Friday, December 11, 2009

Coach Kelly

We got the email at 9 pm last night.

"Brian Kelly, a veteran of 19 seasons as a collegiate head coach -- and most recently the architect of two consecutive Bowl Championship Series appearances at the University of Cincinnati, including a perfect 12-0 regular season in 2009 that earned him national-coach-of-the-year honors – tonight has been named the 29th head football coach at the University of Notre Dame.

“I am very pleased that a thorough and extensive search has led us to a new head coach in Brian Kelly, who I am confident will help us accomplish our goal of competing for national championships,” said Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick.

“I am absolutely delighted to welcome Brian and his family to the Notre Dame family,” said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president. “He brings to us a long and successful career as a head coach, and I am confident that he will have even greater success here. I’m also very pleased that he has put considerable emphasis on excellence in the classroom and that his student-athletes graduate at a rate well above the norm.”"

This was followed by an impossibly long list of every single thing Brian Kelly has done as a coach.

My gosh, that man has a resume like none other. There was a list of every award he's won, an analysis of every game he's coached, a description of every player he's mentored and every word he's ever spoken, practically. (If you'd like me to post more of Coach Kelly's biography, let me know in the comments.)

What do you think? Is Notre Dame football going to turn right around and start winning next season? Will our team be any good after losing Jimmy and Golden to the NFL draft? Was Brian Kelly the best choice for head coach?  What is the answer to life, the universe, and everything?

Just a few things to ponder over your morning coffee.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas...

It started when I came home from Thanksgiving almost two weeks ago. Driving down Notre Dame Avenue, I saw the giant tree by the bookstore wreathed in twinkling fairy lights. And then I knew.

Christmas time was here at Notre Dame.

There's something special about a Notre Dame Christmas. There's the Nativity scenes in the dining halls and the annual Christmas candelight dinner just for students. Every dorm is bedecked in lights and evergreen. Beautiful Advent wreaths hold place of honor in every dorm chapel and in the Basilica too. And Christmas trees are sprouting up all over.

Badin actually has two Christmas trees, one for each of our social spaces. I love Christmas trees. They give  me hope. They give me strength to carry on.

Yesterday I was walking home to Badin from LaFortune and as I passed between Sorin and Walsh, something happened to brighten my day. You know that one room on the corner of Sorin that always blasts music, at all hours of the day and night? Maybe you've noticed it during football weekends. It's pretty wonderful, actually. I wish I knew those guys so I could thank them, because there's been many a time when walking past their room and hearing "Don't Stop Believin'" or "Love Story" has made my day that much better.

And yesterday, they were playing Christmas music. I nodded my head to the lyrics ("Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays") as I crunched through the snow and I thought, "Where else in the world but Notre Dame?"

Last night the Glee Club came to sing at Badin, in keeping with their wonderful tradition of going to sing at every girls' dorm. Of course, also according to tradition, they brought mistletoe and during their concert, they kissed half the girls in my dorm- including my rector, Sister Denise!

You shoulda been there. We laughed 'til we cried.

I watched the Dillon Light Show a few nights ago. It's a newer tradition and I hope it lasts. Their beautiful display of LED lights is choreographed to Christmas songs and it is a sight to behold.

It's snowing up a storm in South Bend this week. Walking down South Quad to class in O'Shaughnessy is no picnic, with blizzardy winds driving straight into your face. But I'm so happy I don't even care. There's nothing in all the world, you know, like Notre Dame at Christmas time.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday Face: Jenn Metz

Today I'd like to introduce you to Jenn Metz. Jenn is the Editor-in-Chief at The Observer and a lovely person! I first met her when I was visiting Notre Dame as a high school student. Jenn was a freshman and she was roommates with one of my high school friends. She told me about her experiences working at The Observer, staying there until 2 or 3 am. I was scared to death of working there but now, three years later, I'm proud to say I'm an Observer news writer/wire editor and I love it! I've always admired how hard Jenn works and of course, she is a talented journalist too.
Your full name: Jenn Metz
Major: English and Romance Languages, Minor: Journalism, Ethics and Democracy

Dorm: Cavanaugh

Hometown: Westfield, NJ

Job description: As Editor-in-Chief of The Observer, I read articles, check layout, manage business operations, head the editorial board, run a new Web site and maintain a level of quality journalism on campus ... all for about 12 cents an hour.

Why do you love your job (if you do)? I enjoy having influence over the campus community, and I love being able to pick up the paper and know that people are reading it and learning something or forming opinions, and I had a huge part in making that happen.

Why did you pick Notre Dame? I fell in love with the campus when I visited and I knew I would have so many opportunities here.

What is your dream for your life after college? I would like to be a producer of a broadcast news program or, in my dream life, a writer on a primetime television show.

What is your favorite place on campus? Waddick's

What is your theme song? I don't really have a theme song...more of a iPod on shuffle kind of person.

Who is your hero? I think Tina Fey is a magnificent writer and is able to make current events extremely entertaining. Her success is something to be admired.
What makes you laugh? How I Met Your Mother

What do you think is the world's biggest problem? The world's biggest problem is kind of a broad question. I could name several issues here, all very valid problems, but not one could be singled out as the most important. I think working to foster a greater awareness and a greater understanding between cultures to work for the same goals at a global level could help solve those problems.

Favorite and least favorite thing about being a Notre Dame student? Favorite: The things I've been able to accomplish here, the friends I've made. Least: South Bend winters.

One word that describes you? Busy
Thank you Jenn!