Last week I listed a few of the things that weren't around when I was in school, and I must today add another: electronic access to the world in general, and the print media in particular.
Used to be when researching a term paper or writing a report, one spent hours in the library with periodicals that couldn't be underlined, cut up, or taken home. If you weren't finished at 9 o'clock when the library closed, you were out of luck -- particularly the procrastinators, whose papers were due the next morning.
Today, the county library system gives everyone access to more than 500 general reference magazines and journals, full-text data base for articles and editorials of the past two years from The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal and abstracts and indexing for some 800 business and management journals, covering the past five years, with full-text coverage for half of the indexed titles.
For those of us familiar with computers, access to the articles is easy: call it up, print it out and take it back to home or office to underline and excerpt to your heart's content. For the rest of us, the library's staff is on hand to help.
The flip side of the computer revolution is the isolation many people feel, as they interact more with machines than with people. Add to that many folks' inclination toward shyness, perhaps self-consciousness about a disability, and maybe raw nerves from a failed relationship, and the stage is set for a lonely person to stay at home alone.
Two local area groups seek to break that pattern: Young Adult Support Group/Making Connections and Parents without Partners.
Making Connections is a group for people with and without disabilities, who get together for a variety of free or low-cost activities, such as wheelchair dancing, self defense for the physically disabled, miniature golf, sailing, bowling, or just good company. The group is open to everyone 18 and over. There is no regular meeting place. A quarterly newsletter listing activities is mailed to those interested. To get on the mailing list, or to offer suggestions for activities, call Ellen McClanahan at 263-9600.
Parents Without Partners does meet regularly, for both practical and emotional support and for fun. Local chapter 618 gives a prospective-member orientation on the second and third Tuesday of the month at Captain's Walk Apartments clubhouse on Spa Road in Annapolis.
* And, more about getting together: The Annapolis High School Alumni Association, formed about a year ago, has the goal of acquiring a room in Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts to serve as its headquarters and focus. The group seeks to represent all Annapolis High School students from 1933-1979.
To build membership and raise money, the Alumni Association is having a "Back to School Night" from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. this Saturday. The program will feature reminiscences from each decade when the building that is Maryland Hall was the high school, and a great collection of slides.
There will be refreshments, entertainment and a chance to roam the halls and get re-acquainted with old friends and returning teachers. As of last week, Earnest Herklotz, Virginia Ballard, Dr. Harold Earle and several former coaches had accepted the association's invitation to participate.
Tickets for the evening are $5 for Alumni Association members, and $15 for nonmembers, who will be members upon payment. Tickets are available at Art Things in West Annapolis, Stevens Hardware at City Dock, Chance Jewelers on Main Street, and Johnson's on Maryland Avenue.
For more information, call Stephanie Krebs Berry (Class of '65) at 841-3562, or Bob Bassford (Class of '46) at 647-7927.
* The Barge Museum in Eastport includes 1933-1979 in its archives, but it also reaches much farther back in area history. Its current exhibition is Maps and Plats of Eastport, reflecting the development of the area from the 1600s to today.
The museum is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays, through Nov. 20. It is at the end of Second Street.
This Saturday is a big day for the Shady Side Rural Heritage Society, with its fifth annual Working and Sporting Dog Exhibition.
The free dog program will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Cedarhurst Community Center.
It will feature an agility demonstration at 10 a.m., the Anne Arundel Police K-9 Unit at 11:30 a.m., a herding exhibition at 1 p.m., and a service dog display by Fidos for Freedom at 1:30 p.m. The exhibition will conclude with a fly ball demonstration by Eunice Morgan.
Free hayrides are part of the fun, as are the Scales and Tales display of live owls, hawks, turtles, and lizards, and the works of several artists.
A shiny new garnet-red Chevy S10 pickup truck will be awarded to a lucky raffle ticket owner.
The tickets, $10 each, may be purchased by calling 867-2660, or 867-0121.
Money raised will support the work of the Shady Side Rural Heritage Society, and to help it pay the mortgage on the Captain Salem Avery House.