes out at caring. At school, he’s bullied our protagonist continually, by his classmates and picked for no reason other than that on by his teacher. Conor is consumed by his art In other words, Conor’s not during classes. He’s beat up all right. And the monster, outside the school on multiple armed with a gnarly Northern occasions, and his schooling Irish voice and formed from the life is reduced entirely to this old yew tree in the cemetery two-handed relationship, as if across the glen, coaches the they two are the only students kid to be brave through telling at the school. three fairy tales, two of which The film, overstuffed with are stunningly rendered in both platitudes and extraneous watercolor animation. The thematic vehicles like Conor’s message is clear: Stories are art and the stories and the DANNY HENSEL Daily Film Editor
“Stories are wild creatures,” a CGI tree mondster tells a young British lad
monster itself, becomes something of a mockery of its central idea. Stories surely have transformative potential, but “A Monster Calls” is not one of those stories. Nor are the monster’s, but they at least get credit for being jaw-dropping in their realization. These fairy tales, dreamlike and captivating, provide all-too-brief respites from the utter blandness of the story that practically serves as their bookends.
His story itself lacks the structure and potency to salvage the film from an onslaught of poor choices
They’re pure cinematic candy but suffer from a dearth of groundbreaking lessons. Life doesn’t have easy answers, things are confusing and it’s all right to make mistakes. We get it. I fear this film may matter or mean more for individuals older and younger than myself, but that should only serve to diminish its quality. The specific is universal insofar as that specific world is constructed to lifelike specifications. “A Monster Calls” is cinematic dogwhistle politics, a tale about grief told in ways only those who have unfortunately and severely experienced it would truly understand.
WE HAVE PROBLEMS. WE ALL HAVE PROBLEMS. If, like us, existential dread keeps you up at night, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for a primer on why we’re your people.
LAURA DZUBAY For The Daily
This week Daily Music writers look back at — and reconsider — less modern pieces of music. Folk music intersects with popular music in interesting ways. Classic artists like Woody Guthrie, Johnny Cash and most of all Bob Dylan have taken root in the hearts of fans for generations, and today the genre is being freshly interpreted by contemporary popular artists as disparate as Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes and the Avett Brothers. Folk has had its notable moments, both on the charts of popular music and in coverage by major publications. But as an umbrella with many subgenres, it has also seen more than its fair share of artists falling through the cracks into obscurity. John Prine falls somewhere in the middle here: He is celebrated among folk fans and music critics alike, but isn’t widely known in the popular sphere. When I mention him in conversation to my friend who listens to folk music or ask for his music at a record store, his name is recognized instantly, but in most other conversations, it is met with blank stares. His catalog is almost as extensive as Dylan’s, and his songwriting abilities have been the source of consistent critical praise since his eponymous debut album in 1971, yet his name becomes less generally recognizable with every passing year.
This may be because he has failed to produce any chart-topping singles to launch him into public attention. Many songs, like John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” and Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Wagon Wheel,” have left a significant enough impact on the general public to preserve their artists’ names in history indefinitely. Curiously, no single song has done this for John Prine, which may account for his relative deficit in popular recognition. This deficit could also be attributed to Prine’s lyrics. Many of his songs are historically specific, such as 1971’s “Paradise,” which describes the takeover of a small Kentucky town by a coal company. These songs derive some meaning from context, and Prine often approaches their subjects with angles of humor, political criticism, or both. This narrow, specific style of execution, and the necessity of context here, may be a few of the reasons Prine is looked back on less frequently than some of his peers. It sometimes takes a certain mood to appreciate these qualities, which can reasonably set them in contrast against the often more widely relatable songs of Cash or Dylan. But these specific lyrics are used to tell stories that hold true emotionally even when removed from the context of history, and they are among the many traits that make him interesting as a songwriter. Folk music has some history in political protest, and Prine car-
ries on this tradition in his music with a markedly humorous twist, often fixating on characters whose extreme stories reflect ridiculous aspects of our own lives. In his early song “Your Flag Decal Won’t Get You Into Heaven Anymore,” he calls commercial patriotism into question, narrating the story of a man who crashes his car due to the American flag stickers covering his windshield. With its cheerful tone and hyperbolic ending, it is easy to see how a narrative like this would fit alongside Dylan’s “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues,” or Phil Ochs’s “Love Me, I’m a Liberal.” Sometimes Prine’s music focuses exclusively on humor — like in 1973’s “Dear Abby,” a satire of advice columns — and sometimes it lays the humor aside in favor of a more serious political tone, like in his 2005 song “Some Humans Ain’t Human,” which criticizes President George W. Bush for invasion of Iraq. Prine is a peculiar case in the timeline of American folk music. His personality is unassuming, and his songs have consistently occupied modest but dignified positions on popular music charts since the early seventies. But despite his lack of mainstream popularity, his songs offer eloquent, natural and at times humorous perspectives on the world, and given his lyrical abilities and his lasting inf luence, he continues to occupy a crucial place in the world of folk music today.
