Nobles Parents' E-Newsletter

December 2011

Nobles Parents' E-Newsletter December 2011


Nobody Has a Monopoly on Suffering by Ben Snyder, Head of Upper School

On the first day of my "America and Genocide" elective, I write on the board “Nobody has a monopoly on suffering,” and ask my students what they think I mean by that. It usually takes awhile—and takes some prompting to tease out—but the point of the statement is that, tragically, many groups have been the victims of genocide, and it is pointless to try to debate which targeted group has suffered "the most."


Developing the Desire to "Do Right" by John Gifford, Head of Middle School

During the first week of school, students in my Civics class discussed the dark side of human nature. Using a quote by James Madison as a springboard for conversation, we decided that Madison did not have a great deal of faith in how men would behave if left to their own devices.

"But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary."


Percentages by Erika Guy, Dean of Students

Woody Allen said, "Eighty percent of success is showing up."  Thomas Edison asserted that "Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration."  Henry Kissinger maintained that "Ninety percent of the politicians give the other 10 percent a bad reputation," and  Yogi Berra predictably mused that “Baseball is 90 percent mental and the other half is physical."

From the PA Co-Chairs

Around this time of giving thanks, we would like to recognize all the hard work that parents have done this fall to bring the Parent community together! We hope you found our events fun and informative and we look forward to the year ahead.


Class Notes

Find out what's going on and how to become involved with your student's class. Click to access your class:

Class Deans' Corner

Class IV Deans' Report


From Community Service: 'Tis the Season

Holiday music started way too early this year for our taste. Linda and I were not yet ready for "chestnuts" and "open fires;" we were knee deep in pie boxes for Community Servings down in Southie at Leo's Pies. We were not alone, of course. Nobles teachers, staff, students and parents were there with us, and a few of our own family members joined us as well.


Community Scholars

Kudos are in order for several members of the Nobles community. The achievements of faculty member Dave Ulrich, Class I student Felix Liang and recent graduate Jack Eisenmann '11 have been making headlines. Their work (and work ethic) has been showcased in a variety of media—including a well-respected academic journal, local broadcast television and tech-news websites, respectively. Read more and check out the links provided for more information.

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From the PIN Reps

The Parents' Independent School Network (PIN) has an exciting year ahead, featuring a new program of webinars for the entire school community on issues that face Upper School parents, as well as the traditional educational meetings.

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Save the Dates!

Join the PA on Sat., Dec. 10, at the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) for the 10:30 a.m. matinee performance of The Snow Queen and on Sun., Dec. 11, for the evening performance of Three Pianos, at 7:30 p.m. Choose one or both to kick off your holiday season.

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A Word of Thanks

The Middle School Pie Drive, just completing its ninth year, is happy to report a very successful effort. We donated 100 pies to the Single Parent Family Outreach Center and for the first time, we also donated pies to the Dedham Food Pantry/Dedham Youth Commission. Finally, we beat last year's dollar total with a $2,460 donation to Rosie's Place from pie sale proceeds.

Thank you for your purchases and support!

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Nobles @ SDLC

On Wed., Nov. 30, eight Nobles students traveled to Philadelphia to participate in the National Association of Independent Schools' Student Diversity Leadership Conference. This three-day event brings together close to 1,500 independent high school students from across the country. These students, from myriad racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, religious, and sexual-orientation backgrounds, all share a passion for diversity work in their schools. According to the official NAIS Conference program, the SDLC allows students the opportunity to "explore issues of social justice, practice authentic expression, stretch [their] thinking on self and society, and prepare for effective advocacy in independent schools."

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Write to Us!

The E-Newsletter is a monthly resource for parents. If you have comments, submissions or suggestions, please contact E-Newsletter Editor Julie Guptill at

You can find the current issue, along with back issues in the archive at

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