News » Archives » January 2004

Mozart, Father Ted and Me

By Joseph Lewis Heil '59

On Palm Sunday, 1959, I finished reading The Education of Henry Adams, a required Great Book my last seminar in the General Program at Notre Dame, now called the Program of Liberal Studies. Adams described his German education as a total failure except for his “only clear gain—his single step to a higher life.” That single step happened at a music hall “drinking beer, smoking German tobacco, and looking at fat German women knitting, while an orchestra played dull music.” One day he was surprised to notice that his mind discovered beauty in that dull music: it was a movement of a Beethoven Symphony. Adams declared, “Among the marvels of education, this was the most marvelous.”…

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Not a Tagalong

By Shannon Reifsteck

“Nick, do you think we’ll be able to see Touchdown Jesus from our seats?” I ask my brother about the infamous mural overlooking the football field.

“I dunno. I hope so.”

Nick and I sat in the back seat of our 1984 white-with-wood-paneling station wagon as Michael Jackson’s Bad played on our cassette player. We normally knew the words, but in our excitement we couldn’t remember them all. Or maybe we were too anxious to sing. We hadn’t slept the night before; our anticipation kept us awake through most of the night. Our matching blue-and-gold nylon windbreaker jump suits—I now shudder at the fashion faux pas our parents were subjecting us to—made swishing noises against the seats. We thought we looked good. We thought we were cool. We were wrong, but it didn’t matter because it was the ‘80s and we were on our way to watch our first Notre Dame football game.…

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Domers in the News

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Tim Roemer ’81 M.A., ’85Ph.D. is serving on the 9/11 Congressional Commission investigating the events leading up to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. . . . Anthony Walton ‘82 co-wrote a book with former NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar about the first all-African-American tank unit in WWII

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Decoder Ring

By Cheever Griffin '90

As a wicked late winter wind swirls outside her small, cluttered office on the University of Chicago campus, Nancy Cox ‘78 talks softly about the culprits she hunts down.

“Think of it as a detective story in which someone has to locate a person somewhere in the world,” she says. "They’ll try to track them down to a continent, to a country, and then a city, then finally block by block to locate them in the house."…

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Staging South Bend's Ghost Story

By Carol Schaal '91M.A.

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The near south side of South Bend once smelled of sweat and security. Workers poured in and out of the giant Studebaker factories there, making cars, making healthy paychecks. The monstrous brick buildings denoted a vibrant community living off the profits of heavy manufacturing.

When Jessica Chalmers arrived as an assistant professor at Notre Dame in 1999, the Manhattan resident had never been to the Midwest. Driving around her new community, she soon learned why northern Indiana is considered part of the Rust Belt.…

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Soprano Sings Sweetly to Success

By Ruth Ann Keyso-Vail '91

Mary Sue Twohy ‘91 had an epiphany at a smoky bar in Arlington, Virginia, in 1996. “All through my first song I could hear the clink of glasses and the voices of people talking,” Twohy says. "So I set down my guitar and sang ’Sweet Mercy’ a cappella. The crowd went nuts." When she stepped away from the mike, she realized her career as a folk musician was about to skyrocket.

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Letters to the editor — web extra

By Readers

Oh, Those Indulgences

I just read “Escape From Purgatory” by John M. Nichols in your Spring 2004 issue. Not only was there much truth in the article, but it was also written in such a comical way it was a joy to read. I think you should have Mr. Nichols submit an article for each issue. Rest assured your readers would turn to his writing before reading anything else in each issue.…

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React Online: The Soul of a University

By Readers

Editor’s note: The following letters were received through the magazine’s React Online form and from those written or emailed to the magazine.

Reading Mr. Anthony DePalma’s article on the “Soul of a University” was both moving and enlightening. As the parent of an only child, who is currently a senior in high school, I am fraught with anxiety about letting go while being concerned whether my child will be well taken care off at the college she selects to attend and still get an excellent education that will help her prepare well for a productive future.

The article was very enlightening for Mr. DePalma’s insights both as a parent and as a student as well as one who has had a rich and varied perspective of college life and quality here in America.…

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Books in print

By Carol Schaal '91M.A.

Three Weeks With My Brother, Nicholas Sparks ’88 and Micah Sparks (Warner Books). Best-selling author Nicholas, known for romantic love stories, and his brother, Micah, took a three-week trip around the world last year. As Nicholas writes, the book is a story of two journeys: “one that took my brother and me to exotic places around the world, and another, a lifetime in the making, that has led us to become the best of friends.” That lifetime, as readers learn, has been too often marred by tragedies that tested their faith. Black-and-white family photos are sprinkled throughout the text.

Keep the Faith, Change the Church: The Battle by Catholics for the Soul of Their Church,

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Books in brief

By Carol Schaal '91M.A.

