Yesterday in Rockport

No doubt you heard yesterday that there was an incident at Rockport Middle School.  As a mother of a seventh grade Rockport student I can tell you that it was a long and emotional day.  It was a day of fear…then gratitude…then more fear….some disbelief, some confusion, some relief, some heartache, some disappointment…and lots of love and appreciation.  It was a night spent reassuring, addressing, soothing, explaining, and…mostly, listening.  As I type this (11:30 last night to post tomorrow…which for you is now today) my twelve year old is asleep in my bed next to me for the first time in, like, forever.

I will tell you quickly how the day unfolded in my little corner of the world and then, if you don’t mind, share with you just why I felt some of the things I did.

 
Driving through “Five Corners” in Rockport right around 7:30 a.m. on my way out of town for work, I saw three police cars rushing into Rockport. One was an unmarked car. It was that unmarked black car that made me nervous…that rattled me.  It was that car that set off alarms and made me stop to text my son.  “Are you ok?”  Please, please, please.  “Yes.”  Relief. Exhale. But, then his text continued… “We’re on lock-down. Someone was stabbed. By another student. I think he ran.”  What?  “In the high school?” I asked.  “No, Mom. 7th. In my grade.”  I asked again, “Are you ok?” …..and got no response.
It would be quite a while before I heard from my son again.  In the meantime, I had many thoughts.  He was ok.  But, someone else was not.  Is that really what happened?  Is that just what he thought was happening?  Was there something else going on?  Are the teachers and staff ok? Should I text him again?  Should I call him?  Is his phone on silent?  Is he hiding? Do I really want his phone to make a noise when my message comes through? Does he need me? Is he still ok? If his text was accurate, oh my word….that poor family.
I called my husband and filled him in on the little I knew.  I saw several police cars. I texted our son. This is what he said. Now he’s not answering. Don’t text him or call him.  I don’t want his phone making any noise. Please let me know if you hear more.
I continued on to work.
30 minutes after our initial conversation, thank goodness, another text. “I’m safe, but I can’t text you any more.”
I make a phone call to my husband.
Because I’m at work….I quickly get wrapped up in work.  I want to know more, but there are some immediate things to be taken care of in my office.
At 8:30, an hour after seeing those police cars and first communicating with my son, comes a text from my mother.  “What is happening in Rockport?  I just saw the news.”  I filled her in on what little I knew. I hadn’t thought to call her. I didn’t know it had already made it to the news.
Here is the love and appreciation part…..  for the rest of the day, as news spreads, my phone buzzes with friends reaching out to make sure our son is ok, to send their love, and to acknowledge how scary it must be.  I am so fortunate to have so many amazing people in our lives. Their concern for our boy and his classmates brought tears to my eyes.  The love and kindness they expressed for him…and the community of Rockport…and us…meant the world.
Here, in contrast, is the disappointment part.  I decide to take a moment to see if more information has been shared. It was clear it had been on news channels, but I can’t find it online.  I turn to Facebook and look at the Rockport Middle School page…where I’m sure there couldn’t possibly be an update, but was the first place I thought to check.  I then check out the Rockport Police page….also fully assuming that no one would have been able to share an update. Obviously…and understandably…there is no news.  What I do find, however, on other forums, is a circus of blame and finger pointing and judging. I find people who are convinced that they know exactly why something like this could happen.  Convinced that it was because of this….or because of that.  People who were so quick to assume…while an emergency was still unfolding…so quick to put out to the world what they would have done differently. A frenzy of information shared….some it turns out correct, some it turns out, not.
As I’m reading, a phone call comes in from the school….and then thereafter, an email with the exact same message.  A serious physical assault, one student has been transported to the hospital, one student is in custody, police have determined it is safe to continue with school, as parents you obviously have the right to dismiss your child as you see fit. 
More appreciation….  I also find, thank goodness…goodness.  Many parents supporting each other.  Other community members expressing concern, thoughts, and prayers for all involved.  Many thanking the school and the first responders.  Some people offering to pick up other’s children. Support, thoughts and prayers, importantly I think, to both families.
I work, the day continues to unfold, our son asks to be picked up, my husband gets him, he’s home safely.  We talk briefly….  helicopters, police, I saw her down on the floor, I saw her mother arrive at the school, “yes” I know the boy.
Here’s the thing.  We live in a very small community.  Even beyond our town lines to Gloucester is truly not that big.  It’s most often beautiful.  Idyllic, many would say. A place where people care for each other, rally for each other, and gather to get through hard times.  Often. Yes, my son has a very small number of children in his seventh grade class at Rockport Middle School so, of course, he knows the children involved.  But, it doesn’t end there.  He knows, and truly adores, the extended family of the child who did this as well. We all do.  So, obviously, I immediately reach out.  “Thinking of you. This can not be easy.  I’m so sorry.” In fact, this person is, not at all surprisingly because she is so great, one of the first people who reached out to me upon hearing the news of something happening in Rockport.  Not knowing at the time, how this would come to unfold…and the news she would soon get.
At home we finally have time to really talk.  My son expressed lots of sadness, fear, and emotion. He was very concerned for his hospitalized classmate…and her closest of friends, confused by the actions of another classmate…yet, aware that there were probably issues and circumstances that he does not know or can not understand, sad for both families, worried about his friends from outside of his school who are now suddenly dealing with a different type of sadness and concern and shock, and of course (and heartbreakingly)…maybe for the first time ever…really scared for himself.
We are very thankful to the Rockport school system and for those in Gloucester who jumped in to assist.  We are very thankful to all of the first responders. There are so many people to think of and keep in our thoughts or prayers right now.  I hope that others can just wish for the best for all involved and not point fingers.  Not interject how they could have prevented this situation…not make assumptions.  Instead use that energy to send healing thoughts to the young girl, her hurting family, and her very scared friends.  Continue to think of them through what will no doubt be an incredibly difficult time ahead…even after the physical healing begins to take place.  Also try, as part of this close community, to try to understand the pain and sadness that is no doubt being felt by the other family involved. Consider, for a moment, what that might also feel like. Be kind.

