Grey Matters‎ > ‎Grey Matters 15-16‎ > ‎

Grey Matters, November 9, 2015; Volume 4, Number 10

posted Nov 8, 2015, 1:26 PM by Andrew Shen   [ updated Jun 24, 2016, 5:30 AM by James Marcotte ]

Hi Everyone,

I think the Universe got wind of my recent string of Grey Matters newsletters that focused on how I would use the $625,000 that comes along with a MacArthur Genius grant (had I actually been awarded one, that is), because I came upon a New York Times article from late September that highlighted how those who actually did receive MacArthur Genius grants approached their financial windfalls.   While I daydreamed about giant treehouses and life-sized Cozy Coupes, the article focused on how many of the recipients channeled the money into supporting programs and efforts that aligned with their life’s work.  Inspired by those stories, I am going to keep that approach in mind next year when my streak of not being named may finally come to an end. However, one item that I think might be worthy of MacArthur prize money because the creation of it was itself a work of genius, is this Star Wars-inspired waffle maker that makes waffles in the form of the Death Star.  Given the upcoming release of the next installment of the Star Wars series, I now know what might appear on my own holiday wish list.  

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

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

  • We will have (as usual) a half-day on Wednesday, November 25 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 10:40am (with regular bus routes).  

  • The sign-up process for this year’s Ski Club continues up to December 4.  If your child is interested in participating, please pick up a registration form at the Main Office and contact Lynne Kondracki ( with any questions.  You can also download the forms from our website by clicking here.

  • 7 Red’s annual Coat Drive continues, so if you have any coats (for adults or children), they can be dropped off in our Lobby.  

  • Picture retake day is this Tuesday, November 10th. If your child ordered a photo package and you would like for him/her to re-take the photo, please have your child bring in the original package on that day. If your student missed Picture Day earlier this year, this is also the time for him or her to have a photo taken. Even if you don't have plans to order a photo package, it is important to have everyone's photo taken so they will be included in this year's yearbook. Please contact Jim Marcotte ( 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 (7th grade) or Anne Spalding (8th grade) 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.  

Students who plan to tryout for 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.  Please note that plans for our Cheerleading program is still listed as TBA.  We have been searching for a coach, and have not been able to identify one for this upcoming season.  If you know of someone who may have an interest in the position, and would potentially be a good fit for the program, please encourage them to review the posting which can be viewed here.  

We now have 93 students signed up for our inaugural trip to Washington DC, scheduled for the first part of April Vacation!  We would love for more students to sign up and participate, and to also make sure that those with interest are aware of the steps involved.  We will still accept registrations up to the Thanksgiving Break. Don’t hesitate in emailing Marc Lewis ( for more information.  A few weeks ago, I sent out a plea regarding our need to have a nurse or physician attend the trip, and I am happy to share that Dr. Jeffrey Ristaino, one of our RJ Grey parents, has graciously offered to join us for this adventure.  Many of you may be familiar with Dr. Ristaino, who is a physician at a local practice.  He also has the distinction of being the doctor who, two years ago, skillfully removed a piece of astroturf from my youngest son’s ear canal.  Let’s just say that Dr. Ristaino was on the back end of what Parker explained at the time as “a magic trick” where he inserted the piece of turf (those little black pebbles) into one ear and planned to have it come out of the other.  It didn’t, and so after watching Parker spend an entire day continuously shaking his head to one side, our beloved David Copperfield, Jr. told us what happened and off we went to the pediatrician.  We’re in good hands with Dr. Ristaino, and extremely grateful for his willingness to serve this important role on our trip.  

We hope everyone has plans to attend this year’s musical, Bye Bye Birdie.  The students are working hard, and we’re looking forward to another performance that showcases our students’ talents.  Performances will be the week after we return from Thanksgiving Break, on December 3rd through December 6th.   Click here to view the flyer.  Tickets are $15 and can be purchased starting this Thursday, November 10 at the RJ Grey main office, Donelan’s and Red, White & Brew (and at the door).  ABSAF Pass holders should get their tickets at the Junior High main office.  

The Kevin Breel event is this Wednesday, November 11! Click here for the flyer. Kevin is a 21 year old writer, comedian and mental health activist who shares his first hand experience with depression.  Returning as part of his book tour, Kevin’s return engagement is sponsored by the ABRPTSO and Danny’s Place Youth Services, and the cost of the ticket also provides each attendee with a copy of his book, Boy Meets Depression or Life Sucks and Then You Live.  This event will be held at the High School auditorium, with doors opening at 6pm and Kevin speaking at 7pm.  Kevin’s presentation will be followed by a book signing and desserts by Bisousweet Confections and sponsored by the Metrowest Behavioral Health Center.  This is a ticketed event and is expected to sell out (so tickets must be purchased in advance).  Tickets are $15.76 and can be purchased online by going to  The sponsors of this program would like to ensure that all families who are interested in attending have the opportunity to do so, and are working with the schools to provide tickets to families for whom the cost of the event may prove to be a hardship.  Please email me ( if you’d like more information.   Breel.jpg

Finally, our most recent installment of Poetry Fridays took place at the end of last week.  Mr. Malloy read a poem by Ron Padgett entitled, “How to Be Perfect”.  In its entirety, the poem contains 97 pieces of advice so in the interests of time, Mr. Malloy selected about twenty piece of advice to read that morning.  You can read those selections by clicking here.  

Have a great week, everyone.