Thursday, March 24, 2005 Other Voices 7
Special student shows Around the Quad
mature view of life This weekʼs question:
“What do you think is the least healthful
aspect of life at Truman?”
For a hopeless romantic like me, itʼs
not unusual to have my heart broken.
Most breaks mend over time, but Iʼm not For all my “The all-you-can-eat ice cream machines
sure about this most recent one. Iʼm not education, lucid wit
looking for pity because I would gladly
in the dorms. Seconds, thirds and fourths
go through it again. It wasnʼt your typical and life experiences, aren’t a good idea.”
heartbreak and “Lisa” was by no means Lisa was more adept
your typical girl. Iʼve changed her name to than I at expressing
I met Lisa while observing a special herself.
education class. Lisa is a lively, friendly
high school girl who would always remark Joel Andersen
“Todayʼs just not my day,” even though Craig Sherwood
you wouldnʼt guess that from how happy himself. He was in prison, and he hung emotion in the process. sophomore
she was. himself. It makes me sad. He only had a For all my education, lucid wit and life
I had been observing her special educa- week to go, so I donʼt understand why he experiences, Lisa was more adept than I at
tion classroom for two days, and by the did it. My mom says that heʼs the one miss- expressing herself. And while the state and “Probably midterms and finals because
second day, the students knew who I was, ing out for killing himself.” school system might designate her as men- they are so stressful. Mine are at least,
and I more or less knew who all the stu- I stood there, a rock on the outside but tally retarded, perhaps we need to examine they’re all crammed into five days.”
dents were. Midway through the day, just a whirlwind of emotion within. I didnʼt our own handicaps as well.
after the class had ﬁnished making root know what to say or how to react. She I canʼt remember the last time I cried,
beer ﬂoats, Lisa called me over to her desk looked sad for a moment, but the clouds in but I can remember the last time I wanted
and said, “Iʼve got something to tell you.” her face quickly gave way to sunshine, and to. It was when a spunky girl opened up to
I was expecting to hear about her new before long, she smiled, laughed and said, me, and I didnʼt know how to open up in
puppy or what she was going to do after “I like ice cream. Itʼs sweet.” return. She was mature enough for the both
school. She had told me about both things Itʼs not often an event or person of us and knew not only how to address the
strikes a chord with me, and when Aimee Berg
several times, and I had grown accustomed past, but how to keep living in the present junior
to the fact that Lisa tended to repeat herself something does make it past my defenses, as well. Though her father was dead, she
because of her mental disability. However, Iʼm utterly at a loss as to how to react. was alive and happy, and at that moment
her next few sentences were completely Most men donʼt have much practice with the most important thing in her life was her “I’m gonna go with Sodexho. It’s just sub-
new and caught me off guard like only the understanding their feelings. And if we ice cream, because it was sweet. par.”
unmitigated truth can. commit the grievous sin of talking about Joel Andersen is a senior English major
Without pause, she said, “My dad killed them, heaven forbid that we show any from Honolulu, Hawaii.
Model shows gap between
fashion industry and reality Nick Valdes
I hate to admit it, but I joined the
100 or so college-aged women and men “Binge drinking because you can consume
crammed into the small conference room Yes, it’s so often in an entire day’s worth of calories in just one
to worship at the altar of unattainable night of drinking.”
beauty. real life that a group
I was attending a media conference in of women gathers to
New York City during spring break, and go through modeling
much to my dismay, I gave in to curiosity
boot camp with Tyra
and went to a session with Eva, the cycle
three winner of the UPN hit reality series Banks ...
“Americaʼs Next Top Model.”
Maybe I had donned my cynic cap Dawn Juon
earlier that morning because I spent most Christie Albrecht junior
of my time in that purgatory wondering: itʼs a myth that a degree is necessary to be weekend-long addiction to a marathon of
What the hell is this group of presumably successful in life. Just go into the “Indus- “The Bachelor” – but donʼt call it reality.
New voting method
intelligent, educated college kids doing try.” Youʼll be ﬁne. Donʼt insult my intelligence by pretend-
shirking academic endeavors to listen to My second favorite was Evaʼs asser- ing thereʼs any value in this programming
Shallowness Personiﬁed speak? tion that any one of the people in the room beyond entertainment.
