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58 // State Finals

There’s something electric and magical about the state tournament of Odyssey of the Mind. I got such a rush being there, watching teams performing and really putting everything they had into what they were doing. For this particular competition, I was a Scoring judge. That meant I got the non-attractive task of tallying up tons of scores, averaging them out and hoping I hadn’t gotten anything wrong. I did my math at least 3 times for each team’s scores. It was grueling, but at least I got to watch a few skits this time around. I also got a free “Officials” shirt out of it. Looked super cool.

At the state level, you always expect teams to be more at the top of their game. The Poconos didn’t disappoint because I saw quite a few teams that really blew me away. At the awards ceremony, I was getting so excited for the teams that won. I got nervous for them, I got near misty-eyed when they all jumped up and down crying because they didn’t think they’d ever win and get to go to worlds. It was so nice being involved in the competition.

The guy I was judging with talked to me for quite a while during the day, and he suggested I be a coach for OM. I’m not sure I’m ready for that kind of commitment yet, but I like the idea of it at least. He said based on my experiences with OM growing up, my personality and all that.. that I’d be a good coach. I’ve always thought coaching would have to be so hard. Trying to help a bunch of kids go hurtling towards some creative end result. But maybe one of these days, I’ll give it a shot.

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