Category Archives: Links

Final Finals.

Less than two weeks from today, I’ll have a diploma in my hand.

I’m ready.

This semester has been filled with exit surveys, departmental reflections, and senior questionnaires. At first, the exercises agitated me and made me anxious about life after graduation, but after thoughtfully working through so many similar surveys, I found that they really helped me articulate my experience at Notre Dame. Continue reading


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Filed under Career, Education, Links, Notre Dame

Trip Report: Venice.

I’m not a Venice person.

When I first visited “La Serenissima” in March 2008, the city was rainy and cold and grey for the duration of my stay. Maybe it was the weather, maybe I had built it up too much in my mind, or maybe I was distracted by the presence of my high school friends, but I just didn’t like Venice.

I was eager to try Venice again. I decided to put my previous visit behind me and give Venice a fresh start, a blank slate. Continue reading


Filed under Italy, Links, Study Abroad

Two Weeks.

About six months ago, I was well in to my second week in India. I wrote this post. Here’s an excerpt:

Like I said earlier, today’s been a little rough. I miss home. I broke out the emergency bag of Craisins–how sad is it that my comfort food here is dried fruit? I also realized today that the Rainbow girls intimidate me. They’re just kids, but I have a really difficult time being around them for too long. It’s emotionally exhausting. I keep thinking about how so many of them have experienced so many horrible things, and I just feel guilty and privileged. I mean, these little girls lived on the streets, worked as child domestics, and were trafficked as sex slaves and child prostitutes. I don’t know how to confront and reconcile those bad things, and I’m not even the victim.

I talked with the other ND girls about this, and Colleen said something really great. It’s neither practical nor helpful for any of the parties involved to try to compare lives. She also said that in any time of change, there is a period of panic and crisis that comes when we try to incorporate new experiences in to the way we live. Accounting for that adjustment is difficult. I have never dealt with change well, and this is a lot of change and a very different way of living. I came on this trip to push myself and broaden my horizons and all that, but I am realizing that I need to be gentle with myself now that I’m actually here, living life in India for a little while. I need to be patient and to realize that this adjustment will take time. I’ve only just gotten over my jetlag after 8 or 9 nights in Kolkata.


Today starts my third week in Rome, and I know one thing for sure: Italy ain’t India. Continue reading


Filed under India, Italy, Links, Study Abroad

American Studies.

During the spring of my freshman year, I declared a major. For the third time. When I came to Notre Dame, I had my heart set on studying economics. Once I realized a-how much math is involved in economics and b-that my first microeconomics class went til 4:55 pm on Football Fridays, I changed my mind. The next semester, I was fortunate to have a great sociology-based University Seminar, so I decided I wanted to major in Sociology. But then I got a little nervous—I felt that I was pigeonholing myself. So without ever having taken a course in the department, I declared as an American Studies major. Continue reading


Filed under Links, Notre Dame

Some Things Never Change.

Well, I did it. I friended my parents on Facebook. After listening to Mom’s plaintive pleas (“You’ll need to be my Facebook friend before you go to India, ok?”) for the past six weeks, I decided that enough was enough. Seconds after I fired off the friend request, I got a text message from Dad: “You could knock me over with a feather! I’m FB friend-worthy?!?! Are you feeling okay?!” Unsurprisingly, both of my shocked parents accepted my friend request.

Mom and I were sitting together in the kitchen on our laptops when our friendship became Facebook official. Naturally, we both started trolling around each other’s profiles. I teased her a little about how so many of her sorority sisters have gotten old and wrinkly and about how parents always “like” other people’s statuses and have long, drawn-out conversations through status comments. Mom’s first reaction to my (relatively vanilla) profile page was not a comment about pictures with red cups in them. Instead, she remarked, “Way to pretend like you’re all excited for India…” Because she’s my mother, she saw right through my phony Facebook status enthusiasm. Continue reading


Filed under India, Links, Notre Dame

Breaking News.

My last post explored the Celebrations and Obituaries pages of the News & Observer. I neglected to mention my favorite Sports section page—the Thursday-only Triangle Outdoors feature. This is probably the best part of the whole paper. I eagerly anticipate Thursday mornings so I can rip the plastic bag off the newspaper and flip to the Triangle Outdoors “Reader Gallery” picture.

The reader gallery is a send-in-your-picture feature similar to those “Wild Weather” segments on TV news where people send in photographs of hail the size of softballs or tornadoes touching down in their backyards. Thursday’s Triangle Outdoors Reader Gallery pictures are SO much better. Triangle Outdoors, if you didn’t guess, is the outdoor sports news section that covers hunting and fishing. The Reader Gallery, logically, consists of pictures of people with last weekend’s big catch (or kill). Sure, great, you caught a 16-pound catfish. Cool. No. That’s not what I’m excited about. Continue reading

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Filed under Links, North Carolina

News Observer.

I’d bet money that I’m the only one of my friends who regularly reads the newspaper. At school, I eat breakfast (cereal—Cracklin’ Oat Bran on the bottom of the bowl, Golden Grahams in the middle, Cinnamon Toast Crunch on top) at South Dining Hall with the New York Times folded between my tray and my coffee. On the way out, I snag the USA Today puzzle page to work on during the day. These days, I flip through the News & Observer at the kitchen table.

The News & Observer is Raleigh’s primary daily newspaper. My parents spend Sunday mornings yearning for the Chicago Tribune, which we had delivered to NC for years, but I’ve grown quite fond of “The Old Reliable” N&O. After all, John Drescher, the executive editor, is a Cardinal Gibbons alum like me.

The N&O has a lot in common with most newspapers (yeah, they’re all failing! Ba-da-bing), but it has some oh-so-endearing distinguishing features. Continue reading

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Filed under Links, North Carolina