Nobles Parents' E-Newsletter

May 2012

Nobles Parents' E-Newsletter May 2012

Follow the Nobles Blogs



Nobles has entered the blogosphere! This April, the school unveiled a series of blogs, ranging in topics and featuring posts from community members. Each day, several are featured on the Nobles homepage; you can also find the complete blog roll at www.nobles.edu/blogs.

Check them out:

Nobles Theatre Collective



Performing Arts

Greetings from the Nobles Theatre Collective (NTC),

This spring the NTC presents the musical, Hairspray, on Tuesday, May 15 through Friday, May 18 at 6:30 p.m., and Saturday, May 19 at 2 p.m. Fifty performers, 20 technicians and a live band will bring this fun and colorful musical to life in Vinik Theatre. We hope you will join us. Tickets may be purchased through a link on the calendar at www.nobles.edu. The show will run approximately two and a half hours and tickets are $15. A short description of this rousing musical follows:

Set in 1962 Baltimore, 16-year-old Tracy Turnblad is a big girl with big hair who wants to dance on the Corny Collins Show! What started as a John Waters' movie in 1988 became a Broadway musical in 2002. Hairspray is based on the New Line Cinema film written and directed by John Waters. The book is by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, music by Marc Shaiman and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman.

The NTC welcomes you to attend this exciting production!

NTC Parent Reps

Maureen Norment
Pnorment345@comcast.net

Miguel Urena
aumi@verizon.net

Save the Date—Nobles Movie Night



Join us for a screening of Beyond Belief (produced and directed by Beth Murphy) on Friday, May 4, 6:30 p.m., in Lawrence Auditorium. The evening is co-sponsored by the following student groups: Human Rights Club, Asian Culture Club, Calling All Crows, Multicultural Student Association and Community Service Board. This event is open to the public. A Q&A with Susan Retik will follow the movie.

Synopsis
Susan Retik and Patti Quigley are two ordinary moms living their American dream until both husbands are killed by terrorists. Rather than turning inwards, grief compels them to travel to Afghanistan and help empower Afghan women whose lives have been ravaged by decades of war, poverty and oppression, factors they consider to be root causes of terrorism. As Susan and Patti make the courageous journey from their comfortable suburban Boston neighborhoods to the most desperate Afghan villages, they discover a powerful bond with each other, an unlikely kinship with widows halfway around the world, and a profound way to move beyond tragedy.

News from the Foster Gallery



Above piece by Jake Oh, Class I

Up next in Foster Gallery: Student Show 2012: Works from the AP Studios, will be on exhibit May 7-June 1, 2012. The annual student exhibition showcases the breadth and depth of creative endeavors explored by students enrolled in the AP photography, ceramics, and painting/drawing programs at Nobles. Participating artists are: Lara Abouhamad, Eddie Adams, Omar Augustin, Ashley Conley, Kimmy Ganong, Tory Macdonald, Charlie McIntyre, Kimberly Nguyen, Ekene Nwankwo, Jake Oh, Sarah Puccio, Diego Seligman Cevantes, Nick Simmons, Charlotte Thorndike, Dan Vogel, Elisielle Wilson and Margaret Yang.

There will be a Parents' Association coffee in the gallery with AP teachers and students on Friday May 18, from 8:15-9:15 a.m. The evening reception on Wednesday May 30, 5:30-6:30 p.m, is open to the public and light refreshments will be served.

Middle School Reps: (from left) Leslie Del Col, Sarah Paglione, Brooke Sandford, Carol Taiclet



Middle School Newsletter May/June 2012

The end of the school year is almost here. I am sure many of our kids are counting the days. There are still many more activities left in May and June. On May 1, Middle School students have their first surprise lunch. The Middle School is one of the last grades to have a surprise lunch and we hope they enjoy the special treatment. Cotton candy and ice cream sundaes are for Middle School students only! May 4 is the much anticipated Middle School social dance. Other upcoming events include the Solar Car Race for Class V on May 16, as well as their Step Up Ceremony on June 7. On June 8, there is a trip organized by the Nobles PA for both Middle School classes to go to Canobie Lake Park.

