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Ranking the relationships at Notre Dame

| Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Notre Dame is unique in many ways. Our relationships with varying groups on campus set us apart from other schools. However, the relationships within the school are hardly unique among students, and I am attempting to rank these to bring them out to fruition.

11. Traveler and Coach USA attendant

The worst relationship at Notre Dame, Coach USA attendants make me feel like I’m getting into a bar with a fake ID. One time they yelled at us to say what airline we were taking so they could place our bags. When I said Alaska (as in Alaska Airlines) they yelled at me specifically, saying, “I don’t want your destination, I want your airline.” They obviously don’t want to be there, deal with us or have any positivity come out of our relationship.

10. Southerner and South Bend weather

It’s appropriate that this article is published the day our school is colder than the Antarctic. Surely the Southerners have a point, but South Bend weather gives a resounding “buzz off” when it retorts with 30-mile-per-hour wind on an already below-freezing day. Southerners need to back off a little bit, though, when they live in 90-degree days with 95 percent humidity and call it a tad uncomfortable. South Bend is just as bad, but in a different direction.

9. Science professor and teaching assistant (TA)

Plain and simple, this is an unhealthy relationship that borders on slavery. Piles of lab reports to grade, spontaneous classes to teach, cleaning pipettes, beakers and chemicals as toxic as the relationship gives pause to how these can go on. Add to the fact that they are doing an entire thesis behind the scenes, and this is truly stressful. I only rank it third-to-last because there are the diamonds in the rough that have beautiful relationships with their advisors who serve as mentors. From a pure classroom setting, though, there is not much to go on.

8. Hungry student and Huddle cashier

This is not even a bad relationship, just one born of apathy. You could buy 30 Uncrustables, six bottles of shampoo or a two-liter bottle of Sprite with Solo cups, and the cashier’s facial expression won’t change in the slightest. They’ll peek up from their homework, scan quickly and go back to their studies with the slight impression that you somehow insulted them. No positives, not really any negatives, just neutral at its core.

7. Modern Market and off-campus seniors

I find the food quite good and a step up from other eateries on campus. The Kombucha is a huge plus and brings this one high. Although I do not live off campus, I can see what it does to my friends who do — and their bank accounts. It’s a tenuous relationship indeed, where they cannot escape the grasp of Modern Market’s love, but they feel its pain with every monthly bank statement.

6. Bar bouncer and party goers

I will only retell my experience as a 21-year-old. The bouncers have been nothing but kind to me, letting me in without hassle. Simply taking my cover without question and giving my ID back with as much ease. For others, this may be different, which would be shocking to me.

5. Recruiters and prospective consultants

This is an odd relationship where those in their 40s are trying really hard to impress 21- and 22-year-olds. It seems on the outside that the free drinks and meals are really nice, until you realize your social life on Saturday nights is sponsored by Deloitte. Case interview prep can’t prepare you for weaseling your way out to hang with your real friends. Hail corporate.

4. TA and student

We are going into the higher ranks now. The TA and the student are in the thick of school together. Ideally, the TA can help them with difficult work while the student can provide a much-needed social release the TA often does not get in their free time. There are spiteful ones that redirect their abuse from the professor onto students, but, in general, they are too tired to do so.

3. Assistant Rector (AR) and Resident Assistant (RA)

This is a specific shoutout to my AR Luke Franz, who really wanted to be in this column, but also who has been a relationship of strength in my RA position. Who else could I go to for a nightcap after residents decide to play tackle sports in the halls? Surely not my oppressive rector. In all actuality, my rector-RA relationship is doing well, but the AR in my same section gives me a two-headed sword to combat the debauchery of the dorm.

2. Priest-in-Residence and resident

1. Housekeepers and residents

I grouped these two together because really they should be more 1a and 1b. These are both adult figures who you look up to for mentorship in your dorm but cannot write you up for breaking parietals. I can always look to my housekeeper Melissa for a hug before class and Fr. Kevin for a quick lecture on the sacramentality of the will. Each has roles that are a little different but bring me joy.

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

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