Saturday, August 8, 2009

Everything except quidditch

Friday was the Mission Beach State School's athletics carnival. Wow! Where to start... The carnival is a day devoted to sporting events -- no classes. The three houses compete with each other for points throughout the day. Oh wait, I have to explain houses.

The students each belong to one of three houses. Sheryl's (very nice administrator) computer, which I will refer to as the sorting hat, chooses each student's house. Students of the same family all belong to the same house. Upon admittance, Robin and Will were determined by the sorting hat to be in Beaver house. The three houses are Beaver, Otter and Taylor, named after three nearby cays on the Great Barrier Reef. Beaver is light blue, Otter is yellow and Taylor is red. Each child purchases a house shirt with house distinct fish/plant emblem (see photo). Students are permitted to wear their house shirts for PE days and for the various sports carnivals.

Friday began with a grand parade and chanting of house cheers. The Beaver house cheer goes something like
We are the house of the blue triangle, every team we meet we mangle!
Cute, eh?! For the athletic carnival, all students were asked to come to school barefoot - no shoes for the events. It went against every grain in my US east-coast raised nature to send my kids to the bus stop without shoes this morning. Robin and Will both delighted in going to school unshod.

The day included sprints, high jump, long jump, shot putt, tug of war, ball games and relays. Of course there were breaks for the two lunches. Lunches were eaten under the appropriately colored house tents erected for the occasion. For many of the events, good performance was rewarded with points to the student's house. "Beaver, 2 points!" The teachers, of course, also belong to houses. I think the principal's affiliation with Taylor house may have skewed his objective assessment of Beaver points. Dumbledore always did like Griffendor best! Robin and Will were very proud of scoring many points for Beaver on the shot putt and long jump. Will did well in the sprints and earned a ribbon for the third place finish of his house in the ball games. Oh wait, there were only three houses. Ribbons for everyone!

The end of the day involved awards to houses and individuals and some more cheering for each house, led by the house leaders. Some students showed their school pride with body paint and hair spray in the colors of their house. Beaver house had the loudest and most creative cheers. Besides the cheer with the triangle (we don't know why triangle) they composed the following cheer:
leaders: Rah, Rah, hit them with a car
response: Rah Rah, hit them with a car

leaders: Rah, Rah, hit them with a bra
response: Rah, Rah, hit them with a bra
leaders: Rah, Rah, drag them to a spa
response: Rah, Rah, drag them to a spa
all: go Beavers!
I reminded my kids that in our country rah, bra and car don't actually rhyme. Another cheer is:
Hit 'em to the left, Hit 'em to the right
We all train on vegemite
Gives us strength, give us might
C'mon Beavers, fight fight fight!


  1. Robin says:In relation to Harry Potter Taylor is like Griffendor,Beaver is like Hufflepuff and Otter is Slythren,no Ravenclaw.

  2. Wow, what a fun day. I love the long jump picture! Must be fun to have a Hogwarts-like experience.. :o) --Anna Hanks

  3. What, no running over hot coals in the bare feet?? I thought you were raising some tough (honorary)aussie children there!! What WILL they do when they return to the states and have to do plain old (SAFE) square dancing and volleyball??
    Aunt Julie

  4. Sounds like a fun day for everyone - the long jump pictue is awesome! The no shoes thing still freaks me out a bit, and I'm not even a parent! I think that feet here just must be tougher on average...