Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Expenses

The total cost for staging our chrsistmas play was $67.00. Each of you (excluding Jeevan) owe me $8.00. You can pay me the next time you meet me at church. Check your emails for further details on the expenses.

To the best of my knowledge, none of you bought any costumes. Instead, we shared what we had among ourselves and made the best use of resources.

Our Final Play

You guys staged a good program last Sunday. All of you did your part to the best of your ability. I am extremely satisfied with your performance. All of you looked wonderful in your costumes.

There was a minor technical glitch while paying the CD's prior to the song, and I take responsiblity for that. I should not have asked to open the curtain untill the music started to play. I am sorry about that.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Good Luck

Class, 

I wish you the very best in staging our class play.  All of you did your best and we had a good time practicing.  

The most important lesson we need to learn from staging this play is to how to work in groups, how to overcome scheduling conflicts, balancing more than one task, and when to step up among your peers.  


Good luck to every one!!!


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Dear Class, 

So far, we are doing well in terms of our practice and preparation.  I would say, we are ready to stage our play.  

As far as costumes are concerned, we have most of our costumes in our class.  Some minor adjustments have been communicated to those who need it.  If you have taken any costumes home, please make sure you bring them tomorrow to church and inform me - I have a checklist to cross them off.  

Today evening, I played our recordings at my home theater, and that's fine too.  We are not 100% perfect, but what we have will work for now.  It's good and all of you did a wonderful job recording.  

Relax tonight and get a good night sleep.  You have a long day tomorrow.  

After church tomorrow, stop by our class and let's assemble as a team and go over the play once again, and clarify any outstanding doubts.  If any of you feel we need to practice, I'll be glad to hold those.  

Parents - Thank you for all your support and co operation in getting this far.  Between school exams and other activities, we know you had a tough time bringing kids to practice and arranging your schedule accordingly - we highly appreciate it.  Our program is towards 3/4th of the Christmas program.  We hope tomorrow you'll be in the audience watching our class perform.  Kindly consider this mail as an invitation to come attend your child perform.  

See you all tomorrow at Church.  

Jacob Cherian


Monday, December 15, 2008

Concentrate on your exams


Due to your exams this week, I will not be contacting any you for the next few days. School Exams are very important and I want all of you to concentrate on it. Move the Sunday school stuff down on your priority list.

We are pretty much ahead of the curve on our deliverables and practice. Yesterday, our class turned in a draft copy of our sound recording and met the deadline of Dec 14th. Thanks to all your efforts last couple of days in helping us with it. We now have a working sound track (I am not 100% satisfied with it, since it has some disturbances, but in the worst case we'll use it).

If time permits, I would like to re-record 3 areas - which we'll talk the next time we meet.

Good Luck on your Exams.

Stay healthy and out of trouble.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Message from Jake Dec 13

We had an eventful day today, and learned many lessons from our actions.

Everyone but Maymol and Mervin was able to come to practice today.

We started off the day by recording the introduction to the play, which went along smoothly. We then moved on to scene 1 and acted out the parts, and the actors received some good, constructive feedback. We attempted to record the voices for Scene 2, but there was a lot of background noises which distracted from the performance. We have decided to re-record scene 2 under better conditions to limit the background noises. Practice slowly came to a close after I got a staple stuck in my foot. At the end, we were contemplating about whether to replace Justin, George, and Mervin with younger children or not. There seems to be schedule conflicts with the youth, and they might not be able to dedicate time to our play.

Tomorrow will be a vital day for us, as we need to make a lot of progress. Tasks for tomorrow include-

Finalizing costumes

Record Scene 1

Record Scene 2

Decide whether to keep the youth boys or not.

Hope to see most of you tomorrow!

~Jake Jacob

Program Manager

Friday, December 12, 2008

Practice on Dec 13th

Let's meet at 10:00 AM at our class to continue our practice. We'll be doing the following items tomorrow:

1. Play Practice
2. Voice Recording
3. Discuss Costumes.

Tomorrow's lunch menu includes Pizza and H2O. Eat your favorite breakfast at home, so that you can sustain the lengthy practice sessions. Bring your own water bottles if you have any.

