States 2018 || Science Olympiad

States Recap.png

roll out of bed, get ready, pack (bc was too tired the night before and bc lazy and bc was writing memoir)

driving. very derealized. pretty sunrise. brief moment of being present. happy, almost start tearing up. quickly is derealized again.

on campus. it’s familiar from past years, yet worn out by time. parking garage is familiar, but still vaguely horrifying. sees SW’s car. feels oddly comforted. walks on campus, sees rival school students. their shirt colors match ours. see my especial rival. we exchange peace signs and good luck wishes.

homeroom. my last one. big room, auditorium like. gets wristband. puts it on lopsided. I feel oddly cheated. sits next to SW for briefing meeting. hooray for Wifi. I try to feel something. I fail.

walking events with GM. is passed from behind by a group of three from another school. “sorry, sorry” they mutter. “it’s okay,” I say “experimental design is more important.” realizes how creepy that sounds. walks to rocks building. sees CK and RF. also MM and JC. they are very excited about live snakes.

walking towards labs. speed limit 12. because 10 is too slow and 15 is too fast. I overshoot the lab. she’s running out of time. we’re by the gym. we find the side door. runs up 3 flights. BK’s dad leaning over the railing, concerned, on the phone. I’m a terrible chaperone. checks my lab rooms.

leaves lab building. sees F parents and A. they’re struggling to keep the door open. it locks on its own. Mr. F holds the door, I find a big rock. problem solved.

back at homeroom. talks with Mrs. B about helicopter transportation. parents are highkey stressed. it’ll be fine. but will it?

lab apron, goggles, notesheet, box. forensics. it’s a beautiful day outside. an elderly couple out for a walk. what are you carrying? can I see the baby? I turn, surprised. the box with my sweater over it looks like a baby, apparently. I look old enough to have a baby, apparently.

SW walks up. GM waits with us for her event. she goes in, we sign in. I’m out of it, and SW gears me up, which is an oddly sweet gesture?

instructions. I hear the words but they never make it into my head. SW nudges me. you hear that? no plastics. I didn’t. I’m glad. I’m bad at plastics. we talk about the good test we have. the next table team looks over. yeah that regionals test was messed UP. we didn’t fill in half of it and we got second. they’re good. are we?

small scoops of powders into the well plate. SW lights the bunsen burner. we have a real life legit bunsen burner. an actual bunsen burner. I am elated. I know most of what these powders are. SW does chromatography. he screws up one. it’s okay it’s okay, I reassure him.

twenty minute call. I’m halfway through the powders. “I suggest you start the analysis” says the proctor. but I’m doing well at these powders. I keep going.

powders are done. plastics descriptions matches notesheet, nearly word for word. brilliant. accidentally pour vial of strong base all over the counter. no time for that now. label forensic diagram. everything matches and it. is. glorious.

start analysis. I can’t focus. five minute warning. no way can I do this in time. I write, but my focus is not there. four lines in, time is called. we’re sitting right under the proctor, so I can’t sneak a few more sentences. I’d done less than ⅕ of what was supposed to be on the analysis. the analysis is worth 30 percent of the score. “I told you” says SW. I’m sorry, I was doing powders

gather everything, toss it back in the bin. leaves room, feeling confident but despondent. we’d been doing so well. but I missed the entire analysis. a flurry of activity distracts me for a second. SW runs off to his next event, I meet GM and CF coming out of theirs. GM needs to run too, so I take her stuff and my forensics box, and CF and I walk to the homeroom. “will your family come to get you?” I ask, wanting to avoid abduction accusations. “no, they probably don’t remember” she says. we arrive at our building. her dad is behind us, smirking. he did remember.

“how was it?” chimes concerned parents in the homeroom. I drop the boxes where they belong. terrible, absolutely terrible. we finished about half the test. I have to talk to Mrs C. she’ll listen and calm me down. I leave.

she must see the stricken expression on my face. “it was terrible. so, so terrible” I wail. she hugs me. “the powders went great, but I didn’t do the analysis. which is worth 30 percent. it was an awesome test, but we only answered 60 percent. it was terRIBLEEEE”
like I expected, she reassures me. “at least you got the powders. you think you got all of them?” I think I did, but I wasn’t sure. after all, my last powders test I’d only gotten a 65% on. she talks on. I listen, glad for something to fix my mind upon. she talks about growing up, having kids, change. she read my dramatic poem and she relates. we walk back to the homeroom.

we walk to the homeroom. I internalize her words. by the time we get to the homeroom, I feel like talking. we sit and talk. about life and music and other events. normal things. I’m glad for the distraction.

I get ready to head off. walking through the quad, see MM and lots of other people. we compare how events go. he heads back to grab some food. I continue on to the rocks building.

arrive in front of the rocks room. there’s a group inside. I sit down on the floor outside to wait. some other students gather.

MM joins me. we sit on the floor. I lean against him. waves of memories. the bookends of my science olympiad years. rocks and minerals.

the proctor pokes his head out. you here for rocks? we nod. come on in, we already started. what? confused, we point at the sign. you don’t mean the 11:45 slot, do you? he’s baffled, but hides it. yes. we’ll give you extra time

we go in, get our packet. I drop everything and we sit. MM takes over. I do basic binder work. it’s fast. easy. we got this.

time for the stations. the pictures are terrible. not even real specimens. the rival school calls over the proctor. they point. no doubt they’re talking about us. our field guide. sure enough, he comes over. with the rules. “I’m sorry, I don’t think that’s allowed.” we’re ready for this. attached to the rings, in any form. we point, our hands bumping. oh. okay.

I pick up a mineral. we look at each other. it is what you think it is, right? he writes it down. no words are needed. we need fifteen seconds. we get two minutes. we sit together on the floor. we don’t talk, breathing in sync. time’s up. we move, do it again.

we’re done. that was bad, but it could have been worse. the pictures even match the pictures in our binder. we’re not sure of one. it’s not in our binder. we guess. educatedly. we don’t need the extra time. we walk out. that’s it. I drink water. he leaves, grateful for a break.

I walk around. speed limit 12. it’s so warm. Mr. C is there. no one is clamoring for his attention. I go up to him, tell him about my day. he hears about rocks, gets all excited, whips out his phone. it’s okay. we know rocks. he calms down.

the back gym. SW is there. so is mama. and Mrs. B. and our helicopters. I sit next to SW. we check our phones. time passes. we’re on a time crunch. I set up everything. focus, focus. I am focusing. do you want food? I thought you wanted me to focus. calm down. it’ll be okay.

I go check in. where is KB? people start coming in. red shirts. the Fs, the Ws, the Ks. I go sign in. what team are you? I say it. one of the last times I ever will. the last time I get to fly with these people. he’s so nice.

there he is.
KB doesn’t have blue hair? oh. we go stand in line. we’re second in line. they wind, meticulous, slow. it actually flies. they relax. it drifts up to the ceiling, floats back down. second flight. KB pokes me. electric drill, he whispers. I smirk.

more people trickle in. the wall is lined with red shirts. I text Mrs. C. helicopters in 10 minutes. she texts right back. coming. Mrs M. is timing? people walk back and forth. I try to shield the helicopter with my body. if anyone breaks it we’re done for.

still in line. we’re next. they fly. I’m keyed up but relaxed. KB and I stand in our own little bubble. action is all around. we’re like new parents guarding our child with our bodies and our lives. sees my especial rival. of course she’s here. she wouldn’t miss it for the world.

our turn. I take a deep breath, unload my arms, clamp the torque meter. do we have paper towels? he shakes his head. my mind whirls. it flashes. the box top. I snatch off the lid. there it is. we wind, load. I walk to the center of the room. where? KB shrugs. it doesn’t matter. it won’t go up straight anyways. I close my eyes. this is it. five…four…three. I let go, swing my arms back. two…one. and it goes. unsteadily, but upwards. it rests on an edge. the red wall lets out a collective gasp. it’s staying up. it teeters on the edge. a swoop, it lands flat. everyone exhales.

second flight. she catches my eye, gives me a thumbs up. I give her a thumbs up back. we wind, load. we have a good flight under our belt. this one could put us on stage, or even, on top of the stack. my last ever flight. KB counts down, loud and clear. the release. it flies, but not how we want it. it flies straight. but downwards. I look at him. I’m so sorry, KB. I’m so sorry. I didn’t check. why did I not check? it’s all my fault. how did I forget to check? I’ve never forgotten to check before. we walk out, in a daze.

my hands are shaking. a tap on my shoulder. can I get you to sign this? I nod, numbly, scrawl an illegible version of my name. 1.33. we could have flown so much better, but also so much worse. you know where you went wrong, don’t you? of course I do. I’ll be thinking about it for years. I’ve seen lots of those, he tries to help. but it doesn’t help. we’d thought we’d be better than those. we know what we’re doing. or at least, we should.

somehow, I find myself in front of the chem lab room. SW must have led me. I have all my stuff. we look at the comic wall. all I see is the helicopter. driving straight down. I need to shake it off, move on. I have one more chance. my last ever event. we gear up, sign in.

we start. everything looks familiar, but I don’t know it. SW takes over. okay, so what you need to do is . . . I obey. he bends over the packet, intent. water boils. my hands are shaking.

none of the math is checking out. I don’t even know the multiple choice. this is not going to turn out well. I start tearing up, but catch myself. not now. wait. there will be time to cry. nothing makes sense. both of us have forgotten this.

that’s it. we did terribly, but I cling to a shred of hope. we walk back to the homeroom. I’m starving. what do we have to eat? mama pulls out a costco salad. God bless mothers. a tap on my shoulder. do you want to go outside? it’s Mrs. C. we go, stand around, talk. the boys are playing football. AH is studying for her government exam.

