Monday, March 27, 2017

2017 Week 12: Spring is here!

 And with spring come flowers and milder weather conducive to outdoor enjoyment; robotics competitions, and even ice carving events.

Spring break ended before the official arrival of spring. Students questioned whether it should be called winter break instead. "Aren't we due a spring break?" Good try. But, no, classes resumed Monday, and with a chapter test!

A surprise awaited in the mail--a handwritten card (always a delight!) with a photo from some 50 years ago. I wish I could remember what happened to that accordion.

Many other memories and images from even further back are stirred as I read "Aunt Margaret's" letters. I may not have mentioned yet that when I go to see Mother in Grace Village, she and I visit her dear friend and neighbor, also former fellow missionary and neighbor in the first town they lived in--La Carlota.
Margaret wrote such detailed letters to her family, some handwritten, but most typed single spaced on both sides of onion-skin paper. The entire collection was recently returned to her and she is slowly perusing them. She writes about life in the 15-room house they shared with our family in 1950.
This diagram and her detailed descriptions brought back many images from my early childhood.

I had to beg Aunt Margaret to let me read her letters. Now I look forward to a new installment each time. Then I scan and make copies of these treasured documents and pour over them throughout the intervening couple weeks.

Tuesday, I had a little visitor. We went for a walk, but Rebecca was determined to turn it into a run.

"Run, abuela."
Michael was very focused all week on preparing for the second district competition. Thursday afternoon the drive team went ahead to Indianapolis with Spitfire, the robot, carefully packed with all their tools and equipment, ready to set up their pit and begin competing the next morning.

Friday, after several appointments, I watched all of their qualifying matches online. 1720 only lost one out of nine and made the first highest score of the day.

The game this year is quite complicated. During the game gears--hung on a peg, hoisted by the pilot, positioned and rotated--accrue the most points.  Then in the last 30 seconds robots that grab and climb their rope receive another 50 points. Fuel (yellow balls) delivered (shot) into the boilers are worth very little, but can serve to break a tie, as in this very first match.

Michael came home that night and I went along Saturday to experience the event in person.

From my perspective
The following photos I borrowed from the team 1720's Facebook page.

I especially watched (and prayed for) the drive team--operator, coach, driver (pictured below in that order), a pilot up in the airship, and a human player delivering gears.

Drive team saluting when they are presented
It was a good day. Once again we were #4 in the alliance-selection line up. However, the #1 team invited us to join their alliance. We heard later that 1720 was the top choice on all three lists because Spitfire was the only robot that could place a gear and throw fuel into the boiler during automated mode.

The girl reps from teams 71 and 1720 chose 1529, the Cybercards, to partner with them. Their mascot cardinal represented the team. This alliance had a fun cheer leader who had them huddle together, gave them a pep talk, and then as a group use each team's unique salute in turn.

It was a very close competition with some tired robots, and we came in second. We also received a presitigious award.

The same day, Stephan and his ice carving partner got second place for their owl and squirrel sculpture--Survival: Furry Flurry.

See more here: Long John Jamboree Yellowknife Ice Festival.

Then today, Sunday, we had a second March-family-birthday celebration, but those pictures will have to wait till next week. It's late. Good night!

1 comment:

The Bug said...

That Rebecca looks so DETERMINED in that picture - so cute! (probably not the effect she was going for)

Congrats to everyone on their efforts!