Friday, May 29, 2009

#23: Lou Holtz

Despite the fact that he hasn’t coached here in a dozen years, Notre Dame Students love Lou Holtz more than ever.  Maybe it is his pep rally speeches on YouTube, maybe it is his unapologetic support of Notre Dame on College GameDay Final, or maybe it is just a longing for the glory days that can’t seem to return.  Whatever it is, Notre Dame Students still love Lou Holtz.

When Lou Holtz talks, Notre Dame Students listen.  His Dr. Lou and Pep Talk segments on College GameDay Live frequently quiet any room of Notre Dame Students (despite the fact he frequently says the same thing), and his YouTube clips regularly capture the attention of students as well.  A Lou Holtz speech will make most Notre Dame Students foam at the mouth or scream deliriously in support of their favorite Notre Dame Football coach.

What is puzzling is that Lou Holtz achieved his greatest success before most current students were even alive, and last contended for a National Championship before these students were in kindergarten.  The man was forced out of his job here under mysterious circumstances and was last seen as a coach at the University of South Carolina, but Notre Dame Students love him more than ever because of his quick quips and intense rivalry with Irish-hater Mark May.

Notre Dame Students love Lou Holtz because he has reached that Grandfatherly level where he can say whatever he wants whenever he wants.  He no longer cares how crazy people might perceive him to be, he just says what he wants.  No matter how poorly the University might have treated him ten years ago; Lou Holtz will love Notre Dame until the end of time; and because of this Notre Dame Students will always love him.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

#22: Sneaking Starbucks Into the Library

While most items on this list pertain to students that spend much their free time in bars or watching football games, many students spend large portions of their time in the library.  Students at Notre Dame like to think of themselves as people who work hard and party hard, and whether this is true or not, they need regular boosts of caffeine to help them study for tests, write papers, and do projects in the floors behind Touchdown Jesus.

In order to fuel themselves through the exams and papers they need to work on, Notre Dame Students (like most college students) typically resort to coffee, and because they care so much about name brands (see #12) they typically get their coffee from the LaFortune Hall Starbucks that is just a short stroll away from the doors to the Library. 

Problems arise, however, because Starbucks coffee is not technically allowed in the library. Students must resort to drastic measures in order to sneak their Starbucks past the Hesburgh Library top notch security team that is manning all entrances to the building (or the only entrance to the building).  Some students smoothly hold their Starbucks at their side where the Coffee-Nazis don’t notice it.  Others take more intense precautions by putting their Starbucks in coat pockets or even balancing it in their backpack.

However they choose to sneak their Starbucks into the library, Notre Dame Students are free to reveal it as soon as they make their way past the security checkpoint.  Once in the basement or second floor, Notre Dame Students can peacefully drink their Starbucks and get down to the task of doin' work . . . or not (see #18).

Sunday, May 24, 2009

#21: Being Confused About the Definition of Hooking-Up

Notre Dame Students love to hook-up . . . at least they think they do.  If there is one thing that regularly causes more viewpoint fodder than Saint Mary’s girls or the Vagina Monologues it is the perceived hook-up culture at Notre Dame.  Students love to talk about who hooked-up with whom or how many guys somebody has hooked-up with.  At the end of the day, however, Notre Dame Students are incredibly confused about the definition of the term hook-up.

At most colleges and universities across the country the term hook-up means that two people had sex.  If a frat guy at the University of Illinois told one of his bros that he hooked up with a girl it would absolutely mean that the two had sex.  If a Knott guy tells his roommate that he hooked up with a girl, it could mean anything from ‘we touched each other’ to ‘we dance floor madeout’ to ‘I got a topless blowjob’ to ‘we had sex’.  While it is possible that the Knott guy had sex with the girl, one of the other scenarios is far more likely.

At Notre Dame, sexual intercourse is a rarity.  While certain football players won’t shy away from tag teaming girls in the Keough Hall Laundry room, many Notre Dame Students won’t even think about having sex until they are firmly committed in a long term relationship and have turned their Claddaugh Rings around (see #6).
Because of this, Notre Dame Students need to adopt a new vernacular when discussing the hook-up culture. 

