News » Archives » 2008

A Good Read

By Kerry Temple ’74

And then, before I knew it, carried by the words, I found myself with a group of people in the cold January desert night in southern Colorado, watching the moon.

The passage across time and space wasn’t immediate. It took more than a few paragraphs to get my head out of the papery clutter and psychic noise of my office. At the time I was immersed in the swirl of getting the autumn issue done, thinking about the portrayal of Jimmy Carter and the writer’s take on the thorny, hot-button Israeli-Palestinian affair. I had a couple of articles of my own to write (hadn’t started) and was thinking about that proposed piece on abortion and presidential politics. I faced a backlog of emails, a dispute needing finesse, a squabble needing a referee. I pondered what the magazine might do with Iraq, Iran, global warming. I could hear the echoes of barking readers, the wishes of family, the argument between my health and morning donut and, well, I was fretting over my lineup for the fantasy baseball finals.…

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The Human Tide

By None

The story of immigration is a complex collection of statements, studies and personal narratives that pose conflicting truths and vexing questions. Here are some of those thoughts:

Immigration is a phenomenon that has shaped and reshaped the world for thousands of years. Here in the United States immigration is driving an intense and divisive national debate, one that stretches from the halls of Congress to communities across the country where people grapple with its effects in real and emotional ways. No other issue has so divided our country or stirred so much emotion since the Civil Rights Movement of the last century. The outcome of this debate will help us define our national character for years to come.…

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The Picture of Purpose

By Richard Conklin '59M.A.

Updated: Feb. 27, 2015: This article makes an erroneous reference to John Cody, later Cardinal Archbishop of Chicago, who was Apostolic Administrator in New Orleans at the time. We regret the error.


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Father Theodore Hesburgh, CSC, answered the phone on the morning of June 21, 1964, a date that would become famous for the murder of three young civil rights workers in Mississippi. Martin Luther King’s crusade had moved north to Chicago, and a massive rally was scheduled in Soldier Field that day. The caller told Hesburgh that Mayor Richard Daley and Cardinal John Cody had turned down invitations. Would Hesburgh, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, show the flag for church and state?…

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In the Silence of that Hallway

By Ed Stubbing '64

Ed Stubbing ’64

“E-d-d-d-d?”

Ignore it, Ed. It’s a dream. Just a dream.

“E-d-d-d-d?”

Uh-oh. Maybe not a dream. Maybe it’s . . . Lu.

“E-d-d-d-d! E-d-d-d-d!”

My mother-in-law, Lu, 89, is a 16-year veteran of the Alzheimer’s Wars. Three years ago a stroke took its toll, and Lu needs a walker to move about. I press the Indiglo-light button on my Timex: 3:30—earliest ever. Time for an Action Plan. Sit up in bed. Shift legs. Place feet on rug. Stand. Stare into darkness.…

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Seen and heard on the Notre Dame campus (Winter 2007–08)

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

The 2007 season on the field was one to forget, but the previous year Notre Dame still boasted the most valuable team in college football, according to data that Forbes magazine evaluated in its second annual appraisal of the revenue generated by the sport. The 20-team ranking valued the ‘06 Fighting Irish squad at $101 million, based on profits contributed to the University and incremental spending in Saint Joseph County. Some $21.1 million of the program’s $45.8 million profit for that season underwrites academic programs, “as much as the next five most valuable programs contributed to their respective schools combined,” Forbes

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Reflection: The Domer

By Joseph W. Schmidt '35

Before Joseph W. Schmidt ’35 attended his 65-year reunion at Notre Dame, he mailed wrote and mailed a poem to his surviving classmates. He wanted, says his daughter, “to let them know how much ND and his classmates meant to him.”

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Deaths of Notre Dame alumni (Spring 2008)

By the Notre Dame Alumni Association

Thomas C. David, Sr. ’34, 11/22/2007, Mobile, AL
Rev. Roman S. Ladewski, CSC ’36, 12/18/2007, Notre Dame, IN
Francis L. Layden ’36, 11/16/2007, Cedar Rapids, IA
Joseph W. Ratigan ’36, 07/08/2007, Haverford, PA
Julius P. Rocca ’36, 01/12/2008, Albuquerque, NM
Harold R. Stine ’36, 12/16/2007, Riviera Beach, FL

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Defending Pakistan's constitution

By Sean O'Brien '95, '01J.D., '02LL.M.

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When General Pervez Musharraf suspended the Pakistani Constitution and imposed martial law last November, Ali Qazilbash ’97LL.M., ’05J.S.D. knew that he was facing a crisis for which he had prepared all of his life.