We would like to thank all of you for your help with the various events throughout the year. We feel very lucky to have such a great community of parents who are always willing to help. We hope you were able to join us for the spring parent socials. We want to thank the Rueppel family for hosting the Class V party and the Maroni family for hosting the Class VI party. We also want to thank everyone for their donations including the London family and The Boston Beer Company for the donation of Samuel Adams beer to the Class V Social.

Important Dates for May and June:

Tuesday, May 1: 'Round the World “RTW” Culminating Event for Class VI. The day begins with a surprise lunch for all Middle Schoolers and ends with an evening presentation for Class VI families and friends at 6 p.m., in Morrsion Forum and all
Middle School classrooms. Everyone is invited!

Thursday, May 3: Wind/String/Orchestra Concert, Lawrence Auditorium 7-9 p.m.

Friday, May 4: Middle School Dance, Richardson Gym 7-9:30 p.m.

Tuesday, May 8: Parents' Association Meeting, MAC Lower Lobby 8-9:30 a.m.

Thursday, May 10: Middle School Day of Service. Students will return in time for their afternoon program. Details to follow.

Thursday, May 10: Parent Book Group, MAC conference room 8-11 a.m. The current book to be covered is The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris by David McCullough.

Friday & Saturday, May 11 &12: Nobles Graduates' Day/Reunion Weekend.

Saturday, May 12: Nobles Stamp Out Hunger Drive, 12-3 p.m. Nobles has partnered with the Letter Carriers Union and the Dedham Food Pantry to do a one day food collection. Volunteers are needed to unload trucks and sort food. Contact Linda Hurley for more information at linda_hurley@nobles.edu.

Tuesday, May 15 through Saturday May 19: Spring Musical: Hairspray! in Vinik Theatre

Wednesday, May 16: Class V Solar Car Races and All-School Barbecue, Tennis Courts. Come watch the various Class V solar car creations as students race them across the tennis courts! Races begin after 10 a.m. (Rain dates are May 17 or 18.)

Wednesday, May 23: The Dumb Waiter, Towles Auditorium, 6-7:30 p.m. This play is the senior project of Chris Collins-Pisano. It is a one-act play with Chris and his faculty advisor Todd Morton.

Wednesday, May 23: Nobles vs. Milton Games. Come cheer the Middle School teams on as they finish their Spring season competing against Milton. Please refer to the athletic website, www.nobles.edu/athletics, for time and locations.

Thursday, May 24: Middle School Visual Arts Opening, Arts Center Lobby, 6-7 p.m. Come view the Middle School students' art before you head to the choral concert. You will be amazed by the work our students have completed! Also, stop by the bake sale (proceeds go to various Middle School service causes) and enjoy some delicious treats prior to the spring choral concert.

Thursday, May 24: Choral Concert, Lawrence Auditorium, 7–9 p.m.

Monday, May 28: No school, Memorial Day

Friday, June 1: Nobles Graduation Day! Graduation Day is a required event for all students. All students should arrive at school by 8:15 a.m. All-school Assembly in Lawrence Auditorium will begin promptly at 8:30 a.m. Graduation ceremonies will begin at 10 a.m, and pick up will be at the Middle School by noon. No lunch will be served on this day. Graduation dress code: girls—dress, skirt or dress pants; boys—jacket and tie. No sneakers for any student.

Monday, June 4 through Thursday, June 7: Final Exams. Schedule to follow.

Thursday, June 7: Class V Step up Ceremony, Vinik Theatre 11:15 a.m.–2 p.m. Class V parents and families, please come and celebrate as your Fifthies complete their Middle School years. A barbeque will follow on "the Beach."

Friday, June 8: No School, Comment Writing Day and exam make-up date

Friday, June 8: Canobie Lake Park trip. This is a parent-led event. Any questions please contact Cindy Trull via email at cdtrull@att.net. More details to follow.

