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Unread 03-25-2012, 01:16 PM
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The Reasons we Continue to be in FIRST

This is my first year as an official mentor to a team (FRC Team 4096, Ctrl-Z), and I got a very different feeling when I went to competition this year. Usually, when I was on a team, I got a feeling of "I'm so pumped, FIRST is so awesome, can't wait to see our team do awesome". This year, I felt "Wow! I'm so proud of my students." and I felt that every single day waking up and going to sleep, standing in the stands and walking around.

So with that in mind, I wanted to start a thread (hopefully there isn't one already, sorry for making it again if there is), that showcases what the reasons are that you continue to be in FIRST. I know we can see this in many of the posts throughout CD, so to make it interesting I want to try and encourage posts to be relatively short and to the point. As minimum background info and straight to the point. I know there are multiple reasons, so feel free to post more than one but try to make it only ONE reason per post. I'm very curious to see what FIRST means to parents, mentors and students and why they're still in FIRST.

Note: If you can't keep it short, that's fine. I'd like to hear it anyways!! And I know it's tough to make it short but I want you to try and put that effort in.

So here's mine as of last night:

Paula, a 9th grader on Ctrl-Z tweeted, after coming back from competition:
Quote:
FIRST has already changed my life, and @CtrlZ4096 too, a change for the better and I don't know where I would be without you guys #omgrobots
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Last edited by popnbrown : 03-25-2012 at 01:47 PM. Reason: changed very very short to relatively. Stories are great, but I want others to make an effort to try to get to the point.
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Unread 03-25-2012, 01:32 PM
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Onward through the fog.
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Re: The Reasons we Continue to be in FIRST

Why is it important to you to keep the posts very very short? I didn't know you could put Inspiration on a short leash.
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Unread 03-25-2012, 01:44 PM
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Re: The Reasons we Continue to be in FIRST

Hmm, I wanted to see how short they could be. Also I wanted to make this sort of a practice pitch about FIRST, meaning, when you talk to interested parties about FIRST, while we can all drone on and on, it's important to get to the point and tell them the main reason(s) you're interested.

I'm not really opposed to stories (I would love them), so if you really can't make it terribly short, then go ahead and expand.
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Unread 03-25-2012, 01:51 PM
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Onward through the fog.
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Re: The Reasons we Continue to be in FIRST

Quote:
Originally Posted by popnbrown View Post
Hmm, I wanted to see how short they could be. Also I wanted to make this sort of a practice pitch about FIRST, meaning, when you talk to interested parties about FIRST, while we can all drone on and on, it's important to get to the point and tell them the main reason(s) you're interested.

I'm not really opposed to stories (I would love them), so if you really can't make it terribly short, then go ahead and expand.
Well, anyone who knows me or has heard of me, knows I fail at elevator pitches and that, if ever there was a wrong thread for me to post in, this one is it.

That said, I'll give it a twitter try:

I continue to participate in FIRST because I continue to be inspired.

Jane
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Unread 03-25-2012, 02:18 PM
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Re: The Reasons we Continue to be in FIRST

I think you might have captured it yourself:

Quote:
This year, I felt "Wow! I'm so proud of my students." and I felt that every single day waking up and going to sleep, standing in the stands and walking around.
As any parent knows, dealing with kids can be a tad frustrating at times, and a team of 30-odd only multiplies that frustration. But then, you're the mentor in charge of the pits and you realize, you're not doing anything but standing back and making sure nothing REALLY bad can happened. Meanwhile the students are prepping the robot for the next match, or coming back from helping another team looking for a needed tool.

Plus, it's heck of a lot of fun.
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Unread 03-25-2012, 02:21 PM
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Re: The Reasons we Continue to be in FIRST

I continue to participate in first because I don't think my team has a formula to make a winning robot every year. If we did I might not be as interested, because the problem of the build season would be solved.
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Unread 03-25-2012, 02:25 PM
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Re: The Reasons we Continue to be in FIRST

this should be a great thread

.... because it is our way of getting many people excited about something important!
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Unread 03-25-2012, 02:28 PM
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Re: The Reasons we Continue to be in FIRST

Because of teams' boundless creativity and the pursuit of excellence.

