Notre Dame in Google folders
Emily McConville | Friday, May 19, 2017
Before my Notre Dame Google account goes away this summer, I need to do some file transfers. At the top of my to-do list is saving my Google Drive. My files are organized by semester, and they are essentially my academic life.
Here are some of the ones I’ll save:
Semester one: Short essays for the University seminar on Dante’s Inferno. More detailed international relations notes than I’d ever take again. Drafts of my first few Observer articles.
Semester two: Short essays for two different classes on Africa. A much larger Observer folder with subfolders for each article. Photos of Legends acts that I got paid to take.
Semester three: My favorite college paper, a proposal for a method of studying American religion that involves using family histories.
Semester four: My second favorite college paper, a four-page Italian composition that imagines Dante having a conversation with Beatrice just after his death.
Semesters five and six: The “ROMA” folders. Class notes. Internship applications. Photos of the Pantheon and various Roman “piazze.” A spreadsheet with travel and blogging ideas as well as internship applications. An itinerary for a trip to Malta. A press release for an event written in my still-rudimentary Italian.
Semester seven: A paper on Mike Pence. News stories on “NDVotes,” “Cubs,” and “Sanctuary Campus.” A short essay on the cultural significance of the iPhone peach emoji.
Semester eight: Some Observer articles. An academic paper in Italian. A 10-page paper on the cultural significance of Che Guevara. Two folders — “FALLACI” and “After Graduation” — are older than this semester, moved from folder to folder across time as I worked on my senior thesis and job applications.
Of course, there’s not a file type for the beginnings of a friendship in an international relations class or dorm room, or the excitement of a first college party. You can’t put in a folder the hours in the Observer office, the slow crawl towards better writing, the budding of a passion for Italian language. There’s no way of accurately reporting overwhelming stress, fear of failure, concern with ethical travel or the frustration of straining to understand native Italian and getting nothing. It’s difficult to quantify or record emotional/professional/political development, or the desire to keep reading, keep writing, keep learning.
But those, I hope, get transferred too.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.