Asian Allure

Aside from some token references to alcohol in college, I was very impressed by this past weekend’s Asian Allure. The performance showcased the culture and talent of the many Asian student organizations on campus. Everything from Japanese fan dancing to a tandem dragon dance (see pic) brought me back to my childhood, when I grew up in Japan as the dependent of a Navy father. It reminded me of having grown up with Filipino and Japanese friends, and how essential they were to who I am today. The “Timeless” theme this year presented the stories of some Asian American students at Notre Dame over the years and how their struggles with everything from winter to roommates turned into successes. Ironically, even though I’m not an Asian American by birth (but by life as I spent most of my life in Japan), I distinctly recall moving to the U.S. and being thrown into American high school and also having to deal with culture shock. So a big thank you to all of this year’s students and the timeless thank you to the Asian American students of the past.

The New Translation

It all starts November 27, 2011. What am I talking about? Well, in 2001 JPII and the Holy See issued LITURGIAM AUTHENTICAM, which was the nice way of saying that this Google Translate version of the missal we’ve been using since the 1970’s wasn’t going to cut it anymore. The International Commission on English in the Liturgy used the principle of dynamic equivalence or in common terms (get it) if it sounds like it could be said in Mass, let’s use it. If you can’t tell, I’m pretty pumped to say it’s my fault, I promise it’s my fault, it’s just really all my fault, and I’m pumped to use big words like consubstantial (of the same substance). This means big things on campus too. In the spirit of LITURGIAM AUTHENTICAM, we can no longer translate Thursday Mass in Dillon as milkshake Mass but as Jesus Christ Mass.


College Board

Every teacher left behind

A recent LA TIMES article has uncovered a not-so-surprising reality: when teachers are given no resources and their jobs depend on student standardized test performance teachers cheat on the tests too. In California, DC, and Atlanta a high percentage of audited schools had teachers who were administering exams inappropriately or just changing student answers to improve standardized test scores altogether. If only the simple solutions to problems of education could slash the bureaucratic tape of education. When teachers are good we promote them, applaud them, want them to teach more. When teachers are okay we support them and push them to do better. When teachers are terrible we fire them and use the money to support the other teachers.


Watering sidewalks, wasting paper on an online version of the OBSERVER in print, dropping perfectly good pumpkins out windows at dorm parties (true story), game day courtesy golfcart (walking is good for you), the 1.5 tons of food wasted by ND students everyday, the 8 additional ounces that gets thrown away because I “can’t” take a sandwich out of the dining hall. These are few of my favorite elements of sustainability. On a positive?  Note I’m very thrilled to see the amount of aluminum recycling we collect as a campus because of our raging alcoholism. I’m sometimes scared when I empty my trash on the weekend that a small child is going to pop out of the McDonalds like beer can ball pit in the trash room.