Did Ms.Olinski choose the four members of the sixth grade Academic Bowl Team, or did they choose her--and one another? Four stories-within-in-a-story, interspersed with the on-going narrative of the team's triumphant march to the state championship, introduce each member of the team in his or... read more
It was time for the Academic Bowl, and it was Mrs. Olinski's job to chose the sixth grade team. She had 5 students in mind, but she could only choose four. "Which four will it be?" she wondered. Noah, Ethan, Nadia, Ham, and the new kid, Julian. Ham was mean, but she didn't know it, she knew... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
It was time for the Academic Bowl, and it was Mrs. Olinski's job to chose the sixth grade team. She had 5 students in mind, but she could only choose four. "Which four will it be?" she wondered. Noah, Ethan, Nadia, Ham, and the new kid, Julian. Ham was mean, but she didn't know it, she knew his smart, student side. Later, Ethan picked up a book, he found a strange note inviting him to tea, but he still didn't know when or where it would be. Another question bounced around his mind, "who else will be there?" He wondered. Ethan knew almost for sure Nadia would be, but didn't have a clue who else. He found a few more notes, saying it was at Sillington House, 4:00, every Saturday. He showed up at 4:00 sharp and who did he see? Of course, Nadia, Noah, and Julian. After a few Saturday visits, Nadia had an idea that they come up with a name, since it was her idea, the agreed to let her decide. "The Souls it is," She blurted, not having to think at all. By that time they had been the group chosen to be in the Bowl. The won the first and many people asked Mrs. Olinkski why she picked those children. She had many great answers, "They are a smart group of kids" and "They work well together!" was another one, but she still didn't know the true reason. It was the day before the finals, they had won that many, and Mrs. Olinski suggested a practice. They told her they had tea, so she decided she would come. She knew she picked the right ones, she knew they would win... And they did!
“The fact was that Mrs.Olinski did not know how she had chosen her team, and the further fact was that she didn't know that she didn't know until she did know.”Narrator
“I don't know what you don't know so how can I know what I know and you don't?”Ethan Potter
“She thought that maybe—just maybe—Western Civilization was in a decline because people did not take time to take tea at four o’clock.”Mrs. Olinski
“Nothing is a mean answer, but sometimes nothing works. Sometimes nothing else does.”Nadia Diamondstien
“Not answering the phone but hearing what people on the other end were saying was a little bit like spying. I enjoyed it.”Nadia Diamondstien
“Everyone believed that she could be wounded by the word cripple. She could never explain to Dr. Rohmer, nor would she try to, that the word itself does not hurt, but the manner of its delivery can. For all his training, Dr. Rohmer would never believe that cripples themselves are a diverse group, and some make jokes.”Narrator
“Sometimes silence is a habit that hurts.”Ethan Potter
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