Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Yesterday afternoon it was the first meeting of the Utah Nordic Alliance, a chaotic collection of about 150 kids ranging in age from five up to teenagers. They were signed up for cross country ski lessons and all told to meet at Mountain Dell up in Parley’s Canyon at 4:30 for the first orientation meeting. Actually it was our job to get them all in the right groups according to their ability. Since that is not possible when they first sign up in the fall, they are just massed into age groups at first instead.

My son, Markus had signed up to be a volunteer teacher; but since he was sick, I had to take over his group. If there was any correct way of defining mass chaos, this would have been it. It was parents aimlessly walking about with skis in hand wondering where their children should be, parentless children wondering how to put them on and a collection of some, who had to urgently go to the bathroom where they was no restroom

Thank God a few there had a better idea of what was going on and could give some advice for us novice teacher assistants. One of the more experienced women their helping with my group made the suggestion to have them all ski up the nearby hill. This being in order to determine who was right for the group and which ones to send down to a lower group, or up to the more advanced.

Well within seconds it became very apparent, who had been on cross country skies before, as a small group of them plowed ahead up the incline. The second gathering struggled to get up the hill and the remaining few were sprawled out on the snow.

This method was more or less applied to all the age groups so we could see how to re-arrange the mass into more coherent groups so they could really learn something. From our notes and the help of a spread sheet they will all be re-assigned to the right level next week. All in all it was a fun experience watching it all.

Today was another block in. This will be a 30x40 for the May Gallery when it’s done.

Richard Boyer

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