There's so much more to say though...
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Unread 03-25-2012, 02:49 PM
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Re: The Reasons we Continue to be in FIRST

There is a reason I don't Twitter.

Because I have 11+ years of stories, and these stories usually have nothing to do with building a robot. Some of them are very very funny, some still make me tear up, some are about how you can learn something new every day, a few are about mistakes and people behaving badly and "I am not making this up", and many are about opportunities to make a difference in the world.

There is a common thread of volunteerism, problem-solving and teamwork to most of the stories .
And usually involve a lot of very nice people.
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Unread 03-25-2012, 07:22 PM
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Re: The Reasons we Continue to be in FIRST

For that moment when a girl on our team goes to Peachtree without plans to go to Palmetto (some scheduling conflict), then starts trying to change the plans before we've finished unloading the bus back home.

For that moment where an idea leads to the basis for a champion robot.

For the growth I see in both the students and our mentors. (We work with students at the University of South Carolina, students not much older than the kids themselves. Seeing their progression during their college years is amazing.)

For the moments where opportunity is seized and something amazing results.

For the pig-kissing, the nerd rock bands, the talks until 4:00 AM, the dinners with folks that live thousands of miles away swapping stories, the plays that lead to a "THAT WAS AWE-SOME!" chant.
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Unread 03-25-2012, 07:39 PM
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Re: The Reasons we Continue to be in FIRST

Because the team I helped to start in 2001 continues to re-invent itself every year, after numerous inspirations and successes, and in spite of numerous challenges.

Because the team I watched getting off the ground in 2007 just completed the trifecta -- regional winner, RCA, and WFFA at their home event -- also in spite of numerous challenges.

Because the team I helped to start last year has reached high, and performed beyond my expectations, qualifying for the MSC two years straight.

Because three long days of volunteering inspires me to stay late on Saturday, break down the field, and load the truck.

Because of the kids who come back as responsible professionals, inspired and ready to drive the future.

Because I cannot stay away.
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I believe in intuition and inspiration. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.
(Cosmic Religion : With Other Opinions and Aphorisms (1931) by Albert Einstein, p. 97
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Unread 03-25-2012, 07:43 PM
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Re: The Reasons we Continue to be in FIRST

Because through FIRST i saw my little sister grow into a successful woman
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Unread 03-25-2012, 07:47 PM
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Re: The Reasons we Continue to be in FIRST

Because of the freshman who refused to focus on anything, who has since graduated, now calls me by my first name, sends me Father's Day wishes, and works for an FRC supplier.

Because of the timid girl who came to robotics because that's what her boyfriend was doing; she ended up taking PLTW classes, getting a high school internship at Rolls-Royce, is now studying civil engineering and serves on a regional planning committee.

Because of the dozens of stories like this that I have, even though I've only been around FRC since 2006.

Because of the adults who have inspired me, and I'll never get the chance to tell them, so I carry their memories in my heart as I try to spread their messages.
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Last edited by Taylor : 03-26-2012 at 08:03 AM.
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Unread 03-25-2012, 11:10 PM
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Re: The Reasons we Continue to be in FIRST

The reason I continue to mentor in FIRST after having 2 sons go through & graduate; I had one of the students who graduated in 2008 contact me & ask if I can help her get in touch with the best possible connection for getting a job interview at Hamilton Sundstrand. I was able to get her the connection she needed & she was so happy. Most of these students who have graduated still keep in contact with me & that makes me feel good. Can I say I've made a difference? Yes!
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Unread 03-25-2012, 11:18 PM
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Re: The Reasons we Continue to be in FIRST

Because the problem solving opportunities offered in FIRST are challenging, fun, inspirational, and I want to share that excitement!
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