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Whew! Wellesley High survives paper shortage

We in Wellesley generally don’t go wanting for many material things, but an exception to that truism recently took place at Wellesley High School, which ran into a paper shortage.

Of course the trouble with tracking down this sort of story is that there is no paper trail.

But there were plenty of students talking about it and sharing about it on social media:

One student told me: “One of my teachers gave us a test on salmon-colored paper.”

Hmmm, fishy indeed.

We did hear that faculty, staff and students were being urged to conserve paper, which of course is never really a bad thing — especially with the watchful eyes of various local green teams upon us. We also heard that dwindling school supplies isn’t an unusual occurence, as pencils and other standard items can become hard to find by May/June.

But as for the mounting paper crisis, a notice in the WHS library put students on notice:welllesley library message on paper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ironically, one reason paper usage might have spiked is that students receiving electronic documents from teachers are then printing them out at school. Then, there might also be those print-on-one-side-only miscreants.

The good news is that Wellesley High paper shortage was short-lived, according to WHS Principal Jamie Chisum.

“We had a moment a week ago where we were worried that the amount of paper we had wasn’t going to last us.  We were able to make an adjustment and get an order of paper in on Tuesday that will more than last us through the end of the year,” he said.  “The colored paper was and is also in plentiful supply, so that might be how some of the kids noticed it… We always need to be conscious of conserving all kinds of things here, so I hope that’s the takeaway.”

>Meanwhile, students, you won’t have the “but we’ve run out of paper excuse” to fall back on for any end-of-the-year projects.

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Wellesley College professor publishes children’s book

newshoes_smallWellesley College professors are well-versed in the concept of publish or perish and indeed, they are a life-affirming lot, putting out textbooks, novels, academic papers in all disciplines, and more. Generally, we let their writerly accomplishments pass without fanfare, unable to find enough of a Wellesley angle to warrant a post. Although undoubtably worthy works, it’s true that we have ignored both the article on Spinoza’s concept of evil as well as the paper about the rise and fall of plankton.

But when English Professor Susan Lynn Meyer and her picture book New Shoes turned up at Wellesley Books (where autographed copies are available), we took notice of her recently published story, which deals with 1950s segregation and the encouraged “ew” factor that stores of that time period sanctioned against African-Americans, courtesy of Jim Crowe laws. As in ew, I don’t want to try on a dress if a black person has touched it. As in ew, I’m not going to walk a step in those shoes a black person has tried on, let alone a mile.

The 40-page book, published by Holiday House, with accompanying oil-based illustrations by the award-winning Eric Velasquez, tells the story of Ella Mae, a young girl whose much-anticipated shopping errand with her mother turns into a not-so-subtle lesson about where she belongs in the customer pecking order of shops in the pre civil-rights era. Ella Mae is able to shrug off being made to wait behind the white girl even though she was at the shoe store first, but when she finds out about the “look with your eyes, not with your feet” policy of the store toward its black, cash-at-the-ready customers, first she feels knocked down a peg, as institutionalized racism intended. Then Ella Mae gets an idea.

Ella Mae takes her feelings of injustice and channels them into action, opening up her own shoe store, of sorts. She and her cousin collect used shoes from friends and neighbors, spiff them up, and set up their own “shop” with policies of their own making. Think radical notions such as try before you buy, peppered with plenty of may I help you and thank you for shopping, sir/ma’m.

Meyer got going on the idea of writing a picture book with a black protagonist when she was looking for books that featured black characters to read to her daughter’s kindergarten class. Her weekly story time gig there included the days that fell during Black History Month, and Meyer quickly had trouble finding enough to read if she wanted to keep with the theme for the entire month, which she did.

Finding books for one week was easy. Anybody can dig up Courdory by Don Freeman or The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. But you can’t expect kindergarteners to sustain a multi-week interest in the sartorial problems of a suspenders-wearing bear. And although we all love Peter’s adventures in the snow, he’s been having them since 1962. Just sayin’ is all.

You know if your Jamaican colleague, a senior lecturer in English with a 4-year-old of her own, recommends titles and you still don’t have enough to get you through Black History Month, there’s a dearth.

Susan Lynn MeyerMeyer somehow managed, but the bee was in her bonnet and she decided to write a story that had begun to take root in her mind, joining writers she had long admired, Jacqueline Woodson, author of The Other Side and Mary Ann Rodman, author of My Best Friendboth of whom wrote books with black protagonists. And so, New Shoes was born.

In a fun twist, thanks to the miracle of Facebook, Meyer recently heard from the models for Ella Mae and Ella Mae’s mother. The young lady sent along a picture of herself, all smiles and cool fashion sense. To Meyer, that connection made her feel like her book was truly coming to life.

Meyer is currently on sabbatical from Wellesley College and, despite ice dams pouring down her walls last winter, has finished her second novel, Skating With the Statue of Liberty.  It comes out from Random House in April 2016 and is the companion volume to her debut novel, Black Radishes, which was inspired by her father’s experiences as a Jewish boy in Nazi-occupied France.

Black Radishes won a Sydney Taylor silver medal and was a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award.

Posted in Books, Education, Kids, Wellesley College | Leave a comment
  • Wellesley College, Three Sisters

Wellesley Fire Chief DeLorie is now a president, too

wellesley fire chief delorie, governor charlie baker, wellesley country club

Gov. Charlie Baker (right) administers the Oath of Office to Wellesley Fire Chief Richard DeLorie

Wellesley Fire Department Chief Rick DeLorie was sworn in this week by Governor Charlie Baker as the new president of the Fire Chiefs’ Association of Massachusetts (FCAM). The ceremony took place at Wellesley Country Club.

