Recently I was asked to speak to a group for three to five minutes about how my faith life informs my work and how my work affects my faith life.
We all know how the story ends. Many of us know how the story goes. There’s the wintry arrival at the cabin by the lake, the cholera epidemic and other early hardships, and the devastating fire of 1879 — his faithful re-imagining of the university he founded and his mythical “too small a dream” speech.
Here is a little-known truth about Notre Dame Magazine: Carol Schaal ’91M.A., the managing editor, would be named the magazine’s Most Valuable Player if the award were put to a vote of the staff. Probably by unanimous decision.
Every year — along about commencement season — the Notre Dame lakefronts become toddler playgrounds for fuzzy little ducks and geese. Waddling in the grass, stumbling and scooting to keep up, trailing mothers single file, they eventually skim the placid waters like little bathtub toys.
An ode to the delights of summer vacation, whatever the season.
It was the summer I trafficked in Coke. The best summer ever. 1970.
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.
I had great parents. One of the best things they did for me was to talk about stuff. And we had lots to talk about.
Tom Suddes ’71 died September 26 at age 67. It’s hard to believe. Tom Suddes was a life force not easily extinguished — even with his two-year battle against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease. There’s no way his life story ends there, though.
For one thing, there is the legacy. His lasting impact on generations of Notre Dame students — as a volunteer. Living on in the lives he changed. Hard to imagine anyone else making such tremendous personal contributions to the place as an unpaid volunteer. Few have made such a difference as full-time employees.…
Our cover story was assigned more than a year ago. I was wondering about the dramatic decline in trust toward government leaders, the media, religion, big business and other organizations once thought to be foundational to a strong society.
On the night before Christmas, when I was little, the very air would be teeming with excitation. The world felt wondrous and magical and alive in anticipation of the unbelievable making a real-life visit.
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.
Call this little parable a lesson in human nature. See if it helps illuminate what’s happening in America these days. I think it does.
The pursuit of excellence starts early and drives many young people toward the nation’s elite colleges and universities. But success has its costs, and victims.
I have always loved magazines. I remember, as a boy, poring over the copies of Life and Look, The Saturday Evening Post and National Geographic, Boys’ Life, Sports Illustrated, even Redbook, Vogue, Good Housekeeping and Time that came into our house.
I picked up Mrs. Bixby’s Last Day when looking for a book for my kids to read. They weren’t interested in it and, because the book’s premise is a middle-school teacher who has cancer and not long to live. Still, my kids are in middle school and death is something worth thinking about and one of the cover blurbs said, “Kids won’t just love this book. They need it.” It’s been a hit.
That is a bristlecone pine — Pinus longaeva — on the cover. So yes, this issue’s cover story is about a kind of tree. But it is not just about a tree, not even really about what may be the oldest living thing on earth, which the bristlecone pine is believed to be.
Robert Putnam is on a mission. You can hear it in his voice when he speaks, even though a good portion of his talk at Notre Dame was spent showing charts and graphs and explaining what they mean.
Edward Kline, who was a Notre Dame professor for 34 years and the first Frank O’Malley Director of the Freshman Writing Program, died last November, two weeks short of his 82nd birthday. A specialist in Old English literature, the Denbo, Pennsylvania, native also was an early user of computer technology in language study and teaching. He served as chairman of the English department as well as the music department. But he is most often associated with student writing programs, and his students admired his commitment to their becoming effective writers and educators in language and literature. “He was nearing the end of his time with the English department as I was beginning mine,” recalled John Duffy, now head of the University Writing Program, “and I recall his passion for excellence in student writing, his commitment to good teaching and his generosity in helping me, a newcomer to the University, find my way at Notre Dame. He was a gentleman, and he will be missed.”…
Rev. Robert F. Griffin, CSC, ’49, ’58M.A., once one of the University’s most renowned characters, wrote regularly for Notre Dame Magazine as well as a weekly column for The Observer. He wrote 51 essays for this magazine between 1972 and 1994, with 49 of these gathered into a collection now published by the University of Notre Dame Press as The Pocket-Size God: Essays from Notre Dame Magazine.
OK. Hey. Just forget all that. Go outside and play. Time for recess, take a break. Head to the lake. “School’s out for summer!” Do something fun.
Almost 70 years had passed since Captain Charles D. Stapleton was killed in action. The white cross offers very few clues of the life so honored there. Etched into the stone cross is Captain Stapleton’s name and rank and home state. That’s it. But it’s not quite where this story begins.
At Notre Dame athletics has always been a very big deal. And Games the Irish Play: The History of Non Varsity and Recreational Sport at the University of Notre Dame is a very big book, providing a thorough history of nonvarsity and recreational sports at Notre Dame, from 1842 right up to the present.
Father Hesburgh’s strength was discerning the proper path through the most vexing challenges, then having the savvy to get the job done.
Jake Page was good for me. He wrote often and well for this magazine, and that writing not only entertained and informed our readers but also set an example for others — like myself — to emulate as writers, essayists, students of the world.
It was a time of celebration, theatrics were in order, the mood was indeed festive. Shakespeare was in the air
When I was in journalism school 40 years ago, we learned about those factors that went into making news judgments. One was proximity — the value of the hometown story, of localizing news, giving greater weight to events near at hand, looking into the distance (the war in Vietnam, for instance) only as foreign affairs affected us. We were warned not to focus on problems in distant parts of the world while ignoring stories closer to home.…
Richard Russo is a favorite author of mine. And That Old Cape Magic reaffirms the reasons for my admiration. It’s about real people, authentically and richly cast, leading familiar lives, coping — as we all do — with the trials and triumphs of real life.
You are probably reading this on a computer, a tablet, some kind of mobile device. That’s OK. But you should know it’s not the same as reading these same words on paper.