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Grey Matters, November 17, 2014; Volume 3, Number 11

posted Nov 16, 2014, 12:14 PM by Andrew Shen   [ updated Jul 6, 2015, 6:57 AM by James Marcotte ]

Hi Everyone,

I brought my daughter and her friend Evan to Saturday afternoon’s performance of Miss Nelson is Missing, and hope that many of you had an opportunity to attend one of the 4 shows put on by our Drama Club.  Addie and Evan enjoyed the show, and afterwards, as they were standing next to the student actors in the lobby, had a look of awe on their faces as they rubbed shoulders with these celebrities who were just on stage.  Talking to Ms. Miller after the show, I did have second thoughts about my decision to sit in the second row, as both of us thought that when Connor Spaulding came out for his first scene as the bumbling school principal, he might have spotted me and had a moment of , “oh no, this could be awkward.”  He, like the rest of the cast, were wildly entertaining and made a story that my family cherishes come to life.  One of my favorite lines from the play was, “Maybe all teachers live on the same street”, which certainly speaks to what seems a tradition of students being unable to imagine their teachers in settings other than the schoolhouse, and with lives beyond the classroom. NPR recently began a series called “The Secret Lives of Teachers” that tries to address the disorienting feeling we’ve all had when we run into our teachers at the grocery store, and to highlight some of the hobbies, interests and, in some instances, second jobs that teachers pursue (and by the way, it’s just as awkward, if not more, each time that I pick up prescriptions at our local CVS where one of my former students works).  

A few quick notes and reminders:

  • Sign up for this year’s Ski Club will continue up to Thanksgiving Break.  Please visit the main office for registration materials.  Also, please remember that registration involves both an online sign up with Wachusett directly and completing some RJ Grey forms.  For any questions, please contact Kate Murray (  

  • When you need to dismiss/pick up your child during the school day, please be sure to send in a dismissal note and have your student bring it to Mrs. Frey at the start of the day.  This allows the main office to write a pass for the student, and also helps us keep track of the comings and goings of our students (which is really important for many reasons).  For details, please visit the page on our website that outlines main office procedures.

  • Next week, I’ll be sharing information for those interested in ordering a yearbook this year, which typically takes place during the month of December.  Stay tuned.  

The Fall sports season is now over, we hope those who participated had a great experience.  I wanted to remind everyone that students can always join our after school clubs at any point in the year (check out the list here for a reminder).  So if you played soccer this Fall, and now have some time and interest in MathCounts, or Origami, or Spanish Club, don’t hesitate to show up at the next meeting.  For those who might be interested in our Ping Pong Club, I recently read an article about someone’s new spin on the sport that involves making the playing surface more multi-dimensional and looks pretty neat.  Students looking forward to this year’s musical, Once On This Island, will get more information about auditions and workshops after the Thanksgiving Break.  Finally, those planning to try out for the basketball team(s) or cheerleading squad should double check the tryout schedule and make sure all forms are ready to be submitted.  

A few weeks ago, I made brief mention of a parent workshop that we are offering on the evening of December 15 (Monday) at 6:30pm in the Library.  For the past three years, we have held an assembly for 7th grade students that is led by a presenter from the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center (MARC), and addresses issues of social media, cyberbullying, and issues pertaining to the “digital world”.  This year, the presenter - Megan McCoy - will again present to 7th grade students on December 15, and then stay with us that evening to meet with parents who are interested in discussing this topic with her (so if you’re interested, come join us!).  MARC has very much been at the forefront of efforts within the state to continue better understand issues of bullying and peer conflict, so we feel fortunate that they’ll be visiting us again this year.  

There’s another event taking place in December that I want to share with everyone.  Two years ago, a friend of mine who is a Vassar alum sent me a video clip of an interview with Dr. Abigail Baird, who teaches at Vassar and conducts research on adolescent brain development.  The interviewer was Lisa Kudrow, of "Friends" fame (and also a Vassar alum), and since I grew up in the '90s, I had a hard time getting past the fact that the interviewer was Phoebe Buffay, and was waiting for her to start singing songs about Smelly Cat.  However, they spend time talking about adolescent brain development, the interplay between emotions and decision making, and a whole host of other really interesting topics- and Abby Baird will be speaking in Lincoln on Monday, December 1st at an event that is open to the public! A colleague involved in bringing Dr. Baird to Lincoln made me aware of this event, and encourages anyone (not just Lincoln residents) who might be interested to attend and join in the conversation.  Click here to view a flyer for the event.   

As we continue to get closer and closer to the Thanksgiving Break, one of my favorite holidays, I keep coming across great stories and tips related to both the social dimensions, as well as culinary aspects, of the holiday.  This week, I happily share with you two articles about something that I’ve always wanted to try, but have never gotten around to - deep frying a turkey.  I was recently told by my wife that as long as we’re married, we never will be deep frying a turkey, so I pass along the article so I can potentially live vicariously through one of you.  

Finally, Sesame Street is in its 45th season, and to celebrate this milestone they released a list of their 45 favorite musical guests, starting with Stevie Wonder’s appearance in Season 4, and ending with Usher’s rendition of the alphabet in Season 44.  Enjoy.  

Have a great week, everyone.