Devin Gardner: A “CLASS” Act

If indeed a picture is worth a thousand words, the following image may sufficiently replace all of the positive descriptors and superlatives that come to mind when describing University of Michigan football player Devin Gardner. Words like gifted, dedicated, resilient, humble, and genuine to start with.

Devin Gardner consoling an injured J.T Barrett

When Buckeye quarterback J.T. Barrett suffered a fractured ankle during the 4th quarter of the November 29th Michigan/OSU game, Devin Gardner quickly came to the side of the injured rival. As a University of Michigan student and fan, I could not have been prouder to be represented by a student-athlete who shows such sportsmanship. Few who know anything about Gardner were surprised by his actions and even die-hard OSU fans praised his empathetic reaction. Dave Claborn, Director of Development and Community Relations for OSU sent this letter of gratitude.

Continue reading Devin Gardner: A “CLASS” Act


Communist Tendencies of the NCAA

Division one college athletics, the illustrious promise-land of high school athletes across the nation, serves as the driving goal for many young competitors. A select few will be talented enough to advance to the professional leagues, but for most, college is their time to live in the limelight and it is often the very peak of their athletic career. Yet the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) holds strict enforcements and regulations against college athletes receiving any kind of payments or endorsements for their performance on the playing field. It is shocking when you look into the large summations of money brought into a college by athletes who attract a lot of attention, huge crowds, and rocketing jersey sales.

Continue reading Communist Tendencies of the NCAA

Individualism and College

Sitting on the couch in my dorm room is the greatest feeling ever. Nobody is around to tell me what to do. I can play all the FIFA I want and eat all the candy I desire. My mom is not there to yell at me to read a book or to go do my homework. That’s the best part about college; you become your own person, where you make all the executive decisions on what you want to do that day and what you want to eat. It molds a person into a true individual who acts based on her or her own intuitions.

College student learning Italian because it interests her.
College student learning Italian because it interests her.

While reading John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty, I couldn’t help but make an instant connection to college life. Mill states that “individuality is one of the leading essentials of wellbeing”, and that “in proportion to the development of his individuality, each person becomes valuable to himself, and is therefore capable of being more valuable to others”. Mill voraciously believes that individuality is essential in the world, as it leads to innovative ideas and inventions. He believes that people should be free to pursue a wide variety of activities and lifestyles, as long as it is not harmful to others.

Growing up, kids take on the ideologies and religious beliefs of their parents. They conform only because they do not have a mind of their own that can think and make decisions that are beneficial to them. At the age of 15, people begin to shape their own beliefs and identities. Once people get to college, they are able to truly discover who they really and what they really believe. College is a place where people become individuals. For the most part, it is the first time people begin to live on their own. They clean as they wish, do laundry when they feel like it, and go to class when they are up for it.

Students playing video games all day, with nobody telling them what to do.
Students playing video games all day, with nobody telling them what to do.

While all these actions have consequences, they are solely decided by the individual himself. Students also are able to choose from a variety of classes, ranging from Art and Film to Astronomy. They can pursue their interests and discover other unfound subjects that intrigue them, without public influence. In addition, college is known by many as a time where people experiment. Teens try a variety of drugs and drink an unreasonable amount of alcohol. Mill urges people to participate in these actions, as he believes that individuals should pursue a variety of activities, even if it harms them. College shapes individuals’ identity, as it gives them the freedom to pursue various activities they are interested in.

Pay to Play: An exploration of the Rule of the NCAA

The logo of the National College Athletics Association

This blog post will discuss one of the most controversial topics in college sports, and in sports in general for that matter. Pay to play is the debate over whether college athletes should be compensated more than they already are (usually scholarship covering tuition, room, and board and some other more nominal expenses.)   It is important to know before continuing to read this blog post that I strongly believe that students should be compensated more than they are for participating in varsity college athletics. I will further discuss the connections this debate has with our class, mainly regarding social contracts and Machiavelli. Continue reading Pay to Play: An exploration of the Rule of the NCAA

Weber: Coach of the Year

Michigan volleyball

A couple of weeks ago I went to the Michigan vs. Michigan State volleyball game with one of my friends from high school. During the game, between chants and cheers for our girls, we reminisced the time we spent together playing varsity volleyball in our home town. We even recalled specific games playing some of the girls from the collegiate teams; Abby Cole, playing for Michigan, and Autumn Christiansen, playing for MSU, are both from the west side of Michigan, and they both came from schools in our conference. While watching the game, I noticed the dynamics of both of the coaches, and how their characteristics are similar to those Weber describes as a good politician.  Continue reading Weber: Coach of the Year

Menand & the MMB

The Michigan Flags & Twirlers at the first home game of the 2014 season. (Personal photo)

Among all of the fine institutions at the University of Michigan, the Michigan Marching band is one of the most prestigious and rich in heritage.  For over a century, from the traditional songs “Temptation” and “War Chant” to the exquisitely glowing PixMob show of last week, (by the way if you haven’t seen it yet, check it out here!) the thousands of students that have walked through the program have contributed to the prestigious reputation of the MMB.  Being a member of the flag line of the Michigan Marching Band, I can say that this reputation didn’t come easily; it was established with much hard work and dedication.  A complex and sometimes ruthless sorting system, much related to Menand’s first theory of education, is the way in which the MMB selects it’s halftime performers for each week. Continue reading Menand & the MMB