Simply saying that they hooked-up is not enough to define the nature of what happened.  If Notre Dame Students want to imply that they had sex, it would be best to say that they U of I Hooked-Up while if they merely made out and touched each other they can say that they Notre Dame Hooked-Up.  This distinction will not only allow students to more accurately describe their actions to other Notre Dame Students, but it will also help to clarify their moral superiority over their state school counterparts.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

#20: Thinking Finnegan’s is the Senior Bar

The bar scene in South Bend is perfectly complementary to the needs of Notre Dame Students.  For Students that want to casually drink at bars before their 21st birthday, a mediocre fake ID can get them into such establishments as Cheers Lounge, Club 23, CJ’s Pub, and Madison Oyster Bar.  For the more intense partiers, more expensive fakes can work wonders at Club Fever and The Backer.  However no bar is more stringent on IDs than The Blarney Stone (commonly known as Finnegan’s). 

Seniors love to go to Finnegan’s not necessarily to dance or even to get very drunk, but to socialize with all of the other seniors that they don’t get to see every day.  On Thursday nights, Notre Dame Seniors can wander around Finnegan’s for hours just socializing with people they are peripherally friends with while casually drinking pitchers of beer or Long Island Iced Tea.

This social atmosphere has led many Notre Dame Seniors to perceive Finnegan’s as the Senior Bar.  These Seniors cherish their time at the bar, and become upset when 21 year old Juniors enter the bar.  They want the bar to be for Seniors only and oftentimes complain to each other when it becomes overrun with Juniors.  Notre Dame Seniors search for a Senior Bar leads them to loathe the days when more and more Juniors gain admittance to the bar.

This social atmosphere also infringes on the ability for Juniors to fully enjoy the bar.  Because not all Juniors are 21, they are not fully able to experience the social atmosphere of the bar and do not fully appreciate it.  Juniors do not really understand the glory that is Finnegan’s, but it doesn’t take long for them to learn, because all Juniors eventually become Seniors (when they too will want the bar all to themselves).

Sunday, May 10, 2009

#19: The OC and other Teen Dramas

Notre Dame Students love drama, and not just the drama that is happening around them.  Notre Dame Students are enthralled with Teen Dramas on television.  At the height of its existence, The OC was the biggest television show on campus.  No meeting, class, party, or dinner could be scheduled during the FOX drama, and it was required television for any student who wanted to be with it. 

For two solid years, Notre Dame Students were enthralled with the hijinks of Seth, Ryan, Summer, and Marissa, hanging on every move of the beautiful foursome.  Then it all unraveled.  Caleb died, Trey was shot, Ryan punched the dean, and Johnny fell off a cliff.  Notre Dame Students became less and less interested in the adventures of the gang in Newport, and drama had to be found in other places. 

Since The OC was cancelled, Notre Dame Students have had to look to other means to get their fix of drama.  While some students have just continued to get their OC fix by watching reruns on SoapNet, others have started watching shows such as Gossip Girl, 90210, and Friday Night Lights to satisfy the teen drama fix.  While these shows might be just as entertaining as The OC was, none of them has succeeded in capturing the imagination of Notre Dame Students like The OC did, once upon a time.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

#18: Finding Inventive Ways to Procrastinate

Just as finals week has descended on the University of Notre Dame, so too have the litany of things that Notre Dame Students do to procrastinate on their work that has been building up all semester.  While there are some students that are focused on the task at hand (premeds), most Notre Dame Students see study days and exam week as a welcome chance to screw around until work really must be done.

One way that students procrastinate is by going to parties and partaking in a variety of drinking themed events during study days (see #11).  These can range from keg races to beer pong tournaments, and are typically widespread during the early study days.  Many students also procrastinate on their work by leaving town to go to the Kentucky Derby; because is there a better way to prepare for exams than by drinking Mint Juleps and betting on horses?

While it is relatively easy for students to find ways to procrastinate during study days, they must pick up their game if they are to not do work during exams week.  Since every student wants to give across the appearance that they are being productive, most students will pack up their books, notes, and laptops and find a spot with all of their friends on the second floor of the library.  After taking everything out of their backpack and spreading books and notes across a table or desk, Notre Dame Students will then take out their laptops and let the real procrastination begin.

