The peculiar beauty of UD conversations

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Senior Ale Taliente and junior Erin Vance chat on the Mall between classes. Photo by Emily Ashman

G.K. Chesterton once said that “In Catholicism, the pint, the pipe, and the cross can all fit together.” I’d say that at UD, “Moana”, the Declaration of Independence and “The Iliad” can all fit together.

As a new student this semester, I was looking forward to becoming familiar with the culture of UD. I have had such peculiar and wonderful conversations with so many people in my first month here, and I think there’s something important in that.

As I gathered for Sunday brunch with some girls I had gotten close to since orientation, I noticed that our conversation ranged from the Core texts, to analyzing Disney movies through a Catholic lens, to Jane Austen novels, to random pop culture junk. 

Yet, I walked away feeling more rejuvenated and knowledgeable than I ever have. We laughed and ate Domino’s pizza, and I couldn’t help but think that I had made the right decision.

Every introvert’s nightmare is small talk, and so I had such a difficult time going through the first-week-at-college script: what’s your name? Where are you from — did you drive or fly? What dorm are you staying in? What’s your major? 

For people who have just finished the last year of high school, filled with incessant questions about what we want to do for the rest of our lives, we seemed to have “turned into the very thing we swore to destroy.” Even so, I found that the trial was soon over, and I no longer doubted if I belonged here or not.

The kinds of people I have met here have been very diverse, and I must admit that it was not at all something I was expecting. In many people’s minds, UD can hold a certain notoriety for a specific look, experience and background; and in many ways this is true. 

Our liberal arts and Great Books background can appear to be a cookie-cutter machine in which we all graduate the same way or in the same state of mind, but we’re not called “The Catholic University for Independent Thinkers” for nothing.

I think this is the very thing that makes UD, UD. It is precisely our unity in diversity that enables such peculiar and delightful conversations to arise—we don’t all think the same way, and isn’t that wonderful? 

While we are all fated to have the same Core background, our brains will never magically melt into a uni-brain that spits out mere memorized facts or formulas. Our brains will remember the conversations about Edgar Allan Poe, families who are living the American Dream, groans of “The Iliad” that turn into audible gasps followed by hasty page-turning and the big hopes and dreams that each one of us has and are courageously vulnerable enough to share.

We are a diverse student body where pop culture, the latest news and personal experiences meet on an intellectual battleground both inside and outside of the classroom. So, share your thoughts freely and don’t hold back—this is why you belong here, and you do.

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