Check Kevin T's weather update and dress accordingly.

Additional Students for our Play

Today I spoke to the 11th Grade Teacher Mr. K.K. Mathew and got his verbal approval to use 3 students for our play.

Those 11th grade students are:
Mervin Jacob
George Mathew
Justin Joseph.
Thanks to Kevin T. for suggesting these names.

Earlier, I talked to the 4th Grade Teacher Mrs. Laly Zachariah and obtained her verbal approval to use Chris Cherian for our play.

We will include the above students on our future communications. Our Administrative Manager Jiby has their email addresses.

Review your lines

When you come for practice on Saturday, do review your lines. This is your play, and be creative and while you got some free time (from studies), think about how you can contribute towards your assigned role.

I expect you read the script by now. We already received few reviews about the script. If you did not provide any input, I assume you did not get a chance to read it. We will not be spending time on Saturday reading the script. That is something to be done outside. We cannot afford to do that.

Most of our practice time is consumed when we have to bring those who miss practices up to speed. Last Sunday is a good example. We had to repeat what we talked on Saturday and let's avoid it.

Does everyone have a ride?

If anybody needs wake up call on Satuday morning, that can be arranged too.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Program FAQ's.

Below are some of the frequently asked questions related to Christmas Program. We'll add more answers if I hear any.

Qn: When is our Christmas Program?

Ans: Our Christmas Program is on Dec 21st, at 4:00 PM.

Qn: What time is the food?

Ans: The food is being served after the program - maybe 7:30 PM.

Qn: Can I go home after Church Qurbana and before the Program on Dec 21st?

Ans: Plan on staying at the Church on Dec 21st after the Holy Qurbana. Most likely, we will be doing practice sessions at our class.

Qn: What is the dress code for boys during the Sunday school carol?

Ans: White Shirt, Black Pants, Red Tie, Black socks & Red Santa Cap.

Qn: What is the dress code for girls during the Sunday school carol?

Ans: Red Top, Black Skirt or Pants, Black socks & Red Santa Cap.

Qn: From which side of the stage do we enter?

Ans: We'll discuss it during practice.

Qn: Do I have to memorize my lines in the play?

Ans: If you come for the sound recording, we'll record your lines and you do not have to memorize your lines. Look out for the email about sound recording.

Qn: What is my costume going to be?

Ans: Get in touch with either the Boy's Costume Manager or the Girl's Costume Manager to get details.

Qn: What time is our skit?

Ans: Traditionally, we keep the younger kids' program at the begining. Our skit will most probably be in the second half, towards the end.

Qn: I am participating in more than one play. How do I know if both my programs are back to back?

Ans: Care will be taken to keep both your programs apart.

Qn: I have to change costume for the second play/Dance. Will I get time?

Ans: The programs will be arranged in such a way that you'll get time to change costumes. Keep your parents informed about your costume changes, and have some help ready.

Message from Kevin Thomas

Okay everyone,

As we all know, this Saturday the 13th there is play practice at our Church at 10:00 AM, please reply back if you cannot make it, or else it is your fault for not notifying me. Bring anything on Saturday that you think can help add to the play, especially props. We need EVERYONES full support and cooperation for this to be a success.

Thanks Everyone
P.S. 52°F 34°F that is the weather for Saturday, plan accordingly.

Kevin Thomas,
Transportation Manager

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Kevin Thomas - new assignment

Kevin Thomas has been actively involved in our Christmas play, and stepping up whenever required. I am therefore handing over the 'Boys Costume Manager' Role to him. Kevin will now hold the joint responsiblities of both Transportation Manager as well as Boys Costume Manager. Good Luck Kevin T.

Student - Program Matrix


Based on the info we receieved, above is the student - program distribution.
If you decide to skip out of any programs, do let us know.
This list captures all our class as well as other class students who are helping us out.




Monday, December 8, 2008

Jake is available on Saturday!

Just heard that Jake can make it to the practice on Sat around 10:00 AM EST (earlier, Jake had said he could not make it). This is great news for our team so that we can make some progress.

I would be able to stay up until 1:00 PM on Sat.

Jake will send out the list of activities we need to complete this weekend.