Evaʼs message was not profound, and could get a Maybelline contract. I canʼt say I learned much from Eva,
is far too vulnerable
to answer each of the probing questions “All it takes is a beautiful face,” she said. but I walked away from that session with
asked, she reached into her shallow bag- Yup, no doubt in her mind. Any one of a better grip on reality that incidentally
oʼ-clichés to produce a one-size-ﬁts-all us. Well, heck. Pack my bags, Iʼm going to had nothing to do with Evaʼs version.
response, which boiled down to variations New York because Eva said I could do it. Maybe I donʼt have perfect bone
of “Dreams really do come true,” “Model- Itʼs a funny thing to say, particularly structure or look like I sustain myself Adair County voters will be cata-
ing is a great industry” and “A modelʼs because when Eva and her ﬂamboyant solely on cotton balls, but every ounce of pulted into the electronic era via a new
life is hard.” makeup buddy, Jay, walked in, it was fat on these child-bearing hips is real. Not method of voting April 5. Instead of us-
Aside from the string of responses Eva apparent both of them were signiﬁcantly air-brushed, deﬁnitely not starved, well- ing outdated punch-card ballots with the
whipped out, she did make a few state- more beautiful than any other person in the loved – real. threat of a dangling chad ﬁasco, voters
ments that stuck in my mind, more because room. Iʼd like to say my peers didnʼt buy Kirksville, too, might lack the artiﬁcial will be presented with more user-friend-
of their ridiculousness, unfortunately, than this crap. But then Iʼd be lying. decadence and glamour of New York City, ly ﬁll-in-the-bubble or touch-screen
their profundity. The most laughable of my favorite ﬁlled with self-important New Yorkers ballots. These ballots will be fed through
The ﬁrst of my three favorites regarded Eva-isms, however, was her claim that and tourists who want to pretend to be a scanning machine and hopefully ac-
education. Eva told us how she quit college reality TV reﬂects reality. This is real, she New Yorkers for a day. But Kirksville is curately recorded. However, the security
to be on the show, dropping her dream of asserted. Yes, itʼs so often in real life that real. Real people with real problems and and proper functioning of electronic vot-
becoming the ﬁrst African-American fe- a group of women gathers to go through real students earning real degrees. ing machines is highly questionable.
male Supreme Court Justice in the process. modeling boot camp with Tyra Banks, Reality might not be prettier – and it In addition to a federal grant of Chris Matthews
After winning, however, she now has the or a group of assorted – but still beauti- certainly wonʼt get me a Maybelline con- about $70,000, Adair County has spent
much more lofty goal of driving young ful – people are stranded on an island, or tract anytime soon – but Iʼll take it over between $10,000 and $11,000 on new What is not
girls to anorexia – er, I mean succeeding in a man has 30 women to choose from, all beautiful delusion any day.
the modeling industry. Exhibiting excellent swooning simultaneously. Christie Albrecht is a senior
electronic voting machines as prescribed speculative is the
by the 2002 Help America Vote Act. The potential for influentially
knowledge of her audience, Eva told this If you want to satisfy your own voy- communication major from need for these new machines has been
room full of college women and men that euristic curiosity, ﬁne – Iʼll even admit to a Chesterﬁeld, Mo. sold to legislators and the public under large miscalculations of
Debate about steroids shouldn’t
the labels of “easier” and “more reli- voters’ intentions ...
able,” but several instances have shown
that electronic voting machines have tronic voting machines.
been anything but easy and reliable. Despite the potential for miscalculation
alter baseball records or awards
Blackboxvoting.org, a non-proﬁt and and malfunctions, electronic vote tabula-
non-partisan organization, functions as a tion seems to be more accurate than hand
watchdog of electronic voting corrup- counting or other previous methods subject
tion and malfunction. The organiza- to human error. We are not too far removed
When it was all over, ESPN called him tion has listed more than 50 cases of from the Florida debacle in 2000 to recall
pathetic. electronic voting machine malfunction. the debate about human error in voting.
And yeah, Mark McGwire looked less Sure, Major League These cases primarily involved purely To many people, the potential for humans
majestic avoiding questions in front of electronic voting practices, such as the to make more mistakes than computers is
Congress than he did swatting baseballs
Baseball probably touch-screen machines, which Adair common knowledge. In fact, while working
out of Busch Stadium. He paused frequent- should ban steroids. To County plans to use. Although the bulk for a professor, Iʼve seen plenty of mistakes
ly, whispered to his attorney and read his allow that kind of thing of the votes cast in our county will not in computer-graded tests, which are very
prepared statements over and over. He did be purely electronic, the potential for similar to the ﬁll-in-the-bubble ballots. In
a pretty terrible job of convincing any-
sends a bad message illegitimate election results still exists. every instance either a student or the profes-
one he never used steroids, but he wasnʼt to young athletes. In February, Blackboxvoting.org sor made the mistake – not the computer.
