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As this busy week draws to a close, there's only one phrase that comes to mind: Thank goodness it's Friday.

The days after a Monday holiday are always a drudge. You play catch-up all week long. Add the opening of school, and the words "excited" and "exhausted" become veryfamiliar.

The first day of school is no problem. Everybody's up on time, excited and ready for the new day. Homework is light, usually covering books, filling out paperwork and shopping for last-minute school supplies.

Discussions about the day, new teachers, classmates and everything in general occupy the evening hours. The shock of early risingis hours away. But all too soon the alarm rings and you realize thatit's time to wake up those lifeless lumps to get ready for school.

The next three days are spent in a sleep-deprived fog trying to geta workable routine together.

New schedules are never easily established. It will take some time, but eventually we will have it together (just in time to turn the clocks back, no doubt).


Back-to-school nights fill the calendar this month at local

schools. Theseopen house evenings give parents the opportunity to meet faculty, visit classrooms and view curriculum materials.

Parents also can join the PTA/PTO and find out more about volunteering at school.

The following school have scheduled back-to-school night, all at 7 p.m.:

* Bodkin Elementary, 8320 Ventnor Road, Wednesday.

* Fort Smallwood Elementary, 1720 Poplar Ridge Road, Sept. 16.

* High Point Elementary, 924 Duvall Highway, Tuesday.

* Jacobsville Elementary, 3801 Mountain Road, Wednesday.

* Lake Shore Elementary, 4531 Mountain Road, Tuesday.

* Pasadena Elementary, 105 Spruce Ave., Tuesday.

* Riviera Beach Elementary, 8515 Jenkins Road, Sept. 19.

* Solley Elementary, 7608 Solley Road, Sept. 25.

* Sunset Elementary, 8572 Fort Smallwood Road, Sept. 19.

* George Fox Middle School, 7922 Louting Ave., Sept. 17.

* Chesapeake Bay Middle School, 4804 Mountain Road, Sept. 19.


St. Jane Frances School in Riviera Beach has announced several "welcome back" activities for families of theschool.

An informal evening featuring pasta time with the principal will take place at 5:30 p.m. next Friday in the school hall on St.Jane Drive.

The evening will give everyone a chance to meet the principal, Sister Mary Monaghan, and the faculty in a relaxed setting,said Renee Hammond, student activities chairwoman.

The cost for dinner is $4.50 for ages 13 and older and $2.50 for younger children. Hot dogs and desserts also will be available for purchase.

Ticketscan be purchased at the door or in advance by calling the school at 255-4750.

St. Jane's Home School Association will sponsor "welcomeback" nights at 7 p.m. Sept. 18 for grades 4 through 8 and at 7 p.m.Sept. 19 for grades 1 through 3.

Parents can meet association officers, faculty, visit classrooms and view teaching materials.

Three teachers have joined the faculty this year: Sister Margaret Mary, S.S.N.D., will be the resource teacher for math and religion for lower-grade students; Martha Monaghan will teach junior high math and guidance; and Lisa Kane will teach physical education to pupils in first through fifth grade.


Consultants at Chesapeake Financial Planning and Income Tax Services in Arnold are offering a free one-half hour consultation for parents interested in meeting college or post-secondary school expenses.

The free consultations were offered to parents at Chesapeake High School last year by Norma Finkner as part ofthe Evening Parent Speaker Series. Due to the success of last year'sprogram, Finkner and Chesapeake Financial Planning are offering the same services again this year.

Edie Picken, counselor at CHS, saidparents should contact Chesapeake Financial at 974-0410 to make an appointment.

Be sure to mention the free consultation offer in connection with Chesapeake High School's Speaker Series.


The Orchard Beach Improvement Association is sponsoring exercise programs at Riviera Beach Elementary at 7 Monday and Wednesday evenings beginningnext week.

The 10-week "Born to be Physical" class, taught by GayRodey-Hoffman, will have moderate-impact dance aerobics for non-dancers.

The fee is $40 for new members. Discounts are available for returning members.

Registrations will be accepted the night of the first class.

For more details, call 255-0489.

The Northeast High School PTSA is sponsoring a membership drive for all interested parents, students, teachers and community residents.

President Carlene Heilman says the student who signs up the most members will be awarded a prize.

The membership fee is $2.

For more details, call the school at 437-6400.

The PTSA Walkers Safety Committee reminds walkers to use the crosswalk when crossing Duvall Highway.

A crossing guard is on duty before and after school to help escort students safety across this busy road.


Get up, get out and get healthy at several aerobics fitness courses offered by the county Recreation and Parks Department.

Bio-aerobic fitness classes are designed to condition the cardiovascular system, tone and strengthen muscle groups, all while losing pounds and inches. If you love to dance and want to burn calories, this class is for you.

The first session is Sept16. Classes will be held at 6:30 Monday and Wednesday evenings at Northeast High School.

If dance aerobics doesn't appeal to you, thenmaybe the "Tone and Firm" class, also at Northeast, might be your choice. Class is 7:45 Monday and Wednesday evenings, beginning Sept. 16.

A special evening has been set aside for those who would like totry a class before joining. The free tryout is at Northeast from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday.

You must register for the tryout in advance.

For more information, call 222-3538.


The Crabtowne Big Band will be in concert from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Downs Park in Pasadena.

Plenty of free lawn seating is available.

Friday evening at 7:30, Professor Elise Albert of the U.S. Naval Academy physics department will lead a sky watch program.

Observers should bring any star-gazing equipment they might have, as the group looks for late-summer constellations.

An indoor program, "Exploring the Solar System," is scheduled in the event of rain or poor visibility.

Limited seating makes registration mandatory.

To register or for more details on park events, call 222-6230.


Lake Shore Baptist Church, 4613 Mountain Road, will resume monthly Saturday services tomorrow, combining a special concert and sermon by Pastor Boyd Frank.

At 6:30 p.m., Scott Sharp, a pianist and singer, will bring his musical ministry to Lake Shore Baptist.

Following the concert, Frank will deliver a message from Philippians, "How to enjoy the rest of your life."

For more information, call the church at 255-5413.

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