I also learned that GAMA is staging programs on Saturday. How many of you are going for that?

All, stay healthy and try not to fall sick till our program is over. It's easy to get ill during winter. I sprained my right ankle yesterday at church and could not go to work or drive today. Take care of yourself.

Message from Jiby (Dec 08)

Hi everybody,

Last Sunday (12/7/2008) we went over the three parts of the play
1. Jesus & the Samaritan Lady (Dance)- Jake and Maymol
2. Samaritan Lady's Apostolic Work (Skit)- All Girls
3. Good Samaritan (Skit)- All Boys + Mariya as Innkeeper

The roles in the Good Samaritan portion of the play are:
Jesus/Narrator- Jake
Good Samaritan- Jiby
Levite- Christopher C. (confirmed)
Innkeeper- Mariya (Unfortunately, Jeevan can not make it to the program for various reasons.)Robbers- George, Justin J., and Mervin (however Kevin T. has not yet confirmed this)
Priest- Kevin V.
Traveller- Kevin T.

We still need some props and costumes, I might be able to send you all a list of props and costumes later on.

We also learned that we have our two helper parents: Sheraj Jacob and Molly Jacob (if you guys can please give me their emails just in case I have to contact them it would be greatly appreciated).

Since Jeevan can not make it, we need some one to fill in as the Technology (Sound) Manager, any volunteers?

This Saturday practice is going to be at 10 o'clock. Jake already said that he will not be able to make it. If anyone else plans not to come please tell Jacob Uncle so we can plan accordingly. We said that this Saturday (or Sunday) we plan to record for the Samaritan Lady's Apostolic Work (Skit), so we have to find some way to record it. Any suggestions? We also need to practice the skits so we can get familiar with it.

Also, we are going to plan out (and hopefully finalize) the costumes this Saturday. For the girls we said that they can plan amongst themselves. Maymol brought up the idea that the girls can wear a pavada with a sari blouse and shawl. That is not final so you three talk to each other and figure it out. We also said that the beginning dance will be Jake's and Maymol's responsibility.

If there are any suggestions, comments, or concerns please tell us.
Thanks,
-Jiby Yohannan

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Message from Jake

We had a really productive day today. Kevin Thomas, Kevin Varghese, Maymol, and I were there. Here is what we came up with:Tentative Title: Jesus and the Samaritans
Order of the scenes for the play:
1. Jesus & the Samaritan Lady (Song)- Jake and Maymol
2. Samaritan Lady's Apostolic Work (Skit)- All Girls
3. Good Samaritan (Skit)- All Boys
We also assigned roles (may change) for the Good Samaritan part of the play:
Narrator/Jesus- Jake
Good Samaritan- Jiby
Traveler- Kevin T.
Priest- Kevin V.
Levite- Chris C.
Innkeeper- Jeevan
Alternate Innkeeper- Mariya
We are hoping to recruit people from other classes (probably 11th grade) to fill in the roles of the 3 robbers.
We have decided to use the plants in front of the platform area in the church as bushes in our skit, behind which the robbers will hide behind when waiting to ambush the traveler. Kevin has agreed to bring a beard and sword, but we still need to get a staff, jar, and ketchup packets (blood), and for props we need to make a road sign and a well.
I would also greatly appreciate it if you guys would let me know if you are planning to miss any practice days in the upcoming weeks. Practice dates include 7th, 13th, 14th, and the 20th.Thanks.
~Jake

Friday, December 5, 2008

Girls - check your mailbox for your script

I just emailed the script that our class girls will be doing.
This is the part where the Samaritan Woman begins her Apostolic Ministry after meeting Jesus at the well.
Girls, let us know your thoughts after reviewing the script.

Guidelines from Sunday School Headmaster

Below is an email that originated from the desk of our Sunday School Headmaster. It contains key dates and many things for us to note.
--------------- Email Message --------------

Dear Friends,

As you all know, we will be having the Christmas cultural Program on December 21st at our Church. The program starts at 4:00 pm. Please note the guidelines set for the program.

