Tales Out of School . . . Parietals

Author: Notre Dame Magazine

Tales Out Of School


During my sophomore year, my roommate dated a girl from Saint Mary’s College. He and I made an agreement that when one of us . . . ahem . . . “needed the room,” that person would place a thumbtack on the outside of our door at eye level, our subtle way of communicating “do not disturb.”

One Friday evening, I went to a movie. When I returned, the fun began:

11 p.m. — Thumbtack on the door. Hmmph. Whatever. I went back out.

Midnight — Thumbtack still there. Seriously, dude? I went back out.

1 a.m. — Thumbtack still there. What the hell? I went back out.

2 a.m. — Thumbtack still there. Okay, enough is enough.

I knocked on the door. Two startled voices shouted, “Just a minute!” I waited exactly 60 seconds then opened the door. There were my roommate and his girlfriend, decently dressed although somewhat . . . disheveled. I said, “I’m sorry to interrupt. I really am. But it’s after 2, and I’m exhausted. I will be dead asleep in five minutes, I guarantee it. Then you can do whatever you want.”

My roommate chose the wiser course and escorted his girlfriend back to Saint Mary’s. The next day, he said, “I just assumed that you would crash in someone else’s room last night.”

I stared incredulously at him and said, “Did you now? Where exactly in our ‘agreement’ was that spelled out?” He looked befuddled.

Weeks later, the girlfriend broke up with him. I can’t imagine why.

— Jack Connolly ’81


Bye Bye Bye

The sound of the RA’s keys shaking during the minutes before midnight may not have been a welcome one to young couples snuggling in Pangborn Hall. Those keys, however, sparked creativity as my roommates and I watched the boys trickle out every night, a playlist of songs forming in our heads.

The playlist included songs like “Closing Time,” “Leave (Get Out)” and “Bye Bye Bye,” and eventually these songs would join the nightly jangle of keys on the third floor of Pangborn.

One night in the deep of winter, we decided to create a music video to accompany the playlist. Hours of dancing, singing, outtakes and skillful editing by Nicole Sganga ’15 later, the Parietals Playlist was complete. It now has over 12,000 views on YouTube.

The video perfectly captures the fun, joy and friendship in the dorm. In the video are girls from all four classes, all corners of the country, and majors ranging from business to pre-professional, applied math and film, television and theatre.

So many memories from my years in Pangborn may be forgotten with time, but the Parietals Playlist will be a lasting reminder of how wonderful it was to live in that old, square building on the corner of South Quad with 164 of the best people I know.

— Mary Kate (Veselik) Taulman ’14, ’16M.Ed.

Notre Dame Magazine invites personal essays of no more than 250 words on subjects of nostalgic interest to alumni of all ages. Here are upcoming topics, deadlines and details about how to submit.