Auto Correct, Fat Fingers and WWSJMS (What Would Sister John Mary Say!)

8th Grade Celebration Pizza Fundraiser

We had a small problem with scheduling the dates of the fundraiser, so we are going to postpone the pizza sales for about a month. I promise you these funds are very important in helping us with the activities that celebrate the end of our 8th graders Middle School Careers and send them off to the High School in fine fashion. These funds help us pay for the last day of school Bar-B-Que, the T-Shirts we give on the evening of the event and the dance with all of the food and treats for the kids. I appreciate all that you do to support us in making this night a fun and memorable night for the students and, I appreciate your patience with this.

8th Grade Parents to Meet with Mr. Record, GHS Principal

On Tuesday evening, Mr. Record and many of the Department Heads, Guidance Counselors and teachers will meet with interested parents in the GPAC beginning at 6:30 pm. Bring your questions and concerns to the meeting and they will try to answer all of your questions and allay all of your fears. This is a meeting usually for just the parents, but you may bring your child if you’d like.

Annual GMS Musical

Circle the dates of March 22 and 24 for our annual Musical Presentation. This year the students are presenting Into the Woods, a parody of many fairy tales we all grew up with. As they do every year, our students will out do themselves in presenting a fun-filled evening of music, dancing and laughter. The play begins at 7:00 pm in the Auditorium on both evenings.

Education and the Legislature

There are a couple of bills currently before the Legislature that could dramatically change the way we provide education for our communities. Again, I am not going to politicize the issues with my points of view, that’s not my job. I do need to make sure that we are all very well informed about potential changes that could have long-lasting affect on our lives.

There are two bills proposed that could, if passed, dramatically change how we are to deliver education in Maine, they are:

LR 2774 (Governor’s Bill) “An Act To Remove Inequity in Student Access to Certain Schools”

LR 2775 (Governor’s Bill) “An Act To Expand Educational Opportunities For Maine Students”

I recommend that you go to the state of Maine web site and read these bills and make a determination if you believe these will be good for Maine student, or not. You can get to the Maine site right here.

When “Texting” Turns to Torment

Thanks to our very good friends at Common Sense Media for providing an excellent piece for parents, and all of us, on what happens when texting goes bad. Susie Hanley, our Assistant Principal, and I deal with situations every day that rise up because of some communication done, usually after school, where someone insults another to the point of tears. We use our Code of Conduct, that is throughout the entire district, to remind students that it is just not OK for this kind of behavior. I urge you all to go to this site and see what others have to say about this problem.

Who Thought of the Title of This Post??

Let me first explain the title of this post as I am sure many of you are thinking, “Oh boy, he has really lost his mind now!” Sister John Mary was my all-time favorite teacher in Grammar School back in Massachusetts, where I grew up. In her class I felt successful. I felt that I could do anything, I could learn anything and I was valued for my opinions and my work. Even now, as I recall those days, in that old school building (on the 3rd floor, no less, and no elevators), I have a smile on my face and a lightness in my heart. That was a great year!

I also know that there must be a very special place in Heaven for this lady. Having to put up with me for an entire year, for any of you who have happened to come into my office, you will understand exactly what I am talking about!

So, anyway, Sister John Mary taught us how to write. Well, not just writing essays and that sort of stuff, but how to write in cursive. Not just any cursive, but THE PALMER PENMANSHIP METHOD!!!

OK, how many of you out there have ever heard of the Palmer Penmanship Method?

A quick Google search for the Palmer Penmanship Method yields the following:

Notice the second return, a Dead Media Archive! That must tell me something, puts it right next to the “Dead Language”, Latin!

OK, I am rambling again! What does all of this have to do with anything?

I received an email from our Technology Integrator with an attachment that brought Sister John Mary back to the front of my consciousness. All of the misteaks (mistakes) that I made as a young elementary student, and that Sister John Mary would work to correct were included in the email Terri sent to me. I can remember how patient Sister would be when we would repeatedly make the same errors in our writing. She thought that she could help us by creating a poster that she would have on her wall that would highlight each of these common errors. I have tried to carry those lessons with me ever since, but the email today, brought it home, in Spades! Here is the link to 15 Grammar Goof That Make You Look Silly, Thanks, Terri, for taking me down memory lane.

