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End-of-the-year ranks

| Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Bittersweet describes this column best. On the one hand, this piece signifies a close to my column for the year. On the other, though, I get to rank all the things that couldn’t fit into one column on its own, so they come together in a ranking extravaganza. Less talk, let’s get to the rankings:


  1. One
  2. Two
  3. Three
  4. Four
  5. Five

Finally, an objective way to subjectively rank concepts. No one finishes the best in a competition as third. If you’re No. 1, you’re the best. Simple enough, and this line of thinking extends down to every number. I hate hockey and soccer scores; I’m going with the golf approach and the lowest number wins (side note: I’m not including all real numbers, only counting ones. That way the pesky zero can’t infiltrate my lists).

Responses to my columns

  1. Fr. Jenkins asking to meet with me after I ranked his emails
  2. The girl who sent me the entire “Bee Movie” script
  3. Being booed at a Howard Hall Council meeting after ranking the hall 27th
  4. My rector being fine with me ranking the Holy Trinity but upset with me calling it the “Divine Trinity”

Let me clarify and say that No. 1 is No. 1 by a long shot. I know of many students who greatly participate in social activism on campus that have been dying to meet Fr. Jenkins. Little do they know the secret is to rank his campus-wide addresses and hopes he reads the paper the particular day my column appears. No. 2 was good because after this person thanked me for my column, I told her I was ranking the responses at the end of the year. The “Bee Movie” was her plan to make the list. Well, it worked, [insert name]. My ongoing feud with Howard Hall continued in their hall council, but joke’s on them — I love all the attention. Lastly, the ranking of the Holy Trinity may have been heretical, but the semantics seem to be the greater sin.

My Observer editors

  1. Copy editor Evy Stein
  2. Viewpoint editor Mary Freeman
  3. Whoever is the back editor for the night

What’s funny is that you may be reading this column now, but picture that these three are all reading this the night before, scanning for grammar and content. So you as the reader are cluing into a private dialogue that happened hours ago. You hear that Evy? I’m talking to you directly now. It’s only you reading this, but I’m here on the page. Will this line be published? How about this one? If it’s not, I’ll know. Maybe the reader won’t, but I will. What’s going to happen? Your move. Away from that meta conversation, they are ranked in this order purely on political principles. Big government may have its issues, and editing is no different. I want that personal relationship Evy and I share on the page. Mary is one removed from this, and given that I don’t even know the name of the person working in the back, that should tell you how far removed he or she is.

Parts of a night out

  1. Post-party food
  2. Pregame
  3. Actual party
  4. The sleep

If you’ve never eaten three value-meal cheeseburgers with fries and a chocolate shake after a night out, do yourself a favor and experience some culture. It only narrowly takes the top spot from the pregame, where you get to meet new people, have engaging experiences with old friends and, most importantly, have total control over the aux. The actual party is far too inconsistent to warrant a high ranking. It beats out sleep, though, because a night out is often correlated with me skipping my nightly routine and waking up in khaki pants or something. You just hate to see that. Notice none of these rankings pertain to alcohol or any other substance (except salt in the fast-food) because parties come in all shapes and sizes.

Things my white friends love

  1. Songs that tell them what to do
  2. Hammocks
  3. Cream cheese
  4. Colorado
  5. Podcasts

Coming from Portland and attending Notre Dame, I have accumulated my fair share of white friends. I will not commit to saying all white people enjoy these things or that only my white friends enjoy this; those are huge over-generalizations. It just so happens that basically all my personal white friends like these things and you can extrapolate from there. I’m not even saying that these things aren’t cool (come on, who doesn’t love podcasts or hammocks?). I’m pretty sure, though, every one of my white friends has uttered the phrase “I can see myself living in Colorado at some point” when discussing his or her future plans. As for the top spot, put “Cha Cha Slide” on in a Portland suburban party and see what happens. I know you’ll agree after that.

There are even smaller rankings I could include such as cutlery (where spoon goes will shock you), study abroad programs, papal encyclicals, American Girl Dolls, etc. but alas, there are only so few words I can write. Maybe next year you’ll see some of these, but for now, I leave this column for the summer letting you ponder how often you talk about Colorado. Send me any suggestions for next year; maybe you, too, can have your response ranked.

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

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