Friday, March 16, 2007

The last snowstorm..

Snow is falling down over East Central Pennsylvania today. And over Cardinal Brennan..

Years of snowball fights. .years of snowstorms causing delays and closings.. today's result was an earlier dismissal..

Perhaps for the last time this year. And maybe for the last time in the history of the school--depending on whatever the end-result will be of the CB decision process.

Years of memories from years of classes.. The school is quiet right now. No students, no teachers.. no nuns, no priests.
The school is empty as the snow falls down from the heavens above..

The snow falling down on the vacant building.. All of the people leaving it today hoped that it would only be temporarily vacant.. and not vacant for good.

Time will tell..


Anonymous said...

I think this blog is an utter waste of time and energy. in fact, I don't know why I'm even commenting.

Ralph J. Michter
C.B. Class of 1987

schmuckraker said...

Thank you for taking the time to comment!

Anonymous said...

do you want the school to close, ralph?

Anonymous said...

it's not that i want the school to close. i really don't care what happens. but for years and years it's been getting worse and worse and now suddenly everyone gives a hoot. now suddenly everyone starts praying and singing and all that crap. where were these people ten or fifteen years ago? they didn't see this coming? anybody could have seen this coming. and besides, i never wanted to go there anyway. i still wish i could have gone to public school, but the choice wasn't mine to make. i can tell it's probably your question, schmuckraker (clever name by the way) and i'd like to apologize for my crude comment earlier. i didn't mean it against YOU, personally, and I feel bad now, but the whole thing does irritate me somewhat. ttyl


Anonymous said...

Hi Mitch:

I have been following this page since it began, as I do have children attending the school. As to your questions...where was I 15 years ago...uh....raising the babies that are currently attending CB. BTW I have always supported my local Church as well as my Alma Mater (not CB, by the way).

CB has made many improvement in the last five years or so and is a beautiful campus. Unfortunatley, due to the constant rumors of the possibililty of CB closing, the staff has been challeneged to increase enrollment.

I would suggest that this blog will be a reocrd of what happens, whatever way it turns out. The closing affects close to 150 students, parents, teaching staff and their families and the staff currently on the payroll at CB. If you add them all up, you probably come to well over 1000 or so folks who will be directly affected.

Second, any public schools will have a significant affect as well. They will have to prepare for an influx of students at the last minute. SV currently has many children in modulars as their classes are already full. NS will likely have to add additional teachers and quickly expand their classrooms.

Finally, there is the taxpayer at large. The current estiamtes for educating each public shcool child is from 60-80 thousand per year. Let's just assume 100 children go to NS and the cost would be 70K per year. Where do you think the 700K will be coming from? Out of the pockets of the homeowners in the NS district. That effects thousands. Keep in mind, any parent that currently send their children to a parochial school pays school tax, but does not utilize them.

I must say on a final note, that if I did not like ths school attended, I don't think I would care if it remained open or not. I am sorry that you did not enjoy your HS days. Everyone should have that oppurtunity. So I do understand.

But there are many kids that have or will enjoy the enviorment, and they do deserve someone following a story that could change their entire lives.

So...thanks schmuckraker!

CB Mom

(Sorry for any typos)

Anonymous said...

dear CB mom,

you raise some excellent points, and I greatly admire the thoroughness of their delivery. while taxes, forsaken children and employees are of a great concern in the long run to a great many more than just those directly effected, I believe that essentially CB is a drain on the local communities on whose backs it has been tarrying all these years. 150 students, which are a lot, are a drop in the bucket compared to almost anywhere else. I don't think that, if they evenly dispersed -- which I think they will be -- to the other public high schools hereabout there shouldn't such a dramatic outcome as that in terms of classrooms, faculty and all that. of course there will be accomodations that need to be made, but I'm sure that the area can somehow swing it. if local officials can have, what is it, close to 20 million now? -- for a brand new elementary school while statistics show student numbers are on the decline even at North Scuylkill due to outmigration and other factors, then I think 150 students won't be such a hassle.

now, taxes, ugh. yea i know. i do know. i moved away from the area almost right after high school and during my tenure i had the pleasure of paying taxes the whole 6 years i was away because i decided to keep my address here as well as where i was currently residing, which were a few different places. so i paid dual taxes, essentially, not because i was rich, but because i was still uncertain as to my future at the time. so while i hate taxes, i also know that they'll continue to sky-rocket REGARDLESS of those 150 students, if only because of the selfishness of those greedy, conniving, opportunisitc local school officials. they're raping the area dry, and it isn't right, but it won't get worse BECAUSE of CB's closing. they might use that as a groundless excuse, but it's no severe item on their agenda to be sure.

