In this guest post, Demetra Schoenig, Direct of Academic Enhancement in the Office of the Provost and the Graduate School, helps us gain some perspective as we ram up for the start of another semester!
To conclude his graduate student orientation remarks on August 19, Fr. John Jenkins, C.S.C., encouraged students to “learn from one another.” It is no small thing for a philosopher and university president, skilled in the craft of argument, to emphasize collegiality and community as key components of one’s trajectory from student to scholar. I don’t pretend to know precisely what Fr. Jenkins had in mind when he offered this suggestion, but I’ve been part of the Notre Dame community long enough to conjecture that there are two reasons why his suggestion is a natural derivation of our institutional aspirations, while also, quite simply, why it’s advice worth repeating. Both of these are captured in a phrase you’ve probably come across already, one that you may be wearing on a t-shirt right now.
Your Research Matters. You Matter.
It matters when you’re still in coursework, when you’re rotating through labs, when you’re slogging through the literature. You are engaged in inquiry that has the potential to open new areas, elucidate long-standing divisions, or get your lab one step closer to a breakthrough. There is value in your work, potentially in the effect it will have in your discipline, but more immediately, in the way it will refine you as a scholar. Your faculty members, those teaching your courses and mentoring you as a TA, those writing the grants and running the labs, have all been where you are. As you plan your graduate training experience, take a look at the “Shared Expectations”, which serves as a quick reference guide to enable you to initiate and sustain productive dialogue with your faculty mentor. (https://graduateschool.nd.edu/graduate-training/intellectual-community/sharedexpectations/). What Fr. Jenkins was pointing to in his exhortation to learn from one another, however, is that your colleagues, your fellow students, your friends, will form you as a scholar as profoundly as your faculty mentors.
Your colleagues in your program, and those who you meet across the world through your scholarly network, will often become the friends who remind you that while your work is important, more profoundly, and simply as a human, “you matter.” It doesn’t take a great leap of imagination to predict that your peers and colleagues will likely be those who you can confide in, those who will walk closely with you the inevitable moments of adversity. As you tailor your particular approach to graduate training at Notre Dame, keep your eyes open for the innumerable ways you can find the wholeness within “Your Research Matters” and “You Matter.”
In this post, Elvin Morales gives us the low-down on the best ways to do Karoke in South Bend.
Hello dear readers,
Today is the day where my long-awaited… Alright, you guys probably didn’t even remember me mentioning I was going to write another post, but feel excited nonetheless because here I will finally talk about the one thing that gets me out of bed in the morning (other than healthy love of my profession and friends), and that is karaoke! *epic explosion sounds* Yes, you heard it right, the most epic of musically-inclined competitions where anyone can participate in rhythmic verbal combat. Come and test your mettle against a random group of people that may or may not judge you for the caliber of your voice, the crappy song you chose that has been heard like 90,000 times before (nobody wants to hear you sing “Sweet Caroline” again Chad!), and whether or not the fact that you don’t care about how you sound makes you the most awesome person in the place.
Aside from the pure awesomeness that I described earlier, karaoke is truly one of my favorite activities because it gives me an opportunity to let loose, and in those brief 5 minutes that I am up there everything else fades away it is just me, the mic, and the letters on the screen. Karaoke has served me as a tool for getting over my shyness about my singing, about being on stage, as well as to meet people and be more social, improving my life overall. Because of these reasons I want you to know about some really cool karaoke events around town so that you can benefit from kicking some metaphorical musical butt too. Here are some good karaoke options around town for most days of the week:
The first guy we’re going to talk about is my friend Garrett Swanson, he heads karaoke operation here in South Bend and Mishawaka and is one of the best and nicest guys you will ever meet. Aside from an awesome personality he also has one of the best and most versatile voices I’ve heard, singing anything from “Kings of Leon” to “Breaking Benjamin”. Below is his schedule:
Smith’s Downtown Tap and Grill: Sundays and Wednesdays from 6pm-11pm
O’Rourke’s Irish Pub: Tuesdays from 10pm till close (this is Karaoke Olympics, bring you’re A-game)
Danny Boy Draft Works: Thursdays from 9pm-12am
Mikey Trix is also another karaoke host around the South Bend area with his own series of events called “Trix Karaoke”, here is where you can find him:
Madison Oyster Bar: Mondays from 10pm till close
Taphouse on the Edge: Thursdays and Fridays from 9pm till close
There are many other events that due to space constraints I haven’t even mentioned, but remember that no matter which one you are interested in going to, all of these events are free to join and help support local South Bend and Mishawaka businesses. So, go out and enjoy a night with your friends while helping yourself and the local economy, but before you do I shall leave you with a few words of wisdom my fellow musical warrior: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle – Philo”
In this guest post, Mandy Havert, Graduate Outreach and Digital Research Librarian in charge of Graduate Outreach Services, shares how to make the most of your Hesburgh Libraries experience.
