Tuesday, April 28, 2009

#15: Professor McKenna

There are many professors that Notre Dame Students find tolerable, and many professors that students enjoy class with, but no professor at the University is more beloved than Professor James McKenna of the Anthropology and Tap Dancing departments.  Many students are first introduced to Professor McKenna their freshmen year when he teaches very large Intro to Anthropology classes.  Some students are later introduced to the man through Intro to Human Ethology courses that they take only because he is the professor of them. 

However, Professor McKenna is most famous for his Introduction to Tap Dancing course that many seniors take on their way out.  The students take the tap dancing class just to have fun, but most would not be in the class if it wasn’t for their love of Professor McKenna.  Many of the students previously had the professor in a course, and those who hadn’t have heard about his awesomeness from their friends.  Even if they have no interest in actually learning how to tap dance, some students will take the course just so they are able to take a class with Professor McKenna.

Professor McKenna is the rare man that can make the idea of mothers sleeping with a baby during infancy interesting to a group of 19-22 year old men.  He is the rare man that can get most college students interested in learning the Baby Jig and the Soft Shoe, he is the rare man that will perfectly dance to Single Ladies, and he is the rare man who calls his students his friends.  Professor McKenna is one of the rare professors that Notre Dame Students would love to have a drink with, and he is the rare professor that every student has heard of and every student loves.  

Monday, April 27, 2009

#14: Bad Pizza After 2AM

While Notre Dame Students are in vocal opposition to the institution of parietals, they are unanimously in favor of what happens after parietals, and that is bad pizza.  It doesn’t matter whether the student goes to Reckers or Sbarro because either choice is a poor one.  At Sbarro, the student will almost certainly get to mingle with his entire North Quad posse and experience late nights at LaFortune, but they will also have to deal with a pizza that they could drink the grease off of.  More than likely the pizza will have to be heated when it is ordered, as it has been sitting out all night, and the ingredients will be subpar at best.

Many students prefer the hip newer eatery known as Reckers.  This joint is known for its tremendously long line, old and angry women at the cash register, students yelling at each other drunk, and cheese falling off the pizza as you try and cut it.  While the Pizza at Reckers is made to order, it is not well made to order, and South and West quaders leave Reckers with much more desired. 

Some students attempt to buck the trend of paying for bad pizza by starting their own pizza shops in the dorms.  Do not be fooled; this pizza is no upgrade.  Cardboard crust, stale ingredients, and a lack of crazy people wandering around make this overcooked pizza an incredibly undercooked option.

However, the obsession with bad pizza does not end when the students leave campus.  Off-Campus residents will never deny the opportunity to recreate their on-campus years with a post-Fever trip to Vesuvio’s.  While this pizza tastes significantly better than the on-campus options, their distribution system fails on all accounts.  Not only does this eatery have a miserable delivery system, but their in-house order taking mechanisms just do not match up.  Vesuvio's is only a good option if students want to be up until 4 AM and beyond. 

For those off-campus students who want to quench their pizza fix without the thrill of wondering how long they have to wait at Vesuvio’s, many Notre Dame students go back to their homes and fire up the oven for some frozen pizza.  DiGiorno has the ingredients, but not a desirable price.  Tombstone has the price, but the cardboard crust like the dorm shops.  Home Run Inn as mediocre on all fronts, while Jack’s is the Zack Hillesland of frozen pizza’s (it brings nothing to the table).  Frozen pizzas are great because they not only fix the need to soak up alcohol in the stomach, but they allow the party to continue late into the night because even if Notre Dame Students aren’t done partying, they are always ready for bad pizza at 2 AM.  

Friday, April 24, 2009

#13: Being Nice to Opposing Fans

One critical part of a Notre Dame Student’s life is football season, and during football season a lot of people come to campus for the games.  Students love getting free meals from parents and tailgating with Alums, but there are many people that come to campus to support the opposing team.  While these opposing fans are not usually the nicest or classiest people to visit our Mother’s Campus, Notre Dame Students can’t help themselves but be inordinately nice to the fans that come. 