of course i feel bad for the displaced workers. i've been unemployed before, and i know how it feels. but it makes me remember a man i once knew and still see around when i visit the area. he was a custodian at the school, and while he wasn't there when i attended school i would see him walking alongside the Ashland-G-ville and the Fountain Springs highways to work every day in all kinds of weather. he would leave home in G-ville, well, like EARLY, to get to the school before everyone else, and he would be among the last to leave every day, also walking. of course sometimes people would give him a ride, students or faculty, even me -- which was how i got to know who he was. i don't think he could drive, but i know he was often teased by the kids for his situation and most people would just drive by. no one ever went out of their way to give him a ride. i don't know if maybe, with all the room at the school, they might have offered to put him up in one of the old dorm rooms, at least during the winter. and I can almost guarantee he musn't have made more than the bare minimum in wages. Christian decency? i don't think so. so when i think of him and his story now, i really don't give much of a damn about any Diocesan employees who might lose their jobs over this.

and besides all that, this area is done anyway. it's not any one person's fault, i understand, but to try to boost it as though it can resurrect itself from what are, almost literally, ASHES, is absurd. it's the lousy local economy which also adds to the tax burden. it's like these people who try to convince the young to stay here instead of striking it somewhere else. potted flowers on street corners are not going to call in businesses. potted flowers won't, as you say, pay taxes. and while CB is a very beautiful campus, that's not going to help our young people succeed in life. a well-rounded, diverse, tolerant education will, though, and while i don't like some fiscal public school policies, at least they can offer exactly that kind of education. CB has 95 acres of land with one football field, one baseball field and ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ELSE, practically speaking. it has a few ap courses now, but it didn't as recently as a decade ago. the Vatican is one of the richest institutions in the world, like among the top five, or it was before all the scandal. i don't feel sorry for it.

Through your words i honestly believe you are truly concerned, and i empathize to an extent. we are all entitled to our opinions, but facts are facts, and no rolling green hills or pretty collonades will change the grim truth of it all.

yours respectfully,


Anonymous said...

please excuse any typos and grammar errors on my part, too. i just skimmed over what i wrote after sending it and i found a lot. i wasn't writing for a wider audience, and since not many people comment on here, anyway, it probably doesn't matter.


mike said...

Actually as a graduate I have fond memories of my time there, and as a graduate I also really think that there will be a lot of missed chances for people to better themselves by not going there if the diocese closes down the school.

Ralph, I am not sure if I see your point here, or maybe you're mixed up. On one hand you're saying the vatican has so muhc moeny and cardinal brennan has so much land and potential, but then on the other hand you're saying that it's pointless to try to improve things since it hasn't been done as of now?

I don't understand this.

And I know very well of the person you speak of that was a custodian at the school. As a matter of fact, I still give him rides when I am in the area and see him walking, I understand he's not with Cardinal Brennan anymore.

you can have those same stories of kids 'making fun' of a person at any school. For Christ's sake we're talking about kids age 14 through 18 here.

And as far as Christian decency? Ithink that's almost why we need to pay close attention to this whole situation. For it's the role of the Church as educator that may be lacking in this entire situation, which is exactly what has to many 40 somethings like me and 20 somethings like my son upset. THe fact that the church almost seems to have let us all down.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mitch. I noticed you disparaged this blog as being something that "nobody reads". Well, the counter shows close to 1700 hits in two weeks. Not bad for a small blog with no publicity.

As for this area being "dead"...where is it that you would identify as beign "alive"? I work in an urban area, however, I have chosen to raise my family here. It is an area of strong values and "Little Pink Houses" , so to speak. I would not change it for the world!

The Arbitor

Anonymous said...

The pink houses are the first ones that break when you throw a stone

Anonymous said...

what's up Mike

i know i might have sounded "mixed up" back there. partly it was because i wrote it in passing and in a hurry, and partly it was because everything's interconnected in some way, and if you step back you can see how.

CB has a lot of potential. it always has. my question is, why haven't they done anything with it in the past 80 years? secondly, you're right. the church HAS let us down. all of us. it's incredibly discouraging and mildly embarrassing. and you're right. the Church can save CB -- and others like it -- if it really wanted to (that's why i mentioned the vatican and it's wealth) but can you honestly tell me that the folks at the school who've been running the show all these years haven't known how bad it was getting? i've been hearing people say how they had such a short time to come up with a viable alternative to save the school, which is ridiculous since the information was always there for the taking. anyone who cared enough could have seen the trend way before this year, way before those letters went out. it's not like the Bishop starting pulling this stuff out of nowhere. the school must have known it even before he did, since they're the ones who present him with all the bones of it at the end of the year -- and lately, it seems, it really has been nothing but bones.

