Tuesday, April 30, 2019

2019 FIRST World Competition-Detroit

Only a few of these beauties were left when we got back from our days away at the FIRST World Championship in Detroit. My memoir writing moments were few as well. Yet the focus of this blog remains--memories and memorable moments. It is a record of memories that surfaced during the week, whether directly related to the period I am currently writing about or the highlights to be remembered.

Monday, April 22 was my uncle Dan's 101 birthday. Of the six hirschy siblings, only two remain.

Phil, Grandma Hirschy, Mother, Dan
My latino friends from our Doulos days and I have been following the visit of the newer ship, the Logos Hope, to the ports we remember fondly from forty years ago. Someone posted this old photo from 1981 in Buenos Aires. I couldn't find our family, most likely because we took time off to be with my parents and brothers who still lived in Argentina.

A drone view of our old home appeared on facebook today--Doulos Phos Anchor Isle, now a resort, hotel, and museum.

April 24 was Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day. Last week I wrote about Michael and Bob Craton's experience one memorable Resurrection Sunday in Eastern Turkey and the stories they heard about that event in history.

PhyXTGears headed to nationals after big season
Wednesday we left very early for Detroit. Michael always drives the team trailer to competitions. Our friend Donna Banker met us in the long line of team vehicles waiting for their turn to unload. She took me to the COBO Center Detroit where I picked up all the name badges for the team.

After delivering them to Michael, we took off for some time together. She took me on a beautiful drive along the shore to a very good eatery--the Nautical Deli.

We had a lovely time together before she drove me back into Detroit to the church that hosted the team for four days. Donna was very brave to deal with the complexities of city traffic and very generous to travel 30 or 40 minutes both ways to spend that time with me. Last night she wrote from the hospital asking for prayer-- what she thought was heartburn turned out to be A-fib, so we are praying for her.

I was in time to meet the team and proceed with them to the People Mover station. We used public transportation the whole time we were there to go back and forth to COBO, to the showers at the YMCA, to the Rennassaince Center for evening meals and other events.

I like newspapers, even the 19th century bronze one at the station.

The two days of qualifying matches were spent in the stands cheering for our team, . . .

Team 1720 drive team at their station, lower left.

. . . or in the PhyXTGears pit checking/fixing the robot--Space Walrus, . . .

. . . or walking around the ginormous convention center checking out different areas such as the Innovation Center exhibits, the FLL pits (FIRST Lego League) from so many different countries, various workshops, and more. I earned my first Urban Boot Badge--a Fitbit award for steps achieved! One day alone I got in 19,639 steps! Ha!

On one of those walks with Michael we saw this jet engine which triggered a memory from when he was in college at John Brown University. There happened to be a jet engine down the hill from the campus. His roommate Jack Roberts was running for student body president and they decided on the theme: Jet away with Jack! Six guys attempted to move the enormous engine up to campus and failed. That night, around 1:30 a.m.,  Michael and one other guy, only two of them, figured out a way. Leveraging it onto skids, they dragged the engine up the hill with a truck. The skids suffered the most, worn down to 1" thickness. He can't remember whether Jack won or not. Ha!

I think grandson Elijah (14) enjoyed t/his FIRST event--407 teams from 70 countries playing on six different fields or subdivisions; thousands of people, lots of noise; a whole lot to experience.

Friday evening FIRST arranged for an entertainment option--opening night of The Avengers! There was another option--Robo Prom. Four of our students chose that, and we went as chaperones! Ha!
Kaylee is our only senior on the team. 
Two seniors ;-)
We have a younger group this year, a great bunch of kids.
It's great to follow the alums of the program. We met up with one young man who now helps out with another robotics team while he is a student at Purdue.

Garret and his mom

His team was in a different subdivision. Surprisingly, though they were ranked 13th, they did not get picked in alliance selection. Hard to believe that it was the end for them.

On the other hand, Team 1720 ended up 23 out of 68 and was picked as the fourth or alternate team by Alliance # 2. Competition was tight, defense was brutal and we lost by two points in a rubber match.

Archimedes Alliance #2
Interestingly, the alliance that beat us ended up losing to the champions by one point!

So, why do we do this? I think the following poster says it all.

1 comment:

  1. So close! And so many steps! It sounds like a valuable experience for everyone.

    P.S. Hope your friend is ok!


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