It’s not that Notre Dame Students shouldn’t be nice to people that come from places like East Lansing, West Lafayette, Ann Arbor, and Los Angeles; it’s just that these people are not typically very nice to the Notre Dame Students.  When Notre Dame Students go to these places, they are typically greeted with drunken buffoons yelling RUDY SUCKS or FUCK THE POPE at them.  Some Notre Dame Students have gotten into fights and had beer cans thrown at them on opposing campuses, but Notre Dame Students refuse to give the same hospitality.

When the football team is bad (see 2007), Notre Dame Students will typically make jokes about it with the opposing fans.  They will discuss the teams at length and even share some beers with opposing fans no matter how disrespectful these fans might be.  Notre Dame Students might invite opposing fans to play drinking games, or even bring them to parties with them.  It is of the utmost importance to make opposing fans feel at home regardless of how they make Notre Dame Students feel at away games.

One exception to the rule is fans from Boston College.  Notre Dame Students are disproportionally mean to these fans by incessantly referring to them as a backup college, sometimes bringing them to tears.  The irony is that Boston College fans are more hospitable to Notre Dame Students than any other opposing team.  

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

#12: Wearing Designer Clothes, But Refusing to Upgrade From Keystone Light

Being a Notre Dame student requires a finely perfected wardrobe so as to look exquisitely good in class, at dorm parties, during mass, and at bars.  Notre Dame men and women pay the utmost attention not only to what articles of clothing they wear, but where these clothes are purchased.  For Notre Dame Students, the logo on the shirt is more important than the shirt itself.

Notre Dame Students, therefore, spend thousands of dollars on their wardrobes, going to designer stores of all shapes and sizes to make sure that their wardrobe fits their self-proclaimed status in the world, and says something about their personality as well.  (all this despite the fact that they will then wear these expensive clothes to dorm parties and dive bars, see #5).   

Despite the fact that Notre Dame Students spend so much money on their wardrobes, they refuse to upgrade their choice of beer from the eternally delicious Natural Light and Keystone Light.  An upgrade from Keystone Light to Coors Light would be roughly 40 cents per beer.  If a Notre Dame Student drinks 450 beers each year (that is being generous) the upgrade would only cost about $180, or roughly the price of two Lacoste Polo Shirts. 

When Notre Dame Students are given the option, the choice is clear: how they look on the outside is far more important than what they put on the inside.

Things on Facebook

things notre dame students like is now on Facebook!

please join the group at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=80577601670&ref=mf as it will be used to send out updates and discuss all of the things that notre dame students like.


(p.s. have your friends join as well)

Monday, April 20, 2009

#11: Doing Things That Are SO College

Notre Dame Students love to do things that they consider to be SO COLLEGE.  These things usually involve drinking, or drinking related shenanigans.  More often than not they involve drinking events such as the “Beer Olympics” or generic drinking events such as keg races, case races, beer pong tournaments, and the most college thing: Day Drinking.  

Notre Dame Students love day drinking, but because they are so busy with all the other things that they like, they day drink infrequently.  To make up for lost time, Notre Dame Students make every day drinking event into something that is SO COLLEGE.  To do this, Notre Dame Students try to imitate events that their more College state school friends do. 

This past weekend, Notre Dame Students partook in the annual day drinking event called PigTostal.  At this event, a group of students purchases a lot of kegs and charges a lot of money for what amounts to a glorified house party where it is nearly impossible to get beer quickly (unless, of course you write an awesome blog).  Notre Dame Students love to think that this party is their equivalent of Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day at Illinois, Little 500 at Indiana, or Halloween at Wisconsin, but the fact is that those schools probably have multiple parties on the same level as PigTostal on ANY GIVEN NIGHT. 

This is why Notre Dame Students love doing things that are SO COLLEGE (like PigTostal or the Lafayette Apartments St. Patrick’s Day Party–see above) because they believe they are reaching a level of partying that rivals their state school counterparts.  The only difference is, at Notre Dame these things are few and far between, making them noteworthy occurrences when they happen, and not a standard weekend.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Welcome to Things Notre Dame Students Like, the blog that documents the Things that we as Notre Dame Students eat, drink, say, watch, believe and do.

This is just the beginning (as there are so many wonderful things that we like) and there will be many additions in the coming weeks.  So become a follower, add comments, send me pictures and stories, and tell your friends, because we've never liked so many things before.

