Juntos podremos hacer grandes cosas: oportunidades de voluntariado en South Bend

Click here for the English version of this post.

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”

Madre Teresa

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.

WSND-FM 88.9, estación de radio de Notre Dame

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.

Programa Read Baby Read (RBR)

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.

Voluntarias y voluntarios en el Elkhart Center for Community Justice

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.

Holy Cross Catholic School

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.

Los beneficios del programa Reading for Life (RFL)

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!

 

Together We Can Do Great Things: Opportunities for Volunteering in South Bend

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”.

Mother Teresa

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.

 

WSND-FM 88.9, Notre Dame radio station

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.

Read Baby Read (RBR) Program

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.

Volunteers at the Elkhart Center for Community Justice

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.

Holy Cross Catholic School

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.

Benefits of the Reading for Life (RFL) Program

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!

 

 

Running & Other Adventures in the Bend

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!

South Bend Offers an Active Running Community and Recreation Opportunities Such As Running, Hiking, and Backpacking
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 jogs@nd.edu 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!

Potato Creek State Park: State park in Indiana with hiking & running trails, mountain biking, and a small lake. 

Warren Dunes & Grand Mere State Parks: Two different state parks in MI with sand dunes you can hike up, access to Lake Michigan, and some trails through the woods.

Get outside & adventuring!

South Bend Music Scene: a Small City with a Lot of Good Noise (Part I)

The Control Group playing in the Biology grad Halloween party.

In this guest post, Elvin E. Morales Pérez, Ph.D. Candidate in Biological Sciences, shares his favorite places to enjoy live music in South Bend.

Hailing from a small agricultural town in Puerto Rico, finding entertaining music-related events that didn’t involve Salsa or Reggaeton was a bit of an issue. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy getting my dance on every so often, but musical variety is an important part of a growing young man’s education. Once I moved to South Bend, however, I was very pleasantly surprised. “The Bend,” as it is more commonly known to the “Youths,” is the biggest city I have ever lived in (sad, I know) and as such, I wanted to explore everything it had to offer. It was during this process that I came to discover a very active, vibrant, and above all varied music scene in the city. Live bands, open mics, dance events, random/slightly obscure/underground house shows (like that time my band The Control Group, played an acoustic show in my garageshameless plug), and even cool roaming DJs spinning vintage vinyl from the back of a VW van (actual thing, not kidding), South Bend is just full of various things that anyone from professional or aspiring musicians to even regular music lovers would enjoy.

For all of those interested in the occasional piece of live entertainment or for those of you looking to share your musical talents with the rest of the world, I know a couple of places that you might be interested in:

 

  • Fiddler’s Hearth: South Bend’s very own local Irish pub is one of the most important musical focal points in the city with live musical events sometimes every day of the week. There is Open Irish Music Session on Mondays, Old Timey Music Sessions on Tuesdays, Acoustic Open Stage on Wednesdays, where you can play or enjoy shows by local bands playing anything from Irish folk songs to sweet, sweet funk music during the weekends. Fiddler’s is definitely a place where you’ll have a good time with some good food.

 

  • Vegetable Buddies: Veggie buddies is a place full of South Bend musical history. A musical hub in the city during the late 70’s, this prominent musical venue — which hosted some of the greats in jazz, blues, bluegrass, and Woodstock-era rock and roll — returned to South Bend in the last few years and has kept that tradition going strong. On Fridays and Saturdays, Veggie Buddies hosts artists from all over, which sometimes even open the stage for local musicians to play with them, so if you’re interested in some cool music with some good atmosphere check it out. (They also have Latin Dance Nights on Wednesdays if you want to get your groove on; variety man, wonderful stuff).

 

  • LaSalle Kitchen and Tavern: Although a little bit difficult to get to, involving a trek through the alleyway next to the building, and going up the back stairwell to the third floor (makes you feel kind of cool actually), the LaSalle Kitchen and Tavern is one of my favorite places in South Bend. Good food, good atmosphere, and above all, really cool music shows, with bands and solo artists playing most Fridays and Saturdays. One time, I heard a Spanish rock band playing which ended up hitting right in the feels, mainly because I was one of the few that actually understood the language that night, but it was still amazing.

 

  • Lang Lab: When you first look at Lang Lab from the outside you may think “this place looks like an old warehouse.” Well, the reason why this is the first thing that pops into people’s minds is that it is a warehouse, or much rather, it used to be. The owners converted the 33,000 sq. ft. building into a multi-use cultural and educational facility that hosts several local businesses (one of them a coffee shop, yay!), as well as many theater groups and musical artists. Additionally, it has its very own gallery, displaying pieces from various local artists.

