Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Teacher, Scholar

I couldn't be more proud of you. Knowing things is important, but sharing that knowledge is even better. I know that you said Joe was pestering you a bit while you were teaching his class, but I think he was just showing his pride in you.

I guess all those whale books and models were worth it.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Julie Schuman
Date: Wed, Dec 31, 2008 at 1:50 PM
Subject: [1Dagim] Dagim Photos
To: Dagim Parents

Hi Dagim Parents,

I hope you are all enjoying the break and had a wonderful Chanukah.  Below is a link to photos from Chanukah celebrations, our send-off party for Sabrina and her brother Bennett (they should be arriving in Israel very soon!), and a special lesson on whales taught by Jack Goldberg (Joe's brother.) 

I will send out an email soon with Sabrina's email address and other contact information.  As a class, we will be video-chatting and writing letters with Sabrina.  We will all miss her very much and we wish her and her family a safe and fabulous semester in Israel.   

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2009! 


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Our Jewish Day School Ham

We went to your class presentation on ancient Egypt this morning. Here are some shots of you with the crown of Osiris. Very informative.

I told Mom that I think all of your standup comedy viewing on TV and YouTube is starting to show in the way you present yourself. You used to be very shy and uncomfortable doing these presentations and any public speaking. Now you really seem to dive in headfirst and relish the chance to be onstage. Have you grown a hambone when we weren't looking?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Comedy by Osmosis

You're going to sleep listening to Mitch Hedberg. Love that.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Brace Face

You have been really excited about getting braces.

Last week you got your "palate expander." Not exactly sure why you've been so excited, but I won't question it. My only hope is that it all isn't too painful.

You'll look even more handsome when it is all over. How that's possible I have no idea.

You've Exhausted the Simpsons

This is what you are watching round the clock.


Jack, sorry I haven't been good about writing to you lately. I had a great time with you at the AC/DC concert at Madison Square Garden. I was pooh-poohing it, so I appreciate you motivating us to go. It was especially nice staying at Steven's with you in the Village and walking all over the place.


Friday, October 31, 2008

Go Pandas!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: David Zimand
Date: Wed, Oct 29, 2008 at 9:15 PM
Subject: [PARENTS] Back-to-Back Kickball Champions!
To: parents at

We are pleased to announce the results of the

2008 Sixteenth Street Interscholastic Athletic Conference

Kickball Championship:

JPDS Pandas 5

West Tigers 3

Congratulations to Coach Mandelbaum and the Repeat Champion Pandas!

Well done, Jack. I'm proud of you.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

You Rock!

Dude, you are as smart as I think you are. I was very impressed with your "no-study" approach to the test. I guess it works.

But I am sure all of that reading and surfing the Web helped get you ready.

The good thing about this is that it helps ensure that you'll be able to get into whatever school you want to go to after JPDS. You are giving yourself choices and opportunities. Way to go. I'm proud of you.

Your SSAT Scores

Verbal Score       689
(Personal Score Range: 671 - 707, SSAT Percentile 93%)

Math Score         680
(Personal Score Range: 665 - 695, SSAT Percentile 91%)

Reading Score       668
(Personal Score Range: 650 - 686, SSAT Percentile 89%)

Total Score         2037
(Personal Score Range: NA, SSAT Percentile 94%)

What Does My Score Mean, and
Why Do I Have a Personal Score Range?

Your scores are calculated by adding one point for each correct answer, zero
points for each omitted question, and by subtracting one-quarter of one point
for each incorrect answer or question with more than one answer marked.

Independent schools vary in their approach to using test scores in the
application process for admission.  You are welcome to contact the schools of
interest to you to learn how they use the SSAT.

Since no standardized test score can exactly represent a student's ability in a
particular area, we provide a personal score range.  If a student takes
different editions of the SSAT within a short period of time, it's likely that
scores may vary but will nearly always fall within the student's personal score

What Does My SSAT Percentile Mean?

Your SSAT percentile is a score between 1 and 99.  Your score compares your
performance on the test to the performances of the other students of the same
grade and gender who have taken the SSAT within the past three years.  For
example, if seventh-grader Sue Smith received a 65 SSAT percentile, she did as
well as or better than 65% of the other 7th grade girls who took the SSAT in the
past three years.

If you are concerned that your percentiles are lower than you have earned on
other tests, please remember that SSAT test takers are members of a small and
highly competitive group of students who plan to attend some of the world's best
independent schools.  You should not be discouraged by what seems to be a lower
score than you usually attain on standardized testing.  Below is the average
SSAT score received by a student of your grade and gender.

Average Grade: 6 Male

Verbal     612
Math       619
Reading    607


Test Question Breakdown
Number of Questions Right, Wrong, and Omitted


  Questions testing your knowledge of words (synonyms) and
  your ability to relate ideas (analogies).

Synonyms:          Right 24  Wrong 6  Omitted 0
Analogies:         Right 26  Wrong 4  Omitted 0


  Questions testing your knowledge of number properties and
  relationships, basic  computation, elementary concepts of
  equivalencies, geometry, measurement, and interpretation
  of charts/graphs.

