The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, August 31, 2000, Page 4, Image 4
£ta/vNebraskan Since 1901 Editor Sarah Baker Opinion Page Editor Samuel McKewon Managing Editor Bradley Davis Not hopeless UHL needs to take time to search for new leader A popular catch phrase has emerged to describe UNL’s status since the exit of James Moeser. We’ve been referred to as a “headless uni versity.” The phrase may seem fitting, considering the large number of administrative offices that have been vacated for one reason or another over the last six months. But the university’s best and brightest staff and faculty members have stepped up to the task of temporarily filling these positions as search committees assemble and the posi tions are gradually filled. We may be a headless university, but we’re not running around with our head cut off. Some around the state have wondered why NU President Dennis Smith didn’t work faster to form a search committee this summer, after Moeser departed for the If we want to get the best candidates, it may take a while to search them out. In the meantime, we are still in the hands of capable leadership. tobacco fields of North Carolina. Smith promptly respond ed that he wanted to wait for the results of a study that examined why UNL’s admin istrators come and leave so quickly. But even so, we shouldn’t be in such a hurry to fill the campus’ most important position. It took the University of North Carolina eight months to complete their search process. Moeser even turned down the UNC search com mittee’s initial pleas to apply. If we want to get the best candidates, it may take a wnne to searcn mem out In the meantime, we are still in the hands of capable leadership. Since Moeser left, Harvey Perlman has been keeping the chancellor’s seat warm — and so far, he’s done a good job. He scrapped the alma mater, which may seem like a small decision compared with those that come across the desk of the chan cellor. But the move showed he is responsive to the opinions of the state’s constituents and the student body. Of course, we aren’t ready to give Perlman our stamp of approval yet. He hasn’t really been tested in the interim. He will likely face many more challenging scenarios that will prove his worth as the uni versity’s leader. How he handles those chal lenges will determine whether he is suited for the job. Perlman should realize that if he wants to be considered for the job, he must distinguish himself as interim chancellor. To do that, he must not approach the job as a caretaker. He must be a leader. But the university cannot rely on Perlman to lead the institution into the next century. We don’t even know that he wants the job. We should be searching the nation for the person who will continue to strive for the cul ture of excellence Moeser promoted while he was here. But don’t forget to consider what’s already here in Nebraska. We should take our time doing this. In the meantime, we can test Perlman out and see if he's up to the job—if he wants it. Crljfnrinl P->nrH canonai Doara Sarah Baker, Bradley Davis, Josh Funk, Matthew Hansen, Samuel McKewon, Dane Stickney, Kimberly Sweet Letters Poicy welcomoc briefs, letters to the editor and guest columns, but does not auar TTwfWr>fT,-TT‘ ir ■llinirT-Tf**—“—tjn-tnn> meTOTllmriTnrimnI c.*wyt*fiiiMPilPIWM»iiee|inpert> nfthen^yHslTlrwiwif1rsnnnit>nietiiiil aimiyimm gybnMone wB not be pubiehed. Thoee wfto submit Mm mu* identify themeebee by name, vmt y, school, major andtorpoup Mon. If any. S7..e ni^tM to DPh UabrKan. 20 Hsbrssi* Union. 1400 R St LincoSi. NE 68588-0446 E ^MMOunmfomUdu. EdNorM Poicy ib-VMd pihsriPe paths opinions of the FPI2000 Daily Nebraskan. They do not necessarily aXot fte views of the University of Notwoka-Uncoin, Ms employees. Is student body or the i MverPty of NabraPta Boari of Regents. A column is soMyttteopHon of la author, a cartoon ia as srtPt The Board of Rwwnta acta as nuMhhpofthe Daly Nebraskan: pol »tosP by the Daly NabraPan EdtoriP Board. The UNL PubicPions Board, ePablPted by the 2Lnnl*4jarvtaes the production P the paper. AocorPng to poicy sP by the regents, lesponai 3frtorgpeditoriB content of the newapapp las acIBymhs hands of Is employees. Following- tH£ technological /nncvations OF TUB ATHLETIC fl£PARTM0JT, UpCVUlVBS TO BROADCAST ffl MoM’s peRfCRMAhte -OH THE INTERNET /»Dg '/w ConcFaWepX I irtATlWES/SIP/H \ nMN CRASH FBWI !