As a new graduate student or returning student at Notre Dame, you will find the Hesburgh Libraries has a lot to offer. Begin by checking out this guide for getting started with Hesburgh Libraries before you come to campus: https://resources.library.nd.edu/documents/faculty-checklist.pdf Once you have a campus network login – your NetID – you will be able to sign in and customize your library account. We have debuted a new service on our library.nd.edu site called “Favorites” that can help track your preferred electronic resources and materials. My Account services help you to monitor the status of materials you have borrowed from our local collections or materials you have requested from other libraries.
In addition to our materials and collections, take a look at people and events in the Hesburgh Libraries. We have over 30 subject librarians located throughout campus to help you become familiar with what’s available to you, and to keep you up-to-date on how the libraries can support your research. You are able to request purchases for our collections, and if you develop a working relationship with your librarian, he or she will be able to anticipate what’s important for your research. Contact information for our subject librarians is available to you from our directory page: https://directory.library.nd.edu/directory, Visit this page to learn about campus locations for the Hesburgh Libraries: https://library.nd.edu/hesburgh-floor-maps#
The “Events” section of the library home page is regularly updated and includes information about special events, exhibitions, and workshops. Be sure to check our events listings regularly. The Graduate Student Newsletter also includes information on these and other events and is delivered right to your mailbox!
Workshops held by the libraries range from learning ways to add to your citation and research management skills to conducting archival research. Digital scholarship workshops are offered by our Navari Family Center for Digital Scholarship. Regular workshops include beginner and intermediate sessions for building your professional web presence, how to use geographical information systems, working with data and statistics, and text mining. You can register for workshops using the Hesburgh Libraries Workshop Calendar: http://nd.libcal.com/calendar/allworkshops/?cid=447&t=m&d=0000-00-00&cal=447
If you’re not sure where to start, you can reach out to the graduate services librarian, Mandy Havert – firstname.lastname@example.org, to ask questions and receive some tips on how to get the most out of the Hesburgh Libraries. Mandy will fill you in on regular events, such as our weeklong Dissertation Camps, and regularly scheduled Dissertation Day Camps.
In this guest post, Robert Coloney, Director of Grad Career Services, shares some advice on what principles will help us successfully navigate this Academic Year and beyond.
Welcome (back, should it apply to you) to the University of Notre Dame! Since 1842, the campus has always been most exciting when you, our students, grace it with your presence. After an extremely active summer planning and identifying ways to better provide value and insight to have a positive impact on your future, our Graduate Career Services team is ready to engage with you!
I firmly believe that life and our purpose therein becomes clearer as you allow yourself to embrace change, challenge, and faith. As you navigate to South Bend, either for the first time, or to continue a journey of exploration, you are undoubtedly called to have a profound impact on the world around you. Much like Father Edward Sorin, each of you have seen beauty, promise, and a future in the University of Notre Dame, and yourselves. Upon arriving on the banks of the St. Joseph River, and writing back to Father Basil Moreau in 1842, Father Sorin knew of the tremendous potential, believed in the opportunity, and in turn, founded our University…YOUR University. As we begin this academic year, we, the administration of this University, see that same tremendous potential, and believe in your opportunity to enact positive change on our nation, and our world. Throughout this year, and your time at the University of Notre Dame, I encourage you to stand by a few principles (from a career perspective, and beyond):
Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable. Allow yourself to be challenged. Go beyond the realms of where you’ve ventured before. Say “YES,” more than you say “NO.” By allowing yourself to experience all that the University has to offer, you will be immersing yourself in the tremendous educational opportunity you’ve afforded yourself through your tireless effort and work to this point. To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice your innate gift; experience everything.
Find a Sherpa.No one would dare climb to the top of Mount Everest without one. In turn, no one is expecting you to navigate a challenging journey alone. Find a mentor, administrator, staff member, faculty member, or better yet, all of the above. Ask questions! Graduate School is challenging, but we’re all in this mission together. We want you to succeed, and want to ensure you have every tool available to you in order to make that dream a reality.