The sneaker conundrum The ethics of the sneaker business is marred with ambiguity NARESH IYENGAR For The Daily
Sneakers have been an integral part of fashion for longer than I have been alive. There are hyped-up sneakers being released every month and, if you are lucky enough to buy a pair, the resale price can be astronomical. It’s not unheard of to make upwards of a 200 percent profit on a pair of sneakers. I remember when I was successful in purchasing a pair of the Pirate Black Yeezy Boost 350 sneakers for about $200. I was extremely excited to wear them, but I felt the need to satiate my curiosity and looked at the resale prices for my pair. When I saw that I could realize a 300 percent profit by selling them, I was no longer able to look at my sneakers as $200 shoes but rather $800 ones — I had to sell them. Some people have even turned sneaker resale into a full-time job. Recently, a man named Allen Kuo entered the spotlight of the sneaker community, posting pictures with about 100 pairs of the Yeezy 750 Boost sneakers released in June of 2016. For reference, the retail price on these sneakers is about $350 and the resale price according to StockX, a reputable site for finding a fair price for resale sneakers, is about $950. Some quick math tells you that Allen is making at minimum $60,000 on the release of a single pair of sneakers (he has the sneakers posted on his site for $2,000, so he may be seeing
even more in profits from this venture). This isn’t the only pair of shoes that he has gotten en masse this year: Kuo has posted pictures on his Instagram with other coveted Yeezys and Jordans whose resale values have surely shown him many more thousands in profits. Kuo is not unique in this venture, though. For every Allen Kuo in the sneaker game there is also a twenty-something yearold kid with a “plug” who posts on every Facebook buy/sell/trade group that you’re a part of that they have ten pairs of the new sneakers for sale at, maybe, a 250 percent markup. Sneaker bots have also been around for many years. A bot essentially functions as an “add-to-cart” service for prospective sneaker purchasers. These script packages capitalize on the fact that humans can only type in their shipping information so fast and, that by the time an ordinary customer has finished typing in their 16-digit credit card number and billing address, a customer with an ATC service has already successfully checked out, or “jacked” their cart. Retailers consistently claim to be working to stop the efficacy of bots, but release after subsequent release show that even sites as large as Foot Locker simply cannot stay ahead of the ATC developers. It doesn’t stop with sneakers either, large brands like Supreme and Palace see the same thing happening. A Supreme box-logo hoodie (yes, a sweatshirt that simply has an embroi-
dery with the brand’s name) can retail for around $150 and will sell on sites like Grailed for fourtimes that amount within a few hours of the posting. A question that I have struggled to answer for myself, even in the context of my single pair of Yeezys, is the whether or not it is fair to use these methods as a means of making money. The answer that I have been able to come up with is a resounding “maybe.” I’ve realized that the reason why everyone cannot get a pair of coveted sneakers or a hoodie is not due to the fact that full-time resellers are hoarding them, but rather because the supply does not meet the demand. Regardless of whether someone like Kuo buys all 1,000 pairs of a hyped release or if 1,000 distinct purchasers are able to buy them, the resale market will still exist and sellers will still actualize greater gains on a pair of sneakers than even some of the riskiest stock options. Sure, some people may be able to purchase a pair of shoes that they intend on keeping if bots are banned. But, I am sure that there are plenty of people like me who can’t turn down a quick buck. I could go into the intricacies of a marginal-benefit / marginal-cost analysis, but in the end all that will show is that even though there are some people who are barred from the secondhand market because of their willingness-to-pay, markets will still clear and retailers really have minimal incentive to do anything about bots and plugs.
6 — Friday, January 13, 2017
Intern Insight: the various travails of working New York Fashion Week
The Michigan Daily — michigandaily.com
Fashion’s facade showcases an industry grounded in purpose TESS GARCIA
Senior Arts Editor
Once, Anna Wintour made eye contact with me and I almost peed. That’s the story I tell when people ask me what I do “on the job.” In one month, I will be headed back to Manhattan for my fifth season interning at New York Fashion Week. As always, I am hesitant to tell those around me where I’m really going for those seven February days, for fear of being pinned a “humble-bragger,” or receiving endless coos of unjust admiration and jealousy. When I tell people I’m working Fashion Week, they seem to overlook the “working” part entirely, so I just give them what I know they want — juicy little anecdotes without any substance, like my lackluster Wintour encounter. In the eyes of many of my friends, I’ll be skipping school this February to attend a star-studded affair in Manhattan. Though they aren’t technically wrong, a few key aspects of my work at NYFW consistently go unnoticed. I pay my own way. I spend my own money on my own f lights to my own unpaid job. I have worked other jobs, saved money from gifts and sold my old clothes so that I can accommodate my internships. I am not asking for pity — I come from an upper-middle-class family where money has never been an issue, and therefore have the rare opportunity to pursue ventures that involve little-to-no pay. Rather, I am trying to shed light on an industry that outsiders (and even some insiders) view as full of unrestrained glamour and drama. From my vantage point, it’s easy to see that fashion is full of humility. It is a universe populated by everyone from artists to models to production specialists. No matter their trade, each individual is controlled by a select few corporate giants, generally under-
