Monday, November 30, 2009


You have stumbled upon a quite interesting place. The journey you are about to take is not one that you can take lightly. Welcome to the home of The Souls. Here you can explore, experience, discover, and think about what the journey means to you. I encourage you to watch videos, click on links to other places, and make connections to yourself. This is YOUR journey after all...

So enjoy because now you have been accepted an as honorary member of the Souls.. :)

Questions and Answers

When the Souls made it to the Academic Bowl it was a fantastic feat that was unheard of for the 6th grade! To prepare for the bowl, the Souls practiced all day to learn questions and their answers. One thing that we learned was that sometimes we don't learn everything that we know in school. Most of the experiences that we have in our daily live can provide us with answers to questions we might not be asking ourselves.

Some of the questions asked during the bowl were difficult but the Souls knew how to use their prior knowledge and connected what they knew about to answer the question.

Below is a link to some academic bowl questions for a high school academic bowl. You probably wont know the answers to some of these, but you may be surprised at how much you DO know. Try to answer the questions that were actually used in an academic bowl. The answers are provided.

Bowl Questions

What did you think? Were the questions hard? Were there any questions you knew the answer to? How did you know the answer? Prior knowledge?

Its amazing what we can achieve when we actually set our mind to do something! The Souls practiced questions like this all the time. With practice, questions will always come easier.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ive had my doubts...

The gut instint. Some people swear by what they feel in their gut and make decisions based on it. Others use reasoning and logic. But what do you do when there is no logical explanation or solid evidence to support a rational decision. Then what do we do?

When logic fails we rationalize our decisions in some way. Mrs. Olinski was always asked "How did you choose your academic bowl team?" She made up answers, gave answers that she thought sounded like an appropriate response but never once was she able to give the right answer which was "I don't know". We don't always have the answers to questions and thats okay. What's more important is how you are going to figure out the answer.

It all goes back to the chicken and the egg argument. How do we know how something happens if there is no way to explain it?

Think about a time when you weren't sure how you made a decision. Write a response to this blog that answers the following questions.

What was your thought process in coming up with an answer?

How did you finally make your decision?

What were the consquences of your decision?

Do you think that any outside factors played a role in your decision?

and if your looking for a little moral dilemma fun....

Out of the ordinary, sticks with the Soul

The last time you were invited to a party what format was the invitation? Was it word of mouth, a hand written card, or an email? Invitations can come in many formats and can take on many shapes. The most exciting part though, is the fact that you were just invited to attend an event. Now think about what happened when you arrived at the party. Was it what you were expecting? If it wasn't, did you enjoy it anyways?

Julian invited Noah, Nadia, and Ethan to Saturday afternoon tea at The Sillington House. In the United States its not customary for children of about 12 to partake in tea especially on a Saturday. What was special about the invitation was that Julian was sneaky about how he invited them all.

He sent post-its with the location of the house written in coordinates so that the others had to look it up on a map. To tell them about the event he had them find a passage from Lewis Caroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. This story follows the adventures of Alice in her journey through Wonderland. You may be familiar with the Disney movie in which Alice has tea with the Mad Hatter and the White Rabbit. Julian was trying to send the message that he wanted to have his friends over for tea.

If you are interested in following Alice's adventure in whole, here is a link to read the book FREE online.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

However, at least take a look at the Tea Party Chapter.

Watch the Disney Version of the Tea Party. How do the two accounts differ? Why do you think they differ?

So what? Its all about how you view something. What you may see one way, someone else sees completely different. So next time you have a viewpoint on something, try to think about it in another way. You might just have a glimpse on how your peers see it.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Were the Same but different

Remember the last time you realized that you were the same or different from one of your friends? Hopefully you were happy that you were unique. Everyone has a varied perspective or viewpoint that helps make us think about things in different ways.

Being different from one another is a good thing! If we were all the same, the whole would be a boring place to live. We should embrace differences in people and strive to learn about others.

Every character in The View from Saturday has something that makes them unique or different. Mrs. Olinski suffered an accident that resulted in her becoming a paraplegic. Julian is from India and grew up on a cruise ship. Nadia has red hair and when the sun shines on it, the light forms a halo on it. Ethan is so engrossed in the theater and wishes to avoid living in his brother's shadow. Noah knows random facts about everything! Since our differences are so interesting it is important to appreciate what we know about each other. We may find out that we are not so different after all.

In pop culture, there is a theory that every actor can be linked up to actor Kevin Bacon, through a connection with 6 people. Similar theories have been applied to online culture as well. Try this experiement. If you have a facebook or other networking website, pick one of your friends. From your page, go to your friends list and try to link up to the friend you picked by clicking on other friends profiles and seeing if they know or are friends with the friend you selected. You should be able to link up to your friend within 6 people. This goes to prove that we all have an link to others lives whether we expect to or not.

Six Degrees and how does it work

So what does that mean? In the story the great debate is tired and true...which came first the chicken or the egg? Noah, Nadia, Ethan, and Julian ended up becoming "The Souls" but the question is were they "The Souls" because they were friends or because they were then chosen for a team. Before they even knew they would be competing together they became friends.

Ponder this, do we chose our friends? or do our friends choose us? How does our proximity to each other affect who we know? Why does it matter?...

Respond to this post with your thoughts and feelings :)

How do we create our story?

Everyone has their own story that is important to their lives. We all have our own adventures and mishaps that define who we are as human beings. What's even cooler is that our friends and family our interwoven into our stories! As you get older you will really begin to find out just how large and small the world is at the very same time. Think of how many friends and people that you know. Do you share any mutual friends or experiences with any of them?

In The View from Saturday, Noah, Julian, Ethan, and Nadia all share experiences that they think are exclusive to them. What they soon discover is that they are all connected and that their shared experiences are what bring them closer together. Just think about how you and your friends became close. What sort of activities did you do together?

Nadia had an experience she would never forget. She helped to rescue baby turtles so that they could make their journey into the Sargasso Sea. Wasn't that really brave of her? Can you imagine the experience that she had as she, Ethan and their grandparents helped the turtles beat a storm to crawl to the sea.

Learn more about the Atlantic Loggerhead Turtle

This video is a only a glimpse of that Nadia and Ethan may have seen. What do you think?

Noah enjoys telling everyone about the time that he was the best man in Nadia and Ethan's grandparents' wedding. Remember how Noah stole the show? When everything started to go wrong with planning the wedding in just a few days Noah helped to keep every one on track. He even learned Calligraphy to help address the invitations! Calligraphy was a hobby that Noah enjoyed learning very much and even taught his friends. While is isn't the only thing that Noah learned from the experience it was one way that he connected with others.

Below is a link so that you too can learn what Noah learned. While Calligraphy is much more in depth than what is shown in this tutorial, it is a very good example of what it is like to write in the fancy letters. Grab a marker with a flat edge and try some of the strokes and letters. See if you too can write your name with a steady hand.

Calligraphy Lessons

For next class bring in your name written in Calligraphy and any other words that you tried writing. Also answer the following in a blog response:

1.What do you think was important about the experiences that were shared?
2.How did is your experience different or similar to one of the character's?
3. What experience or hobby would you want to share with your friends?