On Feb. 20-23, Naval ROTC midshipmen from units across the country gathered to participate in Naval Leadership Weekend on Notre Dame’s campus.Junior Max Brown said the conference emphasized developing ethical and effective leadership. “About 150 midshipmen and staff members came from all over the country to listen to really prolific and nationally outstanding leaders in the military,” he said. The conference provided midshipmen the opportunity to prepare for and examine ethical dilemmas, Brown said.Courtesy of MJ Jackson “We can all sit around the table and share and understand and form our own character and moral compass and ability to answer hard questions that we will be faced with as military officers in the future, beforehand, so that we’re ready to go forth when the time comes,” he said. There is also an ethical component to the conference, which Brown said emphasizes character development. “In the Navy, there are three things that we work for in midshipmen development: moral, mental and physical development,” he said. “Physical is making sure everyone is keeping in shape, mental is high standards for academics. “Notre Dame has always been able to lend a particularly salient perspective to [moral development], in the academic sense and the whole spirit of this place.” Freshman MJ Jackson said the symposiums and panels at the conference also discussed the qualities of successful leadership and cyber warfare. “We also talked about military ethics and emerging technologies in warfare and defense, and national security and the impacts those will have on our career as officers and the world in general,” she said. Colonel Frank Rossi, a professor of aerospace studies at Notre Dame, discussed the relationships between the military branches, Jackson said. “[He talked] about how relationships between Army, Air Force and Navy officers will become very important throughout our career,” she said. “We need to understand the different cultures of the different forces and learn how to relate to them because we are all fighting for the same goal.”Jackson said she appreciated the emphasis on communication between the branches of the military. “I think a lot of the times, in the military, competition between the branches is overstressed, instead of collaboration. I think we need time to understand each other better before we go out and have to interact in high-pressure situations.” The conference also provided the opportunity for midshipmen from different universities to meet each other, Jackson said. “It was really cool to interact with people who have very different backgrounds from me,” she said. “There’s an element of sameness because we are all going to be working together in the future, but it was kind of cool to see how some midshipmen from other schools have a completely different culture. “It was interesting to see people from different places all coming together to contribute their ideas and to have an ongoing conversation about leadership.”Brown said the large civilian population at the University makes it a unique venue for the conference. “A lot of other institutions don’t have the military component, a lot of times it’s just the military. Notre Dame provides a really cool opportunity to nationalize perspectives, and show that we’re an institution that has a broad variety of viewpoints,” Brown said. Jackson said she has since applied the topics discussed at the conference to her academic interests. “The panelist discussion we had was discussing the ethics of cyber technology and cyber warfare, so now I’m working with one of the professors to expand on that,” she said. “I’m researching the just war tradition as it applies to cyber technology and warfare.” Tags: NROTC
Drying herbs help take the tastes and smells of summer into the gray days of winter. Photo: Wayne McLaurin Traditional Way: DryingDrying, though, is the traditional way to preserve herbs. If the herbs are clean, don’twet them. Otherwise, rinse the dust and dirt from the foliage, shake off the excess waterand spread the herbs out to dry on paper towels or dishcloths. Wait until all surfacemoisture has evaporated.Remove any dead or damaged foliage. Then tie the stems into small bundles with stringand hang them upside down in a warm, dry, airy place out of the sun. Be sure to makesmall, loose bundles and allow for good air circulation around each bunch.Ultraviolet rays from the sun and moisture from dew and frost can discolor and severelyreduce the quality of many herbs. So it’s best to dry herbs indoors in a large, emptycloset, attic or unused corner of a room.Drying herbs look quite attractive in a kitchen or pantry. If none of these places ispractical, you can dry herbs in a barn or shed. Sage, thyme, summer savory, dill andparsley are easy to dry. Basil, tarragon and mints may mold and discolor if not driedquickly.Herb-drying AlternativesAn alternative to hanging herbs to dry in bunches is to spread them out on windowscreens. Suspend the screens over sawhorses or the backs of chairs. Turn the leaves oftento ensure even drying.To air-dry herbs with seeds, tie the herbs in small bundles and suspend them inside apaper bag with holes punched in the sides. Suspend the bag in a dark area with good aircirculation. Collect the seeds when they’re dry, and store them in rigid, light-proofcontainers.Microwave drying is a quick, easy way to dry small amounts of herbs. Lay a single layerof clean, dry leaves between dry paper towels and place them in the microwave for 1 to 2minutes on high power. Drying will vary with the moisture content of the herb and thewattage of the microwave oven.Let the leaves cool. If they’re not brittle, reheat them for 30 seconds and retest.Repeat as often as needed. Thick-leaved herbs may need to be air-dried for several daysbefore microwaving them. Harvest Herbs Properly for Best Flavor, Aroma The traditional way of preserving herbs is to hang it upside-down like this “sweet Annie” (Artemisia annua). Herbs get their wonderful fragrance and flavor from the oils that are released when theleaves are crushed. So, naturally, it’s best to use fresh herbs for cooking. It ispossible, though, to retain some of that fresh-herb quality for later use.There are several ways to preserve herbs. Freezing is one of the easiest. Just rinsethe herbs quickly in cold water, shake off the excess and then chop them coarsely. Placegenerous pinches of herbs in water-filled ice cube trays and freeze them. Then transferthe herb-cubes to plastic bags or airtight plastic containers.Another method is to spread the herbs loosely onto a cookie sheet to freeze, thentransfer them into a large plastic bag and seal. When they thaw, the herbs won’t besuitable for garnish, but can be used in cooking. Don’t refreeze herbs after thawing them. Photo: Wayne McLaurin Conventional OvensConventional ovens can also be used to dry herbs. Spread the herbs on cookie sheets anddry them at the lowest temperature setting possible. Home food dehydrators also do anexcellent job of drying herbs. Follow the directions provided with the dehydrator.Herbs are sufficiently dry when they’re brittle and crumble easily. When the leaves aredry, separate them from their stems and package the leaves in rigid containers withtight-fitting lids. Glass or hard plastic are best, although heavy-duty zip-lock plasticbags can be used.To preserve full flavor, avoid crushing the leaves until you’re ready to use them.Store the dried herbs in a cool, dry place away from sunlight, moisture and heat. Manyherbs can be kept for a year if stored properly.