With the high holy day of Easter coming this Sunday, all of the ritual magic of Spring is with us. And since we finally got rid of those late Winter 80-degree days, the students can play Bookstore Basketball without fear of heat prostration.
It’s wonderful to see creation come back to life, even if it is with a little draconian help from the groundskeepers. We say farewell to the decorative cabbages and their pungent aroma (at least until they are served wrapped around some meat product), and we greet the tulips and daffodils which have been ordered to bloom, all at once, at 6:43 in the morning, on a Wednesday. Then these blossoms will be cut down seconds after they have finished the primes of their lives, and replaced with the pansies that grow like cancer in time for commencement. Julius Nieuwland may have discovered the formula for synthetic rubber, but I would love to know what’s in the juice they spray on these flowers–I can hear them growing.
Also in preparation for commencement, an unknown number of individuals of varying powers have met in conclave to select a graduation speaker. I do not want to accuse anyone of cultivating the dark arts, but surely a Ouija Board or Tarot Cards are used in this process. How else can something so simple as planning an after-dinner talk for mid-afternoon result in petty controversy every year? I bet we could drag the Pope out here to deliver a few words to the graduates, and some would still say he’s too old, he’s out of touch, and he talks funny. I used to give a graduation oration every year to the lads, and not one of them ever said any of those three things…to my face.
Of course the excitement of Easter will come early if the Lady Basketball Team can win the national championship against the Baptists of Baylor. This isn’t a religious war or anything, since these are fellow Christians–I mean, they’re Baptists, not Jesuits. The only problem with Baptists is that they won’t say “Hello” to you when you run into them in the liquor store. Yet, I seem to remember something about an infamous group based near Baylor in Waco–it was a nefarious cult that brainwashed its members into believing with one mind that the world revolved around them and only them. Fortunately, I have never heard about any such thing in South Bend.
I would hasten to remind our students that if we do win the national championship on Tuesday, there will be no Kentucky-esque barbaric burnings…primarily because there’s nothing really good to burn around here–you’re going to need those couches for a couple more weeks. Although I will make an exception to the whole “no burning” rule for North Dining Hall (with the sheer amount of grease in there, that place would be blowing flame like The Sacred Heart).
As for lads’ basketball tonight, I will be rooting for Kansas, since it has somehow become the Alumni Association’s Great Plains Headquarters.
Then last half of the week is a lot of praying and preparing for Easter. On Sunday, I host a little brunch for benefactors where we have a modified Easter Egg Hunt. Instead of eggs, I hide their wallets. Funny thing is, no one ever seems to find them again.
Son, in 199 years of religious study, I have only come up with two hard, incontrovertible facts: There is a God, and I'm pretty tight with Him.
Now I’m going to tell you a whole lot of things I’ve kept to myself for years. None of you ever knew me. I was along before your time, but you all know what a tradition I am at Notre Dame. And one of the most important things I ever said was, “Friends, sometime when my University is up against it and the breaks are beating the students, tell them to go out there with all they’ve got and win at everything for Padre. I don’t know exactly where I’ll be then, friends,” I said, “but I’ll be looking right over your shoulder.”