The Return of the Cult of McNult

Photo Courtesy of Oakland Catholic

Photo Courtesy of Oakland Catholic

Anastasia Bodea Crisan ‘15, Eva Lucchino ‘15, and Annie Roebuck ‘15, Staff Writer, Editor-In-Chief, and News Editor

If you are a senior, then you are well acquainted with the Cult of McNult, but if you are not, then this concept is very unfamiliar (if not, check out this article).  McNult, otherwise known as Ms. McNulty, is the chair of the English Department and a Social Studies teacher at Oakland Catholic.  She teaches sophomores through seniors and is an inspiration to all.

Last school year she went on sabbatical and visited multiple countries throughout the world.  She kicked off her travels in Cuba which she traveled to with Witness for Peace, a group that makes Americans aware of the true situation in Central American countries.  Of her travels there, she says that “[t]he people of Cuba are inspiring.” From their sense of humor to their welcoming attitudes everyone she encountered seemed dedicated to  “mak[ing] the communities they belong to better.”  After leaving Cuba, she traveled to Southeast Asia, where she visited Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Myanmar.  While visiting these countries, she was exposed to various Asian societies which allowed her to expand her world view.

However, this was not the first time Ms. McNulty went traveling to one of the locations on her sabbatical trip.  In 2002, she visited Thailand.  At the time, there were demonstrations against the government in Bangkok, and Ms. McNulty witnessed it first hand.  12 years later, the situation remains unresolved.  Apart from this, the rest of the countries she visited were new to her.

Since most of the Asian countries were new to her, her view of Asia was based mostly upon her experiences in China in the early 1990s and in later years. (If you don’t know this already, McNult is a sinophile.)  Ms. McNulty has always professed a love of China, but there is much more to Asia than its most populous country.  The cultures of the other Asian countries that she visited vary greatly from China. Despite her exciting adventures, her sabbatical wasn’t all fun and games; over the past year she was developing her AP Human Geography course, which is available to seniors.  For example, one of the reasons she visited Malaysia was that “it is a Muslim country with a population made up of Malay people, along with Chinese and Indians.”  In this case she observed cultural diffusion in the form of labor migration, one of the themes emphasized in Human Geography.  Also, Ms. McNulty believes that many parts of Malaysia have more traditional aspects of Chinese society than modern day China itself.  For example, according to McNult, “Chinese culture, such as ancestor veneration, Taoism, and other traditional beliefs are still an important part of peoples’ daily lives [in Malaysia]”. Currently in China, due to the Communist Revolution and the Cultural Revolution, many Chinese, especially the younger generations, do not view traditional practices as necessary to their daily lives.

Although her sabbatical was a wonderful experience, returning to the classroom has been very rewarding so far.  Good luck with the upcoming school year, and we’re very glad to have you back, Ms. McNulty!