paid unless they manage to make it big. Be it New York, London, Milan or Paris, Fashion Week sucks the life out of everyone involved. No matter their job, anyone who has ever worked a Fashion Week could tell you that it is a grueling seven days, both physically and mentally. Though I have worked two very different jobs over the course of my NYFW career — social media correspondent for a modeling agency and celebrity escort for a backstage lounge — each left me with a maximum of four hours of sleep a night and a brutal cold by the end of the week. Not even the most beautiful models are exempt from the ubiquitous Fashion Week eye bags (I always joke that mine are Prada). Emergen-C
We may not be doctors or lawyers, but that doesn’t make the fashion industry any less invested
tablets are given out at every venue like souvenirs. Each of us works vigorously in hopes of fulfilling traditionally unrealistic deadlines. All the while, we must elicit stylishness, our faces blotted and our outfits impeccably chic, to ensure that bystanders view Fashion Week as the elitist affair it pretends to be. We may not be doctors or lawyers, but that doesn’t make the fashion industry any less invested and, subsequently, overworked. Save for Us Weekly, nobody tells you that stars truly are just like us, even during NYFW. In fact, affili-
ated publications likely don’t want you to know how “normal” many celebrities are despite their circumstances. After all, media outlets receive most of their Fashion Week related traction from celebrities who use their online platforms to create a covetable facade of a life. In September of 2016, headlines noted that Kylie Jenner sat front row at Prabal Gurung’s show, but failed to mention that she was likely being paid to attend, another shift of her extremely well-rewarded, yet never-ending job. Season after season, blogger Leandra Medine of Man Repeller is regularly featured in magazines’s “street style” broadcasts, yet none show the young businesswoman hurriedly jetting from show to show, taking rushed sips of Blue Bottle coffee (a NYFW staple — ask anybody) as though she fears her cup will run away. The same principle reigns when applied to celebrities’s most down-to-earth behaviors. When Jenna Lyons, creative director and president of J. Crew, asked for a photo with a lowly intern (i.e. me) after a show at Milk Studios, not one reporter took notice. Like many other human beings, Lyons did not feel comfortable having solo shots taken that day, and instead opted to use me as a means of diverting the spotlight, if even for a moment. That kind of raw humanity does not jive well with the image of Lyons contrived by the media — intimidatingly stern and all business — and so they simply left it out. In the most frank of terms, envy and fear make New York Fashion Week profitable. It’s true — Anna Wintour is scary, and capable of evoking involuntary bodily functions. But New York Fashion Week is more than a brush with fame, or even clothes on a runway. It is practically its own being, layered with great and poor qualities alike. It jerks real tears out of its victims, but always winds up giving them some of the most memorable experiences of their lives. That — you know I had to end this way — is something that will never go out of style.
Call: #734-418-4115 Email: email@example.com
RELEASE DATE– Friday, January 13, 2017
Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle
Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis
ACROSS 1 Cabo’s peninsula 5 Stupefy 10 Earthy shade 14 “Don’t have __, man!” 15 Jennifer Saunders’ “Ab Fab” role 16 Room service challenge 17 Simba’s mate 18 Pack animal? 19 Shrewd 20 Port 23 Heavy weight 24 It may need a boost 25 Port 34 “Mean Girls” actress 35 Instrument heard in the Doobie Brothers’ “Black Water” 36 Lived and breathed 37 Uncompromising 38 __ nus: barefoot, in Bordeaux 39 Hilarious one 40 Scotch datum 41 Construct 42 Friend of Jerry and George 43 Port 46 Org. with a square-rigger on its seal 47 Jungle swinger 48 Port 57 Ointment additive 58 De Valera of Ireland 59 “Dies __” 60 Array of options 61 Urban air problem 62 Reposed 63 Rear deck 64 Blush-inducing H.S. class 65 House meas.
4 Football squad in white jerseys, typically 5 Lagging 6 Time change? 7 Turbaned Punjabi 8 Selective Service classification 9 Blue Devils’ rival 10 Homeowner’s account, perhaps 11 Kind of sandwich or soda 12 Tiller opening? 13 Taxi alternative 21 Unlike new clothes 22 Indian tourist mecca 25 Like some pond growth 26 Blacksmith’s need 27 Copper? 28 Like Wrigley Field’s walls 29 Many a flower girl 30 Acknowledge, in a way 31 “It’d be a dream come true”
32 Judd matriarch 33 Legally prohibit 38 One of Disney’s official eleven 39 Perfume staples 41 Forum infinitive 42 Yokum cartoonist 44 Garage service 45 Agitated 48 Where much tiedyeing takes place
49 Kitchen bar 50 Prohibition 51 Tone down 52 Camera that uses 70mm film 53 Move like honey 54 Modern-day Mesopotamia 55 Newbie 56 Commonly anchored shelter
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Tilikum died how he lived, a prisoner of human greed and need for spectacle.
SIMON & SCHUSTER
‘Loner’ a pertinent read Teddy Wayne’s eerily relevant novel touches on questions and concerns of modern campus life at elite institutions NATALIE ZAK
Managing Arts Editor
In 2015, Brock Turner, a freshman at Stanford University, was found atop an unconscious female, hidden behind a dumpster, by two passing cyclists. The girl, whose name was never revealed, later testified to being unconscious, as did the cyclists who found her. She didn’t remember Turner and she didn’t remember initiating any sexual activity with him. She woke up with dried blood on her body and pine needles in her hair.
