We are tie-dyed PALS every Friday at O V!

Did you notice a sea of tie-dye at the Back to School Kick-Off worn by staff? Everybody got a shirt to echo this year’s school theme:  Peace, Acceptance, and Learning (PAL), a perfect phrase to throw back to the tie-dye era.

It’s not just staff who will be PALs – 450 tie-dyed shirts with the Viking logo were made by the Gonzalez family over Labor Day weekend just in time for a return to school, and they are for everybody here.

If your student hasn’t received their shirt yet, they will soon and for a special reason:  Every Viking in every grade will be invited to wear their shirts each Friday to show our Viking pride!

No one shirt is like any other, as you know if you’ve practiced tie-dye. They are all made the same way through mixing, twisting, banding, dipping, soaking, and waiting, but the result is different each time  – just like people. At the Gonzalez house over Labor Day weekend, the entire family (mom, dad, and 6 of their 9 kids) made ALL the shirts. There were lots of teachable moments like measuring ratios and setting up an assembly line, but their hard work turned into something special that you can examine closely.

Did you notice that there are no straight lines in any part of a tie-dye design? That’s meaningful because success isn’t a straight line either. Sometimes we try things and they don’t work out. The good news is that whenever that happens, we know what doesn’t work so now we are better equipped to try again.

Mrs. Gonzalez noticed this while trying to make her own tie-dyed shirt. She really wanted to have some of the bright colors come out in a heart shape so she folded, twisted, banded, and soaked her shirt while crossing her fingers that her design efforts would work. And what did she get? Well, not a heart. Maybe a strawberry? Sort of a strawberry? It doesn’t matter; she will still wear it with Viking pride.

All effort is celebrated at Otselic Valley. It is okay to fail – in fact, that’s the only way new scientific experiments move ahead, or better stories are written, or mathematical theorems are sorted, or archeological digs go deeper. Just use what didn’t work to help you find something that does work, and don’t worry about straight lines (unless you’re an engineer).

Keep learning, keep trying, keep going everybody!!

[The materials for the shirts were obtained through a grant from the Small, Rural Schools Achievement (S R S A) Program. Thank you!]

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