RF and I sit on the bench. it faces bushes. the scenic bench. I eat my salad. it’s good. we talk. how warm. MM slams to the concrete. ouch. the peanut gallery has comments. the game resumes. we talk. stupid little things.

everybody disappears, suddenly. Mr. C is back. MM takes a picture. the three of us on the bench. none of them turn out well.

we file in. my last debrief. how was your day? terrible, but we all knew that already. I know I’m being hard on myself, but it’s my last tournament. I need to make it the perfect day, and it hasn’t been. none of the building events failed, which is encouraging.

we’re done. more accurately, I’m done. dear heavenly father. a rush of tears.

a flurry of activity. we clear out the room, load up our arms. I hand off the forensics box to Mr. C. he needs help carrying things out. I grab the box, stand there. CK swoops it out of my arms.

we walk out. my family deserted me. team or sushi? what? team or sushi? we walk to the parking lot.

the cool darkness of the garage. I outline the security story to RF. she laughs. her father works here now, apparently. we see SW and his dad. they’re looking for the C’s car. I find the key fob in my hand. there’s a gray van. we walk around, try the door, peer inside. the windows are dark. that’s not it. we walk. I push the panic button. the distant echo. we walk up, see the flashing lights. the C’s and the K’s are walking towards it. Mr. C is laughing. I hand him the keys.

we find our car. daddy and D aren’t there. I don’t have service, but call him anyways. they’re coming. we load up the car, and walk.

walking through campus, relying on memory. it really is a beautiful day. do you want to split a bowl with me? it’s P. yes, of course! where is chipotle. crossing the street. RF trips spectacularly. we see it. chipotle.

orders food. can you order for me? sure, what do you want. I grab my bowl, join GM and other people at the tall counter. the most surprising smorgasbord of people–SW and his dad, Mrs. J and her twins, GM, AM, MM, AH, me. RF comes in with a bagel.

they’re looking through my bullet journal. you didn’t get anything done. yes, GM, I know. you also know.

start walking back. the campus is all uphill. it’s lovely seeing the campus without rain. what’s on campus today? some high school thing. you go here? no, I’m homeschooled. oh cool! so are we! trashcan.

we’re sitting on the wrong side of the room. we should move. Mr. C refuses. we have all the results ready! hooray for competent administration. they’re still muddling around. I thought they were ready? the small F comes. sits next to me, shares my chair. so does P. he’s subbing for JK. he’s so excited.

we start. we get first on our first event. a good start. next. where is AH? I run out, try to spot her. it’s her event. I hear she got fourth from behind me. she comes in. both her events finish.

second in rocks???? how. I’m screaming. we go up in a daze. how did we mess up that badly? if rocks went that poorly, how did the rest of my events go?


middle school got first in rocks. how.

we knew we were doing poorly, but this is exceptionally poorly.

they pause. not really sure why; they said they have all the scores. this is exciting, says the small F. I used to think this was really boring, but now I understand!

it’s KB’s events. where is he? I run out to see. his mom is pulling up. we go in. he got a ribbon. game on. helicopters. if we didn’t get first, I’m getting up and walking out. we get first.

we got first. both teams. small school league, but still. chem lab didn’t get on the board, we’re not surprised. photos. so many photos. and hugs. we sing. to God be the glory, great things he has done.

we start walking out to the cars. we’re all going the same way, why are we walking in different directions? I need to go to the bathroom, get water.

start home. it’s still light out. my phone buzzes. want to stop for ice cream? we decide. I text everyone. some respond, some don’t.

I sit there. it’s getting dark. I’m so derealized. I’m too dehydrated to actually cry, but I’m close.

we pull in the parking lot, see red shirts. we order. the little ones go in the playground. I sit there, everyone else talking, not wanting the day to end.

my phone buzzes. JC’s water broke, she’s having her baby! I’m so excited. we chatter more.

some last pictures. we leave. my heart is full. that ending was perfect.


2017 States || Science Olympiad

HI SO I FINISHED MY ELEVENTH SCIENCE OLYMPIAD TOURNAMENT AND WE KINDA FAILED BUT ALSO REALLY DIDNT. (tbh if I had to summarize this tournament it was the one where I had to go to the bathroom legit like ten times)

