From the Editor's Desk

From the Editor’s Desk: Great Lakes, Great Company

Mary Norkol | The PhoenixMary Norkol and her cousins, a fraction of whom are pictured here, grew up spending summers in Eagle Harbor, Michigan on the shore of Lake Superior.

This past weekend, I drove from Chicago to Marquette, Michigan for my cousin’s wedding. No surprise, it was a blast. And even less of a surprise, my body still hurts from dancing for hours in heels. 

It was a jam-packed weekend of people, food, drinks, dancing, people, hugs, conversations and more people. Coming from a big family — my mom has eight siblings, meaning I have enough first cousins to comprise a small army — I’m used to the hustle and bustle of family events. I’m used to appreciating every spare minute alone with my thoughts instead of hearing various family members debating, singing, competing and trying to catch one another’s attention.

On the way home from Michigan Sunday afternoon, I was in and out of sleep. The unavoidable exhaustion, though almost unbearable, was a sign of a successful wedding weekend. But each time I opened my eyes long enough to comprehend my surroundings, I was comforted by the presence of a Great Lake. Marquette is situated on the shore of Lake Superior, and we followed the shore of Lake Michigan all the way back to Chicago.

My parents both grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan close to Lake Superior. When I came to Chicago for school, I was caught off guard by just how comforted I was by the presence of another Great Lake just steps away from my dorm and classes. 

Ask anyone who knew me when I was younger and they’ll tell you I’ve always been a water bug. No matter the temperature, I’d spend hours fighting the waves at the Great Sand Bay in Michigan or playing Marco Polo in my family’s inflatable pool. 

I remember being 11 years old when my dad and uncle were working to remove the dock from the lake where my grandma lived. It was Oct. 21 in Upper Michigan — when describing the water as frigid is an understatement. I wasn’t involved in the operation until my mom walked in the basement door and interrupted my very important TV-watching time. 

“Mar,” she began, grinning and shaking her head. “They need you.”

Turns out, my Uncle John had dropped a drill in the lake. Given my infamous reputation for loving freezing cold water, I was the only viable option to jump in the lake and retrieve the drill. So I did.

This weekend, driving home from a days-long frenzy of family shenanigans, I came to the realization that despite the craziness, I’ve always been able to find solace in a Great Lake. Something about the way the temperature shocks the body and the way all sounds become muffled the second your head is submerged in water gives me a sense of calmness that can be rare when coming from a family like mine.

Don’t get me wrong, a lot of the reason I love the water stems from my family traditions. From sprinting out of the sauna and off the dock into the lake and watching the steam rise off my body, to stripping to undergarments to swim when we didn’t plan ahead enough to bring swimsuits — I have more memories than I can count. These lakes have bonded me with my crazy cousins in ways I hope I never forget, even if I need to seek refuge from the chaos that comes with my one-of-a-kind family.

In our last issue before a short hiatus for fall break, the news section provides an overview of Loyola’s annual report on crime on and near campus. Reporter Rylee Tan takes a Closer Look into the trend of birds getting hurt and dying as a result of Loyola’s buildings.

The sports section looks into the Loyola women’s volleyball team’s young core, with three first-year students on the starting lineup. A&E debuts a new column titled “Off the L,” where a reporter gives recommendations for places accessible from Loyola via the CTA Red Line.

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