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Notre Dame’s Best Month Ever

Jess Shaffer | Friday, October 5, 2007

Two things I can’t complain about from this past month: the beautiful, if freakish, weather and the underwhelming amount of work of an undecided freshman. And, yes, you should be very jealous all you pre-engineering and pre-med majors. In fact, my slight excess of free time allows me to recap some personal and general highlights of Notre Dame life this month. Apologies to those who don’t find these highlights enlightening, but they seem enthralling as a campus newcomer.


Who else thought nationally televised home games would be a personal shout out to everyone back home? Alas, the sea of green is causing serious psychological issues for me. It was a sad revelation when I described myself as “the one in the green shirt,” at my first home game. But really, why can’t my mom just lie to me? She should at least disguise the failure of her hours spent scrutinizing the NBC broadcast – and could easily save me the identity crisis. Yet it is good to know someone’s exploiting the vast market that is empty-nesters.

du Lac

What’s so great about a place that sells smoothies and sandwiches, while repeating the same mix of ’80s, ’90s, and today? The answer becomes clear in du Lac. Nothing else so dramatically dictates Notre Dame social life, except for maybe MTV and football. Props to a book that has successfully linked the jingle of keys to the absence of the opposite sex. The slightest lanyard rattle, and I can no longer legitimately explain the presence of males.

Flip flops

Since arriving, this word has gained meaning outside of summer and John Kerry criticism. The influx of flip flops since my arrival to ND is incomprehensible. I’ve never had to set limits for where I can wear a specific set of sandals. But I learned the lesson of “shoe boundaries” after accidentally wearing shower flops to the dining hall. Word of advice: This is a “no-no” when considering sanitation and the functionailty of shoes designed for shower-going.


No I’m not talking about our freshman footballer, Golden Tate; think color. Not since the 1970s disco scene has the metallic hue so often been adorned by the male masses. A little feminine sparkle is usually explainable, but the same cannot often be said for guys. Maybe the trend started with our football players, who dawn their spandex take on the color. Snaps to the fashion risk of an entire roster adorned in skin tight, stretchy golden pants! Yet the color’s persistence extends pass the stadium here at ND. Take a look around, you’ll notice the sweatpants, shorts, and, yes, more spandex in the same hue. Who knew something so shiny could be so appealing to male class-goers, game-goers, and players alike. Only at ND.

The awkward introduction

The winner of “best month ever” clearly isn’t Notre Dame Football. Thanks to the welcoming of the Class of 2011, the awkward introduction wins out. Somehow I thought that its prevalence would subside with the end of orientation. Good one awkward introduction, you got me! Despite my illusions, the uncomfortable (and redundant) introduction has not met its end. I still use the words, “Jess, DC, Farley, Undecided,” far too often. This month has proven that personal identity can be reduced to four words. Of course, we can all remember one (or half a million) introduction (or reintroduction) that entailed an excess of “ummms” and interrogatives. It is a reminder of Frosh-O on the whole. Congrats, awkward introduction, you’re having the best month ever! Cheers to a year that can only keep improving!