but even when i attended it was below par. even with all the help of contributors and exhorbitant tuition costs it still can't float or compare academically. at almost any public school there's a multitude of courses to choose from while at Catholic schools it's so limited you can barely breathe. a Catholic school education does NOT necessarily look good on a resume, i know because i've been gently ridiculed for it plenty of times while seeking and sometimes acquiring employment. and what could i say to them except that they were right. a high school with an on-again, off again football team? i mean come on. that never even happened at Bishop Hafey, from what i hear. it's not the kids' faults. i was one of them once, after all, and i empathize. but if a kid doesn't WANT to learn there's nothing you can do to force him/her. and, conversely, there are a ton of kids who wish they could learn so much more than what the do but can't because it's not offered to them in Catholic school. it's disgusting, the irony of it.

as for being 14 and 15 year old kids, if they'd been raised well at home until that age they wouldn't make fun of a guy like that, and i don't think any amount of Catholic school education can change that. it's just common courtesy. you don't need to be Catholic to know it's not right, just human. hell, even certain faculty would quietly ridicule him, so what does that say? maybe they should go back to Catholic school, too.

i also have some fond memories of the place. i can't say i don't. i'm just saying that, aside from the god-awful -- no pun intended -- financial mismanagement and poor enrollment, there are other equally less-than-flattering factors involved. it's nice to have memories, but reality is reality, and boy does the truth hurt. a person, if they're decent to begin with and if their parents
nudge them in the right direction, will always be a good person. some people you can't do anything with.

i think i covered everything. i dunno. we're just talking anyway. thanks for taking the time to respond, though, and i do hear what your saying.


1700 hits in two weeks isn't bad at all, considering there's at least 1000 people involved in this debate and the other 700 are probably from times i've tried reading the stuff on here but the page would take to long to upload and i'd just X out and try signing on again. yesterday alone it happened like 30 times, which is the source of my "waste of time and energy" comment. i go on a few other blogs daily and it only happens to me on this one. talk to me in a month from now when everything blows over and people stop pretending to care.

as for the "dead" comment, it only takes a single drive up Main Street in any town around here -- except maybe Shendo -- to see the unbelievable number of empty storefronts, vacant lots, houses for sale, and other aesthetic atrocities. not everyone has the chance to work in Harrisburg or some other ritzy place. in fact, the real people who hold this place together are the gritty, tough-as-nails working men and women, who, incidentally, are also the first ones to get screwed. i'm all for them and have nothing but eternal respect for them, but white collar blokes who have probably never gotten their hands dirty in their whole lives, or barely, can lick my jackboots.

the only strong values i've ever seen here are those imposed on the weak by the strong. those saintly coal miners from a hundred years ago were treated like dirt by those heinous land owners who kept them living like virtual slaves in rags and shacks. it's ironic how we tout our anthracite heritage now for purposes of tourism but hardly dwell on these now-shameful facts that accompanied the inhumanity of life in the mines back then. the thought of it alone is enough to make me puke. and it's not that different today, minus the rags and UTTER despair of poverty. we have since acquired phones, cars, toaster ovens, and those shacks have since become "little pink houses for you and me." but if you peel back that siding and take a long hard look at those bare skeletons you'd see that not much has really changed.

anyway, that's it for me. i have better things to do than explain the obvious. enjoy the CB decision, whatever it may be.

i remain,
yours sincerely,


Anonymous said...

you would have been better off in a public school.i don't think you understand the concept of catholic school.besides the academics that are thought, catholic values are instilled.
as per cardinal brennan right now the academic setting is one of the best in the county public or private.when i graduated in 1980
from cb the education i got was excellant. and the moral values i learned saved me many times.
i have been involved with cb
on and off for 30 years a student,a parent, a basketball coach[12 years], a supporter who has spent countless hours helping to make inprovements to the school.
thats how catholic schools work- student involvement and parent involvement.
in closing ralph im sorry your time at cb was not a good experience.i know many cb people past and present very few ever complained about there time at cb.
the sucess stories are endless.
my daughter a 05 cb grad was 1st team allstate in basketball she got an athletic @ academic full son is [hopefully] due to graduate in 08,he is in the top3 or 4 in his class academically
just two kids who have benifitted from cb, there are many,many more.lawers judges doctors preists and all around good people.
thanks schmuckraker this blog is not a waste of time keep it going cb needs it

pat joyce cb'80
wife-kathy joyce cb'80
kelly joyce cb'05
patrick joyce cb'08 i pray

Anonymous said...

dear sir, ma'am, et al,

i shouldn't be on here, but i guess it's the small-town gossip in me that keeps me coming back, and it's just as well. at that time of day when i reach the crossroads of the twilight of desire and the clarity of utter indifference is when i break down and come back on here to see whatever developments are unfolding. so i suppose i'm as guilty and thankful as anyone else who comes on.

