As I circled the lot in search of a parking space, my sister busied herself reading the assorted papers littering my car. She found my son's class schedule request stuck to the bottom of a large empty soda cup under my cable TV bill.
"Are you telling me gym is now an elective in school?" she said, stunned.
"Just about," I replied as we circled the lot a third time. In order to graduate from high school, a student needs only one-half a gym credit.
"When I was in school our physical well-being was important. I personally took gym five days a week the last six months of my senior year," she fumed.
Suddenly she yelled, "Open space in section D!!"
I ventured that she spent so much time in P.E. because it was the school's way of responding to a series of phantom illnesses that marked her every seventh period in 1974.
At that moment a Jeep Cherokee tookthe empty space. Undaunted, I headed for the opposite end of the mall.
I ticked off other advantages of reduced gym requirements: They don't have to take group showers or wear gym uniforms with their last name written across their bloomers in bold capital letters.
And no more mile runs, I concluded as we shadowed a shopper through the parking lot.
"We're raising a generation of unfit children. No exercise. Fast food. What's to come of them?" she said, shaking her head.
Twenty minutes later we found a parking space close to the entrance of the mall. Exhausted we set off to buy new athletic shoes.
Take a lap, Glen Burnie.
Nominations are being accepted for the Richard H. Carter Memorial Award to honor the outstanding volunteer in our community.
Established in 1991 by the Glen Burnie Improvement Association, this award honors volunteers who reside in 21060 and 21061 ZIP code areas and have made our neighborhoods better places.
"We're looking for someone who contributes in various aspects of the community," explained award committee member Kathy DeGrange. "Many of us give a lot of time to one particular activity. We're looking for the person who contributes to several different causes."
Nominations will be accepted until May 1. The winner will be honored at Glen Burnie's Memorial Day parade on May 22.
For nominating forms or additional information, contact a member of the committee: Ms. DeGrange, 766-8596; Barb Moeller, 766-1920; Gary Falls, 766-2238; Pat Kasuda, 768-1581.
Several Glen Burnie students distinguished themselves and their schools while brainstorming at last week's Odyssey of the Mind regional competition.
Corkran Middle School fielded three teams, all of which took first place in the Division II competition. In Division I, one of the Quarterfield Elementary teams won first prize while two other teams placed third and fifth.
Odyssey of the Mind is a problem-solving competition for students in kindergarten through college. Students are encouraged to brainstorm together to develop solutions to abstract problems.
Sans and Elaine Sangkavasi are the regional directors for the program.
"The contest is a combination of two parts," said Elaine Sangkavasi. "In September each group chose a long-term problem to work on over the months. At the competition they presented their solution in the form of a skit. Each group also must work together to solve spontaneous problems that are presented the day of the contest. This is why we teach them brainstorming -- so they can work together for the solution."
The first-place winners at Corkran are:
* The Mini-Terrain Vehicle Team coached by Sans Sangkavasi: Michael Bowen, Brandon Bruce, Nicki Bounelis, Stella Hwang, Robert Rauser, Bryan Sangkavasi and Brian Tokarcik.
* The OM Believable Music team coached by Sharon Rauser: Marvin Bloom, Andy Bonn, Sarah Hemphill, Andrea Hwong, Heather McBee, Kristi Rauser and Beth Yakiatis.
* The Illyad Team coached by Elaine Sangkavasi: William Ford, Lisa Graziano, Anthony Herrera, Bonnie Nevin, Jason Prola and Jason Stagno.
Quarterfield's first-place team, also coached by Elaine Sangkavasi, selected the OM Believable Music problem. Team members are: B.J. Bonn, Chris Cooke, Lorie Holland, Michael Rodriguez, Emily Sangkavasi, Ian Smith and Kim Toward.
All of the winning teams have been invited to compete in the state competition April 23 at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
Spring fashions take to the runway at a fashion show and luncheon 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Columbian Center, 335 N. Ritchie Highway.
Ladies of the Knights of Columbus Holy Trinity Council will play host during an afternoon of activities that include a mini-bazaar, trombola table and door prizes.
Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased by calling 766-2572 or 766-5212.
The Country Club Estates Recreation Association is planning a flea market from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday in the association hall on Paul Marr Drive.
Refreshments will be sold throughout the day to benefit the association swim team.
For information, call 761-0317.
Children in the Parke West community are invited to hunt for Easter eggs at 2 p.m. Sunday in Rec Area I at Darien Drive and Parke Land Place.
Sponsored by the Parke West Homeowners Association, the event is open to egg hunters 12 and younger. Pre-registration is required. A $1 fee will be collected the day of the hunt.
To register call Cathy Posey, 787-0497.
The Glen Burnie Academy of Fine Arts is celebrating its one-year anniversary with an open house from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Drama, music and dance students will perform for visitors.
The school is at 160 Penrod Court. For information, call 766-1237.