Xmas Card 2008

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Dear Family and Friends:              Holiday greetings. After a brief hiatus, the annual Whiteley Family Christmas letter returns. Despite the avalanche of technologic innovations there will be no blogs, moodles or wikis embedded in the letter and I will not use Skype, Facebook, Twitter, or Flickr as a way to share information. Just a good old fashioned family letter full of positive hyperbole.  Dan finished high school, spoke eloquently at his graduation, and headed across the pond for university (as they say). He is studying astrophysics in a five year masters program at the University of St. Andrews. We of course miss him and he of course soon forgot about us. He made the men’s 1st golf team (varsity) and finds time to play the Old Course as much as possible. He will join us for the holidays before his reading period and exams wrap up the first semester in late January. He will be part of the charitable Race-to-Berlin between semesters and may be in Sweden this spring with the golf team. Emma is now a high school junior with her eye set on a career in modern dance. She dances with the Pennsylvania Regional Ballet and her 30 hour dance week is sandwiched in with her regular high school classes, meals, sleep and homework. We took a quick trip to NYC to check out Fordham this summer. NYU is also on her list. She plans to try out for dance companies (such as Hubbard Street in Chicago) and would postpone college if accepted. She is a budding artist and is taking as many art electives as possible. Sharon continues to own and operate Take Five Expresso Bar in historic Central Market in town. She helps out with the local health education center and is currently planning their 15th anniversary gala for 2010. She serves on the board of the Pennsylvania Regional Ballet and looks forward to their annual trip to Williamsburg to help the Virginia Regional Ballet and their Nutcracker performance. Sharon and I will appear onstage in PRB’s Nutcracker in December. We tore down and rebuilt the family beach house in Ocean City, New Jersey this year and Sharon was the guiding force behind the architectural and interior design. My classroom is changing as technology surrounds us. I’ve been selected as a “Classrooms for the Future” teacher at my high school. Part of the governor’s Keystone Technology Initiative, this grant trains CFF teachers to use available technology and to integrate this technology into their teaching. There is really cool hardware that comes with the grant, but it is more about the integration and the move from a teacher-centered to a student-centered classroom. Much of my “free” time this past year was spent working on our house in York or making many trips to Ocean City to inspect construction and then haul furniture. Have a Happy New Year and a memorable 2009.

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