Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Thoughts from abroad.

Lanier (L): Embracing and quickly taking to "lifestyle fiesta" 

Once again, we have the opportunity to hear from a Stedsman who is studying abroad for the semester. Brennan Lanier, Sted's junior, has given up the first floor lounge and watching his weekend Premier League soccer games for the a change of scenery. Here's what Lanier had to say when I caught up with him via the electronic mail. 

St. Ed: Where are you?

Lanier: I’m actually in bed, but you probably care more to know that I'm in Puebla, Mexico. 

St. Ed: If I remember correctly, isn't Puebla in the shadow of an active volcano?

Lanier: It is! It's called Popocat├ępetl (yes, I had to google that spelling). Though "Popo" is not quite as majestic as our Dome view from Sted's, it's hard to argue with the sunset over a volcano.  

St. Ed: When I travel abroad and not don't speak the native language, I found that speaking English more loudly helps non-English speakers understand English. Have you employed this technique?

Lanier: That is a classic technique, and one that I use on a daily basis. I have also been known to try various impersonations when speaking with locals. They may not recognize English out of the mouth of an American college student, but the voices of characters like Yoda and Batman are universal. 

St. Ed: Remind me, is the exchange rate 10 pesos to the dollar or ten dollars to the peso? I forget.

Lanier: It is actually about 13 pesos to the dollar. Some may say that's unlucky, but when those 13 pesos can buy multiple street tacos, all notions of luck seem to disappear! 

St. Ed: The Gentlemen pride themselves on their academic endeavors. How have classes been so far in Puebla? 

Lanier: They've been wonderful! I'm in 6 classes, and all of them but physics are entirely in Spanish. The language barrier can be difficult at times, but I can feel myself improving every day. I share my Mexican Philosophy class with a group of hilarious seminarians, and it's safe to say that their homilies may one day hold a candle to Father Ralph’s! 

St. Ed: Do you have any advice for your Stedsmen about studying/traveling abroad?

Lanier: As any gentleman would, give copious amounts of generous love to all you meet. It will come back to you.  Say, here is a photo of myself, my host mother Laura Guerra (an angel, and a wonderful cook too!), and my roommate here Sean. In this photo we were at a concert celebrating Mexico's independence.  I pray for you and all of my Stedsmen, and hope you are having a wonderful semester! 

Brennan, enjoy your fiesta and hurry back to Sted's!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Office hours now...

Office hours with a smile.

...in session. David Schipper, Sted’s senior, is the Hall’s STEM rep. What does that mean? Good question. The Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) departments of the University are seeking to retain undergraduate majoring in these fields. To that end, Schipper holds regular office hours, helping with homework, signing up for a STEM minor, preparing for the graduate school, or whatever may be relevant to STEM majors. On his tutelage of Sted's STEM majors, Schipper said, “To all you STEM majors out there, keep calm and carry on.” 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Your Sunday...

Nothing better for a golden dome than a blue sky

...picture from Notre Dame. Taken from the front door of St. Ed's, this picture captures yet another beautiful fall day at Notre Dame. Against a clear blue sky, Mary really stand outs. Keep on shining!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

What are you doing...

Enjoying a beautiful day and beautiful fall colors

...on your bye football weekend? Technically but also metaphysically speaking, we have a "home game" at the Meadowlands in Jersey, but since we're at St. Edward's in Notre Dame, it's a bye (or away) football weekend for most of us. On being asked, "what are you doing today?" by a Stedsman, I said, "Enjoying campus' fall colors!" Kids, get outside today!!!

Friday, September 26, 2014

A Thursday Night Tradition...

Grasberger, I think that there's a slice of pizza left

...has returned to the 1st floor lounge. With the NFL moving Thursday Night Football from their network back to where it originally was on basic TV, Joe Grady and Jake Wittenberg, Sted's sophomores, have claimed the lounge as their own on Thursday nights.  While last night's game may not have been what everyone was hoping for, a game, still yet, fun, friends and pizza made up for what the game failed to deliver. To know pizza-hater and all around wet blanket, Mark Grasberger, Wittenberg said, "Mark, do you want a slice?" Still yet, on the Redskin's offense, Grady said, "Haven't seen a squad look this sloppy since Fr. Ralph auto-picked his fantasy football teams. Both of them. How'd that pan out for you, Father?" Ouch...

Thursday, September 25, 2014

He gave it the...

