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What I'm Reading: The Other Einstein, Marie Benedict

By Stacy A. Nyikos ’90

Watching National Geographic’s period drama, Genius, which in its first season told the story of Albert Einstein, held a fascinating surprise for me: his first wife, Mileva Maric. She, too, was a talented physicist. So when I came across a historical novel about her, I jumped on the opportunity to learn more.

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What I'm Reading: Tribe, Sebastian Junger

By Brendan O’Shaughnessy ’93

Tribes are a hot topic today as a concept political scientists and pundits have found useful to describe America's polarized political landscape. But our tribal tendencies may have a flip side: a way in which, properly harnessed, tribal instincts and behavior might alleviate other scourges of modern society.

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Soundings: Thanks to the trail guide

By Kerry Temple ’74

I remember thinking how weird it felt. I was sitting on an airplane in a seat next to my boss, 20 years older than me, and a man with whom I’d had minimal conversations. We were both quiet, introverted, not prone to talking. Plus he was my boss, the magazine’s editor. And I didn’t like flying.

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Out of the Office: A doctor is born

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

A plate of cookies sat on a table by the door, half-empty by the time I arrived. Coffee in cardboard boxes and a stack of clean paper cups. I didn’t dare pour one for myself because I was late, having walked halfway around McCourtney Hall, angsty and out of breath and unable to find the “auditorium.” Plus which, I’d never been to a doctoral defense before.

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Green machines

By Rasmus Jorgensen

In search of savings and lower carbon emissions, Notre Dame is employing a new heating and cooling system: planet Earth.

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What I’m Reading: Resurrection, Jim Dent 

By Ken Bradford '76

The book I’m re-reading now is Resurrection: The Miracle Season That Saved Notre Dame by Jim Dent. I read it first about five years ago and boisterously recommend it to fellow alums I meet during the reunions each summer. It is particularly poignant now with the death of legendary football coach Ara Parseghian.

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A modest proposal on taxes and hacks

By Robert Schmuhl ’70

Dear Mr. President: I know that mentioning the phrases “Russian hacking” and “tax returns” might raise your blood pressure or lead your thumbs to a Twitter thread. So I apologize at the outset for raising two of your least favorite subjects in this letter.

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What I’m Reading: Swing Time, Zadie Smith

By Erin McAuliffe '17

We read Zadie Smith in my Creative Non-Fiction class at Notre Dame last year. In that same class we did an exercise on the diversity of our literary canon, which is overwhelmingly beige. This is a problem in all media, and Swing Time digs into this, with class differences at the center of the story and race also playing a factor.

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Out of the Office: Truly gone girl

By Carol Schaal '91M.A.

A friend who had once taught a blind person how to play golf gave up on me after two lessons. Much as I can lose track of time when strolling through Pinterest, my abilities in the make-it, bake-it, craft-it world are abysmal. And how much more time can I spend with family before we all start throwing leftover Jell-O salad at each other? Ah, yes, retirement.

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What I’m Reading: The Patriarch, David Nasaw

By Tom Scanlon ’60

I have always been interested in the relationship Joseph P. Kennedy had with Father John J. Cavanaugh, CSC, president of Notre Dame from 1946 to ’52. So I was pleased to pick up The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy and find this story.

 

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Weighty twist to the game of polo

By Rasmus Jorgensen

When you play the game of elephant polo, as one does, rules must be followed, particularly on the side of the elephants. No elephant can sit down in front of its goal in order to defend it. That’s a foul. No more than two elephants from the same team can be on one half of the field at one time. Foul. And an elephant cannot use its trunk to pick up the ball. They do anyway. “They'll lob it. They'll pick it up and kind of throw it, and it's funny,” says David Partridge ’13EMBA.

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La Cueca Sola

By Nathan Stone ’79

The women of Chile danced alone back then, dancing for the Families of the Disappeared, as a way to denounce the senseless loss of sons and lovers stolen in the dark of night.

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