^0 I-Wff V prrewpTrNS' tt> V WAftH? V N Nature trek brings wild intofocus I usually vaca tion in the Rockies, but now find myself amidst their stubby eiders in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I already note the dif ferences as Greg and I unload our packs from Dave’s pickup. Tim cverymings impossibly green. More varieties of trees grow here than in Europe. And the humid air refuses to accept our sweatWfehavent even started hiking, and I'm soaking my shirt through. Avetylate start means we wont reach our backcountry campsite until after dark. We’d best start our five-mile dimh. Itiy to dear my mind and focus on the forest, but distractions creep back in. Here comes one now A group exiting the forest hails us, ask ing ifweVe seen the timber rattlesnake that was on file trail eadiet Nt* wetae seen nei ther snake nor sun. Sunset comes eariy to forested slopes. Our wefl-wom trail is woven with NealOtamewrAM Virginity's bleeding channels Beauty scares me. I know of it, but I don't know it I look in the mirror and my features seem indistinct to me today, fuzzy to my own naked eye. I inch closer and closer to my own reflection until my nose is touching the glass, and still what they see, what you see, is momentarily an unsolved enigma in my mind. There was a scene once I when I was 17, in Seattle. A guy, short and skinny, ldnda phulumphing toward me in this awkward gait, did a triple take on me. I had my hair up, you cop Bvvi And this awful tragic thing happens when he’s looking, knowing there’s no sexual thirst to be quenched, but leering for one last second, to sear my image into die back of his mind. His knee clips the comer of one of those newspaper stands for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. And I hear the thud, and I can hear the bone and I can hear him fall, because he's in pain, and it sounds serious, like a cracked kneecap and I hear him toss out a cheap four-letter phrase and I can hear someone stopping and I can feel the red-hot embarrassment from 20 feet away, now 21, now 22. And the last thing I was about to do was turn around. *** I’m a weekday virgin. There was one time, in a Denver hotel, when an assistant concierge, a glori fied bellboy with rotting teeth and booming pec torals, nearly stole it away from me. I called late, for some lemon Jell-O, and he was there, smiling weakly to hide his big brown gopher chomps. And I thought, at that moment, there it would be, my Monday morning innocence shattered amidst die darkened hallways and mini-soaped accommodations of out-of-town living. Then I faked an orgasm and tried to rush him out, after which he tossed a tantrum as he, booming bellboy, hadn't yet received his taffy treat for the aborted tryst He looked at me, penis hanging out, half limp and getting deader, and pointed at my thighs, stfil spread wide open and tinged with tiny pock marks of fat Hair draped everywhere on my face; I could hardly see him. "You've got bad legs," he said. "Hail damage.” *** I call Jayme to talk to her about the assignment in my Shakespeare class. We’re reading Henry V I’m in silk pajamas. I’ve got a pimple on my arm so I roll up my sleeve and pop it to finger the gooey substance. I wipe it on my pillow. But not before I use it to moisturize a dry spot on my lower cheek. DeianLonowski/DN And I ask Jayme what’s up and she prattles on about this newtoyfriend she has and her two cups of multi-name coffee she had for a pick-me-up for the let-me-down of swimming pasta she swamped down for lunch. Jayme is my friend. She’s a sweet-natured ass cow. She bravely sports a single, tiny fold of glub around her tum-tum, typically concealed by die latest fashion of the millisecond. We talk about my tomorrow wardrobe. And I tell her, I just do not know. Will it be my yellow but tercup dress or my playful lavender outfit? She mentions a compromise of sheer genius my ensemble wear of subdued maize widi teeny weeny violet patterns hardly discernible unless you’re right up on me. Sorta like an optical illusion. sortalikeme But I hit a mental hiccup and wonder - maybe my plum outfit is better for a day like tomorrow. I have two plums - a wild plum and a blackberry that might well be the same thing under a cloudy sky. I have a dress that is opalescent plum, and it shim mers one color, then another, like the rainbow. I think about this in silence, thanking Jayme for her sensible tutelage (lying fashionably is a woman’s God-given gift) and allow her to prattle more on this boy. Some guy, I think. TWo free finger lubes to any girl who can guess if her new man will sport a dodgy marijuana necklace like the sweet bo-hunk country rebel he must be. *** m me wora-mmy supermancei mey can a mod em bookstore there are rows and rows of how-tos, what-ifs, secrets to, 10 rules to, ways to and means to a happier end for your home, your children, your parents, your pets, your business, your brain and your checking account With a lai^e enough library shelf and a valued customer card, you can secure an energy-saving existence. All these books, with their glossy covers and snazzy simple text designs, an* the pew mndwp works of written art the CEO version of literature. The sentences are neat and concise and in sec ond person. Learn how to organize the workplace for maximum, effective teamwork Become skilled in management-related fields such as problem-solv ing and efficiency training. Streamline the nature of how office products disperse amongst coworkers. Make a calendar of sharing time with your teen. Find the proper diet for your parakeet Make sure to caulk all upstairs windows to prevent a winter draft I hear stock traders. I hear how to get ahead without even fdUingfl hear 85 percent of casual readers are asscows like Jayme or babes like me, so we want release. We want to drift away. We work now. We don't want to think or read complex sen tences. We