Monday, February 19, 2007

Mommy, He's Being Mean/She's In My Room Again

Oh thank God, we're here again. I was starting to worry.

It's been five whole seconds since the The Womb has gazed lovingly upon its $40k a year navel, and, having learned absolutely nnnnnnnnnothing from the last time Notre Dame and Saint Mary's College hurled large and heavy SAT words at one another over our sick and cherished brother-sister relationship, they're hurling once more. The U.S. News and World Report rankings have been busted out, and lo, we are a happy people.

When I was a sophomore, two Notre Dame students wrote a letter to the (shared, incidentally) student paper referring to Saint Mary's women as "parasites." There was much wailing, followed by counter-wailing, followed by a task force, followed by a student summit, followed by the creation of SMC Pride Week, followed by a picnic, followed by a lawsuit, followed by a careful arrangement of skirts and graduate school applications that made everybody feel better. Until, of course, now.

"You'd better go take a look at this," emailed Doug The Reader/FriendSpouse, a Domer who happens to have married a parasite and produced two little semi-parasites of their own (being half-breeds, their children would only take up an undeserved 50% of a seat at the Notre Dame football games.)

It seems a Notre Dame student has taken exception to the headline of Saint Mary's latest written piece of self-esteem flair, "Separate and Proud." He thinks it sucks. I agree. It makes us sound like a sitcom featuring John Lithgow about a gay divorced couple.

But this kid thinks it sucks because he doesn't like the fact that occasionally Saint Mary's students get to sit two inches closer to the football field than he does, and is of the decidedly crap-filled opinion we don't offer anything in return except a sample pool for feminine hygiene ads and Official Gumball Machines, and so if we really want to be separate, and proud, then we should stay separate and proud and let the Invisible Fence of our womynly egos zap us mid-Avenue should we place one high heel upon hallowed Domer ground.

You can imagine the screeching.

I read the resultant thesaurus storm. I gave 'em three days for somebody to suggest a "dialogue" to save our souls. It took one. Awesome. I'll alert Plato.

I do not understand the screeching, or the pointing-out of the suckage that caused the screeching. Yea, verily, Notre Dame has a larger quantity of things to offer than Saint Mary's does. It has created its own expectations. It's, like, way big and stuff, and good for it. It's got pooploads of books in a thirteen story library with Jesus tiled right on it and its own fleet of shipping-receiving trucks. People don't watch a nationally televised football game seven times a year on NBC and show up on campus expecting a small handful of squirrels and a piece of posterboard upon which "This Way To The Learnin'" has been shakily lettered in Sharpie. Therefore: A locker room with a nicer bathroom carpet than the Pope's.

Saint Mary's is smaller. It's supposed to be smaller. That's its point, and good for it. I would be very worried if my womens' college started regularly shipping linebackers to the NFL draft; I would, at minimum, suggest a serious investigation of what's in the dining hall tuna salad. We have a combination dorm/chapel/indoor pool/office/classroom/dance studio building that smells like last semester's mold experiment, bless it. We have a biology faculty that could fit in my dishwasher. We have a track team that (in my era, at least) has to share its uniforms with the cross-country team. And that's what I wanted, the whole tight-knit, mentor-intense, wearing-berets-in-the-coffee-house type of thing.

Now. I also enjoyed the sibling fruits of Notre Dame's way-bigness, but that doesn't make me firmly X out the "Saint Mary's College" on my diploma and rewrite "University of Notre Dame" with a green glitter pen. What it does is makes me visit Notre Dame's bookstore and drop $70 on Glee Club CDs. Sorry for the inconvenience, brother.

My beloved alma mater can, on occasion, mount a high horse, a high horse the size of your average Budweiser clydesdale. You cannot place a page on your website entitled "Centers of Distinction" when in fact these "centers" do not involve actual buildings and fail to admit you've got at least one foot in the great stirrup of pretentiousness.

But if we have a high horse, perhaps it's because our brother school bred it, bought it, tacked it up, and led it to the Avenue entrance for Saint Mary's to ride all the way to Italy (DID YOU KNOW NOTRE DAME STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN OUR ROME EXCHANGE PROGRAM?! WELL, THEY TOTALLY DO, SIGNORE.) The price we pay for four years of football tickets, for the ice skating rink, for the world-class speakers, for the rodeo club, is a lifetime of barely suppressed "SMCs R Stoopid" snobbery, largely because our average entrance exam scores are lower, and our acceptance rates higher, than Notre Dame's. Of course they are; we only have half the population to recruit from, and our school mascot isn't plastered all over ESPN half the year. Our mascot is a gigantic paper mache bell. It doesn't translate quite as well to Officially Licenced Antibacterial Hand Soap.

