It was quite secretive – I was told not to tell anyone about it so I didn’t. I got an email from the White House just asking whether I’d be interested in meeting the First Lady and when the White House comes aknockin’ you don’t say no! It was very West Wing.It was quite secretive – I was told not to tell anyone about it so I didn’t. I got an email from the White House asking whether I’d be interested in meeting the First Lady and when the White House comes aknockin’ you don’t say no! It was very West Wing.It was bizarre being held up as a role model, nobody thinks about themselves in that way. But I think it was such a good experience for the girls. There’s so much in the press about the type of background university applicants do or don’t come from, but when I was speaking to them it was great to hear that they thought their grades were the issue, rather than where they were from. That wasn’t even a factor. They were so curious about Oxford. We visited some renowned female professors and there was a real focus on female leadership. I think Mrs Obama translated that into her speech when she talked about solodarity amongst women. I couldn’t get over the symbolism of the day: Mrs Obama behind a podium with all these portraits of dead white men hanging up behind her and such a strong female gathering in front of her.When I spoke to Mrs Obama, she was gracious and loving and told me how amazing and interesting she thought I was. I just thought ‘No, I’m the one who’s amazed!’ What I really took away from the day was what she said about deconstructing labels. There’s so much stress on how it doesn’t matter what background you’re from and that’s true – obviously, people like her and her husband are testimony to that – but she was so interested in what people think about themselves as opposed to what other people say about them. That message of solidarity, being confident and believing in yourself was the most important. thing. Once you know who you are you can do anything. It was quite secretive – I was told not to tell anyone about it so I didn’t. I got an email from the White House asking whether I’d be interested in meeting the First Lady and when the White House comes aknockin’ you don’t say no! It was very West Wing.It was bizarre being held up as a role model, nobody thinks about themselves in that way. But I think it was such a good experience for the girls.There’s so much in the press about the type of background university applicants do or don’t come from, but when I was speaking to them it was great to hear that they thought their grades were the issue, rather than where they were from. That wasn’t even a factor. They were so curious about Oxford.We visited some renowned female professors and there was a real focus on female leadership. I think Mrs Obama translated that into her speech when she talked about solodarity amongst women.I couldn’t get over the symbolism of the day: Mrs Obama behind a podium with all these portraits of dead white men hanging up behind her and such a strong female gathering in front of her.When I spoke to Mrs Obama, she was gracious and loving and told me how amazing and interesting she thought I was.I just thought ‘No, I’m the one who’s amazed!’ What I really took away from the day was what she said about deconstructing labels.There’s so much stress on how it doesn’t matter what background you’re from and that’s true – obviously, people like her and her husband are testimony to that – but she was so interested in what people think about themselves as opposed to what other people say about them.That message of solidarity, being confident and believing in yourself was the most important. thing. Once you know who you are you can do anything.
The late Fr. Theodore Hesburgh enjoyed cigars and reading newspapers in the afternoon. He continued to smoke cigars every day, but once his eyesight began to fade, students would read newspapers to him in his office on the 13th floor of the Hesburgh Library. Senior Beth Spesia was one of these readers. She began working her freshman year at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, the founding of which was inspired by Fr. Hesburgh’s work. To return the favor, the Institute sent one student to read to Fr. Ted every afternoon. “I started working at the Kroc Institute my freshman year in the fall,” Spesia said. “I didn’t know this at the time, but a part of the job is that office sends one student every afternoon to read to Fr. Hesburgh. Since the Kroc … [has] a really strong tie to Fr. Hesburgh, they send someone every day. As a first-semester freshman, I started going once a week to read to him. I knew Fr. Hesburgh was a big deal, but after a few times going, I realized I didn’t really know enough about him, so I remember getting ‘God, Country, Notre Dame’ in the library. It was a very meta experience, [reading] ‘God, Country, Notre Dame’ in the Hesburgh Library. It was a very Notre Dame experience.”After the news of Fr. Hesburgh’s death Thursday night, Spesia said she “had a moment” in the McGlinn Chapel to herself and reflected on the time she had spent with the Holy Cross priest. “When I heard the news, I was by myself,” Spesia said. “It was obviously really sad, and I just felt like there was a sadness everyone on campus was experiencing. “I also immediately felt so grateful that I had all of these hours I had spent with him. It just kind of hit me hard at first.”Spesia recounted the many hours spent with the former University president. “The first time I went, I was really nervous,” Spesia said. “I knew I was going to read for a very important person. At that time — back when I started freshman year — I would read close to three hours, which can be kind of tiring. I was nervous that I wouldn’t do a good job reading, and I was nervous that I would mispronounce countries that I should know how to pronounce or something.” Although Spesia was corrected many times over her four years reading, she said, Hesburgh’s corrections always came from a good place and were valuable to her. “I did get corrected on some of my pronunciations, but it was a good learning experience,” Spesia said. “There were sometimes that I thought he would be asleep — I would be an hour and a half in, page 10 of the New York Times — when he would awake out of nowhere and correct me. He would say this is the correct way to pronounce it, it means this and he would give me a definition. It was great. I loved it.”Spesia said she was definitely not cut out for handling Hesburgh’s cigars, however. “One time Melanie [Chapleau], his secretary, was busy doing something so he asked me if I would light his cigar,” Spesia said. “I don’t think I did the best job of it. I was trying to angle myself, I couldn’t get the lighter to work and it was just a disaster. So I think it was best that I just stuck to my reading.”Sophomore Madeleine Paulsen, another one of Fr. Hesburgh’s readers, said that she learned how to cut and light cigars from her time reading to Fr. Hesburgh.