Rediscovering the joy of earning an 'A' in class SOUTHWEST--Mount Airy * Woodbine * Taylorsville * Winfield

NEIGHBORS

December 18, 1992|By KATHY SUTPHIN

I am thinking of burning what may be one of Carroll County's most unusual Yule logs this holiday season -- my 564-page Intermediate Algebra textbook.

After a semester of late nights spent completing homework assignments during which I rubbed the erasers off every pencil in our house, I am finally finished with my mid-life crisis, known to others as Math 105.

I'm not the only one who is glad to see this course come to an end. My husband, Stan, who has been amazed by the mountains of eraser dust that appear each time I do my homework, said I am probably one of the few students in the world who has to vacuum after doing algebra.

My children are also hoping that I will now have more time to get ready for Christmas. While the mothers of their friends have been baking cookies and wrapping gifts, their mother has been trying to remember what a parabola is and how to add imaginary numbers.

Although I can't help but wonder when will be the next time that I use the quadratic formula, this course did provide some valuable lessons.

I learned that differences of age disappear in the classroom. (In other words, you can teach an old dog new tricks.) I was reminded of the direct correlation between effort and success.

And I rediscovered, after years away from the classroom, the joy of earning an "A."

Happy holidays!

*

Thanks to the interest of an enthusiastic teacher and the support of the Mount Airy Kiwanis Club, 13 local middle-school students have the opportunity to serve their community as charter members of the Mount Airy Builders Club.

Mount Airy's newest service club, which is the second Builders Club active in Carroll County, became official on Dec. 9 when local Kiwanians sponsored Charter night for the group at American Legion Post 191.

"At that time we presented them with their charter, banner and gavel," said Mount Airy Kiwanis Club member George Woodfield.

Mr. Woodfield, who is a past lieutenant governor of Kiwanis Division Nine, said that Builders Clubs are the most recent youth organization to join the "K" family, which includes Key Clubs in high schools and Circle K Clubs in college.

"It is an organization to get youth interested in service-type projects," he said.

Meetings for the new Builders Club began in November under the supervision of Mount Airy Middle School teacher Jo Ellen Jones. The first project of the club was to present apples to teachers at Mount Airy Middle during American Education Week last month.

In addition to selling refreshments as a fund-raiser one weekend at a nearby Christmas Tree farm, Miss Jones said the young club members enjoyed working side-by-side with the Kiwanians at a recent pancake breakfast. "It's fun for the kids to get to interact with the older adults as fellow workers," she added.

Miss Jones, who is teaching sixth- and seventh-grade science for the second year at Mount Airy Middle, said she volunteered to be an adviser to the club because she "wanted to work with the students other than in the school setting."

Club officers for the school year are: Brad Colburn, president; Larry Van Sant Jr., vice president; Rachel Ogle, secretary; and Elise Ballard, treasurer.

Miss Jones said the group will be selling environmental T-shirts as their next fund-raiser, featuring 15 designs at $10 each for children's sizes and $12 for adult sizes.

Mount Airy Middle School's Builders Club is open to all students and meets on the second Wednesday of each month after school. The next meeting will be on Jan. 13.

For more information, call Miss Jones at 829-1314.

*

Young members of Mount Airy's 4-H Clovers had a close encounter with the community's compassion for others at a bake sale held in November to help young victims of Hurricane Andrew.

While many people took the opportunity to purchase cookies and goodies offered in the front lobby of Mount Airy's Foodrite Groceteria, many others chose instead to skip the treats and just donate money to the 4-H for the Hurricane Relief effort in Florida.

Ellen Bonde, Clover 4-H leader, said that well over $150 was raised at the bake sale and that all costs have been covered for mailing packages of school and personal-care items to be distributed by 4-H agents to Florida youngsters.

"We're very grateful to the owners of Foodrite for the privilege of holding our fund-raising project at their store," said Mrs. Bonde. "The project allowed the club to help 4-Hers in Florida and a local family in need."

*

The Mount Airy Volunteer Fire Company's top-responder lists are hot off the presses with November results.

Congratulations to the top 10 responders to last month's 73 ambulance calls -- Jeff McKinney (34), Becky Brown (30), Jim Crum (24), Cynthia Turner (23), Bruce Walz (23), Mike Pappas (17), Doug Alexander (16), David Eaves (15), Ann Ward (15) and Brian Kaplan (14).

Tops on the list of responders to November's 47 fire calls are: Jim Linton (32), Dale Lowman (24), Doug Alexander (20), Tom Fleming (20), Jim Crum (18), David Eaves (18), Gene Mellin (18), Tim Slane (18), Pat Holmes (17), Ken McDonough (17) and Ken Stull (17).

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