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Thursday January 25, 2018 at 3:55pm Age: 355 days
Category: Middle School


It’s their first mokumentary--on a classic, no less--but no one is sweating it. (More on the mokumentary later.)

“This is a creative and motivated group of students who have fun with challenges and problem-solving,” said Corinne Yanis, eighth grade teacher and new Odyssey of the Mind (OOTM) coach. “They want to be here, and it’s a joy working with them.”

Though the majority of this year's team is experienced in the demands and rewards of the competition, each odyssey is an adventure all its own. “It’s always challenging,” said eighth grader Andrew Monahan who’s on his third odyssey. “You have to push yourself to think outside the box.” 

The home team is taking on “Classics… Mockumentary! Seriously?” --one of the five problem choices the program sets each year. They started by choosing a classic story from a list. As stories go, there are usually two sides, at least. In this problem, classic characters retell their side of the story in a funny, documentary-style performance (mokumentary). They add, deny, exaggerate and dispute story details. Meanwhile, interviews, behind-the-scenes “clips” and voice-overs take the audience through the “real story.”

Becky Povill and Audrey Cahill have grown close over three years of the program. They call themselves veterans, but they are welcoming and supportive of new team members. Sixth graders Allison and Lydia are among them. “Last year, at the intermediate school, we had an all-girls group,” Lydia said. “This has been more challenging. I’m learning a lot about teamwork.” Allison is excited to join the program at the middle school and the opportunity to create 3D objects for the set.

“It’s funny how it evolves, and stays the same,” Becky said. “This year we have new coaches and students, and a problem with more room for creativity. But like previous years, we are talking about problems and solving things together. We are growing and getting to know each other and ourselves better.”

Their new coaches share in the same satisfaction. “I’m enjoying getting to know these students outside the classroom setting, and discovering different aspects of their personality,” said new coach Cara Connelly, an English AIS teacher and OOMT alumna. “This program is a huge commitment for everyone involved, but it’s fun and rewarding to watch the work unfolding and coming together.”

The middle school team, along with the MVHS and MVIS teams, will represent Minsink at the 2018 Odyssey of the Mind regional tournament in Goshen on March 10.