To Whom it May Concern
By Izzy Hedin-Urrutia
Time: 10:47 am
Subject Line: New University Construction Project – Reaching out for Comment
To whom it may concern:
My name is Izzy, and I write for the Michigan Hourly, a new student publication that provides compelling, honest journalistic content to the Michigan student body for one hour a day, five days a week. I was told to email this address in regards to securing a potential interview pertaining to the new construction going up by the graveyard on Hill; unlike most of the signage in front of new construction sites around campus, this particular area has no textual descriptions of the types of buildings nor their purpose; just cardboard displays of the rather old and beautiful fronts of brick and mortar. While I can agree that they appear certainly aesthetic, I and other members of the student body are incredibly curious as to what the intention is for all of these new buildings (and also, peculiarly, why they extend almost right next to the graveyard, which has been an unperturbed fixture of Ann Arbor for many years), especially considering that almost all University construction uses our thousands of tuition dollars. What is the purpose of these buildings? How are students going to benefit from their construction? Who is the sponsor behind its creation/construction?
Please let me know who I can reach out to for an interview on this topic and what times of the week they might be available,
Time: 5:00 pm
Subject Line: New University Construction Project – Still Reaching out for Comment
To whom it may concern:
My name is Izzy, and as I’ve mentioned previously, I write hard-hitting local journalism for the Michigan Hourly. I’m following up on my last email regarding my request to interview someone more in depth about the new construction site next to the graveyard on Hill. I feel compelled to follow up on this particular story because certain new developments have occurred that are somewhat… for the lack of a better word… unusual for most University projects.
I’m certain that most students were unaware or uncaring about the construction through most of the beginning phases of the project, save for myself, given my particular interest. In fact, I’m sure I was one of the only people around me intrigued at the speed at which the University was conducting this—it almost felt as if the first building went up within a few weeks, despite the intricate brick design and stone archways indicating otherwise. I didn’t really think much of it, nor of the continued construction of a second building besides the first, despite the obvious intrusion of the site into the actual realm of the graveyard. However, by the time the sixth brick-and-mortar structure pressed up against the mausoleum, this particular construction site had become the subject of many a whisper floating amidst the stale air of Mosher-Jordan Hall. And that was before the music. Actually, I’m not sure if you can really call it music - that’s the only way I can possibly describe the amalgamation of high pitched, incomprehensible, sing-song gibberish arias; the low and discordant notes at random intervals throughout the day, produced by instruments indiscernible to even the most talented of music majors; and of course, difficult to ignore: the exactly three-minute long screams, only at night, and only at ear-splitting volume.
I know that University officials are often very busy people with a lot of administrative duties, but given the strange direction of the site and the lack of information available to the public regarding its completion, I implore whomever receives this email for an exclusive interview.
Time: 8:00 pm
Subject Line: New University Construction Project – Response needed
To Whom It May concern:
My name is Izzy, and I am a writer for the Michigan Hourly. I am writing as a second follow up to my previous two emails regarding the new construction site that has now taken over the entire corner of Geddes and Observatory, existing on the inside and the outside of the graveyard across from Mosher-Jordan Hall, and crammed in between the spaces of many of the residential housing further down the street. While I understand that the University often times makes innovative and unprecedented design decisions, some of the choices involved in this particular construction project are questionable at the very least, beyond the inconvenient and inconsiderate placement of many of these buildings within the context of the already existing cityscape. The beautifully-crafted stone archways, for example, have started cropping up as standalone pieces interspersed between the graves of the graveyard, unattached to any building, leading nowhere. On the other hand, many of the buildings themselves seem to have no entryways at all, leading me to wonder at what use they could possibly serve the student body. As you know, the University has been under fire recently for the $26 million dollar endowment bequeathed to far-right groups and oil companies, at seemingly no benefit to the students. It seems rather irresponsible at best, and downright insulting and malicious at worst, for the University to spend what is clearly an inordinate amount of tuition money on useless, faceless buildings, that extend far beyond reasonable boundaries for construction zones, almost into forever. Even now, when I look out at them from across the street, in my dumpy student apartment, I cannot see the end to the extent of the construction. Do you really think that, because you’re a massive University with millions of dollars of support, that you can simply do whatever you want, whenever you want, with no regards to the effects on students, or the people who live and work in Ann Arbor?
As a concerned student and as an Ann Arbor citizen, I demand an urgent comment from the party responsible for this nuisance.
Time: 2:52 am
Subject Line: This is Your Fault.
I’m Izzy. I’m a writer for the Michigan Hourly. I’m a student, an Ann Arbor resident, a foodie, a goth, an activist, and a psychology student. I’m also a girlfriend to a wonderful, one-of-a-kind sweetheart named Domi. At least, I’m certain I was, until about an hour ago.