 

Aside from the various places I mentioned, there are also a lot of city-wide musical events like the Riverlights Music Festival, a two-day event which takes place every summer and includes over 50 local musicians playing only original music. Remember, these are only a couple of suggestions to get you going, there are still many places and events around “The Bend” that space constraints and a lack of literary wit prevent me from telling you about. Go out, explore, and start making fun, new experiences involving awesome, weird, and funky fresh sounds.

P.S. In the next installment of “Elvin kind of talks about music stuff” I’ll talk about places where the more adventurous but not-as-musically-oriented people might want to try their luck: Karaoke bars… (*ominous thunder sounds*)

Do you have any questions about living in South Bend? Ask the Salmon! Submit your questions to gradlife@nd.edu or go to the Ask a Question tab at the top of this page.

 

 

Grad Life Program Highlight: GO Grants

Have you and your grad student friends ever wanted to go to an event, but couldn’t quite bring yourselves to fork over the cash to pay for it? Next time, Grad Life may be able to help!

One of Grad Life’s ongoing programs is the GO Grant program, sponsored by the Notre Dame Graduate School. Groups of current Notre Dame graduate students and post-docs (and their guests) can apply for a GO Grant to help cover the cost of tickets or entrance fees to events around Michiana. If you have a group of six to twelve graduate students (and up to one guest for each student) collectively coming from at least two different academic departments, you’re eligible to apply for up to $300.00 per group to help subsidize the cost of the event you have in mind. This program is meant to support graduate student participation in local events in order to promote well-being and foster community.

All you have to do is fill out a short online application with a description of the event and a brief argument for why your group should receive funding for it. Eligibility requirements and other policies are spelled out in full on the Grad Life website, but here are the basics.

  • The money can only be used to cover the cost of tickets or entrance fees to one-time events – it is not for covering the cost of food, beverages, alcohol, transportation, recurring classes, etc.
  • Submit your application at least one week ahead of time, since every participant will need to fill out and submit a waiver form.
  • It’s okay if the total cost of the event will exceed $300 – you can use the GO Grant as a subsidy.
  • No applicant or attendee may be the beneficiary of a GO Grant more than once a semester. If you were part of a group that received a GO Grant in January, you can’t be part of a group that receives a grant for the rest of the spring. Check the website for specific dates.
  • Only adults (over 18) are eligible to receive funding.
  • Afterwards, your group will need to submit your receipts, a short survey, and a photo of the group at the event in order to receive reimbursement.

It’s as simple as that! So next time you and your friends feel like fleeing the library and getting some recreation, you can think less about cash and more about fun. Apply now!

Living Cheap in South Bend: The Spousal ID

This is the last in our series of blog posts on living on a graduate student budget in South Bend. We’ve covered grocery stores, movies, local thrift stores, and restaurants, and past posts have featured such under-utilized money-saving resources as the local public library and the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. Check out these and other posts on Ask the Salmon for tips on saving cash in Michiana.

In this post I want to draw your attention to one of the best ways to save money if you are a married graduate student: the spousal ID card offered by the Graduate School (Business, Architecture, and Engineering students will have to contact their administrative assistants for information specific to their schools).

Current graduate students who are married can get their spouse a Notre Dame ID card by filling out the form on this webpage and submitting a scan or copy of their marriage certificate per the instructions. After that, there is a $5 fee for the card itself, and then your spouse has access to at least five on-campus services (though individual departments and programs may choose to extend access to additional services–talk to your department’s administrative assistant).

These services are as follows:

(1) Access to all student activity events and student-only events at Legends.
(2) Free entry to all RecSports facilities. Who needs a gym membership? Your spouse can even take fitness classes! (3) Access to the university library system, including the ability to request and check out books. Instead of logging into their library account with a NetID, spouses use the NDID number on their ID card.
(4) The ability to use Domer Dollars and to load a meal plan onto the card.
(5) Free transportation on all Transpo buses. This is a perk for all who have a Notre Dame ID card. Just show the bus driver your card when you get on, and you’re off! This makes getting around South Bend a whole lot easier for those with transportation restrictions. Check out the Transpo website for schedules and routes.

And now you know! All of this is available to spouses for the very reasonable fee of $5. Don’t pass it up.

