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The world according to Haynes

Joey Falco | Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Who could ever forget that fateful day in October 2003 when John Haynes, executive director of the DeBartolo Center for the Performing Arts at Notre Dame, single-handedly changed the course of this University’s history by uttering the infamous words, “I wanted the arts to be as pervasive at Notre Dame as athletics.” From that day forth, things at Notre Dame would never be the same.

Sept. 3, 2012: The start of the 2012 fine arts season had finally arrived, and the entire campus was abuzz with an aura of excitement and anticipation. Everyone knew that they were going to have the time of their lives during the upcoming week, so it was no surprise to see students skipping home from their last classes of the day like Sugar Plum Fairies. That night, the entire student body congregated in the JACC (the Joyce Arts and Crafts Center) to watch our favorite Notre Dame film, Trudy. By the time that compassionate tale of a talentless girl from an Indiana steel town who realizes her dream of performing as an extra in a Notre Dame Main Stage production of Les Misérables had finished, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Just reminiscing about those stage hands and chorus line dancers chanting, “Trudy, Trudy, Trudy,” never fails to get me all choked up.

The next day, still pumped up after Tuesday’s exciting events, I decided to skip my mandatory philosophy, theology and theater classes and instead spent the day doing improvisational comedy on South Quad. Unfortunately, I grew so caught up in the excitement of those improv games that I nearly forgot that Wednesday was interhall arts day. The Keough Hall ballet team was set to square off with their arch-rivals, Dillon Hall, in what was sure to be one of the most exquisite displays of étendre, grand jeté and allongé in Notre Dame’s history and missing that would have been an embarrassing faux pas. Fortunately, I arrived just in time to catch Keough’s first leg-crossing entrechat quatre. This really was my lucky day.

On Thursday night, the true start to the weekend for any social Notre Dame undergraduate, my dorm hosted one of our most time-honored traditions, the annual Shakespeare and Starbucks party. For over two hours, a dozen of us sat back and shared a few laughs as we watched one of Shakespeare’s greatest comedies, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, while pounding back a few café lattes from Starbucks. Sadly, the clock soon struck 12, and our night of collegiate craziness came to an abrupt halt, depriving us of the hilarity of Puck’s monologue at the conclusion of Shakespeare’s work. Times like these are what really make me hate parietals.

Thankfully, before you could say, “Johann Sebastian Bach rocks my world,” Friday had arrived, and the buzz that once permeated the campus had grown to an almost operatic vibrato. It seemed as if everyone shared my irrepressible excitement for the evening’s events, making sitting through my mandatory Caravaggio Appreciation class all the more difficult. However, all of my waiting paid off at four o’clock that afternoon when my dorm section congregated for our weekly drinking ritual, Phantom of the Opera Phorties. Now, some of my older, more experienced peers actually drank 40 ounces of a light chardonnay during these festivities, but for those of us with a weaker stomach, 40 ounces of herbal tea always sufficed. Immediately thereafter, we stumbled as a group toward the JACC, obnoxiously belting out our favorite show tunes, and somehow managed to take our seats while hitting the last notes to “Cabaret.” The next hour was truly a blur, thanks in part to my nagging herbal tea buzz, but the consensus of opinion was that the band and cheerleaders just didn’t seem to be in top form at this year’s Picasso Pep Rally.

On Saturday morning, it was practically impossible to escape the ubiquitous sound of the Notre Dame Victory March amongst the 80,000 fans on hand to tailgate for the game of the year. In the midst of all this excitement, though, I managed to glance up toward the Hesburgh Library and felt a chill run through my spine at the magnificent sight of Jesus Christ Superstar watching over me from the building’s south wall. At that instant, I knew we would win today’s dance competition against our arch-rivals New York University. And sure enough, three hours later, a thunderous cheer erupted from the Sea of Pink on hand inside Notre Dame Stadium as the Prancing Irish defeated NYU in the greatest dance-off in NCAA history.

It truly was a remarkable week.

Oh yeah, and rumor has it that Coach Philbin’s football team lost again to the New York Culinary Institute, 49-2. Who really cares about sports anyway?

Joey Falco is a freshman marketing major. His column appears every other Wednesday. He can be contacted at jfalco@nd.edu.The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not neccessarily those of The Observer.