His presumed air of intelligence is what defines him Turner, behind a barrier of well-paid attorneys, told a different story: one of a typical college romance that springs from alcohol-fueled college parties. He said they left holding hands, she had slipped and then they kissed. A fairytale romance, it must have been, especially for the girl who woke up with blood on her body and pine needles in her hair. In recent years, these stories have become more and more familiar in the media sphere. Fraternity parties that lead to outrageously high blood alcohol content and girls with the word “no” f loating on their lips — these are a formula, especially at universities, that we all know too well. And all too often they end in six months leave — three, if the perpetrator displays “good behavior.” But take away the alcohol and add obsession. Remove the darkness and stickiness of a fraternity basement, and add the ivy walls of Harvard University. Take away lowered inhibitions and add agency, and we get Teddy Wayne’s “Loner,” a story told from the point of view of David Federman, an incoming freshman at Harvard. A boy who never stood out and was always pushed aside in high school, David yearns to be someone special, and
he believes that Harvard will grant him this. The first day of school, David sees Veronica, a girl so utterly perfect in his mind’s eye that he idealizes and romanticizes every aspect of her. He seeks out her classes and stages casual run-ins just to glimpse at her. He enrolls in the same classes and eagerly writes entire essays for her. She comes from an entirely different world than he does, one taken from the heart of Upper East Side Manhattan and all the freedom and riches which that upbringing affords. And so David fixates, and he follows. The entire novel, readers are buried deep in David’s thoughts, seeing and thinking everything he is. And what is so attracting about his character is that we find ourselves rooting for him. His unsettling knack for manipulating Sarah, his girlfriend and Veronica’s roommate, is disturbing and occasionally upsetting, but often swept aside as excusable due to her presentation as an obnoxious and whiny creature. His fixation on Veronica, which escalates to an unnatural and violent degree, comes across as a simple crush for most of the novel. She encourages; he reacts. She speaks; he follows. It is the obsession that stems from the romanticization of those we adore. It is a crush that anyone who has ever waded through a stranger’s Facebook page can understand. Remember, this is all told from David’s perspective. He is an intelligent boy who worked hard enough in high school to get into Harvard on merit alone. His presumed air of intelligence is what defines him, and ultimately reveals to the reader the unsettling nature of how this boy sees himself in comparison to those around him. He is intellectual elitism at its worst. When his essay is praised by a professor in class, he entertains grand fantasies of becoming this teacher’s TA before the semester ends. He assumes an air of superiority towards his roommate and his girlfriend despite having come from the high school lunch table of rejects and loners. His elitism and entitlement runs rampant on a campus where half the students are bred from and raised in families of those exact character f laws.
Even they though can’t seem to ascend to the same height of his self-made pedestal. Left alone, these faults form the vision of a narcissistic boy who has never been told he is wrong. When placed beside Veronica, he appears as the underdog, the nerd, trying to get his hands on the cool, chic girl who always rejected him in high school. And David is simultaneously both of these people, but with a twisted and self-righteous agency that eventually leads him to a similar position as Brock Turner — a man hiding behind a barrier of well-paid attorneys. Remember, this is all told from David’s perspective. The unnatural nature of his crush, though unsettling at times and increasingly so, never reveals to us the nature of the boy in whose head we rest and rely. It is an extreme case of the unreliable nature that leaves the f lesh crawling and stomach turned, because it is a narrator in whom
Harvard has faced a great deal of criticism in recent years we lend our ears, eyes and mind to, only to be betrayed. Harvard has faced a great deal of criticism in recent years. Alumni fear the association and rivals look at it not with disdain, but pity because of the aforementioned criticism. As scandal after scandal has emerged the school has been able to do little to redeem itself, and Wayne, a Harvard grad himself, only draws this scandal into a more critical light. By placing readers inside the protagonist’s mind, readers have a first-account insight into the mind of a loner — a loner impaled on the stake of white privilege and entitlement that has brought unwanted criticism to the country’s oldest and most esteemed institution. An institution, just like Stanford, awash in scandal that will come to taint the university’s legacy, both past and present.
