Potpourri

Letter from campus: Uncorrected proof

By Kerry Temple ’74

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.

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What I’m Reading: The Night Angel Trilogy, Brent Weeks

By Christina Payne '16

I’d been hunting for a new fantasy author to read for a while when I came across the name Brent Weeks. He’s relatively new on the scene, with only one completed series and another halfway done. So I set about getting a copy of his finished The Night Angel Trilogy to see if I could add another author to my list of all-time favorites.

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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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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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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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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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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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What I’m Reading: Love & Salt: A Spiritual Friendship Shared in Letters, Amy Andrews and Jessica Mesman Griffith

By Kenneth Garcia ’08Ph.D.

Today, the art of letter writing has been largely lost. One can, of course, fairly ask: Who needs to write letters anymore, with the advent of email, text messaging and Facebook? Well, two young women writers — Amy Andrews and Jessica Mesman Griffith — discovered the need or, rather, the spiritual need to do so.

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The best, times two

By Jason Kelly '95

Seventy years ago this fall, a college football dynasty began that stands as one of the best ever. Andy Panelli ’77, ’83MBA would consider the qualifier superfluous. To Panelli, the son of postwar fullback John “Pep” Panelli ’49, the 1946 and 1947 Notre Dame teams remain unmatched in the history of college football.

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What I’m Reading: Ms. Bixby’s Last Day, John David Anderson

By Kerry Temple ’74

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.

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What I'm Reading: Still Alice, Lisa Genova

By Tara Hunt ’12

I found myself on a nine-hour flight with no television, no Internet and all my downloaded films mysteriously deleted from my e-reader. While wondering how I was going to pass the time, I remembered I had downloaded Still Alice, a book which has been on my to-read list for nearly a decade.

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Notre Dame to Nicaragua

By Beth Grisoli ’87, ’90M.A.

A few months ago, I was invited on an all-expense paid trip out of the country for spring break. Sounds a bit exotic, doesn’t it? The Notre Dame chapter of Global Medical Brigades planned to take 34 students, five volunteer doctors, one dentist and a dental hygienist to Nicaragua to provide basic health care.

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What I’m reading: The War of Art, Steven Pressfield

By Kerry Temple ’74

So I’m talking to this other guy who writes. And we’re lamenting this and that, commiserating, comparing notes, talking the trade — group therapy for two. He asks if I’ve read The War of Art, and I must look puzzled because he says the title is a play on the classic, The Art of War.

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Seen & Heard

By The editors

Katie Mullins ’14 unwittingly found herself on Taylor Swift’s Christmas list last fall after she lipsynced a bonus track from Swift’s 1989 album and posted the video clip to Tumblr. Soon after, the Alliance for Catholic Education teacher received a large parcel full of jewelry, snacks, a signed poster for Mullins’ third-grade classroom in Tucson and other gifts, each one wrapped by the singer with its own handwritten note. “I’ll never forget my 3rd grade teacher, and your students will never forget you,” the enclosed card read. “You didn’t choose an easy job, but you chose an important one.” . . .…

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The party's over

By Michael Peppard ’98

It’s after midnight, which means it’s my birthday. But the only sign of revelry here is that I drank all the available Guinness in my parents’ basement. I didn’t plan it that way. It’s just what happened while I was demonstrating — to no one in particular (actually to no one at all) — that I am the greatest billiard player in my family. Or, at least, the greatest billiard player who doesn’t have a brain tumor.

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