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Grey Matters, October 26, 2015; Volume 4, Number 8

posted Oct 25, 2015, 8:18 AM by Andrew Shen   [ updated Jun 24, 2016, 5:31 AM by James Marcotte ]

Hi Everyone,

There was (appropriately, in my opinion) a decent amount of coverage last week given to the fact we arrived at October 21, 2015, which is the date that Marty McFly traveled to in Back to the Future II (set in 1985, and released in 1989).  Unlike the movie version of that day, there aren’t any flying cars in 2015, and while the Chicago Cubs did not win the World Series, they did have a good season.  To celebrate this important cultural event, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) made an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and got an update from Mr. Kimmel about what we’ve all been up to for the past 30 years (which basically boils down to being overly obsessed with taking and posting selfies).  Something that Mr. Kimmel didn’t mention, but was highlighted in a New York Times article this morning (“Your Job Title is….What?”), is the recent proliferation of less traditional job titles that people and companies use to describe their professional roles. While this trend was only recently seen primarily in the start-up world, it has become more prevalent in a number of different work environments.  I can’t emphasize how exciting it was to come across this article, given that Katy Frey, our Executive Director of Office Affairs, has spent over a year working on the challenging task of crafting new job titles for everyone in the RJ Grey Main Office (this is really true).   We’ve been a little reluctant to officially adopt the new title of Ms. Frey’s position because we thought it might have been too ahead of the curve, but all doubts have evaporated after reading in the article that someone in another organization with a similar role to Ms. Frey’s has the (actual) title “Head of Office Experience”.  Joking aside, Ms. Frey, Ms. Jarostchuk, and Ms. Spalding are three of the primary reasons why RJ Grey operates as smoothly and efficiently as it does, so some of these title changes aren’t necessarily that outrageous.  Any hiccups and gaffes that do occur in our school are more than likely the result of a misstep by the school’s Principal Senior Learning Evangelist and Transportation Ambassador/Human Speed Bump.  

A few reminders and updates about upcoming events:

Picture re-take day has been re-scheduled for Tuesday, November 10.  We were originally hoping to hold it this Tuesday, but the vendor has not completed our order, which would make reviewing the photos a bit difficult for families!  

This Friday is Halloween Dress Up Day.  First, please note that participation is completely optional and the rate of student (and teacher) participation is around 50%, so no student should feel compelled to come in a costume.  During any costume planning, please help your child keep in mind that we must still avoid including props that mimic weapons (swords, firearms, knives, etc.), and clothing that includes profanity and/or might be overly revealing or minimalist in nature.  It’s a great tradition, and we all look forward to a fun and spirited day.  

There is no school for students next Tuesday, November 3, as it is a Professional Learning day for all staff in the District.  There is also no school for students and staff on Wednesday, November 11 for Veteran’s Day.  

For those who might already making travel plans for the Thanksgiving holiday, we have a half-day of school on Wednesday, November 25.  We have a mid-morning assembly and then dismissal at 10:40am.  The Fall Trimester closes on that day, and report cards get distributed about two weeks after that (more on that when we get closer to that date).  bye-bye-birdie.png

A quick save Save-the-Date about this year’s RJ Grey musical - Bye, Bye Birdie.  Performances are scheduled for Thursday, December 3 thru Sunday, December 6 (with two performances on Saturday the 5th).  For more information about the musical, you can visit the Theater Arts website.  Ticket information will be coming soon.  

This year, we will again be offering a six-session Ski and Board Club during the winter season, where interested skiers and snowboarders can travel to Wachusett Mountain and enjoy an afternoon of skiing/snowboarding, along with time with friends and classmates The sessions will begin after the Winter Break and will be held on Tuesday afternoons this year (specific dates will be forthcoming).  The sign-up process will begin later this week and will end by December 4, so stay tuned for details shared via the Daily Announcements.  

There is still time for students interested in signing up for the school’s Washington D.C. trip planned for this coming April Vacation.  If you are interested in learning more about this exciting opportunity (financial cost, logistics, and programming) for your child, please contact Marc Lewis (, and you can also visit the Close Up Foundation’s website to get a glimpse of what the trip will include.  As a side note, we are in the process of identifying options for our plans to bring a nurse on the trip. If there is a parent (or relative) who is a nurse and would be interested in attending, we are eager to talk to you and discuss what that role would look like, and appropriate compensation (that would begin with waiving the trip fee for your child).  

Finally, this past week’s Poetry Friday reading was delivered by Rebecca Mazonson.  Ms. Mazonson is the Social Studies teacher on 8 Gold, and prior to her joining RJ Grey, she attended the same institutions of higher learning as yours truly, for both her undergraduate and graduate studies.  We often connect on that shared history, until she of course finds it necessary to note that her time as a student came 13 years after my own.  The poem she selected for last Friday was “Portrait of Girl with Comic Book”, and this was her introduction to the poem: “[It] attempts to describe what it is like to be a 13-year-old girl.  The author, Phyllis McGinley, was a junior high school teacher before she became a poet.  She published this poem in 1952.  In the poem, McGinley describes how it can be hard to be 13.  You’re not quite a child, but not quite an adult; you’re trying to figure out who your friends are, and you’re trying to figure out who you are.  I like this poem because it helps me remember what it was like to be 13 – even though, as McGinley says, it can never quite be recalled.”  Click here to read the poem.  

Have a great week, everyone.