News » Archives » 2015

What I'm Reading: Still Alice, Lisa Genova

By Tara Hunt ’12

I found myself on a nine-hour flight with no television, no Internet and all my downloaded films mysteriously deleted from my e-reader. While wondering how I was going to pass the time, I remembered I had downloaded Still Alice, a book which has been on my to-read list for nearly a decade.

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Notre Dame to Nicaragua

By Beth Grisoli ’87, ’90M.A.

A few months ago, I was invited on an all-expense paid trip out of the country for spring break. Sounds a bit exotic, doesn’t it? The Notre Dame chapter of Global Medical Brigades planned to take 34 students, five volunteer doctors, one dentist and a dental hygienist to Nicaragua to provide basic health care.

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What I’m reading: The War of Art, Steven Pressfield

By Kerry Temple ’74

So I’m talking to this other guy who writes. And we’re lamenting this and that, commiserating, comparing notes, talking the trade — group therapy for two. He asks if I’ve read The War of Art, and I must look puzzled because he says the title is a play on the classic, The Art of War.

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Seen & Heard

By The editors

Katie Mullins ’14 unwittingly found herself on Taylor Swift’s Christmas list last fall after she lipsynced a bonus track from Swift’s 1989 album and posted the video clip to Tumblr. Soon after, the Alliance for Catholic Education teacher received a large parcel full of jewelry, snacks, a signed poster for Mullins’ third-grade classroom in Tucson and other gifts, each one wrapped by the singer with its own handwritten note. “I’ll never forget my 3rd grade teacher, and your students will never forget you,” the enclosed card read. “You didn’t choose an easy job, but you chose an important one.” . . .…

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A life in tune

By Carol Schaal

When he was 22, Rourke O’Brien’s life plan was relatively straightforward. “I wanted to put on a suit and tie and make money,” he says. O’Brien ’78 was thrilled when he landed a job as a stockbroker in his hometown of Bellevue, Washington. He stayed in the world of finance for more than 20 years. Then came 2001. The stock market crashed. Terrorists attacked the United States. And O’Brien agonized over the meaning of his life.

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Accessorizing a business

By Carol Schaal

Even Rachel Ourada ’05 sounds a bit surprised by what she does for a living. “I make fabric buttons,” she says. “This is a real career.” The jewelry artist, who turns those buttons into earrings, necklaces, rings, hairpins and cufflinks, is not being defensive, however. She’s just pleased that she created a successful business out of something she started doing for fun.

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Everyman a hero

By Michael Rodio ’12

Years before Guardians of the Galaxy unexpectedly charmed its way across the silver screen — before the movie made $774 million, the biggest film of last summer, starring a gun-toting raccoon and a talking tree named Groot — the galaxy’s unlikeliest heroes first entered the imagination of an editor at Marvel Comics named Bill Rosemann.

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The party's over

By Michael Peppard ’98

It’s after midnight, which means it’s my birthday. But the only sign of revelry here is that I drank all the available Guinness in my parents’ basement. I didn’t plan it that way. It’s just what happened while I was demonstrating — to no one in particular (actually to no one at all) — that I am the greatest billiard player in my family. Or, at least, the greatest billiard player who doesn’t have a brain tumor.

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Gamer

By Tara Hunt ’12

Fifteen-year-old Sarah Brenzel lay awake on an operating room table as doctors slowly slid a catheter through an incision in her groin, up her femoral artery, through her aorta and, finally, up into the arteries in her brain. She started to shake. The doctor quickly reminded her that one wrong movement could puncture a vessel and cause a stroke or death. She lay still once more.

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The Sportswriter

By Todd C. Ream

Like a child eagerly awaiting Christmas, Francis Wallace, Class of 1923 and the father of college football’s annual “Pigskin Preview,” was anticipating the release of a magazine carrying his most recent installment in that series. When he saw the issue, it was not the gift he was expecting.

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Show Some Restraint

By Michael C. Desch

In a presidential debate with a sitting vice president, a candidate from the other party distanced himself from the activist foreign policy of the previous administration in favor of a more restrained approach to the world. “I don’t think our troops ought to be used for what’s called nation-building,” he declared. The candidate also warned that America’s overwhelming power was both a blessing and a curse. As he explained, “Our nation stands alone right now in the world in terms of power, and that’s why we have to be humble.”

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Michael's booties

By Patrick Gallagher '83

Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway won a bet that he could create a novel in six words by writing the following on a napkin: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Those six words suggest a tragic story of loss, with perhaps a bitter attempt to forget. My wife and I have unworn baby shoes that tell a different story.

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The family, one tale at a time

By Josh Stowe '01

Meet Fred, Notre Dame’s first service dog for mental illness. Catch up with a Chinese student who shares what he misses about his hometown. Hear a campus employee’s thoughts on fatherhood.

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Haunting the Hallways

By Kenneth Garcia ’08Ph.D.

Had I lived around 1143 A.D., my name might be: Ken Walker or, better, Ken, walker. My son might be: Michael, son of Walker, or Michael Walkerson. Since I was a teen I have walked a lot, usually solitary rambles outdoors. When in the country, I hike trails in the woods or along no trails at all; I let curiosity lead me.

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