Friday, we won the Team Spirit award (I helped with that ;o) ), then there was the afterparty which was Unbelieveable!!! There was karaoke (I did House Of The Rising Sun as a solo, then Katie H. and I nailed Bohemian Rhapsody with help from backup dancers Amal, McKenna and Larry) I played cards with mechanical mentors Rosanne and Rohan, then got pushed around on the dance floor by my lovely Katie M (She is the most aggressive dancer I have ever met!).
Saturday came, and we were selected for the 3rd place alliance for the quarterfinals.
Afterwards, I, along with some other lovelies led the regional in the Macarena. (This was a Spirit award perk : D ).
Later, we got knocked out of semi-finals, but it didn't end there.
Tess, my best friend in the whole world, won the Dean's List award. We have been best friends since we were only 3 years old. I never once dreamed that this could be possible, and I can't express just how proud I am of her. (That's a lie, I actually could express. I was crying like an idiot for about an hour after the regional)
All-in all, there was never a dull moment this year, at FLR.
Blogger Mady (taken with permission from Mady's Facebook page)
Mission: Infiltrate the Montreal Regional Competition and win the Chairman's Award.
It's competitions like this one, with all of these amazing teams, that really reminds you what FIRST is all about. Yeah, we're building robots, but we're also building character, knowledge, and experience. Sure, we're a robotics team, but we're also a group of amazing students and mentors, and above all else: an incredible family. We might accidentally break a thing or two on the robot, but we will always be breaking down the barriers and stereotypes around us. We didn't just win an award, we earned it (I'm hugging it as I write), and I couldn't be more proud of our students (especially our Chairman's presenters: Amal, KT, and Philippe).
We ended the Qualification Matches in 7th place, which was a huge step up from ranking in the low 40s the morning before (Go pit crew! Zack, McKenna, Geoff, Carolyn, Hannah, and Alyssa did an amazing job of fixing up the robot). The 3rd highest ranked team asked us to join their alliance, making us the 2nd ranked alliance. We lost in the Quarter Finals, but kudos to our drive team (Chris, Elliot, Manual, and Amal) for putting on such a great performance. Not just any robot or drive team can get themselves into a position for forming an alliance.
I couldn't be more proud of such an amazing team. You guys are so fantastic that it's incredibly difficult to find just the right words to express it. But I guess there really is no perfect way to put it, that's how great you all are. I know I could do my best to try to and word how I feel, but it would make me feel guilty for not being able to truly represent the tenacity and thunderous chutzpah of this team. Maybe being so blown away that I'm left speechless is actually a good way to show what it's like to be surrounded by these amazing students. But I promise you, there is no group of people that I'd rather be around than FIRST Team 1511 Rolling Thunder. They are my friends, my family, and some of the greatest, most admirable human beings I have ever met.
06:23- Hotel has a free breakfast, complete with Canadian bacon (err... just bacon, I guess) and fantastic syrup. Meanwhile, our team captain is helping a few little girls make waffles. Adorable!
07:44- We ended up walking to the wrong entrance and back when we got to the Stade Uniprix (Translation: Uniprix Stadium). It’s -2 outside right now…
Quote of the day, "1511 with our ratchet RC puller!"
Many of us cannot feel our hands or faces. Why did we come to a regional competition where the air would hurt our faces? How we love you, Canada.
08:43- Apparently the police here are on strike, but of course necessary positions such as firefighters, police, etc. are not allowed to actually strike, so instead they are wearing red camo pants to draw attention to their cause.
Seriously, we've just entered the venue (which is really flashy and swaggy) and several people have mentioned our pants or asked us if we were the police. This trip should be fairly interesting...
08:49- I made the mistake of looking right into the colorful flashing lights above the field. They’re pretty sweet, but they hurt my eyes after a while.
10:59- Went with the Chairman's crew to watch them practice. They're absolutely, positively fantastic! We are definitely a top contender for this award.
Also went to explore the pits a bit and meet some of the teams. So much French here, but I'm not worried. It should make for a fun and different experience than what the team is used to. New experiences, that’s what FIRST is all about. Cheesy, huh?
12:25- Had our 1st practice match. Looks like we're starting off a little shaky, but that's ok. After all, this is what practice is for.