having said that, i appreciate your genuine sincerity. like mike and the CB mom who responded to my commenst in the last few days i can tell you're a truly concerned parent, and, just like every other CB parent, has made sacrifices to send your talented kids there. you remind me exactly of my own parents and how much they loved me and my siblings enough to send us there as well -- except, i'll admit, we probably weren't nearly as talented ans your children, and i mean that.

i also thank you for your sympathy to me for not having enjoyed my time at brennan. it's true, and it's because even as a teen i knew what i wanted and it wasn't CB. my parents thought they were helping me, but i honestly believe, in the wider world, that it hurt me. i've lived in so many different places and have met so many different people it makes me dizzy to think about. i've known everything from near saints to ex cons to cons to alcoholics to, my God, everyone. and after all that, which isn't much considering how big the world is, i can honestly say -- and it doesn't give me pleasure to admit it -- that i've known more compassionate atheists and agnostics and repented ex cons than i have catholics while living in this region. this area, while it's very scenic, is almost nothing like the real world, and so is Catholic school.

now i love God and Jesus as much as anyone. it might seem that i'm a heartless jerk from the things i write, but it really only does seem that way. i can defend just as earnestly other issues that i believe to be just causes as totally as i can denounce this one that you guys feel so strongly about. but it seems to me that the CB front has little more to go on that just opinions and personal sentiment.

it does, for instance, bother me that when i read most of those letters to the editor in the republican i see more expressed FEELINGS than concrete facts. with only a few exceptions -- and those are spun in the school's favor just as easily as they could have been spun the other way around -- all i see is talk about "family" and "values" and other goodnesses. while it's nice to talk about that, you probably know as well as me that it's not always true. in fact it's seldom true. the facts are that the school is all but bankrupt. the facts are that the education is NOT so great and extremely limited in scope. i was also in the top five of my class, and i've known other who were also high ranking in school, but i'm not so enamored by my or their rank to suggest that in any other school with more students we would probably have only been in the top twenty or so and not the top five. so while it's a great feeling to think you're number one, the fact is in almost any other, truly challenging environment there is almost always someone better. these are just some of the things Catholic schools don't teach their students. the proportion of academics to students is not even, and it makes it difficult to give any weight to such a high rank when an employer asks you, "well how many kids were in your graduating class?" after you tell them your own place in it. the top five students in a class of 200 IS NOT the same as the top five in a class of 50. and while i'm sure you're kids are talented and very smart, the reality of it. the reality of the world, is just not geared that way. tough love is never easy and should be tempered with every other kind of love, but it should be present all the same.

facts are facts, and they are that not everyone is treated equally in catholic schools. i don't know you're current position with the school or anything like that, but i know from expereince that i've seen plenty more favoritism than a sense of "family" occur at the school, and it wouldn't surprise me one bit if mant --not ALL, just many -- of these boosters now who write those editorials are or were themselves once recipients of that favoritism. the deck is not stacked fairly for all. not everyone has the same chance to succeed. and people can argue all they want that it's the same way in public schools but, if that's the case, then what's the argument for Catholcic schools in the first place if they're socially the same to public ones. the Catholic education? i learned more about Catholiciam and human deceny and compassion on 42nd street in Manhattan that i ever did or could have at CB. i wasn't underpriviledged, but the stack was not in my favor either. lawyers and doctors come out of every school. a lot of very successful, famous people don't even come out of any school. mark twain had a third grade education. my own mother has a fourth grade one, but she's still the most decent person i know. Catholic school didn't make her a good person. she made herself one. and if our children need a Catholic school education that badly to not become morally bankrupt as well, then what does that say about US as parents and teachers and the rest? and that's why i don't think the majority don't need a Catholic school education. they need kindness. they need good examples. what they don't need is favoritism in the classroom, which is, i believe, magnified very intensely in Catholic schools.

i know one salutatorian, in fact, who absolutely hates the school, and it's because of favoritism. he was an all-around kind of guy, just like everyone else. football player a few years, all kinds of clubs and plays and the rest. always did everything the school asked. though, being from a "less important Frackville family," when the time came for graduation, instead of giving him the exclusive honor of salutatorian they partnered him with another, better-connected guy whose family was much more deeply involved with the school - and i don't mean in terms of volunteerism or contributions necessarily (but even if i did that would help me prove my point even more). the difference in their GPA, which determines such things, was a tenth of a point, a tenth of a point that swung in favor of my friend. yet, because the other guy was who he was, he was added on just so he could say he was also second. it's things like that, small, INSIDE things that make it hard for me to believe in most things say about the school, especially when it's all viewed through rose-colored glasses as such. how would you like it if your son got to second or first place and even though his GPA was a tenth of a point higher than some other kid he had to share the spot with him anyway, just because the second's family had more money or pull? would that be fair to you? is that fair to anyone? that's not only unfair but it's utterly deplorable, despicable, dishonorable, and very, VERY non-Christian.

