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Grade 10

Reading

Released Items Spring 2001

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GRADE 10
Reading
Read the story Growing Up. Then answer Numbers 1 through 11.

GROWING UP
by Russell Baker
RUSSELL BAKER began his career in journalism in 1947, when he was hired by the Baltimore Sun. In 1954 he joined the New York Times, for which he covered the White House, Congress, and national politics. He has written his Observer column for the Times since 1962. In 1979 he won the George Polk Award for Commentary and the Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Commentary. His columns were most recently collected in So This Is Depravity. He received the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for biography for Growing Up.
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ith my load of magazines I headed toward Belleville Avenue. Thats where the people were. There were two filling stations at the intersection with Union Avenue, as well as a grocery store, a fruit stand, a bakery, a barber shop, Zuccarellis drugstore, and a diner shaped like a railroad car. For several hours I made myself highly visible, shifting position now and then from corner to corner, from shop window to shop window, to make sure everyone could see the heavy black lettering on the canvas bag that said THE SATURDAY EVENING POST. When the angle of the light indicated it was suppertime, I walked back to the house. How many did you sell, Buddy? my mother asked.
None.
Where did you go?
The corner of Belleville and Union Avenues.
What did you do?
Stood on the corner waiting for somebody to buy a Saturday Evening Post.
You just stood there?
Didnt sell a single one.
Uncle Allen intervened. Ive been thinking about it for some time, he said, and Ive
about decided to take the Post regularly. Put me down as a regular customer. I handed him a magazine and he paid me a nickel. It was the first nickel I earned. Afterwards my mother instructed me in salesmanship. I would have to ring doorbells, address adults with charming self-confidence, and break down resistance with a sales talk pointing out that no one, no matter how poor, could afford to be without the Saturday Evening Post in the home. I told my mother Id changed my mind about wanting to succeed in the magazine business. If you think Im going to raise a good-for-nothing, she replied, youve got another think coming. She told me to hit the streets with the canvas bag and start ringing doorbells the instant school was out next day. I bowed to superior will and entered journalism with a heavy heart.

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GRADE 10
Reading
My mother and I had fought this battle almost as long as I could remember. It probably started even before memory began, when I was a country child in northern Virginia and my mother, dissatisfied with my fathers plain workmans life, determined that I would not grow up like him. In my mothers vision of the better life there were desks and white collars, well-pressed suits, evenings of reading and lively talk, and perhapsif a man were very, very lucky and really made something important of himselfperhaps there might be a fantastic salary of $5,000 a year to support a big house and a car with a rumble seat and a vacation in Atlantic City. And so I set forth with my sack of magazines. I was afraid of the dogs that snarled behind the doors of potential buyers. I was timid about ringing the doorbells of strangers, relieved when no one came to the door, and scared when someone did. Despite my mothers instructions, I could not deliver an engaging sales pitch. When a door opened I simply asked, Want to buy a Saturday Evening Post? In Belleville few persons did. It was a town of 30,000 people, and most weeks I rang a fair majority of its doorbells. But I rarely sold my thirty copies. Some weeks I canvassed the entire town for six days and still had four or five unsold magazines on Monday evening; then I dreaded the coming of Tuesday morning, when a batch of thirty fresh Saturday Evening Posts was due at the front door. Better get out there and sell the rest of those magazines tonight, my mother would say. I usually posted myself then at a busy intersection where a traffic light controlled commuter flow from Newark. When the light turned red I stood on the curb and shouted my sales pitch at the motorists. Want to buy a Saturday Evening Post? One rainy night when car windows were sealed against me I came back soaked and with not a single sale to report. My mother beckoned to Doris.