Personally, my ego can withstand a few dings in exchange for the ability to hang around the Moscow Festival Ballet, because the truth of the intelligence of Saint Mary's women is the pitifully obvious cause of the entire controversy: We've found us an excellent small college that costs less than yours and would still allow us access to Billy Joel concerts. Yep, we're a real bunch of idiots.

But the perception remains, and the perception hurts our lady-feelings, and therefore we are self-hoisted into the blue, blue sky, in this glorious age of "I'm a Winner!" buttons and participation awards, by "Separate and Proud."

Of course, if everybody just read this, the suckage-pointing and the screeching wouldn't be an issue, and all war, pestilence, and famine shall cease to be.

Until then, I say with love, darling siblings...

Notre Dame, let your sister play. You'll have more fun.

Saint Mary's, stand up straight, and thank your brother.

don't make me come up there at:

Knowing a Good Opportunity When They See One UPDATE: These boys are gettin' some tonight.


mike, professional mooch said...

I leeched off of ND for two years at Holy Cross, and dammit, I want equal time.


R2K said...

: )

MissDirected said...

I believe all of the SMC exchange programs are open to ND students. And let us not forget the education program.

MB said...

They are. My ex wouldn't have gotten his specialized classes in education if it weren't for our dumb, useless selves ;)

Abby said...

You know that snobbery seems to be pretty much the normal treatment that big colleges give to their smaller siblings. You'd by the way they act like we in the community colleges are too stupid and far too lower class to go a "real" college, and therefore they are incredibly rude to us who take advantage of anything that is their God-given right to use and not share with anybody, such as the library.

red pill junkie said...


I positively HATE that word. It shows that there's something that needs fixing in the english language, if they can't come up with a word more dignifying that means a person who has mixed lineages.

But talking about the issue at hand here, I only think the status of a college comes not from the size of their facilities and the luxury of its stadiums, but from the success their former students show in their careers.

MB said...

That's why I used it, to show the idiocy of the attitude. Otherwise, "half breed" isn't a word that is in my vocabulary, in polite conversation or otherwise. It's sealed in a "for satirical purposes only" box.

Danica ND 02 said...

Well ND students have superiority issues of their own, but lets face it the ND administration has only one thing on their mind $$$$$. If SMC students will pay to see ND football games (and suffer along with all of us in the Davie era) they are welcome. ND is an equal opportunity over-charger. That said I made my way on foot back from SMC campus in calf deep snow after seeing the Keenan Revue, and I say, any SMC students who have the guts to try to cross 31/33/Dixie Highway to get to ND events deserve kudos and more respect from the ND students. :)

classickelly21 said...

Oh for the love of Pete, cheerleaders? He is mad that SMC is taking over the RA RAs. I give him points for creativity, I haven't heard that one before.

And those other boys will probably be getting some every night until spring thaw in SB.

MB said...

Danica, you rock, honeychild. I'm so glad you weighed in-- truly, you are my sister in the ND-SMC family and Davie suffering.

MissDirected said...

I agree with Danica as well. And let us not forget - we SMCers have to pay MORE for the privilege of tickets in the student section. I think the fact that we paid more money to watch Davie's stupidity should count for something, don't you?

Anonymous said...

I totally feel your pain. My beloved Alma Mater, Marymount College, Tarrytown was eaten by our brother University, Fordham just this year. It's so sad. I don't know WHERE I'm supposed to say I went to school now b/c my college is now Fordham University, Marymount Campus, yet I did not attend Fordham. My Alumna newsletter is now a News Magazine from Fordham University. How demeaning. I don't even get my own schools' request for Alumnai donations anymore. Now, they want me to give cash to someone else's school. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jonathan's article. It seems some people in these situations want the best of both worlds...without having to attain the standards of the other institution. Separate and Proud...but flashing the ND gear, going to the games, and identifying more with the other school then their owns at the times it suits them.

MB said...

Well, as far as "without having to attain the standards of the other institution" is concerned, I have nothing to show but A's for the very few ND courses I took. So I hardly think I dragged Notre Dame's academics into the mud. SMC students who graduate with a degree in ND's engineering program have to be accepted by the University at large and take all the courses any ND student has to.

As for the other half of it, I see what your point is, but just because I wear ND spiritwear doesn't mean I'm "pretending" I'm a Notre Dame student or identifiying more with my brother school. Every single day I see students in my classroom wearing clothes with the name of a college other than the one they are currently attending. It doesn't mean they are wannabes and doesn't detract from the "home school."

Danny said...

Wow, people take this entire subject far too seriously. I finally received my BSBA from University of Phoenix when I was 41. I got straight A's and care more that I received a decent education than where I went to get it.

Settle down people :(

MB said...

I know, it's a big huge Identity Thing. Can't... we just all get along?

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