Failure is not permanent, unless you allow it to be.Each one of us, at one point or another, has been humbled in this life. We’ve all succeeded, but, personally, I’ve learned far more from my failures than my successes. In fact, I attribute any success I’ve had to the learning experiences that bloom from failure. In the words of the inspiring Randy Pausch, “The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. The brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough.”
When Father Sorin founded Notre Dame, and corresponded with Father Moreau, he recognized that while the future was unclear, and the undertaking significant, the potential was tremendous. “…this college cannot fail to succeed…Before long, it will develop on a large scale…It will be one of the most powerful means for good in this country.”
Since 1842, the University of Notre Dame has held true to those incredibly powerful words. Now, YOU are tasked with continuing the mission. I encourage you to take advantage of this very special place – we are lucky to have you, and cannot wait to work with you on achieving your dreams, and realizing your full potential.
Your Research Matters. You Matter. Be a Force for Good.
In this guest post, Rachel Heisler, Assistant Curator for Education, Academic Programs at the Snite Museum of Art, provides offers some key ways to learn to really appreciate the rich art collection available on campus!
Did you know that the average museum visitor spends between 15-30 seconds in front of a work of art? It takes me approximately 15 seconds to tie both of my shoes, to scroll through 7 Instagram posts, or enjoy a warm chocolate chip cookie from Hagerty Cafe (ok, that may be a lie, it’s more like 5 seconds!). 15 seconds is short, especially when you are standing in front of a work of art. To challenge people to take a longer look we created Art180 at the Snite Museum of Art – a commitment to look at one work of art for three hours over the semester. During the 2018-2019 academic year over 220 people signed up to commit to 3 hours of looking and we hope you will consider joining us for the 2019-2020 academic year. To get you started I am sharing with you some helpful tips and tricks.
Set an alarm – Referencing the inventor of Ronco rotisserie cooker, “set it and forget it!”. Set an alarm and dive in to your work. In a busy stressful world, it’s helpful to take control of small things. By removing the distraction of constantly looking at your clock, you are now able to focus your attention entirely on the work.
Make it a date – Make your time with your work feel important and special by adding it to your calendar every week or maybe every month. Treat it like a date by showing up on time and giving it your full attention, but please don’t bring it chocolate and flowers.
Don’t look at the label and don’t Google! – Do yourself a favor and bask in the unknown. You’re not going to be graded on knowing the artist, name of the work, or even the meaning of the work. What you take away from this experience is yours and only yours. Challenge yourself to not read about the work and enjoy the visceral experience.
Start by taking a visual inventory – Don’t know where to start? Start by writing down everything you see. Take an inventory of the work and keep adding to it throughout the semester as you will never stop seeing new things.
Make yourself comfortable – We want to let you in on a little secret….museums are not as scary as many think they are. Yes, there are rules and yes, museums have a certain stereotype, but really it is all in what you make it. Once you enter the front doors, drop your stuff in the coatroom and grab a stool or meditation cushion to make yourself comfortable. Stand, sit, or meditate in front of your work, but make sure you’re comfortable.
Now that we’ve given you some tips, what do you have to lose? Sign up here to become a part of the Art180 family. You may not receive a medal or a letter of achievement but we do hope you escape from your busy days and get to know a work of art at the Snite Museum of Art this semester.
Terms and strategies within career development tend to feel very business-y”. The one page resume and “networking” just to name a couple. As an educator who has supported humanities, fine arts, and social science students with their career development over the past seven years, I find it difficult to connect with the mainstream terminology and approach that often dominates the landscape of career education. From my perspective, it takes changing perspective to better relate to, and understand, the career development process and all that it entails.
To begin, “business-y” terms feel more product-driven. In the business world, there tends to be a bottom line. Even though there are always people involved in any business, it seems the focus is on numbers, not names. This, I believe, has led to product-like hiring trends (one page resume, applicant tracking systems) and cold connectedness through competitive, passive, and getting ahead “networking”.
From a human services perspective, people are the focus. For those who are committed to this craft, any use of a product needs to have a direct correlation to the betterment of others. It isn’t about the bottom line; it is a focus on raising the bar of potential for others. A person-first mentality can lead to hiring practices that focus on getting to truly know an individual through robust application materials and a willingness to connect directly without the use of applicant tracking systems. When it comes to networking, it does not become a means to an end to get ahead but centers on developing and building meaningful, genuine, and value-oriented relationships. It is active listening, not passive conversation. It is cooperation, not competition.
