Wednesday, December 7, 2011

2011 December

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but my wife Ellie has been trying something new for work. Ellie is a psychologist, and for years she was a clinical therapist with her own private practice. She got kind of burned out listening to the problems of people who didn't make any effort to change, and she took some time off. But since September, she's been teaching 2 sections of an introductory psych course at Dean College in Franklin, MA. She enjoys interacting with the kids, but doesn't like having to be a behavior cop in the classroom, which I don’t blame her for. But I'm certainly proud of her for trying out something new. I think that they’re lucky to have her for a teacher.

We found another classmate last month, bringing the number that we think we know the whereabouts of to 652, a new maximum! Yay us! Please send me any contact information for classmates that you come across. It all helps.

Thanks to everyone who contacted me about the detached retina I suffered in October. Since the first cryogenic procedure to re-attach it, I’ve had a laser procedure on the same retina (to help keep it in place) and another retina procedure on the other retina (to prevent that one from being a copycat and detaching also). I can’t claim that this has been a lot of fun, but I do still have good vision in both eyes, and it gets better week by week. Thank heavens for modern medical technology that makes this possible! We’re all at the age where we are dealing with medical issues of all kinds. It’s nice that our class can support each other as we go through these things.

I’ve been in touch with Linda M. (Rozzero) Ousterhout. Linda lived in Mississippi for a time in the 70s, after she married her husband David, but moved back to RI in 1978. Her son David graduated from Mississippi State and is now a golf course superintendent at the Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, NH (a beautiful place!). Her daughter Maria graduated from Northeastern. Linda’s husband is the Director of Public works in Narragansett, RI. Linda has worked mainly in bookkeeping for a variety of companies in RI, including as Accounting Supervisor for South Shore Mental Health in Charlestown. They currently live in Narragansett, but intend to move to their second home in Bartlett, NH. “I enjoy the e-mail updates of our class. I have actually gotten in touch with a couple of former classmates that I have not spoken to in years.”

Mary Caldarola Smith is still in the teaching biz, working with first graders. She recently ran in the 10K part of the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington DC. She also plans to run a half-marathon in Orlando in February! “My kids are both in college so our house is very quiet. I like when they come home!”

Diane (Phillips) McCabe responded to the online fundraiser for the Cranston East music program. “It is good to hear that CHSE is still strong in the realm of music. One individual who deserves a huge "tip of the hat" is Paul Mancini, who was a mentor to me since I was in grade school: as a member of my school chorus, then the city chorus, and finally the CHSE chorus and acapella choir. I have come to respect his dedication to music, to those he taught, and to the Judeo-Christian content of the music we sang. Paul was never ashamed of it and allowed us to proclaim it through the music we sang.”

This brings up an interesting topic: Who at Cranston East influenced your life for the better?
For me, there were two special teachers: Mr. Horton and Miss Burns. I had Mr. Horton for English my first year at East. He passed out blank notebooks to us all and said, “Write.” I’ve been writing ever since. He was very encouraging with my first poems and stories. Thanks to him, writing has been both a career and a hobby for my entire life.
Miss Burns taught us calculus, and she did such a terrific job that, not only did I do well on the Calculus AP exam, but I also received three courses worth of math credit free in college, and I was well into my second year of college before I hit a math course that she hadn’t already taught us in high school! Not only that, but she somehow wangled for me and Paul Broomfield to attend a 3-week summer course in programming at URI, during which I learned how to program in 3 languages, which put me on the path of a lot of my later career working with computers.
I’m very lucky to have had both of these wonderful teachers. They literally changed my life.

Tom Iacono was interested in some of the RI history trivia mentioned in the last update. When Tom lived in Texas in the 80s, he read about and visited the Alamo, and noticed that there was a lone Rhode Islander listed amongst the defenders who died there. His name was Captain Albert Martin. Martin served as Col. Travis's emissary, meeting with Santa Anna's staff in a failed effort to have the two leaders meet and talk, then risking his life delivering an appeal letter for help, then returning to the Alamo with 32 more volunteers. He died at the age of 28 on March 6, 1836. “I don't know how, but his remains were returned to his birthplace and he is buried in the Old North Burial ground in Providence. Albert Martin is an American and Rhode Island hero that few, if any, Rhode Islanders know about.”

We have lots of ways to keep in touch online, now. For example, we have a web site:
(thanks to Ernie Sutcliffe for starting and maintaining)
and wiki:
(also thanks to Ernie)
and Facebook group:
and a Facebook event for the last Reunion:
Check out one or more of these easy ways to see what people are up to.

That’s it for me. What’s going on with you? Let us know!

Merry Christmas! Happy Chanukah! And best wishes for a wonderful New Year!

Ed DeJesus

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