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The battle to DART

Megan Doyle | Monday, November 22, 2010

Nov. 22. 8:40 a.m. In the minutes leading up to this moment I will sit poised at my laptop, armed with a list of numbers and ready for battle. I prepare not for the epic fields of ancient myths but for the late fall semester battle of Notre Dame students — DART.

As first semester closes and second semester approaches, every Notre Dame student faces the task of registration for spring classes. We gloated or complained sufficiently about our DART times — I flaunted my miraculously early time. I read lists of requirements for my English major, researched possible professors, analyzed CRNs and formulated backup plans. I discovered classes inside my English major that intrigued me — Monstrous Mothers in Literature or Writing India — and then sadly discovered upperclassmen snagged all open spots before my DART time even opened. Some of us will be resigned to our second choices, and some will earn coveted seats with in highly competitive classes. I have no idea what the letters in the acronym DART mean. I just know my four minutes of DARTing beginning at 8:40 a.m. will be the most stressful moments of my day.

After I complete my spring semester classes, I will be halfway done with my time at Notre Dame. That thought is a daunting one. As I build my schedule, I chip away at my graduation requirements. I am working towards my degree with every step — and then what? Behind the stress and rush and anticipation of DART, what are we really building when we build our schedules? Our schedules bear weeks of running on the power of caffeine, and we live the grind of papers, tests, labs, problem sets, article assignments and meetings. The pressure builds and builds and builds — and sometimes we forget to breathe.

When we finally inhale, when we finally take a moment to step outside the daily grind, we realize where we are. These classes are pieces of a degree that will carry us through the rest of our lives. When we bid farewell to Notre Dame, we will receive a diploma bearing the University seal — that gold from the dome. The presence that towered over us for four years remains with us in a very physical, 24-carat sense that will hang on office walls. But these CRNs we frantically enter in the computer as we DART also signs us up for the courses we will remember for years to come. We learn lessons about chemistry, literature, math, accounting, philosophy, French grammar and spirituality. More importantly, we learn what we love, what we will fight for.

So suit up for battle, everyone. Here we go.

 

The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

Contact Megan Doyle at mdoyle11@nd.edu