Monday, June 11: Final day of school! All-school Assembly, mini classes, and individual advisor meetings. Students are dismissed after their advisor meeting.

Have a great summer!

Class V Reps:
Brooke Sandford, brooke.sandford@gmail.com
Carol Taiclet, taiclet@comcast.net

Class VI Reps:
Sarah Paglione, spaglione@comcast.net
Leslie Del Col, cldelcol@gmail.com

Purchase All-School and Class I Photos



The 2011-12 all-school photo—and Class I photo—are still available to purchase online. Either would make a great gift or memento, especially for a graduating Class I student or Class V student who will be stepping up this year.

To access THIS years' photos, visit http://www.panfoto.com/photography/schools/detail.cfm?RecordID=1048.

You can also order earlier years' photos: http://www.panfoto.com/photography/schools/index.cfm (Scroll down and click on "Noble and Greenough")

Technology and Teaching by Bob Henderson, Head of School



When I tell my students that I went to college before the existence of the personal computer, they can hardly believe it. Most years, at some point in my AP European history class, we have a discussion about the late 20th-century pace of technological change, and I have my moment to come off as really old! I explain that when I was in college there were no cell phones, and that the only telephones in my college dormitory were payphones on each hallway. Notes between students and about various events were exchanged on a message board where we pinned up pieces of paper. My students are amazed at this, wondering how one can function without instant digital access to friends and information. Indeed, I find it hard to recall how I actually got by without having an iPhone, iPad and laptop computer within easy reach. Despite the technological revolution, there certainly are aspects of what teachers do every day in their classrooms that have changed very little over the last generation. However, while there is wisdom in retaining many of the core aspects of teaching that are timeless, it is also true that good teachers must struggle to figure out technologies that enhance instruction and that are best suited to students living in the digital age. Nobles has always offered leadership in this regard, yet there are significant challenges in this process.

The guiding principle of technological advance at Nobles could be summarized by using the analogy of the thrill of walking out onto a frozen pond—we want to get as close as possible to the edge of the ice without it breaking under us, sending us to our demise in the water. In other words, for as long as I have been at Nobles, the school has sought to encourage faculty pioneers to experiment with new technologies, providing incentives and support. Those pioneers then proselytize, demonstrating to peers both tools and methods that are actually effective. We have not, however, ever taken the approach of adopting a new technology on a mandatory school-wide basis. This is because technology advances exponentially faster year after year, and broad commitments to a single technology are too vastly expensive for the school to stay ahead of the game with this approach. So, for instance, we have not installed “smart-boards” in every classroom. Rather, a group of teachers have made interesting use of them, articulating to colleagues what works and what has been limiting about these machines. We did not become a “laptop school” when that was the rage in education, instead adopting a more limited “laptop cart” approach, with large numbers of machines prepared and readily available here at school, a method that ultimately proved more effective and equitable. We took a similar approach when iPods appeared on the market, as well as with a wide variety of software innovations for teaching, making the tools accessible and useful without spending excessively. We are now at the same juncture with iPads and other tablet computers, deciding how to facilitate their use, providing wider and equitable accessible to students, while making prudent investments with the knowledge that new and enticing innovations will be arriving soon.

All the information students could want is now right at their fingertips, accessed through the devices they carry with them all the time. The classroom, therefore, has to be less about providing the facts and more about encouraging critical analysis and making connections. The challenge for teachers is to utilize new technologies in the classroom to adapt to this fundamental reality of the digital information age. The function of our technology department (ISS, for Information Systems and Support) is to provide tools, instruction, incentives and support to aggressively facilitate this process.