Ironically, the news reached Qazilbash, dean of the Pakistan College of Law in Lahore, just after he had given a public presentation on the protections of the Pakistani Constitution. By decree of the general, who had ruled Pakistan for eight years after taking power in a military coup, those protections simply disappeared. In his attempt to silence opposition and be elected president, Musharraf also had hundreds of lawyers and human-rights activists arrested.…

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Hesburgh Lectures: Have lectern will travel

By Angela Sienko

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You would think it would be necessary to travel to South Bend to tap into the academic, spiritual and intellectual resources offered by Notre Dame and its faculty. Traditionally, in order to learn from Notre Dame professors, department chairs, college deans and fellows, you have to be in a classroom on ND’s campus, right?…

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Domers in the News (Spring 2008)

By Notre Dame Magazine staff

Former Notre Dame women’s basketball center and WNBA All Star Ruth Riley ’01 went to Mali, West Africa, last December as part of the United Nations Foundation’s “Nothing But Nets” campaign, a global grassroots effort to prevent malaria. Riley was part of a U.S. delegation that delivered 133,000 long-lasting, insecticide-treated mosquito nets. More than 2 million bed nets will eventually be distributed as part of the campaign. . . . A ferocious fish that lived 95 million years ago in what is now Morocco has been named after Mark Pankowski ’88

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Notre Dame alumni briefs

By Alumni Association

Coach Weis to Visit Award-Winning Notre Dame Clubs

Head football coach Charlie Weis ’78 is giving ND clubs even more incentive to strive for Outstanding Club Award status; these clubs will be added to his list of speaking engagements each year. Weis also will schedule visits with Lennon Award-winning clubs.…

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The value of res life

By Julie Hail Flory

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Ask any Notre Dame student, past or present, to share their fondest memory of the undergraduate experience, and it’s a pretty safe bet the story will in some way lead them back home.

Home to their residence hall, that is.

“Your education at Notre Dame really takes place in a significant way in the dorms,” says Peter Tooher, a senior who has lived all four years in the stately campus abode known affectionately as The Manor—Morrissey Manor, that is.…

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Cafe Choice Creative Work by Notre Dame People

By Matt Cashore '94

Compiled by Carol Schaal ’91M.A.

Americas, Kevin McCormick ’90 (Mirabilis Records). The musician’s second solo guitar release focuses on classical music with a Latin touch. The 15-track CD also includes some of the guitarist’s original compositions. Visit kevin-mccormick.com/ for more information.

American Songs, volume 2

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Choices in brief: web extra (Spring 2008)

By Carol Schaal '91M.A.

Chipmunks in Action! photography by Les Voorhis, text by Julia Monczunski ’02 (Royal Tine Publishing Inc.) Child-friendly educational text highlights the playful full-color pictures of chipmunks in action in this book about wildlife. The photos were taken in Custer State Park in the Black Hills of South Dakota. To order, call 605-645-6326.…

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Sharing hope, day by day

By Carol Schaal '91M.A.

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During a jog around the Notre Dame campus in October 2006, several seminarians also exercised their brains. “We were reflecting on ways that we could try to share the hope and the joy that we experience with Holy Cross,” says Andrew Gawrych, CSC, ’02, ’07M.Div.

The beatification of Father Basil Moreau, founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross, was on the horizon, and, Gawrych says, “We also wanted people to get to know him.”…

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Painter Drawn Back to Campus

By Carol Schaal '91M.A.

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It’s been more than 20 years since Richard McDaniel ‘84MFA has been on the Notre Dame campus, and the landscape painter can’t wait for his May visit. A big sycamore tree by the Grotto is calling his name.

“Is it still there?” he asks, his worry carrying over the phone lines from his Santa Rosa, California, home. “Oh, I really hope it is.”…

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Where Stories Are Told

By Ruth Keyso '91

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Two years before famed African-American playwright August Wilson died in 2005, Polly Carl ’88, ’90M.A., drove him around the Twin Cities to see where he hung out in the early years of his career.

“August was the most important playwright who got his start at the Playwrights’ Center,” says Carl, producing artistic director of the Minneapolis-based organization. “He was a storyteller; he went on to win all of the major awards in theater. And there he was in my car, showing me the apartment where he lived, where he worked, and a couple of places where his early work was performed” in the 1980s.…

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Letters to the Editor (Spring 2008)

By Matt Cashore '94

Editor’s note: The letters that appeared in the spring 2008 print issue are marked with double asterisks (**). The original, longer versions of some of those letters also are included here.

