Saturday, November 17, 2007

Simply fantastic.

Football this weekend was everything I've been missing all year. To start out with, the drummers' circle (drum line performance) at midnight last night was the best all year. It was almost an hour long. I haven't seen so much school spirit all year. Everyone was aware that this was it, no more football until last year, and for the seniors, their last games as students. We got there early and I was on the edge of the inner circle (for the first time ever!) and able to see all of the excitement. I think we had all forgotten how it felt to be enthusiastic, to really care about our team and our school, and all of a sudden, when faced with the end of it all, we remembered. It was the most amazing thing. I haven't felt so happy about football since Michigan State last year.

Then today. Today! We won with all of our hearts. The seniors knew this was it, and they proved it. I adored how Weis put lots of seniors on the field towards the end, even the ones who hardly ever play. Zibby played quarterback for the first time ever, to the complete euphoria of the student section. I will miss him and Trevor Laws so, so much. When the game was over and the team came to our corner to sing the Alma Mater, proud doesn't even begin to describe what I felt. They earned this- their night, finally, with everyone recognizing their effort and applauding their spirit. What better way for the year to end.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Ouch... at least it's funny

The Onion, that lovely satirical news agency, added its two cents about ND's football program.

U.S. Military Wasting All Its Victories On Notre Dame

The Onion

U.S. Military Wasting All Its Victories On Notre Dame

WASHINGTON, DC—As combined American forces celebrate two consecutive football wins against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish while simultaneously marking the loss of the 3,150th soldier to hostile action in Iraq, many are left wondering if the...

Thursday, November 15, 2007


In the course of filling out my study abroad application (turned in today, thanktheLord), I was asked to give thought to my future career plans. This is sort of a normal occurrence around here, even though I am not a card-carrying member of the resume-building, career fair-attending, briefcase-toting segment of the population.

Anyway, a catch phrase in the peace studies department is "scholar-practitioner." Mainly used to refer to the masters students, who spend their second year in the program abroad in an internship actually working to create peace, this term has come to describe exactly what I want from a job. I am coming to adore research this semester, more than I ever thought possible. But it's not enough for me to be an academic for the rest of my life; I have to have a direct service component to whatever I do. I discovered that this summer, and the current lack of service in my life is a deeply-felt void. And I want to be home with my kids for a good percentage of the time.

Therefore, here's my perfect job:
First of all, I want to work for an organization trying to better the world in ways I agree with. Also, I would love to research from home in the mornings most of the week, while a babysitter watches my little ones, leaving my afternoons and evenings free for mommy time. A couple of days a week would need to be spent in service in the community, perhaps with my kids in tow when they're older. Now that's what I call education. And I would be ok with needing to work in the office of whatever org I'm at once in a while for meetings and such. It doesn't even have to be an exclusively research job; I could deal with writing grant proposals and such (I just wrote my first one tonight! I'm proud of me). Mainly, I'm looking for flexibility and the crucial help the world factor.
Pre-kids, I want to be as involved as I can with the dirty, nitty-gritty stuff in running an organization. Grass roots, on the ground, in the streets, in the government social change. I want to live inside D.C. in what will probably be a tiny and overpriced apartment, soaking it all up and gaining experience. Then I can morph into this scholar-practitioner person later. Yeah. That's a plan.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


You know what really bothers me? I just finished a 14-page report on external actors in Guatemala. When put together with the rest of my group's research, our report will easily top 70-80 pages, not counting our most likely ginormous annotated bibliography. It took SO MUCH WORK to consolidate so much research in one place, but no one will ever use it. Our professor will grade it, and that will be it. No one researching Guatemala will ever use this as a resource. Three similar reports are being produced by the rest of the class, and those will never be used either. We pulled all this together for one grade. I want it published! I want it online somewhere so that the world can USE it! But who would I send it to so that people could find it? It's too big and complicated for wikipedia, and not officially scholarly enough (we're just undergrads) for more prestigious sites.

Grumble grumble. I guess this is how people feel after writing theses. So much work... no real contribution to the academic community. It's like running on a treadmill or walking up the down escalator. You're not going anywhere so it's pretty much pointless, despite how hard you're working.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What it takes

I'm pretty picky when it comes to music, but for weird reasons. I adore hard rock (some would say metal) bands, alternative, pop, and world music bands alike as long as they meet the following rules:

  1. Audible and intelligible lyrics (I get quite annoyed by songs that aren't articulate enough for me to hear the lyrics, forcing me to go look lyrics up online)
  2. Lyrics that I relate to and/or are fantastic pieces of poetry that truly capture what they're trying to get across (examples: Once soundtrack, Aqualung's first CD, Relient K's MmHmm, Simon and Garfunkel)
  3. No long solos. OAR and jam bands are not my style.
  4. Sometimes catchiness and beat, but not necessarily. This is lower on the priority list than lyrics, but if a song has can't get it out of your head catchiness or an awesome beat I sometimes make an exception from the lyrics rules.
  5. If I already love a band, and a song on their new CD has unintelligible lyrics, I will be disappointed, but still love the band. If, however, their once-poetic lyrics are now all cliches, I show no mercy. (i.e. the new Aqualung CD... a couple good songs but mostly eww)
  6. Very little swearing. It's not that it offends me, it's just that it makes the song seem less like a work of art and more vulgar and ugly.
What makes music "good" for you?
Mychal will now respond with a six-page essay, and that will just be the abstract for his thesis someday.

Monday, November 12, 2007

We won for once!

In basketball. Tonight was the season opener, and since Joey talked me into purchasing season tickets with him, off we took ourselves to the game. They properly creamed Long Island University, aka "the Blackbirds." Fighting Irish so trumps blackbirds. Anyway, my attention is not hugely captivated by basketball, so I spent the time supplying helpful (or at least interesting) commentary to my patient boyfriend. For example:

"Those coaches' suits must be so sweaty by the end of the game with all of that arm-flailing and random squatting. You would think they would be so uncomfortable."
"You know the teenage son in Little Miss Sunshine? He so reminds me of that kid from high school!"
"That one kid on their team has really baggy shorts. It makes him look even shorter than he already is."
"Look at the band! I LOVE the band!" (accompanied by arm clutching and desperate pointing)

Poor Joey. Good times, though. And I got to wear my snazzy student section t-shirt. Some soda-like product found it fitting to soak my reclining bookbag and its contents while we watched the game; I'm not a fan, soda-like product. Not a fan. But such is life. I'll take cheering my heart out in a basketball game over homework any day.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Nothing interesting happened today- slept in, slogged through unending assignments, gave up for the night. No one's interested in that, and I'm not interested in complaining about it. Thus: storytime.

Once upon a time, Laura was a little tot. She traveled on a big plane with her parents to see her aunt, uncle, and cousins out west. They went to the mountains, and it was the first time little Laura had seen Big Snow. She was so bundled up that she could scarcely move, but when she found a snowball sitting on the ground, it was necessary to throw it at her mother. It hit above her right eye- perfect shot! However, the snowball was actually made of ice, a concept foreign to little Laura, and she was banned from throwing any more "snowballs," for fear of giving an unsuspecting cousin a concussion. Poor mommy. The end.

Seemed appropriate with snow just around the corner here in Indiana. Right now we're still in the miserable cold dampness phase, just above freezing, but snow is coming soon. I can feel it.