School on Columbus Day angers students


The alarm clock rang at 6 a.m., sounding the beginning of another week. Monday mornings are never easy, no matter how young or old you are. But this week's kickoff proved to be an exercise in parental patience.

The problem stemmed from Monday's status as Columbus Day, a holiday celebrated by almost everyone except the county public school system.

Yes, my kids had to go to school, even though the rest of the nation was off, I explained to my dreary-eyed crew.

"What a bummer! Didn't the school board know it was a holiday?" the high schooler questioned.

"How could they forget Columbus? Founder of the New World, his contributions, the bravery of his crew. Why, without him, where would we be?" the middle schooler lectured.

Not in this house, in Pasadena, on this morning, listening to these lame arguments, I thought.

More foot dragging and grumbling followed, until the eldest had the foresight to check the calendar. There it was, circled in red. "Yes! We're off next Friday," she explained. The day off is for teacher training.

"All right," her sister said.

"Just think of it as a belated Columbus Day celebration," I suggested.

The condescending looks were unmistakable, but not a word was uttered. The two exchanged a knowning glance. Somehow I just know that the thought of the entire adult population (including their teachers) hard at work next Friday while they would be off was true justice.


The Jacobsville Elementary PTA is sponsoring its annual Pumpkin Patch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow, rain or shine, on the school grounds, 3801 Mountain Road.

Pumpkins suitable for decorating or cooking will be on sale. Pony rides, games with prizes and an assortment of delicious food also will be available.

Proceeds will benefit cultural arts programming at the school.

Volunteers are needed. To help, contact Bruce McGuiness at 360-2118 or Gary Courtney at 437-7278.

The Gibson Island Country School's annual Marketfest is on tap for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow.

Delicious foods, games, pony rides, face painting and treasure shopping will be featured. The school is at the foot of Mountain Road.

Information: 255-5370.

The Ladies Auxiliary of the Orchard Beach Volunteer Fire Company is sponsoring a bus trip to see the "Joys of Christmas" in Hershey, Pa., on Nov. 19.

The bus will leave the Solley Road fire hall at 1:30 p.m. The first stop will be dinner at Hershey Farm Restaurant, to be followed by a visit to the "Living Waters" show, then it's on to view the musical performance at the Sight and Sound theater.

Tickets are $45 each and include dinner, transportation and admission to both shows.

Money is due by Nov. 5.

For reservations or information, call Charles Ingram at 255-7464.

Jacobsville Girl Scout Cluster is sponsoring a craft show from 10 to 3 p.m. Dec. 11 at the Community United Methodist church on Fort Smallwood Road.

Tables may be rented for $20.

To reserve your spot, call Gretchen Smith at 437-4362.

The Buccaneers Athletic Club is accepting applications for its county and intramural basketball teams from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday and Wednesday at Sunset Elementary School.

Teams are available for boys and girls 7 through 14.

The cost is $35 for one child, $10 for each additional child. Family discounts are available.

Information: 255-7229 or 255-7691.


The Riviera Beach Elementary Citizen Advisory Council will met at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the school media center.

Topics of discussion will include the school improvement plan, presented by Principal Betty Freeland.

Parents and community residents are invited. Information: 222-6469.


The Riviera Beach Volunteer Fire Company is having its annual open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow at the station, 8506 Fort Smallwood Road.

Fire and rescue demonstrations, videos and tours will be offered.

Information: 255-3636.


Schoolhouse News: Riviera Beach Elementary launched a reading incentive program last week called "Pig Out on Books." The PTA-sponsored program, which will end Nov. 12, features prizes for top readers.

* Kids at Fort Smallwood Elementary will be munching on Bronto burgers, T. rex nuggets and Triceratops fries, washed downed with Brachiosaurus, Wednesday as the school celebrates Fun Dinosaur Day.

Students are urged to wear dinosaur-decorated clothing. The purple dinosaur will visit during lunchtime.

* The technology education department at Chesapeake High School is accepting donations of your old "clunkers" for students to work on.

Two and four-cycle engines, including lawn mowers, outboards, yard tractors, chain saws and trimmers are needed.

Donations can be brought to the receiving area behind the school.

Information: 255-9600, ext. 228.

* The guidance department at Northeast High School will offer a program for parents and students concerning college selection and applications at 7 p.m. Thursday at the school.

The program will focus primarily on high school seniors, but any senior high students and their parents are welcome.

Herb Curkin, Dean of Admissions at Anne Arundel Community College, will present the program and will answer questions afterward.

Information: 437-6400.

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