 

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Join This Community Yard Sale To Sell Your Stuff!

Have you ever hosted your own yard sale and had a very slow turnout?

Would you like to clean out your basement, shed, garage, and closets….without the hassle of advertising and planning your own yard sale?

Would you like to be a part of a multi-vendor yard sale in a great location to increase your odds of selling your loot and making some money?

JOIN HARBORLIGHT’S COMMUNITY YARD SALE! 

PRIME Yard Sale location at 243 Essex Street in Beverly!

All are welcome! For a $20 participation fee, simply RSVP so we hold you a spot, pack up your items, and set up your space here on campus.

Crafters and artisans welcome as well!

Harborlight is hosting our first ever Community Yard Sale.  To make the event even more fun, we’ll have some live music, family yoga on the lawn, and some yard games and children’s activities like bocce ball, corn hole, and more.

Please RSVP to participate to Nichole at nschrafft@harborlight.net

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Local Teacher and Students Celebrate Play Publication

I am very proud and excited that a play written by our Director of Performing Arts, Katie Oberlander, and performed by our students at the 2016 Massachusetts Middle School Theatre Festival, where they won a gold medal, has been published by Eldridge Publishing and will performed by two other schools, located in Texas and Indiana, in the next few months.  

I’m also looking forward to celebrating with Katie and the cast/crew of Mastermime in a few weeks.  See information below.

LOCAL TEACHER AND STUDENTS CELEBRATE PLAY PUBLICATION

Harborlight Montessori’s Director of Performing Arts, Katie Oberlander, and her former middle school students are celebrating the publication of Oberlander’s play, Mastermime, with a party at the Beverly school on Tuesday, October 24 at 6:00pm. Students are planning to sign scripts, greet fans and reminiscence about the creation of the original play.

Mastermime is an over-the-top melodrama that tells the story of a notorious criminal who distracts audiences with entrancing mime routines and then disappears with their valuables. The mystery unfolds, punctuated with theatrical cell phone ringtones, love-at-first sight encounters, and a dramatic mime battle! Oberlander wrote the play for her students to perform at the 2016 Massachusetts Middle School Theatre Festival where they won a gold medal for their performance. Eldridge Publishing, a leading play publisher based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, subsequently published the play and schools in Texas and Indiana have upcoming performances planned for November and December.