Science Olympiad States.jpg

  • 4.33- alarm goes off. Why I even set it at 4:33 I’m not even sure but w/e. Hit snooze, as expected
  • 4.38- brother comes barging in the door and turns on the lights. I [loudly] tell him to go away and to turn off the lights
  • 4.43- alarm goes off again. Instead of hitting snooze, I perform the greatest feat of self-control in history and get out of bed
  • 4.54- finish getting ready and go downstairs, where the family is frantically packing food that we’ll never eat
  • 5.17- we leave. Hey, 17 minutes is close enough to the estimated 5 am, right? XDD
  • *driving*
  • 6.30- arrive on campus. SC (ExD partner) texts me as we’re pulling into the parking garage, saying he’s arrived. The C’s (coach’s family) are also in the parking garage as well and I text him back.
  • 6.40- head to the homeroom. Meet SC at the entrance to the building
  • 6.43- unload stuff and get ready for ExD. I still think whoever decided that ExD should be at 7am was crazy
  • 6.47- start heading over to ExD, the next building over.
  • 6.48- meet MM, who has my anatomy notesheet (he has a colour printer). We discuss hand off options.
  • 6.50- arrive at ExD and stand around talking logistics stuff (namely, wristband stuff)
  • 6.57-get admitted into the test room. The topic is ‘maximum flight time of a paper airplane,’ which was similar to one of the topics we’d predicted
  • Oh, ew, we actually have to wear goggles. Apparently we might get blinded by flying paper airplanes
  • Oh look, I have EVEN LESS ROOM for my procedure! I *thought* that I had suggested MORE space??!!
  • ExD goes pretty smoothly, and we do a very standard ‘air friction’ experiment
  • 7.58- we finish. DC (other partner) and SC leave for their next events; I turn in our test and leave
  • 8.00- Mrs D (Mrs C’s mother) meets me outside ExD with my wristband and walks me back to the homeroom
  • 8.07- I walk to map out rocks and minerals with daddy. Tbh this campus is small enough and I have enough time in between my events that mapping out events isn’t even a big deal.
  • 8.21- return back to the homeroom
  • ‘Study’ anatomy stuff. (= sitting there with the textbook open and participating in every conversation in the room)
  • 8.55- leave for anatomy, way too early, since anatomy doesn’t start until 9:15 and it’s in the building next door, grabbing the anatomy notesheet that M left on the way out.
  • Hang around // go to the bathroom // talk // etc. DE (anat partner, different from ExD anat partner) goes to the bathroom for long enough that I get nervous that he vanished.
  • 9.13- Get to go into the testing room. It’s the same lady, with the same wacky system of high school + middle school + different tests. There’s some mild confuzzlation of test (the volunteers were handing out tests to one half and answer sheets to the other half because they thought it was the same thing).
  • The test isn’t bad. It was slightly easier than the regionals test and about as hard as the states test last year. I get to write a bunch of bogus on a short/long answer question to make myself sound like I know what I’m doing…#protesttakingskills
  • Finish test. It’s a pretty decent test. Like last year, anyone who would’ve known anything more than we did would have done better since we both did our fair share of guessing.
  • 10.13- walk back to the homeroom together. DE doesn’t have events for several hours, like me.
  • Go bathroom // eat (!!) food (!!) // etc
  • 10.35- Meet up with KT (my friend from another school). Eventually we have a group of ~8 people, and as with all other SciOly people meetings, we start talking gibberish stuffs.
  • Girls clothes // pockets // food // life // stuff // also hear about SC, who’s wearing shorts and wasn’t allowed into the lab, so RC gave HIM her LONG ANKLE-LENGTH SKIRT (she had leggings on underneath) so that he was legit. #TheThingsWeDoForSciOly
  • I go back into the homeroom to probably (??) eat (??) but CK comes in and says a girl from our rival [used lightly] school is in the hallway, wanting to talk to me about helicopters (???????)
  • I got outside to meet this girl. She starts asking me about all this stuff about our helicopters like ??? because like, we haven’t done our helicopters yet ??? I signal to MM [probably not very discreetly] to go inside to get KB (heli partner) so that he knows how much I’m telling.
  • Naturally I was evasive about giving out answers to questions like these (since we hadn’t flown yet at that point)
  • (It was actually pretty hilarious, looking back on it, because we were both essentially trying to find out stuff about each other’s helicopters without acting like it lol)
  • Eventually, I make up an excuse to get away.
  • 11.40- Head to the lab to pick up my friend KS after her events, with CK.
  • 11.50- We miss K, due to having to talk helicopters with [my dear friend] that girl, and having to take a detour.
  • 11.52- We see Mrs. C, who is looking for RC’s calculator. She needs it right then across campus, so we run across campus, trying to get the calculator to her. Eventually CK runs ahead with it and meets up with NB, who gives it to R.
  • 12.04- I go back to the homeroom, to see K. I eat (!!) my sandwich, and tape up the rocks binder, and teach AM insults in various languages (it’s great. He didn’t know what he was saying so we taught him “Hit me really hard” in Chinese and he went around saying it at one point bc he thought it was an insult XD [until he said it to a parent who speaks Chinese and then our game was up XD])
  • I also hear that the rocks test was APPARENTLY EASIER THAN THE REGIONALS TEST (?!?!?!) LIKE HOW (?!?!?) (WHAT?!?!)
  • 12.53- Head to rocks with MM.
  • The proctor does the binder shake AND WE GET TO USE THE AUDUBON GUIDE. YASSS
  • Starts Station 1. “Identify these two igneous rocks.” The first specimen is a igneous rock, okay, but the second specimen is LEGIT A CLOD OF DIRT? LIKE ??? LIKE IGNEOUS ROCK??? HELLO??? OBVIOUSLY A ROCK BLOWN FROM A VOLCANO LOOKS LIKE A CLOD OF DIRT. HI.
  • We figure that it was just a mistake and do some educated guessing (????!?!?!?!)
  • Move on to Station 2. THE SAME THING???!!!! LIKE ????!!?!?
  • MM raises his hand. ‘Excuse me, were these samples switched? (??????!?!)’ The guy walks over. ‘Nope, this is how they are.’ ?!?!?!?!?!??!
  • Station 3. ‘Identify these two metamorphic rocks’ One’s metamorphic, THE OTHER IS IGNEOUS. YAY. GOOD JOB.
  • We bog on through the test, doing a lot of educated guessing and some dothering. Eh. (tbh how the guy who wrote the test is a geology prof idek like qualifications?? At all ??)
  • Honestly the only good thing about that test was that we were allowed to use the guide book. Bc YASSSS
  • 2.13- We finish a couple (like literally 2) minutes early and leave bc I had to go bathroom (lol what else is new)
  • 2.18- I go back to the homeroom, and recruit people to walk down to the gym with me (bc it’s really far), and we eventually get together a group.
  • 2.30ish- Eventually get to the gym
  • We stand around talking to all the team people that are there: most of the people that have finished their events already for the day.
  • I meet my dear (much sarcasm) friend from the [rival] school.
  • 3.10ish- We start getting out our helicopters. The girl positions herself so that they can exactly see our design if/when we get it out (LIKE REALLY GIRL. DECENCY MUCH?)
  • RIGHT AS WE WERE ABOUT TO TAKE OUR HELICOPTER OUT OF THE BOX, The Girl walked over to me and was like “Hey can I borrow a ponytail holder? I assume that since you do helicopters too you know how annoying it is to get your hair caught in the winding motor” LIKE WUTTTTTTT REALLY HOW
  • Mind you, it wasn’t like it wasn’t obvious that we wanted our space and privacy. Like legit half the team was RIGHT THERE IN THAT CORNER and we were HIDDEN AWAY TRYING TO GET OUR HELICOPTERS OUT
  • Mrs B (K’s mom) (who hadn’t been at the exchange earlier in the hallway but had heard about it), fixed her with this glare and was like “the only one I have is IN MY HAIR ” (Mrs B is awesome jsyk)
  • But y’know, you’re supposed to be nice to people and all, so I hand her my spare ponytail (since at that point I just wanted to have her just go away)
  • KB and I basically tell each other that we were going to wait until that team flew to fly, just to be spiteful XD
  • 3.30ish- it ends up to be too late, so we go and check in. so APPARENTLY ONE OF OUR HELICOPTERS IS TOO BIG??? Like it was okayed at regionals ??? eh, it was our backup anyways, so we don’t really care *that* much.
  • 3.35- I have to go to the bathroom so I go. By the time I get back, the other team is flying their helicopters (so yay I guess we succeeded?)
  • 3.38- They fly a pretty decent time of 1.22, which means we actually have to work to beat them. XD
  • 3.40- The event is going to close in 5 minutes and we haven’t started yet. We frantically wind rubber and stuff (not really frantically since we were like adrenaline-calmed).
  • 3.44- The longest minute (and half) of the entire day. We beat them by 12 seconds. 😀 😀
  • 3.46- We get ready for our second flight (they let us finish even though the event was technically closed). Crank up the winds and torque and everything
  • 3.47- the helicopter flies up to the ceiling, gets stuck, gets unstuck, and lands on a window ledge. #wowwepro
  • The judge guys try to get it down for us. It comes down eventually . . . in a bajillion pieces. The rubber had so much tension on it that everything snapped.
  • 3.50- Since it’s past the time that we could fly, there’s legit NO ONE left in the building. EXCEPT our dear friends [sarcasm] from that [rival] school.
  • When we’re packing up, the girl walks over and hands me my ponytail holder back ‘hey good job, here’s your ponytail holder back.’ (LIKE GIRL how do I know you don’t have lice or something XD)
  • We all walk back to the homeroom, except for Mrs. B, who has to put the helicopters back in her car.
  • 4.10ish- We get back to the homeroom eventually, and do the end–of-day wrapup thing. The room’s so big that I barely hear half the things spoken oops.
  • 5ish- We hold the “let’s-go-eat-the-food-mom-packed-because-we-ate-none-of-it” discussion again, but then decide to walk with the S’s and the D’s to this buffet place that was apparently free for lunch to see if they had food for dinner.
  • 5.35ish- After some more discussion about what food to eat, we head to Chipotle, where we always eat.
  • After eating, we start heading back to campus. WHY IS IT SO FARRRRRRR
  • 6.20ish- reach the gym. Apparently the bleachers don’t come out, so the volunteers are pulling out folding chairs.
  • Mr. C, who sits next to me, has lots of commentary about each of the events and points and stuff.
  • 5th in anatomy. Okay, decent. Better than not placing, but worse than last year’s first XD
  • We aren’t doing very well. :/
  • 2nd in rocks (TBH YASSSSS bc who even knows how the test was graded my word)
  • 1st in ExD (WOOT)
  • 1st in heli (YAYAY was expecting a 2nd bc of a better heli school, but apparently they failed)
  • 7.35- DUDE THEY FINISHED THE CEREMONY BEFORE THE SUN WENT DOWN. THATS GOTTA BE A RECORD. No time killing, no waiting, no nothing. The screen + mic systems are great this year too. GREAT JOB, ADMINISTRATION.
  • 7.50- Wait the middle school GOT FOURTH? Man, it must be pretty DARN close. (also all time low placing for the ms team)
  • 7.57- As we almost predicted, we aren’t going to Nats. Ah well. We had high hopes, but didn’t work *quite* hard enough to make up for them XD
  • Lots and lots of picture taking and general chaos.
  • We get to sing for the first time in like legit three or four tournaments, and so I’m happy. 😀
  • 8.30ish- We go for ice cream with the S’s, since it’s still so early. There’s only one lady working, so it took super long.
  • Eventually we finish and drive home. No Nationals trip this year.


Now y’all won’t be bombarded by SciOly posts . . . until next year. 😀

2017 Regionals||Science Olympiad

Okay so before I start, let’s just take note of this poll I did on twitter that amused me greatly:

BUT IM GOING TO WRITE ABOUT WHATEVER I WANT, DANG IT (sure, I’ll spare you one: let’s just do one now and one for states)

So…here’s my 10th SciOly tournament!


(let’s just ignore the quality of that thumbnail omgns okay)