Number Concepts
& Operations:      Right 21  Wrong 3  Omitted 0
Algebra, Geometry
& Other Math:      Right 25  Wrong 1  Omitted 0


  Questions regarding the main idea and supporting details
  of a passage or requiring higher order skills, such as
  deriving the meaning of words from context, extracting the
  meaning of a passage, or interpreting an author's logic,
  attitude and tone.

Main Idea:         Right 19  Wrong 2  Omitted 0
Higher Order:      Right 12  Wrong 7  Omitted 0

Predicted Range of Grade 12 SAT Scores
Provided for students in grades 7-10 only.

Using score data from students who took the SSAT and later took the SAT in  12th
grade, we calculate a range within which you will likely score when you take the
SAT as a high school senior.  This range is based on the SAT 1995 recentered
scale and is intended simply to help you focus on your strengths and weaknesses
as you prepare to take the SAT in the future.

SAT - Verbal Predicted Range     NA  - NA
SAT - Math Predicted Range       NA  - NA

This calculation is not validated nor approved by the College Board, which owns
the trademark "SAT."

Estimated National Percentile
Provided for students in grades 5-9 only.

The National Percentile, an estimated rank, compares your score to a
hypothetical pool of all students in your grade level across the U.S.  The
national percentile rank is generally higher than the SSAT percentile rank, as
test-takers are compared with a wide group of students from varying backgrounds,
not just those who have taken the SSAT.

Estimated National Percentile

Verbal     97%
Math       99%
Reading    97%

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

After the National's game on Sunday - which you didn't want to go to but I think enjoyed - we took you to Nordstrom at Pentagon City to get a sports coat for the High Holidays and the upcoming Bar Mitzvahpalooza season.

It took about 10 minutes and Mom's intervention to go from a simple blue sports jacket to a full blown suit, two shirts and two ties. And you were psyched.

Mom has noticed, and I cluelessly haven't, that you are starting to really care about how you look. More to the point, looking good. That's so grown up. I don't remember when I went from hating having to shop for scratchy, uncomfortable clothes to being psyched about getting a new suit. I think I was in my 20s. You have me beat.

I still don't get the hair in the eyes thing, but Mom says that when she was a girl she dug boys whose hair fell in their eyes.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

You totally encountered one of my quirks when we were in the Defender. You wanted to play some music and we agreed upon the Stones. Unfortunately, you put on Satisfaction. For some reason, I can't stand Satisfaction. I think it is the same reason I don't like Born to Run.

Maybe I am a music elitist that I warned you not to be. Sorry.

Monday, September 15, 2008

This is an email that just went back and forth between us. What I love the most is your "signature line." I just called Mom to ask if she had anything to do with it. She said it is all you. And I have to say I am very impressed that you figured out how to even have a signature line.

On Sat, Sep 13, 2008 at 12:55 PM, Allen Goldberg wrote:
Matt groenigs parents were Homer and Marge and his sisters are named
Maggie and Lisa.

From: Jack Goldberg
Date: Sat, Sep 13, 2008 at 3:05 PM
Subject: Re: Did you knoow
To: Allen Goldberg

that is written in one of my books so yes i do know
go green,rock & roll, and peace out

Thursday, September 11, 2008

When we were going to Nana's apartment last night we were playing music from Joe's playlist. Jay-Z was on and you were trying to make a point that the song "wasn't really music."

That was definitely an opening for a "learning moment" if there ever was one, but I don't think I did the best job.

I explained to you that music isn't just hard rock and roll; that there is an incredible range of different sounds, rhythms and melodies that make up "music." I felt that you were being a bit snobish and said so.

I didn't want you to become defensive, rather I wanted you to be open to understanding that music to you might sound strange or "unmusical" to someone else.

Clearly, I need to work with you on this.

Nothing worse that a music snob. I think one of the best things about popular culture these days is that people are open about liking music that might be "uncool" because it is so popular. You can like Britney Spears and Radiohead. And this is from your Dad, a true lover of Steve Earle (who Mom went to see last night) and Kelly Clarkson.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

It is pouring outside. Hurricane Hanna is on its way through Washington today. I just walked in your room. You are teaching yourself how to play harmonica. A very cool, perfect rainy day activity.

Later on Aunt Jen is going to work with you on your Torah reading. She is in for our camp reunion.

You said earlier this morning that you love it when it rains on the weekend.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

First Day of School, August 2008


You and Mom appear to be cut from the same groovy, tie-dyed cloth.

Thank you for not wearing all black. I don't mean to give you grief about the black concert t-shirts, especially since I buy them for you, but it is nice to see some bright colors. Crazy as it sounds, I worry that black might influence your mood.

And it is great to see you in jeans for the first time in years. I love your pre-occupation with the late 60s and 70s, from the hair to the music. I don't think there is anything that is particular to the "oughts" (is that how it is spelled), rather this decade is just a mash-up of everything that has come before it.

This is a big year that you have ahead of you. Deciding which school to go to next is going to be equal parts fun and scary. The good thing is that you'll have choices. And because you've worked hard and done well you'll hopefully be able to go wherever it is you want, whether it is Sidwell, Maret, GDS, JDS or Field. We'll help you with the decision, but ultimately it is your choice to make.

I love you.

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