Sunday, May 2, 2010
pictures, elementary nationals, holiday in Spain
the K-5 section is going to be much more interesting: there're a number of crazy strong teams.
Stevenson from Washington (WASTEV) -- where Michael and Megan Lee went to school-- has 2 1700s, a 1630, 1541, 1414, 1382. I think they have to be the favorites, even though the Illinois team might look better on paper, because of their track record at nationals. A few years ago they cleaned up in the under 900 section because their kids weren't USCF rated. (They have some Washington rating system) That same year they came top 10 in the k-5 open section with nobody over 1050, and then they won it last year with some 13 and 1400s. Good job, whoever coaches there; I'm totally impressed.
There's also an interesting team from Illinois, ILL004, with two 1800s, a 1676, 1426, and 1378. I suspect they might be from this one school district that petitioned the USCF a couple years ago. Their rural district is divided really strangely into one K-2 school, one 3-4 school, one 5-6 school, etc: just one school for the whole district, but with maybe 12 classes in each grade. I'm making up the number twelve, but you can see the potential pedagogical advantages of this set-up. Then all the kids go on to the next horizontally enormous district school two years later. The kids are seriously disadvantaged at nationals because they can't play their whole elementary team together. Of course, they probably would have had two elementary schools in their district if they did that, but you can see how unfair it must seem to the kids. (If it's the same school, very possibly it isn't.)
The rule as it is now says:
"A school is defined as an institution which has one name, is located in one building or connected adjacent buildings, and is under one administrator and which provides core curricular instruction in English, math, science, and social studies. A’ local public school’ for a home schooled or virtual school student is defined as the public school the student would attend if attending public school. The local public school for a third grade home schooled or virtual school student is the local public elementary school the child would attend if going to public school. A ‘public school district’ is a grouping of public schools (most usually within a city or county but may be a single school in a small city) recognized and designated as being a public school district by that state’s department of education. A ‘local public school’ is not the entire district but is the area that a single public school covers."
I wasn't in favor of changing the rules, just because it's such a slippery slope down. Pretty soon feeder schools would be wanting to play with their junior high school, and imagine the complaining parents all around. It seemed crazy to open that can of worms. but maybe they will win this year anyway, although they are all in third and fourth grade, and I think being younger is a real disadvantage in a tournament as grueling as nationals.
Horace Mann has three kids preregistered (1827, 1547, 1361) and I imagine they probably have a fourth somewhere.
In other news, I'm planning The Greatest Summer Ever. It starts with the World Open, where I will win before even playing by staying with Greg for free. Then I will go to the US Chess School in Dallas (July 7-11) with James and Justus. and on July 21, Jonathan and I leave on our European Apartment Swap Special. We'll go to stay with my father in London for a week, then we are doing an apartment swap with two Spanish friends of Jonathan for two weeks each. We'll stay in Barcelona for 2 weeks and Tarragona, a small city on the beach about 45 minutes outside Barcelona, for another two weeks. Jonathan will paint and I will study chess and we'll go for long walks and make nice meals and it will be wonderful.
Everything with Jonathan is going great. We remind me a bit of Erin and Andy from the Office. It is nice when someone makes you every meal and is always interested in you and your thoughts.