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Students plunge into cities

first_imgInstead of spending winter vacation relaxing or earning money, several Notre Dame students donated their time to the underprivileged in their own backyards through the Center for Social Concerns’ Urban Plunge program. Bill Purcell, the Center’s associate director for Catholic social tradition and practice, said this year’s theme was “Raising Voices in the City.” Urban Plunge is a one-credit learning course that focuses on urban poverty in the United States, Purcell said. Students participate in a 40-hour immersive volunteer experience, usually in cities close to their homes. Purcell said 210 students were chosen out of 280 applicants to this year’s program. These participants attended three preparatory class sessions about Catholic social tradition late in the fall semester. Various professors taught the class sessions, including Mary Jo Bane, a political science professor from Harvard University who specializes in poverty studies, Purcell said.  Chris Weber, a sophomore from Chicago, Ill., said he decided to participate in the program after hearing positive feedback about Urban Plunge from his roommate. “From him, I learned that it would be a service trip over winter break,” Weber said. “When I saw that there were a couple of sites located in Chicago, I thought, ‘Why not?’” Weber said he did not know what to expect from the experience but was confident it would be worthwhile.  “Even after the three Urban Plunge classes before break, I had no greater understanding about the nature of the service I would be doing in Chicago at the Amate House site,” Weber said.  “However, I was pleasantly surprised by the welcoming atmosphere there.  The house staff was kind, funny, entertaining and generous.” Weber said he felt at home after getting to know everyone through conversation, games and prayer. “Over the course of the next two days, my fellow Notre Dame volunteers and I visited four different locations to lend our help,” Weber said.  “We were able to get a sampling of various services: decorating Rice Krispies treats with the elderly, packing donated food goods at the Greater Chicago Food Depository, helping out a creative writing workshop for eighth graders and helping teach addition and subtraction to first graders.” Weber said Urban Plunge changed his view of Chicago and opened his eyes to an entirely different way of life. “Through these experiences, I was able to experience a whole different side of Chicago,” Weber said.  “Additionally, I was privileged to meet amazing people from different walks of life, and I met some great fellow volunteers. For these reasons, I am glad that I participated in such a great service trip.” Purcell said the Urban Plunge program predates the Center for Social Concerns, where it is currently housed. “The program started in 1967 at Notre Dame and started to expand outside of Notre Dame in the 70s,” Purcell said.  As the Urban Plunge projects continue, Weber recommended the service opportunity to others. “I would highly suggest that everyone tries an Urban Plunge at least once,” he said.,Instead of spending winter vacation relaxing or earning money, several Notre Dame students donated their time to the underprivileged in their own backyards through the Center for Social Concerns’ Urban Plunge program. Bill Purcell, the Center’s associate director for Catholic social tradition and practice, said this year’s theme was “Raising Voices in the City.” Urban Plunge is a one-credit learning course that focuses on urban poverty in the United States, Purcell said. Students participate in a 40-hour immersive volunteer experience, usually in cities close to their homes. Purcell said 210 students were chosen out of 280 applicants to this year’s program. These participants attended three preparatory class sessions about Catholic social tradition late in the fall semester. Various professors taught the class sessions, including Mary Jo Bane, a political science professor from Harvard University who specializes in poverty studies, Purcell said.  Chris Weber, a sophomore from Chicago, Ill., said he decided to participate in the program after hearing positive feedback about Urban Plunge from his roommate. “From him, I learned that it would be a service trip over winter break,” Weber said. “When I saw that there were a couple of sites located in Chicago, I thought, ‘Why not?’” Weber said he did not know what to expect from the experience but was confident it would be worthwhile.  “Even after the three Urban Plunge classes before break, I had no greater understanding about the nature of the service I would be doing in Chicago at the Amate House site,” Weber said.  “However, I was pleasantly surprised by the welcoming atmosphere there.  The house staff was kind, funny, entertaining and generous.” Weber said he felt at home after getting to know everyone through conversation, games and prayer. “Over the course of the next two days, my fellow Notre Dame volunteers and I visited four different locations to lend our help,” Weber said.  “We were able to get a sampling of various services: decorating Rice Krispies treats with the elderly, packing donated food goods at the Greater Chicago Food Depository, helping out a creative writing workshop for eighth graders and helping teach addition and subtraction to first graders.” Weber said Urban Plunge changed his view of Chicago and opened his eyes to an entirely different way of life. “Through these experiences, I was able to experience a whole different side of Chicago,” Weber said.  “Additionally, I was privileged to meet amazing people from different walks of life, and I met some great fellow volunteers. For these reasons, I am glad that I participated in such a great service trip.” Purcell said the Urban Plunge program predates the Center for Social Concerns, where it is currently housed. “The program started in 1967 at Notre Dame and started to expand outside of Notre Dame in the 70s,” Purcell said.  As the Urban Plunge projects continue, Weber recommended the service opportunity to others. “I would highly suggest that everyone tries an Urban Plunge at least once,” he said.last_img read more

