Wrapping Up Summer Vacation

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Attention students (and parents): you have 18 days left. At least in Anne Arundel County. That’s how long we have until the first day of public school. Calvert families you get one extra day.

With the back-to-school season beginning in earnest, I have a lot of mixed feelings. My youngest, who I just picked up from the airport after his first solo adventure to visit family in Florida, enters high school this year. My eldest begins his first semester of college. Thankfully he has chosen to stay home and start his collegiate experience at Anne Arundel Community College. 

My boys—and your children, too—spend a good chunk of their childhoods at school. I truly appreciate the teachers, administrators, bus drivers, crossing guards, and school staff who show up for them day after day, week after week. After more than a year spent in virtual learning, I’m just glad they can go to school, honestly. And I’m glad my high schooler won’t be required to wait for the bus at 6 a.m. like his older brother had to do. I’m a big fan of sleep and I applaud the shift to a later start time for teens. Getting my teen to bed at a reasonable hour is still really hard. 

This week, CBM Bay Weekly brings you several stories around the theme of back to school. Chelsea Harrison gives us some tips and a timeline on shifting bedtimes and making the transition into the school year. Molly Crumbley tells us about a Calvert teacher who didn’t take a summer off but headed to Germany to study abroad. Susan Nolan tells us about the teachers, crossing guards, and more that have stuck around for decades—and why they love their jobs.

When you are out picking up school supplies, grab yourself a fancy pen and craft a prize-winning entry for the New Bay Books Writing Competition. Founded by editor emeritus, Sandra Olivetti Martin, New Bay Books is offering up cash to the winner plus a big to-do with other authors, food and drinks. “At New Bay Books we’re seeking to unite readers and writers over good stories in every way we can imagine. We’re sponsoring this contest, with its $100 prize, to lure writers out of seclusion and into the open while encouraging them to think of their craft as rewardable work,” Martin writes.

Writers should send in poetry or flash stories—short stories, fiction or non, that tell a full story—character, plot, conflict, resolution, in a moment—up to 300 words by Aug. 15. (That’s shorter than what you’ve just read, in case you’re wondering!)

Thanks for all the kind words about last week’s Pet Issue. It’s always a fun one to put together, and I promise, next time there will be cats and kittens. This one just went to the dogs.

Speaking of pets, just after that issue hit the streets, a terrible storm swept through the region and damaged the intake building used by the SPCA of Anne Arundel. While no animals or humans were harmed, the damage is pretty extensive. For now, the dog room is closed to the public but you can still schedule a meet and greet or coordinate foster care. The cat room is open and operating as normal. The SPCA’s Shelter & Paws at the Mall is open every day except Mondays. Show your support, make a donation at https://aacspca.org/ and watch their social media channels for news on cleanup efforts (when the building is safe to enter). And adopt a pet you can hang out with when all the kids go back to school!

Kathy Knotts is editor of CBM Bay Weekly. Reach her at [email protected]