Living Cheap in South Bend: Let’s Go to the Movies

Who doesn’t love an evening at the movies? Of course, viewing feature films outside of your own home can be a bit pricey. Not to worry, though! In South Bend, breaking the bank is strictly optional. Here are the places you’ll want to go:

Cinemark 14

Every seat at the Cinemark in Mishawaka is a luxury recliner, making it the area’s nicest movie theater. Posh doesn’t mean pricey, however, as full-price tickets still run well below average: $8.25 for adults and $6.50 for children. But that’s before the discounts! Adult matinees are $7.25 and, if you are a morning movie-goer, the day’s first showing of each movie is always $5.40. Moreover, any adult ticket can be had for $6.80 if you bring your student ID with you to the box office. Best of all? Tuesday is discount day: $5.25 tickets all day long. The theater also regularly runs broadcasts of operas and plays and hosts special film events. Check out their website for the latest.

Wonderland Cinema

You may have thought that the Cinemark was deal enough, but the best is yet to come. The Wonderland Cinema in Niles is the cheapest place to see a new release in Michiana. And while there may not be luxury loungers in the theater, it’s still a nice place to for watching a movie. Here is the deal: evening tickets sell for $5, matinees for $4, and before noon, you will only pay $2.50. As if that were not enough, the concessions are far more reasonably priced than at most theaters, with most selling for less than $3. On Monday through Thursday, you can even bring in the theater’s plastic popcorn bucket for a fifty-cent refill.

Student Union Board Movies

Generally, the Student Union Board serves the campus’ undergraduate population, but graduate students can take advantage of their programming too. One of the Board’s monthly events is a movie night, when they show a new release in the theater-style DeBartolo 101 classroom. These showings take place at 8:30 pm and 10:30 pm on a Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night each month. To see a movie in this classroom-turned-theater, it only costs $3 per ticket. Stay in the loop by looking at the SUB website or keeping your eyes peeled when perusing the Week@ND newsletter.

DeBartolo Performing Arts Center

As always, the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center is your on-campus location for all manner of theatrical events, and the Browning Cinema has an eclectic and first-rate slate of films lined up for this season. This year, movies in the RKO Classics series (not to be confused with Classics at the Browning) are free for students at Notre Dame, St. Mary’s, and Holy Cross, while the Sunday Family Films are free for children 12 and under. All other films (with the exception of National Theatre Live and Live at the Met broadcasts) are usually $4 per ticket for students. For this price, you can gain admission to an assortment of new and well-loved films (including the Lord of the Rings trilogy next week!). As always, the DPAC is an opportunity not to be missed.

Arts and Culture: Theatre

Plays are a powerful mode of story-telling. Nowadays, our usual experience of narrative is through the medium of a screen, whether streaming a television show or enjoying a movie. Plays engage us in ways that are similar to film, but also in ways that are significantly different. No two performances of a play are the same. The varying emotions, energy, and character of actor and audience lend every performance a dynamism, particularity, and tangibility that often elude film. Don’t settle for reading Shakespeare in English class! You must see a play of his performed to understand his appeal and his brilliance.

Drama is also a traditional activity. Plays abounded in the Renaissance and the Middle Ages, perpetuating a tradition that goes back to the semi-religious performances of the Greeks and, beyond that, to the oral recitation of poetic narratives and to the communal performance of religious ceremonies. To participate in drama, as an actor or an audience member, is to participate in something very old and very human, something impossible for the screen (or even a book!) to capture or replace. Here are a few places to see some plays, both in South Bend and in Chicago:

DeBartolo Performing Arts Center

Of course a Notre Dame student’s go-to place for theatrical drama is the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. At the end of every summer, the DPAC hosts the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival. This year’s Festival included a community company’s performance of various scenes from Shakespeare’s plays, the performance by the Notre Dame Touring Company of Twelfth Night in locations around Michiana, and the centerpiece performance of Much Ado About Nothing by the 2017 Professional Company. Each year, DPAC also hosts Actors from the London Stage, a program that brings professional British actors to perform Shakespeare on stages across the United States.

This year’s Shakespeare Festival may be over, but there is plenty more drama in store at the DPAC. ND Theatre puts on several productions each year by the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre and the Browning Cinema broadcasts National Theatre Live performances from the National Theatre in London. Check out the DPAC website for the latest schedule. Make sure that you sign in with your student account to access discounted student tickets!

Morris Performing Arts Center

Located in the heart of downtown South Bend, the Morris serves as a venue for all manner of theatrical and musical events, including several touring productions of major Broadway shows. This year’s season includes Motown, A Chorus Line, and The Phantom of the Opera. Tickets can be somewhat pricey, especially since the Morris does not currently offer discounted student tickets. Still, shows like these are prime candidates for utilizing Grad Life’s GO Grants program, which can help to defray the costs of social outings for groups of Notre Dame graduate students and post-docs.