“He usually had a cigar already, but if it went out, if he wanted a new one, or on the rare days when he didn’t have one originally, I would get him a new one,” Paulsen said. “Fr. Ted actually taught me how to cut and light his cigars, as it was something I had never done before last summer.”The literature that the students would read aloud was always the same: The Observer, the New York Times and if he was up for it, Time Magazine, Spesia said. “He always liked to start off with The Observer, he would say, ‘We’ve got to figure out what’s going on around here first before we figure out what’s going on in the world,’” Spesia said. “I always thought it was really cool that he still wanted to hear what professors were given awards and what lectures were going on. So I would usually read the main stories of The Observer and the some of the letters to the editor and the editorials.“Sometimes when we would finish the New York Times, we would read Time Magazine. The one thing that I really liked about reading to him was that he really knew what he liked to hear, so if I was reading a story and he had gotten enough out of it, he would say, ‘That’s enough, let’s go to the next one.’ Sometimes he would ask me what I thought about things. At first, when I was a freshman, this was very intimidating. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh. Fr. Hesburgh wants to know what I think about the Middle East, what am I supposed to say now?’ But I definitely got more comfortable talking to him.”It was in Fr. Ted’s nature to make people feel comfortable, Spesia said. “Everyone who meets him right away I think would agree with me that he puts people at ease like no one else,” she said. “He is — was — just a kind, gentle soul that even for a scared freshman, I felt that right away I had an ease in that maybe I wasn’t expecting.”Junior Kerry Walsh, another one of Fr. Hesburgh’s readers, said that he truly cared about every person that walked into his office.“My absolute favorite part of reading to Fr. Ted was always at the very end, when he told me to stand in front of him to be blessed,” she said. “He would ask God to watch over me, and told me that I would be in his prayers. I constantly left his office in awe of how lucky I was to spend so much time with him.”On football weekends, many people would stop into Fr. Hesburgh’s office in an attempt to meet with him, Walsh said.“In these moments, I was acutely aware of how lucky I was to be with Fr. Ted,” she said. “Some people just wanted to meet him once in their life, and I got to see him and talk with him every week. People often brought medals or jewelry to be blessed by Fr. Ted, and I felt incredibly privileged to be blessed by him every week.”Reading often turned into discussing, reminiscing and other stories, Spesia said. “He’d comment lot on the news,” she said. “Some days he was chattier than others, but sometimes it would be commenting on the news, and sometimes it would be reflecting. Something I would read to him would jog a memory about a trip that he took once, and he would tell me about it.”Fr. Hesburgh was especially vocal about the Iraq War, the American government’s struggle with bipartisanship and race relations.“The last four years with a lot of the news that were about Iraq, he would talk about the times he had traveled there,” Spesia said. “Anytime there was a story about the conflict between the Democrats and Republicans, he would get a little worked up about it because his whole thing was that we need to get through it and work together. So that would get him going.“He would bring up issues related to the work he did in the Civil Rights movement with things that are relevant today like the Ferguson incident. He commented on that a few times. He was sad about the situation, and he talked about how all the work that had done for Civil Rights to give people a voice.”Spesia studied in Chile in the spring 2014 semester. Upon her return this past fall, she noticed that Fr. Hesburgh was different. However, she said reading seemed to get a positive reaction from Fr. Ted, and it appeared to be helpful to him. “So I would just say — from the fall of my junior year until when I came back the fall of my senior year — he just seemed older,” Spesia said. “He just seemed more tired. There were some days he wouldn’t chat as much while we were reading. He was always really sharp — he was still having visitors, even this semester — so I think hearing the news every day he enjoyed it in a way because it would make him think of stories and keep him up to date on what was going on in the world. So when he kind of started slowing — I could just tell, and I think other people could tell too — that he just seemed slower.” From her the start of her freshman year in August 2011 to now, Spesia noted a shift in her interactions with Fr. Hesburgh, but she also noted that he remained true to his values and opinions, especially on education. “Our conversations definitely changed throughout the years,” Spesia said. “This past year he was slowing down a bit. He always would ask me about my major because I think he would just be refreshing his memory. He would ask, ‘Who are you again, and what’s your major?’ I would tell him the Program of Liberal Studies, and he would say, ‘That’s the best one we have,’ which is really great.” Spesia hadn’t read to Hesburgh since Feb. 10 because of his failing health and the cold weather, she said. “I haven’t gone in in the past a couple of weeks because he hadn’t gone into the office because it was too cold, she said. “I think he was getting a little sick too, and it would just be too dangerous to go out in the cold. That was a bummer, missing a few weeks, because reading to him every week was always the highlight of my week. “It was just a nice routine. I would go in there and it wouldn’t matter what other stresses I had going on in my life, it was just this peaceful sort of relaxing time, where I would get into this rhythm of reading and being able to have conversation. I really enjoyed the part of the week where I got to see him. Even before he passed away, I was like, ‘I hope next week it’s not this cold, so I can go read to him.’”Walsh said Fr. Hesburgh’s legacy will be the kindness that he extended towards others.