On Saturday, August 26th, 2017, the University of Michigan was 200 years old.
Originally called the University of Michigania and housed in Detroit, the school has had a variety of events throughout the year to celebrate its special day, including special tours of its historic buildings.
Just by chance, during my short stint with the University, I was able to attend its big event for its employees, MStaff200 (everything there seems to be called “M”-something, by the way). It was a one-day celebration to appreciate its employees.
Some of you are about to ask me if it was worth me taking a day off of my accrued time to attend some event that’s hard to park at for a place where I was not an employee for long.
I was uncertain about that, myself, and when I asked to take that day off in order to attend the event, even then I admitted to my boss that I was really just curious to see what it was about.
It was definitely worth it. There was a lot of history, not just of the university, but of medicine, law enforcement, and other areas that affect not just the university, itself, but the surrounding areas. They did a big kick-off speech that was interesting and told me a lot about the event. There was a historic baseball game, concerts, lots of events for children if you brought them, free food, prizes (some were pretty good, although I didn’t win those), knick-knack giveaways (for example, I got a highlighter pen that looks like a syringe) – just tons of things.
Plus, quite a few support groups were there to display what they do. One of the scientific instrument companies had an interesting display, for example. Also, some of the internal groups had displays. Not being involved with anything outside my own group when I was at U of M, it was just fascinating for me to talk to some of these other groups about what they did.
Some of you who I told about this event were just blown-away that it was so big. The l0gistics of this thing were AMAZING! Plus, no-one outside of the state of Michigan seems to realize how massive U of M is. When I applied for a job there, I didn’t know how big it was, either. For people who don’t know this, I’m not “from” Michigan. I had no idea until I started working there.
So, yes, it was definitely worth using up one of my accrued days off for this, although I seem to be the only person in my group that felt that way and I don’t blame them – it was a tough decision even for me and I didn’t know until I did it that it would be worth it. I learned a lot, got fed, had a great time, just really can’t say enough about what a variety they had.