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GRADE 10
Reading
Go back down there with Buddy and show him how to sell these magazines, she said. Brimming with zest, Doris, who was then seven years old, returned with me to the corner. She took a magazine from the bag, and when the light turned red she strode to the nearest car and banged her small fist against the closed window. The driver, probably startled at what he took to be a midget assaulting his car, lowered the window to stare, and Doris thrust a Saturday Evening Post at him. You need this magazine, she piped, and it only costs a nickel. Her salesmanship was irresistible. Before the light changed half a dozen times she disposed of the entire batch. I didnt feel humiliated. To the contrary. I was so happy I decided to give her a treat. Leading her to the vegetable store on Belleville Avenue, I bought three apples, which cost a nickel, and gave her one. You shouldnt waste money, she said. Eat your apple. I bit into mine. You shouldnt eat before supper, she said. Itll spoil your appetite. Back at the house that evening, she dutifully reported me for wasting a nickel. Instead of a scolding, I was rewarded with a pat on the back for having the good sense to buy fruit instead of candy. My mother reached into her bottomless supply of maxims and told Doris, An apple a day keeps the doctor away. By the time I was ten I had learned all my mothers maxims by heart. Asking to stay up past normal bedtime, I knew that a refusal would be explained with, Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. If I whimpered about having to get up early in the morning, I could depend on her to say, The early bird gets the worm. The one I most despised was, If at first you dont succeed, try, try again. This was the battle cry with which she constantly sent me back into the hopeless struggle whenever I moaned that I had rung every doorbell in town and knew there wasnt a single potential buyer left in Belleville that week. After listening to my explanation, she handed me the canvas bag and said, If at first you dont succeed . . . Three years in that job, which I would gladly have quit after the first day except for her insistence, produced at least one valuable result. My mother finally concluded that I would never make something of myself by pursuing a life in business and started considering careers that demanded less competitive zeal. One evening when I was eleven I brought home a short composition on my summer vacation which the teacher had graded with an A. Reading it with her own schoolteachers eye, my mother agreed that it was top-drawer seventh grade prose and complimented me. Nothing more was said about it immediately, but a new idea had taken life in her mind. Halfway through supper she suddenly interrupted the conversation. Buddy, she said, maybe you could be a writer. I clasped the idea to my heart. I had never met a writer, had shown no previous urge to write, and hadnt a notion how to become a writer, but I loved stories and thought that making up stories must surely be almost as much fun as reading them. Best of all, though, and what really gladdened my heart, was the ease of the writers life. Writers did not have to trudge through the town peddling from canvas bags, defending themselves against angry dogs, being rejected by surly strangers. Writers did not have to ring doorbells. So far as I could make out, what writers did couldnt even be classified as work. I was enchanted. Writers didnt have to have any gumption at all. I did not dare tell anybody for fear of being laughed at in the schoolyard, but secretly I decided that what Id like to be when I grew up was a writer.

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Adaptation of excerpt from Growing Up by Russell Baker, copyright 1982 by Russell Baker.

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GRADE 10
Reading
Now answer Numbers 1 through 11. Base your answers on the article Growing Up.

Read this sentence from the passage. My mother reached into her bottomless supply of maxims and told Doris, An apple a day keeps the doctor away. What does maxims mean? A. B. C. D. explanations ideas sayings 3 stories

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Which word best describes Russells approach to selling magazines? A. ambitious argumentative defensive passive 4

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B. C. D.

Which word best describes the tone of the story? A. discouraged dramatic reective sarcastic

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B. C. D.

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GRADE 10
Reading
4
READ THINK EXPLAIN
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What is the conict between Buddy and his mother? How is it resolved? Use details and information from the story to support your answer.

Read this quote. Writers did not have to trudge through the town peddling from canvas bags, defending themselves against angry dogs, being rejected by surly strangers. What does surly mean? A. B. C. D. distracted ordinary penniless unpleasant 4

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GRADE 10
Reading
6 Why was the author afraid to mention his new career choice to his classmates? A.
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He was embarrassed that he quit his sales job. He was worried that his mother would nd out. His friends would want to read his composition. His friends would reject writing as a serious profession. 4

B. C. D.

7
READ THINK EXPLAIN
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How are Doris and her mother similar? Use details and information from the story to support your answer.

8
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Buddy expects to perform better as a writer than as a salesman because he A. B. C. D. succeeds in pleasing his mother. is excited about inventing stories. 2 is aware of his need for employment. acknowledges his weak business skills.

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GRADE 10
Reading
9 What conict is revealed when the author writes, My mother and I had fought this battle almost as long as I could remember? A. the authors lack of interest in sales versus his mothers desire for a better life 1 B. the authors determination to spend money versus his mothers advice to save it

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C. the authors dreams of becoming a writer versus his mothers plans for him in business D. the authors struggle for success versus his mothers disappointment in his performance

10

Why did the authors mother urge her son to sell magazines? A. She needed her son to earn additional income.

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B.

She recognized salesman-like qualities in her son.

C. She wanted her son to follow in the footsteps of his father. D. She thought her son needed business skills to earn a good living. 4

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GRADE 10
Reading
11
READ THINK EXPLAIN
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Why, as a child, did the author strongly dislike the saying If at rst you dont succeed, try, try again? Use details and information from the story to support your answer.

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GRADE 10
Reading
Read the story Cosmic Speed Trap. Then answer Numbers 12 through 19.