I’m not a very calm, rational person when I’m angry. In fact, I’m embarrassed to admit that sometimes I can let my emotions get the best of me, and when that happens, I don’t tend to think clearly at all. Tonight Domi and I got into a fight. It all started when she came over at around midnight to spend the evening with me, because I had been so wrapped up in schoolwork lately that we hadn’t had the opportunity to spend time together for over three weeks. Except when she arrived, she told me that it had actually been four weeks. I haven’t been able to keep track of time so well these days. Something with the changing air pressure as we move towards winter has got my head all fuzzy.
All I asked her is if I could go out and shoot some pictures for this story. You see, I’ve been keeping close track of your little construction project. I have an entire wall in my apartment dedicated to my collection of photos, around 50 or so, from the very beginning, when I first emailed you. And I’ll admit it: I’ve become a little obsessed. It’s just, just a blatant fuck you to the entire student body, all of the townies, the people buried in that graveyard and their families. There is nothing you could possibly say to me in the course of an interview to justify the unscrupulousness of the extent of this construction project. And I needed evidence. I needed to keep those photos so that I could try you in court. So that I could hold you accountable.
That’s all that it took to set Domi off. I didn’t even know that she was that close to snapping. She screamed at me for hours. She told me that she loved me so much, and yet she never saw me. That she had friends asking me where I was, whether we were still dating. That it was fucking embarrassing to call me her girlfriend when it was like I disappeared into thin air. That this stupid construction project had replaced her, which was, I’m sorry, beyond stupid. I don’t know why that was the thing that set me off but it was. I told you, I’m not a very rational person. I don’t make good decisions when I’m emotional.
I’m not quite sure exactly what I said next. I know it had something to do with her English major. I know it had something to do with her blonde hair. I know it wasn’t nice. The next thing I knew, my $40 ceramic salvation army vase was in pieces on my linoleum floor, and Domi was out the fucking door, into the street, through the metal fence, into the construction site.
It’s been an hour. She’s not answering her phone. In fact, her phone doesn’t even ring, just goes completely to voicemail. She doesn’t show up on find my friends, which is odd, given she should be 200 feet away, max. And I can’t see her. She disappeared between the buildings, between the archways, into the maze of brick and mortar. Out of my life. Just…gone.
I don’t know who you are. I don’t know why you won’t talk to me. I don’t know what department this email goes to. I don’t know why you’re building this endless, haphazard array of shittily constructed buildings. I don’t know how them stretching out farther than I can see, pushing out residential housing, pushing out trees, crushing graves and bleeding into the street benefits the University. I’m starting to suspect that these aren’t University buildings at all. I’m starting to suspect that they’re a virus, destroying the healthy cell that is the townscape on Hill. I’m starting to suspect that the strange absence of construction workers each time I walk by the site is no random coincidence. I’m starting to suspect that these buildings aren’t being constructed by humans, but something else.
How does one get rid of a virus? You need a healthy t-cell to learn what the virus looks like, and go into the thick of it. It needs to be destroyed from the inside.
I’m sorry. I have to go find my girlfriend.
Time: 9:00 am
Subject Line: RE: New University Construction Project – Reaching out for Comment
This is Bo Ree Crat and I’m writing in response to your inquiries in your previous email. I apologize, as I’ve been out of the office for about a week but it appears that my automated out-of-office-reply was either not working correctly or not activated while I was out. My sincerest apologies for the inconvenience.
I regret to inform you that not only was there not any information regarding a construction project of new University buildings approved in any way in the last few months, but that I was not aware that any new construction whatsoever was taking place anywhere on campus. However, it appears that reading your previous emails, that this was indeed an issue, and, especially in regards to your final email, a particularly concerning one.
Shortly after reading your message this morning, I notified the local authorities about its urgent and deeply unsettling nature and they ventured out to the site in search of both you and your peer. They were surprised to discover the existence of the site and the extent of it, as well as the unusual nature of the buildings. We have had a lot of freshmen reported missing on campus lately, and assumed it was merely students wisely fleeing with their tails between their legs in regards to the “coronavirus situation”. It’s apparent at this moment that we may have another, slightly more paranormal problem on our hands.
I have called both your parents and Dominique’s too, informing them of the situation. I know that there is dearth of hope. I know that we have to face the real possibilities and consequences of you two never coming back. I know that we may not be able to combat the destructive and inhuman forces that have led to this site’s creation. And I must admit I cannot shake the feeling of guilt that I, via the simple mistake of leaving my out-of-office reply unactivated, somehow contributed to whatever dark and undeterminable rate that you’ve suffered. Well, as much guilt as I can feel as a University administrator.
Bo Ree Crat
Core Administration | University of Michigan
firstname.lastname@example.org | (666) 666-6666
Subject Line: (no subject)
its almost there
Sent from my iPhone