|GO POKES! Oklahoma State University's first ever OM team comes home World Champions!|
A short history of OM in StillwaterIn the 2005-2006 school year, my daughter Tory and son Robin agreed to try putting together two OM teams. We knew of OM from schools in Nebraska (where Tory was too young for a team) and at the DODDS school in Germany (where Tory actually participated one year on a team.) We knew the basics; we knew that Destination ImagiNation was an option as well (having had friends who had participated in both programs), and we started researching to find out how to begin a team.
|Judith and Robin on the vehicle they constructed, with the beginnings of Sassy the Sasquatch (later covered in fur.) 2006.|
That first year was crazy hard. I went to every training and support meeting I could and searched for any information I could find online (remember, YouTube wasn't up and running yet.) I even visited the other region's tournament the week before our tournament just to make sure we were on the right page. (We were, sort of, and some of my other students attended that tournament with me and got excited about forming teams the following year.) Until you've actually attended a competition, you really don't have any idea what the program is all about. Our kids did okay, enjoyed the whole process, and most came back the following year.
|Another shot of our pathetic first attempt at the vehicle problem, 2006. Nice dragon, huh? |
He did have electronic eyes, which was pretty cool.
|2008 - Stillwater fielded twelve teams!|
|2007 World Finals - Michigan State - the year we met the Edmond team.|
Competitors, yes, but friends too.The cool thing about these teams becoming friends: Never was the fact that they were competing against each other an issue. They cheered for each other and encouraged each other and celebrated together. For instance, at many competitions they would form victory arches for the other team to run through. Best kids ever.
|Mason, Claire, Lucy, Robin, Jacob, Slava at a pizza place in Maryland in 2008. |
Great to see our friends again!
|Robin, me, and Mason after hearing our team won FOURTH PLACE in the world! 2011 - University of Maryland.|
(In fact, "not doing OM during senior year" ended up not working so well. I asked for some help coaching a new team, and within hours Mason and Robin were inspired to form a team of three. Madi, new to OM but anxious to try it, and Robin and Mason started working in January on an incredible three-person farce, with slamming doors, multiple characters and costume changes, and characters climbing in and out of windows and up and down stairs.)
(In OM, you really need at least five people on a team due to the nature of the Spontaneous Problem-Solving part of the competition. For this three-person effort, Logan and Kelsey were recruited to attend competition at Regional and State simply to add their skill to the spont team. Perfectly legal and legit. It happened again this year; more on that later.)
|2012's three- (or is it five-?) person team before competing at Regionals.|
All-Star TeamHigh school is rough for OM kids. The season is long, it involves many, many hours, and the type of kids who like to do OM are the same kids who are in band, orchestra, Youth In Government, school plays, student council, and so on. Several times when trying to recruit team members, we discussed the idea of forming an "Oklahoma All-Star team" made up of kids from both Stillwater and Edmond. That's exactly what happened this year.
|Mason and Robin getting ready to perform; Lauren getting in character behind them.|
|Claire, University of North Texas vocal performance major, sings as the music box opens.|
Aren't these kids fantastic? And aren't we lucky they are still doing OM?