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Under Pressure: Off with the Necklace of Tears

By Natalie Ambrosio '17

In this fifth in a series of student-written pieces on the stresses and anxieties of college student life, a senior recalls a pair of life-changing lessons she learned midway through her sophomore year. “And I began to say no to the culture threatening to envelop me."

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What I’m Reading: The Last Kingdom, Bernard Cornwell

By Christina Payne '16

I don’t usually like historical fiction, but Bernard Cornwell’s books caught my attention when I was roaming the bookstore. The Last Kingdom is the first in a continuing series, an epic saga set in England around the 9th century B.C. Danish raiders from the north set out to conquer the island, killing all who stand in their path. It is a dangerous time for the Christian Britons, who see the invading pagan Danes as a threat to both their lives and their faith.

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The Organ Builders: Joe Green, carpenter

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

Joe Green is a boat builder by trade. It’s inherently nomadic work that has taken him far away from home, building everything from historic fishing-boat replicas to rowing shells to the 42-foot motorsailers of the rich and famous — but there was always something missing. So now he builds organs for a living.

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Soundings: True to Oneself

By Kerry Temple ’74

Several years ago I wanted to make more of Thanksgiving than turkey and football games. I decided to thank somebody who had impacted my life and express that gratitude by telling the story at this website. My memories of Mr. Burke point me in several directions.

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Under Pressure: A Notre Dame Wednesday

By Bridget Galassini '16

In this fourth in a series of student-written pieces on the stresses and anxieties of college student life, the writer briefly ponders one lesson during a brisk and fragmented day: “Our entire beings are dictated by verbs and actions and are ever-changing. I’m not Bridget. I’m Bridget-ing.”

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Electing the President 2016: Saddle up the Tiger

By Robert Schmuhl ’70

At age 70, the president-elect faces a new reality that couldn’t be more different from his decades as a developer or even his nearly 18 months as a political candidate. Showing up at the Oval Office each morning to “just see what develops,” in a phrase taken from his 1987 bestseller, The Art of the Deal, probably won’t suffice as a strategy for serving as president of the United States.

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Under Pressure: Great Expectations

By Claire Kramer '18

In this third essay in a series of student-written pieces on the stresses and anxieties of college student life, the writer reflects on the weight of a Notre Dame education. “Of all the things that a Notre Dame graduate could — and should — do,” she wonders, “how could I just want to go back home?”

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What I’m Reading: The Motel Life, Willy Vlautin

By Ken Bradford '76

If you’re not familiar with Willy Vlautin, you may hear more about him soon because the planned 2017 movie based on his 2010 novel, Lean on Pete, is expected to be a major hit. His four books — The Motel Life, The Free, Northline and Lean on Pete — all explore what I would call the permanent underclass. His characters are devoted to getting themselves out of immediate jams and away from pain.

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The Organ Builders: Erik McLeod, pipe maker

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

When he was ready to start high school in 1993, his family moved across Puget Sound from Tacoma to a tiny logging town called Shelton. It sure didn’t feel like it at the time, but for McLeod, now 37, teenage exile would turn out to be one of the best career moves of his life.

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Under Pressure: Thou Shalt Not Waste Summer

By Lara Dulin '17

In this second of a series of student-written pieces on the stresses and anxieties of college student life, the writer laments the social and professional dismissals that would likely follow a summer spent practicing Spanish and learning to play the mandolin.

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The Unsung Saint of South Vietnam

By William Yaley '63

My wife and I first met Sister Kateri Maureen Koverman in February 1975. She was bringing orphans from Vietnam to adoptive parents in the United States, and we helped babysit some of these children at the San Francisco International Airport while they awaited planes to take them to other states.

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Under Pressure: The Stress Dream

By Jack Rooney '16

In this first of a series of student-written pieces on the stresses and anxieties of college student life, the writer notes that his old coping strategies didn’t quite prepare him for senior year. “My conscious self didn’t know how to process it,” he writes. “So my unconscious self filled in the gaps.”

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What I’m Reading: Collision Low Crossers, Nicholas Dawidoff

By Jason Kelly '95

We don’t care about the assembly-line grind that produced a car, just whether or not it runs. Even though it is whether you win or lose that ultimately matters, how a football team is built provokes more curiosity than the process of tightening the bolts on a new Toyota. Author Nicholas Dawidoff helps satisfy that curiosity in Collision Low Crossers: A Year Inside the Turbulent World of NFL Football, a book based on his total access to the 2011 New York Jets.

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