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In search of help

Observer Viewpoint | Tuesday, September 29, 2009

You would think that after two years that I would have Notre Dame figured out by now. But here I am, still confused as to why some things are the way they are here. If anyone could give me a hand on any of the following issues, it would be greatly appreciated.

Can anyone tell me why the men’s bathroom in DeBartolo is near the staircase on the first floor, but on the second floor, the men’s and women’s are inexplicably switched? For any freshman that has accidentally walked into the wrong bathroom absentmindedly, thinking that they would be the same as the first floor, I feel your pain. There is no way that I am the only one that has made that mistake.

Speaking of DeBartolo, next time you are have a class in there, take a look at the clock. Then, take look at the clock on your phone. Without fail, the DeBartolo clock will be at least one or two minutes behind your phone. I would specify a room, but it really doesn’t matter. Every single clock in the entire building is slow, and has been that way for as long as I can remember. I have spent an untold number of hours in class pondering reasons as to what practical purpose the University has for keeping its clocks set at the wrong time, but I still have not come up with a good answer.

Over the past few years, we have all noticed Notre Dame making an effort to “go green.” Well, if the University ever thinks that they have become as environmentally friendly as possible, I have found a new challenge: fixing the water sprinkler system. Yes, the system is responsible for keeping grass on the school’s beautiful quads and courtyards green and healthy. But it is also responsible for watering what seems like 98 percent of the University’s available sidewalk. I realize that, inevitably, some water is going to end up on the sidewalks. But if you have ever been unexpectedly drenched by a sprinkler late at night, or guessed the amount of time you had walking between sprinklers only to find out how wrong you were, you begin to wonder why a school that supposedly produces reasonable and intelligent problem-solvers can’t figure out a way to water only grass, and not waste it on concrete.

We have all heard that duLac and its rules technically apply off-campus, including parietals. That may be so, but if it is true, does that mean that students can establish a room of their choosing in their apartment as a 24 hour space? It only seems fair.

Now, it is widely accepted that Notre Dame students are an intelligent bunch. We would have to be, not only to get in here, but also to make it through. Sometimes, though, I wonder. Early every Saturday and Sunday morning, the clock strikes 2 a.m. and parietals come into effect, signaling the forced end of every dorm party on campus. Students, both male and female, come pouring out of the dorms, looking for a place that will not only allow them to continue to interact with the opposite sex, but one that will also satisfy beer-induced hunger. Many students will turn to Recker’s. Frequently upon entering, however, the line will bend out and around, sometimes reaching all the way back to the entrance, creating a 45 minute human barrier between hungry, drunk student and the front of the line. Even after the line has been successfully conquered (no small feat), the wait for a pizza can last almost as long as the wait to get to the cash register leaving the student, now famished, waiting until as late as 3:30 a.m. to satisfy their munchies. As anyone who has drunkenly craved pizza will tell you, nine minutes is far too long to wait for satisfaction, let alone 90. Why people continue to endure the pains of the seemingly never-ending line is beyond me.

As a student body, what was behind our collective obsession with Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” last spring?

And why do we, all of a sudden, take the moral high road when it comes to the “Suck it, (opponent)!” chant when we play a service academy? I realize the intent is to show respect for those who have chosen to defend our country in the future, but is this really the best we could come up with? And are the Navy football players really that honored we refrained from telling them to “suck it”?

I’m just an average student still trying to make sense of this crazy world I was dropped into. Again, any help would be much appreciated.

Andy Ziccarelli is easily confused. He is a junior majoring in civil engineering. He can be reached at [email protected]

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.