The teachers in her elementary school may not have wanted her at all, Tara Hunt McMullen ’12 admits. They just wanted her mother’s famous soda bread.
It started with a broken heart. The broken heart led to wallowing in sad country songs. The sad country songs led Zach DuBois ’11 to write one of his own. And his sad song eventually led to music videos, a record label, opening gigs for country music stars, time on Country Music Television (CMT) and a top hit.
I’ve read a number of World War II and Holocaust books, but rarely have I read about, or even pondered, what it would be like to sit by and watch your town, your neighbors fall into evil hands. In the first chapter of The Nightingale, as one of the sisters, now an elderly woman, reflects on the war, she says, “In love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are.”
My Type-A, color-in-the-lines, play-by-the-rules personality helps make me a meticulous editor and deadline-conscious writer. But it does not set me up to be the life at any party. Usually at parties, I’m the person wondering if jumping off that roof is safe, or if there are enough snacks, or if the music is too loud. But in my kitchen, I shed my typical persona. I don’t follow rules there.
I had a tough time reading Christmas Bells by Jennifer Chiaverini ’91. It’s not that the historic fiction wasn’t well written. It wasn’t that I was bored. It’s that the sense of despair, of dread, of sadness that haunts the characters at Christmastime hits too close to home this year.
For three years my home was a speeding Volkswagen on a stretch of Interstate 80/90. I had a house on either end, but it was on that too-familiar strip of highway that I felt most myself, caught between the work I chose at Notre Dame and the family and friends I left in Illinois.