Failed to connect with audience: Grasberger & Larry the Cucumber 

...old college go. Mark Grasberger, Sted's sophomore and brave soul, threw himself to the masses and gave it a go at Walsh Hall's annual "Mr. ND" contest. Despite the competition, Grasberger's win was never in question because he'd mesmerize the crowd during the "talent" portion of the competition. Grasberger's talent? Hypnosis. On his performance, Grasberger said, "The judges told me that I failed. I told them, 'No. The object of my hypnotism failed. She was a nonbeliever.' It was a shame to bow out of such a prestigious competition that way." Indeed! Stiff upper lip Grasberger...stiff upper lip!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What was lost...

...has been replaced! Some time during the 80's, three Stations of the Cross in the chapel went missing. How did this happen? Who knows, but as the Johnny Carson Show would say, "more to come folks." In the meantime, the missing stations were replaced with colored drawings that unfortunately didn't blend in with the rest of the all-wood stations.  

Fast forward to the summer of 2014, at the prompting of a resident, we began in earnest to remedy the situation. In short, using another set of the same stations and relying upon the skill of Polish woodcarvers in Chicago, the St. Edward's chapel once again has a magnificent and COMPLETE set of all-wood Stations of the Cross.

Donating the First Station, Ralph and Mary Haag, friends of St. Ed, said, “Without question, the St. Edward's chapel, the oldest hall chapel, deserves these beautiful, hard carved wood stations. May they help us honor our Savior and meditate on the story of our redemption.”

Ralph and Mary, thanks, and all my love... St. Ed.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Thoughts from abroad.

Brill and the typical Irish countryside

Once again, Stedsmen have ventured beyond Hall and Dome out into the big and beautiful world. Steven Brill, Sted's junior and former President of the Juggling Society, is one such Stedsmen. Despite having a demanding class schedule and course work, Steven was able to make time for me and fill me in on what's going on out, over there. Here's what Steven had to say...St. Ed: So, where are you these days?

St. Ed: So, where are you these days?

Brill:  I am currently on the Emerald Isle in Dublin, Ireland.  I am studying Mechanical Engineering and redundancy at UCD Dublin (University College Dublin Dublin)

St. Ed: Remember the audience here, but what is a typical weekend in Dublin? I am thinking a lot of hurling, shillelaghs, and cabbage.

Brill:  On the weekends in Dublin, I can been found at the Senior Finals (equivalent to the Super Bowl) of various Irish sports like hurling or at a pub enjoying some nice blackcurrant juice and singing songs such as the Irish classic "No Nay Never" or the ever popular "American Pie."  However, on the weekends all of the Irish students return to their hometowns, so in similar fashion I travel to various parts Ireland and Europe on most of the weekends.  

St. Ed: Do you ever have problems communicating, you know, not being in an English speaking country?

Brill:   Living in an Irish speaking country can be difficult at times.  I often find myself questioning whether the girl actually said her name was Leisha, or if she merely pronounced Lisa with an accent.  I have also had some difficult communicating with the street signs since they are all in Irish. 

St. Ed: Have you had any problems wearing your Notre Dame clothing because of the leprechaun? I heard that the leprechaun is taboo in Irish society and that this was something that the University was sensitive to when the football team was in Ireland two years ago.

Brill:  At the university I have not had any problems.  In fact, some students find my shirts with "Irish" on them to be quite amusing.  However, in Northern Ireland, I was advised not to wear “Fighting Irish” or kelley green shirts.  Despite these tense issues of leprechauns and fighting Irishmen, I have had no problem representing the Gentlemen of St. Edward's Hall wherever I find myself.

St. Ed: Do you have any advice for your Stedsmen about studying/traveling abroad?

Brill:  My advice would be:
     1.  Don't get food poisoning on a train that you will be on for 9 hours.
     2.  Try the Fanta in every country.  It is different in each of them.
     3.  If you go to Mass in a famous church you get a fantastic mass (probably in a language that you 
          don't speak) and free entry.
     4.  Wade in the water.  
     5.  Bring a towel.

Monday, September 22, 2014

We were...

Keep it away from that big elf.

...robbed of a victory. For the first time in the history of the Battle for the Shadow (BFTS) basketball tourney, St. Ed's suffered a defeated at the hands of Zahm. What happened? Maybe we didn't bring our "A game" that day. Maybe we stressed theatrics and not enough "fundamentals" on the court. Whatever it was, the Stedsmen will have a lot to ruminate over until the next tourney, but in the meantime in good St. Ed's tradition, they will put on a good face with a stiff upper lip.

