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Tuesday February 28, 2017 at 8:24am Age: 2 yrs
Category: Middle School, District


The 2017 Odyssey of the Mind regional tournament is just days away, and three teams will be representing Minisink Valley on Saturday, March 4, in Goshen. 


In the middle school’s OotM team, six of seven students are experienced in the program’s demands and rewards. But each odyssey is an adventure all its own, and presents a new set of challenges to conquer.


Our brave seven are taking on “Classics… It’s Time, OMER,” which is problem three of the five choices the program sets each year. In it, the future and the past collide around important works of art – both existing and yet-to-be-created. The team conceived, and will present, an original performance about time travelers in search of the source of inspiration for enduring works of art.

In researching and writing their script, the students wrestled with many challenges: creating a performance that would demonstrate how three works of art impacted the world; devising a visual and audible effect to indicate the occurrence of time-traveling; re-creating two classic works of art, and creating their own original; inventing a plausible future era; researching and creating costumes contemporary to the art works—all of it without any adult help.


“The first script didn’t work out. It was too complicated,” Alexandra Kassel said. So the seven learned a thing or two about starting over and making up for lost time.


“Fortunately, the team’s diverse personalities made for fun, engrossing and exciting collaboration,” said Megan Shafer, music/band teacher and the group’s coach. “In the end, they created a very unique script.”


On his second Odyssey of the Mind, Brighton Blake feels partial to this year’s theme: “I’ve always been attracted to time-traveling,” he said. He sees good probability of it becoming a reality in his lifetime.


Broden Alston, the only student new to the program, had auditioned for it last year. He didn’t get in, but was not discouraged. “I love being creative, solving problems and working as a team,” Broden said. His fondness for teams comes from playing various sports.


In addition to the performance, Saturday’s competition will also involve a spontaneous component. Students will be tested on another level of creative thinking with a new problem to be solve while the clock is ticking.


To our brave travelers—Broden Alston, Brighton Blake, Audrey Cahill, Alexandra Kassel, Andrew Monahan, Becky Povill and Jenna-Marie Renna—we wish an exciting and successful voyage!