Program Guidelines
Theme for the Christmas program is Christian based.
All Sunday school students should participate in at least one and a maximum of two programs.
Group programs must contain three participants or more.
Sunday School will have only group programs. All other organization programs can be single or group within the time slot allocated to them.
Not more than two nativity scenes.
Each program by Sunday school should not be more than 5 minutes.
Lawrenceville, Lilburn & Atlanta prayer meeting groups; MGOCSM; Martha Mariam Samajam and our Augusta and South Carolina church members will each have a total of 10 minutes for their programs. Unused or remaining time of a group cannot be used by another group.
Program ideas and approximate time for it should be submitted on or before December 7th to Sithara Jacob.
Practice for the selected Sunday school programs will be held in our Church facility.
If not already done, two parent coordinators should please sign up from each Sunday school class to help out.
A screening committee will be set up to screen the programs. It is the responsibility of each program owner to get the screening done in order for the program to be performed on the stage.
Audio CD should be submitted on or before December 14th to Sithara Jacob.
Please Note the Christmas Program will be held in our Church, hence we will not have the same program hosting facilities that were available to us as in previous years.

We urge you to take a look at the stage and other facilities available, if you are choreographing an item.

Sincerely,
Shaju.

Practice Tomorrow

About the practice:
We'll gather around 10:00 AM EST tomorrow in our class. I anticipate the practice to last until 2:00 PM.
We can order pizza if everyone is ok. You are most welcome to pack your own sandwich/favorite food from home.
Bring your Sunday school bag to Saturday practice. Those of you who have to do BRS # 5 will get an opportunity to complete it.
You will be taking down notes about the play, and maintain notes at one single place.
Students below confirmed they can make it to the practice on Saturday, Dec 6, around 10:00 AM EST. Jake Kevin ThomasKevin VargheseMaymol These students cannot make it due to various reasons.MariyaJeevanJibyNo word from Nimi so far.
(Transportation Manager, pls verify if these students are good to go, and find out if Nimi is feeling well).
Guys, we are going to get busy.

New Assignments

Below are the assignments we made so far:
Program Manager: Jake
Admin Manager: Jiby
Technology Manager: Jeevan
Transportation Manager: Kevin Thomas
Girls Costume Manager: Maymol
Boys Costume Manager: Jacob Cherian (interim)

The above volunteers will be contacting you for several reasons via email and phone. Kindly respond to them in a timely fashion.

Below are the fist set of assignments:
  1. Admin Manager, find out the nearest photocopy place, Pizza Hut location and the closest Walmart to our Church and provide us with the map and phone number. Also, provide the info the Transportation Manager so that he can print out the driving directions from our church.
  2. Technology Manager, can you talk to the rest of the team and see if anyone has a video camera to record our practice sessions. If so, make arrangements to bring it to the practice session. Further, we need to burn some CD's with the song and voice. Suggest some ways to do it and how to distribute to the rest of our team. Check with the team is anyone has an MP3 CD player that can play music.
  3. Program Manager, check out who can make it to practice on what days, and who cannot make it to practice on certain days. We have to chalk out a plan to optimize our meeting times. Also identify a day to do our play voice recording, and arrange another day to practice with the recorded voice. The same day could be used to make some additional props as well. Submit our program entry to the Sunday School Secretary prior to Dec 7th. We currently do not know the actual length of our program (in minutes), but will know once we start practicing.
  4. Transportation Manager, can we find out if everyone has ride to get to practice, and if anyone needs help getting from one location to the other, what best can be done? Gather their phone numbers, including cell phone #, keep a map of who stays where, note their siblings, check if their parents are free to bring them. Print out maps to go to various places such as photocopy place, Pizza Hut, Walmart, etc. Check tomorrow's weather forecast and include it in your communication.
  5. Girls Costume Manager: Identify the costume required for dance session. Check your wardrobe if anything in there that will save us from buying new stuff.
  6. Boys Costume Manager: Identify costume requirements and check what's available on hand.

I hope to have the draft copy of script by tonight. Check out your email inbox. Please be careful not to leave copies of our script all around the church campus.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Approval to do a second program

Check with me prior to commiting to your friends about participating in a second program. You need to clear it with me first. We need to discuss it out and reach an agreement. When you come to me, have answers to the following questions:

  1. Who is responsible for the other program
  2. What other program are you doing
  3. When are the practice timings
  4. What is your role in the other program

You need to be able to demonstrate how you will manage both these programs, do regular school work and succeed.

