I love the University of Michigan. I thank God everyday that I had the opportunity and the incredibly good fortune to spend four years of my life here. Like many of my peers, my ticket to this school is paid by loving, generous, hard-working parents. And I try not to forget that fortune as I eat my daily bowl of Cap’n Crunch with the shiniest of silver spoons. But sometimes — as good as I have it — the small stuff gets under my skin. I have little reason to complain, but there are certain things about this place that drive me up a wall. In fact, they are so irritating that I thought I’d share five of them with the hope that maybe a few of you can laugh at our mutual frustration.

1. The Diag snow-removal carts

I like a cleared path on my way to class, but I don’t like it when these Satanic sweepers brush a blizzard of snow in my face when I already feel like I’m trekking across Siberia. I understand that constant plowing of the Diag would necessitate even more inconvenient repair work, but perhaps that would be a small price to pay to end the plague of irreversible psychological damage caused by face-to-face encounters with these snow-flinging monsters on narrow sidewalks.

2. The Museum of Art addition

I often hear complaints about the big, red-orange Orion sculpture, but I love it because it draws my attention away from much worse eyesore: the new art museum addition. The new addition sports the most perplexingly awkward architecture on campus. Wedged in between the classical columns and ornate stonework of Angell Hall and the original art museum, the boring, out of place UMMA looks like something my four-year-old cousin could have built with a cardboard box. But on the bright side, the über-ugly LSA Building now looks like a masterpiece in comparison.

3. Washtenaw between South U. and Cambridge

If you ever feel like needlessly risking your life, find a friend and two SUVs and drive side-by-side down this narrow, obstacle-ridden thoroughfare. Even in my little sedan, I feel like I’m being forced into playing chicken with opposing traffic. Between the overflow parking from the First Presbyterian Church that blocks the entire southbound right lane on Sundays and drunken Greek system freshman wandering in search of “The Rock,” this stretch of Washtenaw becomes the most infuriating street in Ann Arbor. And I didn’t even mention, the perpetually manned speed trap between Hill and South U.

4. Spicy Chicken Pasta is too delicious

I don’t remember much from my freshman year in Couzens Residence Hall, but I do remember Spicy Chicken Pasta. More delicious than manna, more scrumptious than ambrosia and even better than your grandma’s famous apple pie, Spicy Chicken Pasta puts all other entrées in all other dining options in Ann Arbor to shame. Why is this bad? Because when I’m eating a steak at the Chop House, I don’t want to be thinking about why I’m not eating Spicy Chicken Pasta instead. I’ve taken a bite of heaven and now everything else tastes like soggy kitchen sponge. Oh, and those who think Chicken Broccoli Bake is superior are fools.

5. The Haven Hall Bazaar

So, I’ve made it through the beggars by the Engineering Arch, the flyer distributors, protestors and preachers in the Diag, and I walk into Haven Hall and somebody shoves free cookies in my face. I blame my freshman fifteen, my sophomore twenty and so forth on these peddlers of all things fatty. Do I want a 50-cent donut? No. Can I resist when I walk in and see a four-foot pile of Krispy Kreme boxes just waiting for me? No! Plus, the tables restrict traffic flow. I’m trying to get to the stairwell, but I’m stuck in the bottleneck, and the Dance Marathon folks just opened a new package of brownies. Damn you and your tasty treats!

Luckily, the list of stuff I love is much, much longer. From snowball fights in the Law Quad to Double Stacks in the Michigan Union Wendy’s, it’s great to be a Michigan Wolverine. So after the Diag preacher guy pins you to the glass wall of the art museum and a brush cart mercilessly flings snow in your face, smile, spin the Cube, order one up at Blimpy Burger, and remember how fortunate you are. No silver spoons required.

Chris Koslowski can be reached at cskoslow@umich.edu.

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