University of Dallas Video

University of Dallas Video

My sister sent me the link to this awesome video about UD. It says exactly what I would want to say to any high school student considering UD (except it does it better). It brought tears to my eyes. It captures perfectly what UD is to those of us who love her.

Even if you have no interest in the University, you should watch this video.

This is unlike any recruitment video I’ve ever seen. It was not done by professionals; but by two students (Not that you could tell, it’s beautiful, well shot, well edited, highly polished.) It’s not an outsider’s view; but an insider’s. And that makes all the difference. It’s really a love letter to the school. Dom said watching it made him want to go to UD. It made both of us want to go back to school once again.

Here’s what the two filmmakers had to say about their project:

Our video tells a story, but there is also a story behind our video. It began a few months ago, when we sat down to watch UD’s old promo video; sadly, between the cheesy synthesizers, the poofy hair, and the big earrings, we were humored rather than impressed. Like most other promo videos, it was put together by professionals who had no idea what the university was all about.

So, between writing our senior theses, finishing our comprehensive exams, and going to end-of-the-year parties, we made the decision to create our own UD video. We had no time, no money, no equipment, and absolutely no experience. Undaunted, we borrowed a camera from our classmate, two microphones from our professor, and countless hours from our sleep schedules, and we got to work.

Armed with a tripod and our liberal arts education, we spent two weeks hurriedly interviewing our classmates and professors. By graduation, we had taken our footage and taught ourselves how to use a free trial version of a professional editing program. As the summer began, one of us (John) had to take up his job in Rome, so the other (Tommy) began to edit the movie, finding spare hours between a full time teaching job and an introductory Greek class. Exactly as Tommy was leaving to England for a summer program, our hard drive crashed. We had to ship a new one to Atlanta, where Tommy picked it up during a layover on the way to the British Isles. He carried it in his backpack, protecting it from the rain as he went camping in Ireland, Scotland, and England. The two of us met again in a priest’s house in southern England to do more editing, and then Tommy continued the work in Austria (between working two jobs for his aunt outside Salzburg).

We met again in Rome, but one of our suitcases-the one with the necessary power cords for the hard drive-was stolen in the train station. Unperturbed, we ordered a new one and spent our time filming UD’s Rome Campus. When Tommy had to return to Oxford to begin his graduate studies, John found time between his job and Italian lessons to make the final changes.

Along the way, another hard drive crashed, our software died, and our computer failed. But, through determination and grace, the video was finished. We hope you will enjoy this genuine voice of UD students and faculty—we had no budget and no script.

Clearly, we absolutely love UD. We turned down top universities (Boston College, Notre Dame, Harvard) in order to come here, and we have never regretted these decisions. UD’s Core Curriculum, Rome Program, Student Body, and open-minded Catholicity certainly put her on the top. We will be forever grateful for the rich academic and social growth UD has afforded us, for the amazing discussions and lifelong friendships. This short video is our best attempt to pay UD back. We hope you will see past any of our amateurs’ errors to enjoy the true and enthusiastic story that is now laid before you. Even if you have no interest in UD, this video could well help you decide on the sorts of qualities you are looking for in a university.

Their story made me laugh. It’s such a typical UD story. They sound like such typical UDers. I’ve never met them nor any of the students featured in a film. But I know if I sat down in a room with any of them, we’d have a great conversation. They’re family. We have a bond that unites us, a common experience and a common love.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, John and Tommy.

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  • Much thanks on the post Melanie.

    We do take Cecilia to mass Monday through Friday and Sunday (the Saturday time is just too difficult for her schedule) so I think the daily repetition is very helpful. Also, whenever we are walking with her during the consecration we do stop and direct her attention toward the altar and the bells (thank Heaven for them) are usually quite helpful in telling her something important is going on. We will also “shush” her if she starts to get too loud.

    That said she LOVES walking and would be quite content to walk the church forwards and back and would explore under every pew if we let her. She also loves to play with the envelopes that are left around the Church. We try to keep her in the pew as much as possible, but again, she is very active. We certainly are understandable of this – if we had just learned how to walk we would probably want to do it often as well – but since she is our first and we have little experience with small children, we don’t want to miss that window to form her in the proper behavior at mass.

    We may allow her to bring holy books once she is past that point of wanting to rip the pages out of any book not cardboard or bath.

    Exploring the Church at another time is a good idea, but it is a big Church and, as I said, we go almost daily, so I am not sure how much such visits might help, but I’m sure it could be worth a try.

    If that window of opportunity is say between the ages of 3 and 6 then at least I know I haven’t missed it and probably won’t miss it anytime too soon. I just know almost every example of child behavior during Mass that we see is far below what we would condone – even at her age (we saw one mom recently bring her daughter – about 6 or 7 years old – to mass with McDonald’s hashbrowns for breakfast!) – and we want to be sure we say the right things at the right time.


  • Hey Dom,

    We usually sit about half way so we will have to try sitting closer and see if it helps.

    Unfortunately our pastor has a very difficult time with any distraction, including children. So I try very hard to keep her extra quiet during his masses, esp. his homilies, but it does make me very tense. There was one incident a couple of months ago where, from the pulpit during his homily, he asked a family to remove their child because he said he simply could not continue with the child as a distraction. Now referenced as “BabyGate” (you know you are near D.C. when), I can’t help but be panicked trying to keep Cecilia extra silent when he says mass. We will probably be moving in the summer and hence changing parishes then though, so it seems silly to do too much about it now.

