Thursday, December 13, 2012

Young Scholars: ¡Vivan los Cerebros!

Why sponsor another club and have even less time to do the things I already don't have time to do? In reply, all I can do is show you pictures of the Reasons I do what I do. And when you see them, you'll understand why our school will be participating in the third annual Young Scholars Academic Fair this coming spring:

March 17, 2012: second place winners at YSAF (but first cutest)

Last year was our first year, and we took first place! Well not quite, but second place was pretty close. You can perhaps see our translucent trophy held by our captain, K, on the rainiest Saturday of 2012.

We won every pre-final match--we beat every team, including the dreaded Marshall Middle School, the previous year's champs. Matches were tightly controlled, academic league style, which is probably not as cool as gangnam style, but waaay more inspiring:

Kicking academic booty

We were beyond excited for the championship match against Oak Valley Middle School--after all, we had A. whom we nicknamed WMD because really, his knowledge of everything in the world was atomic, plus we had beat them in an earlier match. We had team spirit--kids thought calling themselves The Skittles was awesome since the candy is bright (as are they) and sweet (as are they) and they could wear different colored t-shirts. Other teams wore dressy clothes and looked sharp, but our team was united by our theme, plus a mom sent packs of Skittles for us to eat as brain food. We were officially Team B, so while we awaited the final match, we threw up our team sign, the letter B in ASL:

Team B in da house

And then we got served. Oak Valley had a WMD of their own, and ours just couldn't seem to launch. We got obliterated. We were disappointed, and a few feisty ones were angry because our W-L record was the same as OVMS yet we took second, and it took all of my teacher powers to scrape their spirits off the floor and send them over with sincere faces and kind words to congratulate the team that bested them fair and square. And I think that helped them find their pride again.

This year we have three returning players and a flood of new talent. I don't think anyone is on A.'s level of weird retention of every fact about everything in the known universe, but the students had so much fun at our first practice this week and expressed such a desire to take first place that Oak Valley better watch out.

I suppose part of my sponsorship is my deep angst that sports overshadows academics in this land I love. Music programs get cut, but not football. So long, Art, but football is the sacred cow. I wish brains got the same accolades that catching a ball brings, but our country largely distrusts intellectuals and dismisses them as out of touch (one reason Obama gets bashed). Yet aside from my philosophy of education, just look at their faces: they are excited about being smart! And that's reason enough.

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