WE BELIEVE THERE IS BUT ONE GOD, AND HIS NAME IS YEEZUS. Congregation meets at 3:30 P.M. every Sunday. If you have any questions regarding our parish, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Michigan Daily — michigandaily.com
Wolverines return to Crisler to face Nebraska and head coach Tim Miles BRANDON CARNEY Daily Sports Writer
Though the conference season is still young, few teams in the country have had a better stretch of games in the past couple Nebraska at weeks than Michigan Nebraska. After a Matchup: bumpy non- Nebraska 3-1 Big Ten, conference 9-6 overall; slate that Michigan included a loss 1-3, 11-6 to GardnerWebb, the When: Saturday Cornhuskers 2 P.M. (3-1 Big Ten, 9-6 overall) Where: Crisler Center have found new life and been the surprise of the Big Ten thus far in conference play. Nebraska has earned road wins at Indiana and Maryland, and
will look to add a win at Crisler Center to its resume when it faces Michigan (1-3, 11-6) on Saturday. Senior guard Tai Webster has led the Cornhuskers’ resurgence. The senior is currently the fourthhighest scorer in the Big Ten, averaging 17.7 points, while also producing four assists per game. Stopping Webster and the rest of the offense will be a high priority for the Wolverines, and based on some news this week, that job may be easier than Michigan originally anticipated. Nebraska forward Ed Morrow has been ruled out indefinitely with a foot injury. Morrow currently leads Nebraska with 7.9 rebounds per game, and was one of three sophomores who started for the Cornhuskers in their last outing, a home loss to Northwestern. The Daily sat down with Nebraska coach Tim Miles at
Big Ten Media Day in October to discuss his young roster and his relationship with Michigan coach John Beilein and the rest of the conference’s coaches: The Michigan Daily: What should fans expect when they’re watching “Nebrasketball” this year? Tim Miles: I like our group. We’re young and there are some real unknowns because eight of our top 10 guys are freshmen and sophomores or new. I think if we can handle ourselves, if we can get off to a really solid start, that will bode well for us. Last year we played 21 games in this league. We were 8-13. There was a .2 difference between our points against and our points scored per game. That’s insane. It just tells you about the depth of our league. TMD: What comes to your mind when you see these stats and realize how close you are in
Nebraska coach Tim Miles will lead his team into Ann Arbor to face a reeling Michigan team Saturday at Crisler Center.
Michigan seeks to extend home streak SYLVANNA GROSS Daily Sports Editor
This weekend, the Michigan women’s basketball team (3-1 Big Ten, 14-4 overall) will be looking to defend its undefeated 9-0 streak at Minnesota Crisler Center at Michigan this season. The Matchup: Wolverines will Minnesota 1-3, be squaring 10-7; Michigan off against 3-1, 14-4 Minnesota (1-3, When: Sunday 10-7) on Sunday, 4:30 P.M. the only contest Where: Crisler between the two Center teams this year. The Wolverines are coming off a hot win against Indiana, something sophomore center Hallie Thome attributes to focus. “We have a lot of growth (this season),” Thome said. “And to pull it out against a Big Ten team is something special. To pull it out means we’re still locked in at the game and locked in throughout the entire game to be able to take away what (the opposing team) wants to do.” Michigan has been averaging 83.7 points per game on 49.2 percent shooting at home, and junior guard Katelynn Flaherty has done most of the damage. Flaherty has 1,614 career points and stands fourth all-time at Michigan, though she is just 33 points away from overtaking Trish Andrew, who played from 1989-93, for third place. The last time the Wolverines faced the Golden Gophers, Michigan swept Minnesota and ended the Golden Gophers’ three-game winning streak in the series — the record stands with Minnesota in the lead, 34-27. This year, Minnesota is coming off an 88-point performance in a win against Wisconsin, but it hasn’t played a game in over a week Notably, the Golden Gophers hold a 31-4 record when scoring at least 80 points. The Wolverines will try to stop them from
reaching that number, most likely with the help of Thome and junior guard Jillian Dunston. Thome boasts 129 total rebounds on the season, and Dunston leads by one with 130. Thome has been praised for her dominant performances since conference play started. She has notched two double-doubles in the past four games and anchors Michigan on both the defensive and offensive ends, averaging 20.3 points per game. She currently ranks sixth in the conference in scoring, and is shooting 69 percent from the floor. Thome has started all 18 games this season, along with Flaherty, Dunston and senior guard Siera Thompson. New to the starting lineup is freshman guard Kysre Gondrezick, who is quickly becoming one of Thome’s biggest allies on the court. “I trust her,” Gondrezick said. “I trust all my teammates. I know one thing that I do well is getting the ball to my teammates to make everyone else around me better — something (Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico) stresses all the time. “It allows Thome to be visible and present; it definitely is a game changer in the interior.” Yet, Minnesota’s offense is nothing to scoff at. The Golden Gophers hold two of the Big Ten’s top-11 scorers in guards Carlie Wagner and Kenisha Bell. Wagner and Bell are averaging 18.2 points per game and 17.3, respectively. This is Barnes Arico’s fifth season as head coach, and her record at home is an impressive 59-22. The key to this season’s success has been its ability to dominate competition in the first 10 minutes of the second half. The Wolverines have outscored opponents, 229-108, in that time. But as far as Barnes Arico is concerned for this game—and future games — she’s repeating one mantra about the team’s performance. “Keep it going. Just keep it going.”
