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Grey Matters, May 14, 2018; Volume 6, Number 34

posted May 13, 2018, 8:51 AM by Andrew Shen   [ updated May 20, 2018, 10:32 AM ]

Hi Everyone,

Happy Mother’s Day to any and all of you who plays that role to one (or more) of our students, or to anyone else. To ensure that Mother’s Day in the Shen household is appropriately celebrated, this edition of Grey Matters will be fairly short and my attention will be devoted towards Melisa and the plans we’ve made for the day.  If any of you were gifted with extended periods of peace and quiet as part of the day, here are a few items that you may want to consider reading and viewing.  First, the New Yorker has compiled a number of Sunday Reading pieces that address in different ways mothers and motherhood.  I also wanted to celebrate Mother’s Day by re-sharing a link to a video that I came across four years ago, and have shared every year since, that documents the time when the New York Times Magazine decided to invite a group of 2nd grade students to experience a 7-course tasting menu prepared by chef Daniel Boulud.  Normally a dining experience that comes with a $220 per person price tag, I am predicting many of you will appreciate the experiences and honest feedback that the 7-year olds offer in this 8-minute video.  There’s no direct connection between the video and Mother’s Day, it’s just a fun video to watch during a quiet moment and offer a few moments of laughter.  

Here’s some reminders for this week and beyond:

A friendly reminder that this coming Friday we will be taking the annual 8th Grade class

photo.  This is a panoramic photo that we take outside on the hill by the football field.  

Order forms have been distributed to 8th grade students.   If you have any questions or

need any sort of financial assistance, please contact David Lawrence at

Another friendly reminder for families whose children participate in our Band, Chorus or Strings programs.  The Spring concerts are coming upon us this week and next.  The Band’s Spring concert is scheduled for this Tuesday, May 15 at 7pm, and the Chorus and Strings Spring concert is scheduled for Tuesday, May 22 at 7pm.

MCAS testing is finishing up this week (hallelujah), with a few 8th grade teams completing the Science and Technology MCAS, and then we shift to 7th grade teams taking the Math MCAS for the remainder of the week.  

Memorial Day weekend is Monday, May 28th and all schools will be closed for that holiday - there will be no homework assigned for the long weekend, and I hope that families will use that time to relax and enjoy themselves.  

Starting two years ago the English Department began sponsoring a friendly contest for students who had an interest in reading an original poem during our end-of-year assembly.  We’re pleased to be including that feature again this year as part of our annual send-off event. Called, “The Final Verse”, current 8th grade students are invited to submit an original poem that speaks to one of a few possible themes (such as life lessons, memories, endings/beginnings).  One of the submitted poems will be selected and the student author will be invited to read it as part of the year-end celebration. 8th grade English teachers will share more information directly with students, and families can review the details of this contest by clicking here.  Students who submit a piece must make sure to give it to their English teacher by May 26.  English teachers have shared additional details with students during their classes, and can get additional clarification from them if they have questions.  

We’ve got a great community event coming up in a few weeks as part of our Family Learning Series.  On May 16 (this Wednesday) at 7pm in the High School Auditorium, residents can meet Andrew Forsthoefel who will be presenting “Walking to Listen: A talk on the power of listening”.  In 2011, Mr. Forsthoefel walked out of his backdoor near Philadelphia with a backpack and a sign that read “Walking to Listen” and then embarked on a year-long 4,000 mile journey across America.  For a preview of his story and message, you can watch this Ted Talk, or listen to this episode of This American Life, which also featured a story about Mr. Forsthoefel and his trek across the country.  

Finally, we had our most recent edition of Poetry Friday at the end of last week, and it featured two students from Ms. Bryan’s 7 Blue English class.  Rohan Ravindran and Vanessa Conley each read an original poem that they wrote as part of their class’ most recent poetry unit.  Check out this great student work yourself by clicking here.  

Have a great week, everyone.