Alex Wood calls velocity drop a midseason ‘hurdle’ after 7-4 win over Braves

first_imgATLANTA >> There is nothing to worry about in the standings, so the Dodgers will have to create their own concerns over the next two months.The slightly diminished velocity and admitted fatigue Alex Wood felt Thursday night will have to do for now. Wood did just fine with what he had, holding the Atlanta Braves to one run over six innings as the Dodgers won, 7-4. But Dodgers manager Dave Roberts acknowledged there will be a conversation with Wood about what he is feeling.“I wouldn’t say concern. But I would say it’s something that Honey (pitching coach Rick Honeycutt) and myself will discuss with Alex just to make sure he feels strong and feels good,” Roberts said. “I don’t think it’s a health thing. But just as we do with all of our pitchers, we’ll try to stay ahead of things. “I’m really proud of this one tonight,” Wood said. “I battled and made some pitches when I needed to. That pickoff helped a lot too.”That pickoff was a “game-changer,” Wood said.With the Dodgers leading 3-1 in the fifth inning, the left-hander loaded the bases on two walks and a single – then unloaded them by picking the runner off second and getting Brandon Phillips to bounce into a double play.“That was the play of the game right there,” Roberts said. “There was a lot of stress, bases loaded with no outs.”Chris Taylor and Corey Seager did what they could to minimize the stress. They had three hits each, including a two-run home run by Taylor, his 13th of the season. The multi-hit game was Taylor’s 10th in 18 games since the All-Star break. He is batting .405 (30 for 74) during that stretch with 14 extra-base hits, 14 runs scored and 13 driven in, another spike in a breathtaking breakout season.“There’s a confidence there. He’s had success and he’s sustained it,” Roberts said. “He went through a tough stretch there about a month ago, rebounded to get some hits and be productive. So right now there’s obviously a lot of confidence and he just finds a way to compete every at-bat.”Sean Newcomb was the other driving force behind the Dodgers’ offense. The Angels’ first-round draft pick in 2014 is struggling through his rookie season with the Braves. He walked seven – including Logan Forsythe with the bases loaded in the third inning – threw two wild pitches and needed 110 to get through 4 2/3 innings. “What he’s done the last couple years as far as workload, we definitely need to be mindful of this.”Wood pitched just 60 1/3 innings last season when an elbow injury required midseason surgery and cost him his spot in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. What he’s feeling now is fairly typical midseason fatigue compounded by the challenges of coast-to-coast travel with its disruption of sleep patterns, he said.“I feel like every starter has that point in the season where you have that little hurdle you have to get over. That’s where I feel like I’m at,” said Wood, who topped 170 innings in each of the two seasons before last year’s surgery. “I still feel like the quality of my stuff was there. It just wasn’t as consistent.“Most guys will tell you there’s usually a point in the season – whether it’s midway or three-fourths of the way, whatever it may be – where you start to feel a little fatigue. You just have to make the adjustments to get over that hurdle.”Roughed up for 15 runs in two previous starts against his former team, Wood avoided damage this time despite allowing hits in every inning. The Braves went 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position and their only run off Wood came in the first inning when Tyler Flowers’ two-out drive to left-center field scooted past center fielder Kike’ Hernandez all the way to the wall for an RBI double.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more