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Grey Matters, June 16, 2014; Volume 2, Number 38

posted Jun 15, 2014, 2:16 PM by Andrew Shen   [ updated Jun 26, 2014, 11:05 AM by James Marcotte ]

Happy Father’s Day to those of you who celebrated the event this past weekend.  What great weather after a wet Friday (which unfortunately led to a detour for many of our teams with outdoor plans).  In honor of Father’s Day, Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon created (with the help of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie) the latest in a series of “evolution of dance” videos, this time focusing on the Evolution of Dad Dancing, which you can view here. My family has made Sunday a great day for me, starting with the presentation of some gifts.  No, it didn’t include this house that was recently featured in the Globe as the most expensive for sale in Brookline, or a ticket on Virgin Galactic’s passenger spaceship, but they were heartfelt and sincere, and so I treasure them more.  Along with a few iTunes gift cards, I was presented a painted rock from my youngest son that any passerby would have immediately recognized as a paperweight for my desk.  Rest assured, the 5-second pause and head tilt on my part while looking at it wasn’t a sign of confusion by me as to its purpose, but my awe at its magnificence.  My comment after the long pause of, “Oh, it’s a paperweight” was really, “Oh! It’s a paperweight!” That was followed by a package of gifts from my 7-year old daughter who included a card that I could give back to her for when I’d like one hour of silence (if you ever meet her, it’ll make sense).  Today reminded me again of the Cosby Show episode where Bill Cosby engaged in a dialogue with his wife and kids about their choice of Father’s Day and birthday presents.  I included the link back in December (during the holiday season), and you can see it again here and compare his gifts with yours.  

Before mentioning a few other things, a quick reminder on some end-of-year items:

  • The Library will not be open after school for the rest of this week.  

  • Textbooks and library books were/are due! Students have been told by teachers what they might still owe (and the replacement costs).  These obligations need to be met before students attend the end-of-year field trips. If you have any questions, please contact Jim Marcotte at  

  • 7th graders attending Kimballs will be dismissed for buses or car pick up at the “regular time” of 2:06.  8th graders attending Canobie will return to RJ Grey at around 3:45. Parents can pick students up at that time.  Buses will also return for another run, but could be between 4pm and 4:30pm depending on the completion of their elementary school routes.  

  • Wednesday, June 18 (our last day) is a half-day.  Students will be dismissed from the high school auditorium at 10:45am.  

  • The 2014-2015 school calendar was approved at the last School Committee meeting. You can download the calendar by clicking here.  

  • Report cards with Spring Trimester and year-end grades will be mailed home to families after school has ended, and should arrive in mailboxes a little later in June.

The RJ Grey Library website has turned its attention to the summer and has included many links that provides book recommendations and summer reading suggestions.  Check it out by clicking here. Also, the last issue of our online literary magazine Insights, featuring student writing and artwork, is now posted on the library website for all to view by clicking here. I hope everyone finds a little time this summer to catch up on reading - be it a novel, magazine, newspaper, or comic book.  

Last Friday night, we had our end-of-year 8th grade Dance/Celebration, and had over 300 students attend and spend a fun evening together.  The photo booth was quite the hit, and I was surprised and impressed when the students knew the lyrics to a few songs that were written before the turn of this century.  Our whole school community owes a big thanks to parent Judy Nolan for managing this event, and for agreeing to reprise her role for the next 5 years (Ok, she didn’t promise that, but it doesn’t hurt to plant the seed).  She also got a lot of help from staff members Debbie Ahl and Kate Murray, and parent Wendy Schaad.  Special thanks also to Visjna Zarak-Croke and Donna German who donated 300 cupcakes (that’s a whole lot of sugar…).  In addition, an event of this size depends on many parents volunteering their time (for set up/clean up) and donations of food and drinks, and you can see the list of our many wonderful volunteers by clicking here. A big thank you to each of them.  

Before we briefly part ways for the summer, I want to thank our parent community for their continued support of our school.  We’ve enjoyed working with you, and we certainly hope the feeling is mutual.  As I mentioned at the end of last year, these summer months away from school serve an important purpose for students, families, and teachers.  It is always fairly remarkable to see the degree to which young people change and grow even in the span of 8-10 weeks, and we look forward to reuniting with our returning (now) 8th grade students, and welcoming our next 7th grade class to RJ Grey.  Like last summer, we too will decompress a bit, and spend time dreaming up ways to make next year a great one for our students. For those of you with students returning/joining RJ Grey next year, we’ll be in touch in August with information about next year- school supplies, tryout schedules, and everything in between.

I’d like to end this year’s last Grey Matters with the Poetry Friday poem that was read to students last week.  The selection was a poem from Edna St. Vincent Millay, an American poet and playwright. She received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1923.  Mr. Malloy read Millay’s “Afternoon on a Hill” which is about taking a break from the hurried pace of our daily lives - somewhat appropriate as we enter summer vacation….

Afternoon on a Hill

Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1892-1950

I will be the gladdest thing

Under the sun!

I will touch a hundred flowers

And not pick one.

I will look at cliffs and clouds

With quiet eyes,

Watch the wind bow down the grass,

And the grass rise.

And when lights begin to show

Up from the town,

I will mark which must be mine,

And then start down!

Thanks, everyone. Have a great week and summer vacation.