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Posts Tagged ‘OotM’

Our Odyssey of the Mind Concludes for the 2009-2010 Season

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

This was the first year that Sarah and Michael were on separate teams.  Sarah and her team chose to do this year’s classics problem, Discovered Treasures, while Michael and his team chose this year’s technical/performance problem, Return to The Gift of Flight.  The older team, being high-schoolers, competed in Division III.  Michael and his teammates were in Division II.

The  teams worked hard.  Lisa coached both teams so she had twice the fun from previous years.  The house also contained twice the cardboard and other assorted paraphernalia as usual.  As the year progressed it was clear that the two problems required very different strategies in terms of planning and execution.


Two Teams, Two Divisions, Two problems, One day

Friday, March 5th, 2010

It’s that time of year again – Odyssey of the Mind Regionals.  This year Sarah and Michael are on different teams and Lisa is coaching both!  The crunch to the deadline is twice as frantic.  In celebration I was motivated to take a few minutes to reflect on the relative peace that has descended on this competition eve.

Here is my poem to honor all the hard working teams and their incredible coaches:

Twas the night before regionals and all through our home
Not a creature was stirring from cellar to dome.
The sets were all folded and ready to pack,
Plus a few rolls of duct tape nearby in a sack.

The team mates were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Omers danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Were hunting for the elusive competition site map.

To move through our house was unequivocally tough,
As we hunted and searched through piles of stuff.
Every surface was covered no matter the place,
Like chairs and counters and a telephone base.


OotM Wraps Up for 2009

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

Tiffany and the TikiAnother year of Odyssey of the Mind has wrapped up here at the Read household.  I’ll start off congratulating all three Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake teams.  They each finished in second place for their respective problems and divisions.  This is a great achievement and the teams should be proud that their hard work was recognized by the judges.

Zooming into the team with which I am most familiar, principally since both of my children are on the team and my wife is their coach, it has been a great experience for them.  Last year they were the seasoned veterans of division II.  This year they moved to division III where the competition includes teams with significantly more experience.Dylan and His Fans

Their problem, Superstitions, offered a lot of latitude to explore their creativity.  The major solution aspects formed quickly, but the details took a lot of time to gel.  There was a rewrite of the ending as recently as a couple of weeks before the competition.

The main push during the last month was finializing the set.  They had sketched aspects of the layout but as it came together they were continually inspired to push the envelope.  Dylan formed a strong attachment to the Tiki and made many engineering improvements to it.  That focus paid off and it was one of the highlights of the performance.

Ready to PerformThe team has also matured.  They all do a fine job of acting and projecting clearly.  The members also seem to have fun playing off of one another.  Timing of humor was spot-on, drawing laughter from the spectators and judges throughout the performance.

I hope that the team comes together again next year.  It is a lot of fun to see the increasing camaraderie as they become more-and-more a team rather than a group of individuals.Awards Ceremony

For now I look forward to reclaiming the house and garage as cardboard, paint, bags, duck tape, and myriad small pieces of “artistic” junk are recycled or placed in storage.  It will be nice to be able to run the Roomba without worrying about it sucking up an important part of a costume or prop!

I’ll upload the video of their performance one the World’s competition is concluded in the spring.