so many games? TM: I immediately go, what are we weak on defensively? What are we weak on offense? How can we correct that? What can we get better at? For this year, I don’t think there’s any way we’re going to make as many threes as we made last year, so where are we going to get our points from? But at the same time I think we’re going to defend the three much better. So scoring might be down on both sides, but if it’s more favorable for us, I don’t care. TMD: Can you give us some insight into what goes on at the coaches’ dinner before media day? TM: We go out and all have a nice dinner with the coaches. Quite frankly, Coach Beilein, who should be a good friend of mine because we’re both St. Louis Cardinals fans, was upset with me because I don’t follow the Cardinals as closely as he does. I also have young kids, and I’m not as veteran a guy as he is — which means old. If I’m not paying attention to what the Cardinals’ rotation is this week, he’s mad. He’s just sensitive. TMD: Do you call or text Beilein about the Cardinals frequently? TM: I will text him and on occasion he will text me back. I’m a true Cardinals fan. John Beilein, I don’t know. He’s like my father who listens to every game, lives and dies with them. TMD: Does your relationship with Beilein reflect the dynamic between all the Big Ten coaches? TM: No question. I think there’s a great relationship. Guys are highly competitive, yet no one is easily insulted so you can give each other a hard time. We got a lot of energetic guys, and some guys aren’t. You look at a calm guy like Coach Beilein and, when you get to know him, he’s a passionate person about things. If you were just a common viewer, you wouldn’t see that every day. I love our league. I love the coaches.
Friday, January 13, 2017 — 7
Michigan officially hires Pep Hamilton ORION SANG
Daily Sports Editor
The time for speculation has ended. Pep Hamilton has officially been hired as the Michigan football team’s assistant head coach and passing game coordinator. “Pep Hamilton is a proven, outstanding football coach, husband and father” said Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh in a released statement on MGoBlue.com. “His teaching and mentoring skills have produced quality athletes and quality young men, including some of the finest quarterbacks and wide receivers in the country. We are thrilled and excited to have Pep and Nicole and their children — April, Jackson and Elizabeth — as members of our Michigan family.” Hamilton is joining the Wolverines’ coaching staff after spending the 2016 season as the Cleveland Browns’ assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach. His move to Ann Arbor has felt probable for roughly a week, but the report only became offical Thursday. This isn’t the first time Hamilton has coached with Harbaugh — he was a part of Harbaugh’s staff at Stanford in 2010, where he served as the wide receivers coach. Hamilton’s arrival helps to fill the staff vacancy created by Jedd Fisch’s departure from the program, as he recently accepted a position as the new offensive coordinator for UCLA. It appears Hamilton could be a perfect fit to replace Fisch, who served as Michigan’s quarterbacks coach, wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator. Hamilton has significant experience coaching both positions, as he has served as an offensive coordinator at numerous stops throughout his
career. Like Fisch, Hamilton brings a unique blend of experience at both the collegiate and professional level. Hamilton began his career at Howard University, where he served as the quarterbacks coach and later as the offensive coordinator before moving on to the professional level — coaching with the New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears. He returned to college football in 2010 to join Harbaugh’s staff at Stanford. Under Hamilton, Cardinal receivers combined for 129 catches for 2,026 yards and were part of an offense that scored 40.3 points per game that year, making Stanford the ninth-ranked offense in the nation. After Harbaugh’s departure from the program following the 2010 season, Hamilton took over as the Cardinals’ offensive coordinator for the next two years. With him at the helm, Stanford’s offense averaged 43.2 and 27.9 points per game, respectively, in 2011 and 2012, before he left for the NFL once again. Before his stint with the Browns, Hamilton was the offensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts, calling plays for former Stanford players Andrew Luck and Coby Fleener. He joined the Browns after being fired by the Colts in 2015. But now, he has landed with Michigan for the next step in his coaching career. “It is an honor and privilege to be part of one of the most storied programs in college football history,” Hamilton said in a released statement. “I look forward to working with Coach Harbaugh and members of the staff at Michigan. I am excited to get to work meeting our players so that I can assist with their development on the field and in the university community.”
‘M’ set to resume season in Minnesota With a two-week break after the Great Lakes Invitational behind it, Michigan will travel to Minnesota to start the second half of its season LANEY BYLER
Daily Sports Editor
The last time the Michigan hockey team faced off against Minnesota was in March of 2016, when the Wolverines left the ice in Michigan at Minneapolis Minnesota as Big Ten Matchup: Tournament Michigan champions 1-3-0 , 8-9-1; after a 5-3 Minnesota win over 3-1-0, 11-5-2 the Golden When: Friday Gophers. 8 P.M. CT, This Saturday 7 weekend, P.M. CT in their Where: first series Mariucci matchup of Arena the season, the Wolverines will travel to Mariucci Arena to resume Big Ten play against No. 9 Minnesota on Friday and Saturday. Michigan (1-3-0 Big Ten, 8-9-1 overall) is coming off a twoweek break after the Great Lakes Invitational on December 29 and 30, where it finished third overall. “You’d like to say that you keep the same mentality whether you’re playing on a weekend or not, but it’s just a different feel around the rink,” said senior goaltender Zach Nagelvoort. “I feel like we haven’t been playing consistent hockey games in months because we’ve been off for a couple weeks, so I’m excited to play this weekend. … I’m hungry to play hockey.” The Golden Gophers (3-1-0, 11-5-2) are currently riding a fourgame win streak and won five of six in the month of December. Captain and forward Justin Kloos has been imperative to the program’s recent success, tallying nine points in Minnesota’s past four games with three goals and six assists. Kloos also boasts a record of 129 career points in 135 games, ranking him third in the NCAA and first in the Big Ten among active players.
