An Unofficial look at the John Carroll School

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Artist Impression of JC campus circa 1996

Extremely Infrequently Updated Commentary

JC '96 25-Year Reunion (10/2021)

I have no idea how it's been 25 years since this all started.

A shame the reunions were thrown together last minute. I had slight hopes that due to the ongoing pandemic there would be a remote option: I live hundreds of miles from Havre de Grace and can't just bop on down for the day. But alas, I guess the reunion will happen without me.

JC Response (3/2017)

So the JC president responded, and of course it was with empty words that mostly contradicted what I had heard from primary sources. I guess that's to be expected. Then they compromised and have given Scholl the mostly made-up sounding position of "Dean of Professional Development" (which sounds a lot like "Dean of why don't you go find another job".

Anyway, in celebration, I wore my vintage JC tie, as it seemed relevant:

(Note: Scholl himself banned me from wearing this tie at one point).

Mr. Scholl (2/2017)

I've been hearing alarming rumors about the JC Board of Trustees and their plan to oust Mr. Scholl.

When I attended JC back in the early 90s, it was a pretty good school with delusions of grandeur. It was a small school out in remote Harford County and I think that kept it a little bit grounded in reality.

Since then, from what I gather, it has gone off the deep end in various ways. The one thing that kept me sort of interested (and donating the occasional gift) was the fact that many of the long-term teachers were still around keeping the tradition alive. One of my favorite teachers was Mr. Scholl. I can't even imagine JC without him around. Needless to say if JC somehow gets rid of him against his will, I'll feel no need to ever have much to do with the school again.

Class of '96 20-year reunion (10/2016)

So this year I happened to be in Maryland in October when the 20 year reunion was happening. Various things conspired against me attending, including the fact that I had to attend a wedding the next day as well as attending to a sick child.

Even despite that, I wouldn't have gone. Mostly because of the cost. How can an event hosted at JC cost so much? I suppose it's because there's an open bar. But I don't drink. And I suppose possibly my cohort would need to have a few drinks before they could put up with my presence, it's really not worth $100+ or whatever if my wife and I wanted to attend.

Sadly I can't see this getting any better for the 25th, so I suppose I'll never get to see most of the class of '96 again, alas.

New Motto Alert (11/2013)

Apparently at some point Tradition/Pride/Excellence has been replaced with Compelling/Considerate/Uncompromising. It's a shame they couldn't have gone full-alliterative. It's more fun if you negate things with extra "un-"s.

Honorable mention goes to the slogan for their "Lighting the Way" initiative. Bold Actions for a Compelling Future. It makes me think of a food commercial. Bold Flavor for a Compelling Sandwich. That makes me hunger for something compelling and uncompromising.

15 Year Reunion Update! (11/2011)

The JC Alumni magazine had some amazing coverage of our reunion. It consisted of a picture of a cake, and a picture of the back of someone's head. Great job, that really answered all my questions about what people are up to, and makes me want to spend the $$$ to go to the next one.

15 Year Reunion (10/2011)

Alas, I will not be able to make the 15 year reunion. I wasn't convinced it was worth an 18 hour drive over a weekend just to pay $100 for me and my wife to hang out in the JC cafeteria. Hopefully with those prices you got some sort of diamond-encrusted memento for your efforts. I'll have to make do with the few people I got to see at Steve D's wedding back in June.

13 Year Reunion! (6/2009)

Well there really wasn't a 13 year reunion, but I needed an excuse to post an update, and that sounded more exciting than "the current Alumni newsletter annoyed me".

Primary complaint, it looks as though they let one of the students grow sideburns because of his part in the "Bye Bye Birdie!" musical. I wish I had thought of that at the time!

The school now has an equestrian team and a rugby team. Crazy. And I thought the school was a bit over the top when we were there.

I still think forcing everyone to buy a computer and have "paperless classes" is a bad idea. But then, despite being a Computer Engineer, I am a luddite. I also dislike integration of computers because in general the software is all windows based, and since I only ever use Linux I'd probably have been forced to use proprietary software. Good thing I attended JC in the dark ages!

I'll hold off commenting on the crazy new rebuilding thing they are planning. I'm still waiting for them to act on my previous proposal.

10 Year Reunion (10/2006)

Wow! 10 years! Crazy!

I had a nice time at the reunion, but sadly a lot of people who were at the 5 year weren't at this one. Also, not many teachers showed up. I was hoping Scholl would be there, but he didn't show.

Part of the problem was the awkward timing. Hopefully next time it is over Thanksgiving when people are more likely to be in town.

A disturbingly large number of people in our class are either just about to get their PhDs, or more worrisome, just about to become doctors.

Also I hear that enrollment at JC has rebounded and they are bursting at the seams with students. Quite a change from when our tiny class was there.

