It does suck quite a bit, being gone for most of a week for various performances and competitions. The longer one stays away from school, the more difficult it is to catch up, especially with the end of the year a mere three weeks away. This is the time of the semester when the teachers enjoy piling on homework and essays and cramming in last-minute tests in an attempt to create a more standard-looking bell curve.
Fortunately, with all the hair-loss and stress and short fuses comes a decent reward.
I attended the Imagine Tomorrow science competition hosted at WaSu Friday before last with a team of four, one team among the four (five? Apparently, there was one more that our group hadn’t known about) that attended from our school.
Immediately upon arrival, we, as city-folk used to the bustling scene of the U District, were struck by the quaint rustic scene that stretched for miles east of the Cascades. Just grass, cows, tumbleweed, and dust devils for miles, not a tree nor a cloud in sight.
A text I sent to a friend back home in the middle of the night instead of writing my English essay due the day I got back:
“All there is is grass, grass, cows, and more grass. On the way to Pullman, we followed a trucker, and, out of boredom and lack of motivation to read Le Morte D’Arthur, I watched the grass headbanging to the song of the slipstream that the trucker created as we sped along the road, breaking every speed limit law we passed.”
He responded with a “poetic :P” and we proceeded to discuss dubstep and book genres.
On the competition day, my team and I had taken turns slipping away to view the other presenters, partly to check out the competition, and partly to check on how well the other teams from our school were doing. By the end, we’d come to a general consensus: We weren’t winning anything this year. Not with the Green Machine from Tacoma’s Secondary School for Success as competition.
In the end, though, we did win. We placed third, having impressed the judges with our youth, promises to return in senior year with large parts of our plan implemented, and our ambitious three-fold plan that we created in about two weeks. Unfortunately, this also came with the pressure that we would have to do something with the schematic that we’d created, or else be held in contempt of the entire scientific/honor-bound community.
And so, I came away from the competition with a few new purposes: 1) Learn software programming over the summer, create a website, and draw up a rough plan for a curriculum. 2) Gather up a trustworthy team of people and create a club based solely around science competitions. 3) Find a politician who will be willing to listen to a handful of high school students and use an environmentally-conscious bill as a center-piece for his campaign/future position. 4) Expand and network.
I feel so alive again, it’s a rather strange feeling. I have a purpose, and now I feel that life’s worth living for another four years or so. But what does it matter? IB–I intend to run at you with everything I’ve got.
Does anyone know how to program an iPhone app? And would you be willing to do it for little to no pay?