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Grey Matters, February 3, 2014; Volume 2, Number 21

posted Feb 2, 2014, 8:08 AM by Andrew Shen   [ updated Jun 26, 2014, 11:12 AM by James Marcotte ]

Two things happened last week that I found to be somewhat surreal. First, I learned that my friend from high school recently had an asteroid named after him.  Sean is an astronomer (“not an astrologer!” he would often remind us) who works at a lab based at a university in Bordeaux, France.  Not sure if any of us aspire to have an object hurtling through space named after us, and it’s still pretty neat.  You can learn all about the Raymond asteroid by clicking on this link to the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory website. The other surreal moment took place last Wednesday evening when I simultaneously became my father and had an out-of-body experience as the statement, “I don’t care what your friends can do at their house, they don’t live here” came spilling out of me for the first time ever.  Right after that, my 8-year old fought fire with fire by responding to my overused parenting cliche with, “Fine, then I am not going to live here anymore.” At least he didn't start shouting "Attica! Attica!" in protest of my prison warden-like parenting.

Here’s a few important calendar reminders that you should keep in mind:

  • The Kevin Breel community event scheduled for this Thursday, February 6 has been postponed.  Due to some circumstances related to Mr. Breel’s schedule and travel, he could not make it to Acton-Boxborough this week.  The PTSO and United Way are already working on a date later this Spring.  We are still looking forward to welcoming Mr. Breel, and engaging with parents and students about issues related to adolescent mental health.  

  • The Junior High and High School have a late start day scheduled for next Monday, February 10th.  Staff members will be participating in professional development activities in the morning, and students start the school day at 10:30am (instead of 7:30am).  School bus routes will have the same pick up routes, just three hours delayed (so if your child’s bus usually comes to your stop at 6:50am, it will come at 9:50am).  Dismissal will still be at 2:06pm.  

  • Another reminder that the High School will be hosting an event on Wednesday, February 12th at 7pm in the High School auditorium for current 8th grade families about the transition to the high school.  

  • 10 more days until the start of February Vacation, not that your child’s school principal is counting the days.  

Last Tuesday, I had lunch with the students who were selected by their team or by an Exploratory teacher to be recognized this trimester as one of our Everyday Leaders.  As I mentioned earlier in the year, we have developed this activity as one way to acknowledge the contributions that students make through daily acts of kindness, enthusiasm in class, and respect for others.  Congratulations to the following students:  Lauren Khosla, Devin Neale, Connor Champigny, Balwant Singh, Josh Azar, Dominic Banor, Ravi Kadambi, Selin Movsesiyan, Hanita Haller, Daniel Poulton

The newest issue of R.J. Grey's online literary magazine Insights is now posted on the library website. Thanks go to Maureen Lin and Louisa Latham for working with our students on this incredible publication. If your son/daughter is interested in becoming involved in this activity, please contact Maureen Lin at  You can view read and enjoy the magazine by clicking here.  

A few weeks ago, ImprovBoston was scheduled to present to our 8th grade teams, but had to re-schedule due to illness of some cast members. We’re glad that they are able to visit us this Tuesday, and we hope our students find value in the experience.  As a reminder, ImprovBoston, one of the region’s leading improvisational theaters, engages with students using a unique workshop that addresses issues of bullying, and the importance of developing healthy peer relationships.  Using various improvisational techniques, and a healthy dose of humor, this troupe of actors looks to discuss the issue of bullying and model ways of defusing potentially difficult situations.

Finally, Chinese New Year began last Friday - it's the Year of the Horse, and the Acton Chinese Language School held a celebration at RJ Grey on Saturday to provide some festivities for members of the community . Happy new year to those who celebrate this event.

Have a great week, everyone.