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A notable essay

By Notre Dame Magazine

An essay by Kerry Temple, editor of Notre Dame Magazine, was chosen as one of the “Notable Essays of 2000,” a list published in The Best American Essays 2001. The Best American Series editor Robert Atwan made the selections.

His essay “The Geography of Grace,” appeared in the Autumn 2000 (Vol. 29, Number 3) issue of Notre Dame Magazine.…

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At home in the Monkeyhouse

By Carol Schaal '91M.A.


Back in his days as an advertising copywriter, Pat Byrnes ‘81 worked on campaigns for Cheez Whiz, Coors, Cap’n Crunch and SpaghettiOs. Hardly food for the soul.

Today, however, the man with a droll sense of humor is happily feasting at the cartoonist table. Several of his cartoons have been published in The New Yorker

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A hard bounce to the screen

By John Monczunski


Dan Coyle’s book Hardball: A Season in the Projects, about Little League baseball in Chicago’s notorious Cabrini-Green public housing development, hit a home run when it was published in 1993. USA Today called it “an astonishing feat of eavesdropping on young boys’ games and fantasies and a hard-eyed, unsentimental look at Cabrini-Green.” The Chicago Tribune

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Web Extra: More letters to the editor

By Liquid error: internal

Kind words
For some time now I have been receiving Notre Dame Magazine. On every single occasion I have been impressed immensely by the material that is covered in that magazine. When I received the Summer 2001 issue, I could not resist writing to you any longer. It is an outstanding magazine. I particularly enjoyed the article on Presidents Notre Dame Has Known and also the outstanding articles on the outreach programs associated with graduates of the University of Notre Dame. The social Gospel was fully alive in this last issue. I write to you today simply to congratulate you on a work that is well, well done.…

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Letters: from print issue

By Liquid error: internal

Presidential visit
Maybe someday Father Edward Malloy, CSC, and the Board of Trustees will be ashamed, as I am now, about George W. Bush being honored by a University that has long been an advocate for social justice. To many, this is not an act of nonpartisan graciousness. It is a public repudiation of a dozen papal encyclicals dating back to Pope Leo XIII

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Another Wreck Waiting to Happen

By Bryan Gruley '79

When I was 16, my father gave me his 1970 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight. It was midnight black with a blood-red pinstripe, power steering, power windows, power seats and 455 cubic inches of power under the hood. I could load that boat with six hockey players, all their gear and two cases of soda pop and it still sailed up Interstate 75 in Michigan at 100 mph.…

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Tracks Through Time

By Siobhan Carroll, '91

In my earliest memory, I am running. I take two or three jolting baby steps in the grass. The sun is shining on my face, and my hair, though brown, glows golden. I look through it at the bouncing grassy horizon of what I think is our neighbor’s yard. I somehow know that I am 2 years old. I do not remember why I am running; a 2-year-old hardly needs a reason. I am probably smiling; I may be laughing, too. The sun’s gold, the jolting steps, being 2 years old: it is a happy memory.…

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Missing Person

By Nancy Tester

I stare at babies in stores. Babies usually stare back. They wave their fat little arms in the air. They suck on their fists and thump their blankets. They don’t look like they are being lots of trouble. That baby probably cried all night, I tell myself in the car. I look in the mirror and wipe my eyes. Imagine putting up with that.…

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We Sailed from 72nd Street

By Rev. Gene F. Smith '84M.A.

High school days were over for the Boys of 72nd Street in Chicago, and a summer of sun lay before us, waiting to reveal its charm and mystery. We hoped for Wonderland. Our diplomas, we felt, would be a segue, not only to another level of education but to something that was calling to us. We, the unsuspecting lads of leisure, moved inexorably toward this call to something more.…

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But, Dad, I want to come home: A son's response

By Chris Chiappinelli

I know that Notre Dame is supposed to turn your soul blue and gold forever, but I left before the paint could dry. Now, looking back eight years through a foggy rearview mirror, I can almost make myself believe that what happened was simple.

Without a good reason to stay, I left Notre Dame. I turned my back on my dorm room and the freshman year stretching ahead of me. With everyone reciting a litany of reasons for staying, I returned home. I told them I felt nothing that said, “Stay.” It was more than that, though, and not nearly as pat and emotionless. Not once in these past eight years have I regretted the decision, but I have questioned what made me withdraw.…

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Just Give It a Little More Time, Son: Letter to a son

By S. Robert Chiappinelli '62

The small Connecticut garage where we stopped for gas on our first family pilgrimage to Notre Dame a dozen years ago slips by on my left. Its gingerbread appearance tickled me back then, now it triggers a wave of shuddering sadness.