Harborlight Montessori is a preschool through 8th grade independent school in Beverly, MA, serving communities North of Boston. Mastermime is the second play to be published that teacher Katie Oberlander originally wrote for Harborlight students to perform. Oberlander works closely with her students to create plays that are fun for them to perform and specifically catered to their talents. For more information, please contact Director of Communication Nichole Schrafft at nschrafft@harborlight.net.

READ MORE ABOUT THE PLAY HERE

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Mime performance

73 x 2 =146

March.  After years of teaching, March marks the beginning of the end of the school year.  That has many implications as a teacher.  As a mother, it also means that the end of lunch packing is on the horizon.  Victory dance.  A mere 73 (give or take) nights of lunch packing left for each boy.  Only about 146 more lunches to pack.  Sigh.

If you’ve followed my posts at all you’ve probably heard me whine about lunch packing before, so I apologize.  While easy…it is the biggest time suck of all of the things I do for my boys.  I’ll take a load of laundry (socks included) over lunch packing any day.

It sounds simple, but it is actually quite involved.  This is the spread that is filled, packed, and unpacked each.and.every.day.  Not to mention the hand washing and drying of each container so that they can be used the next day.  Two lunch boxes packed with a main meal, some cut up fruit + veggies, and usually some banana, or apple, or pumpkin bread thanks to the world’s best grandmother who bakes some regularly for the boys, two snack bags packed with a variety of snacks in little containers, two small water bottles for in the lunch boxes, and 2 larger ones for the playground, gym class, fitness class, etc.  and 6 ice packs.  No joke.

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Harborlight-Stoneridge Montessori School Students Get A Little Lobster Edumacation Here At The Dock

Hi Joey!
Thank you so much for being willing to entertain 26 students from the Harborlight-Stoneridge Montessori School this afternoon!  The two-week summer session that they’ve been participating in has followed the theme of "Marine Biology and Maritime History."  They have been incredibly fortunate to spend most days on the water engaged in a variety of hands-on activities.  Today they had to opportunity to explore Gloucester Harbor to learn about the rich fishing industry and to see up close the large variety of vessels that call Gloucester their home. 
Last week was spent learning about plankton, mollusks, echinoderms, fish, and crustaceans while conducting research at sea.  After having hauled traps and having learned about lobsters, it was important to me that they see "what happens next."  I really wanted the students to see a working waterfront and you very kindly supplied that opportunity!  As expected, you were incredibly patient with their questions and able to hold their attention while refining their knowledge.  They felt at ease with you right away and would have gladly stayed for hours had they the chance.
Not only do you now have 26 new FOBs, you’ve also helped this group of children better appreciate an industry that has been incredibly foreign to many of them.  To quote one of your new friends as he boarded the bus to head home, "That place is so cool!" 
Thanks so much!
Nichole Schrafft

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Aim High Snoop Maddie Mad

Parent Night At School Madeline shows us her Kindergarten painting depicting what she wants to be when she grows up.  A fashion designer in Paris.  Nice aspiration right there Madeline.  Much better than what she told us she wanted to be last year- a taxi driver or a hole puncher.  Imagine a career as a hole puncher. 

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Old Rocky Neck School Class circa 1914 ??? From Bill Hubbard

Hi, Joey,
Here’s another puzzle maybe some of your readers may have the answer to.  The attachment is a picture of the class from the old one room schoolhouse on Rocky Neck. 

My uncle, Eber Dahlmer has been identified as the boy farthest left in the back row with the big smile on his face.  Next to him has been identified as the late Harry A. Wheeler, a lifelong Rockynecker.  Capt. John A. Dahlmer’s family settled on Rocky Neck on arrival from Michigan in 1914.  Eber would have been ten years old then, Ronald 11 and Margaret 9.  I would guess the picture was taken about that time.
I wonder if anyone can ID any of the others. 

Visit my artists website and Blog at:
http://bill-hubbard.artistwebsites.com

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The Girls Are Back At School

Yep, The Bean and Snoop Maddie Mad are back to “school”.  For Madeline it’s her first time going and The Bean is back with her buddies.

Luckily when I got home from work last night Madeline was up talking in her crib even though it was past her bed time.  So I got to go in and ask her about her first day at school.

She was a little disappointed because she thought she would be cutting and pasting but they only got to color.  Snoop Mad is all about doing “projects”.

Funny her first day and she ran right in to the school and never looked back- the girl has no fear.

The Girls Are Back At School, originally uploaded by captjoe06.