Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Redeem the Time


Before his death in 1974, Frank O'Malley, a Professor of English at the University of Notre Dame, would come to be, in the words of Tom Stritch, "the most brilliant teacher of humanities Notre Dame has ever known." Unabashedly dedicated to the liberal arts tradition and the value of educating young minds in the same, he spent nearly 50 years teaching undergraduates in reading-and-writing-intensive courses covering the breadth of the Western literary tradition. He never earned a Ph.D. (rejected an offer from Princeton to do so), and spent all of his years teaching and living at Notre Dame in the dormitories as one of the last of Notre Dame's "bachelor don's".

I would add more, but Ralph McInerney has done a much better job of it. Click the title of the post to access a short and wonderful profile of the legendary teacher. (Also, see: http://ethicscenter.nd.edu/inspires/fomalley.shtml)

A particularly penetrating quote from Professor O'Malley:

“Teaching involves a selfless dedicated concern for the unique working out (to adulthood) of each soul, a delicate sense of the peculiar needs and aspirations of each, for the peculiar way with knowledge, that is each one. This sympathy, this capacity to appreciate the requirements of another’s fulfillment...seems a function of prudence, perhaps an extension of the prudence of the father. The teacher must respect the delicate sacred interiority of each student, he must encourage the timid efforts at genuine utterance and integration.”

God bless you, Frank O'Malley.

2 comments:

Michael said...

Be sure to check out the great "O'Malley Syllabus" on the Center's website.

Darragh said...

haha, you lifted that picture straight from the cententer's website...