If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been following my columns all along; but if you haven’t, or you are bored, here are the links to all of the columns I wrote for The Observer in one nice neat place (along with descriptions!):
Friday, January 18th, 2008
In my first column, I discussed the death of the Pakistani politician Benazir Bhutto and somehow made this connect to my winter break trip to the Iowa caucuses. If you’re wondering how that worked; it didn’t. The column is boring, clunky, and is mostly spent on me trying to brag about driving to Iowa for winter break. But hey, I guess I had to start somewhere.
Friday, February 15th, 2008
In my second column I discuss the drinking fountains in The Rock, and start to show some signs of a discernable style. This column is not only about student life at Notre Dame, but it also features some random asides and movie references. The biggest problem, I guess, is that the movie reference makes romantic comedies sound awful. So close to Valentine’s Day I should have been praising rom-coms, like I did the next two years. What was I thinking?
Friday, February 29th, 2008
This was the first column I ever wrote that talked about Mike Brey and the basketball team. At the time I wrote it, the team hadn’t lost a home game in a couple years and I was very high on them (part of my Love/Hate relationship with the basketball team). I really wanted my phrases “J-Mac” and the “Three Headed Monster” to catch on, unfortunately they didn’t.
Wednesday, March 26th, 2008
I’m embarrassed by this column. This is far and away the worst column I ever wrote because all I did was take an issue in the news, summarize the issue, and add absolutely no insight of my own. Oh yea, and it is incredibly boring to read. On the bright side, this column helped to teach me that if you don’t have a decent title, you can’t possibly have a good column.
Friday, August 29th, 2008
After a pedestrian first semester writing, I spent the summer living by myself in South Bend figuring out how to cook my own meals, how much beer was acceptable to drink alone before going to bed, and how to get the fastest turnaround on Netflix (drop the movies off at the post office). Somehow this helped prepare me to write better columns in the fall, and this was the beginning of that. In it I talk about lowering the drinking age and my own experiences learning how to drink. Its ND culture meets issue advocacy (but unfortunately there are no pop culture references).
Friday, September 5th, 2008
In what was definitely a precursor to Things Notre Dame Students Like, this column used broad generalizations to describe a typical football weekend for Notre Dame Students. While the previous column talked about my own experience, this was my first real foray into Notre Dame Culture.
Friday, September 12th, 2008
This is my ode to Lou Holtz and a column about why Notre Dame Students like him. A definite precursor to Things ND Students Like (see #23), this column also used one of my favorite tactics of dropping quotes between paragraphs (although it looks a lot better as a word document)
Friday, September 26th, 2008
The first in my “concerned citizen” series this column was when I really started to get the hang of things and make some nice issue advocacy arguments. In it I discuss off-campus safety and try to convince somebody, anybody, to do more to make the neighborhood safe for students. This column led to my meeting with Bill Kirk about the issue, which didn’t go well.
Friday, October 3rd, 2008
In this second “concerned citizen” column, I attempted to bring to the Observer some concerns that people had with game day practices at the University. I spent most of that week reading message boards on ND Nation, and decided that since I couldn’t actually confirm any of the stories I read, I would have to address that within the column, which is why it is about believing the stories and not the stories themselves.
Friday, October 10th, 2008
Probably one of my favorite columns, this was also my first foray into ‘political satire’ as I criticized the Saint Mary’s Executive Board for spending money on themselves. The executive board denied this was true, the ND Student Gov. people tried to tell me otherwise, and an actual reporter for the Observer ended up winning an award for reporting on the issue after I got people talking about it.
Friday, October 31st, 208
I’m not sure if this could be considered another foray into political satire, but in this column I used the theme of fear (for Halloween) to talk about how both McCain and Obama would raise the national debt, and how this was bad for our country’s future. It’s kind of interesting though because I also talk about Back to the Future, flying cars, John Connor, Garden State, Lost, and Saw.
Friday, November 14th, 2008
In the first column where I really experimented with format, the entire point of this column was to try to mimic the writing style of ESPN.com’s Pat Forde. If you don’t read Forde, you would be utterly confused; which is why a couple months later I found out that while the sportswriters at The Observer loved this column, everybody else hated it.
Friday, December 5th, 2008
Shockingly it took me until after the football season to write a column that was actually about the football season. In this column I take a look back at four years with Charlie Weis, and ask Athletic Director Swarbrick if he feels lucky enough to bring back Coach Weis for another season. As we now know, his decision did not turn out well.
Wednesday, December 10th, 2008
This was when I really started to mess with form, and flirt with the lines of what should be allowed in a newspaper by writing a Notre Dame Christmas poem that is to the rhyme scheme of Twas the Night Before Christmas. It was also my second (and final) column to run on a day other than Friday, because it ran in the last paper of the semester.
Friday, January 16th, 2009
To begin the spring semester I questioned President-elect Obama’s ability to understand the sport of college football because he never went to a school with a major college football program. In doing this I broke down my continuing opinion AGAINST a college football playoff and told my story about wearing a Notre Dame Jersey to midnight mass on Christmas Eve.
