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Grey Matters, December 9, 2013; Volume 2, Number 15

posted Dec 8, 2013, 8:58 AM by Andrew Shen   [ updated Jun 26, 2014, 11:13 AM by James Marcotte ]

Report cards for the Fall Trimester were distributed on Thursday, hopefully you’ve had a chance to review them with your child(ren).  The 13-year old version of me feels betrayed by the Principal version of me, because the email I sent to all of you on Thursday would make it more difficult to possibly delay (or completely avoid) the sharing of one’s report card.  I won’t re-tell the whole story I shared last year about one of my own 7th grade report cards, but the story involved a D+ in math, placing said report card in a pair of pants and sending it through our washing machine a few times, and hoping that the rinse cycle would fade the D+ into a believable B+.  

Last week I briefly made mention of our Thanksgiving assembly, and the involvement of our students speakers and Student Council officers.  Our Student Council officers play a critical  role in all of our school wide assemblies, both in terms of the planning as well serving as the master(s) of ceremony.  For those who may not know who those officers are, this year we have co-presidents - Robert Watt and Sarah Bradley, vice president Logan Penney, secretary Stella Cai, and treasurer Christina Pathrose.  

Along with the start of our Winter athletic season, preparations for the Junior High’s annual spring musical is under way.  There is still time for students to sign up for the audition workshops for “Willy Wonka, Jr.”, this year’s musical.  The sign up sheets are on the shelf in front of the Counseling Office.  Students are advised to attend both workshops on Tuesday, December 10, and Wednesday, December 11, from 2:15 to 5:00pm.  For more information, you can email Mrs. Miller at or visit the Theatre Program website by clicking here.  

RJ Grey’s annual ski trip to Waterville Valley is scheduled for Saturday, January 11.  Please note that this one-day event is separate from our school’s Ski Club.  If you are interested in going, please pick up a permission slip outside of Room 403.  Permission slips are due by Friday, December 13.  If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Broadwater at 

On Sunday, December 15, R.J. Grey will host a middle school speech tournament.  This event will bring together hundreds of young orators from throughout Massachusetts. Students will give dramatic renditions of poetry and prose selections, deliver famous speeches, and speak off-the-cuff in the impromptu event. Parents, teachers and friends of R.J. Grey are welcome to come and cheer on the contestants.  The first events will start at 10am and the awards ceremony will be held at approximately 3:30pm.  Anyone wishing to help or contribute for-sale food items to the event can contact Spencer Harvey at

Finally, as many of you know, Nelson Mandela died earlier this week at the age of 95.  Along with his importance to South Africa specifically, Mandela was clearly an individual with a global presence, and his influence transcended many borders and boundaries.  I wanted to end this Grey Matters with a small nod to his passing, and there are countless quote and excerpts from Mandela’s speeches that one could include as a tribute to his legacy.  Given that we’ll most likely be saturated in the media with his most well-known speeches (not necessarily a bad thing), I thought I’d include a more obscure quote that provides us a reminder of the power of words in general, and is a nice complement to the above-mentioned speech tournament that will take place at RJ Grey next week.  In a speech he delivered in 2000 at the 13th annual international AIDS conference, Mandela began with the following:

“It is never my custom to use words lightly. If 27 years in prison have done anything to us, it was to use the silence of solitude to make 

us understand how precious words are and how real speech is in its impact upon the way people live or die."

Have a great week, everyone.