As you’re reading this bit of froth, I’ll be out with Hyper Lad and five other middle schoolers at Wingate University here in North Carolina competing in the annual competition of endurance, the test to see who can last longest before their aneurisms burst, and who can go for more days before they begin hating the spawn of their loins.
Yep, it’s Odyssey of the Mind competition time and the coaches are, as usual, completely freaking the frak out.
Odyssey of the Mind is a world-wide competition for school-age young dudes and dudettes. They have a two-part contest. In the long-term problem, they have to put on a play that goes through a number of hoops and fulfills a lot of requirements, and they have to do a spontaneous problem, which could be, well, anything. It’s an amazing event that forces the kids to really make original solutions to a number of difficult problems.
The young dudes and dudettes on the team are all relaxed and having fun. Looking at them, you’d never know they’re about to get up in front of a hundred or so people and put on a play. Or that they’ll be judged on the props they made, the backgrounds they created, the play they wrote or the performance they gave.
They’re just having a good time. It’s the coaches who are about to stroke out. I really do think we could learn something from the kids. I just keep stressing out and forgetting to do that.
This year, Hyper Lad’s team is taking a page from Hamlet’s book and dissecting the idea of To __ or not to __. They had to show that taking the easy out of a dilemma was the wrong way to solve the conundrum. While the finer points of the solution will have to be kept secret in keeping with the strictest strictures of the OM organization, I’ll say this: the group decided to look into whether their character would decide To Cheat, Or Not To Cheat. Yep, that’s the question, all right.
Personally, I think this is a great solution. Their play is really well-written, very, very funny and they’ve got some great costumes, props and sight jokes.
They’re going to have to be really good to win this and go on to state and then. . . the world! Bwa-ha-ha-ha!
Sorry about that. Got caught up in the spirit of the thing.
Wish the young dudes good luck. Personally? I can’t wait to see it all, secure in the knowledge that there’s nothing at all I can do to influence the outcome. Maybe then I can relax.