What I’m Reading: Living Gently in a Violent World, Stanley Hauerwas and Jean Vanier

By William Schmitt

Sorting through my home office always turns up pleasant surprises, including books I really should read now that they’ve emerged from long-ignored stacks. The timing was especially fortunate this summer because my rediscovered Living Gently in a Violent World: The Prophetic Witness of Weakness offers an antidote to the toxins exploding all over the news.

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What I’m reading: Finding True Happiness, Robert Spitzer, S.J.

By William Schmitt

Happiness, or at least the word, was everywhere as 2016 approached — echoing in holiday conversations and in the worldwide shouts of “Happy New Year!” late on Dec. 31. Faced with the emptiness and angst I sensed in much of that happy talk, I’ve confirmed my new year’s resolution: Either it’s time to drop all this fake, escapist merriment . . . or it’s time to get really serious about happiness.

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Generation Map

By William Schmitt

They’re watching Fox News on LaFortune’s big-screen TVs. They’re using cell phones as umbilical cords to double-check decisions with their parents. One professor reports they’re often unnerved about seminar classes, where the goal of lively debate seems to repeal their usual model of avoiding candid disagreements that might hurt someone’s feelings. “They’re deferential, almost to a fault,” says another professor.…

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Letter from campus: Life in the fast lane

By William Schmitt

I recently took my first course at Notre Dame, and it had all the thought-provoking features I would have expected.

You might say it was interdisciplinary, with elements of philosophy, sociology, psychology, physics and biology, along with practical tips for the business world. It was timely, reflecting current trends but drawing lessons from history. It was multimedia and interactive, with the basic lecture approach enhanced by two short films and workbook exercises. The instructor had intensive hands-on experience in the field, and his comments reflected a genuine desire, you might say, to point his students in the right direction.…

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Victory march: 100 years of echoes

By William Schmitt

Upon reaching the age of 100, the task of simply waking up might pose challenges for the average person. The “Notre Dame Victory March” has no such trouble. This anthem of enthusiasm and loyalty, composed by Domers in 1908, continues to wake up the echoes on campus and off—and is getting some volley cheers of its own this year.…

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