Overall, the key is to realize that there are a variety of approaches to anything you do in life and to decide on what you perceive to be the best approach for your unique values, interests, personality, skills and goals. If you prefer competition, networking, fast-paced environments, and a slew of other terms that tend to feel more “business-y”, there are certainly options for you. For those who don’t fit this mold, know that there are other ways to view this process. Solving societal problems instead of outperforming people can be your competition. Building genuine personal and professional relationships based on trust and cooperation can be your networking. Slowing down and taking the time to reflect can be your pace. There is a place in the career development process for being “human-y”.
So this is a research study I would totally sign up for! It is about eating cake; my favorite dessert! Participants were randomly assigned to three different groups. What each group had in common was that each individual was seated in front of a huge piece of the most beautiful, layered chocolate cake you could imagine. The kind you see at the Cheesecake Factory. Can you see it? What was different about each group were the instructions they were given. Group #1 was asked to think about how bad they would feel about themselves after eating the piece of cake. Group #2 was asked to think about how good they would feel about themselves if they resisted eating the cake. Group #3 was given no instructions (that’s the group I would want to be in). Researchers wanted to know, Who would resist eating the cake? (That would NOT have been me). Here’s what they found. Ten percent of participants in group #1 (shame group) resisted eating it. But get this, 40% of participants in group #2 (pride group) resisted eating the cake.And the control group? Only 18.8% resisted eating the cake. This simple study confirms a lot of research out there. How we talk to ourselves matters. When we shame ourselves and think about how bad we will feel about something (about not going to the lab, about not working on the dissertation, about not working out, etc.) we make tough things tougher. Have you ever tried to shame yourself into doing or not doing something? Very common human strategy. But scientific evidence suggests this does not work. But just flip it into values-centered pride. That works!
As a counseling psychologist who has worked with Notre Dame students for the past 10 years, I have struggled to help students believe that self-criticism and self-shaming do not work. I have often heard, “If I’m not tough on myself, I won’t do anything!” Fortunately, recent neuroscience has helped me make the case more convincingly. What fMRIs show is that shame shuts down the prefrontal cortex of the brain – the part of the brain that helps you make hard decisions that are in-line with your values. Shame activates the amygdala, the alarm center of your brain, and makes your brain look the same as someone whose leg was just broken. If you haven’t experienced that before, it hurts! The automatic, impulsive, reward systems of the brain that say “Watch Netflix instead, that’s more fun and you’ll feel better!” keep working and drive us to do what feels good (i.e. not work).
Pausing and noticing can also help you remember to intentionally imagine how proud you will feel if you do what is in line with your values. And practicing noticing, also called mindfulness, changes the brain over time. When we develop a different relationship with “bad” thoughts and feelings and they become less powerful over us. And get this, when we practice values-oriented pride and self-compassion, the reward centers of the brain light up and look like we are going to eat a piece of chocolate cake!
Escrito por María Agustina Cedeño, intérprete y traductora.
“Usted puede hacer lo que yo no puedo. Yo puedo hacer lo que usted no puede. Juntos podremos hacer grandes cosas”
Soy de Ecuador y me mudé a South Bend hace casi cinco años. Una vez en los Estados Unidos y con una visa H4, no tenía autorización para trabajar; pero para mí eso no fue impedimento para mantenerme activa, productiva y, al mismo tiempo, ayudar a los demás. Me gustaría compartir algunas de las enriquecedoras experiencias que he tenido como voluntaria; y así, incentivar a la comunidad de Notre Dame (profesores, estudiantes, personal en general, amigos, y cónyuges extranjeros, como es mi caso) a contribuir con estas causas. Creo que cada una de nuestras contribuciones es valiosa y mejora tanto nuestras vidas personales como la sociedad en general.
Comencé con mis actividades de voluntariado como locutora en WSND-FM 88.9, la estación de Radio de Notre Dame. Mi función allí es la de seleccionar la música clásica que se transmite todos los martes en el “Concierto de la Mañana”, así como indicar la identificación y ubicación de la estación radial cada hora. Creo que es una bonita forma de contribuir, no solo a la comunidad de Notre Dame, sino también a la población local; y, al mismo tiempo, es una manera de aprender más sobre la belleza de la música clásica. Si está interesado/a en ser voluntario/a en la radio de Notre Dame, por favor comuníquese con Peter Farrough.
