Blizzard of '96: Winter wonderland has turned into a bad dream


January 12, 1996|By Christy Kruhm | Christy Kruhm,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

ENOUGH IS enough. I'm sure I'm not alone in my thinking. Most folks across Carroll County, as well as the entire northeast, are echoing that same thought.

The 2 feet of snow that blanketed our area was just the beginning of what now seems like a bad dream. A bad dream that won't go away.

At first, the thick falling snow was beautiful, but before long it turned obnoxious. With what weather forecasters have begun calling the "Blizzard of '96" came a domino effect. Snow drifts cutting off access to the outside world. Children in wet, soggy snow clothes. And figuring out how to stretch that last loaf of bread and gallon of milk to last just one more day.

The big questions around my house every night centered around when the kids will finally go back to school, and if I can get my car down the driveway the next day to finally make it to work.

Maybe it would serve adults to take a lesson from the kids. They don't seem worried about anything more than a dry set of clothes or what's on television.

Sit back and enjoy it. Blizzards don't happen very often, so try to make the best of a rotten situation. Throw a couple of snowballs or a take a turn or two on the sled with the kids. It'll be back to the daily grind soon enough and we'll be wishing for a day or two to have the chance to do nothing but play.

Women educators' group

Teachers, administrators, professors and resource specialists, both active and retired, are able to find camaraderie, common bonds, and personal and professional growth with membership in the Omicron Society.

Omicron, the Carroll County Chapter of the International Delta Kappa Gamma Society, adheres to the society's original mission of "promoting professional and personal growth of woman educators and excellence in education." Founded in 1960, the Omicron Society has 50 members from schools and colleges across Carroll County.

Dr. Annie Webb Blanton founded the national Delta Kappa Gamma Society in 1929 as a way to organize women educators and to end discrimination against women who choose teaching as their career.

According to past Omicron President Elinor Causey, women teachers at that time were not allowed to marry and were paid less than men who taught. Reportedly, of the 12 women who made up the original society, they were afraid of losing their jobs because of their membership.

Today, membership in Delta Kappa Gamma is 162,000 nationwide and the society has chapters in Mexico, Canada and Europe.

Membership in the Omicron Society is by invitation, and member Anne Marie Blonkowski says she is "quite honored to belong." Ms. Blonkowski, a third-grade teacher at Mount Airy Elementary School, says the society invites educators into its chapter who have worked hard in the education field, and are serious about their careers.

About half of the members of Omicron are retired from the education field, and for most of them, society membership is a way to keep in touch with other educators and up-to-date with the latest teaching methods and theories.

"What goes around, comes around, but with a new name. It's the same things we tried years ago, but now they call it something different," says Ms. Causey, referring to her 40 years of teaching experience in Carroll County schools.

Ms. Causey was a recipient of a Personal Growth Grant awarded by the Omicron Society. The grants are awarded to its members to further educational or personal interests or hobbies.

Ms. Causey, who writes children's stories and biographical studies, completed a children's literature correspondence course with the aid of the Personal Growth Grant she received.

Cindy Compton pursued her quilting hobby by traveling to Pennsylvania to attend an international quilting conference, after she was awarded a Personal Growth Grant.

Ms. Compton, a first-grade teacher at Mount Airy Elementary, has been a member of the Omicron Society for 10 years. When she was invited to join the group, she knew nothing about Omicron or what it did, but was impressed by what she learned.

"I really enjoy the retired teachers who have given their whole life to education. They are such ladies, and really creative," Ms. Compton said. "I feel honored to be a member because you are asked. The members are women who are a success in their job, women who provide leadership and set examples."

Board of Education President Ann Ballard is an honorary member of the Omicron Society in recognition of her contribution to education.

Legion plans afternoon bingo

Bingo lovers won't have to wait for evening hours to play their favorite game, after American Legion Gold Star Post 191 begins bingo Wednesday afternoons.

Beginning Wednesday, bingo will start at 1 p.m. with doors opening at noon. The cost for 21 paper bingo games will be $13 and extra cards will be available. No one under age 16 will be admitted.

Gold Star Post 191 is at 801 Prospect Road, Mount Airy. Information: 795-6444.

Christy Kruhm's Southwest Carroll Neighborhood column appears each Friday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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