“In the Heights of Hesburgh”: Sorin Santos, a 21-year-old senior Engineering major, imagines the freedom of being 10 years old again before drifting off to sleep. This is the debut comic of the “Sorin Elementary” series.
The senior Sorin, after falling asleep, awakes in his childhood room and is greeted by his 10-year-old self. After inventing a “creative” alias for himself, the adult Sorin and the boy Sorin become fast friends over a game of Nerf Star Wars.
The adult Sorin is introduced to the boy Sorin’s mother and once again invents a “creative” – and this time, ironic – alias for himself, at which point he is accepted with open arms by the Santos family.
The adult Sorin and boy Sorin visit Notre Dame campus, where they learn from a macho student about his terrified (and limited) view of South Bend beyond the Linebacker Inn.
Continuing on his tour of campus, the adult Sorin brings the boy Sorin to his favorite campus spot. He then discovers the sudden and painful reality that the “Taco Hut” in LaFun didn’t exist until Fall 2012, four years after his visit to the past.
The adult Sorin talks the talk about the basketball skills he’s acquired from wiping the courts with Stanford residents, but when he tries to walk the walk, all of that “talk” goes out the window.
The adult Sorin brings his younger self to one of his favorite “relaxing” events in South Bend: A minor league baseball game featuring his hometown Silver Hawks (as the Cubs were known until 2014). On that day (9/9/08), the Silver Hawks bested the Dayton Dragons 4-3 to win the Midwest Semifinal. Congrats to the 2019 South Bend Cubs on their Midwest semifinal win last night, and follow them as they battle for the championship at home on Wednesday and Thursday!
At the Silver Hawks game, the boy recognizes his second-grade math teacher, who takes out his three-year-old grudge on the boy’s cotton candy.
The adult Sorin revisits a classic 2008 film and leaves the theatre with the same emotions as 11 years prior.
The adult Sorin visits the boy Sorin’s school, Muessel Elementary, where he has an unpleasant encounter with Liz, a friend of the boy and a future source of jealousy for the adult. Happy 114th birthday to the original “Liz Fletcher,” Elizabeth Fletcher Allen (1905-1994), Indiana’s first female African-American lawyer!
The boy Sorin counts down the days to when he can be liberated from the cacophonous cries of the Northern Cardinal at ungodly hours..
The boy Sorin gets an early taste of life as an engineering student.
Rather than ever making the sharp, unpleasant shift to the independence of adulthood, the boy Sorin propoes a loophole to remain a “Mama’s Boy” indefinitely.
The adult Sorin benefits from an ahistorical, Nerf-related advantage in his gladiator battle with the boy Sorin.
The adult Sorin is dismayed by yet another excuse from the boy to weasel out of a game between the two, this time set in the Wild West.
The adult and boy Sorin visit Chicago this week, beginning with a stop to “Cloud Gate” (more commonly known as “The Bean”), where the adult Sorin invents a fantastical, inverted narrative of a popular English fable.
Continuing their journey in Chicago, the adult and boy Sorin reflect on the difference between the natural and the built environment by observing the faces of distress beneath Chicago’s soaring skyline and the faces of joy beneath the trees of Millennium Park. Take some time today to find joy in the natural world by strolling around the Notre Dame lakes, or doing some other outdoor activity that brings you peace!
The adult and boy Sorin lament the litter they find on campus. During this Campus Sustainability Month, let’s challenge ourselves to pick up and throw away one piece of litter each day. Let’s keep Notre Dame beautiful!
Today’s comic argues how litter on our campus reflects on Notre Dame as a community, and offers a call to action for a change of priorities and actions by students and administrators alike.
In honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day this week, today’s comic reflects on the broken promises of white settlers and the American government. This comic calls attention to Fr. Jenkins’ decision to initiate a campus-wide reconciliation for this history by covering the Columbus murals.
The boy Sorin imagines life as the greatest professional soccer player before realizing the level of expectation far outpaces his level of skill.
Happy Halloween! The boy Sorin reluctantly learns that Halloween is a holiday for kids of any age.
During a game of Pictionary, the adult Sorin almost gives away that he’s from 2019, a time in politics that few people in 2008 would have imagined. Throwback to November 4, 2008, when Barack Obama was elected president.
The adult Sorin inadvertently inspires a certain recent Harvard/Oxford grad from South Bend to consider a run to become mayor. On this day in 2011, Pete Buttigieg was elected to his first term in office as mayor of South Bend.
The adult Sorin, like many Notre Dame students, is preoccupied with thoughts of his future after graduation, so preoccupied that he tunes out the groans of the boy Sorin right in front of him.
The adult Sorin takes the boy Sorin to the Notre Dame game against Navy, where the boy is drawn into the rival team’s fight song. Luckily, the adult Sorin, like the Notre Dame defense, is able to put a stop to it.
The boy Sorin recounts a fresh act of racism directed at him and his Latina mother. He longs for the day when he can escape the racism at his school and join the Notre Dame community, which he believes is free of racism. This leaves the adult Sorin to reflect on the reality of racism on Notre Dame’s campus, and whether he should tell the boy Sorin about it or not.
Last Friday night, in Stanford Hall, a student was the target of racial and homophobic slurs. This past week, the Observer published several Viewpoint articles debating the exclusivity and inclusivity of the dorms, specifically in relation to parietals. Many (though not all) students of color and LGBT students feel marginalized in the dorms, from subtle cultural assumptions that may invalidate someone’s lived experience, to acts of overt hatred like the ones on Friday night. The book “Black Domers” contains dozens of anecdotes about inclusion and exclusion on campus. Notre Dame prides itself on community; to fully realize this community, there must be individual conversions away from racism and cultural changes toward inclusion.
The boy Sorin attempts to justify his juvenile pranks and avoid trouble by using one of Jesus’ miracles (Mark 8:23) as a best-case scenario.
The adult Sorin realizes that he has to leave the boy soon, and so he says goodbye. Right as he’s leaving, the boy Sorin gets a call from his mom with some exciting news.
Sorin awakesfrom his dream, still in the Hesburgh Library, still on the Friday morning of finals week. As soon as he realizes the time, he calms himself; he still has plenty of time to finish his school responsibilities. Inspired by the recollection of the joyful time spent with his younger self in his dreams, he calls his 10-year-old younger brother in the wee hours of the morning to wish him a happy birthday.
Easter egg: The time at which Sorin awakes to call his brother, Juan, is 4:19 AM. In Scripture, John 4:19 reads, “We love Him because he first loved us.”
“‘Tell me one last thing,’ said Harry. ‘Is this real? Or has this been happening inside my head?’…’Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?'” (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling)