FAST FILMING: Next weekend, teachers and students from the Meadowbrook School in Weston will gather for a sixth year to make a seven-minute film within 48 hours of learning the project's genre and required prop, character, and line of dialogue. The finished product must be submitted by 7:30 p.m. next Sunday for the competition, which, fittingly, is called the Boston 48 Hour Film Project.
All submissions will be screened May 22-24 at Kendall Square Cinema in Cambridge, with the filmmakers taking part in a question-and-answer session afterward. The winning film will go up against entries worldwide.
Mike Scafati, who teaches technology, art, and social studies at Meadowbrook, said the school's entries have steadily improved. While Meadowbrook didn't qualify the first two years due to technology difficulties, the school earned honors last year for best special effects, best use of props, and best outtakes.
Previous genres have included a birthday party, buddies, horror, Western, and drama.
While this year's team is still being finalized, Scafati expects to be among four teachers working with 20 to 25 sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-graders. According to Scafati, Meadowbrook has been the only school competing against amateur and professional filmmakers and acting troupes. As a result, he said, a PG-13 category was created especially for its team.
"Our students really shine, drawing on various talents including acting, filmmaking, music making, and singing," he said. "It's a wonderful team effort and a lot of fun, with tremendous personal reward for us as teachers and great accomplishment for our students."
STORIED CAREER: On Friday, Nancy Perlow (above) of Millis will check out of the Newton Free Library for the last time in a career spanning 40 years.
Perlow will be retiring as the Newton library's director, and moving with her husband, Mitchell, to California.
While growing up in New Rochelle, N.Y., Perlow was a frequent visitor to the public library and enjoyed volunteering in her high school library, she said.
"I majored in philosophy in college, but when I graduated, all the jobs for the great philosophers were taken," she said. "I've always loved books and the concept of the public library, so I decided to go to library school."
After graduating from Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science in 1972, Perlow rose through the ranks in Newton, starting as a part-time reference librarian, serving as assistant library director from 1994 to 2007, and director since January 2008.
Perlow said she stayed in Newton throughout her career because "I loved that the library was always growing and changing." She oversaw the library's move from Newton Corner to its current location at 330 Homer St. in Newton Centre, an ever-increasing circulation, programming for all ages, and technological innovations including a wireless network for patrons, self check-out stations, financial literacy podcasts, and its Text a Librarian service.
"I will miss the library, the town of Newton, and all the wonderful people I've worked with and met through the years," Perlow said. "I didn't envision 40 years when I started, but it went as quick as can be."
HONORING THE MILITARY: As Memorial Day approaches, Milford resident Michael Shain is doing his part to shine the spotlight on "gold star families," those who have lost a loved one serving in the military.
Shain, founder of Thanks to Yanks, invites family members to ride on or walk alongside a special float dedicated in their honor during the Bellingham Memorial Day parade on May 20. Participants should assemble at 1 p.m., with the parade setting out at 2 p.m. (rain or shine) from Bellingham Memorial Middle School, 130 Blackstone St. Return transportation to participants' cars will be provided.
The float is sponsored by Thanks to Yanks and Shain's employer, Charles River Bank.
"As troops come home from the war, we need to keep in mind the price that so many families have paid," said Shain, noting that the float will support the military rather than any particular political view. "Freedom isn't free; there's a cost to military actions. I'm proud to be just one small facet in this tribute to America."
To reserve a seat on the float, contact Shain at 508-30-8487 or firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday.
LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES: Lexington Community Education will host two special programs this week.
On Wednesday, Arlington resident Michael Thompson (above) will discuss "The Nature of Boys" from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Lexington Depot, 13 Depot Square.
A psychologist, school consultant, and author or coauthor of nine books, Thompson will discuss the higher likelihood of boys over girls to be sent to a school psychologist, suspended, expelled, and diagnosed with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and language disorders. He will also provide suggestions to parents and teachers regarding supporting boys in their early school years and helping them remain emotionally open in adolescence.
On Friday, former Lexington resident Laura Lapointe (below) will present her one-woman show, "What Color Are Your Work Boots?," at 7 p.m. at Follen Community Church, 755 Massachusetts Ave.In her performance, Lapointe explores years of job interviews and a range of absurd experiences while seeking meaningful work. In one year alone, she went on 40 job interviews and ended up working in a prison.
Lapointe, who now lives in Arlington, was a student of Lexington High drama teacher Steven Bogart, and earned a bachelor's degree in acting at New York University, and a master of divinity at Andover Newton Theological School.
Each event costs $10. To register, call 781-862-8043. For details, go to www.lexingtoncommunityed.org.
RETIREMENT TALK: Newton resident Joseph F. Quinn (above), the James P. McIntyre Professor of Economics at Boston College, will present "Early Retirement: The End of an Era; How and When Americans Retire" at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Sheraton Needham Hotel, 100 Cabot St. in Needham.
At Boston College, Quinn was dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1999 to 2007, and he was the school's NCAA faculty athletics representative from 1994 to 1999. A graduate of Amherst College, he received his doctorate from MIT.
The event is being presented by the Boston chapter of the National Aging in Place Council, a Washington, D.C.-based trade association dedicated to helping senior citizens remain independent, active, and healthy.
Reserve a seat by calling Jennifer Lynch, president of the council's Boston chapter, at 617-852-2584.
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