DeLorie, who will serve in the role for a year, will take on responsibilities that include being the public face of the organization, setting meeting agendas for the board and establishing FCAM’s general direction.

The way things work with FCAM administration, DeLorie had previously been first and second vice president, and following his term as president, will serve one year as immediate past president.

 

 

 

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Join Wellesley Trails Committee for Town Forest Walk on Saturday, May 30

 
Come walk the woodland trail of our Town Forest and enjoy picturesque views of Longfellow Pond. Ponder Chief Maugus’s summer residence many moons ago and see the remains of a once vital ice house. Our walk will also climb eskers deposited by glaciers where we will hopefully sight some native wildflowers. Meet at 9 a.m. at the Longfellow Pond parking lot, located on the left side of Oakland Street 0.9 miles south of Rt. 9.    

The walk is free, and no registration is required. Most walks cover 1.5 to 2 miles and last about one hour, and take place rain or shine, unless it pours. Participants are encouraged to wear sturdy footwear.

 

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Wellesley High sailing team wants to wash your car on Saturday

Wellesley SailboatsThe Wellesley High School Sailing Team will be holding a car wash to support the team this Saturday, May 30, from 10am to 2pm at Hardy Elementary School, 293 Weston Road, Wellesley.  The team will also be selling raffle tickets for an Apple Store Gift Card.
Raffle drawing will be on June 2 at the team banquet. Finally, red fleece picnic blankets embroidered with “Wellesley” will also be available for sale, and make great gifts for Father’s Day, coach and graduation gifts!
All fundraising supports future capital equipment needs of the team, including boats and sail replacements, as WHS does not pay for these expenses. The Wellesley Sailing Club, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that supports the team. Any questions, please contact [email protected] or [email protected].
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Do the math: Town, neighbors & school compromise on Wellesley park use

Shaw Common wellesley laurel av

A quiet and clean Shaw Common early one morning this week

I have to admit, this email subject line did grab my attention: “Laurel Ave homeowners kill recess for RSM students.”

To translate, RSM stands for the Russian School of Mathematics, which has an office at the corner of Washington Street and Laurel Avenue in Wellesley and services elementary through high school students. To give students a break from the number crunching classes, which can last for a couple of hours, the school lets them out for short recesses at Shaw Common (aka Shaw Park) on Laurel Avenue.Russian School of Mathematics wellesley

But apparently some neighbors didn’t appreciate the ruckus that they said kids were making, not to mention litter they claimed students left behind.

After receiving complaints about RSM’s park use, the Wellesley Natural Resources Commission (NRC) in November sent a letter to the school notifying the administration of the issue and recommending that the school apply for a permit through the town for regular use of the park, especially if 10 or more people would be using it.

The school did in fact then apply for a permit and it was granted at the end of March, with an emphasis on the need to clean up after each use.  The permit was issued for use of the park for 70 minutes per week, for 10 minutes at a time during certain hours Monday through Thursday, and on Sundays.

The NRC was approached in early May by a Laurel Avenue resident curious about the group’s permit status, at which point it was determined that the permit had expired and was due for renewal, says NRC Director Brandon Schmitt. The NRC was also notified that 25-30 RSM students were using the park at one time and that litter was still an issue. Meanwhile, a new application was sent to the school.

At a May 14 NRC meeting, Laurel Avenue residents met with the director of administration at Wellesley RSM and the RSM CEO. “Prior to the meeting, the office received numerous correspondence about the use of the park, both from residents concerned about the school ‘taking over the park’ and from parents of children at the school wanting access,” Schmitt said.

At that time, a compromise was reached. The NRC approved the school’s use of the park, with a maximum of 12 students at a time, from 4:30-4:40pm Monday-Thursdays, but not on Sundays. While Shaw Common is the most convenient park for RSM students to use, the NRC also suggested other possible parklands for the school to visit.

“There was clearly a communication problem between the residents and the school and between the school administration and its staff as to what the expectation was, but since the NRC has issued a permit, we have not received any complaints,” Schmitt says.

Meanwhile, we hear that the school has taken something of a break from taking its breaks at Shaw Common.

Sounds like a good example of the logical and critical thinking that the school emphasizes in its teachings…

 

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Wellesley Little League Baseball & Softball All-Star Festivities Schedule

Reidy Field, June 2013Catch some great Wellesley Little League baseball and softball action on Saturday, May 30 at Hunnewell and Reidy Fields.

 

12:00 NOON
National League All-Star Game #1 @ Reidy Field

1:00 PM
Softball All-Star Game #1 @ Hunnewell Field

2:00 PM
National League All-Star Game #2 @ Reidy Field

3:15 PM
Softball All-Star Game #2 @ Hunnewell Field

4:00 PM
American League All-Star Game #1 (10-11 year olds) @ Reidy Field

6:00 PM
Home Run Derby @ Reidy Field

7:30 PM
American League All-Star Game #2 (12 year olds) @ Reidy Field

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Hilarious/annoying hijinks with iPhone bug hit Wellesley High

iphone wellesleyWe hear that Wellesley High students were pranking each other on Wednesday by sending each other gibberish messages discovered to shut down recipients’ iPhones. While the results are annoying, the messages aren’t actually infecting Apple devices.

See what happens when that Senior leadership leaves the school?

If you’ve been hit with the so-called Messages bug, here’s how to recover. Apple is said to be working on a fix.

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  • Upcoming Wellesley Fundraisers

    Upcoming Wellesley Fundraisers