Editor Blogs

Miss Christy

By Jason Kelly '95

“Costumes don’t define who we are. It’s characters.” That sounds just like something Christy Burgess would say, but she’s not within earshot. Her students are channeling her.

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What I’m Reading: Wait, What? James E. Ryan

By Carol Schaal '91M.A.

Ask any college graduate what their commencement speaker said, and chances are you’ll get a shrug in return. On May 26, 2016, however, James Ryan, dean of Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, managed to keep his audience charmed with an address that then went viral online. An expanded version of that speech has since been turned into a book: Wait, What?: And Life’s Other Essential Questions.

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Trust, whatever the cost

By Rasmus Jorgensen

Having spent most of my life in small Danish towns, I’ve only once experienced someone actually wanting to do me harm — and that was in a bar during my teenage years when I made a ‘Your Mama’ joke aimed at someone whose mama was a sore topic. He forgave me, fortunately.

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Undreamed shores

By Jason Kelly '95

The 6th through 12th graders of the Robinson Shakespeare Company, part of Notre Dame’s Robinson Community Learning Center, have been invited to perform this summer in Stratford-upon-Avon and present a workshop at Shakespeare’s Globe in London. Notre Dame Magazine will report on their journey over the coming months.

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This land is their land

By Rasmus Jorgensen

If the hundreds of people who walked into Washington Hall weren’t already chanting “U-S-A!” in their heads last Tuesday, April 18, around noon, the organizers of the “special naturalization oath ceremony” did everything in their power to change that.

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True Confessions of an Aspiring Homesteader

By Rasmus Jorgensen

He admits he grew up mostly reading and playing video games indoors, taking for granted the joys of his family’s tidy, picturesque farm. But a seed was planted during the writer’s boyhood that is sprouting now into an appetite for the self-sufficient life. “Somehow,” he writes, “homesteading is all I can think about.”

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Out of the Office: Is 'Bazillion' a Number?

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

Maybe boredom explains why we’re not paying attention to what’s happening right now with Social Security and Medicare, the subject of a lunch-hour presentation that accountancy professor Jeff Burks ’97 made on campus a few weeks ago. If so, it appears our indifference will cost us.

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A Tail . . . and Two Cities

By the Staff

Our saga begins with an email from the magazine’s art director at 9:08 a.m. on Wednesday, December 14. It read: “While on my way to work I saw a near frozen cat in the middle of a field too cold to go any further. I picked him up and took him home. Need to run to the store to get litter. Should be in shortly.”

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What I’m Reading: The Girls, Emma Cline

By Carol Schaal '91M.A.

The same day I started reading The Girls, I heard that Charles Manson, age 82, had been taken from his jail cell to the hospital. A fitting coincidence of timing, as the actions of a Manson-like cult form the backdrop of Emma Cline’s unsettling coming-of-age novel.

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The Organ Builders: Ben Wooley, pipe maker

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

Before moving into his rental house in Seattle last year, Ben Wooley felt he needed to give his future housemates a warning. “Just so you know,” he told them, “I have a lot of instruments, and not all of them are going to fit in my room.”

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What I’m Reading: The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins

By Josh Stowe '01

When I picked up a copy of The Girl on the Train from my local library a few weeks ago, I felt like I was the last person to learn what all the fuss was about. The book had been out for more than a year, and everyone I knew, it seemed, had already read it was reading it, or wanted to read it. A movie based on the book had just come out. We had reached peak Girl on the Train.

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The Organ Builders: Joe Green, carpenter

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

Joe Green is a boat builder by trade. It’s inherently nomadic work that has taken him far away from home, building everything from historic fishing-boat replicas to rowing shells to the 42-foot motorsailers of the rich and famous — but there was always something missing. So now he builds organs for a living.

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Soundings: True to Oneself

By Kerry Temple ’74

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.

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The Organ Builders: Erik McLeod, pipe maker

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

When he was ready to start high school in 1993, his family moved across Puget Sound from Tacoma to a tiny logging town called Shelton. It sure didn’t feel like it at the time, but for McLeod, now 37, teenage exile would turn out to be one of the best career moves of his life.

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