También colaboro con el Programa “Read Baby Read (RBR)“, en el Centro de Artes y Cultura de Notre Dame. Este programa infunde bondad desde muy temprana edad en la vida de los niños, al mismo tiempo que se familiarizan con otro idioma y cultura a través de la lectura de pequeñas historias y canciones de niños, tanto en inglés como en español. Pienso que es importante enseñar a los niños lo divertido y lo bueno que es ser parte de la diversidad que existe en el mundo, por eso considero que ellos deberían involucrarse con otras etnias y culturas desde temprana edad. Esto les inculca principios más sólidos y, como resultado, tendrán una interacción amigable y más positiva con la sociedad. Si está interesado/a en ser voluntario/a en este programa, por favor comuníquese con Toni Fein o Jennifer Wittenbrink Ortega.
Además coopero con el Programa de Reconciliación de Víctimas y Victimarios (VORP, por sus siglas en inglés) del Centro de Justicia Comunitaria de Elkhart, donde soy voluntaria como intérprete y traductora para la comunidad Latinx. Así mismo, ofrezco mis servicios voluntarios como mediadora, para lo cual completé un curso de capacitación. En VORP, utilizamos una visión de justicia, basada en la comunidad, para ayudar a que las víctimas y los victimarios lleguen a un acuerdo que beneficie a ambas partes: los victimarios tienen la oportunidad de demostrar su arrepentimiento mientras evitan un castigo adicional y las víctimas reciben una justa indemnización. A través de la comunicación, tanto las víctimas como los victimarios, deben ver las cosas “poniéndose los unos en el lugar de los otros”. Es importante dejar claro que no se debe abusar de la generosidad de los demás y que no puede haber una paz duradera sin justicia. Si está interesado/a en ser voluntario/a en este programa, por favor comuníquese con Anne Lehman.
Además, soy voluntaria de español en la Escuela Católica “Holy Cross”, en el “Programa de Doble Inmersión” en colaboración con el Instituto de Estudios Latinos y la Alianza para la Educación Católica de la Universidad de Notre Dame. Programas como éste enseñan y preparan a los niños, desde el prekínder, a ser bilingües (en inglés y español). Además, en el programa se inculcan muy buenos valores y principios, en ambos idiomas. Creo firmemente que constituir una buena base de valores e inculcar una educación bilingüe en los niños en temprana edad será una combinación muy útil para sus vidas. De esta manera, estarán preparados para crear un mundo mejor para ellos, para quienes los rodean y para la sociedad en general. Si está interesado/a en ser voluntario/a en este programa, por favor comuníquese con Katy Lichon.
Y, por último, también fui co-mentora, intérprete y traductora en el Programa “Reading For Life (RFL)” en el Centro de Justicia Juvenil de South Bend (JJC, por sus siglas en inglés), una alternativa a la cárcel para delincuentes juveniles. El programa consideraba las ofensas por parte de los jóvenes como el resultado de “daños en su desarrollo moral”. Los delincuentes suelen ser víctimas de su propio entorno; por lo tanto, los jóvenes deberían estar expuestos a mejores circunstancias, así como a programas como este, en el cual a través de la lectura se le inculcaban las siete virtudes: justicia, prudencia, templanza, fortaleza, fidelidad, esperanza y caridad. Era importante mostrar a estos jóvenes adolescentes un camino de esperanza en un mundo donde las cosas funcionaran de una manera diferente al mundo al que ellos habían estado expuestos. Para mí, fue muy alentador saber que el programa tenía un porcentaje de éxito del 97% en mantener a los jóvenes fuera de problemas. Pienso que a los jóvenes se les debe dar una segunda oportunidad ya que todos cometemos errores, especialmente cuando aún somos inmaduros o inexpertos.
A pesar del éxito de este programa, lamentablemente se terminó en junio del 2018. Espero que algún día se reabra este programa y así vuelva a ser esa luz de esperanza para aquellos jóvenes que necesiten ayuda. Esta experiencia fue realmente una de las que más me impactó, debido a su efectividad y a todos los cambios positivos que pude notar en los adolescentes que lograron completar el programa. Incluso me gustaría promover el desarrollo de programas como este en países como el mío. Programas como estos funcionan porque se basan en principios sólidos y en una investigación efectiva. Pienso que las personas debemos tener la esperanza de que las cosas siempre pueden mejorar, ya que el sentimiento de esperanza es lo que realmente nos impulsa a esforzarnos más.