On this pleasant September weekend in 1993 I am a few hours into my trek from Rhode Island to Notre Dame. It is a repeat of a journey that my wife, Margo, son, Chris, and I had made just a week ago.…

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Dr. Kuzmitz and the dino heart

By Jessica Trobaugh Temple '92

For Dr. Andy Kuzmitz, ND class of 1972, it’s what we don’t know that makes life interesting. That’s why the family practice doctor in Ashland, Oregon, spends as much time delving into the environmental history of the earth, researching the possibility of time travel or dabbling in the makeup of fungi as he does diagnosing and treating patients.…

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The Painter's Dream

By Dean Porter


When Don Vogl retired from teaching in 1994, he and his wife, Colette, talked about fulfilling the artist’s dream. Since coming to Notre Dame in 1963, Vogl had traveled and painted throughout Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico and his favorite state, Arizona. He had hoped to spend his retirement with Colette amid the radiant red rocks of Sedona on the high desert plane of Arizona. So Colette cut a deal: Clear the house of his thousands of paintings, and the couple would head west.…

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Gilberto Cardenas: The Hard Journey Home

By John Shaughnessy '77

In this American dream, the tough street kid grows up to share the spotlight with baseball star Sammy Sosa, astronaut Ellen Ochoa and legendary rock musician Carlos Santana.

The troubled youth who struggled with grades is chosen to help Microsoft founder Bill Gates distribute $1 billion worth of scholarships.…

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The Holy and the Weird

By Kent Meyers

Beowulf’s people must have formed the word out of wind and whisper and the howl of wolves: wyrd, akin to Old English weorthan, which means “to become,” and also to Old Norse urthr, which means “fate.” This is what etymology tells us — as if we grow into our weirdnesses, becoming ever more distinct and strange as we age, fated toward mystery. “Weird” is one of those deep, enchanted words we moderns have dried of all but surface meaning. But Shakespeare had the Old English sense in mind with his three weird sisters around their bubbling kettle, aware of fate and time’s unfolding, certain of Macbeth’s betrayal and of the impossible, moving woods.…

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The Cairn Builder

By Kerry Temple ’74


The words were out of my mouth before I could stop them. “An English major?” I blurted out. “Why would you want to do that? What are you going to do, how would you get a job with a degree in English?” That’s when I stopped, because I heard my father’s voice echoing in my own, because I’d had this conversation already — 30 years ago, except that last time I was on the other side of the table, looking at my dad, trying to explain to him why I wanted to be an English

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20 Things Not to Do on a Football Weekend

By Notre Dame Magazine


Do not ask, “Who’s that on top of the dome?”

Do no not throw a fish, frog, octopus or even a single marshmallow during halftime.

Do not complain that Notre Dame has gone to pot since your student days.

Do not physically or verbally abuse the visiting team’s followers, no matter how boorishly they behave.…

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Regilding the Dome

By Ed Cohen


When fire broke out in the upper reaches of the Main Building the morning of April 23, 1879, the building might have escaped the destruction that ensued but for a theologically disconcerting sequence of events.

Among the first parts of the brick building to be consumed were timbers holding up the 12-foot-tall, 2,000-pound statue of the Virgin Mary that stood atop the building’s dome, a wooden structure sheathed in tin and painted white. When the supports burned through, the sculpture of Mary went plunging down into the core of building, pushing flaming timbers ahead of her and igniting the interior. It must have been an unnerving sight for the faithful to behold.…

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The Anonymous Donor

By Don Hicks

We called him the Aluminum Man, not because of the materials he salvaged but because of his coat. Once a bright metallic silver, its time on the streets had given it a dark patina that made him appear to be encased in one of the aluminum cans he gathered. He was a familiar sight in Handley, pushing his grocery cart back and forth along a seemingly random route. “He’s harmless,” everyone told us. “He’ll be around for a while, then the cops will pick him up during one of their periodic sweeps and he’ll go away but he always comes back.”…

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One Flu Over the Father's Nest

