Many men spotted carrying bouquets of flowers. The warmish weather means they will likely be received intact.
Ann Arbor is home to the University of Michigan, which makes it different from other similar-sized Midwestern cities lacking a world-class research institution. You can’t swing a dead Greek philosopher without hitting someone in this town who can tell you how significant the connection is between Ann Arbor and UM.
In that way, at least, Ann Arbor is densely packed.
This is a story about that town-gown connection. It’s a story that connects a recent UM mathematics PhD thesis defense to the Ann Arbor planning commission – and takes a continuous path though topics like Klingons, grocery bags, affordable housing, yard waste collection and Valentine’s Day.
We begin with Elizabeth Chen, who successfully defended her PhD dissertation last Friday in East Hall on the UM campus. Her presentation included several hands-on assignments for those in the audience of around 30 people – several of whom assured The Chronicle that hers was an “unconventional” thesis defense.
Chen exhorted the assembled mathematicians to paste together plastic pyramid shapes with gummi putty to help them get an intuitive feel for the shapes: “It’s not so scary!” she admonished them. After half an hour, one member of her thesis committee prodded her to get to the mathematics part – he really had “better things to do.” The Chronicle, however, did not.
Ghazi Abuhouleh is one smart man.
I spotted the Ypsilanti resident Friday morning carefully choosing a romantic valentine for his wife, Dalal. And this was after he’d bought her a diamond ring, as well. Though he’s been married less than two years, he knows the No. 1 rule of Valentine’s Day: This is not the time to be practical.
“I don’t buy that boring stuff,” said Abuhouleh, who opts instead for perfume, a pretty blouse, or jewelry.
Some guys, however, have a practical streak. And some guys shop for practical women who’ve told them not to spend money this year on chocolates (the calories!), flowers or jewelry.
Some of these men will be tempted to make a mistake on Sunday, and I feel it’s my duty to warn them. Men: If you plan to give your woman anything that is associated with a chore, save it for another day.