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The Souls refusal to practice at school on Saturday reveals that their tea ritual is very important to them - it is something that they are not willing to miss under any circumstances.
Mrs. Olinski is "surprised and disappointed" when the Souls politely tell her that they "would prefer not to" have an extra practice on Saturday afternoon. The team had always "been willing - even eager - to practice", but she now discovers that their Saturday teas at Sillington House take precedence over even academic team commitments. The Souls extend to Mrs. Olinski an invitation to come to Sillington House on Saturday. She accepts, and realizes that there is something special about the afternoon teas held there. She finds a sense of peace there, feels "something lift from her shoulders" (Chapter 8). Ethan describes the phenomenon of the Saturday meetings best when he says, "something in Sillington House (gives him) permission to do things (he) had never done before" (Chapter 3).
The children, and Mrs. Olinski, find renewal in their slow, civilized Saturday meetings. At Sillington House, they can be kind to each other, and seem to gel as a team. The children realize that they need this weekly time of renewal; it makes them better people and in fact makes them better as a team. As it turns out, the Souls do conduct an extra practice session that Saturday at Sillington House, but it is a relaxed practice, with everyone, even Mr. Singh, contributing questions on notecards to study. The Souls, who constantly seek a balance in all they do, recognize the importance in striking a balance between nurturing the mind and the soul, and so they are not willing to give up their weekly ritual of having tea in order to go to school for an extra academic drill session (Chapter 8).
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