    Unfortunately we don’t have a separate area where we can hear the mass but we do take her near the entrance of the Church if she gets too upset. I did write the pastor previously making suggestions regarding restless children including opening up a room downstairs but I never got any response nor heard anything regarding the ideas.

    It is a shame it is so difficult for parents at our parish because it is a parish with a lot of families and many little children.

    I didn’t mean to complain so much. But we can certainly try sitting closer and seeing if that helps!

  • When we were younger growing up in Vermont a priest once interrupted his homily to scream at a woman to take her baby out. The baby wasn’t even crying but was softly cooing. My father called the priest and the priest told him he didn’t want ANY children in Mass period.

    We went to a local Catholic university to Mass for years b/c of this. There were 9 of us. When the priest was reassigned we returned.

  • I would second that sitting near the front where the child can see is very helpful.

    Daily Mass is the toughest one because there’s so many fewer folks that a child being a child is more noticeable. What’s sad is that if only more people brought their kids to Mass the few that are there wouldn’t stand out so much.

    Priests, too, can be welcoming to children by making it known that he doesn’t expect complete silence, but that if a child is getting disruptive it is not a problem for the parent to take the child out to the vestibule or chapel or wherever for a couple of minutes.

    If Bella is making her usual relatively quiet noises (babbling and the like) I don’t worry too much except during the homily. In that case I’ll take her into the chapel where we can’t see what’s going on but which has the sound system piped in.

  • Yikes!  The one Msgr. that came even close to that around here isn’t here any more, and even he just stopped his homily early, didn’t ask anyone else to leave (the people in the pews probably appreciated the child being loud!).

    I’ve considered taking my kids to daily Mass, but I’m not sure I can handle it alone.  Not due to misbehavior (my three-year-old is really very good), but due to holding a newborn and educating a three year-old. 

    I have never allowed any toys at Mass.  I used to allow a sippy cup to prevent fits, but the first time it dropped on the hardwood pew and echoed throughout the sanctuary I decided that was a bad idea.  I try to tell my daughters (yes, even the infant) what is going on in their terms, and I think it’s starting to sink in with my eldest (3 and 1/2).  She actually kneeled last week!  Genuflecting is a little harder.  I’ve thought about starting the daily Mass thing for Lent, just to give us a starting off point. 

    And, to keep going on WAY too long I’m sure, I agree with Melanie on the repetition thing.  I do often sound like a broken record, but my kid doesn’t disrupt Mass for anyone else.  And, on some things, she’s seen that Mom absolutely does not give up.  Now if there were just a perfect prescription for potty training.  Ugh.

  • One thing that might help though it sounds counter-intuitive is to let Cecelia explore the church at some OTHER time so that sheer curiosity won’t be a factor. Even though she’s young I would still explain what I was doing.  “You may explore now but not when we’re going to Mass.”  Also, if possible, sit where she can see (this may conflict with – sit where you can slink out) and holy books might really help.  Especially with pictures of the Mass.

  • Wow, those are some horror stories. We’re very lucky in that our pastor loves children. And the kids all love him too.

    I guess if you have a priest who is actively hostile to children present at mass, and an especially active child, I suppose discretion might dictate that you do wait until the child is a little older before you begin taking them to mass. it might be better to delay beginning training them to behave if you have to do it in the face of opposition from your priest.

    I’m a little torn on that. On the one hand we are talking about baptized members of the Body of Christ. I think they have a right to be present at the celebration of mass. And I think that knowing how to behave at mass, like any other habit, can only be learned by repetition. But on the other hand, you do need to have proper respect for your fellow parishioners in the pews, and, yes, for Father too. It’s one thing for mom and dad to offer up their inability to pay full attention out of proper concern for the formation of their children. It’s another thing to demand everyone else also offer it up. There needs to be a balance.

    I’ve seen far too many parents refusing to discipline their children, letting them yell and scream and run up and down the aisles. And I think it’s their behavior that ruins it for the rest of us. I can’t blame priests who get upset when they’ve had to deal with too many of those kinds of raging terrors.

    It used to be that people did not bring infants and young children to mass. Mom and dad took turns, one of them going to mass while the other stayed home with the wee folk. And for some families, I’ll admit, it seems that is what needs to happen. At least until they gain some sort of control over their children.

    As to the genuflecting thing, my sister in law had her girls genuflecting when they were two. True, it looked more like a squat with a hand vaguely waved about in the air. But she always insisted that they “say goodbye to Jesus”  before leaving the church. And now (at almost-six and four) they might need a gentle reminder at times, but often they do it on their own with no prompting.

    The same with grace before meals. She does it at every meal, even the baby’s bottle. And I’ve had a 3 year old prompt me to say grace when I’ve forgotten. I’ve even seen her say it twice because she’d forgotten that we’d said grace before eating the appetizers. When it came time to eat the main course, she crossed herself and said it again before eating. No one noticed but me, and I complimented her on remembering to that God for the food. Like I said, habits are formed by repetition. It’s probably never too early to start forming them, so long as you don’t have too great an expectation about when the lesson will really sink in.