but even if none what what i've said over the past few days were true. even if i was just a bitter ******** who wants eagerly to see the school shut down. even if i was all those things you probably think i am but won't outrightly tell me because your Catholic morals won't let you. even if all those things -- where are your facts? if you could prove to me that CB is worth saving with hard facts and not just a bunch of emotional rhetoric and backwash i would gladly change my opinion. just because a 100 or 400, or even a 1000 people want it doesn't make it viable. it's not a recent problem. it's been going on for years. why is everybody suddenly scrambling to find a solution? the figures have always been there. while i DO feel bad for the students surrently there, because it't NOT their fault, the teachers, and parents and anybody else involved have no right to say anything unless they've been worried all along that this might happen. the people who just coasted along thinking the bishop or pope would fix every problem don't deserve to speak. nobody saw the trend before a month ago? it just appeared? of course not. people who weren't already worried before they received letters have no right to worry now. i don't know, sir, which of these categories you're in, but from you're comment i'll just assume you're well-informed, justifiably concerned parent.

i really don't think i'll be on anymore. this is taking too much time from my schedule, albeit just a few quick minutes a day. i dunno. unless someone had cold hard truths about the school to defend it's staying open i ask that nobody comment anymore on my comments. this is getting exhausting, yet i can't i can't look away...

truly, tolerantly, patiently,


Anonymous said...

My first reaction to your post was a mild rage. But after reading all your posts on here, the only thing I feel for you is pity. You are one very unhappy, bitter person. I didn't hear one positive remark in any of your posts. No wonder why you didn't enjoy your years at CB. You don't know how to be happy. The only thing you see in any situation is the negative. I am very thankful that I don't know you and even more thankful that I'm not like you. Please, before you open your mouth again, take a deep look inside of yourself and find something to like. Because until you like/love yourself, you will never find happiness.
The only people I know who didn't enjoy their time at CB were those who, like yourself were always miserable and had no friends because of it. As for the rest of us, we love CB and will keep fighting for our future.
Thanks schmuckraker for your support!

Anonymous said...

Boy, "Ralph", you must have really had a terrible experience at CB! So terrible, in fact that you have resorted to using an alias because you are so ashamed!As a VERY PROUD CB graduate of '88, I will say for the record that no Ralph J. Michter was in the class of 1987. If you are so proud of your beliefs, which you are entitled to, then by all means at least do not hid behind a false identity. Try to remember something you learned in kindergarten... If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything.Thanks Schmuckraker for a wonderful blog!
C. B. Class of '88

Anonymous said...

dear proud CB alumni one and all.

if i wanted to use an alias, i wouldn't have put a school year, geniuses. i know very well how to lie, and i've been doing it for several years now. i write short vinettes for a little hick literary journal outside of astoria, in queens, in new york, and i don't even LIVE there, which just proves how very messed up and unorthodox my life must be. yes, i reek of righteous indignation, but at least i know the smell, which engulfs many people in schuylkill county every day yet they can't sense it for themselves. and yes, in my work i DO use a pseudonym, not because i have to, but because it's fun. but, assuming my name was false, just assuming, could you blame me for protecting myself from an area of people who would rather name-call and probably egg my house or slash my tires than have an actual discussion? by the way, i took that psych 101 class too, but it wasn't at cardinal brennan, incidentally. maybe if i used a fake name i knew someone would eventually find out, someone with a yearbook, time to spare, and the sleuthing skills of Gruff McGruff, the crime dog. maybe this and maybe that. maybe if you'd used those skills to actually get numbers and statistics to use against me i would have a little more respect for your sudden so-called "revelation," or whatever you'd call it.

