It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, and when the Tea Partiers come to the Diag tonight it’s going to be a god-awful time. But let’s start at the beginning, back in September, when thousands of students from millions of countries with bajillions of diverse experiences came to the University of Michigan, all united by a single common purpose: inebriation. But also football. So when allegations surfaced that Coach Rodriguez had overworked players to the point of exhaustion and — in one extreme incident — forced a player to stand on one leg, rub his belly AND pat his head all at the same time for over an hour, students cried foul. No one — no one — would taint the athletic program.
But by October, no one was showing up for home games after another embarrassing season materialized. In a stunning reversal, most students quietly admitted that the football team hadn’t been overworked enough, and they finally got around to doing their schoolwork. Or they would have got around to doing their schoolwork if the threat of swine flu hadn’t thrown the entire campus into a state of red alert and caused North Campus to be quarantined, blockaded and ultimately destroyed. No, sorry, that was what happened in my imagination. What actually happened was nothing, but many students took the opportunity to skip classes by saying that they were possibly dying.
This was a good idea since many needed all the energy they could get for November, which is the only month hated by absolutely everyone. It got cold, as usual, and dark and depressing (as usual), and the football team lost to Ohio State (as usual), and the federal government decided to try to reform health care (as usual). Normally we at the Daily don’t like to discuss off-campus issues, but the passage of the preliminary health care bill created quite a stir. All over campus a majority of students said something along the lines of, “Hey, health care’s getting there. Cool,” while a minority of students brainstormed furiously for a new Obama pun. (ObaMao was born.)
And so December entered the record books, and if any hope was to be seen on students’ faces because of the promise of universal health care it would have been a shrouded, misty kind of hope, obscured by — I’m sorry, I’m terrible at metaphors. What I mean to say is that it started snowing and you couldn’t really see people’s faces. Other than that nothing much happened. People went on winter break…?
January was much more exciting. It was a new year! Everyone was excited and happy and hoped the economy would turn around and they laughed in that good, wholesome, dumb American way every time they wrote “2009” as the year. Countless students started hitting the gym with renewed enthusiasm and vigor and notebooks to record whatever it is you record in notebooks in gyms without caring that people thought they were complete imbeciles. It was a month of innocence, of youthful gaiety, a month that couldn’t be beaten.
Until February. In February it was announced that Obama would be speaking at spring commencement. Classes ceased for a day. The bell tower rang for hours. Even winter eased its icy spell. Not all students were pleased, however. Some felt cheated. Some felt robbed. Some decided NOT to attend graduation, to show the president who’s boss. The president wrote a public statement for the Daily, urging students to come to graduation, threatening that if they did not they would hurt his feelings. That was a proud day for the Daily, we must admit, publishing a sitting president.
But along with good news there is always bad news. So it came to pass in March the grievous news of the Michigan Student Assembly — the doomed website, the extravagant trips to Okemos and Las Vegas, the lack of cookies and punch at meetings, the really boring meetings, the embarrassing endorsement of Tiger Woods before his affairs came to light. All contributed to a whopping 14 percent student involvement in the annual elections — and a new party in charge. MForward faces a future full of responsibility.
Now we’re here, in April. Another academic year almost finished. Hard to believe, right? There are many things that happened in the past eight months that a small column such as this cannot detail thoroughly. A girl flirted with me at a party once. I think there’s talk of a smoking ban, too. Regardless, time goes on. Have a good summer, kids.
Will Grundler can be reached at email@example.com.