As a kid, I dabbled in several sports and activities that never quite did it for me (was not cut out to be a cheerleader or dog trainer.) But Odyssey of the Mind was a constant in my life from fifth grade through my senior year of high school. For those of you who do not know what Odyssey of the Mind is (we called it OM back in the day, I guess now for copyright reasons it is known as OotM) it is basically a problem-solving program where you and up to six other people spent months creating costumes, props, and sometimes something like a vehicle or technical device for a seven minute skit in a competition. Please Google Odyssey of the Mind for more information. It’s hard to explain otherwise. As cheesy as it sounds, Odyssey of the Mind made a big impact on my life. If you did OM too, you will get what I’m sayin’. Also, please enjoy some of my own OM photos, as well as some probably taken by proud parents of random OMers.

1. You tackle work or personal problems with a creative approach. You know how to fix things (to an extent) or maybe think of a few solutions to just about anything, you creative dog, you.


2. You often think about THAT costume or THAT prop or THAT balsa bridge that you spent so many hours on and were so impressed with the outcome. For me, it was a smashed coffee mug mosaic for a coffee-themed skit. That grout.


3. Your craftiness is at an all-time high. Let me just brag about the Very Hungry Caterpillar costume I made for last Halloween.


4. You’re okay with public speaking because you performed your skit in front of sometimes huge crowds. Ok, your and your teammates’ parents, some other relatives and your competition added up to about 25-50 people tops, but still, that takes some guts.


5. You are still terrified of Omer, the raccoon mascot. Because why would any self-respecting adult put on a raccoon costume to walk around a competition?


6. You are still friends with your teammates, at least on Facebook. You sometimes reminisce about your glory days.


7. If you were lucky enough to go to Worlds, you think about how *~free~* and cool you were. Staying in college dorms with your friends was the coolest thing ever. You did your skit and spontaneous problems, and then got to *~hang out~* until awards a few days later.


8. Spontaneous problems actually help you in real life. So you’re probably not building a tower to hold a cup of pennies on an everyday basis, but spur-of-the-moment issues arise and you solve like no one has solved before.


9. You know how to budget. Making costumes for up to seven people, props and backdrops for your skit and gears and gadgets for your vehicle for under $100? Definitely doable back then, so now putting together an outfit for under $50 ain’t no thang.


10. You still have your pins around somewhere. Pin trading was THE thing to do, and you were so good at haggling for great trades. Now you probably have a bath towel full of pins from other states and maybe even countries, if you were lucky.


11. You accept that you are now probably slightly weird to a super weirdo because of your participation in such a program. You prefer “creative” or “eclectic” but deep down inside, you know you’re weird.


Liz Witter is a 2011 graduate of St. Bonaventure University where she majored in broadcast journalism with a (useless) minor in French. She is originally from Rochester, NY but moved to Boston for a job...then another job. She spends her free time sleeping, going to Sephora or doing crafts. She plays volleyball recreationally and refuses to believe she peaked in high school. She’ll take Tim Hortons over Dunkin, and Wegmans over basically anything. You can follow her on Twitter at @lwitta6.

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