maybe i was one of those impoverished kids you'd thumb your nose at who couldn't afford senior pictures or yearbooks - like the kind you probably refered to to try and supposedly "divulge" me. maybe i was one of those who resorted to only having quarter bags of chips for lunch every day because i couldn't afford anything else. maybe i'm the one who got benched because some sleeker metrosexual type on the team got quarterback and i was just an average joe. maybe i was any number of bitter, pathetic, disgusting, ne'er-do-well, unachieving, poor-as-dirt, scum-of-the-earth, narrow-minded kind of people all around in school you who never got his picture in the yearbook, and maybe THAT's why i'm i am the way i am. who knows. it's very possible. but just because i'm not in your yearbook doesn't mean i don't exist. and if this blog really is "on the record" for the perusal of the acclaimed posterity of CB, then remember this one and all: i have not yet resorted to undue nastiness and have presented only facts, while you have neither presented facts nor kept your moral composure when someone dared to challenge you in a quasi-intelligent debate. that's a wonderfully christian thing to do, try and slam someone with paltry little assumptions because they disgree with your point of view and bring evidence to back themselves up. yes, it's a very CATHOLIC way to treat someone who thinks differently than you (look up the word "catholic," by the way, and read all the definitions therein, not just the holy-of-holy ones. i think you might be surprised.) i think any barely rational-thinking person who reads all of this in its entirely will see that, while i've committed the probablt mortal sin of actually thinking for myself i have still behaved in more of a catholic way than those who've tried to diminish my charatcer, so i really couldn't care less what you think of me or my alleged bitterness, or my alleged "alias."

and about the blog anyway. it's a nice one, i wouldn't berate it as anything else. but it's very pandering in a way. you don't even have every single story or letter to the editor about the CB situation here. i still had to go into archives and did up some important missing links. you're opinions, while somewhat poetic, way too dramatic to lend any credibility to their rationale. a true blog, a true media outlet, a true any-kind-of-information outlet would present both sides. i'm not talking that FOXS news horsecrap. everyone knows their slanted. you have not every presented any side other than that of those whose best interests involve keeping the school open. i don't know if you do it for attention, or to attract undeserved praise, or to draw a bigger audience to your other page, which is basically the exhibition of stories on other web sites which you cherry-pick and choose to spoon-feed those who actually come on. while i disagree with most of what these other folks have said, at least the had the stones to tell me what they thought, albeit sometimes anonymously and with very little more that a whole lot of gushing and NO FACTS (for about the twenty-millionth time. it makes me feel like i'm talking to my 90 year old grandfather who had a drum ruptured on D-Day). at any rate, if blogging is the future of media then i REALLY feel sorry for the fitire of education in our country, and maybe i OUGHT to join the fight to save CB. almost anything would be better than having free information spun by bloggers who don't even show their own clear point-of-view yet pander to the masses for unknown though obviously self-serving purposes.

bleeding hearts, like lemmings, only really start to squeal after they're drowning. i don't know where i picked that up, but i like it. i probably didn't make it up though, since i'm so dumb and bitter and hypocritical and all. but if i did just spin it, just in case, then i hereby copyright it for myself, being that this blog is for the record and all.

yours hypocritically,

Ralph?? J.M.

Anonymous said...

PS. again, excuse any possible typos, grammar errors, or other literary fumblings on my part. you know how dumb we uneducated urbanites can be who have better things to do than sit and think out our bitterly maudlin responses to useless internet blogs.

PPS. i do like some things, though, to answer your cocky little remark. i like college girls, rye whiskey, and a little Marcel Proust on the side. just to mix things up a bit.

bitter my foot :-)

Anonymous said...

Hey Ralphy!

I graduated from CB in 87' ...who did you have for homeroom? Where you the President on the National Honor Society?

I'm sure I know you..can you refresh my memory?


Anonymous said...










Anonymous said...

it can't become his page when he doesn't exist, I was in the class of 1987 and there was not even anoyne named Ralph!

Anonymous said...

Your prose sounds eerily familiar....."Mitch."

Anonymous said...


oh gee! ya GOT me! bang, bang -- i'm dead. aren't you just so resourceful. is that long-winded enough for you sir/ma'am/etc. etc? yes, preview the comments. censor us all because we deserve it. such sinners and heretics and free-thinkers all. we can only insult, we can only tear down. we can only destroy that which we once helped to build. don't you feel sorry for me? i only ask that you pray for me and my soul, as well as my bodily vessel, because God knows what an incredibly awful, condescending, long-winded, hell-damned pr*ck i am. down with freedom of speech and freedom of religion and all that allows you uninformed people to spout your vitriol and even have the privilege of possessing a catholic school in the first place. it's almost laughable, and i think i will.

it's wonderful to know that the state of our society as a whole has regressed so resolutely that we're marching backwards into that 16th century nostalgia when they BURNED bigots who dared try to bring knowledge and enlightenment to the world and those around them. Miguel de Cervantes knew it well, as he was also an impoverished high school drop out who was nearly burned to a crisp in a little affair called the Spanish Inquisition. a bitter man named copernicus and another called galileo spring to mind as well -- they've also slept on the stone floors of prison cells for their beliefs. i'm not sure about columbus. he seems to have been a little smarter than to cross hairs with the church. i never learned about any of that while at school. i wonder why. while i'm not comparing myself to any of these great men, it must be a comfort to know the church IS infallible, as it claims to be, at least where pointing fingers and lighting a match is concerned. i won't even expound on the holocaust. look the facts up if you want. perhaps you're not yet black-listed as am i. pity me. oh tempora oh mores!