Anyway that's about all I have to say about JC for now. They haven't done much to annoy me recently, except to perpetually get my current mailing address wrong.

Weird Donation Requests (12/2004)

So I get what looks like my first Christmas Card of the season... only to find that it's from JC. And bizarrely, it is a hand-written note from a Freshman girl more-or-less begging for money. Very strange. So I am to assume that JC is in such dire financial straits that students are being asked to send pleas to alumni for donations? I hope at least that the students volunteer, I can almost picture them having an "X" Bell or something and forcing the students to sit in homeroom writing these things. I was very put-off by the whole thing. I personally would prefer generic form-letter requests for money rather than this weird attempt to personalize the whole thing.

I have donated money to JC in the past, so maybe I am on the list of sucker-donors that get this special treatment. But still, I find it weird. Not to mention that current tuition rates at the school are probably almost as much as my yearly income as a graduate student. Maybe I should send in a few packs of Ramen noodles so the students in the letter-writing slave room can have a break from the traditional gruel.

Alumni Directory (1/2003)

So now some company with the permission of JC is sending me e-mails and trying to call me to confirm info on some sort of alumni directory (see here).

They are fairly unobtrusive and have indicated how to get them to stop bugging me in the e-mails, but it still bothers me at some level. Why should I have to "confirm" the way my life has gone with a complete stranger? Why should I have to opt-out of this? Sure if I had an MBA from Stanford, a fancy house in Fallston, and 2.5 kids maybe I'd be glad to brag. But sadly my answer would have to be "unemployed for 6 months, and no gf for 2 years" (although recently this has improved to the state of "living at home w my old high school job being rejected by grad schools, though I have found a nice girlfriend").

In any case I updated stuff on their little web-site and I suppose one day they'll call when I am home and I can confirm things. And I suppose JC will get its cut once these things start getting sold. It's just a bit annoying.

Class of '96 Five Year Reunion!

Five years? Can you believe it?

The reunion was held at a bar in Canton after a last-minute rescheduling.

The whole event was a lot of fun, and to those of you who didn't come... shame on you, it was lots of fun! And those of you who couldn't come because of scheduling reasons... be sure to come to the next one.

I'd estimate about 1/3 of our class showed up. Mr. Scholl was even in attendance briefly. From what I could tell, most of our class seems to be doing well, even though we are scattered across the country.

And besides that, nothing super-eventful happened, aside from Steve Dorsch winning two of the raffle baskets even though he only bought 3 tickets.

On a positive note, Mr. Scholl is still annoyed by this page [it was the first thing he mentioned when he saw me] so I guess it will stick around even though I probably won't update it for another 5 years. Until then...

New Dress Code Restrictions!

Due to a recent outburst of individuality, JC has been forced once again to update the dress code. To save them the trouble of continually updating this over time, I propose they adopt this extreme code:
  • Women must now wear a plain black dress that covers their entire body. They must also wear a veil, as not to distract the male students. The heavy woolen gloves are optional in the springtime.
  • Men must wear black pants, a black long-sleeve dress shirt, and optionally an "Amish" style hat.
  • All students must purchase official John Carroll underwear, which comes in attractive brown and gold colors.
  • On "dress-up" days students may wear brown or gold socks, as long as they do not extend above the knee.
  • Men must have all facial hair surgically removed. Facial hair is a distraction that interferes with schoolwork.
  • Thank you for bearing with us during these changes. Please remember we have the students' best interest in mind.

Some Random Updates

  • Mr. Scholl is Acting Principal again. I still don't understand why they don't give up and just make him the principal for real.
  • JC Web-Page loses its IP address. Why they don't just buy or or something, I don't know. I guess they like the free hosting they get from Loyola.
  • JC Dress Code Gets Even Worse. Yes hard to believe, but according to the official web-page now men can only have a choice of 3 ugly shirt styles, and are restricted in just about everything else. And to think our class thought "no striped shirts" and later "only pastel shirts" were bad ideas. It all went downhill when they banned the wearing of colored bras.
  • And that's all for now. Since I avoid JC now, the only content I get is from their web-page, Alumni-newsletters, the AEGIS, and hate-mail. So if you have an interesting story, e-mail it here!

JC Will Most Likely Probably Not Give Your Kids Preference

With increased enrollment, JC can no longer give the children of Alumni preferred admission. Not that we ever did in the past, but if in case we did, we can't anymore. Of course children of Alumni will be treated specially, we just cannot give them special treatment. We hope this message has been clear. [I kid you not, this is a summary of a letter they sent out. Is it confusing, or just me?]


Click the title above to read my take on the new construction plans. Details on their web-page (note, link no longer exists). I wonder if they could have possibly used the word "Excellence" any more times in that sentence.

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