Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Professor

The gentleman who is teaching the Da Vinci Code Historical Seminar in Eden Prairie's "Adult Academy" is a retired Navy officer named George Tkach (pronounced "t'kosh"). When I talked to him yesterday he described himself as a "major fan of art history" who is "deeply interested in the Gnostic Gospels and Coptic Christianity." He was trained as an engineer, he said, and Da Vinci had always been a sort of hero to him.

George Tkach is a nice man. He chatted amiably about the lecture he's planning. But not until he'd asked me a pretty blunt question.

GT: Are you a Catholic, by any chance?

DIH: Yeah. Sure.

GT: And have you read the book?

DIH: Yes....

[Full disclosure: I read as much of it as I could stand. It's a really lousy book.]

GT: That's good. Some dioceses have outlawed the book, you know. Several bishops have forbidden their members to read it.

[Full disclosure: I called the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and asked if this was true. After an astonished "What?", the spokesman there said, "I never heard of such a thing."]

Mr Tkach is not a Catholic and has no direct experience of Opus Dei. He did have some friends who were members, and he found his experience with them "unsettling." I asked if his friends found it unsettling. He said no, in fact they were still members.

Opus Dei, he said, is "Not a part of the Catholic Church.It's an arm of the pope. They're patterned on the Jesuits. The Jesuits' motto is 'The end justifies any means.'"

[Full disclosure: This makes Mr Tkach an even crappier Latin student than I was. The Jesuit motto, Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam, is most commonly translated as "To the greater glory of God."]

This guy is teaching a seminar?



winer said...

you said it sister. what a god awful book. I am surprised at the people (I used to think of as intelligent) that love this book and spend time reading it. I was in France this fall and could not believe the people walking around museums and such and talking about how this was used in that dumb book in some way.

Pixelero said...

I knew George Tkach in Mishawaka, Indiana in the 70s. I went to school with his son Andy. Wife's name was ...Clarita? Wonder what he's doing in Minnesota. Oh, well.

And yeah, as a student of English literature (I just finished another read of 'Little Dorrit,' there's a wowser-- everything that happens in the foreground plot was actually the result of a background plot that happened 30 years previously, to an almost entirely different set of characters, who are largely left out of the current story... anyhow don't get me started), I would say that TDaVC is a pretty mundane Frito of a book.

It's all so predictable-! Every chapter ends hanging-- ooh, wonder what'll happen NOW-- until I'm ready to plotz.

True junk.

Anyhow. Happy New Year. Funny blog.

Anonymous said...

I am Andrew R. Tkach, Mishawaka High School '73, Indiana University '78.
As a self proclaimed "student of English literature," shouldn't you have considered that more than one human might share the same name before wiping this dribble on my family ?
My father, George, did not lecture, nor live in Minnesota, ever. "Wowser."
I think you should continue to hide your identity, because your poor judgement can not be hidden.

Cecelia Tkach said...

I have very little to say about George Tkach from Mishawaka, you see he was my children's grandfather; however, when his son, Thomas abandoned (1994)his three children, Kathryn, Thomas II, and Christopher for another woman, George supported his son's actions and never talked or visited his grandchildren since. Since that time, Thomas died on December 9, 2007 from complication of MRSA (which was unbeknownst to me). My son, Thomas II visited his father (while he was dying) and contracted MRSA; who then died on December 25, 2008. I still have my son's ashes on the living room table because I do not have the money to bury him. Therefore, you have more knowledge on the whereabouts of my children's grandfather than I do. Should you want to reach me

Cecelia said...


I wouldn't get so high and mighty if I were you. I believe that you as well as your whole family totally abandoned your niece and nephews the day your brother walked out on them. Your nephew's ashes are still in a box in the living room because none of you ever called to find out if I needed help. Due to your brother's (Thomas)physical and mental abuse of your newphew Christopher, he is currently in a rehab which is very expensive for me, but I pay a monthly fee out of my disability check in order to make sure he can survive from one day to the next. Maybe when he totally recovers, I can bury Thomas' II, but for now, I can not afford it. I can still remember the last words your mother, Clarita, said to Thomas II, "Don't get into any more trouble." She didn't even hug him or treat him nice (her own grandchild); and, Christopher was sitting next to his brother; and she didn't even bother to acknowledge him; and people wonder why my son decided to cope out, my beautiful son who only wanted to be loved by his father, grandparents, uncles, and aunts, but all of you were and have been too busy to bother with him.