old checks, never cashed

May 24, 2016 – month of daily flower & buddha photos – Day 24

back robe

aloha 3

photos © May 2016  Dainichi Norai Buddha hand-painted porcelain, Japan c1900

aloha shirt hibiscus flower, fabric print on rayon, Hawai’i, c 2010


Frank O’Malley

(d. 1974)

He was a university professor who “never earned a doctorate, taught a graduate seminar, or wrote a book.” He never married and, after entering Notre Dame as a freshman, never again lived outside a campus dormitory.

Yet O’Malley is widely esteemed as one of the great educators of our time. By all accounts, his lectures were inspiring and his devotion to his students unwavering. He knew them each my name and never forgot a one.

O’Malley disliked grades and once gave out more A’s than he had students. Distribute the extras to others who need them, he told the dean.

Professor O’Malley’s Dorm Room

All anyone could find in it:

A bed lumpy with books

old essays    by students

old books     by former students

old checks   from students repaying loans

never cashed.

Philip Harnden, Journeys of Simplicity: Traveling Light with Thomas Merton, Basho, Edward Abbey, Annie Dillard & Others. 2003