But it is forward Tyler Sheehy who leads Minnesota in points and goals so far this season with 25 and 12, respectively. “They score a lot of goals at home, they’ve got the home crowd just like everyone does,” said Michigan coach Red Berenson. “If we can keep them off the scoresheet, that means they’re not having a good game and we are. So that’s the bottom line. We’ve got to shut their best forwards down, they’ve got guys with 12 goals and so on, so it’s going to be a good challenge for us.” Michigan isn’t without a strong roster, either. Junior forward Tony Calderone leads the Wolverines in goals with 10, while freshman forward Will Lockwood leads in points with 13. And sophomore defenseman Joe Cecconi has just
returned to Michigan’s lineup after winning a gold medal at the World Junior Championships with the U.S. team. However, the Golden Gophers do have one interesting challenge for the Wolverines: Minnesota’s rink is Olympic-sized. To prepare for the different atmosphere, Michigan has been practicing at The Cube, an Olympic-sized ice rink in Ann Arbor. “Practicing here (at the Cube) is big for us,” said Nagelvoort. “The only thing I really notice is the angles are a little different on
the power play because the ice is wider. They have more room to play with the puck on the sides, so you have to change your angles a little bit. But I feel confident after skating here the last couple of days. We’ve worked on those kinds of things.” That work will come into play this weekend, and while this series isn’t determining a tournament title, it does decide which team will tack on additional conference wins. With much of Big Ten play coming in the next few months, both teams could use a step in the right direction.
They’ve got the home crowd just like everyone does
Senior goaltender Zach Nagelvoort and the Michigan hockey team will return to action in Minnesota on Friday.
8 — Friday, January 13, 2017
The Michigan Daily — michigandaily.com
From past to present, mindfulness helps Wilton Speight bounce back After learning the technique from his high school basketball coach Alex Peavey, the redshirt sophomore quarterback regularly uses the approach to keep a cool demeanor during important moments on the field KELLY HALL
Daily Sports Writer
For a first-time starting quarterback, Wilton Speight is noticeably measured on the football field. Whether completing a touchdown pass or an interception, the redshirt sophomore often reacts in a similar way. If he throws a pick, he’ll usually jog to the sidelines with his head down, but he won’t throw a temper tantrum. If he throws a touchdown, he’ll usually greet his receiver in the end zone, but he won’t celebrate much more than that. The most you’ll see is an emphatic fist pump. When asked if he has a chill personality though, he responded in a way that might surprise many. “It’s funny, because no, not at all.” Despite his calm demeanor on the field, Speight admitted that his competitive spirit gets the best of him in other aspects of his life. He says his temper can flare when playing a game of table tennis, where he’s been known to break the ping pong paddle. When he was younger, he would sulk and even refuse to talk to his mom if she beat him in a game of “HORSE” in the backyard. Though that competitive drive is still in him, he has a better way of controlling that intensity now. While he may release that energy when losing a no-stakes game of table tennis, Speight learned long ago how to avoid doing the same during a football game. ***
allowing his competitiveness to be a detriment. The frustration from a bad game would affect his performance, but because he was so much more talented than many of his high school teammates, it never changed the outcome of the game. Still, Speight knew that making himself miserable would catch up to him if he didn’t learn how to control it, and the Michigan quarterback has come a long way. “I remember in middle school basketball camp, having to calm him down in situations and again, it’s literally like a weeklong middle school basketball camp, but he’s treating it like it’s Game 7 of the NBA Finals,” Peavey said. “Which is a good thing, but again, it’s how you funnel your energy so it’s not to your detriment.” From Peavey’s perspective, if an athlete practices mindfulness, there’s a better chance of being able to play from a set of skills instead of a set of emotions. It’s a process that helps Speight stay centered after game-changing plays, and it’s an essential component of his success with the Wolverines. *** If you see Speight clicking and unclicking his helmet strap between plays, there might be more to it than you would think. Peavey was introduced to mindfulness as a form of stress management through Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, who taught a training course in stress reduction at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. According to Peavey, Kabat-Zinn encourages people
He’s going to be the most competitive person there
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Wilton Speight often doesn’t react too strongly after either positive or negative plays in order to maintain an calm attitude.
meditation-type thing,” Speight said in November. “We figured out whenever I click my buckle in my helmet or lick my fingers before a snap, that kind of brings me back to this chill mode. In football, I feel like I’ve kind of mastered it, but I’m still working on the other stuff.” Added Peavey: “What he’s doing when he unsnaps and resnaps his helmet is he’s tapped in fully to the sensory experience of that two-second activity. And you’re getting the mind not to ignore everything
That kind of brings me back to this chill mode
Speight first began to work on mindfulness after recognizing how his competitiveness could be detrimental.