Friday, January 23rd, 2009
A return to political satire in which I describe the role and importance of the VP not as a second-in-command, but as a First Goofball; this is probably my favorite column that has nothing to do with Notre Dame. With examples from across the political spectrum and throughout history, I modeled my argument after a political science paper, even though it was about a topic so ridiculous.
Friday, January 30th, 2009
I take aim against the usage of the “We Are ND” chant at the end of sporting losses, and describe why I hate the cheer so much. This column was also notable as being my first one that incited a full-fledged letter to the editor to be published in the following weeks Observer.
Friday, February 6th, 2009
I discuss my shock and disappointment about finding out that South Bend no longer had a Denny’s where I could go to get my free Grand Slam Breakfast following the Super Bowl. I continue to describe the differences between McDonald’s Deluxe Big Breakfast and Denny’s Grand Slam, and even throw in a handful of ND sports jokes for good measure.
Friday, February 13th, 2009
One of my personal favorites, in this column I reference every romantic comedy I can think of by discussing my fruitless quest to find true love on the dance floors of Club Fever. If I had to guess, I’d say this was the column of mine that people enjoyed the most. Ironically, soon after I wrote this column, I became annoyed with Club Fever and only went there one more time.
Friday, February 27th, 2009
Another exercise in form, this column was a parody of the classic children’s book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie that was inspired by my trip to read books to my friend Katie’s class of second graders. I liked it for what it was, but I think I definitely could have done a better job with the parody. It does follow in my tradition of discussing Keystone Light at length though.
Friday, March 20th, 2009
I describe the ways that students can overcome random hook-ups by using the five stages of grief and what students should do during each stage. Equal parts parody and “concerned citizenism” this was one of my weaker columns of that spring, but it did incite another published letter to the editor.
Friday, April 3rd, 2009
What started as a discussion of an April Fool’s joke, and my loathing of websites such as eHarmony.com ended up becoming a thinly-veiled discussion of my fear of growing up and my aspiration to have some awesome adventures during my 20s. Of all my columns, this is definitely the one that will remain more relevant for me, and be echoed on this site in the future.
Friday, April 17th, 2009
The column that started it all, and sent me off on a project that I am still working on over a year later. On the surface, this column is nothing more than two blog entries smashed together with an introduction, but its publication brought people to the site that I had been working on for the better part of the semester. It all began here.
Friday, April 24th, 2009
The last column I wrote as a student, in which I discussed how God had given us some great weather for the important drinking days of the semester. While I was satisfied with this column, I didn’t feel like it was good enough to end my time as a columnist; and I spent the first half of the summer thinking about doing a guest column to start the fall. It turned out that one column wouldn’t be enough. . .
Friday, September 4th, 2009
My first column as an alum talked about my continuing love for Notre Dame Football, and introduced the audience to the idea that I will be writing from China for the next year. This was the first time I connected China and Notre Dame, even though I wrote the column from my parent’s basement in Northbrook before I left.
Friday, September 18th, 2009
On my sister’s 21st birthday, I wrote a column wishing her a Happy Birthday and talking about how awesome 21st Birthday’s are in general. It was a column about growing up, and a column where I first talked about the implications of not being in America this year.
Friday, October 30th, 2009
I compared ND Nation to Fox News by discussing how both organizations seemingly have questionable motives for wanting groups they claim to love (Notre Dame Football and America) to fail. I was mainly trying to incite a response from the ND Nation blogging community that I find so hilarious. The title, by the way, is a reference to a Jack Swarbrick quote defending his scheduling philosophy.
Friday, November 13th, 2009
Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, and bars around the world are topics in this column where I discuss my efforts to teach my students English using the music of my favorite pop-country singer.
Friday, December 4th, 2009
I try to convince Jimmy Clausen that it would be in his best interests to stay at ND for another year. I failed.
Friday, January 22nd, 2010
I reminisce about my time hating Pete Carroll, and why this means I was upset to see him leave USC for the Seattle Seahawks.
Friday, February 12th, 2010
Ostensibly a sequel to my earlier column True Love at Club Fever, this column spun around the premise and discussed how much I missed all of my friends in America while also discussing my struggles with looking like I am fifteen years old in the bars of Asia.
Friday, March 19th, 2010
My second column entirely devoted to Notre Dame Basketball, here I wrote about all of the things that I love and hate about our coach (at least for now, as my sources are telling me that he will be resigning on Monday for “personal (think Tiger Woods) reasons”).
Friday, April 9th, 2010
My last singularly “concerned citizen” column started off entitled “Pope Benedict vs. The Smoke Monster”, and was going to mainly be about the Pope and Lost until I decided that I needed to reach a broader audience. This resulted in my comparing the Pope to Nixon and titling the column after the poem Humpty Dumpty, the book All the King’s Men, and the book/movie All the President’s Men. I also enjoyed the comments very much; particularly the ones from people that fail to understand how Christianity is one of many world religions.
Friday, April 23rd, 2010
My final observer column discusses happiness, what makes Notre Dame Students happy, when I’ve been happy, and how I think the University needs to change going forward. Since I knew it was my last column, I made sure it had plenty of pop culture references, a small explanation for why I like Taylor Swift songs, and a title that very many people probably don’t understand. It gets a little meta at the end, but I hope I made a point.