  • 5.30am: alarm goes off. Naturally, I hit snooze
  • 5.33am: second alarm goes off (because, hey, lots of alarms…one’s bound to work eventually)
  • 5.46am: finally get up out of sheer necessity
  • 5.57am: go downstairs to my family legit choking down cereal. I decide to skip the torture
  • 6.07am: in the car with everything loaded, it’s freezing I’m so cold and why can’t we just go I have event at 7
  • we drive, I just sit there being cold
  • 6:40am: arrive on campus, text coach(es) about where to meet
  • 6:45am: daddy thinks he knows where the CSI is but he was looking at the CIS on the map and it was just confuzing. I’m 99% sure I know the campus better than he does lol
  • 6.49am: get into CSI (right building), meet partners for ExD
  • 6.55am: admitted into ExD room. it’s the same pro guy from last year, which means worksheets
  • 7.04am: starts ExD. proctor checks everyone for goggles, then allows us all not to wear them #yuss #butalsoslightwasteofenergy #butheyhefollowedthefules #ilovethisproctorsm
  • get our kit things. washer and string and dowel, this better/must be pendulum
  • opens packet YUSSSS
  • WE PRO AT DIS *writing writing writing*
  • Oh dear they going over. both DC and SC have 8am events and have to leave a tiny bit early. DC leaves first, then SC. I collect the papers and return stuff and stuff. momentary panic when I thought S took the page he was writing on with him but then I found it
  • 8.02am: walks out ExD door texting and nearly run over Mrs. C. She gives me my wristband. walking, texting, and putting on awristband is really hard in case anyone was wondering
  • 8:05am: walks with Mrs. C to see DC and MM’s event room. apparently it started a bit late so D wasn’t late. I get my anatomy notesheet from MM.
  • 8.12am: walk up to P/C building. Mrs. C. goes to bathroom, and I go to see where anatomy is going to be
  • 8:13am: meet a lady who’s looking for a room (and her kid). I lead her down the inexplicably long hallway to see the room
  • 8.20am: Mrs. C is done waiting for me and I haven’t gone seen the room yet oops. we go see the room together. they’re literally running like 6 events in that one room
  • 8:27am: head back to homeroom. mixing both me and Mrs C who both have like zero sense of direction isn’t a good thing. we end up following each other without telling the other and it doesn’t end well. also the homeroom is in the most confuzing building ever so hey excuse
  • meet peoples and drink water and eat food (maybe?) and go bathroom (which takes a long time bc the the building is so confuzing)
  • 8.36am: leave homeroom for anatomy.
  • 8.43am: finally find my way out of the building and actually start heading to anatomy
  • 8:45am: meet SC who was with anatomy DE
  • 8.46am: arrive at anatomy. DE’s not there yet but the event won’t start for another 14 minutes. see GC and ED’s dads waiting for them to come out of anatomy. also see SM and NF waiting to do anatomy as well
  • 8.52am: am about to start freaking out then see DE. so apparently they’re doing the MS and HS tests together
  • get the test. it’s another nice test with clearly marked sections. hey it’s short so bad ugh. oh dear my hormones got cut off on the notesheet shootshoot I need that
  • ooh my hormones table is useful. and our notesheet is so much better than from invitationals yay.
  • okay so apparently the event supervisor had no idea what to give endocrine for short answer, it’s something along the lines of “a gland that produces both peptides and steroids starts to malfunction. upon closer investigation, the cells have free floating ribosomes and a smooth endoplasmic reticulum. what can you conclude?” UM WHAT EXCUSE ME THAT’S BASICALLY NO INFORMATION SO WHAT ARE YOU EVEN LOOKING FOR???
  • we get done because it’s short so we turn it in and leave ~8 minutes early
  • we go to building C to see Mr. C who’s running bridges/towers/whatever-they’re-calling-that-event-this-year. he’s busy, so DE leaves for his next event/whatever he’s doing and I text KT, my friend from church who competes at a different school
  • 10:17am: meet up with KT and DC and MM who are done with their events for now. we talk and KT tries to go run her bridges but it’s too early. I meet a boy from church who used to never talk to me but who’s running food sci now and is like the most friendly person ever
  • 10:23am: we walk back together (I think idr)
  • find the homeroom with minimal effort (read: following others), and eat food and stuff who knows I think I talk to the younger F girls? and maybe eat salad…I think I remember eating salad (why I’m eating salad at 10am, it’s a SciOly day, covers a multitude of sins, man)
  • 11.17am: P wants to go down to the gym to see building events, but the gym is so far away that no one wants to go with him, so I send him with CG and CZ
  • 11.20am (or so): leave homeroom (which takes much longer than it should) while carting the R&M binder and meet up with BF who has a couple free hours like me
  • like, around 11.30am: we wander around campus, find my room for rocks
  • 11.42am: see P with AM (most reliable, I assure you). BF and I continue on to the gym
  • we walk around, see our team do hovercraft. we also see these people winding up their Wright Stuff motor with A POWER DRILL. LIKE WHATEVEN SO MANY SKILLS I CANT EVEN we basically both die laughing while trying to look like we’re not staring at them and laughing
  • 12.03pm: go to C to see Mr. C again. it’s the lunch hour so he has time and so we get to talk about how much we failed, always a lovely subject.
  • 12.22pm: realise that the next timeslot is 1:15, not 1:45, so I should probably go get my R&M stuff.
  • 12:32pm: while on the way to homeroom, meets Mrs C carrying a huge box of towers going to (obvi) towers. BF helps her carry it, and I head on to the homeroom to look for the field guide
  • 12.37pm: can’t find the field guide, starts freaking out a little, texts Mrs. M (GM’s mom) to see if she knows where it is; she doesn’t reply and I freak out more
  • 12.40pm: goes and rummages through GM’s backpack and finds it so leaves
  • 12.42pm: Mrs. M finally texts back and says that the middle school wasn’t allowed to use the field guide oh darndarn
  • 12.50pm: arrive at building P and meet GM, who also talks about how the rocks proctor hates cell phones and stuff
  • 12.52pm: go through the connecting hall thingie to building C and see towers and stuff to see if BF wants to go with me on her way to WiDi. She’s needed to film the towers tho, so I leave by myself.
  • 12.56pm: gets to the front of the CE building, but I can’t figure out exactly which building it is, nor how to get in (despite the fact that I’d already been to the room earlier)
  • 1.00pm: finally finds my way into the building, and then find the room (#yesthatisreallyahugefeatformebecauseIlegithavenosenseofdirection)
  • 1.02pm: start hunting for a women’s bathroom. there is a men’s bathroom on the hallway, but there’s no women’s bathroom
  • 1.06pm: finally find the bathroom (with another girl who’s on the same mission as I am)…it’s ultra far away nearly on the other side of the building
  • 1.08pm: meet MM and sit there and wait. he’s eating a peanut butter sandwich (in case you didn’t know, I can’t stand the smell of peanut butter)
  • sits there and waits
  • …and waits
  • …and waits
  • 1.19pm: finally texts Mr. C about the fact that we haven’t been let in yet
  • 1.20pm: the instant I send the text, the proctor lets us in
  • we end up in the last row o.0 who designed a station test in a “theatre” like room (y’know, with rows of chairs)
  • the proctor doesn’t let us use the field guide, even though it’s technically attached to the binder. eh whatever
  • we start the test, apparently on the tie breakers. 5 minutes to a station…okay. these stations aren’t really long enough to warrant 5 minutes, but hey, it’s regionals. also they’re mostly identification so….
  • oh cool there’s some extra multiple choice questions in addition to the stations, that are like, hardish. but the stations are really, really easy.
  • OMFGNS LIKE THIS TEST IS WAY TOO EASY like legit we finish the station within a minute
  • at this point we’re basically sitting there trying to restrain each other from screaming. like omgns omgns OMGNS OMGNS wut even
  • 2.15pm (or so): we finally get released. I nearly start screaming before we exit the building, but MM all but sticks his hand over my mouth like yeah it was that bad
  • upon leaving the building, we meet BF and AL and RC, and we run to catch up to them. I start ranting about the test
  • I think we go to bridges? I don’t remember. (oops)
  • but at some point I look at the time and notice that it’s time for heli, so I make my way down to the A (which is quite the distance).
  • 2.27pm: walk into A and see the B’s and Mrs. C…I continue ranting about the rocks test.
  • 2.28pm: I tell KB about the people I saw winding their Wright Stuff with a power drill, and he finds it as humorous as I did
  • we watch other people run. why on earth are they running two teams at the same time in a small square?
  • 2.35pm: we decide to go and just do it
  • 2.38pm: we go and weigh in. our helicopters are very close to being too wide, but it works (hey, we followed the national kit).
  • 2.42pm: first flight–3…2…1….and our helicopter traces a perfect parabolic curve. WHAT?! I adapt the traditional WHAT?! pose, then turn and see Kentie in the exact same pose XD but it is totally legit tho because helicopters aren’t supposed to trace parabolic curves.
  • I dash over and pick up the helicopter…the top part fell off somehow
  • 2.45pm: we set up and fly our second helicopter. tt hits exactly perfectly at a point where the ceiling supports stuff won’t interfere with the flying…PTL!
  • 2.46pm: the longest minute of my entire existence
  • 2.47pm: it falls, finally. wow.
  • 2.48pm: the proctor comes over-”that was quite the improvement” she said. we got 1.20–one of the best times of the year! PTL!
  • I just generally wander around, looking at the MS Mission Possible running, and other stuff, mainly just being glad that I’m done
  • 4.20ishpm: we start to head back to the homeroom. for some reason, there’s this huge pressure in my hip and barely make it back to the homeroom
  • we do a team meeting, which somehow takes a super, super long time. Eventually, a parent says that it’s nearly 5.30 and everyone leaves to go to dinner.
  • after the inevitable “lets-go-eat-the-food-mom-packed-because-we-ate-none-of-it” discussion, we all go to the student center place thingie and I get Chick-Fil-A. I can barely walk at this point.
  • 6.27pm: our family somehow finished before everyone else and head off to the awards ceremony. however, everyone else is like 25 feet behind us, so it’s not that much of a difference XD (also I can’t walk so Mr. S ended up driving me over)
  • 6.25pm: we get to the awards ceremony but there’s no more seats. our team ends up sitting on the floor so that we don’t have to sit in the balconies (because otherwise we won’t be able to get our awards)
  • they aren’t ready yet, so we just sit there and be stupid (like usual)
  • 6.55pm: they finally start arranging the mics and the screen and doing the lost and found and stuff
  • 7.08pm: FINALLY start  the awards ceremony. they’re doing the high school events first. also anatomy is first and we didn’t get on the board o.0
  • hum so the high school team isn’t doing very well apparently. we aren’t getting first, like it’s impossible
  • 7.20pm: 5th in rocks and minerals. okay I’m not really surprised because, and I repeat, THE TEST WAS TRASH
  • 7.28pm: ooh 1st in ED! but then, it was a super lucky pendulum, soooo we really should have gotten first but hey, it’s points, and we all know we need those XD
  • 7.46pm: so they didn’t finish the high school events (mainly builds left) and they’re starting on the middle school
  • the middle school is doing much better than the high school: they have only have one event where they didn’t place in
  • D gets 2 6ths and 1 5th…and somehow got 6th in Scrambler although he was tier-2ed, however that happened
  • 8.20pm: they finish with the high school events. we got 2nd in helicopters 😦
  • 8.40pm: doing team results….in theory
  • 8.43m: ACTUALLY starting the overall. ooh my friend’s team got 1st in the small school league!
  • 9.00pm: THE MIDDLE SCHOOL GOT FIRST TOO but this was more expected
  • 9.02pm: I text Mrs. B, who had to leave early.
  • 9.08pm: we go home.
  • 9.50pm: we get home. I text TJN about results (because she’s not on the team anymore)
  • 10.37pm: I go to bed…finally

AAAAAND that’s it. Somehow I lost a lot of the humor when writing SciOly days, but eh. (also my goal this year is to write both regionals and states because in 2015 I only did regionals and in 2016 I only did states so this year I want to do both)

You May Be A Science Olympian If…

Part 1 (Homeschooler edition)

I was thinking (that is a good thing). Science Olympians do a lot of things most people wouldn’t. And it’s weird. And because I’m obviously NOT PROCRASTINATING on studying for Science Olympiad, here is a list of things Science Olympians do.


