2014 Nationals

Wednesday:
Very excited, packing (read: stuffing things into my suitcase, hoping they will fit esp 5 rock+mineral books, and trying to remember all the things that I’m supposed to bring esp.esp. paper towels for CJAP), and having to attend my younger brothers’ award ceremony. Get home, feel very very nauseous, try to remember what I ate for dinner, realize that grapefruit with ribs may not be the best combination, and go to bed extremely uncomfortable.

Thursday:
Wake up at 1am, throws up onto my covers (hey it’s 90 degrees out; why shouldn’t I be having covers?) half-sleep-walking tosses my covers into the mountain that we once referred to as the laundry room, and goes back to sleep.
6.5/7 hours later, wakes up, and starts packing again. Has breakfast (which I don’t even remember having but knows I must have had), loads my (feels like) 100 lbs suitcase onto the car, goes to the airport, checks in, yayyay makes our flight, flies to FL, gets a rental car, checks in the hotel, and all that out-of-town-things-that-you-absolutely-have-to-do-because-if-you-don’t-do-them-you-will-have-no-place-to-sleep. Has Chipotle for dinner, then goes to the place in downtown Disney where it’s free and practically has no place open in the spring. Goes back to the hotel, unzips my suitcase, watches the spectacular explosion, goes to bed.

Friday:
Wakes up at a reasonable time, has breakfast, and goes to Kohl’s because dad forgot to pack tennis shoes which are a necessity for walking (it seems like) ten miles on a college campus, checks out of the hotel, drives to the hotel where our team is staying, checks in, and studies. Meets most of my teammates, fixes/finishes the helicopter, talks about how things are always in the last place we look (i.e. we never go “Oh there’s my keys; next I’ll go look the my pants pockets”), goes out to see the campus, gets lost a couple of times, gets back to the hotel in time to study 5 min of R&M, Has a team meeting, then splits for dinner. After dinner, goes to opening ceremony, watches/tries not to watch this most unappropriate video that has nothing to do with science at all, remarks to people around me that not only should SO have provided us sunglasses (which were part of the stuff handed out at the team meeting), they should have provided us with earplugs as well. I swear the music is at 250% volume and they are flashing bright spotlights all over the entire stadium. Remarks also, “I believe that they want to make us deaf so that we won’t be able to hear the rules tomorrow.” Then comes a bunch of guys that all look quite alike, I must say, giving speeches about how great SO is and how great UCF is. After that is the swap meet. The place is a madhouse. Our team was supposed to have table #27 but we only see. #16,#17,#18,#19, #28, #29. Ends up setting up on the floor along with a bunch of people who don’t have anything to swap but would like to get something by rapping (no offence, but really badly). Goes back to to our hotel, weighs our helicopters, adds weight, worries that it will be too light tomorrow, goes to bed, dead tired, at 11pm and knows that 6am is the time to get up the next day. Aargh.