En conclusión, como dijo la Madre Teresa, si todos unificáramos nuestras habilidades y esfuerzos podríamos “hacer grandes cosas” para nuestras comunidades. El concepto general del voluntariado es dar nuestro tiempo sin recibir nada a cambio. Sin embargo, mi experiencia ha sido todo lo contrario: yo soy la que más ha aprendido de los demás. El voluntariado me ha enseñado a valorar aquello que es realmente importante y ha cambiado mi vida para siempre. Esta transformación no se debe únicamente a las organizaciones en las cuales he participado; sino a las personas con quienes he compartido. No puedo describir la gratitud que mi corazón siente por cada una de las personas e instituciones que han formado parte de esta experiencia. Gracias a todos por iluminar mi vida aún más. El voluntariado es algo que levanta y enriquece nuestro espíritu y embellece nuestra alma. Nunca antes me había sentido tan afortunada, en un nivel espiritual, como me siento ahora. ¡Es algo que simplemente no tiene precio! Los invito a formar parte de esta hermosa experiencia. ¡Les cambiará la vida también!
Aquí encontrará la versión en español de este artículo .
Guest post written by María Agustina Cedeño, interpreter and translator.
“You can do what I cannot. I can do what you cannot. Together we can do great things”.
I am from Ecuador and moved to South Bend almost five years ago. Once in the USA, with an H4 visa, I was not authorized to work, but that did not keep me from trying to be active, productive, and, at the same time, help others. I would like to share some of the enriching experiences that I have had as a volunteer to encourage the Notre Dame community (faculty, students, staff, friends, and international spouses like myself) to contribute to these causes. I believe each and every single one of our contributions is valuable and it will surely improve the state of the world we live in.
I started with my volunteering activities as an announcer at WSND-FM 88.9, the Notre Dame Radio station. My role there is to choose the classical music selection broadcasted every Tuesday in the “Morning Concert,” as well as announcing the hourly Notre Dame ID and location. I think this is a nice way to contribute, not only to the Notre Dame community, but also to the population in the area; and at the same time, it is a way of learning more about the beauty of classical music. If you are interested in volunteering at the Notre Dame radio station, please contact Peter Farrough.
I also collaborate in the Read Baby Read (RBR) Program, at the Notre Dame Center for Arts and Culture, which instills kindness very early in kids’ lives while they get familiar with another language and culture through listening to short stories and songs in English and Spanish. I think it is important to teach kids about how fun and good it is to be part of the diversity that exists in the world; so I consider that they should get involved with other ethnicities and cultures from an early age. This teaches solid and kinder principles to them; and as a result, they would have a friendly and a more positive interaction with society. If you are interested in volunteering at Read Baby Read, please contact Toni Fein or Jennifer Wittenbrink Ortega.
I also cooperate with the Victim-Offender Reconciliation Program (VORP) at the Elkhart Center for Community Justice, where I volunteer as an interpreter and translator for the Latinx community. I also offer my services as a mediator, for which I completed a training course. At VORP, we use a community-based vision of justice to help bringing victims and offenders to an agreement that benefits both parties: the offenders get an opportunity to demonstrate their repentance while avoiding further punishment, and the victims get fair restitution. Through communication, both victims and offenders, should see things from the “other side of the fence.” It is important to make it clear that people’s generosity is not to be abused, and that there cannot be lasting peace without justice. If you are interested in volunteering at Center for Community Justice, please contact Anne Lehman.
Also, I am a Spanish volunteer at the Holy Cross Catholic School, in a Two-Way Immersion Program in conjunction with the Institute for Latino Studies and the Alliance for Catholic Education at the University of Notre Dame. Programs like this, teach and train kids from pre-kinder to be bilingual (English and Spanish). This will give them better opportunities in the world in general, as it is globally connected, and it gets more and more competitive; so the earlier the kids get prepared for it, the better it will be for them. Besides, the children, at the program, are instilled very good values and fine principles, in both languages, which will definitely influence their lives positively. They are good hearted people and they surely will always be successful. I strongly believe that instilling a good foundation of values and a bilingual education to kids in their early ages will be a very useful combination for their lives. This way, I believe that they would be prepared to create a much better world for themselves, for those around them, and for society in general. If you are interested in volunteering at the Two-Way Immersion Program, please contact Katy Lichon.
