Happy Father’s Day to those of you who celebrated the event this past weekend. We went out to dinner in the North End on Saturday night with my wife’s family, and had a joint celebration for the three dads who were in attendance. After dinner, we made our way to the North End staple/tourist trap Mike’s Pastry, where I’ve never seen a line with less than 50 people. As my sister-in-law got in line, I made my way inside to some open tables, and on the way was verbally berated by a fellow customer who thought I was cutting her and 30 other people. I’ve decided that while I enjoy a good overpriced cannoli (4 bucks each!) as much as the next person, it’s not worth the grief (and waiting) that usually ensues. Not sure, however, if I’ll ever convince my father-in-law of Italian descent, and his desert-loving daughter (my wife), to share that conclusion. For those also celebrating Father’s Day, here’s a quick clip from the Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, where they asked kids in Rockefeller Plaza questions about their dads.
We had over 350 8th grade students join us last Friday night for a really great end-of-year celebration. Watching and interacting with them at these events always reminds us of how fortunate we are to have a school full of great kids. I mentioned to a few parents that evening that only in middle school could you have hundreds of students dancing excitedly to music by Kanye West, and then immediately transition to a group sing-along of “Let It Go” from Disney’s Frozen. A little surreal, and yet completely representative of this particular age group. We hope those of you whose children attended the event heard positive reports about the evening, and that everyone had a good time. To the small cohort of parents who snuck in towards the end of the night to take a few pictures, you were brave souls to risk a response from your teenage child that would probably make my Mike’s Pastry scolding look like a friendly chat between old friends.
An event of this size is only possible because we continue to have parents and families who are willing to contribute their time and energy, and to donate a mountain of food. A big “Thank You” to the many parents who made a commitment to helping make the evening a big success. And a super-sized thank you to Judy Nolan for continuing to take the lead, and managing coordinating all the moving parts and planning involved with a big party for a few hundred teenagers.
Here’s a final list of reminders and notes about this week, please make sure you follow up with your sons or daughters about anything that might pertain to you:
So this is the 39th and final edition of Grey Matters for the year. Before we briefly part ways for the summer, I want to thank you, our parent community, for your continued support of our school. It does not escape me (or us) the degree to which parent involvement and investment changes the landscape of a school, more often than not for the better. We know that parents have high expectations for the school, and that we also have high expectations for the parents. This partnership is indeed what often leads to the great experiences that so many of our students have at RJ Grey. To be sure, those high expectations also means that there will be moments where we aren’t in total agreement on some things. However, I’ll always take passionate debate and occasional disagreements over apathy and disinterest, especially when it comes from a shared interest in how to help our students (your kids) develop into thoughtful and confident individuals. We’ve enjoyed working with you this year, and we certainly hope the feeling is mutual.
For those parents who do not have students returning to RJ Grey, thank you for continuing to engage with me about the different topics of discussion that get mentioned on Grey Matters! It’s tempting to create an alumni edition of Grey Matters, so we can keep exchanging articles about all things bacon, like this most recent one, whose title ends with the phrase, “How to Eat Bacon with Everything”.
As I mentioned at the end of last year, the summer months away from school serve an important purposes for students, families, and teachers. It’s an opportunity to decompress, pursue other interests, and re-charge. Thinking about school 24/7 doesn’t benefit anyone, and we hope that everyone uses these next 8-10 weeks to expand their horizons, try some new things, and sometimes enjoy and treasure those moments where time feels like it moves more slowly while you’re doing absolutely nothing at all. It is always remarkable to see the degree to which young people change and grow, even in these (too short) summer months, and we look forward to reuniting with our returning 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.
Have a great week, and a great summer, everyone.