South Bend Civic Theatre

The other main local option for drama is the South Bend Civic Theatre, a community theatre company that puts on a number of plays each year and runs educational programs for children and adults. You can attend shows, participate in classes, or even audition for your own role in an upcoming play! Regular tickets are $20-22 each, but student rush tickets are available for $10 on the day of each performance. Attending or participating is a great way of getting involved in the South Bend community.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Finally, if you are willing to make the drive, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre offers $20 tickets to all patrons under the age of 35. They regularly put on professionally-produced works by Shakespeare and other playwrights in three different venues on Navy Pier in downtown Chicago.

Of course, there are many more opportunities to get in on the drama in Chicago! Check out the performances taking place through The Chicago Theatre, The Lookingglass Theatre, The Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Broadway In Chicago, and many more.

Living Cheap in South Bend: Food

We all have to buy food, and cutting costs in this area is one of the best ways to maintain a budget. Martin’s may be convenient for its near-campus location, but you’ll find that the best prices on food are found elsewhere in town. Here are a few locations to check out that may not be familiar to students from out of state.

Aldi

Aldi is, to put it mildly, life-changing. They have all the staples you need to stock your pantry and they have them for cheap. Low prices, however, need not mean low quality. Run by the same company that runs the upscale Trader Joe’s, many of Aldi’s products contain simple, wholesome ingredients, and they even stock some local produce. Before you go, however, you’ll need to know a few things that distinguish Aldi from other stores. First, to get a cart, you’ll need a quarter, though you’ll get it back if you return your cart after loading your car. Second, you’ll want to bring along reusable shopping bags. If you forget, you can always pick up empty boxes for free in the store or buy bags for five cents apiece. Thirdly, items like produce are not sold individually, but in bags or boxes. That produce is cheaper per pound than at most stores, but you buy more of it at once. All of this helps Aldi to offer its customers lower prices on basic goods and contributes to the relatively high wages made by the employees.

Fresh Thyme

Fresh Thyme is a farmer’s market-style grocery store, stocking local, organic, natural, and specialty foods. As a result, many of their products are somewhat more expensive than elsewhere (though not as much as you might think!). Their produce and meats, however, are often available at a very competitive cost, so check their weekly advertisements for their latest sales.

Meijer

This Midwestern store has everything at a reasonable price. There are groceries, household goods, office supplies, electronics, pharmaceutical products, outdoor and garden supplies, and far, far more. If you need it for cheap, chances are good that it’s here.

Living Cheap in the Bend: Thrifty does it

One of the most effective ways to save money is to buy things used rather than new. And I’m not just talking about books! You can also save a great deal of money by purchasing clothing, kitchenware, appliances, and furniture second-hand. Here are five places to do just that in South Bend.

St. Vincent de Paul Society Community Store and The Salvation Army Family Store

Stop by and browse the ranks of used clothing, housewares, toys, appliances, and furniture at the Vincent de Paul thrift store in South Bend, all priced to sell. Here, the proceeds from your purchases will benefit the Society’s charitable activities. Many of the items are vintage, but this store is a great place for stocking a kitchen on a budget, buying cheap appliances, and replacing clothes without breaking the bank. If you already have more than enough stuff in your house, the Society also accepts all manner of donations. The store is located on the corner of Ironwood and South Bend Ave, and is open Monday through Saturday, 10 AM – 7 PM.

Alternatively, you can pay a visit to the Salvation Army Family Store, also located on South Bend Ave. Money from your purchases here goes towards the Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Centers, helping those suffering from addictions. The store is huge and they have anything that could be donated. Check their sign for daily specials on certain items. The Salvation Army store is open from 9 AM – 9 PM on Monday through Saturday. They also accept almost any kind of donation, from small items to furniture to automobiles.

Old2Gold

Old2Gold is Notre Dame’s own university-wide yard sale, benefiting a number of local charities and service organizations. Throughout the school-year, Old2Gold volunteers accept and sort donations, mainly from students, in preparation for a once-a-year sale that takes place in the summer. Most items, including appliances, housewares, furniture, non-perishable foods, bicycles, clothing, and many other things, are priced at under $5. Although the 2017 sale has already taken place, be on the look-out for the date of the 2018 sale early next summer.

ND Surplus

You won’t find furniture and office supplies for a cheaper price than at ND Surplus. University departments routinely donate old furniture, electronics, housewares, and other items. Faculty and staff can buy things throughout the week, but on Wednesdays from 1 PM – 3 PM and Thursdays from 11:30 AM – 3 PM, the Surplus Store, located at 925 N Eddy St, is open to the public. In the meantime, you can browse their inventory and prices online. You will be surprised at what you can find: besides furniture and storage cabinets, they often also have desk organizers, tablecloths, lamps, computer accessories, and even cleaning supplies, overhead projectors, and televisions!