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Grey Matters, November 27, 2017; Volume 6, Number 13

posted Nov 26, 2017, 7:36 AM by Andrew Shen

Hi Everyone,

Welcome back from what I hope was an enjoyable and restful Thanksgiving vacation for each of you.  From when Melisa and I first got married, we’ve celebrated Thanksgiving several different ways and in varied locations.  Each year’s plans have been heavily influenced by changes and expansion of our extended family and circumstances specific to a particular year.  This year, we went to the movies and then out to dinner with my parents, a much appreciated low-key and mess-free Thanksgiving.  Because those plans didn’t involve a helping of Stove Top stuffing, we decided the following day to cook a Thanksgiving-inspired dinner whose only requirement was a box of that artificial flavor goodness, and enough homemade gravy to last us about a week.  I might have just made hash browns this morning so I could have a reason to warm up some leftover gravy for breakfast (don’t judge).  For those of you with significantly more leftovers and are at a bit of a loss with what to do, a friendly reminder that former Governor Dukakis strongly believes that throwing away a turkey carcass is absolutely sinful and two years ago had about 30 bags of turkey bones dropped off at his home after the Boston Globe profiled his waste-not want not approach to Thanksgiving (and did a follow-up story last week).  If you’re feeling a bit more ambitious in the kitchen, consider following the lead of Chef Massimo Botura who took the leftovers brought to NPR’s cafeteria and made passatelli, an Italian pasta dish served in broth.  One experience that I am fairly confident will not be part of our family’s Thanksgiving festivities is participation in the madness of Black Friday shopping.  Crowds and long lines are two things I don’t handle particularly well, and reading about this year’s pandemonium reminded me of an article I read this summer in The Atlantic about the history and psychology of waiting in lines (The Agony and the Ecstasy of the Single File Line).  For those of you who may have braved the chaos, or perhaps get an adrenaline boost from the experience, I hope you returned home relatively unscathed and with many great deals in tow.  

Before everyone went their separate ways last week, we held our traditional Thanksgiving assembly, which is always the first all-school gathering of the year.  As usual, this assembly featured and was led by our students, starting with our Student Council officers (Tycho Dickerson, Michael Hu, Michael Cai, Balaji Ganapathi, and Ashley Dawn).  Along with great performances (as usual) by students in our Band, Chorus and Strings programs, our assembly also featured speeches by three students who submitted entries for this year’s speech competition.  Many thanks to Mariana Maranga, Anish Mudide, Sonia Wong, Shrinithi Kumar, and Stephanie Campbell for their heartfelt words and reflections.  

The annual RJ Grey musical is this week!  Five performances of Singin’ in the Rain are scheduled for this Thursday, November 30 (7pm), Friday, December 1 (7pm), Saturday, December 2 (2pm and 7pm), and Sunday, December 3 (2pm).  Tickets are $15 and are now available in the Junior High Main Office.  ABSAF holders are entitled to two free tickets and must pick up their tickets from the Main Office.  Tickets are also currently available for purchase at Donelan’s in Acton, and Red, White and Brew in West Acton, and also directly from cast members.  This is always a great family-friendly event and we hope to see many A-B families there.  

Tryouts for our Winter Sports get under way this week.  Please review the Athletics Website for information and click here for each team’s specific tryout schedule.  Please remember that the process for requesting a waiver for the athletics fee should be submitted to the Athletic Director’s office.  Please contact Assistant Principal David Lawrence ( with any questions.  

Here are some reminders for this week and next:

  • A friendly reminder that our first round of Parent-Teacher conferences are scheduled for Thursday, December 14.  Families who requested conferences have begun hearing back from Katy Frey or Anne Spalding with confirmation of their conference schedule.  A reminder to all families that for the December 14 and December 19 conferences, all students will be dismissed early at 10:40am.  The normal bus routes will run at that time and available to students.  Please keep these dates in mind when considering after school plans for your student(s).  

  • We will be highlighting the sale of our Yearbook in the next few weeks, stay tuned for more details.  

  • The Fall Trimester closes this Tuesday and report cards will be distributed on or around Friday, December 8.  This year, report cards will be emailed to families as a PDF document and a paper copy will also be handed to students that same day.  

Finally, an important reminder about capital planning efforts by our school district.  First, the towns of Acton and Boxborough will hold Special Town Meetings next Monday, December 4 and the first article to be voted on will be the potential allocation of funds for the new school building feasibility study.  Our school district has been accepted into the state’s school building funding program and would receive reimbursement for up to 50% of the project.  The vote on December 4 is to allocate funds for the feasibility study only.  If you’d like to learn more before the Town Meeting (at 7pm in the High School auditorium), you can attend one of three remaining information forums (11/29 at noon at Boxborough Senior/Community Center; 11/29 at 7pm, Conant School; 12/2 at 10am, Douglas School) or watch the video presentation and/or the tour of the Douglas School.  

Have a great week, everyone.  Welcome back.