The most discussed new tool for classroom instruction is the iPad. We have a number of initiatives underway to learn more about this device and its value to teachers and students. While many teachers are now using iPads in lieu of laptops on a daily basis for their own work, including for projecting materials in class and for course organization, several teachers have taken the step of using the iPad regularly with students, distributing them in class for daily purposes. Jenny Carlson has been particularly foresighted in this endeavor in her Class IV history classes, and in May she will initiate a new experiment by having her students take school iPads home to complete assignments and projects that complement their use of the iPad in the classroom. Jenny’s leadership in this area will result in the entire Class IV history program using this tool quite extensively next year.

There are other notable experiments. Jamileh Jemison has been using an electronic textbook to supplement her classroom material. David Strasburger has been experimenting with “flipping” his classroom, which means using class time exclusively for application of ideas while requiring students to view lectures and do reading for homework that presents information via technology. Michael Hoe regularly creates podcasts of his classes. A number of teachers use class web sites on a daily basis for activities, or use the “Nobles Cloud” to publish materials on class web sites. There are many other examples, in every academic department and in both the upper and middle schools.

A number of efforts are coming together to advance technology initiatives for next year. ISS will provide professional development seminars this summer, incentivized by professional development stipends from the school, for teachers who have proposals for technological progress. The criteria we have established is for ideas that will significantly advance curriculum, enhance teacher collaboration, or use technology in significantly new ways. There are three general areas of technical exploration for ISS and the faculty. The first is rapid expansion of the use of mobile devices such as the iPad in the classroom and by students at home. The second is the future expanded and improved use of digitized reading materials and the development of digital texts with sophisticated links to other resources. Finally, there is the expansion by teachers of their organization, storage, distribution and classroom utilization of course materials by digital means, and especially via mobile devices. The goal of the school is to retain leadership and inspire innovation in technology and teaching, while staying firmly on the “solid ice.”
 

From the PA Co-Chairs



It's hard to believe that the school year is almost over!  But before we get to June, we have a busy May with many opportunities for you to enjoy the Nobles community.

Parents of Sixies can share their children's adventures on May 1, at 'Round the World day. Class V has worked hard on their solar cars and will race in fury against each other on May 16.  There are class dinners for Class I, II and III.  We congratulate the graduating seniors and welcome the Class I parents to the Senior Arts Night and Senior Project Night the week of graduation. 

We hope that you will be able to come to the many all-school events this month.  Always in Broadway fashion, this year's spring musical is Hairspray, performed May 15 through 19.  We also have the Choral Concert, the AP Art Show in the Foster Gallery,  and the final Nobles vs. Milton games being played on May 23 for the Middle School and Friday, May 25 for the Upper School teams.  Please refer closely to the weekly e-mails and the parents' calendar on the website for an updated listing of dates and events.

The final meeting of the Parents' Association will be held in the MAC on Tuesday, May 8, from 8:15-9:15 a.m.  All are welcome to join for coffee and conversation as we thank outgoing members and introduce the new board.  This is a transition meeting where current board members meet with incoming committee chairs and class representatives to exchange notebooks.  There will not be a guest speaker at this meeting.  Also, the PA is hosting a coffee in the Foster Gallery on Friday, May 18 from 8:15-9:15 a.m.  On exhibit will be works from Nobles' AP Art students.  You won't want to miss seeing their amazing works. 

Finally, we want to thank you for your support, time, and energy.  We value all that you have done to help make the Nobles Community a better place for our children.

Enjoy the rest of the school year and have a wonderful summer!

With best wishes,

Pam Notman, pgbn61@yahoo.com
Carolyn Harthun, harthun@verizon.net

Nobles Cross-Country Teams Need Your Help!



On Friday, November 2, 2012, Nobles will host the ISL XC Championships involving all the boys and girls varsity and JV cross-country teams from 16 ISL schools. This is the first time Nobles has hosted the event. We are in need of extra volunteers to monitor the running trails and fields, to help at the finish line, to staff the registration tables, and to donate baked goods or other food items for the post-race festivities. If you are able to help, please contact Bob Kern at kern@nobles.edu. Whatever you can do will be much appreciated.

Thank you for your support!

