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I love LaFortune

Kate Gales | Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Some places you have to experience firsthand. I’ve heard Europe is like that. You can see it in the movies, maybe get a postcard from a friend studying abroad, but it’s really difficult to imagine the Eiffel Tower or St. Peter’s Square without being there in person.I think rock concerts are like that. An Incubus concert, for example, is something that’s difficult to explain to the uninitiated. Is it acceptable to wear khaki and argyle to an Incubus show? Of course. It’s all about the attitude. On campus, maybe the Dome is like that. Perhaps the Basilica, the Stadium or Touchdown Jesus elicit similar responses. It’s hard to imagine a Notre Dame football game from the student section without actually being there.But out of everywhere on campus where seeing is believing, I think LaFortune on any weekday night is the experience that is impossible to convey with words, picture or an other technological invention. Midnight is probably the peak time for LaFortune aficionados. This is when quarter dogs go on sale, group meetings are concluding and people are making quick “LaFun runs” for a midnight snack.However, there are people for whom LaFortune is an expedition that will last until the Huddle closes at 4 a.m. It’s more than a waste of waking hours and a drain of your Flex points. It will ruin your sleeping habits and double – at least – the time it takes you to do any remotely productive work.But LaFortune is a mecca for those who value the social networking of college. There’s always companionship when you’re pounding out a paper in the computer cluster or pulling an all-nighter outside Irish Gardens. Wireless networks and laptops have made LaFortune a place where you can go and convince yourself that this time, you’ll leave by 2 a.m. and finish all your homework. In my experience, this is rare, although I am probably among LaFortune’s least productive students.However, LaFortune is unique among campus study hangouts. Its closest cousin is probably Reckers, which offers 24 hour service and is conducive to group work, although not convenient for those not on the North Quad. CoMo boasts free popcorn and quarter fountain beverages, but closes inconveniently at random times.The library is, in a word, depressing. The quietness is intimidating and the intense rules regarding what food and drink containers aren’t acceptable is daunting, at best. This leaves me with LaFortune, my home away from home. Conveniently located about 10 feet away from my dorm, LaFortune offers Starbucks, the Huddle and Subway – all open until at least 1 a.m. After a while, you start to recognize the faces of those who frequent the area. How can you not love a place of laughter, food, fun and Jimmy John’s deliveries? I can’t imagine. Despite the possibly adverse effect LaFortune has had on my grades, it’s still the venue of choice for my studying needs.