want valium, in words. We want light, airy, trite formulaic plots. We want to relate. We want Cute. We want punctuation. The.sanctifies our channeled existence. It’s easier to flip that way. To go from bloody violence to public broadcasting with a push of the button. As if you actually thought you could do that - end one sentence with a period and start the next line with a new para graph, new thought, new set of facts to devour, new 20-minute lesson in life for your tape player. As if that’s how life worked. As if nothing stayed with you. As if they really were just words on a page. Is that what you think? Because my picture bleeds from one channel to the next Jayme never stops breathing. And so she never hears me. She just prattles on, about the boyfriend, while I subject myself to a 15-minute self-gratify ing single-finger massage, thinking of the bellboy and his half-limp penis drawing its trunk in my direction. It is by no coincidence that her enchanted sigh regarding the new prince meets my climaxing groan, breath for breathless breath. All is well again. It is, after all, 2:37 on a Sunday afternoon. And Jayme, she’s moved on now, to talking about her mother, which makes me think of my mother, which makes my head throb uncontrol lably, which makes me want to shrink into a secret, silent universe where daughters don't have a Nadia and penises stay dead. Where sentences don't end and emotions have dimmed to the point of trans parency. gnaried roots. In the railing light, it seems to be threaded with copperheads and iattfen instead. A display in tire Visitors Center reports that some claim copperheads smell like cucumbers. I wonder how Fd ever notice amidst the largest tossed salad of biodiversity east of the Rockies. Daylight^ fading. Brown and green drain away into gray tones, as contrast replaces color Our calves cany us across the fanged forest floor We march to the sawing song of the dcada. Crack! The mfachoid breaks our step. All three of us see a quadruped shadowrace through the ravine before vanishing. Now the tales begin.Vfe tefl ofX-FOes, Blair Witch and the fatal bear attack in these woods three moons ago. A ghostly pallor filters through canopy skylights. Shadows lengthen. Outlines dif fuse and blend together Your eyes begin to play tricks on you. I look back and imagine foe%semite National Park murderer has moved east That the bobbing light now rapidly closing in is held by ahand other than the one that uncorked foe bottle last light. We all know that the danger of starting foe car exceeds that of hiking any national park, but “ghost stories” of wilderness woe are entertaining. After aU, everyone who assumes risk does so amidst foe unfamiliar, not the commonplace We soon run low on “When Animals Attack" material andp^tfangprinrltfaing foe parks greatest dangers, using behavior as our standard. They are: Oneself (Exhibit A: dimbing waterfalls is commonplace here) Others. WDd boars. Bears. Snakes. It is now pitch dark Starlight doesn't survive foe stabbing stalks of suffocating treetops. I can't believe I brought two half-dead flashlight batteries and no spares. I'm usu ally a careful packer and prepared for nnmemns cnntingpnctea, hiit somehow forgot the obvious this time around. Itfe called “simple shock.” Suddenly, the inky curtain parts, allow ing us to hear the surge of living water Backcountry campsites are almost always near water We must be near In confirmation, a couple pair of elec tric eyes flash to life and probe u& “Vail are arrivin'a little late, aintya?” Before us, atop a too-litde tarp^ lies a shirtiess six-pack o’students. Their neat row invites comparison to a string afballle “Are foe mosquitoes bad here?” I ask. “Nah, they ain't bad.” But the adjacent tent disagrees. Through sealed seams it replies: "Unless you ask the girls.” We withdraw a ways and sup on sum mer sausage and cheese-our first meal since breakfast However, that's nothing compared to what the Christian group we just met has planned. After tonight they plan to spend the next two days fasting and tentless as part of a spiritual exercise. I admire the motive, but question foe method. Wilderness isn't the ideal place to go wanting fbrfbod and shelter The next two days will prove to be wet but they don't know that We goof around before retiring for the night Ybu know, take turns hoisting each other 15 feet up with the steel bear cables, that sort of thing. We, too, choose to sleep beneath foe stars. I feel spiders crawl across my skin. I've never encountered this many. Riders seem a fitting symbol for foe Smoky Mountains. Gazing into the heavens, I note how the wispy fog webs together the surrounding Appalachian ridges. In their passing, foe mists draw a cataract across the sky. Similarly clouded are the reasons why this August eve doesn't recall goals set in May. Summerb coming to foe end of its trail. If foe journey is more important than foe destination, maybe I should review how I've chosen to travel now that the endpoint looms large. That can wait For now my presence in a wooded wonderland among friends fe achievement enough as I fade into the for getfulness of sleep.