Notre Dame Students have become adept at finding online diversions that will keep them occupied while giving off the appearance that work is being done.  They will update their facebook status religiously making sure that everybody knows how many exams they still have, and how many hours it is until they are DONE.  They will play games such as Family Feud, Funny Farm, and Sporcle; and they will learn more than they did during any class throughout the semester.  

Notre Dame Students will also read.  They will read more articles on than they did during the rest of the semester combined.  They will read message boards on Rivals and ND Nation (see #8), and they will find obscure blogs to pass the time.  However, the pinnacle of Notre Dame Student procrastination is when a student begins to follow Charlie Weis’s Twitter *.  When this happens, they have truly decided to phone in their exams.

*Exception: This is assuming that said Notre Dame Students do not attempt to start their own obscure blog during the final weeks of the semester.  This would truly be the most inventive way to procrastinate on work.

Monday, May 4, 2009

#17: Bitching About Kramer

Despite the fact that most Notre Dame Students live in the dorms, there are a surprising number of off-campus options that seniors (as well as some of the more badass juniors) have to choose from.  Some students choose to live at apartment complexes such as Turtle Creek, Clover Ridge, or Castle Point, but many Notre Dame Students that live off-campus choose to live south of campus in the ever-dangerous northeast neighborhood; in houses and apartments that are almost singularly owned by one Mark Kramer.

While Kramer began his student housing empire with houses on streets like Washington and Corby, recent years have seen him take control of student housing complexes such as Lafayette Apartments, Notre Dame Apartments, and East Race Townhomes.  Because his empire has become so large, most Notre Dame Students who live off-campus encounter Kramer at one point or another and for those who choose to live in one of his properties, most students love to bitch about his service.

Notre Dame Students bitch about Kramer for any number of things.  They bitch about things that are broken in their houses, they bitch when the people who come to fix said things arrive at inopportune times, they bitch because they don’t get their security deposit back, and they bitch because of the manner in which they pay rent.  While some of these complaints are valid, for the most part they just amount to Notre Dame Students bitching.

One notorious Kramer act that caused many students to bitch was a rent payment reminder at the end of the first semester.  Students are encouraged by Kramer to pay their rent by the semester (even though they know this is not the ideal payment method) and many use this method.  Kramer provided these students with the perfect opportunity to bitch when his secretary sent rent payment reminders several days after the payment was due.  While this act, which included assessment of late fees, was hardly polite (but also far from unethical), tenants saw it as Kramer being Kramer.  Many students bitched about it, and some even refused to pay said late fees.

Have no fear, however, because Kramer will be certain to take everything he can out of the student’s security deposits (namely, everything); because with such a domination of the off-campus housing market, does he really need to worry about bad publicity?

Friday, May 1, 2009

#16: Calling members of the opposite sex by the name of their dorm

Notre Dame Students love to define each other by the dorm to which they were randomly assigned freshman year.  They use stereotypes that make little sense (and are usually very unfunny) in an attempt to clump all other Notre Dame Students into groupings based upon their residence.  One of the key elements of this occurs when students call members of the opposite sex by the name of their dorm

This naming device is most prevalent when students are making plans for a night or weekend.  If a group of guys is looking to have a pregame they will invariably debate between inviting the Howard girls, the BP girls, the Lyons girls, or maybe even the Saint Mary’s girls*.  Guys will do this for two reasons: 1) because the girls typically only hang out with other girls from their dorm, and 2) it would be a travesty to stage an event in a small, intimate setting with girls from two different dorms.

It is the same way for the ladies.  On any given night a group of girls will consider their options of hanging out with the Keenan guys, the O’Neill guys, or the Dillon guys (but probably not the Holy Cross guys).  They will rarely use the name of an individual guy in the group because what is that one individual without his group?

*Note: Men will only use the word girls as the noun when referring to these groups.  They will never say Howard women, BP females, Lyons ladies, or Saint Mary’s sweethearts.  While they might refer to a group of girls in person as ladies, or a single girl as a sweetheart, they will never do so with the name of the dorm.  Girls, on the other hand, will use the words guys and boys interchangeably.