14:08- We went through the pits and handed out the Personal Recognition Award packets to each team. Almost half of them either didn't speak English or spoke very little, but Philippe was with us to help translate. We met a lot of great people and so many impressive teams! Several of them were even excited to meet a team from Rochester.
For the rest of the day we continued on with a few more shaky practice matches. We stayed at the stadium a bit late for pit crew to fix the robot, so we should be better off tomorrow during the Qualification Matches. It will be fantastic to watch our robot in full on competition mode tomorrow! Drive team and pit crew: Stay awesome, and good luck!
06:54- Guess what day it is?? HUMP DAY!!!!
In other words: Today is the day we leave for Montreal!!
07:31- I have forgotten my lady-bug pillow pet this morning...
All is lost.
08:02- I can't help but count down each minute of my class. I'm just too excited to leave, especially because the maths of trig hurt my brain.
09:57- You guys cannot comprehend how pumped up we are. It's almost a bit overwhelming, but in an encouraging way.
11:28- Less than an hour left before we leave. I am too much of a teenage girl for this, I just can't even anymore.
12:44- We have successfully infiltrated les parent’s cars and are on our way towards Canada! Everyone was bouncing off the walls after we grabbed our stuff, partially because we get to miss a third of the school day, but mostly because: MONTREAL!
14:29- I fell asleep. Are we at the border yet?
15:23- The cars had to pull over at a gas station to refuel. We went into the store there, and inside were these concrete basins filled with hundreds and hundreds of live fish! There were young pike, bass, etc. that were being sold as bait. They were all so adorable!! I might have lost it a bit back there. Only a bit.
I really like fishies...
15:30- Just crossed one of the Thousand Islands Bridges. It was absolutely gorgeous! It's a steep drive up since it arches way up in the sky (a cruise ship could pass underneath). As we drove across it we could look down the water for miles in each direction. Sections of it were still frozen on the black water, and the vibrant color of the evergreens against the snow looked absolutely spectacular!
15:53- Stopped to exchange currency near the border. Canadian dollars look like Monopoly money...
16:14- Nous sommes en Canada! We made it through customs and have officially crossed the border. The car groups were switched up a bit and then we drove across the second Thousand Islands Bridge. We got to enjoy another view of the islands that seemed to float on the glittering water. What a stunning welcome to this wonderful land of kilometers and Monopoly money.
18:47- Just saw a road sign with a crossed out image of a stick-figure standing on a bike seat. What kind of world are we getting ourselves into...?
21:04- We went to a restaurant called "Jack Astor's" (yeah, we giggled too) for dinner. We ate some good food, drew some funny pictures, and then checked into the hotel for the night.
Guess what today is! It’s the LAST DAY BEFORE WE LEAVE FOR MONTREAL! Who’s excited??! We are! Tomorrow, half the team is leaving for Montreal, Canada. Thursday, the rest of the team comes up to join the others! In fact, one of our alumni is coming back to volunteer at the event to help cheer us on! (That’s Mo!) Today, we are surrounded by the busiest day of the season – even busier than the last day of build season! It’s true! Because tomorrow, for only the second time in our team history, we leave our country for a regional. (KT)
We are PUMPED!! Not only is competition season super exciting, but the hotel has a pool! Yeah, we totally understand the important things in life. We are also heading to a ‘Sugar Shack’ for dinner one night. They have a special dish there called ‘head cheese’. A.K.A: PIG BRAINS. Several of us shall venture forth into the unknown, and slightly sketchy, world of Canadian cuisine. Some of us may not survive, but the rest shall prevail. Wish us the best of luck. (Katie M.)
Haha, don’t worry Katie. I’m sure the brains won’t be that bad . . . we are planning on splitting a dish. (KT)
Hey, it’s the only food that can think about you while you’re eating it. (Katie M.)
Hmm . . . that sounds slightly worrying. Oh well. NOW. Are you prepared for competition? We’ve spent the past week in full, high gear getting ready for this. EXACT. MOMENT!!!!! (KT)
So farewell to all of you, and to all a goodnight! PEACE OUT!!!! : D (Katie M.)
Welcome to the blog of Rolling Thunder, FIRST Robotics team 1511. The team is from Penfield High School in Penfield, New York and mainly sponsored by Harris Corp. To find out more about the team and FIRST, please visit the Who We Are page.