Letter from the Editor

Author: Greg McKenna

“Am I actually ever going to use this in real life?”

It’s a question I’ve heard my friends pose since elementary school. I wasn’t innocent either.

Constantly glancing at the clock, squirming in my chair, 8-year-old me and my peers just wanted to be anywhere else. “Maybe it’s time to ask to use the bathroom,” I would think. “Ooh, fill up my water bottle. Heck, why not both! Am I really going to use this?”

The answer, it turns out, is often yes. Forget the trick to divide by 10, and you might leave a bigger tip at Valentine’s Day dinner than you planned.

Today, however, it’s easy to get cynical while you’re sitting in lecture, wondering whether all the molecular models you built in organic chemistry or the different methods you memorized to calculate Gross Domestic Product are really worth it. Once the test is over, all that information is where your flex points are by this point in the semester.

Already gone. (Or at least seriously diminished.)

All for what? A degree? How much is that really worth? (Actually, I’m in Arts & Letters, so don’t answer that.)

And yet, taking our education for granted is likely one of the biggest sins we could commit.

Read our cover story to learn about how a Notre Dame professor and her students are leading an effort to help a school in rural Uganda forge young women who are brave and innovative leaders.

Meanwhile, in our new series “32 under 32,” we want to eventually highlight the aspirations and accomplishments of one student from each of our 32 residence halls. We start this month with a junior living in Dunne Hall fighting pancreatic cancer with pottery and a senior from Walsh Hall investigating agrochemical pollution while advocating for fellow first-generation low-income students.

Before you head to Bengal Bouts, take an in-depth look inside “The Pit.” In the underbelly of the Joyce Center, hundreds of boxers have been preparing for months to continue a century-old university tradition and the fundraising effort at its core.

That’s all before I even mention the art we walk past in Duncan every day, the students sharing their love of fitness upstairs as instructors for RecSports and so much more.

Of course, a healthy dose of cynicism can still be beneficial. Our opinion section invites you to question whether the robot invasion of campus is worthwhile. (Those Grubhub bots are undeniably cute, though.) And in humor, a British student explains she’s had enough of your fascination with her accent.

Don’t forget, however, that there are thousands of people (and probably you, too!) in our community doing cool things. Helping people. In, yes, real life.