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Grey Matters, November 3, 2014; Volume 3, Number 9

posted Nov 2, 2014, 8:22 AM by Andrew Shen   [ updated Jul 6, 2015, 6:58 AM by James Marcotte ]

Hi Everyone,

I forgot last week to acknowledge and mention that the autumn festival of Diwali took place that previous week. I know that we have a number of families in our community who celebrate this holiday, and I hope that it was an enjoyable and satisfying experience this year.  I read with some interest an article about the chairman of a diamond company in India who gifted 1200 of his employees with jewelry, flats, and cars as part of their company’s Diwali celebration (and employee loyalty program).  I know nothing about this gentleman beyond what I read in the article, so I don’t know if he’s India’s version of Oprah (“You get a car! You get a car!”) or if perhaps his enormous wealth comes with controversy.  If any of you are more familiar with his story, I’d be interested in hearing about it.  

We didn’t give away any cars or jewelry last week, but we nevertheless had an enjoyable and festival Halloween Dress Up Day on Friday.  Kudos to the students (and staff) who took the time to dress up for the day.  As we previously mentioned, we started the morning with a fun and light-hearted costume contest and the outfit that came out on top belonged to 8 Green student Jacob Blood, who spent the day in his homemade (and very clever) vending machine costume (click here for a picture).  There were other great costumes nominated, including Flo the perky Progressive Insurance saleswoman, a few different movie characters, and well-dressed cowboys and zombies.  As a final nod to the Halloween festivities that many of us partook in this weekend, here is an article from PBS that highlights 8 facts about the origins of Halloween, and the link to a 2006 episode of NPR’s This American Life that featured stories about zombie raccoons and haunted houses.  

This week, I’ve got a number of important upcoming events, dates and reminders to bring to everyone’s attention. Here we go:

  • There is no school this Tuesday! It is election day, and students have the day off.  Teachers will coming to school and participating in professional development, as residents of Acton visit our gym to vote.  (Don’t forget to vote)

  • On the subject of no school, there is also no school the following Tuesday, November 11, in honor of Veteran’s Day.  School will be closed for students and teachers that day.

  • Picture Re-Take day is this Friday, November 7.  Students who ordered a picture packet and would like to re-take their photos should bring their original packet to school on Friday.  During the day, we will call students (including those who were absent on the original picture day) down to meet with the photographers.  If you have any questions, please contact Jim Marcotte (  

  • The tryout schedule for our winter sports season is scheduled for the week we return from Thanksgiving Break, and is now posted on the RJ Grey website’s athletics page.  For students interested in trying out, please review the schedule, and make sure that the Green Form (medical information) has been submitted.  

  • We will again be offering a six-session Ski Club this winter, where interested skiers and snowboarders can travel to Wachusett Mountain and enjoy what I keep hearing (and dreading) will be never-ending snow this year.  The sessions will begin after the Winter Break and will be held on Monday afternoons this year (specific dates will be forthcoming).  The sign-up process will begin later this week and will end by Thanksgiving , so stay tuned for details shared via the Daily Announcements.  

Later today (or first thing tomorrow), I will be sending all families an email about the annual parent-teacher conference sessions that we offer during three early release dates in December and January.  That email will provide families with an overview of the conferences and some things to consider before signing up.  On Wednesday, families will then receive an email from us that includes the link to the form that you should complete if you wish to schedule conferences with some (or all) of your child’s teachers.  

At the end of next week, our Drama Club will be putting on four performances of their Fall production, “Miss Nelson is Missing!”, an adaptation of the classic children’s story written in the late 1970s by Harry Allard and James Marshall.  Tickets are $7 for adults, and $4 for students, and will be sold at the door.  Showings will be on Thursday, November 13 at 4pm, Friday, November 14 at 7pm (I’ll be at this one with my daughter), and Saturday, November 15 at 2pm and 7pm.  Click here for a printable flyer.  

Finally, Thanksgiving Break is coming up in a few weeks.  Please note that it will also mark the end of our Fall Trimester, and report cards will be distributed about a week or so after we return from break (rest assured, I’ll send a note out when this happens).  For Thanksgiving last year, I shared with everyone a printable placemat that made on how to “keep the peace” at the dinner table during one’s holiday feast.  This year, I thought I’d share - with still some time for a few of you to finalize your plans - a chart posted on intended to help you decide where to spend your Thanksgiving holiday this year.  

Have a great week, everyone.