Letters to the editor: web extra

Author: Readers

On Father Malloy

If you think Father Malloy has preserved our Catholic identity, you lead a very narrow existence—i.e. the ND spokesperson on TV-in-house heretic McBrien and _Vagina Monologues_ for four straight years. He's a scandal and he's embarrassed!

_George Meyer
Concordia, Kansas_

Your article on Father Malloy was very interesting. His long and distinguished career as president of Notre Dame will be long remembered by the students of the University, both past and present.

Your "Measuring Up" on page 23 that summarizes the great changes the University has undergone from 1987 through 2004 is interesting. However, there is one category that you omitted, i.e. the percentage of students who were Roman Catholic in 1987 versus the percentage of students who were Roman Catholic in 2004. Congratulations on a well-done summary of the exiting president of the University.

_Connell J. Trimber '56
Alexandria, Virginia_

Family at war

I just read the article "A Family at War" in the Winter 2004-05 issue and was deeply moved, almost to tears. Sergeant Collin McMahon is indeed a hero, as are all Army Rangers and all American troops serving overseas.Personally I disagree with the war in Iraq, but as with all wars, it will eventually sort itself out, our boys and girls will come home and we will all celebrate our victory.

_Aras Peter Ulenas '93

Great issue

My love/hate relationship with Notre Dame has existed now for about 50 years, since 1955, when, as a third grader, I traded my best friend, Danny Ross, my Chris Cagle card for his Johnny Lujack card. That's when it began: my fascination with Notre Dame. An undergraduate ('69) and law degree ('72) later, depleted by the cost of expensive after-tax dollars educations for my three oldest children, add child number four in the current student body, and my fifth and final waiting and warming in his first year of high school, I sometimes feel like I have greater legitimacy in calling Notre Dame my place than donors who bestow the generous gifts that result in the namesake buildings constructed as tributes to those acts of exceptional generosity. Simply, I have spent more on Notre Dame tuition, books, fees, board, and dining hall food coupons than I have been able to set aside for my future retirement. Most recently, it has been the hate side of the relationship. I sent back the annual donor card for my Order of St. Thomas More membership last month, protesting the circumstances of the firing of Ty Willingham—he was not an effective coach, but the Notre Dame way is not the way his situation was handled-necessitated my withholding the gift.

What else could I do to express my disaffection, my disappointment, my sadness and disgust for the clumsiness displayed by those representing the University in this manner? Okay, so that lasted all of maybe three weeks—until the winter issue of _Notre Dame Magazine _ arrived at my home earlier this week. Last night I took the time to read my favorite magazine, literally from cover to cover, unlike my casual reading of the numerous other weekly and monthly print periodicals that arrive at my desk. Now I love Notre Dame again. The articles were fantastic, written in a way, with style and substance that seem characteristic of a special place, its alumni, its friends, students, and faculty, as we know Notre Dame to be. The "Task at Hand" was moving and powerful. How we can learn from the simplest of experiences that take place in our lives. The "Woman in Me" had me running to my spouse to insist that she read it, now, and fondly recalls vivid memories of her mother, who passed away two years ago, creating a perpetual void in the lives of her surviving adult children. Alumni news, the inspirational piece about Lena Jefferson and Professor Emil Hofman, the emotional and saddening story about Walter Poirier and his disappearance in Bolivia, the tribute to Monk Malloy-I have my personal Monk stories, too-all of this material delighted me and made me feel that special feeling that I can associate only with my Notre Dame. So, if anyone connected with fund raising at the Order of St. Thomas More should read this, go ahead and send me another donation card. Also, enclosed is a check paying for my annual voluntary subscription to _Notre Dame Magazine,_ the greatest bargain in print.

_Patrick K. Rocchio '69, '72J.D.
Michigan City, Indiana_

Those Breen-Phillips Babes

I was very pleased to see the profile of Breen-Phillips dormitory. However, to say the least, I was disappointed to see the explanations offered for their nickname "The Babes." Rather than some quasi-historical story of it being the Fat Dorm, they clearly earned the nickname by being the loveliest ladies on campus. Then again, I may be biased.

