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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.
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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.
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Back to school hasn’t been this exciting since kindergarten

    In Their Own Words was my first weekly column. It was a blast for me, and I hope you were inspired by our neighbors. We sure met some characters, didn’t we? The project reminded me that each of us has a story. A beautiful story. We just need someone to listen. That’s what In Their Own Words did. Thank you for listening.
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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.
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Summer after summer, you’d hear of some unlucky swimmer, waterman or shellfish eater. Then it happened to me

     On and in, I’ve swum, fished, crabbed, eeled, sailed, canoed, kayaked and written about the Patuxent River — from both sides — since 1960. When you live with a place for over 60 years, you think you know it.
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Local coffee shops serve ­individual experiences

    If mocha is your mistress or black coffee is your morning muse, there is a place for you. Local coffee shops don’t skimp on quality and cater right to you.
    Locally owned coffee shops offer freshness, friendliness and community.
    Don’t get me wrong. Starbucks is my usual go-to for coffee. The chain is easy to find, I know what to expect and I have been a gold card member for two years.
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Writing the story of our species

Wonderful things about our species have been discovered by scientists in the last 30 years. We are so much more important to each other than we knew, more a gift to each other, more a needed comfort. Scientists are reporting their work, but the meaning of their work to our everyday lives is just becoming known to the general public. Spreading the news is what I try to do with my writing.
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Help fill a backpack for kids in need

    The best part of summer’s winding down is the acquisition of new school supplies.
    Opening the full bag is as thrilling as opening a treasure chest. Abundant new and fresh, here is everything you need to make this the best year ever. Then comes the rush as you sharpen new pencils, use an unmarred eraser and crack open a pristine notebook to write on the very first page.
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1939-2014

     Whitey Schmidt said many of his books were about secrets. He traveled to hundreds of crab houses, some off the beaten path (read: far off the beaten path) to write about the well known and the unknown. He talked to locals around the Chesapeake on how they prepared blue crabs and to owners of roadside stands about their favorite ways to prepare an Eastern Shore tomato, cucumber or peach....