-

The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.

-

archive

Scene staffers reflect on The Observer, Notre Dame experience through entertainment

Cassie Belek | Monday, April 28, 2008

Like everyone, I have a few regrets in college. I didn’t discover the café in Grace Hall until three weeks ago. I walked up the stairs of Main Building the first week of my freshman year. I never got to share in the experience of underage drinking at the infamous Boat Club before it closed and I didn’t join the Scene staff until my sophomore year.

However, there will be other cafes in my life, I will most likely graduate in three weeks, I can drink legally now (although never at Boat Club) and even though I only had three short years at The Observer, it was time well spent.

I’ve had some good times delaying homework to write for Scene. I previewed concerts, wrote movie reviews, avoided CD reviews at all costs (I don’t do music), interviewed people who knew famous people (making me someone who knows someone who knows famous people!) and covered the award show beat. But soon after I started writing for Scene, I found an area of the entertainment industry that I loved writing about more than anything else – television.

Those of you who have recognized my byline over the years are aware of my undying love for television. I have made no secret of my obsession with soap operas, my commitment to “Arrested Development” and my attendance at “The Office” Convention in Scranton, Pa. My DVR keeps me company when I can’t sleep at night or I want to avoid homework, as does my expansive collection of TV shows on DVD.

My favorite way to use my Scene & Heard columns is to implore you all to watch TV shows that you are most likely not watching, specifically “30 Rock” and “How I Met Your Mother.” Seriously guys, these shows will make you laugh. Don’t you like to laugh?

But sometimes my television opinions are met with some resistance. Recently, I have shared the controversial opinion that I believe that “30 Rock” is better than “The Office.” As a second semester senior nearing graduation, I have run out of the energy to defend my opinion again, so take what I say as truth and start worshipping at the altar of Jack Donaghy and Button Classic.

While I’m at it, I might as well get some other thoughts off my chest. Michael Scott has become a gross caricature of his season two self, Ted is a super lame character on “HIMYM” (but still watch it), “Gossip Girl” will never be as good as “The O.C.” and “Grey’s Anatomy” sucks. Period. Watch “General Hospital” instead.

There. I feel better now, but not completely since I will soon be leaving Notre Dame and The Observer behind. It’s true that I’ll be moving on to a new newspaper staff in graduate school, but I have this secret fear that I’ll end up having to work for News. I shudder at the thought (but still respect my Observer colleagues working hard in that department).

So now it’s time to acknowledge those who have supported me during my time with Scene. Thank you to all the mothers of my friends who read my articles online. Thank you to my own friends who find my articles by accident while flipping to the crossword puzzle. Thank you to my parents who read each one of my articles and send them to their friend’s cousin’s grandmother’s son. Thank you to my FTT classmates who read my articles and tell me how wrong I am, and last but not least, thank you to everyone who has e-mailed me in the past to tell me how wrong I am.

I’m not wrong, so watch “30 Rock.” But more importantly, I would like to end my position at The Observer with two pieces of advice: Don’t be ashamed to love television, and get a DVR. It will change your life. That’s all.

The views expressed in Scene and Heard are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

Contact Cassie Belek at cbelek@nd.edu

-

The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.

-

archive

Scene staffers reflect on The Observer, Notre Dame experience through entertainment

Stephanie DePrez | Monday, April 28, 2008

How do you measure a year? The number of classes you took? Ratio of football games we won? Amount of flex points you dropped at Starbucks? Number of pictures you got tagged in on Facebook? Love?

As the first year of my Notre Dame experience comes to a close, I’ve found a far more telling way to measure this year. I can trace all sorts of experiences, ups and downs, revelations and shortcomings by looking back at the music that has been a part of my year. The music I have discovered, shared or been obsessed with says a lot about my life.

The first song of note that entered into my life would be “Cyclone” by Baby Bash. I do not like hip-hop. I am not particularly fond of the song. But when two of the girls in my newly-furnished quad realized they both knew the song, it became our official anthem. I heard it every day for the first two weeks of the fall semester. I still can’t stand it, but it has a very strong image tied to it of four girls from four corners of the country getting to know each other and learning how to work out living away from home. It represents a time of change, a little fear, and a lot of hope.

Getting settled into my new life of freedom was daunting at first. I clung to certain songs for familiarity and comfort. One song in particular that helped me was “Different Names for the Same Thing” by Deathcab for Cutie. I vividly remember riding my bike around the lake at top speed, racing over the leaves and listening to that song, trying to gain what little wisdom it could afford, because nothing at college was makings sense.

In the fall, I decided to join the World Music class for its field trip to the Chicago music festival. On Navy Pier, a Czech woman named Lenka Dusilova played the song “Litaci.” It is a beautiful dream-pop tune, and even though I have no idea what the words mean, the song is calming and served to remind me that college was going to be a challenge, but that I could handle it. Things were gonna be all right.

The spring semester began with a whirlwind of music, most notably “Falling Slowly,” from the film “Once.” The song is heartbreakingly beautiful, and its performance at the Oscars made me cry. When I think of that song, it brings me back to my section lounge, sighing with the other girls at how simple and yet moving music can be.

The dead of winter was hard for me, a Coloradoan, used to 300 days of sunshine a year. The lovely perma-cloud that descended upon campus sent me into deep doldrums. The song “Breathe Me” by SiA, which I bumped into when it was used in a presentation by the PostSecret guy, became my refuge. I listened to that song every morning on my way to class for about three weeks during Lent.

Spring break came along, and my friend burned me a number of discs of music to listen to on the plane ride home. The five-disc set opened with “This Year” by the Mountain Goats. This is a song worth checking out. The one line that pounded in my head the entire flight was, “I am gonna make it through this year if it kills me.”

The arrival of spring brought about the opera and the final trio from “Faust” by Gounod. This is the song that struck me to the core whenever I heard it. All good things about being in the opera are tied to that song.

And now, where are my musical tastes? Firmly planted in “Can’t Go Back Now” by the weepies. This song of moving on and finding a way to survive on your own perfectly describes freshman year: “Go where you want to go. Be who you want to be…In the end the only steps that matter are the ones you take all by yourself.” I have survived. I didn’t die, fall off the Dome, fail out of class or lose my room key. I’ve signed up for classes next semester, bonded with my future roomy, and picked a major. Looks like the music’s gonna keep on coming.

The views expressed in Scene and Heard are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

Contact Stephanie DePrez at

sdeprez@nd.edu