Immaculata Magazine - Winter 2015 - page 33

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Looking to return to his hometown, Mooney applied for a teaching
job at Immaculata and was hired. He and his wife, whom he met at
Immaculata, have four daughters and one son and live in Downingtown,
PA. Anne Mooney Blanke, his oldest daughter, earned a Bachelor of
Music from Immaculata in 1996.
When asked to give advice to the next generation of college educators,
Mooney didn’t hesitate to pass along the advice given to him by Sister
Marie Eugenie, IHM, who served as department chair and who
hired him back in 1965: “Protect your reading time.” He remembered
her saying, “Set aside certain hours during the week and treat them
reverentially.” Mooney thinks that is excellent advice—truer today than
ever before.
And on the subject of reading, students know Mooney as the
Moby
Dick
professor, since he has taught it every year since 1965. However,
he wonders how long books will be around. “People don’t buy books
anymore; they download them and they only download what they need.
Meanwhile, students aren’t reading nearly at the pace they used to.”
According to Mooney, one book students should become acquainted
with, no matter what format they choose to read it in, is Viktor Frankl’s
1946 Holocaust story,
Man’s Search for Meaning.
He says it is a life-changing book
that students should take the time to read.
Mooney explained his love of reading by saying, “When you read a book,
you’ve lived someone else’s life. The characters in
Pride and Prejudice
are friends
and a real set of people that I know because I read the book.”
For 50 years, Mr. Mooney has inspired his students and ignited a passion for
reading that has lasted long after their graduation.
When Immaculata announced on its Facebook page on August 29 that
Mooney was celebrating his 50th teaching anniversary, Meg Daly Fischer ’79
commented, “My favorite professor! You made those words jump off the page and
come alive! So blessed to have had you for a teacher.”
Judy Durante
I may have been sitting in front
of him in this photo. He’s one of the reasons I
became a teacher. Enjoy your fiftieth.
1
.
August 30 at 6:34 am
Colleen Morris Dixon
Congratulations Mr. Mooney!
You were always such an inspiration and I thoroughly
enjoyed my class with you (late ’70s). Your words
and lessons often come to mind even today. Glad
to see that you continue to share your gift of
teaching!! Best wishes always.
1
.
August 29 at 3:55 pm
Rose Tradicante
Wonderful and congratulations!
Mr. Mooney inspired me to become a teacher of
English too! And I shall never forget his teaching
of MOBY DICK.
1
.
August 30 at 7:59 am
Theresa Stamegna
Teaching Mooney-isms for
50 years!
6
.
August 29 at 5:47 am
Maria Leach
“Paranoid people are right.” “Write the
truest thing you have to say.” “Put pen to paper and
push.” “Read it 10 times and it’s yours.” “Never, ever
watch the Gregory Peck Moby Dick movie.”
2
.
August 29 at 2:56 pm
Sarah Waterman
He taught both my mom (’84)
and me (’09)! That is an epic amount of time to do
anything, wow! Congratulations!
4
.
August 29 at 6:20 am
James Mooney
Thanks to all of you for your kind
comments. Endurance is a virtue!
8
.
August 29 at 8:47 am
James Mooney discusses the plays of Thornton Wilder during one of his classes
over the past 50 years.
Above are representative comments on the photo (left) that was originally posted to Facebook.
At press time, it had received 507 likes and 82 comments.
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