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This is going to be my best college year

    I return to college as a sophomore even more excited than last year, for my high hopes for my first year at Saint Mike’s were exceeded.     Declaring to go to Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont, propelled me from March to August. Closer to move-in day, however, doubt and fear crept in. Had I made the right decision? I had dreamed of going to school in a major city like New York or Boston. Now I was about to make a nine-hour journey to Vermont, where there are more cows than people.

At 63, only 16 credits to go

    Deciding to continue college at age 50 brought me an education beyond ideas and theories. I had to figure out how to be an adult student — plus face the inescapable truth that I, middle-aged in a room of 30-year-olds, had plenty to learn.     I understood quickly that my brain would survive intact. Yet culturally I was outpaced. My teenage college memories did not include shared projects, grades and online methodology. By profession my title was Technology Trainer, but I had never used technology for student group work.

I had a lot to learn

My first day of teaching! I had confidence in myself, even if this was a third of the way around the world. Gaziantep, Turkey, my Peace Corps site in 1966, is now recognized as a major city and a base for reporters covering the wars in Iraq and Syria. But then it was seen by my fellow volunteers as an outpost in Eastern Turkey, akin to our Wild West in the 1800s.

[Gulp] … he’s also my teacher

    As my summer wraps up, I am slowly preparing for seventh grade at Severn School. I’m pretty excited for school to start, and I’m not the least bit nervous. But there are a couple of changes this year. First, our middle school is under construction.     Second, Mr. Daniel Keller, my former sixth-grade English teacher, was promoted to head of the middle school. I knew what he was like as a teacher, but what would he be like as the new principal?

Substitute teachers are always on call

    For the 31st time in his post-retirement second act as a substitute teacher, Billy Keyes will report for duty August 25 at South River High School.     “I’m going in the first day,” says Keyes, who at age 93 is the oldest active substitute teacher in Anne Arundel County, and likely on this planet.

Boys and Girls Clubs helping “to inspire and enable all young people”

    “B-G-C-A-A, b-g-c-a-a, b-g-c-a-a,” students chanted as they embarked on their operation to spread the word about the Boys and Girls Clubs throughout the Westfield Annapolis Mall.

Books still cast their spell

    Carl Casary came to our school as an older man, somewhere in his 40s, to teach sixth grade. I think he was a World War II veteran. After lunch, he would read Edgar Allan Poe to us: “The Pit and the Pendulum,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Black Cat,” “The Cask of Amontillado.”

And it teaches across the curriculum

    “Did you meet any strange creatures on your way to school this morning?”     My dog … Just a squirrel … My bratty kid brother…     “I met a timber wolf when I was far up North, taking a walk alone through a snowed-in forest on the edge of the Arctic where I’d been interviewing Native Canadians on the Little Black River in Manitoba … Someone get the globe so we can find Manitoba …”

Minds Meeting

A Safe Haven after School Boys and Girls Clubs helping “to inspire and enable all young people” by Madeline Hughes

Thoughts from a 20-year teacher

     I’ve been a teacher, part-time, for 20 years. My students have ranged in age from two to 79. My subjects range, too: music, French and English as a Second Language. I’ve taught at two elite private elementary schools and two public institutions of higher education. Except with my own kids, I’ve skipped middle and high school.     This non-traditional career path — along with observations gleaned from the education of my own two adult children — has made me a learner as well as a teacher.