You may be a Science Olympian if…

  • Mission Possible sounds more right to you than Mission Impossible
  • Likewise,  Sounds of Music sounds more right to you than The Sound of Music
  • You’re more excited about the new event list being out than you are about summer break
  • Christmas break to you basically means “Two weeks of Science Olympiad and no school”
  • You have random maps of colleges in your brain
  • You judge people from different states based on how good their state is at Science Olympiad
  • You follow someone on Instagram just because they’re a Science Olympian and sometimes post sciency pictures.
  • You can appreciate how big size 10 font is
  • You have experience with drilling holes through textbooks
  • You’re known to write long scientific incomprehensible ramblings for biology
  • You’re known to write long confusing essays with scientific words in them
  • No one understood your biology project
  • You engage in a discussion as to whether Sharpie ink is able to add a noticeable amount of weight to an object (helicopters)
  • The final conclusion to aforementioned discussion is yes, Sharpie ink DOES add too much weight. (helicopters)
  • You hands perpetually have superglue (or any type of glue, really) on them (helicopters/ELG/Wright Stuff/bridges/towers/boomilever/anything with balsa wood)
  • You can say that you’ve gone to the fire station to ask how high their ceiling is (helicopters/ELG/Wright Stuff)
  • Similarly, you know exactly the dimensions of all the rooms with high ceilings in town (helicopters/ELG/Wright Stuff)
  • The people at the recreation center know you by name (building events in general)
  • Your kitchen counter is full of soda bottles, foam trays, plastic lids, and other miscellaneous recycling that cannot be thrown out on penalty of death (Bottle Rockets/Wind Power/Forensics)
  • You follow mineral pages on social media, rather than people (rocks and minerals)
  • You identify stuff you find on hikes (ornithology/forestry/rocks and minerals)
  • You collect insects/rocks and minerals/fossils for fun
  • You’ve been to the point where even Google is not useful –>
  • You’re learning to writes ambidextriously so that you can write with both hands to save time (CJAP, WI/DI, ExD)
  • You know how scary Splenda packets, foam cups, and plastic stir sticks can be (WI/DI)
  • Your procrastination abilities far exceed those of your friends’
  • Your friends don’t question anything you give the explanation “it’s for science” for.
  • You have the best friend group on the planet
  • You spend your New Year’s Eve discussing the social psychology behind New Year’s and New Year’s resolutions…because why not
  • You find yourself discussing earth’s magnetic field with your friend group
  • You discuss whether being consistently late is accuracy or precision while waiting for said consistently late persons
  • You’re exceedingly brilliant-for instance, you close your eyes while looking in the mirror and wonder why you can’t see yourself
  • You draw on your forehead with Sharpie as part of “scientific experimentation”
  • You constantly make jokes about dying…and oftentimes actually cannot see how you’ll be able to survive
  • You and the other Science Olympian are shipped at church
  • You’re unimaginably excited to “study,” better known as “socialization.”
  • You stay overnight at the coach’s house to study
  • You write “You May be a Science Olympian If” blogposts instead of actually studying for Science Olympiad.

2016 States ||Science Olympiad

I have a tradition (kind of), of writing up my SciOly days so that I can remember them. I’ve made this goal a grand total of 3 times, and 2 half times, and 2 mentions. (AKA it’s not a tradition). However, I did write up this years’ states. Here it is!-

Random disclosure thingies-

  • Bullet form, because bullet form is fun to write and gives less pressure on perfect grammar and punctuation and stuffs.
  • Time is really truly superficial on Science Olympiad days-I’ll try to reference and do time stamps, but times may be either what I think it is, or just nonexistent.
  • I pretty much run around by myself all day, so I have no idea whatsoever about what the rest of my family is doing.
  • Feelings and stuff will be in paragraph/essay form, but can’t guarantee grammar and whatever

