Ever since I moved to Ypsilanti, there seems to be a rivalry between Ann Arbor and Ypsi and EMU and University of Michigan. UM is the fancier more prestigious research school while EMU is geared towards teachers, hence the "Education First" tag line. I had no real preconceived notions about UM since I have been surrounded by University of Oregon, Oregon State University, University of Washington and Portland State University. I have no idea about Midwest rivalries.
For one of my classes this term, I was sent on a campus tour and was to act as an alien observer to see what the school promoted, what the ideals and morals were, and what student life was like. I chose UM because of how pretty the Ann Arbor is and it was the ideal time for me to get comfortable with driving to the campus and understand some of the resources that might be available.
I went on a really cold day earlier this month but it was actually better than the week before when it had been -25 and I didn't want to get out of the warm apartment. The campus is gorgeous. The snow gives it a very New England, elite and fancy vibe that makes you feel as though you may not even still be in a city or a state but really, that UM planet all by itself.
The Law School area was particularly impressive. We were allowed into the library under the pretense of no talking and only to take a peek inside and then quickly and quietly move out of the building. It is gorgeous! The mural on the ceiling to the sculptures on the outside are all so exquisite and remind you of the history that has taken place on this campus. If I were a high school student still deciding on schools, I would have been so impressed with the buildings and the people that have come here before. The tour focuses heavily on this area of campus (why wouldn't they!) and the student life areas of the dorms and the student union but also emphasize tradition and fun tidbits about the history of UM.