Class IV Reps: Anna Abate (left) and Marca Katz



It is with mixed emotion that I write this, our last newsletter of the 2011-12 year. Our students have grown from hesitant new high schoolers to confident young men and women in, what can only be described as, a blink of an eye. It has been such an amazing transformation, and a great reminder that time passes so very quickly and to make every effort to stop, and enjoy.

And, speaking of enjoying, our Class IV parents’ party was a wonderful success, thanks to all of you who attended, and our gracious hosts Marion and David Mussafer. The party committee, led by Karen Conway, succeeded in planning the amazing night, complete with great food, drinks and music. Thanks to all who were a part of this memorable event.

And now some highlights of the upcoming month:

Thursday, May 3: Wind/String Concert, 7-9 p.m., Lawrence Auditorium

Friday, May 4: Beyond Belief —movie and Q & A, 7-9 p.m., Lawrence Auditorium

Tuesday, May 8: Parents’ Association Meeting, 8-9:30 a.m., MAC lower lobby

Thursday, May 10, Parent Book Group, 8-11 a.m., MAC conference room

Tuesday-Saturday, May 15-19: Spring Musical: Hairspray!, Vinik Theater, times vary so please check the website for specific details.

Thursday, May 24: Choral Concert, 7-9 p.m., Lawrence Auditorium

Monday, May 28: Memorial Day, School Closed

Monday, June 11: Final Day of School

We hope the remainder your school year is great, and that you all have a fantastic summer. It has been a pleasure being your class reps this year, and we look forward to sharing the many experiences and adventures that await our students in the coming years at Nobles!

All the best,
Anna and Marca

2012-2013 Event Save the Dates



Grandparents Day
Grandparents are invited to spend the day with their grandchildren
Friday, September 28, 2012
9:00 a.m.

Nobles Night at the Castle
A festive evening to celebrate Nobles and the Castle renovation
Saturday, November 17, 2012
6:30 p.m.
Please note: this is not a student event

Questions? Contact Special Events Coordinator Katherine Minevitz at minevitz@nobles.edu or 781-320-7009.

From Community Service: National Stamp Out Hunger Drive- Sat., May 12, 12-3 p.m.



“Today, thousands of people in Massachusetts, and millions across the United States, experience hunger because they cannot afford adequate food. Local families are struggling even more this year to put food on the table because of the recent economic downturn and the high cost of living in the state. As the impact of the recession continues to be felt among thousands of Massachusetts families, Project Bread is working to ensure that everyone, regardless of age or background, has regular access to healthy food.”   (www.projectbread.org)

The "Status Report on Hunger in Massachusetts 2010," the state's annual report card on hunger, revealed that more than 660,000 people in Massachusetts are at risk for hunger.

On May 12, Nobles will again be the host drop off location for the National Stamp Out Hunger Drive. Each year, the second Saturday in May is a day when all citizens have an opportunity, with the help of their letter carrier, to easily donate food to needy families in their community. Since 2000, Noble and Greenough School has partnered with the Letter Carriers Union and the Dedham Food Pantry to complete the local effort of the largest one day food collectionin the nation. Volunteers are needed to unload trucks and sort food. Please come to the Buildings and Grounds Garage from 12-3 p.m. Bring the whole family!

Class I Deans' Report



Dear Class I Parents,

It’s May! We can’t believe spring is already here and that it is time to write our final newsletter to you. We’re sure that the time has passed even faster for you and your family. We wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for such a wonderful year. We can remember many of the Class I students as ninth graders in our HHC classes or on our teams, and it has been fun seeing them grow over these past four years. We feel lucky to have had the opportunity to work with them in their final year at Nobles. We also wanted to thank the Class I parents representatives, Amy Reiner, Lynda Macdonald and Jane Rigoli, for all of their work and planning this year.

