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A riddle of foxes

By Kerry Temple ’74

Foxes walk on their toes. The female is called a vixen. A group is called a “skulk” or “leash,” although foxes are largely solitary except when nestled as a family with young in their lair. They may weigh 7 to 24 pounds. They are nocturnal. Have vertical slit pupils like cats, see quite well at night. When hunting they stalk and pounce, rarely chasing. Omnivorous, they eat two pounds per day, have a superior sense of smell. They reproduce once a year, have a life span generally of one to four years. These are some of the facts I have gathered about foxes. But it doesn’t mean I know foxes, or understand the fox.

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The give and go

By Brian Doyle ’78

One day in my rambles I found the school’s tiny basketball court in a copse of sassafras and bottlebrush trees. Four boys were playing on it, and I stopped to watch, as I love basketball above all other games, love its grace and humor and creativity and generosity and simplicity, a game that can be played beautifully by anyone of any size, a game that does not reward violence, a game that does reward selflessness and inventiveness and speed and liquidity.

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The time to buy is now

By Kelley Madick

It was a cold spring day in 2011 when Jess, my sister, asked me to meet her at a barn to see the Arabian horse she wanted to buy. “I need your help to decide whether I should take him home,” she said, which really meant Jess had already bought the gelding and needed me to tell her husband that she’d found a great horse. Act first; then assess. That’s her way.

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Going gently, together

By Kathy Royer ’90M.A.

From a distance they looked like new lovers. Their steps didn’t match as they walked in the soft foam and back again onto the sweet wet sand. Their bodies strained toward each other with a kind of unfulfilled longing. Up close an observer could see that he was old and she middle-aged. They shared the same blue eyes framed by dark lashes and brows. His were red and watery; hers set in a new Florida tan. Their conversation was intense with effort.

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What Father Ted taught me

By Robert Schmuhl ’70

From the day of his ordination in 1943 until he said his last Mass on the day he died in 2015, Hesburgh conducted himself in ways that provided abiding lessons. A few of them are worth remembering throughout this anniversary year — and into the future.

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A field of dreams

By Bill Dow

Big dreams can come true. Six months after graduating from Notre Dame, where Aileen Villareal had served as a football student manager, the 22-year-old left her stint as an unpaid marketing development intern for the Houston Astros to begin a successful six-year career in media relations with the Detroit Tigers.

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To have and to hold

By Carol Schaal '91M.A.

The images of the millions of displaced people living in refugee camps can be overwhelming to those who wish to offer assistance. It hurts even more to know that, as the Refugee Council USA says, “Over half of all recorded refugees are children who have been deprived of their material possessions, statehood, and sometimes even loved ones.” Steve Lehmann ’14MBA had an idea for how to ease the distress of dispossessed children.

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Deaths in the family

By The editors

Timothy S. Fuerst, a prolific economist, popular teacher and beloved colleague to his fellow faculty members, died February 21 at age 54 after a 10-month battle with stomach cancer.

University of Notre Dame Archives

In a letter to The Observer after Fuerst’s death, fellow economics professor Joe Kaboski described him as a “saint” and “the most upbeat person I’ve ever known,” for whom laughter and whistling were constant musical accompaniments to his presence.…

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The art of racing

By Kathy Jonas

Just as an artist uses negative space to strengthen a composition, Jim Swintal ’79 considers the spaces between race cars to make sure drivers traveling upwards of 200 mph have delineated boundaries. “I see the world a little differently than most people,” says Swintal, who works as the voice of race control with the IndyCar series. In the offseason, he creates highly detailed, commissioned works of art depicting race cars during competitions.

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Can Nothing Save Us?

By Jason Kelly '95

The problems facing our species at this moment in history, says Roy Scranton, suggest grim passage ahead, although some kind of redemption might be possible through art and the imagination.

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It's for Joy, Undiluted

By Jennifer Anne Moses

‘About the time my son went into Gaza as a soldier with the Israeli Defense forces, I started learning to play Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring,” which expresses in music my own longing to give my heart to God.’

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Truth to Power

By Tara Hunt McMullen ’12

Father Bob Pelton went to Latin America to serve the people there, but he didn’t envision his work for social justice would put his life in danger — as subversive to government efforts there, and here.

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Part-Time Bee Tender

By Sharon Tregaskis

As a kid on visits to Idaho, John Fry ’93 marveled at the stores of honey arrayed on his grandmother’s kitchen shelves. Now an analyst with the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington, D.C., Fry started keeping bees in April 2010 to guarantee access to the chemical-free elixir he’d enjoyed as a kid.

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Home Grown

By Andrea Crawford

“This new approach to agriculture is best defined not as organic or sustainable but agroecological and regenerative.”

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What I’m Reading, The New Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency, John Seymour

By Rasmus Jorgensen

The classic guide for realists and dreamers. That’s the subtitle of John Seymour’s classic The New Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency. I’m a bit of both. My dream is having a small farm, around five acres. On top of that I’d like to build and fix as much as possible on my own, preferably using materials that I don’t need to go to the store to get. Seymour, in this book, covers all of that — and much more.

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Service with a pen and notebook

By Rasmus Jorgensen

When Katherine Corcoran graduated from Notre Dame, she chose to join the press and report on the commencement ceremony, which featured Ronald Reagan as the speaker, rather than walking with her classmates. “[I]f you want to be a journalist, that’s your role. . . . Your way of being involved and your service to the society is with the pen and the notebook.”

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