Wednesday, June 21, 2006

My day at Ms. Ryan's retirement party

A little while ago, the Étudiant's own Chris Morrill told his bandmates (including me) that we'd be playing at the retirement party of "Miss Ryan from third grade," a.k.a. Ms. Maryalice Ryan, third-grade teacher at the Dolbeare school. My kindergarten teacher Ms. Curley organized the event, reserving a dining room at the Bear Hill Country Club.
The band arrived in the afternoon. Eighth-grade pianist, and Ryan student, Garrett Healey entertained partygoers. Then, various coworkers of Ms. Ryan went to the podium and gave speeches, even re-enacting events from Ms. Ryan's life. They also gave her a plaque and a, in her own words, "beautiful" bracelet.
Ms. Jan Thompson read written memories of Ms. Ryan's class from several students, perhaps the greatest example of how much she means to people since she started teaching in 1972. Ryan was praised as a "master teacher", retiring at "the top of her game." Then, my band, introduced as Ryan students Chris Morrill and Ben Tan (plus Burlington resident Will Shay and Greenwood School alum Brian Hickey), entertained the partygoers.
Fast forward forty-five minutes. Only a fraction of partygoers remain, chatting at a single table. We packed up our equipment and headed out.
"Say hi to your parents for me!" called Ms. Ryan.
"I will," I reply. And though I doubt I will do so, I bid farewell to her with the words, "See ya."
Talking to Chris some time after the party, he agreed that seeing his teachers from years ago "felt weird" and "brought back memories." Thinking back to third grade, I remember all the poems Ms. Ryan read, and the books she made out of her students' stories (I wrote "Stinko", "The Time Machine", and "How My Dog Died"). I also remember my feud with classmate Will Knapp, now perhaps my closest friend. I think of all the changes that have occurred since 1998, and the lessons I learned in third grade.
Looking back after all these years, I now realize what third grade means to me. The Ben Tan Ms. Ryan knew isn't much different from the Ben Tan my current teachers know. Third grade turned me into what I am today, and I am thankful for it. Thanks, Ms. Ryan. Have a good retirement.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Bits of news

-I've added a counter to the bottom of every page in the blog.

-Since the school year is practically over, the blog's focus will shift to local news for the next few months. And yes, we'll try not to steal from the Wakefield Daily Item as much.

-I've been thinking of ending the school year with an article on the Diversity Council, but it seems the Spin beat me to it. I'll check things out and see what I can do.

Friday, June 2, 2006

My day at the TV Barbecue

(Is it just me, or have my posts gotten more unprofessional over time?)
I entered the Courtyard through the entrance near the main office. Thanks to Brandon Menninger for the heads up. Grabbed a burger and chips. Yummy.
Saw Tom Calvert and John Holmgren, told them I loved The Best of Tom and John. According to John, there will "probably" be a sequel to Interesting Drug. Bumped into Danny Woods, Ashley Wilhelm, Carissa Scuderi, and others. We talked Spin. I got some positive feedback for "Yet Another Editorial" and the usual movie reviews.
Watched all the bands. Silhouette Rising...I really like the new singer and sound. Thanks to James DiNanno for lending the other bands his drum kit.
Zephyr...kicked ass as usual. Matt McDonough's band (I forget the name)...well, I guess with Mike Wu out of SR, someone has to pick up the screamo slack. Dan Gerry's a good bassist. Matt - thanks for the Spin feedback. Really, I appreciate when people tell me I'm good, or even when they tell me I suck.
Then, my band, the Revivalists, played. As requested, I played the Mario theme, but my keyboard stand fell, causing me to loudly drop an F-bomb. Thanks to those who helped us out. Thanks to Noah, Brandon, and the other guys who stook around to see us.
I got more requests for stupid songs I know, and played the Zelda theme, Pokemon battle song, and "Yeah" by Usher. DC, Cory Jackson, and James DiNanno closed the show with a great cover of "Blitzkrieg Bop". Then Mr. Berecz kicked everyone out.