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Grey Matters, June 13, 2016; Volume 4, Number 38

posted Jun 12, 2016, 12:28 PM by Andrew Shen   [ updated Jun 24, 2016, 5:21 AM by James Marcotte ]

Hi Everyone,

I think it’s a safe bet that many, if not most, of us are becoming more preoccupied with the start of summer, which is within arm’s reach.  Based on a number of conversations I’ve had with students, teachers, and families, what we anticipate to be the excitement that comes with summer vacation is taking up quite a bit of real estate in our collective minds.  I’ve heard about plans for summer camps, trips to Cape Cod and Maine, and sports clinics.  I’ve also had described for me some really exciting trips to Europe and Asia, though interestingly and surprisingly none of those descriptions included an invitation for me to join.  Our family doesn’t have any significant adventures planned for this summer, though I am sure we’ll make good use of the pool in our backyard.  I am also tempted to try and convince my family that we should try and hit all 37 New England clam shacks that were recently featured on, and then I can include a review of each establishment as part of each edition of Grey Matters next year.  I will freely admit that I’ve got a soft spot (and as a result, a soft(er) belly) for fried seafood.  My wife and kids, however, would much prefer to visit all of the ice cream shops also featured on, and write reviews about those experiences.  I’m wondering if we can’t do both?  If when we return in late August, you see about 4 additional inches on my waistline, you’ll know what the answer was to that preceding question.  

We had a great turnout for last Friday’s 7th grade dance, and from what I could tell the students had a great time (hopefully that’s what they shared with all of you).  The success of any event such as Friday night’s dance hinges on the dedication and hard work of some RJ Grey staff and parent volunteers.  This dance, and next week’s 8th grade dance, wouldn’t be possible without the work of Debbie Ahl, 8th grade English teacher and Student Council advisor.  Tina Connors once again graciously took on the task of organizing parent donations and staffing the food tables during the event, and we are enormously grateful for her efforts last week, and really for the past few years.  Thank you to Tina, and Sudha Vijay, Christine & John Casebolt, Jen Birenbach, Kate Imhoff, Claudine Lesk, and Xinrong Qiu for staffing the snack table and making sure we all stayed hydrated.  

The 8th Grade End-of-Year Dance/Celebration is this Friday at 7pm!  This event is held in our (transformed) cafeteria and students enter through the side door (you’ll see it); so parents who are dropping kids off can pull right up to the front of the school.  When picking kids up after the dance, we would suggest parking in the lower parking lot and either waiting in the car, or coming up to the entrance to meet your kids (your options probably depend on the degree to which your child allows you to be seen in public with them).  

A few friendly reminders about the next two weeks:

  • Does your child have an RJ Grey Library book or old textbook buried under some laundry?  Teachers will begin the process of collecting textbooks and other learning materials, so anything you can do to help unearth these items would be greatly appreciated (and save you some money).  Also, for families who might have a negative balance in their child’s lunch account, please be sure to reconcile that matter as well.  If you have questions about your lunch account, feel free to email Kirsten Nelson at

  • The end-of-year field trips are on June 22nd.  7th graders will be dismissed at the regular 2:06pm time and can take the buses home.  8th graders will return from Canobie around 4pm, and there will be a second run of the bus routes that take place between 4pm and 4:20pm (or you can come and pick them up).  

We had our last edition of Poetry Friday last week, with a final selection by Mr. Malloy.  Sharing my enthusiasm for how summer is right around the corner, he selected a piece by Stuart Dyback called “Clothespins.”  As he noted in his introduction, “Summer beckons with its care-free hours and, if we’re lucky, chances to let our imaginations wander.  This morning’s poem features languid summer afternoons and much imagination.” Click here to read the piece.  

About a week and a half to go.  

Have a great week, everyone.