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NEW OFD STAFFER: Hello, my name is Hayden!

I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship...

Courtesy of Lin Wang

Howdy there.

Like the headline says, my name is Hayden, and I’m very excited to be joining One Foot Down as an intern writer. I couldn’t be more thankful to the Site Manager, Emperor, Supreme Warlord and Defender of the Faith himself (although he simply prefers “Your Majesty”), Joshua Vowles, for giving me this opportunity. So, I’m taking the chance to let you get to know me just a little bit better.

I’m a former Domer (and Zahmbie)

Courtesy of Darrin Adams

I graduated from Notre Dame this past summer and had the privilege of living in the objectively best dorm on campus (if you ignore the lack of AC, the rampant door panelers and fire alarm pullers, the elevator unrenovated since its installation in 1937, the roaches and that one 2nd floor toilet that gets drafty in the winter) for the last four years of its existence before the University elected to whitewash the community: Zahm House.

(I’m not gonna rehash that controversy. I’ll certainly admit that Zahm had its less-than-savory aspects, but it had its positives as well. If you want my take on it and my Notre Dame experience as a whole, I’ll refer you to my farewell piece in The Observer; and here is everything else I wrote for The Observer, just cause).

Whenever I wasn’t indulging in the luxuries of Notre Dame, I also worked towards a double major in Physics and Film, Television and Theatre (TV concentration) with a minor in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. I’ll let you figure out how that educational journey led to me currently being enrolled in my first year of law school because your guess is as good as mine.

“I am the Entertainer”

Outside of my, let’s call it, ‘conventional’ education, my extracurriculars inncluded acting in/stage managing shows for the Not-So-Royal Shakespeare Company of Notre Dame (all the world’s a stage…), working my way up the food chain to become sports editor of The Observer (stan student journalism!), and dressing up in a gold morph suit to entertain the masses of fans on home football game Saturdays (can’t believe they actually paid me to do that; talk about highway robbery).

If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a thousand times: that morph suit is absolutely liberating
Courtesy of Lin Wang

Now, please allow me to take this chance to note just how fulfilling it was to have served as Observer sports editor during the 2020-21 academic year considering my ascension coincided almost exactly with the COVID-19 pandemic putting classes online and potentially derailing all the sports we would have been able to cover. And yet, my staff and I managed to churn out content without fail. My condolences to my bosses who not infrequently had to proofread my 2000-word columns, but hey, something had to fill all those inches in print.

And speaking of COVID-19 cancelling things, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the Zahm House interhall basketball team was on an unstoppable march to the 2020 B league championship (2-1 regular season, 1-0 postseason) until the pandemic sent every student home. Clearly, I will never get over this. But speaking of basketball…

I am from Kentucky, and I make no apologies

I’m from Lexington in the heart of the state, so on the bright side you don’t have to worry about me being obnoxious about any professional sports teams (except for AFC Richmond, of course; BELIEVE!). That said, I was indoctrinated into the cult of University of Kentucky basketball at a young age. I’m sure that will rub some the wrong way for one reason or another…

Notre Dame v Kentucky Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Yeah… let’s not discuss which side I was rooting for in that game. Just rest assured that I have since seen the light — “the light” being the never-ending pit of despair that is the post-2017 Notre Dame men’s basketball program. Hey, at least women’s basketball and baseball are back on the rise. And finally…

I have no idea what I’ll be doing here

Like I said, I’m just a lowly intern. I fortuitously heard His Majesty’s call for contributors on a recent OFD podcast and jumped on board. Plus, I’ve got this whole law school thing taking up a bunch of my time.

All this to say that I’m flying a bit by the seat of my pants with this arrangement. Whether I’ll be doing some wraps and previews, a few columns, or some film breakdowns, who’s to say? I’m just happy to be here. I hope you’re happy to have me (or that my backstory at least moderately entertained you).

via Tenor