QAIS Staff Profile of the Week – Chris McCarthy, Language, Literature and Theory of Knowledge

chrismcmmprofile21nov201601What is your dream of what you’ll be doing in 20 years time?

I’m not particularly handy but I am fascinated, perhaps stereotypically, with automobiles. Hopefully in twenty years I’ll be retired, at which point one of my goals is to rebuild a car. I’m not particularly interested in what car–although Indah will probably insist it’s a BMW–it’s really about being able to take things apart, and put them back together. At the moment I don’t know enough to do more than change the oil and fix a flat so it would be a big task. I’ll admit I also like the idea of not having to rely on mechanics–I’ve spent way too much time and money having my cars fixed! 
Describe your favorite learning experience.
I have been lucky to have been mentored by some outstanding coaches and musicians. Almost twenty years ago in Jakarta, I joined a rock and soul R&B revue band–fourteen players, horn section, four lead singers, the whole shebang. I was completely out of my depth, but the knowledge, enthusiasm and patience of the rest of the backing band–especially Tom Fraser, the bass player and leader, helped me understand the music, hone my chops, and make myself a valued part of the ensemble. In those years I also started coaching Rugby, which I had played for years (my public high school in Massachusetts was one of a handful of schools to offer the sport) as a high school, college and club player. In Jakarta, an unexpected opening as the JV coach led me to working with Varsity coach, Tony “Dicko” Dickinson, an ex-Junior All Black. Dicko had played at the highest school boy level and was a provincial-grade referee to boot, so he knew his stuff, but it was his ability to motivate and connect with the young men and women that we worked with that really inspired me. It’s not surprising that he ended up becoming a guidance counselor. We would return to New Hampshire in the summer, where I had the good fortune to play touch rugby and pick the brain of Alex Magleby, Dartmouth head coach and current high performance director of USA Rugby. Alex taught me to analyze the game in the same way I might analyze a text, and teach discrete skills much like I teach writing. Together, I couldn’t have had a more holistic mentorship in coaching.  Eventually, Dicko and I ran the varsity program at JIS together, capturing five gold medals in eight seasons and when we returned to the States in 2012, I joined the Dartmouth coaching staff as development coach.