pathetic because he didnʼt lie his way out members were allowed to try hacking Electronic voting machines also are
of the whole thing. Andrew Gant techniques on the voting machines used much faster and easier to use and touch-
He certainly could have. The self-righ- by several precincts in the presidential screen voting machines offer better acces-
teous congressmen who interrogated him For example, I feel pretty cheated when steroids and a McGwire on, um, carrot election last year. They were able to sibility for handicapped or elderly people
provided ample opportunity for the guy to I look back on the 1985 World Series juice is probably a lot like the difference break the security system rather easily who might have had trouble pulling the
clear his name and deny ever using what between my St. Louis Cardinals and that between one of his 500-foot blasts and one and alter the election results by 100,000 lever or using the punch-card pin.
they call performance-enhancing drugs. He other team. I think instant replays back up of his lesser 400-foot shots. votes without a trace. They said the This is not to say that no one will have
didnʼt because he knows how ridiculous my convictions and show that the champi- Sure, Major League Baseball probably hacking technique was “unsophisticated problems with the new machines, but the
those people are. onship might have been awarded unfairly. should ban steroids. To allow that kind enough that many high school students number of problems will either remain the
They looked like parents trying to But are we going back and changing the of thing sends a bad message to young would be able to achieve it.” same or, in my guess, signiﬁcantly decrease.
squeeze a confession out of a teenager. record books because of that? athletes. Thatʼs what they say in Con- In several documented frauds, the If you are concerned about the legitima-
As they smiled and nodded proudly at the I know itʼs a totally different type of gress, anyway. And sports are a lot more tampering altered the actual result of the cy of the electronic voting machine process,
shining testimony of the well-behaved situation, but I have to get my digs in. enjoyable to watch if youʼre witnessing election. In Wayne County, N.C., the you can take action. First, as human error
players who shook their ﬁngers and denied Anyway, I have trouble with the “ad- extraordinary athletic aptitude instead of machines miscounted 5,500 votes in the is always a concern, you should know for
ever using illegal substances in the locker vantage” part, too. Because Jose Canseco, chemically-created ability. 2002 general election. When the glitch whom you want to vote in advance and
room, Mark McGwire sat in the hot seat, probably the most candid ex-frequent ste- But the way some people look down on was ﬁxed, the election had a different in which precinct you are registered to
and he got judged. roid user in the discussion, missed out on athletes who use chemicals isnʼt fair. That result, and the winner was reversed. In vote. To familiarize yourself with the exact
They went around the room and asked that beneﬁt. He (admittedly and repeatedly) act is a private one aimed at providing bet- the 2002 general elections in Scurry method of the electronic voting, request a
each player if he thought using steroids injected enhancers and he (not so admit- ter performance. And some of the fans who County, Texas, poll workers became sample ballot or ask about security mea-
was cheating. “Of course” was the re- tedly) developed into a pretty immobile demand clean players are the same ones suspicious of a landslide victory for two sures being taken by election authorities,
sounding answer, except when it reached idiot of a ballplayer. I guess because he hit demanding higher production. Clean up Republican commissioner candidates. you should contact Adair County Clerk Jon
McGwire. He said it wasnʼt his place to less than half as many home runs in 1999 sports, ﬁne, but donʼt get reputations dirty They counted the votes by hand and Cook at 660-665-3350.
judge. I began to wish others would realize as Big Mac did, he was just using half as in the process. found that Democrats actually had won Unfortunately, there is nothing you
the same thing. many drugs that particular season. Steroids might not be right, but neither by very wide margins. The party favorit- personally can do for the April 5 elections
To me, the idea of “cheating” has al- Given the contents of his book, I doubt is scapegoating. And when a guy like Mark ism in this example seems to indicate to protect your vote from outside tamper-
ways involved some kind of unfair advan- thatʼs the case. McGwire falls this hard for something he manipulation rather than malfunction. ing. However, you can write your congress-
tage over the competition. And it wasnʼt My point is steroids only are advanta- did to himself years ago, thatʼs whatʼs hap- Whether these examples result from person to demand more staunch security
something you questioned years after it geous to a certain degree. The baseball pur- pening. Itʼs unfair, itʼs irresponsible, and true computer malfunction or deliber- measures be taken in the future. Electronic
occurred. Now that people are discussing ists who want to revoke all the records and itʼs mean. ate tampering is speculative. What voting will make voting easier and more ac-
a revocation of the records and awards he close the Hall of Fame to players tainted You might even say itʼs pathetic. is not speculative is the potential for cessible, but it must be better safeguarded.
earned just because they might have been by drugs are kidding themselves. The dif- Andrew Gant is a junior communication inﬂuentially large miscalculations of Chris Matthews is a junior
earned unfairly, I take issue. ference between a McGwire on anabolic major from Montgomery City, Mo. votersʼ intentions when using elec- communication major from St. Joseph, Mo.