“The feeling of meeting of befriending Fr. Ted is truly incredible,” Walsh said. “For me, the kindness and attentiveness Fr. Ted extended to me made me strive to be a better person. It may sound corny, but when you meet Fr. Ted, you kind of feel like you’re meeting the next closest thing to God.”Fr. Hesburgh was a world-renowned activist and scholar, Walsh said, but he was first and foremost a friend.“I think that’s the beauty of Fr. Ted,” Walsh said. “Despite his lofty achievements and celeb status, he was always a true friend to all he met. I can’t ever thank him enough for his contributions to Notre Dame, to the study of peace, to the United States — but most importantly, I can’t thank him enough for being a friend.”Spesia said she values her time with Fr. Hesburgh above any other experience at Notre Dame because of what she learned from him. She said although she was only reading to him a couple hours every week, it meant a great deal to her, and she took away a lot from those meetings. “I guess I really just got to observe how much he cared about others, about Notre Dame, about individual students who had come to see him, about the world really,” Spesia said. “That was the nature of our discussions, about issues going on in the world. He was just so giving of his heart to the Notre Dame community that I think there’s a reason that he’s so beloved by students even of my generation because people still felt this connection to him that they could go into visit. “He’s a living legend. I always was really in awe of him — and going into his office, it’s hard not be, there’s pictures up of presidents, awards left and right — but getting to know him in such a regular, routine way, and the time we had together when I would be reading, I got to see what a truly great person he was outside of all of the amazing things he had done and all the awards he had won, and for that I am truly grateful.”Associate News Editor Kayla Mullen contributed to this report.Tags: Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, Hesburgh Library, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, memorial
The meeting took place ten days after Argentine environmentalists lifted a three-and-a-half year border blockade protesting a pulp plant they accuse of contaminating the Uruguay River. “I’ve brought a proposal for the monitoring of the Uruguay River, based on science and in the interest of resolving this issue as quickly as possible and turning our attention to tasks as important as the union of our peoples,” Argentine foreign minister Héctor Timerman said at a press conference in Montevideo. Tuesday morning, before traveling to Montevideo, Timerman declared that Argentina and Uruguay are “almost there” in resolving the lengthy conflict. By Dialogo July 01, 2010 Argentina proposed to Uruguay that they perform “complete, extensive, and absolute monitoring” of the river they share, the center of a prolonged conflict between the two countries, and Montevideo announced that it would make a counterproposal next week. In his first foreign trip after taking office last week, Timerman met for forty-five minutes with his Uruguayan counterpart, Luis Almagro, after which they were joined by Uruguayan president José Mujica and vice-president Danilo Astori for a two-hour joint lunch. In April, the International Court of Justice in The Hague found that Argentina had not provided “conclusive evidence” that the plant, owned by Finnish firm UPM (formerly Botnia), was contaminating the river and demanded that the two countries carry out joint environmental monitoring within the framework of the Uruguay River Administration Commission (CARU). As far as Brazil’s possible participation in the monitoring is concerned, the two foreign ministers indicated that this is something that the presidents of the countries involved will have to determine at a later stage. “We are ready for complete, extensive, and absolute monitoring of the entire Uruguay River along both banks and with all the guarantees that we all should have in favor of the environment,” he added, while refusing to disclose further details about the Argentine plan. On 2 June, Uruguayan president José Mujica and Argentine president Cristina Kirchner committed themselves to establishing criteria for the environmental monitoring of the river within two months.
Chennai: Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have started their preparations for the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and that means veteran wicketkeeper MS Dhoni will be seen on the cricket pitch for the first time since the semi-final of the 2019 ICC World Cup. However, the occasion also marks the return of Suresh Raina, who commands the kind of fan following in Chennai that is arguably second only to Dhoni.CSK tweeted a video of Raina returning to the camp and greeting Dhoni and the rest of the players. “Me3t and Gree7 – Every day is Karthigai in our House, a film by Vikraman Sir,” said the three-time IPL winners in the tweet. The post has received over 4500 retweets thus far and nearly 25,000 likes.While Dhoni has been absent from the Indian team since August 2019, Raina’s last international game was in July 2018 in an ODI match against England at Headingley.He, however, remains an integral part of the CSK squad and one of the all-time greats in the history of the IPL. With 5368 runs at an average of 33.34, Raina is only behind India and Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli in the all-time highest run-scorer list of the tournament. Raina is also second in the list of most IPL fifties of all time with 38.CSK will start their IPL 2020 campaign against defending champions Mumbai Indians on March 29 at the Wankhede Stadium in what will be a repeat of last year’s final. IANSAlso Read: I credit MS Dhoni for changing face of Indian cricket: Moin KhanAlso Watch: House maid arrested for allegedly murdering elderly woman in Tinsukia