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Students' flaky rituals to ensure snow


MANY STUDENTS left school Wednesday with this farewell: "Hope I don't see you tomorrow." That night, youngsters flushed toilets at 9 p.m., threw ice cubes out their bedroom window and walked backward to bed.

This quirky behavior highlights many students' belief that certain rituals are necessary the eve of a predicted - and much hoped for - snow day. With snow in the forecast Wednesday night, students throughout Carroll performed their unusual rites.

Fourth- and fifth-graders at Friendship Valley Elementary School shared their rituals for making snow predictions a reality. They backed their behavior with such "it-really-works" testimonials as fourth-grader Chelsea Rodey's: "I put my socks on my head, and the next morning it snowed."

Perhaps the most widespread ritual is wearing pajamas inside out. Some pupils wear them inside out and backward.

Pupils offered plenty of other ways to make snow fall.

Carrie Boore: "Do a snow dance." Matt Lappin: "Do a snow dance in the road." Carla Repka: "Drink hot chocolate." Harris Allgeier: "Say reverse 20 times backward and wish for no snow."

Taylor Miller: "Do the electric slide outside for five minutes." Julie Kirkpatrick: "Sing a song about snow." Steven Wall: "Wish upon a star." Shannon McDonough: "Dump feathers out the window so it looks like snow." Erika Johnson: "Turn around three times with your eyes closed."

Some pupils conceded that their rituals aren't always effective.

"It will only work if a lot of people do it," noted fifth-grader Megan Lin.

Her classmate Rebecca Donaway believes that flushing the toilet at 9 p.m. increases the chances of snow because her parents do it, too. Rebecca's bedtime is long before 9 p.m., but her parents woke her up for that 9 p.m. flush, she said.

Other rituals include:

Ian Butt: "Cut out paper snowflakes and hang them on the ceiling above your bed." Maggie Zepp: "Brush your tongue for two minutes." Spencer Sutton: "Write a poem about snow." Emily Colliflower: "Don't think about snow or say the word snow." Anthony Laspina: "Go to bed at 7 p.m."

Wednesday night, many Carroll County students knew they wouldn't have to set their alarms for school. With their pajamas inside out, they told their parents with certainty that a snow day would arrive.

They were right.

Sports camp

Westminster City Recreation will hold a Holiday Sports Camp from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 27 and Dec. 30 at Longwell Municipal Building in Westminster.

The camp is for first- through fifth-grade pupils. The cost is $15 per child each day.

"Students will have a day full of fun, in a safe place," said Valerie Westbrook, program director. "But space is limited, so we are encouraging parents to register early."

Deadline for registration is Dec. 20. Information: 410-848- 9161.

Living Treasure

Westminster resident Bonnie Cooper honors her neighbor Ruth Cover as her Living Treasure this week. Both live on Ridge Road near McDaniel College.

"It's hard to believe that after 17 years, Ruth is moving. We will miss her so much," said Cooper. "She is a great cook, a great friend, and one of this county's best gardeners."

Lisa Breslin's Central neighborhood column appears each Monday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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