"I already started the practice" is not a valid excuse to take part in the second program. I have instances in the past where students take off for the second program and then get left behind. They miss out on the class program and get dumped from the other one and are nowhere. It then becomes the teacher's job to console them, heal the wound, and come up with a solution in no time. Also, once you are in more than one play, scheduling the events is a very big headache for the co ordinators.

Below are the approvals and pending requests:

Approvals:

  1. Mariaya

Pending Request

  1. Kevin Varghese

Note that there is a Sunday school carol song which is usually sung at the very begining - this carol song will not be counted towards the second program.

10th Grade Christmas Play Update # 2

I have heard from Jiby, Jake, Kevin Thomas and Kevin Varghese. Still waitinig to hear from Nimi, Maymol, Mariya and Jeevan.

The following assignments have been made:

Admin Manager - Jiby
Program Manager Jake
Ride Manager - Kevin Thomas

Open positions:
Sound Manager: open
Boys Costume Manager: open
Girls Costume Manager: open

Jake, Kevin T, and Kevin V can make it to practice on Sat around 10:00. Others, you need to let me know. If I do not hear from you till tomorrow evening, I'll call you at home to find out.

Overview of our Christmas Play

Based on our past discussions, let's stage the good Samaritan play along with some minor modifications this Christmas.

Here's the high level overviw of what I have put together in 3 parts:

Part 1: Staging the story of good Samaritan and it's analysis.
Part 2: Dance based on a Malayalam Song Jesus and the Samaritan lady
Part 3: Analysis of Samaritan lady's meeting with Jesus.

In the coming few days, I'll put together the script and email it to you.

We have 8 students in our class and the first part alone cannot include all of you. Parts 2 and 3 are therefore included with the objective of getting everyone involved in some role or the other.

Look out for further updates.

Question: How many of you can meet this Saturday at class, say at 10:00 AM to kick starting this? Once I get everyone's input, let's decide on a convenient time for all of us to meet.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Guidelines for Christmas Program (10th Grade)

As we are heading into our Christmas Program, below are some of the pointers I learned from the Sunday School Headmaster and Secretary. Additionally, I am including few more guidelines to make this easy for all of us. I am also copying your parents on this email so that they know it as well. Make sure they read this and keep them updated.

Christmas program will be held on Dec 21, 2008 at 4:00 PM.

The venue will be inside our Church.

The stage will be where we hold our Morning Prayers (Namaskaram Area) just outside the Altar.

Organizers and coordinators are working on extending the stage area to make it slightly larger.

At this point, we are not sure if there will be a curtain or not. (For the sake of our play, let's assume there is no curtain).

As always, no food or drink is permitted inside our church.

On the Program day, I believe food will be served after the program.

We may be allowed to use the side room where the Altar boys keep their stuff - but I need to get it clarified.

All students are required to participate in this program; one being the minimum.

Students can take part in a maximum of 2 programs

First preference will be given to the class program Notify your class teacher (me) if you are participating in another program along with the name of an adult who is responsible for the other program.

We will have practice sessions on Saturdays and Sundays. The dates are Dec 6, 7, 13, 14 & 20th.

Class practice will take precedence over the other program (if any) and you cannot skip class practice to do the other practice.

One of these practice days, we'll do voice recording and include background music.

Below are some of the volunteer positions that we can have. This way, each of you are assigned individual areas of the play, and under your responsibility, we can ensure every area is well covered. I can also give you credit for these volunteer work, if needed. Email me the one you are interested in. If there are multiple students interested in a particular position, we'll do an online vote and pick one person. Let's decide on these roles by Thursday evening.

Administrative Manager: To keep track of all expenses related to this program by maintaining receipts, and contributions, make photocopies as required, email revised content to everyone, and take care of administrative matters related to our practice and play.

Sound Manager: To oversee the audio recording of our play, gather background music, arrange CD player, and bring the final recorded CD to the practice & program, make notes about our deviations, etc.