Thanks, and enjoy!


#10: Giving Peace

Notre Dame Students love Sunday night mass.  They don’t love the mass because of the homily, or the singing, or the Eucharist.  No.  Notre Dame Students love Sunday night mass because of the Rite of Peace.  Most Catholics around the world find this to be the most awkward and unnecessary part of mass; shaking hands with strangers just because they happen to be sitting next to you, awkward sayings, and muffled noise characterize this part in most churches. 

For Notre Dame Students however, the Rite of Peace is an event in and of itself. 

Handshakes?  Not allowed.  Everybody gets a hug.  Notre Dame Students all hug each other.  For Notre Dame Students the hug becomes second nature.  Some don’t even hug their families back at home (making for the awkward mass when friends from school come home) but at student masses, it would be out of place NOT to hug each other.

Even if there are several rows of chairs in between two students, Notre Dame Students will get up and walk around their chapels several times until they have given peace to everybody that they even vaguely know.  Notre Dame Students become giddy during the Lord’s Prayer because they all know that it is almost that time when they get to furiously move around the chapel and shake hands with everybody they know.  When the time comes to give peace, most Notre Dame Students do not even bother shaking hands with the people who just happen to be sitting near them because time is of the essence.  If a Notre Dame Student is not making at least one lap around their chapel, something is clearly wrong*. 

For Notre Dame Students the rite of peace does not just involve the normal hugging motion however.  Most male Notre Dame Students participate in the bro-hug, which involves a firm handshake, a pull in towards each other, a single pat on the back, and possibly some brief words between peace givers.  Maybe a joke that somebody thought of earlier during the mass, or a comment about an awkward moment in the priest’s homily.  During the fall, these interchanges might even involve speculation about the current state of the Sunday Night NFL Game (for fantasy purposes only).  Other times, these interchanges might simply be the classic: “peace man”.  This is quick enough so that both peace givers have enough time to continue moving around the chapel in earnest. 

Because Notre Dame Students like to give peace so much, this process usually takes a good seven minutes in the dorm chapels.  Because this is the main reason why Notre Dame Students attend mass however, they do not mind.  After the Rite of Peace Notre Dame Students sing louder and happier knowing that they were able to hug all of their friends, and knowing that everybody saw them at Mass (See #4). 

*Exception: when a Student decides to give peace with their rector or priest, this could take up all of the allotted time due to long lines and adverse conditions at the front of the chapel.

#9: Bon Jovi

If you have ever been to a Dorm Party at Notre Dame, then it goes without saying that you have probably heard large masses of inebriated freshmen singing the chorus to Living on a Prayer.  This song is one of the staples of the Dorm Party and requisite singing material for all Notre Dame Students.  Freshmen, in particular, play the song so frequently that by the time a Notre Dame Student is a sophomore, he or she feels compelled to walk out of any room where the song is played.  However, Notre Dame Students don’t just love the song, but they also love the band that plays it: Bon Jovi.

Never mind that this band had its glory years when current Notre Dame Students were in diapers, the student love for the band and its lead singer is unflinching.  Every year before big pep rallies rumors spread that Jon Bon Jovi will be a special guest and treat students to his rendition of the Notre Dame Victory March, and usually pep rallies come and go and Bon Jovi does not.  However, last fall Jon Bon Jovi did actually come to a pep rally and treated the students who were there to his rendition of . . . waving to the crowd. 

For his great performance moving his hand from side to side and accepting praise from Coach Weis and the Band, the student body gave him their biggest cheers since USC had a 4th and 9 situation 3 years ago.  For all the cheers, one would have expected the man to at least sing one song.  Nope.  Notre Dame Students were just content to see the man who wrote the lyrics that they danced to their first semester on campus.  Meanwhile, the Band of Fighting Irish was having the time of their lives playing some of the singer’s more famous tunes (all of which are well before their time).

Do Students love him for his music, his New Jersey roots, or because his most famous song has the word prayer in it?  This question might never be answered.

#8: Claiming to have inside information about the football team

If there is one thing Notre Dame Students love to do it’s going to football games; and if there is one thing they like to do at these football games it is claiming to have inside information about the football team they know and love.  When Jimmy Clausen overthrows a receiver voices can be heard throughout the student section saying things like, “Dayne Crist has been looking really good in practice” or “I hear that Nate Montana [see right] is gonna make a play for the starter's job next year.” 

