From the Desk of Jay Rainey – November 19, 2021

Fresh on the heels of Monday’s spirited Turkey Train food drive in support of the St. Louis Area Foodbank, I reached out to our Upper School students yesterday to ask, in this season of thanks, “Has anyone at MICDS done something recently for which you are grateful or that you would like to celebrate?” Their responses started pouring in immediately.

Appreciation for peers was frequently expressed—to one student for being “such a kind and caring person,” to another for her generosity with her “huge calculus brain,” to another for being “rad and groovy” and “ma meilleure amie” (for all you Francophiles out there). One student was thanked for helping a classmate “create a deeper connection to World War II and the Holocaust.” Two students were thanked for their contagious laughter. Another was thanked for helping a friend learn how to play squash. Appreciation for sociability (“always says ‘hi’ to me”), hard work (“she kept everyone focused and on task”), availability (“helps me through every problem I have”), and good humor (“makes my day in math class even though I am not very good at math!”) were all common themes.

Our fantastic faculty came in for frequent praise as well—Mr. Huber, Ms. Hood, Mr. Self (aka “DSelf”), Mr. Ludbrook, Mr. Rolnick, Mr. Cox, and Mr. Asher among them. Ms. Prince “never fails to make the class laugh,” “makes learning fun,” “doesn’t hesitate to help,” and “provides a safe and warm learning environment where students are not afraid to take risks.” Dr. Gaw “always spends time working on difficult problems with me” and “is extremely patient while doing so.” These tributes are a reminder of the extraordinary commitment to children and adolescents that these MICDS teachers and their colleagues across all three School divisions demonstrate every day. We are so fortunate for our exceptional faculty. (An ovation-earning shout-out was also extended to Dean of the Class of 2022 Daniel George for being naturalized this morning as a “newly minted United States citizen.” Congratulations, Dean George!)

I shared these numerous individual tributes with all of our Upper School students this afternoon at their assembly in Brauer Auditorium. It was a wonderful opportunity, as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, to be reminded of the blessing that we are in each other’s lives. It was also a timely occasion to share some corny Thanksgiving turkey humor. (I take exception to the term “Dad jokes.” 😐 ) I informed my Upper School audience that earlier in the day I had consulted with our third-grade and fourth-grade students to determine the “humor rating” of a few seasonal jests. Here’s how they ranked:

#5: “What’s a turkey’s favorite dessert?” “Apple gobbler!” (clocking in with a 44% third- and fourth-grade humor rating)

#4: “Why was the turkey put in jail?” “He was suspected of fowl play!” (52% humor rating)

#3: “Why shouldn’t you sit next to a turkey at dinner?” “Because it will gobble up your food!” (55% humor rating)

#2: “What key has legs and can’t open a door?” “A turkey!” (63% humor rating)

And the #1 corny Thanksgiving joke according to the MICDS Classes of 2030 and 2031? “Why did they let the turkey join the band?” “Because he had his own drumsticks!” (70% humor rating)

I would like to apologize for any suffering that you were forced to endure in reading the foregoing list. 🦃  I would also like to wish you all a joyful Thanksgiving holiday with your families. Always reason, always compassion, always courage—and always gratitude. What a wonderful community is ours at MICDS.

Jay Rainey
Head of School

This week’s addition to the “Refrains for Rams” playlist: I thought I should add two since we will be off next Friday: Two Moons by Buck Meek and Dancing in the Moonlight by King Harvest in honor of today’s lunar eclipse 🌘 . (Apple Music / Spotify)