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Unread 03-31-2012, 08:23 PM
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JaneYoung JaneYoung is offline
Onward through the fog.
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Where Do - You - Find Inspiration?

This is a question that has been rumbling around in my head for a couple of days wanting to become a thread in CD. I began posting some photos of my team's Bayou Regional experience in a Facebook photo album last night and I realized that little moments and large moments were filled with inspiration. Moments that may be hidden from view or that don't make the CD headlines, the local newspapers, or the school announcements. But ... those moments happened and their inspiration is lasting in ways that will continue to impact the person or people involved - for years to come.

Where do you find inspiration?

Jane
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Unread 03-31-2012, 08:38 PM
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Re: Where Do - You - Find Inspiration?

A much shorter response would be to the prompt, "Where don't you find inspiration?"

As it is, if I were to fully answer your question, we'd all be asleep soon.
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Unread 03-31-2012, 09:04 PM
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Re: Where Do - You - Find Inspiration?

I find it from the moment I step out of the car and onto the pavement at the parking lot at a competition and its a continuous flow until about four days after the competition is over.
But, Im sure youre looking for something a little bit more specific, so Ill share a couple of really special inspiring moments....
First...
Success! This year is my first year actually going through the six week build season and it was always really great to achieve something. Anything. It could be as simple as following the instructions to put a gearbox together. At the end of it, I had something that I could take a lot of pride in. As the season continued, bigger things gave even greater rewards. Like the first time we turned our robot on I could not stop smiling. I was so happy that the electronics all worked, and that the frame was sturdy, and so on. Every moment of something getting done and working the way we wanted it to was inspiring. Then came competitions, where we first had no real success, but found our way through the challenges...And every time we take a shot and get those points, I get excited, or every time we pull off any kind of balance, the inspiration just flows in.

Second...
My dad and I were talking about the whole structure of FIRST and what FIRST means on the way home one day this weekend, and it hit me like a sack of bricks. The key to having good relationships with all of the teams at an event is to treat them like human beings. Some would call this Gracious Professionalism, but i have been thinking of it as treating everyone like a person. Ive had about three bad experiences with teams this year, and in each case it is because another team has treated my team and myself with very little dignity. I felt like a dog being told to do tricks by a harsh master. But what I realized was that when I talked to other teams and I spoke to them about who they were, what they were good at, how can I help, etc, the whole process was a lot smoother. We didnt always win, thats for sure, but there is nothing that makes me happier than when I walk through the pits and there are team members literally running up to me and taking a real, genuine interest in how my team is doing. Sure, its important to be doing very well with regards to scores and points and all the technical stuff, and I would never discount that, but that does not change the fact that all of us out there are human beings. And all it takes to bring out the best we have in ourselves is to treat each other that way. It took three FIRST regionals to really and truly show me that, and I cannot thank Dean Kamen and FIRST enough for it.
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Unread 03-31-2012, 09:53 PM
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Re: Where Do - You - Find Inspiration?

That's easy, from the kids I mentor.
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Unread 03-31-2012, 11:37 PM
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Re: Where Do - You - Find Inspiration?

I personally find inspiration primarily where I notice extreme differences.

Extreme differences to me happen when I notice a significant change in someone's life. Back when I participated in the Palmetto Regional in 2009, there was a quest speaker with an artificial leg speaking about his experience. I found his speech absolutely touching. He spoke about the importance of STEM, and how it impacted him personally; he then proceeded to reveal his artificial limb, and the whole crowd cheered in response. I found the artificial limb quite intriguing, as I had no idea he had it before he mentioned it. This moment inspired me to pursue a further interest in robotics and mechanics. It gave me that "spark", if you will.

Another happening that sparked my interest in robotics and mechanics came out of serendipity and from a rather odd location. Back in my early high school career, I watched a television show because my friend wanted me to. The protagonist was a young adult of science who lost two limbs in his experiments. His friend constructed robotic arms for the protagonist, which is what sparked my interest. It was just amazing to see how realistic they looked (sometimes, I forget that they we're even fake). I know it is science fiction, but inspiration can come from places like that; Inspiration can be found in the most peculiar locations.
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Unread 04-01-2012, 12:08 AM
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Re: Where Do - You - Find Inspiration?

My answer will be simple as I am short on time at the moment:

I find inspiration from Dean, from people I meet, from my students, from other teachers, from reading and writing grant proposals (and hopefully awards), from the school principal (my boss), from our district's CTE coordinator, from my work in college, from what I thought was cool when I was a kid, from random piles of junk, from anything...

The better question is as mentioned above, where don't you find it?

Or what about, "Where have you find inspiration that was in a place you never would have considered or imagined?"
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Unread 04-04-2012, 07:23 PM
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Re: Where Do - You - Find Inspiration?

Jane, this one is easy. The students. The mentors. The challenges brought to us by the competition and all the craziness that goes with them. We brainstorm, prototype, design, redesign, redesgn, tweak, learn from others ideas and continually try to amke the bot better. We help, we assist, we give, we take we give more than we take and then we give some more. Passin is the secret of life and if you are lucky enough to find a passion, what ever it is, follow it forever.
Just grab a chair and sit for 15 minutes at any competition and you will feel the inspiration.

Hope things are well with you.

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Team 79, 15 year mentor
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Unread 04-04-2012, 07:48 PM
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Re: Where Do - You - Find Inspiration?

I get inspiration from all over.

I get inspiration from walking through the aisles of the local hardware store. (It's how I found the EMT tubing that's on the shooter ramps of our robot. It was cheap, easily bent, and I said "Why not?")

I get inspiration from seeing things I wrote off as impossible or of things I never even thought about.

I get inspiration from the kids as the light bulbs come on, as they come back adjusting their schedules so they can make the second event they thought they had a conflict with.

I get inspiration from the college kids as I see them mature. (Relatively, anyway. )

I get inspiration from winning, getting validation of all our hard work.

I get inspiration from getting our butts handed to us, fueling us to improve and fight back.
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Unread 04-04-2012, 07:49 PM
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Re: Where Do - You - Find Inspiration?

I find my inspiration from everywhere as well. There's so many place I see it. I see it in my fellow teammates, from the mentors who took extra days off to come to Oklahoma, from the mentor who tried everything to get away but just couldn't, from the friends at school who text and say "I heard about today." or from the teachers who tell me when I'm back "I watched a few matches when I could."
Most of all, I see it when I look at other world class teams; teams on a whole tier above our own and then some. Teams like 1989 who said "why not" with Quadzilla (Trizilla now?), the Michigan and Canadian teams who have to step it up a notch in order to stay competitive, from anyone who keeps on going when they have every reason to give up.

This is where I find inspiration. And this is why I keep dreaming.
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Unread 04-04-2012, 07:53 PM
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Onward through the fog.
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Re: Where Do - You - Find Inspiration?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanddrag View Post
Or what about, "Where have you find inspiration that was in a place you never would have considered or imagined?"
That sounds like a great thread title to me.

Jane
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Unread 04-04-2012, 09:08 PM
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Re: Where Do - You - Find Inspiration?

After the CT regional ended for 2791, we were packing up the pits getting ready to leave when two students asked me if we could go over and check out 118's robot one more time.

I hope they took notes.
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