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.
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.
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.”…
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.
At Thanksgiving time I think of people who deserve a thank you. This year I’m thinking of John A. Richardson. Here’s why.
Scott Russell Sanders stands behind the podium in the Hesburgh Center auditorium, a smallish venue, and reads from his latest project, yet unpublished — fictional stories to accompany a series of images by Peter Forbes, a Vermont-based photographer
Colleagues remember physicist V. Paul Kenney not only for his scientific contributions but also for the leadership, determination and humanity he brought to his research program.
I have a friend who is much more comfortable with the thought of dying than I am. A few years older, he cares for the elderly, stands watch with them, then ushers them through that eerie portal. He told me recently that death will be a buoyant moment because “all your spiritual guides will be there to welcome you into their company.”
They entered the kitchen singly, arriving randomly, while I was getting some coffee at work. A writer, a photographer and a videographer. They had all been to Milk River, Montana, on assignment for this magazine.
The student writer was giving good advice. In his Observer column he was criticizing competitively cutthroat academic environments he had known. He liked that Notre Dame students choose community over competition.
Frederick Franck was an extraordinary man — an oral surgeon, sculptor, author of more than 30 books and an artist with work in the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney. One fall day in 1962 he embarked on an extraordinary plan — but it wasn’t really a plan at all.
It was a nice day, I was tired of my office, the students were back, campus was calling. An exhibition at the Snite — One Hundred Years of Automobile Design — gave my excursion a sense of purpose and direction.
The landscape is bleak and grim, cold, gray, ashen, desolate. It is a post-apocalyptic world. Destitute. Barren. It is a world of the writer’s imagination. Although, given the forces, violence and powers of human destruction threatening the planet today, it is a world easy to conjure, to believe in, and to dread.
Norbert Krapf’s Catholic Boy Blues contains more than 10 dozen poems. The book is subtitled “A Poet’s Journal of Healing,” and that’s how it reads — shards of experience, signposts along a fitful journey. The poet took to writing the poems as a kind of therapy; he was sexually abused by a Catholic priest as a boy in small-town Indiana.
Emil T. Hofman was best known for his tough love, his demanding expectations, his hard-crusted warmth, and the individual care and attention he gave all his students.
When the marchers advanced on the courthouse in Selma, Alabama, in March 1965, they were confronted by police and state troopers. They knew that protesters in a previous march had been hammered by law enforcement authorities using billy clubs and tear gas. But this band of activists was intent on a peaceful protest but determined to help Southern blacks gain voting rights still deprived them despite the 1964 U.S. Civil Rights Act. At the head of line was a Holy Cross priest, Notre Dame’s 14th president, Father John J. Cavanaugh, CSC.