A MOVING GLIMPSE into the minds of adolescents was the focus of the Evening of the Arts presented by George Fox Middle School's reading/book club Wednesday night.
The evening capped the school library's third annual celebration of Teen Read Week-Make Reading a Hobbit, a nationwide program developed by the American Library Association.
An audience of more than 50 parents, pupils, younger siblings and teachers sat mesmerized for almost an hour as the eight presenters shared original poetry and read excerpts from favorite novels.
In past years, the pupils' presentations focused on the lighter side of the adolescent mind, but not this year.
"Current events and the mood in the country have definitely played a role" in pupils' selections this year, said Meg Kauder, library media specialist. Kauder and Carol Maid, school reading specialist, sponsor the reading/book club for Fox pupils.
A few pupils read paragraphs written by published authors that featured the fantasy theme. Others shared their original compositions on war, bravery and the timeless theme of teen loves lost and found.
Presenters in the Evening of the Arts program included eighth-grader Christy Gretsinger; seventh-graders Amber Thompson, Mike Morrison, Sarah Kijak and Andrew Fullerton; and sixth-graders Eric Chin and Samantha Menrad.
A highlight of the program was a poem, "Somebody to Blame," written by eighth-grader Ethan Vaughan, 13. The poem focuses on the loss of innocent lives in and since the Sept. 11 tragedy.
"The idea came to me a few nights ago," Ethan said. "I just sat down and wrote the poem in a few minutes."
Ethan, the son of Michael and Melissa Vaughan, loves to read and write, and has been a member of the reading/book club for two years.
He likes to write fantasy novels. Most sit unfinished at home, waiting for the young teen's interest in completing the stories to return.
Ethan's plans include going to a "good" college and studying political science. He and his family are moving to Carroll County next summer, and he will attend Westminster High School in the fall.
"Somebody to Blame,"
by Ethan Vaughan
American civilians die,
And Afghan men and women cry.
The missiles are coming, on their way,
They'll hit Kabul and kill today.
All because of the Saudi man,
Osama bin Laden, who hides in our land.
Towers have crumbled with so many lives,
Why is it the innocent pay the price?
If they need someone to blame,
Bomb only the mountains, bomb only the caves.
Why bomb the cities, where good people live,
It hurts the children, it doesn't hurt him.
It hurts the mothers with children at play,
They never come home, there was an explosion today.
Their souls are now with the great Allah,
but Osama bin Laden still lives.
You killed good and bad the same,
Because you need someone to blame.
Adventurous locals can find out more about the value of their acquisitions at an antiques appraisal fair sponsored by Mountain Road Kiwanis Club from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. tomorrow at Community United Methodist Church, 8680 Fort Smallwood Road.
Julius Koch, club representative, said the appraisal events are popular with the community and provide the club an opportunity to raise money in an interesting way.
The Antique Man of Fells Point will appraise the objects.
The cost is $5 an item, with a two-item limit.
Proceeds will benefit Kiwanis community service projects and the scholarship fund.
Blessing of animals
Magothy United Methodist Church and the Friends of Hancock's Resolution invite the community to a blessing of the animals service at 3 p.m. Sunday at the historic farmstead at 2795 Bayside Beach Road.
In many churches, a blessing of the animals service traditionally is held in October, the month of the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and ecology, said Jim Morrison, Friends spokesman.
The Rev. Reg Barss, pastor of Magothy United Methodist Church, will conduct the blessing service.
All pets must be leashed or suitably restrained. Those participating should arrive by 2:45 p.m. Owners of pets that are not under control will not be allowed to participate.
No rain date is scheduled because Sunday is the final day this year that Hancock's Resolution will be open to the public. The site will reopen in the spring.
Holding the blessing at Hancock's serves two purposes, Morrison said.
Morrison said it made sense to hold the event at the farmstead because the church lacks adequate space and because the Hancock family has enjoyed a long association with the church. The farm-church connection has been documented back to the 1790s, he said.
Admission to the farmstead and Sunday's pet blessing is free.
Donations to help with restoration efforts and to develop educational programs at the site will be accepted.