Ride Manager: To ensure all participants are feeling well, know the practice timings (in case we changed any), have rides to come for the practice as well as go home. You will also confirm that all students have reached home safe after practice.

Boys Costume (Props) Manager: Decide on the props that each boy needs, make note of those, get measurements, shop for them with the help of an adult or me, responsible for storing them, trying them on, and actually bringing them to the final play.

Girls Costume (Props) Manager: Decide on the props that each girl needs, make note of those, get measurements, shop for them with the help of an adult, responsible for storing them, trying them on, and actually bringing them to the final play.

Program Manager: To plan our activities and verify everything is going as planned, decide on critical dates, make arrangements for practice, step into the shoes of others as required and really help them out. You will be a floating resource in this role.

All of you are well behaved and I am sure you'll respect your fellow classmate with his/her responsibility. None of the above positions are superior to others. You'll notice even me listening to the decisions made by the respective area volunteers and abiding them when it comes to making a final choice.

In case of any questions or clarifications, you know how to reach me!!

Thanks,

Jacob Uncle.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Class on Sept 14th

We had our first class at the new campus. Kevin Thomas started off the class with a prayer thanking God for our new facility. It was really nice of Kevin to have this thought.

After the long wait, Jeevan John arrived at our class finally and gave us an introduction. We welcomed him to our group. I stepped out for few minutes so that the rest of the class could educate Jeevan about our class in my absence. Jeevan can be contacted at jeevan.jacobjohn@gmail.com Maymol showed up for the first class, and we welcomed her as well.
Jake had driving lessons and could not make it to the class. Hope Jake is doing well at his driving lessons. I really appreciate what Jake did - i.e., giving advance notification about missing today's class. It is an excellent way of communication and shows how serious a person is and will certainly gain the respect of others. This is something I want you all to learn in your life so that you become responsible citizens. Good work Jake!! Note that Jake will be out next Sunday as well.

Nimi missed the class and I have not heard from her. I saw Nimi's parents at church and am wondering what happened to Nimi - maybe she has a game of soccer. From now on, let's all do our best to avoid no call, no show.

We are running short of one text book. I gave out the last textbook to Jeevan. Maymol does not have one. Maymol, I shall make necessary arrangements so that you get one. You are excused from reading the textbook next week :-) The text book has changed from last year and we may have to work on an alternate solution.

We talked about the true cross of Jesus Christ, how Queen Helena discovered it on September 14th and where the actual cross can be found. This was not in our syllabus, but I decided to cover it based on today's significance. I am impressed the way all of you were paying attention from begining to end and could tell you found the story to be fascinating. If anybody wants to learn more about this topic, I'll be glad to share more information.

We observed Onam at church last sunday. Jiby and Maymol wore traditional dresses. Few students signed up to speak about Onam during the general session, but none from our class. I had sent out a detailed email regarding Onam and it's origin last week. Did you guys know about Onam before? What did your parents tell you about Onam?



In an effort to save trees, I'll be giving out the minimal amount of handouts on paper. Most of your material will be sent out electronically. Print it out only if it is an absolute necessity. Also, please try to print on the back side of old/used printouts. This is another way of saving papers and trees - a good habit.

We'll have a mini library in our class. What kind of books do you like to see in the library - let me know. I encourage all of you to have a gmail account. Those of you do not have one, please start one and let me know. This is to add you to our classroom blog. Jake, Jeevan and Maria already have gmail accounts.
There was an error in today's attendance entry - the date was incorrectly marked as Aug 31. Our Sunday school secretary Sithara Aunty caught it and corrected it for us. When I heard this, I felt that it was an error on my side. Hereafter, I'll stop the practice of letting you students mark the attendance register and will do this task myself - just to be accurate. As a class, let's try to be as accurate as possible.

I read an interesting piece of news today. In DeKalb county, when kids missed their school, parents were arrested and send to jail. Our old church located in clarkston fell under DeKalb county. I wonder if Stone Mountain has such regulations for their Sunday school. I am not worried about our class since you all show up for classes.

Wish you all a safe week ahead. See you next Sunday.