Brian Lach | Thursday, April 16, 2015
DARTing. A word that sends shivers down the spine of freshmen and juniors alike. A diabolical torture device left over from the medieval dark ages of Notre Dame — a time when students would still freeze to death bringing firewood to Carroll in the winter and when no one had even heard of “Wing Night.” Students quivered in their rooms the night before, hands shaking as they scrawled CRNs onto parchment by the light of a lone candle. Before bed, they’d offer up a prayer to the Heavens that the cock would crow prior to their scheduled DART time. Things usually went well. But then, one year, a coyote got hold of the rooster. Systemic madness ensued as all of the students missed their scheduled times. People rushed to their horses, galloping across campus to “Ye Olde Advising Offices.” DARTing has been a horrific experience ever since.
Not much has changed since those bleak times. On par with the ancient ritual, after offering up a sacrificial dinner at South Dining Hall and watching the designated two hours of “True Detective,” one must wait until after midnight to scramble to put together one or two possible schedules, or even a contingency plan if you’re feeling particularly on top of things. Probably not. Then, you must spend the night praying with all your might that somehow, 18 students with a mere 10 minute advantage on you won’t snatch up all of your precious classes. It’s nerve-wracking.
The powers that be have left DARTing in place as a humbling reminder to the students of this University. True, we all got in to Notre Dame, a very prestigious institution. But no matter how prepared you may think you are, no matter how high of a GPA you are carrying and no matter how many sports teams you are on, massive, crippling database failures can always throw off everything you’ve worked for.
If only professors and school administrators had to DART for their positions each year, perhaps they would understand our plight. Fr. Jenkins, up in his office the night before, frantically sweating as he worries whether or not Brian Kelly is going to use his athlete DART time to snatch the President spot from him, professors nervously praying their classes will still have a space. Maybe then they would realize how unfortunate the entire DARTing process is for us.
All I’m saying is, as far as DARTing goes, expect the unexpected. And when the unexpected inevitably happens? Go with the flow — the flow of the massive, dangerous riptide that is DARTing. Try to keep your head above water. You’ve been warned.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.