  • Alarm clock starts blaring at 4.40am…hit snooze and return to sleep
  • 4.50-hits snooze
  • 5.00-hits snooze
  • 5.10-“I really should be getting up,” hits snooze
  • 5.20-“We’re leaving at 5.30,” gets out of bed.
  • Gets ready, packs food, checks final email, etc.
  • I plan to vlog, so I start off the vlog with a really crappy intro
  • 6.10 (or so)-We leave the house. I film clips of us driving.
  • 7.25-We’re stopped, due to roadwork or something. We’re running late.
  • 7.40-Start moving. Eventually pass the place where they’re doing road work. There’s THREE PEOPLE painting lines on the road…and ITS RAINING OUT, so one of the guys has a BLOW DRYER and is trying to BLOW DRY the wet pain in the rain while the other two guys stand there TALKING! Half the city is blocked up while they stand there trying to dry wet paint in the RAIN!!
  • 7.50-Reach campus. It’s raining, and bad map skills doesn’t mesh well with reading maps in the rain. So lost. Meet NC and his mom, then Mr. S and CK as they go impound the FS stuff. Mom offers me a sheetprotecter for my map/event schedule.
  • 7.55- I go in the homeroom while Mom+D go impound the Air  Trajectory. Text NR’s mom to see if he has the notesheets for Cell Bio and Chem Lab. She doesn’t know. Opens backpack–what is the crumpled mass of paper and plastic? Oh, it’s my map and event schedule in the page protector mom jammed into my backpack…I had *planned* not to ruin my map/schedule that early in the morning…but w/e.
  • 8.15-Go map out my events with GM. My horrendous skills at map reading and navigation in general requires me to map out my events before they actually happen, so that I don’t get totally lost between events or just simply freak out and forget where I’m going. Vlog a little. It’s cool vlogging.
  • 8.20-Meet AS going into her shift as high school WI/DI event supervisor. Berate her (as a matter of routine) about her ditching the team. She hands me her Curvy Copter Cube (ooh lookee alliteration dats cool) to give to AM.
  • 8.30- Head to the lab to map out events. See Rin in her event, Food Science, with CK–she doesn’t notice me.
  • 8.50-Back in the homeroom. Deliver the Curvy Copter Cube to AM. Read Chemistry textbook and eats an orange and a dinner roll for breakfast, ish. WAIT WHAT I don’t have a Chem Lab notesheet. Start furiously hashing out notes on the back of my event schedule.
  • 9.10-Leave homeroom for Chem Lab. I end up tearing out the sheet of formulas from my SciOly notebook, rather than use the horrendously hashed notesheet.
  • 9.17- Meet Rin as she comes out of FS.
  • 9.22- Reach the lab and meets NR and his dad. The people from the previous timeslot are still in the room working on their test–they should have been let out 7 minutes ago.
  • 9.25-We hear “5 minutes left!” WHAT–we have to start at 9.30 in order for both N and me to make our next time slot. Text Mr/Mrs C about long previous timeslot.
  • 9.35-Finally make it into the room, after N’s been kicked out of the room once for going in ‘too early’. Proctor apologizes for delay. N starts test without waiting for approval from proctor, in order that we can leave early. I’m worried that we’ll get penalized for starting early.
  • 9.40-Chem Lab test starts.
  • 9.45-Realizes that I’m dumby for waiting around while N does the MC part of test. Start working on the lab part of the test. Turns out the reason the previous slot ran over was because the Kinetics experiment didn’t work. Work on the experiment (data was provided). ED skills help in drawing graphs. (I’m bad at labeling graph axis, but it works out fairly well here).
  • 9.55- Finish Kinetics part of test. Sit around waiting until we’re allowed to switch over to gases part of experiment.
  • 10.05-FINALLY switch over to gases part of experiment. N says he’s able to take care of the test part, despite not having studied for it (He took kinetics, I took gases). I start on the experiment. Reread the instructions several times to make sure I read it right. WHY IS THIS A GASES EXPERIMENT?! The first 1/2 page is giving instructions about how to fill up a beral pipette. LIKE I COULDNT FIGURE OUT HOW TO FILL A PIPETTE BY MYSELF IN LIKE THIRD GRADE.
  • 10.07-Completely fills the pipette, without even referencing the instruction sheet. It’s far too complicated to read anyways, I could do it without using it.
  • 10.12-Still filling. Accuracy/precision has gone far, far out the window.
  • 10.16-Now I’m SUPPOSED TO ADD 500mL MORE WATER INTO THIS BIN AND REPEAT IT 5 MORE TIMES?!? The bin’s not even going to hold that much–it’s 2/3 full already.
  • 10.22-The bin’s not going to hold that much water. I ask the proctor and he says “Well, the bin only holds 3L of water, so obviously I don’t expect you to completely follow the experiment.” WELL SIR I WOULD HAVE APPRECIATED THAT INFORMATION!!
  • 10.25-FINALLY finish the experiment. I HAVE 5 MINUTES LEFT, thanks to having to fill up THE BIN WITH THAT GRADUATED CYLINDER!! Rush to finish data table/graph/final questions.
  • 10.28-2 minutes left. Start on discussion questions. “How would you make this data linear, considering the logarithmic form of the current graph?” WTH I have absolutely NO IDEA. MY GRAPH IS FRIGGIN LINEAR, NOT LOGARITHMIC!! “What gas property was this experiment illustrating?” WHAT? YOU THINK THIS IS A *GASES* EXPERIMENT? I HAVE ABSOLUTELY. NO. IDEA. WHAT THIS EXPERIMENT WAS ILLUSTRATING. COMPRESSIBLITY? I have no idea, but that’s what I put down anyways–more likelihood of getting points than ‘nothing whatsoever relating to gases.’
  • 10.30-Pencils down. I lost about 7 points, after wildly guessing+writing down an answer on the last two questions about 5 seconds before time was called. N remarks that he lost around 7 points on the MC part as well.
  • 10.35-Leave. Dash off to ExD. It’s cool having consecutive events.
  • 10.41-Reach where ExD is held. Shoot off a text to Mr/Mrs. C- “Stupid easy time consuming chem lab test with a stupid experiment that didn’t pertain to the topic.” I’m good at condensing.
  • 10.43-We pray.
  • 10.45-Starts ExD. TORQUE?! Haven’t practiced with that before. Meh. We can use the RUBRIC? We don’t have one, expecting that we won’t be allowed to use it. (foreshadowing of bad things to come).
  • 10.50-Okay, SC and RC have come up with an experiment that I’m supposed to perform and I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHAT ITS DOING.
  • 11.05- I perform experiment. Starts putting down number of weights in data table. R and S INSIST I put down NEWTONS. Why would I do that? Isn’t it supposed to be number of weights, or at least the mass? NEWTONS IS NOT RAW DATA. But you don’t argue with R, so I switch over to Newtons (stupid error alert).
  • 11.10-Finish numerical stuff. WHY DO I HAVE A FULL PAGE FOR THE STATISTICAL DATA (I usually take about 1/6 a page) WHILE I HAVE LESS THAN 1/2 PAGE FOR THE PROCEDURE (I usually take a full page). HOW IS THIS SETUP?!
  • 11.15-R dashes out of the room to go to her 4.5th event, hydrogeology. (She’s just slightly nuts).
  • 11.25-I finish procedure and am looking over materials list and my numerical stuff. WAIT A SECOND THE MASS IS WRONG–I USED THE WRONG MASS THEN MY NEWTONS WERE ALSO OFF AAUGH Furiously fix it. I have a dead eraser–ugh. Have fleeting thought that I should probably put sample calculations for the mass–>Newtons thing. I’m running out of time, though, so I don’t. (double stupid error alert).
  • 11.30- Start Qualitative Observations. I’m bad at Qualitative Observations. It takes me WAYYY longer than usual, mainly because I’m over analyzing all the observations (result of CJAP last year).
  • 11.40-Finish. I finish early. HOW? I didn’t even START on time!!? I must’ve missed something. Instead of checking to see what I missed, I focus on putting team name/number on each page. (triple stupid error alert).
  • 11.45-Finish. Turn in test. Go to bathroom.
  • 11.55-Head down to Bridges with SC, to talk to Mr C about how my events were run. Pass through this freaky cafeteria thingie that has everything closed, except for the music. The lights and music are there, but there are no people there. I get a little freaked out to be in a building alone with a guy.
  • 12.00-I’m not very complimentary, especially about the Chem Lab. Nor am I very quiet–Mr. C tells me to quiet down multiple times. He thinks that ED should have gone okay, since if it was hard for us, then it would have been hard for everyone else as well.
  • 12.10-Finish talking. Mr. C asks me to go get a set of maps/event schedules for him, since he forgot to get a set.
  • 12.15-Reach the homeroom. Mom tries to forcefeed me a piece of chicken, egg, croissant, and multiple other items of food. I settle for the chicken and another clementine.
  • 12.20-Head back to Bridges to hand off maps and stuff, this time, by myself. Passes through eerie cafeteria again without trouble.
  • 12.25-Drops off stuff. (I must’ve talked some more to him about ExD and Chem Lab, because I don’t know where else the time’d have gone.)
  • 12.35-Meets CK in between her timeslots. I talk to her about our ED topic, because I didn’t know whether or not they’d know what to do. She has a lot of time, so we walk around campus a little and talk, about stuff, especially torque, and what it is.
  • 12.55-Heads back to homeroom. C starts talking to SC about how to write up her part of the experiment (they do the same part).
  • 1.05-I get ready to leave for Cell Bio. While leaving, I see C has started a nosebleed. Didn’t think much about it. There are a number of people looking after her, so I disregard that, and leave.
  • 1.18-Meet Rin coming out of her event. Tells her briefly about torque. She has to run; me, not so much, because I’m in front of the building.
  • 1.20-Meets N in front of the room for Cell Bio. Compare notes about how our respective events have gone.
  • 1.25-Event proctor comes out to give last minute instructions and hand out answer sheet thingies.
  • 1.30-Not paying much attention, see the proctor madly dash down the hallway, yanking on doors, trying to get them to open, and muttering to himself, “I must find some way to get into that room.” Turns out, the door locks by itself, and he locked himself, as well as all of us, out of the room.
  • 1.35-I offer to call Mr. C, because the proctor locked his phone inside the room as well, to see if he could contact the SciOly powers to let us into the building.
  • 1.36-Connect with Mr. C. He thinks it’s the greatest joke he’s heard and promises to contact the state important people.
  • 1.45-No word yet. There’s a whole crowd of people on phones trying to get us into the room. Text Mr. C, and he replies that people are working and to hang tight.
  • 1.50-They get hold of a maintainence guy..but he won’t open the door, apparently because he didn’t receive permission from the professor to allow us into the lab.
  • 2.00-They finally get a TA with a key to come open the door…but by this point, we’re not able to take the test, with 20/30 minutes left. The proctor is very sorry, and he says that he’ll allow us to take the test at 4, after all the rest of the events of the day have gone.
  • 2.10-I head to bridges to notify Mr. C on the latest events. He isn’t there, presumably to get food. None of the other people who are doing bridges know where he went.
  • 2.12-See Mrs. C and Mrs. D as they bring food for Mr. C. When they question why I’m not in an event, I tell them, then we head back to bridges together. Mrs. C tells me that C’s bloody nose ended up lasting for about 40 minutes, and that she was 20 minutes late to ED. She was also really light headed and wasn’t very stable.
  • 2.15-Mr. C is back. Mrs. C tells him about what’s going on, then she and Mrs. D leave to get DC to where he’s supposed to go. He’s talking with this other guy who’s apparently thinking to start a homeschooled SciOly team, or something like that. I sit there and listen to their conversation, resting my legs. My legs are starting to cramp up, which isn’t a particularly good sign, considering that I still have 2 events to go to and that it’s only 2 in the afternoon besides.
  • 2.30-Leaves bridges to go to Anatomy. Prays for C as I’m walking over.
  • 2.36- Arrives at the anatomy building, where S’s waiting. We aren’t allowed to split our notesheet, as we’d originally planned.
  • 2.42-Proctor starts passing out tests. I ask again to verify the reason we aren’t allowed to split the test, she says it’s because the entire purpose SciOly people give us A page is to make it hard, and besides, “if all the teams came in with shreds of paper, what would we do about it?”
  • 2.44-Text CF: “About to start Anatomy. PRAY for us!!”
  • 2.45-Starts test. I take the test and starts marking the answers on the test itself, while S takes the bones part of the test out and marks the answers on the answer key/sheet thingie.
  • The notesheet is really helpful-the information I actually need is on the notesheet, and I’m able to find it, which is surprising considering that I’d never put together a notesheet before.
  • There are several aspects of the test that I’d previously not paid very much attention to, despite knowing that they would be on the test…Process of Elimination took care of several of those, and other than those, I did some educated guessing.
  • S took the sheets that I’d marked up and transferred my answers to the answer sheet. She also took care of the short answer questions, because she has a skill of making short answer questions look really fancy and sound like we know what we’re talking about, although we had practically no idea what some of the stuff was.
  • There were several diseases that we had no idea as to what they were–they weren’t on the “limited to” list, but we educated guessed (is that a verb, even?). Amyotrophic lateral scoliosis? What’s that? That’s not on the list. Hmm….says S, “Amyotrophic lateral scoliosis is the progressive weakening of muscles, without atrophy. Patients are able to live a fairly long and normal life, although considerably hindered.”
  • We’re able to finish, with around 35 or so minutes to spare, the ones we’re fairly confident of. We discuss the questions that we have trouble with. What are Type 1/Type 2 muscles? I know there’s fast-twitch, and slow-twitch…but didn’t take the time to connect them to being Type 1 and Type 2. Neither did I study characteristics of each type. The question, however, is not too hard: it’s asking for the characteristics for each type. Therefore, I’m able use POE and eliminate the answers.
  • Why do chili peppers feel hot? I don’t know. They do something to the cells. That much I know. Eh.
  • What’s glabrous skin? S says it’s skin without hair. I trust her. Why is it less likely to get cancer? I have no idea. Skin without hair is thick skin. So does thick skin not as able to contract cancer? It’s on the skin of the palms and on the feet–so maybe they don’t get exposed to UV radiation as much?
  • We finish, with about 12 minutes to spare. I look over the ones we’d had problems with, and we discuss them some more. Then I look over the answer sheet, to make sure all the answers have been transferred correctly.
  • The test is slightly easier than I thought it was going to be–but it’s still really hard. Anyone who’d studied any more than we had would do way better than we did, particularly on the short answers. I know we got some stuff right that most people wouldn’t have, at least not without studying. I’m fairly 3rd/4th place certain. It was also a fairly short test–39 total points. So if we were to miss a few (which we definitely did), it could be disastrous for us.
  • This test was pretty awesome, though–it was in the perfect proportions to what I’d studied- about 70% skin, 25% muscle (with about 75% of that being disorders, and 25% cellular stuff), and 5% bone. That was really cool. I didn’t know how well we’d done, because there was definitely hard stuff on it, but I felt like we’d done fairly well, considering that we’d never taken a test together before. We also worked really well together.
  • We end up leaving the room slightly early–about 3 or so minutes early. I head off to Cell Bio (for the second time!) while S is able to get a break, after her 7 events all day.
  • 3.50-Back in the lab. I can’t find N. Don’t know where he is. The hallway is fairly deserted. Don’t know what’s going on, but I do know that there’s going to be Cell Bio. Sit down on one of their fluffy benches and texts Mr/Mrs C about anatomy.
  • 3.52-N shows up, as well as multiple other people.
  • 3.55-The proctor comes out again, this time without the other helper person–she’s staying inside, keeping the door open. He hands out the test papers for the second time, apologizes profusely, then admits us into the lab. I notice for the first time that he’s from the school that will most likely beat us.
  • 4.00-We start the test. As expected, I know literally nothing about the test nor anything ON the test whatsoever. N carries the test. I carry his googles and calculator and the notesheet.
  • N’s bad at remembering slight stuff, like names of scientists. I knew this…but didn’t take time to actually study it. Who ‘discovered’ nitrogen base pairing? No idea. What’s the name of the liquid that comes off a centrifuged pellet? No idea either. THIS ISN’T HARD–THIS STUFF IS REALLY EASY. (We’re probably all tested out and thus seem extremely stupid).
  • Since I’m not taking the test, N’s hard pressed for time. He also thinks fairly slowly, so it’s hard for him to write everything.
  • There’s this one question about evolution that I’m like BOOM, only I’m not sure how to read the diagram😄
  • Who’s CALLING ME? It’s dad, presumably to figure out where I’m at. I didn’t tell anyone where I was going, mainly because I didn’t go back to the homeroom between Cell Bio, trial 1, and Anatomy. I did tell Mr/Mrs C, and Mrs. D. If they’re meeting together, then they should be able to notify them.
  • The hour passes SO quickly–we’re at the last station before I thought it was possible.
  • 4.45-We finish the test. We did lose a lot of points on this one, mainly because  I wasn’t able to help out.
  • 4.48-N’s packing up–the proctor comes over to us and asks “So…how many times have you been to Nationals…?” Hee, awkward. (Kinda, not really).He says that his team is eager to beat us. I say that his team probably WILL beat us.
  • 4.50-N heads to the bathroom to wash his hands. His dad’s there, with Chipotle. They’re going to eat together, so I head back to the homeroom.
  • 5.00-Walk in on the team meeting. (That was slightly weird, considering how everyone turned around and stared at me, hee). Mr. C is going over how the day went.
  • 5.15-Breaks up. Everyone grabs stuff and goes to their car.
  • 5.20-We reach our car. Dad’s not there. Should we go to Chipotle? We don’t HAVE to–we still have food in our car, thanks to mom’s meticulous packing of food that doesn’t usually get eaten. Try calling him. There’s no signal in the underground parking garage.
  • 5.25-Dad shows up finally. We decide to go to Chipotle.
  • 5.35-FINALLY arrives at Chipotle. The line is SO LONG. We find a seat and sit down, mom+dad goes gets food.
  • 5.40-Goes over to where couple of my friends are. We talk about something (probably really stupid, don’t remember what though).
  • 5.45-We get food. Most everyone else has gotten food already.
  • 6.15-We finally finish eating. Everyone’s left already, some time ago.
  • 6.20-Start walking back on campus. Mom’s and my legs are done for. D+P are still jumping around. They run ahead to the awards ceremony place.
  • 6.35-Reach the gym thingie where the awards are being held. The bleacher things aren’t pulled out yet, so everyone’s sitting on the floor.
  • 6.40-The bleachers are pulled out. Everyone migrates unto the bleachers. So many people, so little legroom. Mrs. C’s sitting behind me–I ask if I can lean on her knees, since my back is pretty much done.
  • 6.45-They “start” the awards ceremony, basically having to thank all the proctors, people who’re important, all that. They introduce the people handing out awards–AS is one of them. Our team cheers when they introduce her.😄
  • 7.00-Officially start handing out awards.
  • 7.05-Anatomy C is third event in. Nope, not fifth; nope, not fourth; nope, not third; ehh, I think we’re done; nope, not second; WAIT A SECOND HOW DID WE GET FIRST?! NO WAY THATS POSSIBLE THAT CANT BE HAPPENING. Woah. That’s a nice start to the awards ceremony. If we continue to do this well….
  • Didn’t medal in ExD. (But we thought we did fairly well…apparently not)
  • 4th in Chem Lab–I ALWAYS get 4th in Chem events…2 4ths last year in CJAP as well. If I’d had AS as my partner, then I’d have done way better, I swear.
  • 3rd in Cell Bio. Hmm okey. Not much to say about that one–I literally did NOTHING.
  • D got 1st in BOTH Air T and Fossils–the hours he spent calibrating Air T paid off…and the food that was used to bribe D+G into studying also paid off.
  • I use steal MM’s phone to text BF. People with smartphones (pretty much everyone) tease me about my not being able to type on a smart phone. I retort that my phone has buttons, so I actually know what I’m pushing, rather than a ‘slidey glass thingie’. I also ‘fix’ CZ’s new phone, turning the keyboard into something that actually texts, instead of spitting out words for you.
  • I text CF results of his events–MM’s taking care of the rest.
  • So many events, so many medals. Not as many medals as ‘usual’…there’s also lots of ‘smaller’ schools getting medals, which is neat. MS rival school is about tied with MS team, HS team is about 20 or so points behind rival school. It’s going to be cool to see how well people (particularly ours) do.
  • The events we thought were going to fail, did. The events we thought we could have done well at, did (most of the time). The events that probably did well, did…most of the time (Take ED as an example). It’s going to be really close.
  • They try to kill more time. It’s gotta be close, if they’re recounting and counting the scores.
  • 8.20-MIDDLE SCHOOL IS GOING TO NATIONALS!!!! Middle School folks are mixture of excited, nervous, stressed, and annoyed. They surprised everyone–no one thought they would be able to make it.
  • 8.25-But we aren’t. It got to have been close, though. Surprisingly, I’m really caught up in the moment or something, because I’m not stunned or anything. I feel a sense of extreme peace.
  • General chaos (aka picture taking). Go get trophy, team pictures, team pictures, partner pictures, pictures with people who aren’t your partners, pictures by yourself, pictures of you with people from other teams, pictures of you with your siblings, pictures of you with people in your homeschool group, pictures, pictures, pictures, pictures, all around. Go over and congratulate other schools, the ones who are going to Nationals, and those who aren’t.
  • 9.00 (or so, who knows)-MR C HAS RESULTS!! WE GOT 6TH IN ED–AND WE LOST AS A TEAM BY 5….it’s probably my fault that we won’t make Nationals then. Middle school team won by 1 point.
  • 9.08-We congregate out in the hallway. We call people who weren’t there and sing to them. Bathroom runs. Stand around talking about how much more I could have done to ‘save’ our team. Everyone is trying to claim blame that they did it. As aforementioned, though, I’m not sad that we’re not going. The MS team is going; hopefully I’ll get to tag along.
  • 9.15-Walk out to the garage with RC and AS. Try to convince AS to come back to the team. Tell them about my gas lab. They both agree that it is outrageous.
  • 9.25-Starts trip home. Texts C about how the day went. He was SO supportive of everything throughout–he’d make an AWESOME partner…too bad that I won’t ever be his partner. (I mean, I was his partner for ED, but it wasn’t one-on-one partnership. Getting to do Anatomy with him would be really cool).
  • 10.30- Arrives home. Eats food.
  • 11-Skype messages TJN about how the day went, and about the crazy Cell Bio experience.
  • Generally uses internet, waiting for the results to be sent out. Mrs. C said at 11.29 that Mr. C was scanning the thingie…but he doesn’t send it out until 12.