Still, of the event, Miko Malabute, Sted's junior and organizer of the tourney, said, "“Setting up this year’s BFTS was a very rewarding challenge, and it was great to be on both sides of the tournament, as a commissioner and player. But the best part of the tournament had to have been seeing our Presidential Cabinet, Mike Murphy, Pat Krauss, and Christian Verhamme, playing in jorts (jean shorts). It makes me feel like I can bring my pair of jorts back to school next semester. Way to represent.” 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Taking it...

Happy Coach Daniel with the team's rising star, Wittenberg

...to Stepan Fields, the Gentlemen did. Today, the Sted's football team unleashed everything they had, including the kitchen sink, against Zahm Hall. In the end, Zahm was no match for the "strategery" of Coach Zach Daniel (pictured above) and the raw, awesome athletic talent of the Sted's team, who disposed of the them 12 to zero. Of the shut out and on his sacking of the Zahm quarterback, Jake Wittenberg, pictured above, said, "It was as if all my wildest dreams came true!"

Saturday, September 20, 2014

What are you doing...

But is he really free?

...on your bye football weekend? With the Irish not having a game this weekend, Stedsmen are standing downing from their fan responsibilities, enjoying a "free" weekend. But what they are doing? On his new found "freedom," Tim Khouw, Sted's Junior and resident Texan, said, "I am getting a TV stand so we can watch the ND, Syracuse game next weekend." Enjoy your free weekend!

Friday, September 19, 2014

It's on!

Cervantes: I don't play basketball.

 Started several years ago, the Battle for the Shadow is the annual basketball tourney between St. Ed's and Zahm Hall. The tourney has games played on both halls' basketball courts with the final championship game played at night under portable lights at the St Ed's court. Oh, yes. St. Ed's is the defending champion. On his strategy for his game, Chris Rho, Sted's freshman, said, "I don't know what it is. We'll soon find out."  

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Take me out...

Hecht: We got them right where we want them

...to the ball game! Under the tutelage of Coach Planek, the Sted's baseball team took to the baseball diamond yesterday in a doubler hitter. The first game against O'Neill was an explosion of hits and runs that ultimately ended in a decisive win, but the second game against Duncan, well, the bats fell silent, resulting in a heartbreaking loss. Of the double hitter, Chris Hecht, Sted's junior and pitcher, said, "Coming off a 9 to 3 win over O'Neill in game one of a double hitter, the team looked to be in true midseason form."

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Where are they now?: Alumni Spotlight.

But where are the Joshua trees?

After a long break, we're resuming our much loved, sometimes interesting, but always worth a read, spotlight on Sted's Alumni. Today, I was able to catch up with Nick "Kovach" Kovachevich '09, Stedsman and now Southern Californian, who happened to be on campus for the Michigan game weekend. Besides sharing his thoughts on ND football, here's what Kovach had to say to my questions...

St. Ed: So What are you up to these days?

Kovachevich: Whenever I get some time off from working for "The Man" or on my master degree, I've been exploring the West Coast. Cruising around the Hawaiian Islands, a bit of international travel, backpacking in Joshua Tree National Park (pictured above), not to mention getting through the TSA checkpoint in Terminal 1 of LAX which is a wild adventure in and of itself.

St.Ed: Living in Los Angeles? I bet you see movie stars all the time. How's Californian living?

Kovachevich: I live on a beach that's not in Malibu and work in a building with no windows... so I haven't had as many celebrity sightings as you might expect. I did see Gerard Butler once, but it was right after I had to sit through all 120 minutes of Olympus Has Fallen. As you can imaginethere just wasn't anything to say. Still, L.A. is fantastic, provided you can get over all the USC fans.

St. Ed: I remember you studying Aerospace Engineering. Are you working for Raytheon? So, you're probably helping Amazon make "drone deliveries?"

Kovachevich: Raytheon should be so lucky! If I were working on drone deliveries for Raytheon, Amazon wouldn't be my primary customer because all my packages would be delivered to Eastern Syria/Iraq with the recipients who would be absolutely blown away by the level of service. No, I work for Boeing's Satellite Development Center. Unfortunately, delivering "the goods" from space is still probably still a few years away, but don't tell Jeff Bezos. Maybe I can get a head start on this one...

