Kids come up to me on the street all the time and ask, “Kula, what”s the best way to read the Daily?”
“Under heavy sedation,” I reply, offering them barely-legal painkillers.
“No, no,” they say, accepting the pills, “I mean, when I pick up the Daily, in what order should I read it?”
That”s a good question. The way I see it, reading The Michigan Daily is much like visiting a big city for the first time: Unless you know what you”re doing, it”s easy to end up a broken man, laying penniless and unconscious in the gutter.
And since I”ve witnessed one too many haggard soul passed out along State Street with a copy of SportsMonday draped over his face, I”ve taken the time to draw up “The Official Guide to The Michigan Daily,” the first authoritative manual on how to read this very student newspaper.
By following my special strategies, you too can achieve the kind of flat, sexy abs er, reading pleasure you”ve always dreamed of, satisfaction guaranteed.
Part One: Acquisition, By Any Means Necessary
You cannot partake in the experience that is the Daily unless you first pick up a copy of the paper on your way to class. Sometimes, in busy spots like Angell Hall or the MLB, it can get fairly crowded around the paper racks, with all manner of 18 to 24 year-olds vying for a Daily.
To make sure you get yours, it”s best to adopt the persona of a colorfully nicknamed, former NBA big man. Attack the rack like a Darryl “Chocolate Thunder” Dawkins, box out like a Bad Boy-era John “Spider” Salley and throw some elbows in the style of a Robert “The Chief” Parrish.
If you bring your A game, there”s a chance you”ll not only get a paper but also some significant minutes in the paint with the men”s varsity next year.
Part Two: All the News That”s (More or Less) Fit to Print
After sitting down in your classroom and pulling out the paper, the first thing you should look at is the front page it”s where you”ll find the most important breaking news stories that no one ever reads all the way through. By just skimming the headlines, you can get all the front page info you need in approximately, oh, 12.4 seconds.
So in real time, the average front page, in its entirety, reads as such: “Bollinger to leave University for Adams College (STOP) “U” prof honored for kumquat research (STOP) Women”s studies majors fight hairy stereotypes (STOP) Greek system sanctioned for sheep abuse (STOP) Dance Marathon organizers book Vitamin C.” Annnnd … you”re enlightened!
Part Three: It”s a Matter of Opinion (or Diff”rent Strokes to Rule the World)
Having slightly increased your awareness of inconsequential current events, it”s now time to turn directly to the editorial page. The controversy-seeking page four is the most popular section of the Daily in the way that Scott Farcus is the most popular kid on the playground: People love to hate it and hate to love it.
But there”s always a laugh to be had on the editorial page, if not through some letter writer”s display of Ted Nugent-like conservatism then through the all-too-common “I”ve learned so much more outside the classroom” cliche that seems to pop up in nearly, oh, 87.9 percent of all Daily columns.
And speaking of columns, don”t even bother with the Thursday guy: He kant wright 4 his life.
Part Four: What”s Nine Letters for “Sweet Salvation”?
In my years at the University, I”ve learned so much more outside the classroom, with one such lesson being that the Daily”s crossword puzzle can make an hour and a half lecture seem shorter than a Color Me Badd greatest hits album.
Cherish the across, celebrate the down and milk that puzzle for all it”s worth it”s the Daily”s greatest asset. Long before Ralph Williams comes sailing down the stairs of the auditorium, you should have the crossword neatly torn out of the paper and discreetly placed on your desk so that a slight push of your notebook will keep it hidden from academic eyes.
While your peers blindly put their faith in note-taking, you can be solving real problems like figuring out a six-letter answer to “loved Chachi” (10 DOWN).
Part Five: …And the Rest
I don”t know much about Daily Arts. I think it has something to do with movies, music, television and other things that really aren”t applicable to college kids. And I”m pretty sure that Daily Sports closed up shop after Woodson went pro, but I could be wrong.
What I know for sure, though, is that by reading the Daily every day for three months, I dropped 40 pounds and 6 inches thanks Michigan Daily!
Chris Kula”s column runs every Thursday. Give him feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.michigandaily.com/forum.