So there you have it! My <not> short day in my life! If you made it all the way to here, kudos to you. My life isn’t that interesting. I swear SciOly days are pretty much the funnest two/three days of my life, period.



What is…Science Olympiad?

As part of my bio, I mention that I’m on a Science Olympiad team, and quite a few people have questions as to what Science Olympiad is, especially recently, as the start of the school year looms and people have to choose their extracurricular activities.

It’s one of those things that doesn’t make any sense at all when you hear about it, but makes all the sense in the world once you get it. First off, it’s a competition that includes events that spans across almost all fields of science- Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Earth Science, and all that. There are 23 different events, most with cool names such as “Mission Possible” (y’know, from Mission IMpossible?), “Wright Stuff (which, non-surprisingly, involves airplanes), or “Can’t Judge a Powder”.

For each of the 23 events, a pair of students from each team will represent their respective school.  So no student has to go into an event by themselves, which removes some (in my case, most) of the ‘test’ pressure.  Schools mix up the event pairings, so that the students work with a variety of event partners, trying to best utilize the students’ skills and interests for a good overall outcome.  

There are several different types of events. First of all, building events are where competitors design and construct a, well, thing, to achieve a specific goal in compliance with the building guidelines. These generally take the most time, since both the construction time and the calibration time need to be taken into account. In this upcoming 2015-2016 season, a couple of the building events include-

  • Air Trajectory- An event where competitors build a device designed to launch a projectile a certain (unknown) distance. They don’t know what the distance will be until the reach the competition, so they have to practice every distance possible.
  • Bridge Building- Where competitors design a bridge that is most efficient (that is, lightest), and holds the most weight.

Lab events are events that involve a lab. A few different lab events include Crime Busters (only for Middle School), where competitors attempt to identify substances in order to solve who committed the crime at a crime scene, or Can’t Judge a Powder (also in Middle School), where competitors attempt to make all the observations possible in a short amount of time about a certain powder, then complete a test based on the observations made.

Identification events, or ID events, are events where teammates learn to identify around 100 different types of specimens, in a specific topic. After learning how to identify them, they learn facts about the specimens and prepare to take a test based on their knowledge. This year, the ID events are Fossils and Invasive Species, both with 90+ different types of specimens to identify.

Lastly, there are simply study events, where teammates study a topic, such as Anatomy, Astronomy, or Simple Machines, and then take a test based on their knowledge.

