Divided loyalties

6 Mar


My heart longed to be in two places.

Saturday was our regional meet for Oregon Battle of the Books (OBOB). I’d been bringing teams for years, but I am at a new school, Stoller Middle School, coaching a new team.

Last year’s team was my heart team.There is a term in the basset world, a heart dog, that refers to a dog who is your canine soulmate. Last years Bookmarks team was my heart team.


Only three members were back, but I’d known these girls since kindergarten. I was their OBOB coach for two years and their teacher for one. I just knew them better than the 7th graders I brought, who I’d only known for a few months and do not teach. I’d been in touch with some people and knew the Bookmarks would be at the regional meet too. Fortunately, this year they had staggered starts and I was able to attend the Bookmarks’ first battle (they won handily!) before my middle schoolers were due to arrive.

While chaperoning my real team, I was in touch with a mom by text and followed their progress. I squealed when I learned they were one of the top 16 teams, the Sweet Sixteen, who would go on to the next round.  Damn, I’d miss this one.

Interestingly, although we lost our first two battles, Stoller’s point total was enough to get into the middle school Sweet Sixteen competition.  Then, I learned the Bookmarks had won and made it into the Elite eight. Damn. I wouldn’t be able to see this battle either.

And then something clicked with my middle schoolers. They kept winning! We were in the Elite Eight, too! Double Damn and Hooray at the same time. I wanted to watch both teams.

The Bookmarks went to the Final Four. So did my middle schoolers. And that is where our paths departed. We lost our battle, but the Bookmarks did not. They ended up in 2nd place and will go on to the State OBOB meet.

There was a point when I was worried I would have to go to the State meet with divided loyalties. I am sad my team, who had worked so hard and did so well today, don’t get to go on. I will make sure we celebrate their hard work when we get back to school on Monday.

But on April 9th, I will go to the State OBOB meet and be 100% in the Bookmarks’ corner.

8 Responses to “Divided loyalties”

  1. Ramona March 6, 2016 at 7:23 am #

    Lucky for the Bookmarks and you! I’m sad that I’ve been unable to find a Battle of the Books in Washington state. My kids participated in Name that Book in Texas and we loved every moment.

  2. Anonymous March 6, 2016 at 7:51 am #

    Yah!!! Such great news. I was wondering how the Bookmarks did yesterday.

  3. arjeha March 6, 2016 at 8:05 am #

    Congrats to both teams on a job well done. Wishing the bes for the team that is moving on.

  4. Lisa Orchard March 6, 2016 at 8:13 am #

    My oldest didn’t get involved with the battle of the books this year, but I watched the battle anyway and I enjoyed it. 🙂 I can see where you’d get attached to the kids who participate.

  5. Stacey Shubitz March 6, 2016 at 11:02 am #

    Wanting to do be in two places at once. Story of my life!

    This sounds like great fun! Congrats to the Bookmarks! Onward and upward to the State OBOB event.

  6. Christine March 6, 2016 at 12:42 pm #

    Congrats on both ends. And you do get to see the finals. Sweet success.

  7. elsie March 6, 2016 at 12:45 pm #

    Yay for your team, and hooray for your previous team.

  8. Lisa March 6, 2016 at 1:43 pm #

    Cool ! I understand the divided loyalties. I was rooting for the Bookmarks with you!

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