Living Green

**The biggest hurdle environmentalists face in this country (“A New Climate of Cooperation”) is not technological but sociological. An overwhelming majority of Americans think of energy conservation, recycling and carbon dioxide footprints as something someone else needs to worry about. Only a grassroots approach will solve this problem.…

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A new twist on blues poetry

By Cornelius Eady

When people talk about the blues they usually think about it as a complaint or a moan. But actually it’s a survival mechanism. It’s there so you don’t blow your top and turn to something worse. You need to get it out. And you also need to have people who feel sympathetic listening to it and hearing.

Generally, the blues and blues poetry has had a “male voice,” a male point of view. Langston Hughes and the other poets of the Harlem Renaissance were wonderful at using the blues form—which traces back to slavery, to the songs, rhythms and storytelling brought over from Africa—to talk about the interior life of African Americans in America. So we have wonderful poems about street life and the dealings between men and women and how it feels to be alive. With Honorée Jeffers’ poetry (an example below) we hear the woman’s story, a whole new twist on what the blues is supposed to be about. She adds to that tradition, is deeply in it, but not bound by it.…

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That blue note sound

By John Monczunski

The so-called “blue notes” are what give the blues its distinctive sound, says Larry Dwyer, Notre Dame associate professional specialist of music and director of jazz studies. Blue notes are “bent” to a slightly lower pitch than those in the traditional European scale. They trace their origin to the original scales on which native African songs are based.…

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The mind of the blues

By John Monczunski

One of the ways in which the blues may help people psychologically is the way in which it deals with grief, says Notre Dame psychology Professor Scott Monroe, who studies depression. “It offers a way of sharing adversity and hardship without imparting the feeling that someone is merely complaining.”

Even though the English Renaissance philosopher and essayist never heard Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf or Bessie Smith, Monroe says Sir Francis Bacon understood the heart of the blues when he said: “But one thing is most admirable . . . which is that this communicating of a man’s self to his friend works two contrary effects; for it redoubleth joys and cutteth grief in half. For there is no man that imparteth his griefs to his friend, but he groweth the less.”…

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The theology blues

By Hugh Page Jr.

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Despite what the lyrics may say, at its heart the blues is fundamentally optimistic. When you experience a crisis that is too difficult to articulate fully, that seems too intractable to be resolved, the ability to give voice—rhythmically and poetically—to that frustration becomes an expression of the indomitability of the human soul. It is a fundamentally optimistic assertion about the nature of life.…

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Blues appeal

By John Monczunski

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“Jumpin’ Gene” Halton plays harmonica, or “harp,” as it is known in the blues world, with his group, Off-the-Wall Blues Band, and acoustic duo, The Dillon Brothers. His alter ego, Professor Eugene W. Halton, teaches sociology at Notre Dame. In the past, Halton has combined his two identities, teaching the sociology course Blues and American Culture. This fall he will again use the blues as a window to examine American social history for a segment of his course on The Materialization of America

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Rethinking superconductivity

By John Monczunski

Despite their name, “high temperature” electrical superconductors actually require quite low temperatures by normal standards to work—the highest around minus-211 degrees Fahrenheit. At that temperature an electrical current flowing in a loop of superconducting wire would whip around forever with no additional power source because the superconductor has no electrical resistance.…

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ND astronomer finds two new planets

By John Monczunski

So maybe our solar system isn’t so special after all. In February, an international team of astronomers that includes Notre Dame’s David Bennett, announced the discovery of two planets in a distant solar system similar to ours, 5,000 light years from Earth.

Using a technique known as “gravitational microlensing” in which the gravitational field of one star acts as a lens, bending and magnifying light from another star, astronomers discovered “blips” in their data that indicated the presence of the two planets about the size of Jupiter and Saturn orbiting a red dwarf star about half the size of our sun.…

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Ante up to batter up

By John Monczunski

Before the first pitch is thrown on Opening Day each year since 1973, Major League Baseball has played another game that has a profound effect on the season. “Salary Arbitration,” usually played every February, pits certain eligible players who believe they are underplayed against team management in a contest to wrangle out their new wages.…

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The widow's pendulum

By John Monczunski

The loss of a spouse is one of life’s most traumatic events. Following a husband’s death, widows report riding a roller-coaster of emotions. However, a study by Cynthia Bergeman, a Notre Dame psychology professor, suggests the emotional trajectory of widowhood more closely resembles a pendulum experiencing friction as it swings.…

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The more 'ribbids' the better for Kermit

By John Monczunski

If they want to be the biggest frog on a pond’s lily pad, male frogs need to speak up. Lady frogs prefer “talkative” males, according to Sunny Boyd, Notre Dame professor of biological sciences. It seems the ladies judge Kermit on the basis of his vocal talents, with the more pulses and the longer the call equaling the more desirable male. Girl frogs aren’t interested in the strong silent type; the studs are the guys belting out the long “ribbids.”…

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