By Peter Graham '84

Everybody in the house is sick again. My 4-year-old, Madeline, packages every virus in Indiana and totes it home from preschool to share with us. Last week Madeline gave her cough and pink eye to our infant, Lincoln, whom we call Smiley, since grins through even the most miserable flu symptoms. He infected my wife, who now boasts a sinus infection, sore throat, wheezing cough and two

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Racing Against Time

By Andrew H. Malcolm

I’ve never really been one for the vicarious frights of horror movies. Roller coasters are fun as long as the tracks ahead are visible. But racing cars have intrigued me since childhood Memorial Days. On those inevitably sunny Midwest mornings Dad and I would decorate my bike with crepe paper and flags for the local parade as the garage radio broadcast the thrills and chills of the Indianapolis 500.…

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The next big thing just might be a Notre Dame invention

By John Monczunski


“Let me show you something,” Hsueh-Chia Chang says, like a kid with a new toy. With that, he hunches over his laptop, taps the keys a few times and produces the image of a tornado. A funnel cloud forms at the top of the screen swirling debris ever faster, drawing it in and concentrating it down. The 10-second video brings a smile to the face of the Notre Dame chemical engineering professor nearly every time he views it because he knows how truly amazing it is. That, and how valuable it might be.…

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Walking the Woods: An excerpt from _ Back to Earth: A Backpacker's Journey into Self and Soul_

By Kerry Temple ’74


It really isn’t much, as parcels of nature go: an ordinary wedge of land, common in appearance. But it is to me a hallowed place. For eight years I ran my dog here; we didn’t miss a day. No matter how surly or mean the weather, we’d come to these woods tucked into the crescent bend of a slow, brown river. We would walk a loop, a meandering circle, with my dog racing ahead, galloping after groundhogs, sniffing out squirrels, treeing raccoons.…

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At the Door of a Brave New World

By Harvey A. Bender

Patricia had missed her first two appointments at the Genetics Center, but her dad assured us she’d be there this time. We scheduled her as our last patient of the day—just in case she’d be a no-show again. She had been referred by her family physician, who believed she might be manifesting early signs of Huntington’s disease (HD), a neurodegenerative disorder that is incurable and always fatal.…

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Arms Unfolded: The search for common ground on abortion

By Todd David Whitmore

Speaking in January to New York state family-planning providers, Senator Hillary Clinton made the following invitation concerning the abortion issue: "There is an opportunity for people of good faith to find common ground in this debate." Should Catholics who agree with official teaching on the sanctity of the fetus—which I do—take up Senator Clinton's offer?…

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Leaving Arcadia

By Jessica Mesman


CBS showed too little faith in its show about God and a teenage girl

Just because I speak doesn’t mean anyone will listen.

God was aware that most people didn’t hear Him. He even had a sense of humor about it. Or at least He did on Joan of Arcadia, the recently canceled CBS

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Escort to Eternity

By Summer 2005

Let’s start with Ray. Ray lived alone, had advanced prostate cancer and 24-hour caregivers. Television was an unheeded background presence—unless a golf tournament was airing. When I first visited Ray, our conversations could be halting and sporadic but rapport came surprisingly fast. I think it was because I was the only guy in his life at this point. We eventually discovered a common love of jazz and good “drinking” songs.…

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That's News To Me

By Robert Schmuhl ’70

When the Television Critics Association selected The Daily Show on Comedy Central as the outstanding news and information program for 2004, the host of the nightly satire, Jon Stewart, acted mystified. Winner the year before for best achievement in comedy, Stewart worried the award might be a case of mistaken identity.…

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Those angry readers

By Kerry Temple ’74

“Dear Editor,” the note began, “after reading ‘Bush Country’ in which R. Bruce Dold spent several pages licking George Bush’s shoes, I have lost all respect for your magazine. Please cancel my subscription.”

“Please cancel my subscription,” said the second. “I cannot recall perusing such a steady diet of trivia in the face of the criminal behavior of our country in the slaughter of Iraq.”…

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Catching the Light Just So

By Notre Dame Magazine staff

The Photography of Matt Cashore


Matt Cashore, ND class of 1994 has been photographing the Notre Dame campus for 15 years. He’s shot the Dome, the ducks, the joggers by the lakes. Football games and tailgaters. Classrooms and labs and assorted “campus scenes.” The arrival of freshmen, the pageantry of commencement, the casual solemnity of residence hall Masses. He’s taken portraits for annual reports, aerial shots for historic purposes and documentary stills of presidential visits.…

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