My Mission Statement

I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Odyssey of the Mind is upon us

What an adventure it has been coaching a team full of 6th graders for Odyssey of the Mind. I LOVE OM. I'm such a fan of the whole premise, so I thought I would enjoy coaching a team. Plus, I love 6th graders, so what could be better?

It's been a journey, to be sure. These kids are really great kids, for the most part, hard workers and very creative. The thing about OM is the coach can't do anything, not anything. So it's hard to watch these kids try something ten ways when you know the first nine won't work in a million years, especially when you're down to the wire. Our regional competition is next Saturday, March 1st. IT seems I'm the only one with concerns about it, so I guess I should just relax. I want them to feel great about their performance and where they place. Their goal is to make it to state, the next level, but we'll see... The process is fun and fascinating, though, watching their brains work and rework. A common problem in OM (at least from what I've heard around)is the coaches doing too much for the team, but I can't imagine that because you'd miss all the fun (and hilarious) learning processes. (I'll admit, it's probably more hilarious watching from my view than being a kid in it, trying to figure things out, but they've definitely got the fun covered) Although there have been times I've wanted to send them home and paint NEATLY myself. But I've resisted and I'm proud of that fact. Watching them go from 7 individuals to one team is an amazing process and one that may well be a perfect microcosm of peace on earth. It makes you realize that if all the adults in the world could decide on a COMMON SOLUTION, and then all work together, the results would be miraculous and incredible. And it doesn't even matter WHAT the solution is, it's all about everyone working together for a cause greater than him or herself. Learn more about OM at this site: . Regionals are coming up all around the U.S. Catch a tournament near you. Or at least go online and read the problems. Our problem, if anyone is interested, is The Eccentrics.

Have a great day. djk


Diane said...

Donna, I applaud your resistance. When my kids work together to decorate the house during the holidays, I still have trouble NOT rearranging their placement of ornaments on the Christmas tree!

Dorothy said...

Thanks for explaining OM so well. When my grandson was competing in his OM, I really didn't quite understand it all. I know it helped him be a better problem solver, and his younger brother and sister, too. I do admire your involvement with the kids. It must be hard to keep your mouth shut and your arms at your sides. It would be for me, I know. Hope they do well.

Isabel by Donna Jones Koppelman

Isabel by Donna Jones Koppelman

Major Bear at the Grove Park Inn by Donna Jones Koppelman

Major Bear at the Grove Park Inn by Donna Jones Koppelman