While these students do not have any rational basis for these claims, they love to think that they know more about the state of the football team than the next guy.  Every student reads Rivals.com and ND Nation as if they are hidden gems of knowledge tucked away on some mystery machine known as the internet.  Invariably they read posts by crazed alumni and feel the need to tell everybody about their inside information.  Sorry bros, everybody knows that Coach Weis tried to woo Romeo Crennel here to be the D-Line coach.

The greatest source of inside information however, comes from the students who claim they know players on the team.  Students love to say things like, “I don’t understand why Weis doesn’t run James [Aldridge] more.  He [Aldridge] tells me that he’s been doing great in practice.”  When a Notre Dame Man claims that he is friends with a football player, it almost certainly means one of two things: a) they live in the same dorm, or b) they are in Professor McKenna’s Human Ethology class together.  [sidebar: if a Notre Dame Woman claims she is friends with a football player, it probably means they had sex or are going to have sex]. 

Inside information about the football team does not exist because the only people who happen to be insiders as well as normal students are the football managers.  They have such a self-proclaimed level of stature that they would never reveal anything of importance to retain their self-perceived aura around campus. 

Although my sources do say that Kapron Lewis-Moore has been looking really good in practice, and don’t be surprised to see Goodman play QB in a spread look.  

#7: UGGs in Snow

Due to the hostile environment in South Bend between the months of September and May, Notre Dame Students must be prepared for every possible kind of inclement weather.  Coats, hats, gloves, scarves, wool socks, long underwear, and snowpants are all necessities for braving the elements.  Most important amongst the winter clothing is boots, and for Notre Dame Women, the only type of boots that can be worn for speed, traction, warmth, dryness, comfort, and style are UGGs. 

Never mind the fact that UGGs were designed to be worn on Australian beaches after surfing, Notre Dame women are convinced that they are the best possible footwear for the winter months.  Do they keep your feet dry?  All it takes is a quick coat of water-proofing spray to make UGGs waterproof, snowproof, and backerproof all in one sitting.  Do they keep your feet warm?  Absolutely they do (provided the wearer of said UGGs does not actually walk through any snow).  Do you move quickly in them?  Typically not.  Do they have traction for the icy patches of sidewalk that were not particularly salted to the requisite levels?  HELL NO!

But UGGs are the most stylish boot out there.  Many Notre Dame women actually own two or three pairs just for when one is inevitably too wet or too dirty to wear.  Do they care about the hazards of destroying their stylish footwear in the grim and grime of a South Bend winter?  Of course not.  She who does not wear UGGs in snow is not fulfilling her duties as a Notre Dame Woman. 

#6: Claddaugh Rings

While Notre Dame Students do not wear a massive amount of jewelry, they do love to sport two types of rings.  Aside from Class Rings, the women of Notre Dame (and Saint Mary’s of course), love to wear Claddaugh Rings. 

For those who aren’t familiar, the Claddaugh Ring is a traditional Irish ring that is made up of two hands that encompass a heart.  As tradition has it, women wear Claddaugh rings in different ways depending on what their current relationship status is. 

If the ring is worn on the right hand with the heart facing out, it means that the wearer is not currently in a relationship.  If the ring is turned around, it means that the wearer’s heart has been pledged to somebody.  When the ring bearer moves the ring to her left hand, then it means they are engaged or married depending on which direction the heart is facing.

Notre Dame Women love to wear Claddaugh Rings not only to show off their Irish heritage (or wanted Irish heritage), but also to tell everybody what their current relationship status is.  Claddaugh Rings were like the facebook profile of the 14th century; when men see them, they are able to immediately discern the availability status of the wearer. 

Notre Dame Women further like Claddaugh Rings because of the invigorating thrill involved with turning the ring around.  When a Woman has the opportunity to turn her ring around, she has won victory by achieving the great objective of all Notre Dame Women: A Long Term Relationship. 

Women who do not wear Claddaugh Rings are considered by men to be unavailable because they are either a) going to join the sisterhood, or b) lesbian.  These women must be avoided by Notre Dame Men at all costs.