Lastly, I also volunteered as a Co-Mentor and as the Spanish interpreter and translator, in the Reading for Life (RFL) Program at the South Bend Juvenile Justice Center (JJC), an alternative to jail for juvenile delinquents. The program would see offenses by the youth as the result of a “breakdown in moral development.” Delinquents are usually victims of their own environment; thus, young people should be exposed to better circumstances such as this program, where they would practice reading while learning about the seven virtues: justice, prudence, temperance, fortitude, fidelity, hope, and charity. It was important to show these young teenagers that there was hope in a world where things functioned in a different way from what they had been exposed to. It was very encouraging to learn that the program had a 97% success rate in keeping kids out of trouble. I believe that young people need to be given a second chance as we all make mistakes, especially when immature or inexperienced.
Even though this program was very successful, it sadly ended by June 2018. I hope that at some point this program will be continued and that way it could be again that light of hope for those young people who may need help. This experience was one of which impacted me the most, because of its effectiveness and all the positive changes I could notice in the teenagers who were able to complete the program. I would even like to promote the development of programs like this one in countries like mine. Programs like these do work because are based on sound principles and good research. I think people should believe that there is always hope that things can improve, as the feeling of hope is what really drives us to try harder.
In conclusion, as Mother Teresa said, if we were all able to unify our abilities and efforts, we could do great things and thus achieve many benefits for our communities; and in that way, we would all have a better world. Volunteering is part of that, and speaking by my own experience, it has surely changed my life forever. It has taught me to value what is really important. The general concept of volunteering is to give your time without receiving anything in return, as well as transforming the lives of others with your contribution. However, based on my experience, I can say that it has been the opposite, I feel that I am the one who has learned the most from the others. I also believe that my life has been the one that has received the most positive transformation; not only by the organizations in which I volunteered but also and especially by those people to whom I have directly provided my volunteer service. I cannot describe the amount of gratitude that my heart holds for each person and institutions that have been part of this rewarding and so meaningful experience. Thanks to every one for enlightening my life even more. Volunteering, definitely, is something that lifts and enriches our spirit and embellishes our soul. I had never felt so fortunate before, spiritually speaking, as I feel now. It is simply priceless! Being a volunteer, without a doubt, has been the most inspiring experience of my life. I invite you all to be part of this beautiful experience. It will change your lives too!
Guest post by Kelly Heilman, Ph.D. Candidate in Biological Sciences
Spending time outside running, hiking, and generally exploring has always been my preferred form of stress relief. When I moved to South Bend, this was no different. Could South Bend be a good place for an outdoor adventurer, you ask? While we don’t have mountains to run up and ski down, I discovered an active running community and several unique recreation opportunities in the area. From running, to backpacking, and exploring the region’s outdoor resources, I’m listing my favorite opportunities that I wish I had known about earlier in my Grad Life here at Notre Dame.
If you don’t see your adventure sport of choice featured below—don’t fret! Some friends in my department & I co-founded a graduate jogging group (see JOGS below) because we realized there were no social running groups that currently served the needs of graduate students. So, if you would like to see a new group on campus, chances are you are not alone! Get out there and have an adventure!
Organized Running & Adventure Groups:
JOGS (Jogging Organization for Graduate Students): A new SAO approved club that for ND Graduate Students interested in jogging! We host at least 2 runs each week (Runs this semester are on Tuesday and Thursday at 6pm), and our goal is to create a fun social network of Joggers/runners on campus. Email email@example.com for more information!
Fleet Feet Pub Runs: Every Wednesday evening Fleet Feet hosts a 5k pub/social run around ND campus, leaving from O’Rourkes on Eddy Street. You get to meet a lot of different runners (who run a lot of different paces) & several people often hang around O’Rourkes afterwards.
South Bend Adventure Club: Informal adventure group in the region whose members organize hikes, backpacking trips, kayak outings, and much more. I have organized some ski events & a Backpacking trip in the Ozarks with this group. The group’s Facebook page is how events are organized.
Local Parks to Explore:
St. Patrick’s County Park: Local favorite with some fun running trails, as well as many community events. They also offer cross-country skiing (including rentals) in the winter!