Thursday, August 26, 2010

#94: Only riding with one cab driver

When Notre Dame Students leave the friendly confines of their campus for drinking purposes, the sensible choice that most make is to take a cab from campus or between off-campus locations.  Notre Dame Students take cabs to bars and house parties every weekend, and they have particular opinions about them.  While some younger students mainly just go to Main Circle and flag down any cab that comes their way, older students discover that they should have their own cab driver with whom they regularly ride.

Notre Dame Students like consistency and the comfort that comes with it.  They like knowing what is going to happen on any given night, and they like being able to dictate when and how things happen (see #25).  Because of this, Notre Dame Students love to have phone numbers for cab drivers in the area and they like to ride between bars and off-campus locations always with the same cab driver.

Students like their cab drivers because they get to know them.  They love the eccentricities that these cab drivers exhibit and the crazy stories that come with them.  They like listening to Christian rock in Jesus's cab, smoking (even though they don’t smoke) with Tony, hearing rumors about other cab drivers from DeeDee, and hearing ridiculous stories from Charlie Chin.  Notre Dame Students like their cab drivers because of the stories they tell and the experiences they can share.

Notre Dame Students also like cab drivers for any knowledge they can share on any given night.  Cab drivers always know where the parties are, and they always know which bars have the longest lines and which bars have been raided by the police.  Many cab drivers might even have some inside information about the football team to share (see #8).  Cab drivers hear things from all around town and they share them with the students who have become their friends.  

Ultimately, Notre Dame Students love their cab drivers because they are really the only locals with whom students have a chance to become friends.   Cab drivers tell their student friends about their lives during the brief trips around town, and students ultimately have a desire to continue riding with the same cab driver every night so that they can develop these relationships, as bizarre as they sometimes might be.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Not Just a Blog Any More. . .

Rarely do I like to write on this blog in the first person, but I’m writing today with great fear and a little bit of pride and excitement to announce that Things Notre Dame Students Like is now on sale as a book!!  From the great folks over at Corby Books, Things Notre Dame Students Like is available for purchase at the Hammes Bookstore on campus and you can order it online by clicking the link to the right (or you can click right here).

The book not only includes the entire list of Things up to and including the thrilling conclusion at #(you’ll have to buy the book to find out), but it also includes original never-before-seen material including:
  • New and original charts and graphs that depict behaviors only touched upon on the blog
  • New lists of Things other groups like including ND Professors and Coach Mike Brey
  • New chapters to replace old and out of date entries such as #19 (although I still love The O.C.)
Beyond this, each and every chapter has been rewritten and revised to the point where some are completely different and bring up new points and ideas that were left out on the blog.

I hope you all check it out, and most importantly I hope you all continue to enjoy the Things Notre Dame Students Like.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

#93: Not knowing what pot smells like

Notre Dame Students enjoy a rather privileged existence as undergraduates, and are able to fulfill many of the requisite conditions to living a life that is SO College (see #11) during their four years at Notre Dame.  In pursuit of this life, they happily undertake many activities of which ResLife, the heavy-handed disciplinary arm of the administration, would most certainly not approve.  Notre Dame Students break parietals regularly (although usually in pursuit of a future bride/groom instead of a casual hook- up), they build elaborate lofts in their dorms, and under these elaborate lofts they place elaborate bars filled with hard liquor that is certainly not permitted (see #92).

However, Notre Dame Students’ strident attempts at SO College debauchery does not extend (for the most part) to the use of recreational drugs.  Most students around the country smoke pot at least once during their college careers, and the drug is practically a legal commodity in California and other states.  At Notre Dame, however, this form of youthful experimentation is notably absent.  While at other schools smoking pot is widely accepted as part of the college experience, at Notre Dame the emphasis on dorm life and the sheltered upbringings of its students within the Notre Dame Bubble combine to create a stigma attached to the use of pot. 

First, Notre Dame Students are generally obedient and enjoy following rules and instructions.  While some of their state school counterparts might feel less nervous about having pot in their dorms than having alcohol, Notre Dame Students fully understand the administrative risks that would come from lighting up in their dorms.  Even when Notre Dame Students leave campus to party and live in off-campus residences, they generally continue to reject pot even though it is something many of them might reasonably consider using in other circumstances. 

While some may have smoked in high school, once at Notre Dame they become fearful of the Kyle McAlarney treatment and refuse to do it at all (except in some incredibly rare and highly sketchy situations).  These students know how important their education is, and they know how ruthless ResLife is, and instead opt for a safer and more conservative path to being SO College.