#5: Dressing up to go to dive bars

Notre Dame Students cannot help themselves when it comes to their attire at local drinking establishments.  For three years they hide from this mecca of drinking establishments within the Notre Dame bubble and then all of a sudden a world of possibilities opens to them when they turn 21 (unless of course they had a fake ID).  Places like Finnegan’s, The Linebacker Lounge, Tailgaters, Club 23, Corby’s, and Club Fever become realities as the law turns in their favor.  Each year students learn to love these bars while wearing the most fashionable clothing that middle to upper class money can buy.

If Notre Dame were in any big city or college town, nobody would bat an eye if the students stepped into a bar like the Backer wearing torn up jeans and a t-shirt, but for whatever reason Notre Dame Students feel an inherent need to dress up at the dive bars they frequent the most.  Notre Dame Students will only enter a bar if they are at least wearing a couple articles of designer clothing.  Since logos are of the utmost importance many Notre Dame Men wear polo shirts that prominently display men on horses or crocodiles.  Notre Dame Students are also always certain to wear blue jeans that come from top notch designers.

Notre Dame Students don’t worry about the fact that these bars usually appear somewhere on the cleanliness scale between dirty and “on the verge of being condemned” because they need to look good when frequenting them.  Notre Dame Students do worry about their shoes at these bars though; everybody knows that there will probably be a good half-inch of standing beer on the dance floor at the Backer and that the toilets at Finnys are usually overflowing out of the bathroom.  Notre Dame Students make sure that they have an old pair of designer shoes that they can wear for those troublesome times when their shoes might be soiled by an unknown liquid. 

Notre Dame Students dress up to go to dive bars with the intent of differentiating themselves from the local residents of South Bend.  If they see a person in jeans and a t-shirt, a Notre Dame Student can usually assume that this person is not one of them (unless they are coming from a game or broomball).  But when Notre Dame Students see a person sporting the flashiest trends like they are going to a high priced New York City club, then they know that the person is a fellow student and an ample target for making out with on the dance floor.

#4: Making Religion a Competition

Being a Catholic school [at least for the time being, what with Obama coming], Notre Dame has religious standards to live up to, and the student body takes it as their mission to make sure that each student is as Catholic as they can be. 

To do this, Notre Dame Students have made religion a competition.  If one student goes to mass only on Sunday, another might start going twice a week just too out-Catholic them.  If one student goes on a religious retreat, another goes on a retreat where everybody is silent the whole time.  If one student participates in an Emmaus group, another feels compelled to make their Emmaus group more Catholic by discussing more scripture.  At times, the competition becomes so fierce that people might be denied access to an Emmaus group because they are not Catholic enough [see the case of Bob Kessler circa 2007].

This problem goes further than what students do, but it involves what they believe.  Notre Dame Students are in a perpetual struggle with one another to see who can follow Catholic Social Teaching most carefully.  If one student doesn’t eat meat on Fridays in Lent, another might decide to give up meat for ALL of Lent.  Another, decidedly more Catholic student, might give up meat on all Fridays of the year. 

This competition has grave consequences for the students who are not a part of it.  Students are looked down for getting a slice of Pepperonni Pizza from Sbarro on a Friday in lent.  Students are looked down upon for missing a Sunday mass.  Students are looked down upon for not participating in Reconciliation, and they certainly can’t think of doing anything more than holding hands with somebody they are in a long term relationship with.  

On the bright side, these students would still win any Catholicism competition with those heathen Catholics from Marquette, Georgetown, and the school that Notre Dame Students used as their backup college.

#3: Using High Tuition Payments As An Excuse To Steal Shit

Notre Dame Students are proud that they attend a school that has an astronomically high tuition.  They know that this tuition is emblematic of how special their education really is and are grateful when their parents pay for it. 

However, Notre Dame Students also realize that the tuition is really, really high, and they use this fact to justify stealing things from the University.  The most popular place to steal things is the dining hall.  Many Notre Dame Students have entire sets of kitchen utensils that were smuggled out of the dining hall.  These students do not really consider these possessions as stolen goods because they paid too much to use them after all.

