Who's in the Burrow?

SBA Nordic Storms West Yellowstone

SBA Nordic Ski Team, Bears this time, Not Dinosaurs

SBA Team Nordic (parents, coaches, racers, fans, etc): take to Twitter!

With the season now underway, Alec Wiltz has stepped up to offer his services as official team...er...tweeter?

My many Marmot thanks to Alec for taking the lead on this. Alec has said he will be tweeting race results and color commentary (hopefully not TOO colorful, Alec) from the field, providing his insights into the race field, the conditions, results, whatever comes to the mind under that blond head of hair in 140 characters or less per tweet. And the tweets have already begun: 

A few guidelines if you're new to Twitter and want to take part:

*Text Message "FOLLOW SugarBowlNordic" (no quotes necessary) to 40404. After doing this, you will find that Alec's tweets will arrive to your cell phone - no need to go look for them on line. 

*If you prefer to use your desktop or laptop to follow rather than your cell phone, go to http://twitter.com/SugarBowlNordic and hit "Follow" (if you don't already have a Twitter account you will have to sign up, I suppose...). You can also set up your account to send you mobile updates, and all that is quite user friendly.

*To build community and comment on Alec's posts, or those of others, I would encourage you to discover each other's user names and text "FOLLOW USERNAME" - always to 40404 - to start getting that person's text updates, as well, on your mobile phone. 

*I would encourage you to add BOTH "@SugarBowlAcad" and "@SugarBowlNordic" in your tweets (which might just be a "good luck" wish before a race or a "congratulations" after a race) so that they are routed to both directions. 

*I plan to add a @SugarBowlNordic Twitter badge on The Fighting Marmot blogspot, as well - that way folks can view what the Nordic community is tweeting.

Moving on to Nordic news, Head Nordic Coach Jeff Schloss provided me the following insights into the team's trip to West Yellowstone over the recent holiday. I get cold just reading it:

Every year during Thanksgiving week, pretty much everyone in the North American Nordic racing world descends on the tiny town of West Yellowstone, Montana, for a huge week of training, serious Super Tour Races, and generally a celebration of all things Nordic.

The Sugar Bowl Academy team made the long 14-hour drive to West Yellowstone with members of the Auburn Ski Club Team and the Eastern Sierra Nordic
Joe Piercy skate skiing
Team, all of us under the umbrella of Far West Nordic. We were greeted by a huge amount of snow on the trails and frigid temperatures. The trails were in awesome shape and the SBA team did double training sessions for the first half of the week.

Mid week saw the day-time temperatures drop to minus 17 Fahrenheit! The second half of the week was devoted to Super Tour races where the SBA team were able to battle head to head against the best skiers in the US and Canada, including national team skiers, Olympic skiers, and most of the top college racers in the country.

The focus of the trip was definitely training and we did not rest up for the races but rather trained right through them. Even so, the fighting Marmots posted some outstanding results.

The most impressive results came from SBA Nordic Coach Chelsea Holmes who posted a 5th, 9th, and 11th against the best in North America. For the juniors, Austin Meng lit up the trails with an amazing 31st in the skate Sprint, which was the second fastest time of all of the older juniors.

Also impressive in the sprint race were Evan Dion with his best race result in three years - good enough for 17th junior -, Joe Piercy and Alec Wiltz cracking the top 20 for juniors, and Bria Riggs placing 42nd overall and top five for all j2 girls in the race.

The distance races included a 15k skate for boys where Austin again had a top performance showing he is among the top skiers in his age group in the country. Joe also fought through the slow snow for a 24th in j1 boys.

The classic race was a 10K for boys, and Alec was the top SBA finisher with a 20th for J1 boys, while Evan was close behind with a 24th for OJ’s.

The whole week was a huge success and jump started the Fighting Marmots with tremendous on-snow time. It was a special treat to return home to six feet of snow and the prospects of fantastic skiing for a long, long time. The whole team will train together for the next week and then will start our local racing circuit on December 12th at Royal Gorge. From there it is racing once or twice a week every week through mid April.

The season has just begun and we are all ready for it.

My thanks, again, to Jeff, for his help in putting this together, and to Alec, for taking on some of the field commentary. Go Nordic!

Slippery Slopes...

Welcome (back) to SBA!
Check out the latest Marmot Man Blog Post at http://sugarbowlacademy.blogspot.com/2010/11/slippery-slopes.html!

Slippery Slopes?

Role Playing in SBA American Lit Class
Stepping into the shoes of The Crucible's conniving, greedy Rev. Parris for a day recently in her SBA American Literature class, Kelly Habibi found herself internally at odds with the argument she had to make in the makeshift classroom/courtroom (see the movie below or at http://tinyurl.com/3xpl4hn).

"Spectral evidence was key (to my argument)," said Habibi. "It's kind of crazy, but all of that was valid within the Puritan society of that time, and was used to convict people in the Salem witch trials.

"It was an interesting way to learn about the Fifth Amendment - to incorporate characters from our readings and see the relationships that exist between character development in literature and the Constitution."

Students in the class were presented the following assignment ahead of the day of courtroom/classroom debate and deliberations, which was attended by a large contingent of SBA faculty and students:

For the next two weeks, we will focus on some of the issues and underlying events that have unfolded in the texts we have read. Two of the questions asked of you several weeks ago were: 'what forces unite and divide a new community?' and 'what does the way a community punishes its citizens say about that community?'

We will now step further into these questions, and use the knowledge we have encountered through the characters and their tribulations presented in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter to debate the following (using the fifth amendment to argue your side):

*Should the government be allowed to arrest, detain, and incarcerate American citizens they suspect to be a danger to the state even without concrete proof of having committed or conspired to act against the state?

"They needed to write character sketches or advocate closing/opening statements, and questions for themselves and others to be asked on the stand," said teacher Joanne Knox.

"The debate stretched over 300 years in American history and literature to demonstrate that themes present themselves cyclically. The same ideas (desire, greed, betrayal, control, etc.) reoccur throughout time as part of the human condition."

Some of the expert witnesses played by the affirming side included Parris, Joe McCarthy, Rev. Wilson, and the Department of Homeland Security. For the negating side, they included John Proctor, Arthur Miller, Mistress Hibbins and the American Civil Liberties Union. Knox's husband, SBA faculty member Andy Knox, played the role of court Judge.

"By 'trying on' a character's persona from another era, students are required to look closely at text to determine this person's mindset, and to manipulate his or her understanding of content, theme, and context in relation to a character," said Knox.

And, despite being at odds with the character she had to play, Habibi, says Knox, was "strong - prepared, convincing, and knowledgeable."