We are so sorry about canceling "Transition Night" on April 24, but we have a new date! Maria Trozzi will be coming on Thursday, May 10, at 6:30 p.m. in the Morrison Forum. She is an assistant professor of pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine, director of the nationally renowned Good Grief Program at Boston Medical Center, and author of several books. We hope to see you there. If you are not able to make it to this event, we have included some reading material on transitions at the end of the note that you might find useful.

As we head into the homestretch, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about anything that is happening on campus. This time of year is jammed packed, so it might not hurt to double check the calendar, as well as the letter from Bob Henderson, and to check in with your senior(s) and us. Please remind your son/daughter to check emails from us, as there may be last minute changes to plans.

Whether it may be a casual conversation in the Alcoves, a quick coffee trip or a walk down to the MAC, we look forward to spending the remaining few weeks with this group. Each member of this class has accomplished so much during his/her time here and given so much to Nobles. We are extremely proud of how this Class I has led the Nobles community. Now it is time to celebrate! Congratulations to you and your senior(s)!

Fondly,

Meghan Cleary Hamilton and Nahyon Lee


Reading List:
College of the Overwhelmed by Richard Kadison and Theresa Foy DiGeronimo (Jossey-Bass, 2004). Dr. Kadison, one of the co-authors of this book, was our guest speaker for a previous "Transitions Night." The book discusses mental health concerns on campus and outlines stresses that college students can face. They give suggestions for parents and students on coping mechanisms, as well as tips for parents on how to help their children with the college life.

Don't Tell Me What to Do, Just Send Money: The Essential Parenting Guide to the College Years by Helen E. Johnson & Christine Schelhas-Miller (St. Martin's Griffin, 2000).  Written by two women involved with parent programs at Cornell, this book touches on virtually everything from the summer before first-year to post-college planning. The format consists of pairs of hypothetical conversations between parent and child on an issue: the first disastrous, the second, based on the principles the authors espouse, more effective.

Getting the Best Out of College: A Professor, a Dean and a Student Tell You How to Maximize Your Experience by Peter Feaver, Sue Wasiolek, and Anne Crossman

Letting Go: A Parents' Guide to Understanding the College Years by Karen Levin Coburn and Madge Lawrence Treeger (Harper Perennial, 1997). A slightly dated but still useful summary of the psychology of late adolescence followed by practical tips drawn from students and parents from a number of colleges.

Making the Most of College: Students Speak Their Minds by Richard J. Light (Harvard, 2001). A fascinating and highly readable account of the results of a project at Harvard in which students were asked what had been most useful to them in their college careers.

Transition Year: Your Source for Emotional Health at College. New online resource that helps students and parents focus on emotional health before, during and after the college transition. Includes articles, resources, and various checklists.
http://www.transitionyear.org

When Your Kid Goes to College: A Parents Survival Guide by Carol Barkin (Avon Books, 1999) A straightforward look at the issues, from the "Summer of Anticipation" to "Advice from a College Senior."

10 Tips for Managing the End of the School Year by Ben Snyder, Head of Upper School



This year in my various parents’ newsletter pieces, I have focused on aspects of Nobles that I’ve been a part of or learned more about—and how they all fit with our broader mission. As we get ready to close the school year, however, it is important to get really practical about what the final weeks entail.

I get particularly concerned in the spring that students get "over-stretched" in their commitments just as we enter arguably the most important academic phase of the year—including preparation for final exams (which some of our students will never have seen before). So here are my "Top 10 Tips" to helping your son or daughter manage the last six weeks of school.

1. Please try to help your child take some time each weekend to organize notes, tests, quizzes, old review sheets, and syllabi so that when exam preparation time comes these materials will be readily available. As of this writing there are only six weekends before final exams and while it might feel unrealistic to create study sheets before the last few weekends, some students may have the time to start nibbling away at it. Creating a "finals folder" for each subject will help; this provides a repository for all of these papers that will be useful for studying.

2. If your child is "done" with homework early in the evening and is tempted to flick on the TV or get on the phone or online, encourage a quick half hour to review one or two subjects. Quick but regular review of material from earlier in the year can make a huge difference when it comes to exam time. Just writing over study guides helps cement information; writing over is studying.