All of these events take at least 100 hours of practice time EACH, so someone with 3 events needs to spend at least 300 hours on Science Olympiad in order to do well.

I’m not sure how different schools choose events, but for our school, we submit a list of events to our coach (who knows the schedule on competition day) and he places you in both events that you want and that most logically fits the schedule.

Each individual student usually competes in 3-5 events.  There are individual awards given for the top few placements in each of the 23 events, plus overall team awards.  The overall team ranking is based on the placement on each event, 1 point for 1st place, say, and 10 points for a 10th place…so low score wins for the overall team award.

For competitions, there is first a “Regionals” meet around mid/end of March. The qualifiers from Regionals will move on to States, usually around mid-March. If you do SUPER really well, then you get to move on to Nationals, which a different college hosts each year. There are also invitationals, which are small competitions that are held so that competitors can get the gist of the competition.

So one of my favorite parts is the cool social aspect about the whole thing. Now when people generally hear about SciOly, they go “Oh, is that some sort of nerdy thing that you do and is super hard?”…..but what I love is that there is an awesome social thing to the whole thing. (IDK about schools generally, but from what I’ve heard and experienced, both from my “school” and from others, it’s almost always a great social thing as well, unless you’re bound and determined to hate the program. :P)

Science Olympiad is really a big time drain (this is very much emphasized!!!!), especially during tournament season, which is about February/March/April. Before tournament season, our team spends at least 15 hours a week studying/in transit (for Science Olympiad causes, i.e. to partner’s houses, extra meetings, practice places, etc). During tournament season, it ups to about 20/25 hours. Of course, the people with more events have to spend more time on their events. ID events and building events generally take the most time, ID events because all the specimens have to be learned and identified, building events because the calibration takes, simply, a ridiculous amount of time.

I believe that most of the reason that I love Science Olympiad so much is because of my awesome coach. XD He coaches three teams altogether- a middle school team, a backup middle school team, and a high school team. He manages to take even preferences and schedules for three different teams (up to 45 people!!) combine them in the best way possible to make everyone happy. Other than that, he is just a great person that I love to work with and look up to. His entire family (and extended family!!) is great too. 🙂 

To close off, Science Olympiad is wonderful….and I totally recommend everyone doing it. However, it does take an outlandish amount of time….and is very frustrating at times. It’s totally awesome…and you make lots of friends while at it, while also learning a lot. It is SO much fun, I love it, and it is perfect for someone with too much time on their hands.

Some good links to check out are-

Screenshot (25)

2015 Regionals || Science Olympiad

Night before:

  • Writes out a list of building events to watch.
  • Highlights own event on schedule- don’t want to miss any!!
  • Packs stuff into backpack. Eh..with my events, there seriously isn’t anything I have to bring. I pack-
  1. Knitting
  2. Speedcube
  3. Cellphone (heh, all-important)
  4. Rules
  5. Calculator, just in case someone needs it- certainly not me!
  6. Extra pencils, just in case someone else needs them. I don’t!
  7. Schedule of the day.
  • Texts Air T partner about impound.
  • Goes to bed at 10:30-ish


  • Gets up really really early (err, or so it seems- 6:40, judge for yourself).
  • Packs lunch- a yogurt, a plum, cucumber and celery sticks, and a trail mix bag. (No sandwich/real food. XP)
  • Leaves the house with dad yelling, “You want to get there at 8? You’d better have left 15 minutes ago!” (It’s 7:15).
  • Drives. Am very tired and so does not do “anything productive”, thought judging by the stuff I packed, nothing is “really productive.” 😛
  • Arrives. Gets dropped off in front of impound building, although partner is still at the homeroom….
  • Runs over to the homeroom (it’s not very far), and finds that partner, T, can’t because her dad wants her to stay in the homeroom until he comes back.
  • Goes to impound (at chemistry) and waits for 10 minutes for the proctor to show up. Eventually, proctor shows up and says to “Just put it off somewhere where it won’t get in the way.”
  • Goes back to homeroom (at plant science) for team meeting before day starts. Everybody’s excited today, so it takes quite some time.
  • Goes to watch WV at the chemistry building. A team (includes T) gets two runs in, but B team (includes D, my brother) only gets in one, because of fogged up goggles.
  • Watches Air T just outside the WV room. This procter isn’t pointing right (causing grading differences)!?!
  • Goes back to homeroom to meet Bottle R partner, K (from helicopters last year) then to parking garage to get rockets.
  • Walks out to field where they’re launching Bottle Rockets…it’s really really reallycold!!
  • WITW…the people running Bottle Rockets don’t have a funnel for us to use?! Half the water that people are trying to get into their bottle is leaking off to the side….Also, their launching mechanism is attached to the ground, causing more water to spill out…AACK how are we supposed to know how much water we’re going to need to put in?
  • Watches the B team from our school launch theirs. The wind’s soooo strong! R’s rocket gets pushed down withing 10 seconds.
  • OOH N (also on the B team) gets his rocket caught in an air current, and it doesn’t come down until 15+ seconds!
  • Runs our rockets. K’s gets pushed down, like R’s. I just happen to launch mine during relatively calm period of no wind, and the rocket stays up for ~15 seconds! Yey!!
  • Watches Bottle Rockets for some more time, with me complaining of the cold and R complaining of the mud. Eventually heads back to the homeroom after seeing people trying to get pictures of our rockets.
  • Goes back to the homeroom and tries to warm up. Starts eating lunch (it’s 11:20). Finds out that T has the same schedule as I do (we have events at the same times- different events, same time slots). (From now on, practically everything I do is with T)
  • Runs down to chemistry building with T to find Mrs. C (the coach’s wife). When we get to where D (her son) is in his event, she’s not there. Another mom from our team says she went somewhere else…so we go there. She’s not there either. We eventually find her (in the home room getting D’s lunch), and we go and map out D’s next event with her.
  • Returns to chemistry building with T and Mrs. C to wait for D. She gets into a conversation with some lady from another school about career choices.
  • T and I leave, nominally to go to Air, which is at 12:45, the first time slot. We both agree that we should watch some other people’s launches before we launch, just so we know how they’re running the event for the middle school (We already know it’s messed up for the high school).
  • Gets to where Air T is being run…and no one’s there!! Decide to head back to homeroom for a few minutes to get the graphs (which we forgot to bring with us to the chemistry building).
  • We meet Mrs. C, D, and M (my partner from R&M last year) going to their next event together. Tries to convinced Mrs. C to watch Air T with us. Dad calls, sounding panicked, although he’s been sounding panicked all day…:P. He says that the event’s running, and that we should get there ASAP.
  • Brings D’s kit from his lab event back to the homeroom for him- saves Mrs. C a trip! I also pick up the CJAP bin to save myself a trip. 😛
  • D and M go into their event. We go to where Air T is being held along with a bunch of people from our team and watch.
  • Mrs. C comes to watch, and T and I get ready to go. The two of us pray together before walking into the event.
  • Set up our device (asking the proctors a bunch of questions…making sure we don’t make any rule violations with the weird rules that they’ve been using today).
  • Runs Air T. Makes randoms joke about “Even if you didn’t learn anything today, at least you learned to count to 10!” (One of our variables has to do with chain links, and T and I both double check the chain count…counting to 10 twice each per launch)
  • Both 1st and 2nd shots are respectable- coming within 1 foot of the target each time. We get to do a bucket shot!!
  • Bring the device back to T’s car. T takes off right away for her next event, which is some distance away. I go and report to Mr. C (the coach), who is judging bridges. He’s really concerned at first, having heard about the weird judging/rule interpretation, but I convince him that we did it the “right” way and got max points possible.
  • Heads over to the CJAP room and meets A (CJAP partner from last year). Gets ready to go into event and talks about A’s show that I’d like to go to tonight.
  • Goes into lab. Starts making observations…in bad handwriting…Eh. Hey, at least I remember everything I wanted to write down! (I hope. XP). WTH…they don’t have a balance for us to use? Oh well…use “1 scoopful” instead.
  • Darndarndarn Missed the last “needed” one just as time is called…hope that it’s not important…
  • Starts test part. YUSHIE we got everything that we should. WOWIEWOWIE Gibbs’ free energy? A and I (who are classmates in the same chemistry class) just did a exam yesterday on Gibbs’ free energy!!
  • A and I get into a mini debate about whether Gibbs’ is spelled Gibbs’ or Gibb’s. #grammarnerds
  • Darndarn I do need the one observation I didn’t get. Oh well. I think we did well all the same. A needs to leave- she’s performing in a show later on tonight (The awards ceremony is cancelled anyways).
  • Returns to homeroom. THE RESULTS ARE OUT!! A dad pulled it up on his computer, but we convince him not to look at them until the whole team is together. The only one that we got to see is the high school fossils event- they got 1st!!
  • Goes with T (who’s out of her event too), N (one of the high school fossils people), RC, and a few others back to the chemistry building to watch the high school Scrambler. N meets E (her fossils partner) and tells her. E is so excited she bursts into tears.
  • Owhnoh! They have a building violation AND they forgot to bring duct tape!! E is pinch-hitting for someone else, so honestly, she doesn’t quite know what she’s supposed to do…
  • They spend half of their 8 minutes fixing the violation and end up replacing the ducttape with a piece of string. They only get in 1 run though…:(
  • Returns to homeroom- we have to leave early too, since I want to go to A’s show.
  • Leaves. On the way home, frantically text Mrs. C and T to see whether or not the results are out yet. YEY!! Got good placings!!
  • Goes home and goes to the show along with another SciOly family (with like 8 kids). I must be tired- I keep making stupid jokes about them and their big family…XP.

2014 Nationals || Science Olympiad

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.

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.

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.

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.

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…