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@FatherSorin on ‘Snow Days’

| Monday, January 27, 2014

Snowflakes_WebSteph Wulz

The venerable Fr. Edward F. Sorin, CSC, or at least his Twitter account @FatherSorin, contacted The Observer on Tuesday to weigh in with his thoughts on the so-called snow days. Needless to say, the snow day wasn’t his idea.

I don’t believe in “Snow Days” or, for that matter, “Cold Days.” If I had believed in them, this place never would have been founded. I had to trudge through a couple feet of snow just to get to Steve Badin’s cabin. And then all he had was cheap, local wine. Nevertheless, I founded this fine University in the midst of a good, old-fashioned, Midwestern snow storm. And I never looked back.

Sure, some of you wish I would have founded the University in California. But, I might remind you that California was part of Mexico in 1842. Some of you wish I would have founded the University in Chicago. But, I might remind you that they’re not doing any better with the cold than we are right now — and besides, the Indiana land was pretty much free (thanks to my skills at Baccarat and the Bishop’s dangerous gambling habits). But thank God and his mother that I didn’t venture into that land of despoliation and misery called Michigan. We were saved by Providence.

I’m pretty sure all of your dorms are heated. That wasn’t always the case. So, get tough; rely on the strength of your ancestors; imagine living in St. Edward’s with one cast-iron stove for the lot of you. Not fun — and smells pretty bad. Imagine living in Zahm … Whoa … Imagine living in Zahm under any circumstances … but I digress. Think of living in That Hall without heat. Perhaps that might be better, since it would make the cold-blooded residents go to sleep sooner than 3 a.m.

I’m not saying you have all gone soft. But I am. Yes, it’s great to miss classes and slide down the front steps of Main Building on dining hall trays. Yes, it’s enjoyable to be told to sleep like an indigent and drink beer at will because you don’t have to report for classes. But that’s not the Notre Dame way. We muscle through all adversity and fight on to victory, no matter what the inconvenience or the cost in discomfort. We wouldn’t be the winningest college football team in history — or the best soccer, basketball, fencing … you name the sport … team in the country if a little crystalized water offended us. And you can drink the celebratory beers all you want AFTER you win.

So, yes, I’m carping about “kids these days.” It’s not that I don’t love you all — I do. It’s just that I want you to set your jaws, duck your heads, plow your ways out of your halls and get the job done. If you want me, I’ll be enjoying the warmth and comfort of Rozum’s couch — and a couple of Bourbon cocktails.

Edward F. Sorin, CSC

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