St Ed: What are your thoughts about building "Spaceport USA," America's first space port, in a desert in New Mexico? I am thinking, "Great. I just returned safely from SPACE but now I am NEW MEXICO." What were people thinking?

Kovachevich: "Spaceport", ahem, "America" (cue me pushing my aerospace engiNERDing glasses up the bridge of my nose) is all-around underwhelming in my estimation. Even worse than taking off from and landing in the middle of nowhere New Mexico is Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo. The Virgin is suborbital, meaning it's really just a plane that can fly higher than normal and not something you could use to launch a satellite or visit the International Space Station. If I had $200k to burn for a ride on Virgin's high flying plane, then I'd rather put it towards building something on campus. Maybe a new gym for Steds? Kovachevich Hall has a nice ring, but maybe it should be O'Kovachevich Hall.

St. Ed: What advice do you have for your fellow Stedsmen?

Kovachevich: Keep the traditions alive, and above all else, be true to your friends and to yourself. That hallowed ground you walk everyday is only special because of the people with whom you share it.

Kovach, good luck! It was great talking with you, but I hope the next time I see you, I am in sunny L.A. It's going to be a bad winter!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Open again!

Smiles, but where's your hair net?

With much fan fair, Andrew Borchert, Ed's General Manager, officially reopened Ed's after its summer makeover not only of its facilities but also its menu. Don't worry. Ed's still sells Hall favorites...three different paninis, several smoothies, and of course, pizza sticks and other various oven baked goods. Of Ed's opening, Parker Mathes, Sted's freshman and Ed's worker, said, "Ed's has filled the empty void in my life with love and good food."

VIDEO: Ed's Opening

Monday, September 15, 2014

Senior Road Trip.

Tallahassee bound?

While other residents took the opportunity to catch up on work, I guess Sted's seniors, Mike Hanley, Andrew Borchert, and Chris Lattimer, had time to burn. Seniors. The Sted's trio made the three hour trek to Indy, with no speeding tickets, to cheer on their Irish against Purdue. Of the road trip, Borchert, pictured above center, said, "We couldn't have asked for anything more from the great city of Indianapolis. Good food, great people, and another Notre Dame victory." Well said...

Sunday, September 14, 2014

There in...

Pushup Secret: Lift with your back, not your knees!

...spirit, the Stedsmen were. It may not have been Lucas Oil Stadium, but Stedsmen gathered in their first floor lounge and held a game watch. Of course, there was food, teen spirit, and lots of pushups.  On being raised up for pushups multiple times, Jack Kill Jr., Sted's freshman pictured above in yellow, said, "I'm frequently asked, 'why are you are so sweaty?' I tell them that I was celebrating Irish scores with a few pushups. Go Irish!" Yup, that will do it.

VIDEO: Sted's Alma Mater

Saturday, September 13, 2014


To the ND Band: Make every note count!

...the Band! As Irish fans descend upon Indy, the ND Marching Band was mobilized and deployed on Friday afternoon. While Purdue's band has the largest drum, it will be no match to the power of ND's band brass section. Of the match up of teams and bands, Peter Fink, Sted's sophomore and ND band member (saxophone player), said, "Clear minds. Full hearts. We can't lose."

Friday, September 12, 2014


Hearts: Not for the faint of heart

...were broken. Ben Cote, Nick Very, and Ned Vogel, Sted's sophomores, found out in a real way that St. Ed was playing for keeps when they joined him for a "friendly" game of Hearts. It was a close game right up until the end, with everyone in a position to win, but it was Vogel who eked out the victory. On taking the Queen of Spades numerous times when it was meant for St. Ed, Nick Very (above, center) said, "Just doing my duty... gladly jumping on the grenade for St. Ed." Nick, you're the man... keep up the good work!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Word in the hallway...

Scott: Watching the fireworks from a distance

... is that he's not going to Indy this weekend for the game. Yes, Michael Scott, Sted's Senior and apparent "will not travel for ND football" fan, is not going "down state" to watch the Irish battle it out against the Boilermakers of Purdue. On not going to the game, Michael said, "I'll be able to hear the blowout from here well enough." Indeed you will, Michael... indeed you will.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A great night...