Because of this, a drug that is fairly easy to come by on college campuses around the country is nearly impossible to find at Notre Dame.  Furthermore, the vast majority of Notre Dame Students (who were too busy building their college applications in high school) make it through their entire college careers not really aware of how pot works or what the drug even smells like.  This leads to interesting conversations with people at non-Notre Dame parties that might include silly comments such as “I think someone let a skunk out in the other room,” and “How does that glass thing on the coffee table even work?”  The non-ND friends will laugh, admiring the adorable naïveté that also results in curious character features such as being confused about the definition of hooking up (see #21).

At any other university, the ignorance about such a widely-used drug would be rare, but at Notre Dame it is widespread.  Notre Dame Students are told from the outset that it is okay for them to drink, but it is not okay for them to use drugs.  Because Notre Dame Students almost always follow the instructions they are given from their elders and peers, they listen to these rules.  As a result, most Notre Dame graduates head off into the world unaware of the distinct smell of marijuana smoke.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

#92: Overly elaborate dorm room configurations

It’s already established that residence halls are an important part of life for Notre Dame Students.  At many colleges, dorms might be simply the place where students sleep at night and have a desk to occasionally work; but for Notre Dame Students, dorms actually become their home (and remain as a home for them even after they move out).  In an effort to make their rooms more homey, Notre Dame Students plan and construct the most elaborate dorm rooms possible.

To begin their room construction, Notre Dame Students start at the floor by purchasing wall-to-wall carpeting to cover the tile.  While throw rugs would certainly be the easiest option, Notre Dame Students know that cutting carpeting to perfectly fit their rooms not only looks great and feels comfortable, but requires the extra bit of effort that makes a perfect dorm room (despite the fact that it’s impossible to adequately clean vomit and beer spills out of carpeting).

After their floors are covered, Notre Dame Students will then look for the most efficient way to fit all of the essential beds, desks, wardrobes and dressers into their room.  Being efficient with this is not only important because it saves space for extraneous items later, but it also shows how clever Notre Dame Students can be with using limited resources and building things.  Most Notre Dame Students determine that the best way to go with these essential items is up, and they build elaborate lofts to make their rooms into multi-level enterprises with their beds (and sometimes even desks) high enough off the floor so that they can walk under them and plan a further living space. 

Once they have their essential furniture in place, and have made sure that they have enough room for the largest possible desk chair they can buy at Office Depot, Notre Dame Students shift their attention to the living spaces that are more important to them.  Many students will construct television stands that sometimes act as lofts themselves, oftentimes with room for two or more televisions, mini-fridges, video game systems, sound systems, and cable boxes. 

Notre Dame Students will want their rooms to fit multiple televisions so that they can watch several things at once (especially during football season), and entice as many people as possible to congregate in their room.  To successfully do this, Notre Dame Students will do their best to maximize seating by having multiple couches and chairs in their rooms.  Furthermore, they will maximize viewing opportunities from these couches by raising one or more on cinder blocks above others to create a stadium seating atmosphere that improves sightlines to televisions and shows how serious the residents are about watching sporting events.

As the icing on the cake, Notre Dame Students will construct elaborate bars in their rooms that they will use to host parties and pregames.  These bars will usually have at least one fridge behind them (and oftentimes a blender), as well as a stockpile of liquors, mixers, and a wide array of drinking glasses of all shapes and sizes.  After that, Notre Dame Students will clutter up the walls of their rooms with posters, pennants, flags (see #55), and bar neons in an inexplicable attempt to recreate the atmosphere of a TGI Friday's.

Once they are finished, Notre Dame Students will invite all of their friends over to see how awesome their room is.  They will show it off to people they don’t even know to make themselves feel good.  They will use their awesome room to throw parties and entice people to it, and they will end up losing money maintaining their stockpile of liquor behind the bar.  Ultimately, Notre Dame Students will love these rooms, because once they are complete; they will truly be home.

Monday, August 2, 2010

#91.5: Things Young Alumni Like

1) Sending Text Messages during football games
2) Victory Liquors
3) Lamenting the 2005 loss to USC
4) Thinking Coors Light is a shitty beer (see #28)
5) Younger friends and siblings still at ND
6) Ironically wearing monogram sweater-vests (see #85.5)
7) Being Roommates in Wrigleyville (see #47)
8) Continuing to tout inside information about the football team (see #8)
9) Telling people when they have a med school exam (see #29)
10) Teaching (even though they won’t make careers as teachers)
11) Sneaking into the student section during football games
12) Complaining about the Basilica wedding reservation system
13) Doing service work for a year or two because they were too preoccupied to apply for jobs
14) Matt Leinart’s NFL career
15) Donating money to Notre Dame (even if they don’t have an income)