IT WAS midafternoon; people were walking out of the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court House in Annapolis. But a door shut before a woman got out.
"I can't believe you didn't hold the door for me," the woman said to a man, after shoving the door open. "Even my ex-husband wouldn't let the door slam in my face." ONE OF the residents at the guest house on Fort George G. Meade is a 4 1/2 -year-old dimpled girl named Rachael, who, along with her family, has arrived at the West Anne Arundel Countypost after a three-year stint in Germany. The family will stay at the guest house, which is like a 50-room hotel, until the end of the month, when they will move into a new house in the Piney Orchard area. In the meantime, Rachael's not sure if she'll like life better stateside because she has to face several changes -- new school, new friends, new house, new neighbors, new everything.
"I like the mall," she said of one bright spot -- Marley Station in Glen Burnie. But, she observed, "Germany's more better than Maryland because my school is more better and my teacher is more nicer."
Priest in hot seat
IT HAD to be an uncomfortable place for a Catholic priest to find himself -- the hot seat.
But that's where the Rev. Thomas Siconolfi of St. Mary's found himself Wednesday night when he went to a meeting at the General Assembly's Joint Hearing Room in the Legislative Services Building to answer questions from parents, teachers and parishioners upset about his plan to reorganize the Annapolis parish's schools.
"Who choses the school board now?" one woman yelled out to him.
"Why can't the board of trustees be elected?" someone else wanted to know.
This is not the way priests are generally addressed by their flock.
Siconolfi stood up, took the microphone and started to answer, and then apparently changed his mind.
"I really shouldn't have tried to answer," he said. "I should have just left."
Siconolfi did leave the meeting, which continued without him.
HOW'S THIS for a euphemism? At Northeast Senior High School in Pasadena, when students come in late for the school day, which begins at 7: 17 a.m., or show up tardy to any class five times, they have to go to the dreaded in-school detention, where instead of being sent home for a day to think about what they did wrong, they have to be isolated in a room in some desolate corner of the school.
Administrators call it: "Decision Making School."
Vision in red
SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT Carol S. Parham, who could probably go for a month without wearing the same designer suit twice, stood out at school budget hearings before the County Council this week in two distinctive bright-red outfits.
The power suits were part of a power play.
Like Parham, dozens of teachers and other school supporters dressed in red as they told the council members about their unhappiness with County Executive John G. Gary's proposed budget. Gary cut $47 million from the amount the school board asked him to fund.
Teachers' union President John Kurpjuweit came to a hearing decked out in a red plastic derby-style hat and explained the fashion statement: Teachers were so angry about Gary's cuts, he said, they were "seeing red."
Gary did not attend the meetings.
In the cards
FOR YEARS, Madam Donna the palm reader operated from a large rancher on the east side of Ritchie Highway in Pasadena, south of Jumpers Hole Road.
Her large, wooden sign in the front yard advertised palm readings and card readings, and just in case a passing motorist didn't get it, a bright, neon sign hung in a front window announced "Readings."
Madam Donna -- Donna Miller, really -- used to read six or so sets of hands a week at $25 a pop from a table in the den, with crystal balls and unlighted candles nearby.
She is being replaced by a computer company.
"Sales, service, supplies, networks. Coming soon," the sign predicts.
Pub Date: 5/17/98