but since you people haven't given me any facts to the contrary -- except for the first few responses, who actually DID have a civilized dialogue with me -- then maybe i have a few more things of my own to say.

it's an incredibly good blog. i've already said that. scroll back and see for yourself. but if you're so proud and supportive of this blog then why did you all wait until i came here with all my so-called negativity to say anything nice about it? why is that? if you'll scroll back you'd see that prior to my upheaval there were 3, maybe 4 comments tops in all the other postings, one of which was from the blogger himself. so yea, way to support the home team, posthumously. like everything else it seems you only band together when there's a common "enemy" involved. that's very, very, FAMILY-like. it's a tiny example of the much larger example that is the school's main problem, or what i believe to be the main problem. it's called apathy, and until a month ago it permeated the place --with the exception of a few, i admit -- so as to stifle the air as much as the small-minded curriculum. thank you for just proving my point that many more than just a few CB alumni have themselves grown into charicatures of the the school they once attended. not all. many of you have respected my right to voice an opinion, and, though it may not seem so, i do respect yours as well.

it's what, 8 AM, so i'll keep this short, and i guarantee i won't come on anymore. hell, i don't even know if i'll get this message across, if i've already been blacklisted. but i just wanted to say before i go that ... oh screw it. you're probably content not to know, anyway.

through all of this, though, -- and i think anyone with half a brain or conscience who actually read what i wrote will agree -- my only concern was for education and of any underprivileged kids who might attend the school under weary circumstances. they didn't ask for my support, but as someone whose seen so much crap for myself and took a little piece of each sad story with me i couldn't just shut up while so many tried to stop a speeding train that could have been slowed down years ago. insincere prayers mean nothing, and i don't think there's a Deity out there who would disagree with me. i don't know what you're thinking. don't know your hearts, and you don't know mine, either, but God knows everything. just remember that. it not about you or me, but the education of those kids. and while i may be rancid butter, i'm on their side of the bread.

oh yea, and there's the bishop's and diocese's side, in case you've forgotten. it beguiles me how you can accuse your own bishop of unfairness and mismanagement yet manage to, in the same or next sentence, refer to him as his Excellency or The Very Reverend. and you call me a faceless hypocrite? it's called reality. look into it.

yours indulgently,


PS. i'm not 40 by the way. i skipped a few grades, catholic school genius that i am. oh, oh, maybe that's why i'm not in your yearbooks, you sherlock holmeses you.

PPS. and yea, not many people are vehemently protesting your protest because the majority don't give a damn and the other few who feel as i do are the minority among you. and after all your delicious comments can you blame them for not speaking their mind.

but i guess i can't blame you for feeling this way about me. i guess it's a part of my overall fascination. i've always done hateful things for which people love me and lovable things for which they hate me. i'm admired for my detestability.

PPS. i was never in the honor society, let alone president. i'm sorry to disappoint you. and as for prose -- what's that? i think prose if for suckers. you subscribe to the Hogwash Times as well? i'm actually a candy saleman from Detroit, and no, i did not sleep with that woman Monica ..what was her name?

PPPS. college girls are illegal? well, if you've met any of the same twenty-somethings i have then maybe you're right. for a second there while reading your comment i was afraid you were going to say it was IMMORAL, or that i would be damned to hellfire if i didn't change my ways. is proust also illegal? how about bourbon? maybe it's also a crime to read POST-modern literature? maybe John Irving and Etgar Keret should be banned from libraries. F. Scott Fitzgerald was another wayward catholic who didn't fit in at school. maybe all his stuff is crap, too.

anyway, i won't comment again for sure. i apologize if i've offended anyone's sensibilities. take care and God bless!

Anonymous said...

