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Unread 06-24-2002, 02:39 AM
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A look back at 2001

Posted by Patrick Dingle at 04/15/2001 6:24 PM EST


College Student on team #639, Red B^2, from Ithaca High School and Cornell University.



We've had a number of threads about what we thought of this year's game... But the game aside, what were the most enjoyable moments of the 2001 season?

The best moment, for me, was when I stepped onto our bus to leave for the New York City regional. It was at this moment that I knew all my efforts to get a team started were worth it. Regardless of how we would end up doing (we ended up doing quite poorly), I knew that there were about 15 high school students (and some college students and even adults) who had a different outlook because of the team. Lots of the students joined the team completely unsure of what they wanted to do in life -- and this is when I realized that almost all of them were much more focused than before. Many found some specific area of the team that they're interested in working in, and they're all eager to get going for next year. I want to thank everyone here for the support that you have provided -- whether it be fundraising advice or revealing "trade secrets"... This forum has provided in invaluable source of support. I look forward to the post-season and the upcoming season.

Patrick, counting the days till kickoff (two hundred and sixty five)


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Re: A look back at 2001

Posted by Matt Leese at 04/16/2001 6:32 PM EST


College Student on team #73, Tigerbolt, from Edison Technical HS and Alstom & Fiber Technologies & RIT.


In Reply to: A look back at 2001
Posted by Patrick Dingle on 04/15/2001 6:24 PM EST:



The most memorable experience for me of this year for me was of the NJ Regional awards ceremony. As they were reading off the intro to the judge's award we kept thinking that it sort of sounded like us. About the time I was fully convinced, I saw the X-cats (and I'm told Kodak did this too) stand up and start cheering because they knew it was us. That combined with the fact that it was for restarting the team felt very good. My team made me be the first person to go up for the award which was also nice. This also happened to be about the same time when I realized that all the work that I put in was worth it. I think overall that it's been a good year for me and for the whole team. Good enough to make me come back next year anyway.

Matt who was asked by someone who works at the Engineering Dept of RIT if he was going to run the team again next year and realized that he wouldn't give it up for the world...

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A Feeling (rather long, but I'd appreciate you reading :o)

Posted by Lora Knepper at 04/17/2001 12:37 AM EST


Other on team #177, Bobcat Robotics - Adoptee, from South Windsor High School and International Fuel Cells.


In Reply to: A look back at 2001
Posted by Patrick Dingle on 04/15/2001 6:24 PM EST:



I'm not sure if I have a single moment that stands out all on it's own. For me, it was the entire season - the highs and the lows, the joy and the tears. Some would say the gold medals on the wall from the New England Regional and the Galileo Division at Nationals would be their moment to remember. A moment which was incredible, and I loved sharing every minute with my team...the team that took me in. But it was the time shared with them off the field that I'd trade any medal for...the moments of cheering in front of the stage, the hugs of farewell, and the sense of belonging that I've never had anywhere else before.

But then there was also the shock of finally getting to Epcot -- something that would not have happened at all without the incredible giving of a Floridian family and a team. The complete feeling of acceptance and belonging even though I was about as much an outsider as one could be.

But I think, although it may sound odd -- my one most precious moment this year had little to do with FIRST, or rather the robotics side of FIRST. It was after the team party, and after an adventure spanning most of the Disney property, I found a friend to whom I had not gotten a chance to say goodbye to. And I think that one moment, that one hug in front of my resort, symolizes to me what FIRST is all about.

To me, FIRST is not about the robots...not about the science, and the technology. I could get the same from Battebots, Robotica, Robot Wars and the like...but rather, FIRST is about the people. All of my friends are in FIRST, and all from great distances away from where I am, but yet, something about this competition has drawn us together...across geographic barriers, across team lines, across racial, gender and religious barriers set up by society. A team from 100 miles away that took me in as one of their own...a friend who found me a place to stay for Nationals...a group of people that met in a chat room and bonded as a group of friends in real life and online. It is that one thing, that intangable thing that stands out for me this year.

Without that, I doubt I would have stayed in FIRST for the past 4 years. Gold is nice, I must admit, but the warmth of a friend's hug -- especially someone you will not see for another year -- is even greater, and worth more than a gold medal or a winning robot ever will to me.

~ lora (who will never leave FIRST, she knows, but is unsure what college will have instore for her FIRST side)


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