Once a month during staff meetings, the entire student body (7-12) gathers on the floor of the Student Activity Center for a time of Community Building. This usually involves some kind of group competition or activity. Today's event was the 2nd Annual National Anthem Sing-Off.
200+ students were divided up into groups according to 13 countries: Canada, Thailand, Turks & Caicos, China, Vietnam, Norway, Korean, Iran, Malaysia, Russia, Tanzania, Nigeria, and America. At least one representative from each country was assigned the task of teaching their entire group their national anthem. They had fifteen minutes.
Much scrambling and laughter ensued as the "teachers" stretched themselves to teach foreign words and a strange melodies to their classmates. Finally, each group took center stage to perform. A predominantly Norwegian group learned and sang the Nigerian national anthem. A group from several countries stood in a semi-circle and belted out the Korean national anthem. As Oh, Canada was sung, one Canadian student was so moved he ran the circumference of the gymnasium holding an imaginary Olympic torch.
Finally, the moment we'd all been waiting for arrived. Who would take home the prize? The runner-up was announced--Norway--for Most Enthusiastic. They may not have gotten many of the words correct but they sang out with all their hearts. The winner was then announced...CHINA!!! The multi-ethnic group rejoiced and headed over to the Comet Café to collect their free slushies.