Recently it seems that every year has been crowned historic in nature for one reason or another. But 2020 actually fits the bill, if only due to the sheer number of pivotal moments it has yielded.
When we think about the past, the term ‘flashbulb memory’ comes up sometimes. There are moments so critical and weighty that we can’t help but remember vividly everything about the instant that we found out. For the generation before ours, many might think of the tragedy of 9/11 as a collective flashbulb memory.
But, for us, in the Notre Dame community, the year 2020 has provided us with an almost ceaseless stream of these indelible memories.
When we found out that we would be completing our spring semester remotely due to the coronavirus.
When we found out that we’d be able to return to campus in the fall for in-person classes.
When we found out we’d be allowed to attend football games in person.
When we found out that Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. had been diagnosed with COVID-19.
When we found out that alumna Amy Coney Barrett had been nominated and subsequently confirmed to the Supreme Court.
When we found out two dear members of our community had been lost to us in a tragic accident, and a third was recovering in the hospital.
It can be hard to believe that all of these things have occurred over the course of a year. Even harder to believe that the year is still not over. And as we’ve grappled with the full spectrum of emotion these events have provoked — from fear and anger to joy and profound grief — normal daily life has somehow continued to unfold around us.
This issue of Scholastic explores some of that normalcy. In our News section you’ll find a piece detailing the ways in which federal updates to Title IX are playing out on campus. In the culture section you can learn about the Writing Center’s joint research with the Moreau College Initiative and in Sports about the volleyball team’s great start to the season. If you’re looking for a laugh, check out our Humor section for a story with some special sources — Notre Dame’s cockroaches.
This issue’s cover story explores a topic that has been on the minds of many for a while: the presidential election. Although we’ve had plenty of other things to think about and do, the election has permeated campus in several ways. From demonstrations to increased political engagement, we investigate how students are responding to an increasingly tense political climate.
2020 may be one of the most memorable, and potentially difficult, years of our lifetimes. While one day we might look back on some of it with nostalgia and awe, living through it isn’t always pleasant. Remember to take care of yourself and face each day one moment at a time.