Monday, January 9, 2012

It's a GRRRRREAAATTTT Day to Be a Rambler: 10 Signs You Went to Loyola Academy

1. You wore patch pocket-less pants for four years and still are not sure why. If you were like me, your mom refused to take you to Abercrombie, and you may or may not have had to throw a fit to avoid wearing anything with pleats. Seriously, mom? I am not going to wear khaki pants with pleats down the front. Thank goodness for Express. Parent and child approved. As a naive 14-year old, I often wondered if it was easier to cheat or steal if you wore pants with patch pockets (maybe you could fit all your notes in your pockets without anyone noticing?). I now realize how ridiculous that sounds, but I have no other hypotheses about the patch pocket-ness...even a decade later.

2. You never, ever, brought a lunch on Fridays (or on Thursdays during Lent). Chicken Nugget Fridays=the best thing that ever happened to me throughout my four years in high school (and the Friday that I visited as a freshman in college...). No nuggets compare.

3. You thought your paper would be the first that Mr. O'Loughlin read and declared A/A--no need to rewrite; your paper was instead returned with an excruciating amount of red notes, likely a C/C-, and in dire need of a rewrite. Mr. O'Loughlin may or may not have circled a paragraph in my first paper and wrote: "See me." Talk about a nerve-wracking walk up to the former pitcher. "Alex,  read what you wrote. What does it mean?" ... "Well, it means what I wrote; I mean, I said what I meant." ... "So what did you mean?" ..."Um, well, I'm not sure." ... "Exactly." 10 years later, when I write, I still ask myself, "What would Mr. O'Loughlin say?" and hope I haven't split an infinitive somewhere or used a pronoun without an easily identifiable antecedent.

4. You (or someone you know) paid an absurd amount of money to park on someone else's driveway. Who knew a piece of plastic to hang on your rearview mirror was so valuable? Sure we all had stressful days in high school (finals, the day everyone received their college acceptance letters, the day you didn't have enough time to read all of CliffsNotes for chapters 1-3 before class) but nothing compared to the annual parking lottery.

5. You owned items by one or all of the following brands: Nalgene. North Face. Birkenstock. You get 10 extra points if you carried your Nalgene water bottle in your North Face backpack (for all those trips climbing the mountains at Old Orchard of course)...while wearing your North Face fleece...and while keeping your feet warm and trendy in your new Birkenstock clogs. Guys, you know you owned them all as well. Don't even try to deny it, because FYI, girls take pictures.

6. Please Write This Down: You got naked. We all went on retreats from freshman to senior year, but nothing can compare to the cloud of mystery that surrounded (and I imagine still surrounds) Kairos. When you asked someone if he could tell you more about what happens on Kairos, you were told at least one of the following:
-You get naked.
-Pack these 3 obscure items; you'll need them.
-Good luck--don't be scared!
Gee, thanks creepy friend who may or may not have joined a cult on this retreat; I feel so much better now, and I'm not at all anxious about leaving school, my cell phone, and my watch for four days.
Now? The Missions music still makes you well up a little, you could sing "There's Another Train" without a moment of hesitation, and you'll never forget what "Live the Fourth" means.

7. Whenever in doubt of where to meet with friends, you always opted for Bakers Square. Pie? Free drink refills? Big booths to fit 10 Ramblers and their popped collars? Done, done, and done. What I wouldn't give for a slice of chocolate silk pie to be delivered to my house in LA right about now.

8. You wore gym shoes, not your Birks (see #5), on the day of sign-ups for Life! Be In It! in an attempt to be one of the first 20 people in line. To the first person in line, I hope you never forget how you felt when you signed your name under your first choice of service opportunities. I have to assume that someone wildly important and successful was at the front of the line every time, because only someone with crazy skills could make it to the front of the line before every other Rambler racing to the Ministry Office.

9. You have either travelled to Ireland to Irish stepdance competitively, or after watching your amazingly talented friends on stage, you attempted to stepdance in the gym and likely injured yourself or at the very least your pride. St. Patrick's Day just doesn't feel the same without watching your friends, decked out in dresses and boasting curls that would make Shirley Temple jealous, Irish stepdance like it's no big deal. Word of warning to those of you who think you can dance as well as those girls on stage: Leave it to the professionals. 

10. You know what a "J.U.G." is. Enough said. 

N.B. Oh yes, nota bene, friends. I'll be curious if anyone responds, because I wonder how much of this applies to graduates from years before or beyond the early 2000s. I'd imagine some brands have changed, but please tell me everything else was (or is!) the same! Loyola just would not have been Loyola without the aforementioned awesomeness.

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