I <3 MHS Mock Kids!

Mock Trial lost Round 5 (Regional Finals) today after five and a half months of intense work; if they’d won, they’d have gone to State next week (in Duluth).  As it is, we’re done.

The score was 253 to 245.  Yes, we lost by only eight points (and one of the judges had us dead even).

However, we also won.  Here’s how:

First of all, it was the Minneota kids—especially Casey—who stayed behind and put the courtroom back together and made sure everything of ours (including some papers left behind by the other team) was removed, and all chairs put back, etc. as we’re instructed (and which is only common sense).  They double-checked the jury room where we all store our stuff and change, as usual.

Secondly, before the trial today (which started an hour late because the second judge couldn’t make it, but that’s another story), Pam, our attorney coach, called and made reservations at the Pizza Ranch in Pipestone for our team afterward.  When we did show up—and our kids were in great spirits even in disappointment—the other (winning) team had, uh, taken our reservation.

Pizza Ranch apologized profusely for the mistake—anyone could make it, we assured them—and worked their butts off to make room for us during their rush.  They wound up putting some tables together in the back hallway for most of the kids, and none of our kids complained at all even after waiting along a wall for room.

In fact, the manager came up to Pam and me later and said that she’d gone back to apologize to the kids for making them sit back there.  Our kids all said it wasn’t a big deal, and one of them said, “Oh, it’s okay…this way we can bond!” and the manager was so impressed by this good attitude that she sent them back a dessert pizza all their own.

Jon made a point of thanking the manager for the extra work, adding that because his family runs a bar and restaurant he knows what it’s like to have large groups come in and cause problems—to which the manager said our kids were a class act.

Our kids were so well-behaved that the Pizza Ranch sent them away with frisbees *and* discount coupons for their next visit (and Pam, who paid for ALL our meals, was given a discount).

As I told the kids on the bus home, they may have lost the trial, but they won all our hearts (yeah, yeah, too sweet, but really…I’m so very, very impressed with these kids!)

This was a group of 19 teenagers who’d just lost a heartbreaking competition after months of work (and two weather-related postponements), in a packed public restaurant *not* in their town.  Yet, they chose to smile, be polite to those around them (especially the hardworking folks at the restaurant), and have a good time without bothering anyone else.  And I wasn’t surprised in the least–I’m used to this from them.

I absolutely could not be prouder of these kids.

*  And yes, the blog title is supposed to be somewhat satirical of soi-disant silliness, but the rest of the blog is serious.

Mock Trial Awesomeness

Mock Trial Awesomeness

Mock Trial Silliness

Mock Trial Silliness

A New Hero

I have a new hero. Someone to join my ranks of Tank Man, Miep Gies, the Dalai Lama, and Abbie Hoffman.

Not because of his willingness to put his life on the line, or his ability to turn the media on itself, but because he’ll help me kick myself in the butt to accomplish things. This guy can show what motivation and dedication can really do.

His name is Myron Rolle, and, because I’m not a sports fan, I haven’t heard of him until tonight (the _Rachel Maddow_ show, and can I just say here that I adore Maddow?).

He’s a young man who has just wrapped up his BA in under time, with a 3.75 GPA, while playing spectacular football AND starting a health program for Native American youth.

Oh, and the other day? He interviewed for a Rhodes Scholar scholarship to Oxford, which he aced, and then jumped a charter plane for Maryland where his football team was playing (yes, that’s right, he skipped a playoffs game to interview for the scholarship), got in in the second quarter, and yes, his team won.

Oh, and his major? Nothing easy-peesy here…it’s pre-med. He wants to be a neurosurgeon.

My hat’s off to you, Mr. Rolle, whatever you decide to do in your future. The next time I hear myself saying, “Oh, I can’t do that…”, I want YOUR image to come into my head, shake a finger at me, get me motivated.

I hope you take on the entire world. Godspeed, young man. And thank you.

NYTimes story on Myron Rolle.