It's time for the big test. Students in grades three and eight are taking the Maryland School Performance Assessment Program this week, and the fifth grade will be tested (excuse me, assessed) next week. The following is a sample fifth-grade question:
A teacher is planning a picnic at an ice cream store with her class. It takes 1 1/2 hours to walk to the store and back to the school. If the students must be back by 3 p.m. for dismissal, what time should the class leave to start their trip?
If you answered 1:30 p.m., you're wrong. Although that would allow enough time to go to the store and return, you must also calculate how much time it will take for the students to buy the ice cream, eat the ice cream and then clean up any trash.
In other words, you (and your fifth-grade child) are expected to really think about this question, consider all the options, then show how to arrive at the answer.
That's fine. But how about making the questions a little more relevant for a young child? Such as:
* You have a Little League baseball game scheduled for 6:15 p.m. Thursday. "The Simpsons" starts at 8 p.m. If a regular game lasts two hours, how can you watch the entire show? Remember, no one in your family has ever figured out how to program the VCR to record at a later time.
Of course, the correct answer is to wait until the fourth inning and announce loudly to your coach that you think you have "pink-eye." Immediately, all the parents will glare at your mother, forcing her to take you home in time for the show -- and you still had a chance to bat.
* There is only one piece of cake left, and your sugar levels are dropping fast. Just as you are ready to dig in, your whiny younger brother arrives and threatens to tell your mom you haven't taken a bath in 11 days if you don't share. What do you do?
Offer to cut the cake in half, then sneeze on it just before you hand it to him. It's so obvious to an 11-year-old.
Study hard, Glen Burnie.
Bike, skate, run, jog or walk to benefit the North County Emergency Outreach Center at its first Hike-Bike-A-Thon, set for 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 30.
The one-mile course travels from Martin Spalding High School past St. Bernadette's parking lot, around the Center for Applied Technology and back. Participants can cover the course once or up to 25 times.
Families or businesses can place ads in a promotional program that will be distributed the day of the event. Money collected from the ads and sponsors will assist needy members of the community.
For information and sponsor sheets, call 766-3283 or 859-1297.
Preparation for Glen Burnie's annual Memorial Day Parade are in the final planning stages, chairman Joe Corcoran said.
The parade, scheduled for Sunday, May 24, will begin at 2 p.m. in the Harundale Mall parking lot and disperse on Post 40 Road behind the Glen Burnie Improvement Association. Retired Marine Maj. Richard Savage and Kenneth England, the unofficial mayor of Glen Burnie, will be grand marshals for this year's parade.
The winner of the Richard Carter Memorial Award for community service will be announced at the parade.
Dozens of groups are slated to be a part of the activities, including the Glen Burnie High School band, North County High School band, the Boumi Temple Motorcycle Club, scouting groups and members of the Lost in the Fifties and Vintage Tin Antique automobile clubs.
The parade committee also is planning an old-fashioned Memorial Day picnic on the GBIA's carnival grounds from 1 to 6 p.m.
"It's going to be a big family picnic," Corcoran said. "We've got five kiddie rides from Shaw & Sons, face painting, pony rides, sack races, balloon throws. We'll have lots of games for the kids. The winners will each get a medallion."
The community is invited to bring a picnic lunch or purchase lunch from one of the civic associations selling food.
Nominations for the Carter award are being accepted until May 16. For more information on the parade, the picnic or nominating someone, call Corcoran at 761-9168.
There's the promise of something for everyone when Glen Burnie Senior High presents "An Evening of Dance" at 7 p.m. Thursday in the school's auditorium.
Dance instructor Dianne Rosso has coordinated a program that will showcase the talents of over 80 Glen Burnie students.
"We've got every type of dance covered here -- ballet, jazz, tap, modern, novelty. There's also a Polynesian piece," said Rosso. "We'll have music from classical to street to Beach Boys to New Age. Yes, there's something for everyone."
In addition to the pieces performed by the Glen Burnie dancers, sixth-grade dancers from Shipley's Choice Elementary School will perform a novelty number, and members of the Anne Arundel County Dance Ensemble will perform.
The Dance Ensemble "is made up of students of all the various high schools in the county. It's like an all-stars of dance," Rosso said.
Sulynn Amrhein, Catherine DeGrange and Heather Schneider have been selected to represent GBSH with the ensemble.