Saturday:
Wakes up at an extremely early hour, dresses, goes downstairs to have breakfast with a bunch of people from our team and then packs all our stuff, and goes to UCF. ON arriving on campus, gets lost, asks a student, finally finds the homeroom, finds out that nobody is there, sets my stuff down, and waits for the coach to get there. Originally, we had a team meeting planned at 7:30, but no one was there. Everyone ended up going to their seperate events. R&A somehow have to get up at 6am to do a test at 7am and do well. Wow, I cannot get over it. Waits+ tries to study rocks while sitting beside a girl who has to read Shakespeare for her class and has a lot of interesting comments about Shakespearean. Carries the bin to CJAP (good thing it’s not far- just across the street -or sidewalk-). Freaks out because my partner A does not show up. A shows up, is so relieved, misses perhaps the most important announcement of all- there is a ruler that we are supposed to use. Makes a bunch of observations in somewhat good handwriting- yay. Starts the test part. Wait, we were supposed to have rulers?!?!?!? Oh, yeah! There’s one camoflaged and halfway wedged under the triple balance beam. What was written on the pen? We were supposed to observe that? Yayyay I remembered to get “When .5g of powder is mixed with 2ml HCl, there is a audible fizzing sound.” Hopefully we get a full “5” for that one. Gets 23/30- all others had to do with the ruler. Feels depressed, finishes, dad’s checking out, so I have to go to the homeroom carrying the CJAP bin by myself. Dad comes back, goes to get a lunch at some Asian place, cannot finish more that 1/4, goes back to homeroom to get rocks binder and stuff, carries the 10 pounds to the garage, gets helicopter stuff, carries all that all the way to the Arena, gets there 30 min early, watches elastic launched glider, partner gets there, watches elastic launched glider, gets helis out, sees the coach, he tells us to go early so I can go to R&M, nice lady tells up Heli is upstairs, not the atrium, carries the helis upstairs with Mr. C freaking out the whole way, winds helis while parent, coach, and R&M partner’s parents keep telling us to hurry up! hurry up! hurry up! Gets annoyed. Goes in heli ring, checks in, one helicopter weighs 2.95 grams!!! Oh no!!!!!!!!! The weight is rising, rising, rising. Phew, stops at 3g flat!!! OMG, the guy almost can’t fit the circle thing around our heli-it’s too big!! Phew, that made it as well. As Mr. C later says, “We got Tier 1 in heli by the skin of our teeth twice. 1st run: 1.11 on 80 turns and torque of 1.4. Respectable, but we could do better. 2nd run: 0.02 on 100 turns and a whole lot of torque. One of the ribs somehow broke and vanished into thin air!! ??? Fells extremely depressed. Feels sorry for K- his events have all gone pretty badly and this one is the one that pretty much cannot fail. This has never ever happened, except for the times the whole thing exploded, but I’m getting off topic here. Tells K, “I really really have to run, but I’ll help you finish packing.” K is very nice, and says “I’ll pack up, you go run.” Halfway runs to Ba1 with Mr. C following us (as in Mr. and Mrs. M, my partner’s parents, my dad, me, and my R&M partner’s little siblings), because he “wanted to see that I got where I needed to be in the right time.” Goes to R&M in time, walks in the room, goes to station T while M signs in, waits for other teams, signs myself in after proctor announces that team ## (our team number) has another teammate who has to sign in. Yay, we are good at IDing rocks and minerals. They sure have a lot of calcite. Yayyay for UP MI rocks and minerals!! Gold? Silver? Strangely, I don’t have the urge to take them… :D. Felsic, Mafic, and Ultramafic? I thought we were supposed to have a list of those!. WOE is this triangle thing with chemical formulas? :/ Feeling depressed. :S. Comes out. Waits with Mrs. A for R & A after Shock Value. Has to go to the bathroom, first time all day (it’s 4pm). Dad is busy texting partner’s mom and walks by us all. Has a good laugh. Goes back to homeroom, has the team meeting. Everyone sounds depressed. Has dinner (which isn’t much- an apple and half a cup of tea. LOL- not funny at the time). Goes to award ceremony 1/2 hr early. Meets M, who has been waiting there for an hour. Watches other teams taking team pix. Wants to take a team pic as well. No one else shows up. Makes random comments about how “If you’re a C, you’re always early; if you’re a F, you’re usually late.” LOL at the time. Wait there’s the F’s! Makes another comment on “The first shall be last and the last shall be first”. NOt quite accurate since the C’s are with them. Goes in the arena. Sits with the team. yayyay. Speeches. National Anthem. Again. 5th event in (Crime Busters)- ____________ (team name) from _____ (our state)!! Woah, R+D (sis+bro) C (in short; kids of the coach)!! Tries to sleep; very tired. How do you sleep in a room filled with 7K people all cheering loudly? #nexttoimpossible A few minutes later- “Next up we have Shock Value!” Has eyes closed. Sits up straight suddenly. WOE just happened? __________ from ________! Another “on board”!  R again, this time with A. More minutes pass. What? Another “on board”??? WOW! R again for SoM with A (a different one). Yay A!! Sorry for not listening in CJAP. :-z. Wowwowwow! Ceremony ends in about an hour. Why do they hand out a few awards, give a few speeches, hand out a few more awards, give a few more speeches? They have you thinking it’s almost ending, then pulls it our longer. Arrgh. Can I go to bed now? I have a flight tomorrow at 8am. Yayyay it’s done finally. Phew. Goes out of auditorium along with 7K people minus a few {smart} teams who got out before the stampede. Waits for Mr. C. to get the results. We got below 20th overall! WOWWOWWOW!!!!! He says that he thinks that our state has never gotten this high a placing before. Good job R! Our star/hero/major scorer! We skip the dance thing. LOL. Our eardrums are pretty much done anyways. Go out to eat ice cream at this place that is shaped like an ice cream cone. Woah. Ice cream in nice clothes, in borrowed clothes, in white clothes. Nice combination, right? LOL. Luckily, no ice cream gets on me or my clothes. We arm-wrestle. Apparently we haven’t had enough competition today. Haha. Mr. C. declares it officially bedtime- it’s 12am. :-O. Goes back to hotel. Goes to bed at 1am.

Sunday-
Gets up early for having gone to bed at 1am- 7am. Has to go catch a flight. Eats breakfast, checks out. etc.etc. Goes to airport. Why does Orlando Int’l Airport have only 2 security lanes when there’s a whole bunch of people?? Runs to gate, ten minutes before departure, just to find that we apparently don’t have seats on the airplane. Gets on the airplane just in time to hear the pilot say that something/someone (didn’t hear clearly) could not be awakened. LOL. Waited for 15 more min. Sigh. Got back to home state eventually. Youth group has a end of year water games day and I absolutely have to make it(because I want to; the plane ticket would have been a lot cheaper if I could skip it). Wow. So I, dog-tired, goes and participates in 1.1/2 hour of soaking games. Gets home and does not go to bed until 11pm.

That’s the [not] short summary of my SONT2014 experience. AWESOME! Love to go again next year; only we won’t have R- she’s going to high school. :-(. Hmm. If we do go, I doubt that we’ll medal. D and A and A all have a chance at medaling, but the chances are slim…. Oh well…

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