3. Find out if there are big papers or projects coming up (there almost always are – Class III Novel Project etc.) - and help your child plan his or her time. Teachers have often already done this - but being 'on schedule' can make an enormous difference.

4. If your child is having difficulty in a particular course, NOW is the time to see that teacher for extra help (if this has not already been set up), with special attention paid to exam preparation.

5. Sleep and good food are critical factors in learning. If your child is out or up late—especially on the weekends—this will hinder learning. Discourage sleepovers if possible (I often say that the best thing that happens at sleepovers is that no-one gets any sleep). Returning to school on a Monday exhausted from a weekend of lost sleep is an incredible disadvantage in academic work. Especially on exam days, sufficient sleep and healthy food (a good breakfast is critical!) will ensure focus and keep your child healthy.

6. Work with your child's advisor or with individual teachers if he/she needs additional advice on preparation and organization for the end of year. Students feel "pressured" in different ways and communication with an advisor or trusted teacher can often prevent the "brush off" from kids around these issues—or the advisor can get the same message across.

7. Be careful of too many commitments. Spring is a time of many athletic tournaments, outside recitals and performances, family gatherings and other commitments that can take enormous amounts of time. It is important to gauge how much time these commitments will take. As these commitments build, it is helpful to literally plan out on an hourly basis a few weeks in advance what the commitments are and when the academic work will get done. Make sure you’ve blocked out enough time for homework and studying to get done!

8. Know where your child is at all times; keep calling fellow parents to ensure that your child is appropriately supervised. Our children live in mortal fear of being "horribly embarrassed" by us if we call. Know your children will still love you after you pick up the phone and call—they may just not show it in that moment.

9. Give them an assist on summer. Each year I write about (and get tons of positive feedback on) the importance of kids getting summer jobs. But remember that many of our children have never looked for a job—so this is an area where you can be really helpful in terms of brainstorming, generating contacts, etc.

10. Try to make sure you find time to talk with your kid(s) about something other than school. So often young people feel that parents are only relating to them (and evaluating them) around school—and that their success (or lack of it) in school is the only barometer of how they will be judged. The topics don’t matter (movies, plays, friends, extended family, etc), but we should try not to forget that our kids are much more than their grades and activities.

For some students it may seem unrealistic to expect much work to be done ahead of the final week in preparation for exams. However, the basic principles of using the weekends to catch up, communicating openly and honestly with teachers at crunch times, and asking for help from the advisor when things feel overwhelming apply even more so as we head down the stretch. We look forward to seeing you at as many events as you can make as another successful school year draws to a close.

Class I Reps: (from left) Amy Reiner, Jane Rigoli and Lynda Macdonald



CONGRATULATIONS TO THE NOBLE AND GREENOUGH CLASS OF 2012!

"It is time to get out your handkerchiefs," as Bob Henderson said in his year-end letter to the kids, “and then it will all be over.”

We are in our children’s final month as students here at Nobles; hard to believe, but even harder to ignore. This is a busy month for the kids (and their families) and we hope that you all have a chance to share in the excitement and celebration of the many wonderful accomplishments of the Class of 2012!

Many thanks go to Meg Hamilton and Nahyon Lee, our Class I deans, who have been incredibly helpful throughout the year. We have been very fortunate to have class deans so dedicated to the students and always there to help.

None of the activities this year would have been possible without the support of the outstanding Class I parent volunteers. Class I’s incredibly hardworking, creative, generous and supportive parent volunteer group has made every project seem effortless. Thank you for the generous donations of time, food, creativity, organization, shopping skills, the list goes on and on!

We look forward to seeing you all in the next few weeks, and we encourage you to make a special effort to take the time to soak up these last few weeks with your child here at Nobles.

