Molarity Classic 111-115

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Author: Michael Molinelli '82

Strips 111-115 of the popular comic strip Molarity, which previewed in The Observer in 1977, follow the protest over the housing lottery, a little publication called by some “the dog book,” and the agony of finals.

Molarity by Michael Molinelli

111. The headline on The Observer was about 150 students pitching sheet tents to protest the housing lottery. The shortage of dorms meant that juniors might not get guaranteed housing in dorms on campus the following year. Father Hesburgh came out of the Main Building to talk with the students.

Molarity by Michael Molinelli

112. Edmund Price was the director of housing and the face of the administration when it came to the threatened lottery. The deal was that if not enough students opted to go off campus then the juniors would be entered into a lottery to see who got to stay on campus. At the time Grace and Flanner Halls were the newest dorms on campus and the only women’s dorms were Farley, Breen Phillips, Walsh, Lyons and Lewis. They had not even announced the construction of the Pasquerillas yet.

Molarity by Michael Molinelli

113. The professor in this cartoon was based on architecture Professor Steve Hurtt, who would literally say in class “blah, blah, blah” when he was skimming through the material. Strangely, with all the faculty and staff caricatures I did, I never got a complaint letter or any letter from any one of them. I was told the faculty read the cartoon as much as the students. About this cartoon however, I did receive a letter from a history professor who said the very thing happened to him but he got through the syllabus by “cutting out everything between Fort Sumter and Appomattox Courthouse.”

Molarity by Michael Molinelli

114. Back before social media there was a printed bound book called the Freshman Register in which our pictures appeared. It was nicknamed by insensitive people (not me) the “dog book.” BTW, in the last panel you can see in Mitch’s hair the name DEB. I guess I had not broken up with my home-town-honey girlfriend yet. For just about all the cartoons in my freshman and sophomore year you will find DEB hidden someplace. It was my Hirschfeld-Nina tribute.

Molarity by Michael Molinelli

115. This probably actually happened in the Memorial Library during finals, but I thought I made this up. The cover of The Observer has a photo of the world’s third tallest magician, Mark Davis ’82 (now Father Mark Davis), performing at a children’s party in LaFortune. I mention that only because we remained friends during the years. We met during a screw-your-roomate party at Breen Philllips, and we had more fun talking to each other than with our dates. Sorry.


See the first five classic strips. Check back monthly for more classic Molarity strips. Molarity Redux, the updated, continuing adventures of Jim Mole and friends, also is posted monthly. For those new strips, check out the cartoon archives.


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