Optimal Investing: How to Protect and Grow Your Wealth with Asset Allocation, Scott P. Frush ’99MBA (Marshall Rand Publishing). A step-by-step guide on how to build a financial portfolio. The author, a certified financial planner, discusses the theories and principles of asset allocation, then offers model portfolios for investors with different desired levels of risk.

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Books in Brief, web extra

By Carol Schaal '91M.A.

New Testament Greek and Exegesis: Essays in Honor of Gerald F. Hawthorne, edited by Amy M Donaldson ’99M.A. and Timothy B. Sailors ’00M.A. (Eerdmans). Christian scholars offer a view of their current studies of the New Testament. Contributors include David E. Aune, ND professor of theology.

Coalwater

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Alumni briefs

By Alumni Association

Alumni Awards

The Rev. William Corby, CSC, Award will be presented to Brigadier General_ Francis X. Taylor ‘70, ’74MA, USAF (ret.),_ at halftime of the Purdue football game on October 2. Taylor is assistant secretary for diplomatic security at the U.S. State Department. Previously he served as ambassador at large for the coordinator of U.S. counterterrorism. He also served as director of the Office of Foreign Missions, deputy commander of the 487th Combat Support Group in Comiso, Italy, director of mission guidance in the Office of Special Investigations at Bolling Air Force Base, director of special investigations for the Air Force Inspector General, and commander of Air Force special investigations. During 31 years of service in the Air Force, Taylor was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit and National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal. He assisted in establishing the Notre Dame Air Force ROTC

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KH 15 D: Now You See It, Now You Don't

By John Monczunski

It’s a neat trick. Every 48 days a recently discovered speck of light in the night that astronomers call KH 15 D vanishes. Then, 20 days later —presto—the star reappears. What’s going on? As with any disappearing act, it’s most likely smoke and mirrors, or, in this case, the cosmic equivalent.

Peter Garnavich, a Notre Dame associate professor of physics, and colleagues from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Wesleyan University theorize that a large, swirling disk of dust and gas, “leftovers” from the star’s birth which eventually will coalesce into a planet, is the cause of the star’s periodic winking.…

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A Carload of Contradictions

By John Monczunski

For poor people it is the classic Catch-22. Ever since the welfare reforms of the ’90s, most aid recipients have been required to work to qualify for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. The problem is, since you need dependable transportation to get to work, very often you need a car. But if you own a car worth more than $1,000 you no longer qualify for aid in nine states, while other states have a higher limit.…

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Finding Far-flung Planets

By John Monczunski

“Boggle” might be the perfect name for the planet Notre Dame’s David Bennett and an international team of astronomers discovered recently. The distant world, estimated to be one-and-a-half times the size of Jupiter, is so far away from Earth and the means of its discovery is so novel that it boggles the mind.…

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Are the Orange Beetles Sexier?

By John Monczunski

Maybe it’s that lady Jamaican click beetles see the guy beetles with the orange lights as more their type, or maybe it’s that the bats who dine on them have trouble finding the orange fireflies. Whatever the reason, Notre Dame biologist Jeffrey Feder and graduate students Uwe Stolz and Sebastian Velez have strong genetic evidence that natural selection is occurring in the Jamaican click beetle population. Beetles that glow orange at night appear to be winning over the ones who glow green or yellow-green.…

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Charting the Skyscraper Dance

By John Monczunski

When the wind gusts, skyscrapers swing, sway and twist. Sometimes they creak and groan. But that’s okay because they’re designed to do that, and most of the time the movement is imperceptible. “Tall buildings dance; the flexibility allows them to handle wind load, the force of the wind,” says Tracy Kijewski-Correa, Notre Dame assistant professor of civil engineering.…

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What happened with that Native American tribe's lawsuit over Notre Dame property?

By Ed Cohen

Last December the Hannahville Indian Community, which lives in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, sued Notre Dame and the federal Interior Department, saying the community was cheated out of a tract of land on the Notre Dame campus near the modern-day WNDU television studios.

The Hannahville Indians are successors to the Potawatomi people who were living in Northern Indiana when Father Sorin arrived in 1842. They allege that the state of Indiana illegally transferred Potawatomi-owned land to Notre Dame in violation of treaties dating to the 1820s. The University says it acquired the land legally.…

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In a Michigan minute

By Tom Tiberio '05

Graphic design graduate student Mark Cook wanted to document life in the Saint Joseph/Benton Harbor area of Michigan as best he could.

He set aside a minute.

On March 26, 30 graduate and undergraduate students armed with cameras, audio recorders and notebooks set out to help Cook capture ordinary life in the twin cities, located on Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Saint Joseph River, about 35 miles north of campus. They did so by training their eyes and recording equipment on various locations for 60 seconds, from 3:26 to 3:27 in the afternoon. Cook then assembled the images into a kind of computerized slide show. The production mingled photographs with text from students and others in the community who agreed to write down what they were thinking about and doing at the designated minute.…

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Security monitors gone from women's dorms

By Ed Cohen

The end of the school year brought an end to the jobs of the female security monitors in the women’s residence halls

A spokesman for campus Security/Police said that after reviewing the program internally and consulting outside professionals the department decided the monitors weren’t accomplishing the department’s mission of providing security to all resident students.…

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Students need their bottles

By Tom Tiberio '05

The Nalgene craze has hit Notre Dame.