A view of Mary and the south facade of St. Edward's during the drill

...for a fire drill! Under the supervision of the Notre Dame Fire Department, an unnamed Stedsman was allowed to pull a fire alarm as a part of the bi-semester testing of the fire emergency system of the Hall. Thankfully, everyone evacuated safely and were back in their rooms in ten minutes time. Of the fire drill, Parker Mathes, Sted's freshman, said, "The fire drill went very smoothly as everyone was able to make it outside quickly. It's always funny to see the outfits others are wearing when they are caught off guard at night." Indeed, but I am curious who will be next in having the honor of pulling the next alarm!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

It was raining...

I guess no one needed an umbrella.

...but love of the game kept them playing as well as the newly installed basketball court light. It was pouring down rain, but the team of Noble, Ruggles, and Weber kept pouring down the buckets, ultimately allowing them to win the championship for the second time in as many years. On playing in the rain, Joe Scollan, Sted's senior and 1st floor RA, said, "Total commitment to fundamentals in the face of such adversity can only be good signs for the future." Indeed, Mr. Scollan, since "The Battle for Shadow" with Zahm Hall is drawing nigh.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Parting is such...

But it had gone so well during practice!

...sweet sorrow. Indeed, it is, and it's especially the case if you're Michigan. While students' unfurling of the Irish flag hit a "glitch," their final send off for the Michigan team was beautifully executed. On hearing their send off of the Michigan team, David, friend of St. Ed's, said, "The rousing chorus of nah nah nahs was quite stirring, though I was reminded of Romeo’s famous line from Romeo & Juliet: ‘It were a grief so brief to part with thee. Farewell.’ Farewell, indeed, Wolverines. Farewell!”

VIDEO: Students' farewell to Michigan

Sunday, September 7, 2014

A great day...

...a great view, and a great win! Yesterday was an incredible day as the Irish, for the first time since 1984, shut out Michigan. With a decisive 31 to 0 win over the Wolverines, there were many pushups, smiles, and other game day theatrics in the student section; all adding to the pageantry that is ND football. On the decisive win, an unnamed ND fan from Minneapolis said, "I wish their (Michigan's) bus ride home was longer." I do too unnamed fan... I do too. 

VIDEO: Pre-game festivities

Saturday, September 6, 2014

They're at...

Please...no splashing

...it again! Even though the ND Marching Band may not have marched past the Library because the game was a night game, St. Edward's played its part of the tango, preserving tradition in the process. Yes, without the presence of the ND Band, Stedsmen gathered as usual at the reflecting pool at the civilized time of 10am to conduct the float.... and float they did! Congratulations! Float on Gentlemen...float on!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Back again...

...these Stedsmen are. From left to right, Chris Patterson, Miles Korth, Tom Roman, and Dan Rish, all Stedsmen of the Class of 2014, are back for this weekend's epic football game. On returning to campus, Miles Korth said, "We never left, literally, because some of us are in master programs here. Still, all of us agree that you never really leave Sted's." Indeed, Gentlemen... indeed. All you really do is take a little break.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

It's back...

But who's the best shot?

...after a long hiatus! Yes, Halo 3 fell out of favor some time ago, but recently, it has experienced a renaissance of sorts as Stedsmen search for late night distractions as rewards for completing their studies and homework. On the return of late night Halo games, Mark Grasberger, Sted's sophomore pictured above, center, said, "It's been a while since my Halo days, but I found it necessary to take advantage of the chance to humiliate my RAs and Rector." Them sounds like fighting words to me!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

For the love of...

No diving please...

...tradition and floating, Stedsmen took to the water of the Library's reflecting pool this past Saturday. A game day tradition, this spirited flotilla is always a spectacle to behold. From their colorful inflatables to their lively rendition of "Sweet Caroline," not to mention their cheering for the Notre Dame Marching Band, brings smiles to onlookers, confidence to the band, and sets the tone for the afternoon's game. On seeing the float, an unnamed South Bend local said, "I've never seen so much spirit."

VIDEO: your instagram float video

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Gone, but not...

...forgotten is the lost of our St. Ed's gym. Yes, it's true. We lost our gym so that we might have a neighbor, Zahm Hall. While their "neighborliness" is debatable, what is not is that there's a building were our gym was! Read the story from 1937 HERE or below. By the way, I still have the deed, and I'll see you in court!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Something old...

But is he taking it to the streets?

...and something new was waiting for students at the start of this year's football season. Yes, the old pack of student football tickets gave way to electronic tickets accessible by smartphones. No smartphone? Then print up ticket and eat up your print quota in the process. On the change, Mike Hanley, Sted's senior, said, "Great. They got rid of the only book I've actually use in college."