Hop In

So there I am at the Hop In on Main, 2:30 am, reading a womanís magazine that is telling me that perhaps college is unnecessary. Axl is behind the counter, watching me, and he knows that I know he is really Axl Rose, even if he cut his hair, heís the guy, I know it man, he just looks too damn much like him.

Anyway, Axl and I have never talked much; when I come in late at night for a Coke or something he just nods and watches. I usually just nod and stare back. This time is different.

He puts a tape in the boombox sitting next to the girlie magazines, pushes play. "Welcome to the Jungle" blares out. Too fucking freaky. I grab a bag of pretzels and leave.

I didnít look, but I bet he was doing that goofy swaying thing.

What does a university really offer? In my experience Iíve found the biggest benefits to be people and resources. The people benefit gives you the chance to fall amongst a group like yourself, or at least someone who motivates you to think, not only about schoolwork, but about life. The resource benefit is what the university has, which can be a lot if you look for it. Usually you are not told where all the good things are.

A degree from a university is not a ticket to easy money. Some people are fond of a degree. Sure, it can get you a job. But what use is a piece of paper if you havenít learned?

You can find out a lot of things in the library, and you donít have to be told to do it. Just be interested in something. The University of Michigan, for example, has tons and tons of stuff, some of it you have to request because it is so neat. They usually donít tell you where the good stuff is, probably because they donít know you or what you like. But you can go look for it, if you have some idea.

There are lots of crazy things going on with computers, from surfing the internet, confer stuff, multi-media, virtual reality, and real-time conferences held in your mind like those addictive MUD game universes. There are all kinds of clubs and organizations and activities beyond the out-in-the-open-ones like sports or fraternities/sororities or getting drunk with your buddies. You can climb rock here, or go caving. You can see music at places like the Blind Pig, watch people go kind of nuts on a music high, flying around, bands breaking their guitars, burning their drum sets. A couple of years ago you could have seen Pearl Jam play at the Pig, when now you have to see them in an arena like Crisler. There are opportunities to see poets and writers, catch performers as varied as the Throatsingers of Tuva, or hear the Dalai Lama speak (heís coming April 22nd). What the ACLU called the biggest censorship act of last year occurred at the Law Quad, with a fight to show a video display, words, and artwork of prostitutes talking about their work.

How do you find out what is going on? How do you get 'in-the-know?'

The only real way is to keep alert, read stuff, watch. Look at some of those posters taped or stapled to telephone poles. Listen. Talk to people.

Pretty general, huh? It has to be, though, since many of the good things are not advertised, at least not right in your face. You need to look for them.

Think about why you picked up this magazine, why youíve bothered to read it. If you have some idea, great, keep doing it. If not, or if you donít like these words and pictures we put out each month, think about why.

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