Auto correct

So, as I was traveling down memory lane, going back to my old Grammar School, I couldn’t help but think “What would Sister John Mary think about today’s technology?” Things that we take for granted like spell check, and dictionaries in the drop down menus or the ability to track the edits that you make while keeping your original text, you know, the mark-up features.

And then of course, there is the auto correct.

For those of us who use smart phone or IPads, we know that we can begin to type a word and the computer will complete the word for you, kind of read your mind… sort of. Except that it can complete the wrong word for you causing you to include the absolutely wrong, and maybe inappropriate word in your text and causing a great deal of embarrassment… and may be some hurt feelings or bruised relationships. If you are interested in seeing some of the auto correct goofs try this site. I warn you that some of the entries can be rather raw, so please use discretion when viewing!

I couldn’t help but think about Sister, again. What would have happened to any of us if we had those tools available to us, and Sister had tools like LAN School (an application that allows the teacher to see everything on a student’s desk top.

Try to imagine notes that were “passed” in class and if auto correct was available.  There you were writing those notes… and then Sister intercepted said note… OMG, 911, gtg! There wouldn’t be a ruler big enough for her to rap across your knuckles. Or, imagine the sound coming out of the coatroom as you received your consequence. AAHH, the “Good Old Days!”

Fat Fingers

Even as I type this I have to go back every other word and correct my “Fat Finger” typing. As I think about the Palmer Penmanship Method and all of the exercises we would have to do each day, I gotta believe there must be some kind of exercise I can do for my Fat Finger Syndrome (beside losing some weight! No. no one had to say it, I already know it!).

I mention the exercises we would perform endlessly in our “Penmanship practice book”, but I bet there aren’t many people who know what I am talking about. So, let me enlighten some of you and bring back those horrible memories to the rest of you. Remember, this all had to be done in pen, and not just any pen, THAT SPECIAL PEN! The one that you got at the beginning of the year, that you could not lose under penalty of a long time in Purgatory!

You must imagine your teacher (in my case Sister,who was very nice, yet very imposing!) standing over you shoulder while you are trying to remain “loose with your grip” performing these exercises.

Enough of my memories (I’m getting cold sweats just writing this!), do any of you have memories of your teachers, most favorite and least favorite, that you’re willing to share?

Does Anyone Know What a Lipdub Is?

We are about to find out at Gorham Middle School. Our I-Team, which is comprised of students who are “all things technology” at GMS has suggested that we undertake this activity on our early release day on March 29th.

I must admit, even for this “Old Fogie”, it really sounds like a lot of fun for everyone and a great activity that can include everyone in the school. It seems like it can build school spirit and give all of the kids something they will talk about for years to come.

A Lipdub is a video that is set to music and done in one take, and one take only. My explanation can’t do it justice, so I’ll give you a link to one done by a High School in Nebraska (I figure that’s far enough away we won’t have to change names to protect the innocent!). Lipdub from O’Neil High School

8th Grade Slide Show Pictures

We have been asking our 8th graders to bring in pictures to be included in the annual 8th grade slide show to be shown to the students on their last day of school and to be played as a preliminary to the evening’s activities. Now we are going to enlist your help in “bugging” your child to remember to bring the pictures in. You may email your child’s picture into Terri Dawson (, in fact this may be the most preferable method as we will not have to return any hard copies (and, we probably can’t lose them!).

Football Registration

I know it may seem early, but preparation is the father of success, so here we go:

Sunday, March 25th 12:00-1:00PM
YOURSPACE-215 Narragansett Street, Gorham
Bring your sneakers!  Have fun with your teammates and coaches!
Copy of child’s birth certificate required for all new players

Registration:  Please feel free to register and pay online or find our forms at:, or on the day of registration at YOURSPACE.

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