OH, I SEE YOUR family has finally taken the leap into cyberspace," noted my friend as she peered into my den.
Her presence went unnoticed by my sons, their faces illuminated by the eerie blue light emanating from the 14-inch, full-color VGA computer screen.
"I think you're going to be surprised by how much the children use it," she said.
"Why, just yesterday our Sarah wrote a program to graph algebraic equations. And Mary's French has improved dramatically since we accessed Paris on the Internet. I think the computer really helps to prepare our children for the future."
French? Algebra? Not on our computer. Apparently Santa delivered to our home a $2,000 instrument whose sole function is to prepare my sons for a future in which the Michigan Militia owns NBC.
Our house resounds with the destruction of Doom, War Lords I, II and III and Night Craft -- The Ultimate.
The only sign of creativity came when a friend shared a secret code that turned all the warlords into characters from "The Simpsons," the dysfunctional prime-time cartoon family on Fox Network.
My friend inched her way out the door, evidently worried that she might catch a violence virus. I didn't have the heart to explain how her daughters taught us the Simpson code.
See you on the Net, Glen Burnie.
Training at YWCA
Applications are being accepted for full-time clerical training programs at the Friendship YWCA, 97B Langley Road.
The 20-week course offers basic training in office skills for income-eligible county residents. Sessions begin the first Monday of each month and continue daily.
Participants receive training in touch typing, word processing with Word Perfect 5.1, business English, general math, payroll, filing, office machines, basic bookkeeping and Lotus 1-2-3.
In addition, students will receive assistance with job searches.
For additional information, call the Friendship Center YWCA at 768-2500.
The YWCA Friendship Center also will continue its weekly speakers bureau at 1 p.m. Thursday with a lecture on personal safety by Bonnie Welsh of the county Police Department.
On Jan. 11, Vicki Coulter of the county Department of Juvenile Justice will discuss what her agency does and how the community can use it.
Carole Madden of North Arundel Hospital will address substance abuse Jan. 18.
Lectures are free and open to the community, but registration is requested. Call 768-2500.
Learning to take exams
Glen Burnie High School students can prepare for exams at a workshop at 2 p.m. Monday in the Guidance Department Resource Room.
Open to ninth- through 12th-graders, the workshop will cover time management, study habits, note taking, reading and organization. Students should register in the guidance department or call 761-8950.
Program for parents
Today is the last day to register for a six-week course, "Active Christian Parenting," offered by Holy Trinity Catholic Church.
The program, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays, starting next week, will be held in the parish center, 7434 Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd.
For information, call 766-5070 or 761-5273.