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Fall 2019 magazine cover--When We Listen

Fall 2019

Features: Digging Toward Questions about UP's summer archeology research program in Mallorca by Jessica Murphy Moo; I Hope I Can Make You Understand What It Is Like to Be at War Forever, the story of Salvadoran grandmother Tomasa, as told to Maria Echenique and Karen Eifler; Listening to America, lessons learned by Nathan R. Sherfinski '05 when he worked the White House Comments Line; Margin Notes, Shannon Mayer's musings on the merits of writing in the margins; and Introducing Dundon-Berchtold Hall, a look at UP's newest academic building. 

Read Fall 2019 Issue

Editor's Letter - Fall 2019

A Moment

Rainbow rising above Waldschmidt HallONE EVENING IN LATE SEPTEMBER I left the office at 6 o’clock, and there was a brilliant double rainbow over Dundon-Berchtold Hall and Waldschmidt. One of the rainbows made a full arc, colors lit with a kind of radioactive intensity. It was big enough, bright enough that students stopped in their tracks to take photos. People asked to be photographed with the rainbow. Strangers spoke to each other—Did you see that? Can you believe that? One student took a photo while zooming past me on his skateboard (which I admit made me very nervous for his safety).

The moment reminded me of many things. It reminded me of the work of artist Berndnaut Smilde, who uses mist machines to create clouds inside buildings and cathedrals and at the top of airport escalators—and then photographs the cloud formations before they disappear. The interactions among strangers reminded me of the year the Red Sox beat the Yankees and broke “The Curse,” and how everyone was talking to each other about the games on the T (people don’t really talk to strangers on the T in Boston). The way everyone was facing in the same direction reminded me of people gathering to watch Notre-Dame as it burned—and I began wondering why it is we often need a tragedy to bind us, to make a hand go out to the stranger without hesitation. I started to think of the good things that have a here-and-goneness about them, like a live performance or a good meal, and I thought of one meal in particular that I shared with Fr. Claude Pomerleau, CSC, months before he died, in which we talked on and on about our love for the art form of opera.

As these thoughts were flinging around my head on my walk home, I picked up my pace because I started to think of the youth of my children as a fleeting rainbow, and I didn’t want to miss another second of it. I began to think about how the whole of our lives and civilizations are here and gone, how each moment together is an opportunity for the hand of the stranger to reach out, an opportunity to observe and to listen to one another with everything we’ve got.

— Jessica Murphy Moo

Read the full issue at ISSUU or explore the stories