On-Campus students also take advantage of the system by helping themselves to as much food from CoMo and as many candles at the Grotto as they wish.  It doesn't matter if the money here is going to charity, because these students are paying a lot of money to be here.

Some off-campus students even take this to another level.  Monogram Waffle Irons, modular desk chairs, library staplers, Reckers salt and pepper shakers, DeBartolo Hall Toilet Paper, and towels from The Rock can all be seen at various off-campus residences because students feel a sense of entitlement to them because of their high tuition payments (and they don’t want to purchase these items).

The most notable stolen good is the Football Game Concession Stand Table.  Students steal these planks on nearly every football weekend so they can use them as beer pong tables.  While this vagrancy can probably be chalked up to drunken shenanigans, it probably would not happen if students did not feel that their high tuition payments entitled them to everything they lay their eyes on.  

#2: Complaining About THE SHIRT, and then wearing it

Every year on the day before the spring game, a committee of students unveils the next year’s rendition of THE SHIRT (the t-shirt that the entire student body is expected to wear to each and every home football game the next year).  And every year on the day before the spring game students almost unanimously begin to complain about the new edition.  Whether it is an ugly yellow color (2005), putting the current coach in the skies amongst legends of yesteryear (2006), or having sayings that make absolutely no sense (almost always) Notre Dame Students love to complain incessantly about the current year’s incarnation of THE SHIRT.

One of the main reasons why Notre Dame Students love to complain about THE SHIRT is because it never seems to fit them correctly.  Without fail every shirt is exquisitely crafted extra wide with a goofy neck so that the incredibly fit Notre Dame student feels like he or she is swimming in it.  Even worse is the thickness and the length of the sleeves that are always sure to keep us extra warm on those sunny August Saturdays.  Notre Dame Students will, without fail, complain about these shirts for the entirety of the football season, despite the fact that they are not being forced to wear them. 

The amazing thing about Notre Dame Students and THE SHIRT is that after they spend weeks and months complaining about it, almost every Notre Dame Student will proceed to wear THE SHIRT to almost every football game.  Whether the students love to be dressed the same or simply can’t help but do what they are told, everybody comes into the stadium wearing the shirt and the student section becomes a massive field of blue/green/yellow.  Notre Dame Students love it so much that everybody has failed to notice the increasingly apparent Curse of THE SHIRT (the fact that the Irish have failed to win a single National Championship since the project began).

This year promises to be no different.  With the unveiling of THE SHIRT scheduled for this afternoon, the committee is promising that it will be the best THE SHIRT of all the THE SHIRTs.  The color and slogan will be revealed to triumphant fanfare, only to be brought down a couple notches when everybody realizes how much they don’t like it; and the complaining begins.

#1: Africa

Notre Dame Students love Africa.  They love it so much that it was the only logical place to start when considering the many things they like.  Every night, all across campus, Notre Dame Students fall asleep with dreams of one day traveling to Uganda, or Kenya, or Burundi, or the DRC.  Visions of health clinics, genocide, subsistence farming, and Somalian Pirates dance through the heads of Notre Dame Students each night as they devise their plans to impact change in the far off continent.

Many students here actually do travel to Africa at one point or another for various reasons.  Some go to do service work or tourism, but there are a lucky few that are able to go to Africa to do research.  Researching people of another culture is probably the best way to tell those people that we are better than them.  It is very easy: the plane lands in Uganda and one bright, chirpy Notre Dame junior exits wearing her UGG boots or his Polo Brand shirt and proceeds to feverishly take notes with his or her MacBook about the farming practices of the natives.

So many students travel to Africa that it is a wonder South Bend Airport does not run a direct flight to Kampala.  This would probably be the more profitable than simply investing in the continent.  Imagine an airport that runs four flights: daily flights to Chicago, Detroit, and Cleveland; and a weekly flight to Uganda.  Not only would the students use this often, but Fr. Jenkins would be able to easily satisfy his cravings for all things Uganda.

Regardless of what students do when they arrive in Africa, the ones who go there love to talk about the continent when they return.  Rare is it that a Notre Dame Student finds himself in a conversation with one of these privileged few and they don’t mention their trip at least three times.  These students love to use their stories to show how cultured they are and how much they care about the world, and they typically cannot wait to go back.