These virtually indestructible, techy-looking plastic bottles are showing up on campuses across the country and have become almost an extension of the student wardrobe. At Notre Dame they can be seen everywhere—nestled in mesh pouches of backpacks or dangling from a belt loop or backpack strap, often tethered by another trendy accessory, a carabiner, those D-shaped spring-loaded clips originally designed for rappelling.…

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Breen-Phillips hall portrait

By Tom Tiberio

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Hall Portrait: Breen-Phillips

Year Built: 1939

Capacity: 206

Male or female? Female since 1973

They Call Themselves: Babes since 1999; before that, Banshees

Named for: Brothers-in-law William P. Breen, class of 1877, an attorney, and Frank B. Phillips, class of 1880, a banker. The two benefactors were both from Fort Wayne, Indiana. Breen was a charter member and first president of the Notre Dame Board of Lay Trustees, established in 1920 by then-President James A. Burns, CSC

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Seen and Heard web extra

By Ed Cohen

The theater department staged George Bernard Shaw’s Arms and the Man, about an anti-romantic love triangle, in Washington Hall in April. It marked the end of an era—the last academic production to be performed in the 123-year-old facility. Beginning this fall shows put on by the Department of Film, Television and Theatre will be staged in the Marie P. DeBartolo Center for the Performing Arts, nearing completion at the south end of campus. Washington Hall will be reserved for productions by student organizations and residence halls plus some performances by non-University groups. . . . A crew from

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Genuine John Jenkins

By Ed Cohen

It was another cold winter morning, early and still dark. Helen Jenkins was driving her son John to high school swim team practice.

“Mom,” he told her, “I want to quit the team.”

“You can’t,” she responded. “You’re too good, and they need you.”

Her son never mentioned the desire again. The following year, as a senior, he became captain of the swim team at Creighton Preparatory School, an all-boys Jesuit high school in Omaha, Nebraska, and one of the top swimmers in the state.…

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Buster Gives Me Fits

By Ruta Paskevicius

I found Buster at the pound. He pressed his side against the wire mesh of his cage, begging to be scratched, to be touched. When we went outside to see if we liked each other, he sat on my feet. I took this as affection. What I found out later was that it was just one form of domination.

Buster wasn’t overwhelmingly large or fierce; he’s a medium-size Australian shepherd. But I learned that he had a will strong enough to intimidate an inexperienced dog owner. From the moment we got home he was a wild man, energetic, stubborn and recalcitrant. I put his dog house under a shade tree in the far corner of the yard. He refused to use it. I put towels in there so he’d have a soft bed. He dragged them across the yard and left them in a snarled mess on the patio. Angry scratches appeared on the back door. When I returned from work, he jumped on me on his hind legs, with an erection that left no room for discussion as to who he thought was alpha dog between the two of us. Let me tell you, this sort of enthusiasm is not as flattering when it’s not your own species.…

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Made in the USA

By Teresa Ghilarducci

When Bad Things Happen to Good Jobs

Eight years ago in the early spring, when the mud is still frozen here in northern Indiana, a TV journalist called me late one night. News had just broken in Europe that the German company Bosch had purchased Allied Signal, which employed 430 South Bend workers. Within minutes of my hanging up the phone a camera crew was in my living room. During the interview, where I was serving as the local economics expert, I remarked that in one sense the news was good for area workers: German executives didn’t act like the “Corporate Killer” American CEOs, as Newsweek

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What's the latest on the University's proposed closing of Juniper Road?

By Ed Cohen

On June 8, 2004, the Saint Joseph County Council unanimously approved the University’s plan to close Juniper at Douglas Road. Traffic will be rerouted onto a new road just west of Ivy Road on the east side of campus. The road will be paid for by Notre Dame and will run mostly through University property. The plan also calls for a realignment of Edison Road south of campus.

Juniper won’t close until the new roadway is completed and approved by county engineers. That isn’t likely to happen before 2006.…

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Did the University decide to cap enrollment in the business college?

By Ed Cohen

Did the University decide to cap enrollment in the business college?

Last year a report from the Provost’s Office to University trustees showed that almost one out of every three members of the class of 2003 earned a business degree. That was up from about one in four 10 years ago and about one in five 25 years ago. The average at the other national universities ranked in the top 20 by U.S. News & World Report

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Letters to the Editor

By Readers

Notre Dame

I took the old collegiate seminar (“A Death in the Curriculum”) under an infuriating fellow named Daniel Koob, even complained to a dean about the demands and hated the required aggravations . . . until about midyear, when I discovered I was breathing outside the womb—and wanted to be there! Basically, I had learned to read—not just the text at hand, but all

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