Hey Ralph,

I don't believe you won't come back on, it's not your personality type. Even if it's just to check out what's being said. So, just in case I'm right, I don't think it's apathy that caused this. I am a 1977 graduate of CB. Even back then, every year we heard that CB was closing. No money, etc, etc. You can only cry wolf so many times before people stop believing. And that's what happened. Each year, in January, the rumors started. CB is closing. So, until the Diocese decided to inform us that this time they were serious, we had no reason to react. Once they made it clear, it's amazing how many people came together to try and save our Alma Mater. (By the way, do you know the words? I do. And I sang them proudly at the meeting with the Diocesan staff).
You want facts. Here's a parents were by no means wealthy. They sacrificed a great deal to send me to Brennan.
Fact..I was not discriminated against or passed over for anything because I was not from a wealthy or prominent family.
Fact..Sending me to CB was the best investment my parents ever made.
Fact..Small class sizes, lower student to teacher ratios are preferable and produce a better learning environment.
Fact..I went from lil 'ol Cardinal Brennan to the ghetto of North Philadelphia to Temple where I earned my Bachelors and then on to the ghetto of West Philly to Drexel for some graduate classes.
Fact..I did quite well at both, despite your opinion that coming from a small Catholic school like CB does not prepare you for the 'real world'.
Fact..While all my friends in college were struggling with Calculus, Trig and Chemistry, I breezed right through. Why? Because my college classes were a review of what I learned in high school. (Pretty impressive for a small, Catholic, sub-standard educational institution).
Fact..It is because of my education at CB that I was able to succeed. My years at Brennan gave me the cofidence I needed to succeed. It made me believe in myself.
And now to the present...
Fact..SAT and standardized test scores (PSSA's, Iowa's) are on the rise at CB. SAT's up an average 300 points!
Fact..This year's Junior class, as Sophomores scored, on the average, as first year college students.
Fact..Along with the regular math, english and science courses, CB does offer a diverse selection of electives, contrary to your previous allegations. (The English Novel; Intro to Speech; Women Writers; Race, Class, Gender: Film and Media; The Writing Experience; Strength Training & Conditioning; Karate; Thermodynamics; Anatomy & Physiology; Environmental Science; Intro to Sociology; Intro to Socialism; World Physical Geography; Intro to Psychology) and that's not the complete list. Not too bad for a small, non-diverse school!

Well, you wanted facts, so I'm giving you a few to think about. Maybe you should check out your Alma Mater before you put her down. CB has alot to offer. I don't care if you don't support CB's survival, but there is no need for all the negativity you have injected into this blog.

My husband and I both graduated from CB, as did our oldest son. We have a Junior and a 7th grader presently attending CB. It is my heartfelt desire that in 2012 we can proudly say that we are ALL graduates of Cardinal Brennan. Part of this is for sentimental reasons, but mostly it is because I am confident that when my children graduate from CB they will be well prepared to handle what life sends their way.


JoAnn M. Pavlosky Twardzik
C.B. Class of 1977

Anonymous said...

What happened to our girl Ralphy? It looks like she didn't get to work until after 8 this morning...unemployed...Home Schooled? Works in the food service industry?

Come on out Ralphy...kick that closet door open!

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

There she goes and knows I'm dying
When she says, "Who is Johnny?"
Games with names that girl is playing
All she says is "Who is Johnny?"

I try to understand because I'm people too
And playing games is part of human nature
My heart's in overdrive
It's great to be alive

"Who's Johnny?" she said
And smiled in her special way
"Johnny" she said
"You know I love you"
"Who's Johnny?" she said
And tried to look the other way
Her eyes gave her away

She makes sure I see her teasing
Hear her say "Who is Johnny?"
There's no way to take this easy
Hear her say "Who is Johnny?"

I really couldn't help but fall in love with her
Her being there has made my life worth living
I knew it from the start
That I would lose my heart


Still pretending
Who's Johnny Who's Johnny
Who's Johnny Who's Johnny
"Who's Johnny?" she said
And tried to look the other way
Her eyes gave her away

Girls like her are very special
Girls like her don't rest
'Till you too are a believer
'Till you too have caught their fever

There she goes and knows I'm dying
When she says "Who is Johnny?"

Anonymous said...

To whom it may concern,

After pondering my behavier and posts over the past few days I have come to the conclusion that I have stepped over of line. This was evident in the hurtful comments towards me... particularily in the last couple of days. I will tell you they did hit close to home (some were true) and they were painful!

There are a couple of items I will share with you that will, hopefully, explain myself my situation and comments. These items were brought to my attention by my Therapist after I was making light of my posts and the pain I was feeling with the retaliation comments. I was counseled to do the following and stop my obsession with the site:

1) I never went to CB
2) I am not currently affiliated with any denomination
3) I am currently single with no significatant other.
4) I have no children thus no interest or stake in the blog.
5) I am currently unemployed but have three interviews next week ( Iam trying).
6) I never lived in the area referenced in this post..grew up in Shaefferstown, Pennsylvania.
7) I did spend some time in Prison (felony auto theft)..thus my references to excons and inmates.
8) I did not graduate high school..yes GED from a local community college.
9) And finally, I am a computer chat/ blog addict (this response is part of my recovery)

In closing, I am truley sorry for my actions and regret any and all discontent that I have generated. This will be my last entry.
Ralph J. Michter

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

This guy got a letter to the editor Maybe you work for the Diocese?