The 22-year-old first learned how to remain grounded during his freshman year of high school at Richmond (Va.) Collegiate, when he started working with his varsity basketball coach Alex Peavey — who also doubles as a mindfulness teacher. Though Speight was a threesport varsity athlete at Collegiate — he also played basketball and lacrosse — it became clear early on that Speight’s greatest talent lied in football. In order to work on what was holding him back, Speight went to Peavey to learn more about how mindfulness could translate to football. To this day, Speight still texts Peavey every week. Speight slowly started to implement the technique he learned after realizing the effect it could have on himself and his team. “(Speight) has always been as competitive as anybody on the court, on the field, at the bowling alley,” Peavey said in December. “Wherever you are, he’s going to be the most competitive person in that setting. Where I’ve seen growth is how he funnels that competitive energy to maximize his peak performance. Some of us get so competitive, it’s to our own demise, where the competition undermines our own performance.” As Speight grew up, he fit the mold of many young athletes,
to find things they do in their everyday life that they can bring mindfulness to, like washing dishes or brushing their teeth. Peavey teaches mindfulness to all of the freshmen at Richmond Collegiate, but he also teaches his athletes how to utilize mindfulness in order to play at the highest level. Mindfulness is used in many professions, Peavey said — even the medical field. Kabat-Zinn trained doctors to practice mindfulness before their performance, which can be a high-stakes situation in which the performance is surgery itself. Doctors already have to scrub in prior to surgery, so focusing on the act of scrubbing in and staying in the present moment acts as a tool for some doctors to release stress before performing. It may not be surgery, but Speight’s responsibilities on the gridiron carry their own kind of stress. Though Peavey doesn’t force any of his students to utilize mindfulness in sports, Speight always seemed particularly interested in it. When Speight was in high school, Peavey asked him what he did that was similar to a doctor scrubbing in, and he said that he has to click his helmet’s chinstrap. “I practiced a ton with (Peavey), almost like a
something that’s here in this present moment.” All of Peavey’s students have different ways of refocusing. For some, it’s squirting a green Gatorade water bottle, and for others, it’s wiping off their face with a towel. The common thread is that it stops a person’s internal alarm from going off. One of the first athletes that Peavey coached at Collegiate was Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. Wilson was Peavey’s point guard for three years, and at the time, Peavey wasn’t yet calling it mindfulness. But he taught his players different ways to funnel their competitive drive into a purposeful place rather than toward anger or excitement from the previous play. “(Wilson) uses the sense of sight,” Peavey said. “Where Wilton unsnaps and resnaps his chin strap, Russell picks something out in the stadium and he just kind of looks at it.” As Peavey explains it, if you practice your technique every time you make a mistake, you’ll get stronger. From a neurological standpoint, neurons are fired that predispose you to make it easier to stay mindful each time you practice. If it becomes a routine, it should work during the game. Rather than lament the mistake that was made, that error becomes an opportunity to get better. *** After seeing his former student throw an interception on
that just happened, but to see it, to feel it, to experience it, to let it go and refocus yourself on
his very first play of 2016, Peavey couldn’t wait to see what Speight would do. He desperately wanted the camera to pan to the sidelines so he could watch Speight’s reaction to the pick. Throughout the season, Speight faced multiple situations where he had to bounce back, and it all began with the interception that started his career as a Michigan quarterback. In stark contrast to his first play, he ended the game 10-for-13 for three touchdowns. He played the next three games without throwing a pick. Speight faced more adversity against Wisconsin and Michigan State, but he cruised throughout the middle half of the season with relative ease. His next biggest challenge came at Iowa, where he had his worst performance of the season. In the electric atmosphere of Kinnick Stadium, he not only threw for just 103 yards but also injured his shoulder late in the fourth quarter. He was sidelined for Michigan’s next game against Indiana. When Speight did return, he had to battle both his injury and the weight of the Iowa loss. Making it all the more difficult was that his return would be “The Game” at the Horseshoe against the second-ranked Buckeyes. He sputtered at times — throwing a pick-six and fumbling on Ohio State’s oneyard line — but the Wolverines scored touchdowns immediately after both turnovers. Though it wasn’t pretty, and Michigan ended up losing in double
overtime, Speight finished 23-for-36 for two touchdowns. Speight then headed to the Orange Bowl to play the Seminoles, and following a poor first half where the Wolverines posted just 83 yards of total offense, he rallied to lead two touchdown drives in the fourth quarter and give his team the lead. “I couldn’t sit in here in halftime and be all stressed and mad about what happened in the first half,” Speight said in the locker room after the game. “That does no good for anybody. In the moment of halftime and in the moment of the plays we were going to run going out into the second half, I completely forgot about the first half, and that’s what I did all year.” But Florida State took the lead back with 36 seconds to go, and on the next drive, Speight’s season ended where it began — with an interception. Now, heading into 2017, he’ll have to bounce back again — not just from that final play, but from a 10-3 season that caused disappointment among fans and players who expected a College Football Playoff berth out of the Wolverines. Next season will present new challenges that the quarterback hasn’t yet seen, including taking on a larger leadership role as a second-year starting quarterback (assuming he retains his job). And when that time comes, he might need to lean on his high school coach’s teachings more than ever.
I couldn’t sit in here and be all stressed and mad
Speight will need to use his mindfulness approach more than ever next year after a 10-3 season that has left many Michigan fans feeling disappointed.