COSMIC SPEED TRAP


Capturing cosmic rays will help physicists figure out their origin By Steve Nadis
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n October 1991, a mysterious intruder shattered the calm of a Utah desert. Ever since that night, investigators in the town of Dugway have been asking the usual questions: What was it? Where did it come from? How many others are on the way? The intruder was not your typical UFO. It was a cosmic ray, one of countless particlesprotons or heavier atomic nucleithat continually bombard Earth. High-energy cosmic rays are the most energetic particles in the universe, and the 1991 visitor was the swiftest and most energetic object ever detected. The record-setting cosmic ray, a proton with an energy of 3 x 1020 electron-volts, hit our atmosphere while traveling at virtually the speed of light. It was moving closer to the speed

of light than anything weve seen before . . . except light, explains University of Utah physicist Eugene Loh, a member of the Dugway investigation team. With that velocity, the single proton weighing just one-trillionth of a trillionth of a gram packed the wallop of a tennis ball flying at about 100 miles an hour. The source of highenergy cosmic rays is one of astronomys long-standing puzzles, and the 3 x 1020 eV particle has so far defied efforts to find its roots. Normally a particle that energetic is like a tracer bullet; you should be able to trace it back to the gun that shot the bullet, Loh says. Weve been trying to trace it back, but it seems to have come from nowhere. It doesnt point to an obvious

source, he explains, such as a known hot or activethat is, radiationspewinggalaxy. Scientists hope to solve the mystery of highenergy cosmic rays by snaring thousands of them in a mammoth speed trap of sorts called the Giant Array. The driving force behind the project is James Cronin, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist from the University of Chicago. He proposes to erect vast networks of cosmic-ray detectors in both the northern and southern hemispheres, each spanning an area of 5,000 square kilometers. Each network consists of two kinds of detectors. One type of detector, located in the networks center, will probe the night sky, looking for the telltale flashes of fluorescent light

Peppy particles: Scientists want to know whether high-energy cosmic rays come from black holes or somewhere else altogether.

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GRADE 10
Reading
that occur when a highenergy particle slams into the atmosphere, creating billions of secondary particles that rain through the sky and excite nitrogen atoms along the way. Some of these secondary particles survive their passage to the ground. A fraction of these, in turn, might be intercepted by the second batch of detectors4,000 scintillators that emit tiny light flashes when hit by a charged particle. The entire system will cost about $50 million to $60 million, Cronin estimates. Hes spent the better part of three years trying to sell the idea while lining up participating research teams in the United States, China, Japan, England, France, and Australia. An international team, hosted by Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois, and supported by the National Science Foundation; the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization; and private sources, expects to complete a major design study in July. If the necessary funding comes through, the team plans to have the cosmic-ray detectors up and running by the turn of the century.

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Excerpt from Cosmic Speed Trap by Steve Nadis, reprinted by permission of OMNI, 1995, OMNI Publications International, Ltd.

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GRADE 10
Reading
Now answer Numbers 12 through 19. Base your answers on the story Cosmic Speed Trap.

12

Which statement does the article support? A. Cosmic rays are a key to comprehending other parts of the universe.

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B.

Travel outside the solar system is threatened by mysterious particles.

C. Finding the source of cosmic rays means re-examining the laws of physics. D. Searching for mysterious particles may increase understanding of other life forms.

13

Besides traveling at almost the speed of light, what made the intruder unique? A. its duration its energy

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B.

C. its size D. its weight

14

What does eV stand for? A. electron-volt

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B. D.

energy variation extreme velocity

C. extraterrestrial vehicle

15

Which of these could make use of data gathered from a cosmic-ray detector? A. a plan to investigate a comet

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B.

a listening device to track intersellar probes

C. a formula to calculate near-light-speed travel D. a project to map radiation sources in the night sky

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GRADE 10
Reading
16
READ THINK EXPLAIN
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You are an assistant to James Cronin, the physicist mentioned in the article. Prepare an argument he can use to convince Congress to approve the funding needed to complete plans for the Giant Array. Use details and information from the article to support your argument. For a full and complete response, consider these points.
what is needed and what can be gained from the Giant Array how much it will cost and whether Congress will have to pay

for everything
when results can be expected some possible objections to the proposal

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GRADE 10
Reading
17 This article would probably be useful for someone doing research on A.
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new UFO theories. stellar map-making. the search for space dust. the effects of radio waves.

B. C. D.

18

What topic in the article does the picture represent? A. the speed of light the presence of cosmic rays the path of the tracer bullet the center of the Giant Array

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B. C. D.

19

The Giant Array of detectors would nd high-energy cosmic rays by A. tracking specic ashes of light. mapping variations in Earths rotation. scanning Earths surface for atmospheric residue. measuring how fast light bounces off a telescope.

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B. C. D.

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