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Grey Matters, November 10, 2014; Volume 3, Number 10

posted Nov 9, 2014, 6:50 AM by Andrew Shen   [ updated Jul 6, 2015, 6:58 AM by James Marcotte ]

Hi Everyone,

Because we are about three weeks away from the Thanksgiving holiday, it is apparently the perfect time for my kids to write down their winter holiday wish lists (our family celebrates Christmas).  Well, the perfect time according to my kids and probably endorsed by the retail industry.  So on Saturday morning, our 7-year old created her list, and our 6-year old created his.  Long gone are the days when our kids simply mentioned general categories of things (i.e. “toys” or “sports stuff”), or maybe “world peace”, they went straight for the jugular (and my wallet) and listed specific items that included what some of us might consider fairly ambitious asks.  Or at least that’s how I’d describe my daughter’s decision to list an iPhone 6 and “1,000,000 dolers” (sic) on her sheet.  So wonderful that she’s already at the place where she simply lists cash as a welcome option (sigh).  If that’s where we are going, then I think I’ll add this to my own list of gift ideas.  And then there’s our 6-year old who, among other things, simply asked for a box of bacon (that one actually might show up under the tree this year).  This is the same child who last night at bedtime asked me what we should do if Jake from State Farm also called us in the middle of the night.  All of the above tells me that it’s time for the Shens to watch a little less television.   

A few things worth mentioning as reminders and notes for the next few weeks:

  • There is no school this Tuesday, in honor of Veteran’s Day.  

  • We will have (as usual) a half-day on Wednesday, November 26 as we enter the Thanksgiving Break.  The entire student body will gather in the gymnasium to participate in our Thanksgiving Assembly, and then will be dismissed at 11:06am (with regular bus routes).  

  • Students who plan to tryout for basketball or cheerleading (our Winter sports) need to make sure their “Green Form” is completed and reviewed by our school nurse.  Tryouts for many start the Monday we return from Thanksgiving Break, so taking care of this task before the break will save you a lot of stress and agita.  

  • The sign-up process for this year’s Ski Club continues up to November 26.  If your child is interested in participating, please pick up a registration form at the Main Office and contact Kate Murray ( with any questions.  

Last week, we sent out a note to families about this year’s Parent-Teacher conferences.  Thanks to those who have already completed the online request form and communicated with Katy Frey or Anne Spalding with any questions.  This is a friendly reminder to please complete the form as soon as you can (if you are interested in a conference), so that we can schedule and confirm your conference times.  

The Drama Club’s fall production, Miss Nelson is Missing, opens this Thursday afternoon!  Tickets are sold at the door for the Thursday afternoon, Friday night, and Saturday afternoon and evening showings.  We hope to see many of you there.  

Earlier this week, I came across an article that summarized some research being conducted on how reading poetry might stimulate the brain in different and beneficial ways, which complemented nicely our latest installment of Poetry Fridays.  For last week, Vicki Weeks, 8 Red English teacher, selected a poem to acknowledge the upcoming Veteran’s Day holiday.  For this, she selected what’s known as a “Found” poem - which are written by arranging quoted lines from a story/novel with the intent to tell the story concisely.  Specifically, she selected a found poem (click here to read) written by a high school student using lines from Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried.  

Finally, another plug for our RJ Grey Twitter feed.  We have been stagnant at 195 followers for a few weeks now, so we’ll have to come up with some ways to generate more followers. I’m not above bribery and may consider that route, especially since Mr. Brand’s Twitter feed has now surpassed us at 203 followers (not that Glenn and I have a friendly competition going on with our Twitter feeds….)

Have a great week, everyone.