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Life lessons

Jordan Gamble | Tuesday, September 7, 2010

This past summer, I interned at the South Bend Tribune. I did all kinds of fun things for work, including reviewing an REO Speedwagon concert (ticket list price: $70, my “press pass” price: nada) and spending several evenings interviewing women in the South Bend Roller Derby league and desperately wishing I was awesome enough to join.

But after work, I was alone in a big, four-bedroom house, with only DVR and wireless internet and the occasional false alarm on the security system to entertain me. Here are the life lessons I received during those 11 weeks:

1. “The O.C.” has not aged well at all. I started recording its reruns on SoapNET, and I would watch them on the DVR when I got home from my internship in the evening. l can still enjoy Ben McKenzie (hot) and Rachel Bilson (hilarious), not to mention the fabulous Cohen parents played by Peter Gallagher and Kelly Rowan. Mischa Barton is such a terrible actress, it’s almost insulting, and Adam Brody’s nerdy, proto-hipster shtick isn’t cute anymore, it’s just grating.

2. Those home alarm systems really do connect to the police department. I know this because a squirrel or some other suburban woodland creature once ran into the patio door hard enough to set off the intruder sensor. This was at approximately a million o’clock at night, so of course I woke up in such a confused, terrified state that I couldn’t make my index finger push the cancel code fast enough. St. Joseph County police rang my doorbell a few minutes later, and I had to explain to them in a rush that it was not an armed robbery but just a really dumb animal that brought them to Irish Crossings.

3. “The Today Show” can get really awkward in their mid-morning programming. I’m not even talking about the fourth-hour, Kathie-Lee-and-Hoda shenanigans, but their stilted segments with the Duggars announcing another baby or Matt Lauer probing the “Jersey Shore” cast about their salaries. The best (or worst) was when Ann Curry “interviewed” the Dalai Lama, but really all she did was talk to him like he was a toddler. So awkward.

4. “Boy Meets World” is still the best show ever.

5. Never, ever read the Michigan State marching band’s message board. I was trying to find videos of Golden Tate catapulting into said band to show my fellow Tribune interns when I stumbled across this site. I then spent the next twenty minutes reading eight pages of incensed commentary from the drumline and lamentations from the piccolos for their “injuries” and their proclamations that Tate would never make it out of South Bend.

 Friends, that is a third of an hour in my life I will never, ever regain.

6. It’s possible to miss Notre Dame even when you drive by it everyday and you run around the lakes a few times a week.

7. In a severe thunderstorm or possible tornado, during which you see the neighbor’s tree crack in half from the wind and lightning, the best course of action is not to duck and cover in the downstairs bathroom. You should instead hop in your little white Pontiac and speed over to the only building you can think of that has a basement: the Hesburgh Library.

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

Contact Jordan Gamble at [email protected]