_Kiernan T. Mahan
Father of a Breen-Phillips Babe_

Flunking Emil's class

With all due respect to the esteemed Dr. Emil Hofman, I beg to differ. It was not that hard to fail his class. [Editor's note: Attached to this letter was a copy of Mr. Kruse's first semester report card that showed an "F" for General Chemistry I.]

_Bob Kruse '78_

Swimming victories

The purpose of this response is two-fold: First, to congratulate both the Notre Dame Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving Teams who recently won Big East Conference titles. And second, to comment on an article that appeared in the Fall 2004 issue of Notre Dame magazine.

The article featured an impressive number of Irish student athletes who competed at the Olympics in Athens, representing a variety of countries (a true testament to Notre Dame's global community). However, there was one word in the article that I believe was unnecessary. Junior Christel Bouvron swam the 200m butterfly for Singapore. In the words of the author, "She finished 32nd, last, the same result she had at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney." Simply mentioning that she placed 32nd would have been sufficient. Including the word last was not in the spirit of Notre Dame, and referring to her place at the Sydney Olympics was equally as unnecessary. At the 2005 Big East Championships, Christel was the top performer for the Irish team. She was the Big East Champion in both the 100y and 200y butterfly. Christel has come a long way from home to represent Notre Dame as an athlete and to establish herself as a dominant force in American collegiate swimming. She is a hero in her home country, and the author could have been more generous in his choice of words to commend her outstanding achievement. Congratulations to the Irish swimmers and divers. _John Hudson '03
Yokohama, Japan_

Irish talk

As a bilingual (English/Irish) Irishman living in the U.S. I enjoyed your article "Irish tongue becoming talk of campus" in the Winter 2004-05 issue in which you describe the Keough Institute's Irish language classes. I was astonished though to read Éamonn Ó Ciardha's assertion that Irish is taught in Irish schools "in a manner akin to how Latin is taught in the United States." Latin is taught only in a tiny minority of schools in the United States, and even then only in a historical or philological context, never as a medium of conversation. Irish, in contrast, is taught in every school in the Republic of Ireland (the "south," which contains 75 percent of the population of Ireland). It is taught at every level, from 4-year olds through 18-year olds, and it gets about the same amount of class-time as does English language and literature. It is taught in part as a means of understanding historical documents and literature (to the more advanced students), but mostly as a medium of conversation (just as English is taught). This has been the case since the 1930's, and as a result almost all non-immigrant Irish people can at least understand simple spoken Irish. Latin teachers can only dream of this!

_Liam Ó Súilleabháin
Houston Texas_

Human insights

Many thanks to you—and to Nancy Mairs—for a stunningly beautiful and rich reflection in "I Will Hear God" in your winter edition, 2004-05. While this piece comes out of her experience of MS, her eminently human insights are deeply theological and relevant for all who would embark on the journey to authentic spirituality. Her reflection is a real keeper.

_Barbara Schlotfeldt
Tacoma, Washington_

Back cover photos

I enjoyed the Winter 2004-05 _Notre Dame Magazine_, as I do all the issues. A suggestion: On the back cover there are photos of winter scenes on campus, many of which I recognize but some of which I don't. I've noticed such photo shoots before sometimes of doors, sometimes of scenes through windows, etc. It's fun to try to identify some of them, but I think it would be more interesting to print a description of the scenes in the photos (north door of Alumni Hall) on the inside or on a page separate from where the photo shoots appear. That way, one could try to identify or guess what's depicted but pick it out for certain.

_Thomas A. Mayer '61 J.D_.

[Online editor's note: We do offer online keys to the posters sold by the magazine but have no room in the print issue for keys to the back cover photographs. Unfortunately, keys are difficult to construct, and we don't currently have the time to do so. We'll check into offering at least an online explanation.]