Coming attractions for the month of May:

Thursday, May 10: Class I Transitions Night, 7 p.m., Middle School Forum

Saturday, May 19: Class I Parent Social, 7 p.m. Join our Class of 2012 parents for an evening of food, drink and fun! Invitations were sent by email and are available on the Nobles website. Hosted by Lynda and Kevin Macdonald, 90 Seaward Road, Wellesley.

Tuesday, May 29: "The Way We Were" Celebration for Class I. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., McLeod Field. Please contact Carol Rosner (ccrosner@aol.com) or Rebecca Kotkin (rebeccakotkin@comcast.net) if you would like to help.

Tuesday, May 29: Class I Project Night, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Lawrence Auditorium

Wednesday, May 30: Class I Night (formerly Senior Arts Night), 5:30-9:30 p.m., Foster Gallery, the Beach and Lawrence Auditorium

Thursday, May 31: Awards Night, 7-9 p.m., Lawrence Auditorium

Friday, June 1: Graduation, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Class of '49/Greene Field

Friday, June 1: Class of 2012 Graduation Party, 7 p.m. to 12 a.m., The Endicott House, Dedham, Mass.

Finally, we want to thank you for a wonderful year. It has been such a pleasure interacting with all of Class I; they are a remarkable group of young adults. Looking forward to seeing many of you in the weeks ahead!

Thanks,
Amy, Jane and Lynda

Second Chances by Bill Bussey, Provost



More than 30 years ago I was coaching varsity football in a private school in Maryland. One kid, in particular, drove me crazy. No matter what I told him he couldn’t quite get it right. In that regard, he had plenty of company, but he stood out from the rest by grinning at me whenever I focused in on him. At first I found it unsettling, but two weeks into the season I began taking it personally. One afternoon I found myself on the field barking at him nose to nose only to be met with his usual smirk. As my arteries began to pop, I angrily asked him just what exactly he found so funny. I never forgot what happened next. As he jerked out the hunk of plastic designed to protect his braces, the lower half of his face dropped and I realized right then and there that he never had been smiling. His mouth guard had been propping up the corners of his mouth.

I was so ashamed that it took everything I had to look into his sad eyes. I didn’t know where to begin.

Fast forward to April 2012. I’m in Gleason Hall, school just let out, and the Techno Dance is hours away from ramping up. I find myself standing next to a young man and asked him if he planned on going to the Techno Dance. Last year he had gotten into some trouble at the dance. He is a quiet guy, plays his cards close to the chest, and carries himself with dignity. Over the past year we always exchanged pleasantries when we passed each other, and from time to time engaged in small talk, but not much more than that. He mulled my question for a moment, and then looked me square in the eyes and asked sincerely, “Do you want me to go?”

My heart sank.

I was stunned. How could he think otherwise? What had I missed? What hadn’t I said or done over the last year that would lead to this moment? I told him that of course I wanted him to come and that he never should have thought otherwise and I probably said much, much more that I don’t recall. But here’s what I do remember: I remember standing in the dark outside of the Techno Dance and hearing someone call my name. I turn around and make out the figure of this young man in full stride emerging from the darkness. We shake hands, and I tell him glad I am that he showed up. He smiles and nods and moves on. Sometimes you get a second chance.

You can be staring at your child straight in the face and misread her emotions. You can have all the casual interactions in the world and still not truly understand how a person feels. It doesn’t matter if you have taught for 30 years or have raised 30 kids. Every child is different. Instinct and experience often helps anticipate or guide you through tough times, but in the long run those qualities alone will take you only so far. Simply put, don’t allow past experiences and instinct serve as a substitute for intimate conversation. When it comes to your child’s feelings about their world and how they see themselves, you can not assume anything. Most children ultimately come to realize that we parents and teachers are just doing the best we can with what we know. . If our timing is right, they may let us in, but more often than not they will reach out when we least expect it. Seize the moment. You never know if you’ll get a second chance.

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If you have questions, comments or suggestions for this newsletter, email Kim Neal at kim_neal@nobles.edu.