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Unread 04-28-2013, 09:09 PM
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pic: Wedding on the Championship stage

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Unread 04-28-2013, 09:09 PM
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Re: pic: Wedding on the Championship stage

Anyone have a story to tell about this? Looks like an awesome thing for FIRST to allow/an awesome wedding to have.
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Unread 04-28-2013, 09:45 PM
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Talking Re: pic: Wedding on the Championship stage

I am glad people have been united in this way because of First. It is nice to see this at a notoriously nerdy event.
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Unread 04-28-2013, 09:50 PM
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Re: pic: Wedding on the Championship stage

I saw this couple show up at Roboprom. It was quite a cool thing, I hope they are having an excellent honeymoon!
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Unread 04-28-2013, 11:06 PM
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Re: pic: Wedding on the Championship stage

Quote:
Originally Posted by DevenStonow View Post
Anyone have a story to tell about this? Looks like an awesome thing for FIRST to allow/an awesome wedding to have.
I can't say I know the full story but I met with the Dean's List Finalist from this team who told me a little. According to what I heard the couple met as mentors for the team, so robotics is what brought them together. Apparently when they got engaged they said they wanted to get married on Einstein, but their students didn't realize how serious they were being!

Mazel Tov to them!
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Unread 04-29-2013, 07:18 AM
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Re: pic: Wedding on the Championship stage

What team are they from?
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Unread 04-29-2013, 08:34 AM
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Re: pic: Wedding on the Championship stage

There are from Team 2974, Walton Robotics. Doug is our 5th year programming mentor. (We are a 5 year old team). Got involved initially for a "couple of weeks" Michelle is also a mentor. They met & got to know each other from their involvement on the team. They asked First if it would be possible to get married at worlds. After discussing it at the highest levels, First said yes & bent over backwards to help as is typical of people involved in First. A great moment for 2 great people.

Also thanks to team 399 for allowing their first dance as married couple at Roboprom. The ultimate geek wedding!!

Last edited by FrankJ : 04-29-2013 at 10:03 AM.
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Unread 04-29-2013, 09:40 AM
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Re: pic: Wedding on the Championship stage

Just awesome, nothing more to say than that.
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Unread 05-06-2013, 04:06 PM
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Re: pic: Wedding on the Championship stage

I suppose the best way to tell our tale would be to share the letter I sent to FIRST. I set out to share our story, primarily, and although there was embedded within the idea of a World Championship wedding, in all honesty I just wanted them to know of, and share in, perhaps, in some small part, the miracle and the love that grew from a garden which never would have existed save for FIRST.

I was given to understand that our letter reached the highest levels at FIRST, and that alone touches me deeply and fills me with happiness! That they would subsequently have worked so hard to create this miracle (and there's truly no other word for it), frankly, has me at a loss for words - something my kids can tell you is not at all common!

The plans evolved in a little over a week, only getting finalized the very day of the wedding. We went from somewhere in the convention center, to a ceremony on a division playoff field, to finally the big stage next to Einstein! What an unimaginably delightful treat!

Our wedding cake was a big cake doughnut - fed twelve - with bacon and salted caramel topping and filling. We had three others (different flavors, of course) which we brought to RoboProm and staged for the wedding party and any prom attendee who might enjoy some doughnut cake. Our song (and *she* chose it), played during recessional and also for our spotlight dance, was the 2008 Doctor Who Theme. No, I didn't dance well. Yes, I think better than Matt Smith at Amy and Rory's wedding, but that's my personal opinion, and others may feel free to disagree! Both my wife's daughters were able to attend, as well as my mother, and the rest of the wedding party was made up of our team, some unexpected wonderful FIRST luminaries and (yes, we saw you - share pictures, please!) some unknown quantity of teams and people still up in the stands. We changed in one of the locker rooms down in the tunnels, and even got to ride a beep-beep cart back and forth to help my mother not have to walk so far! Our wedding book/registry was a frisbee, which all the guests got to sign! Finally, a horse-drawn Cinderella carriage ride took us from the Dome to the Hyatt, and lo and behold, the horse's hooves were painted sparkly TARDIS blue!

Everything about this event was a miracle - it kept getting better and better and better!

Thanks go out to Steve Krawic and Carolyn Arthurs, as well as the rest of the Show Ready Events team! These folk bent over backwards to stage and host this crazy miracle in the limited time and space made available to us during the competition! They really stepped up and created something for the record books, never to be repeated and always to be cherished!

Thanks to Carolyn Burke, our wonderful officiant, who delivered a beautiful ceremony and tied it all together for us!

Thanks to Revolution Doughnuts & Coffee in Decatur, GA, for the yummy noms! Guys, if you ever see this - you were right: the cakes traveled just fine and were just as delicious as if they had been freshly delivered!

Thanks to Team 399 - Eagle Robotics - for allowing us that dance and letting us stage our reception outside of RoboProm. What a treat!

Thanks to our team - Team 2974, Walton Robotics - for all of the love and support you have shown us over the years, and of course during the entire time in St. Louis! Way to go, team - great performance and let's carry this forward!

Very special thanks to Walt Havenstein, and to everybody else at FIRST, for helping to connect the dots and turning a dream into reality! It was truly a pleasure and an honor to shake his hand after the ceremony, and to meet the other attendees, and I hope they enjoyed the proceedings and got a piece of cake!

And finally, thanks to anybody and everybody who I'm certain I probably have forgotten, for your love and support and helping to make Thursday the best Thursday in the entire history of ever!

This. Was. EPIC!!!!

And now...the story that started it all (slightly edited for space and relevance):
...
Gentle folk:

I write to you today with a story and a modest proposal; I hope I hold your attentions and interests as I spin my tale.

Four years ago, I was approached by FRC Team 2974, Walton Robotics, to see if I would be interested in serving as their programming mentor. I'm not going to lie: I don't know that I heard much of the initial pitch beyond "120 lb robots in six weeks", but to make a long story short, I jumped at the opportunity. That first year (the team's second) we played in the afternoon at our regional competitions! The very next year we were on the winning alliance at the Smoky Mountain Regional, and went to the World Championships, the very first year they moved away from a quick trip downtown (we're based in the metropolitan Atlanta area) and halfway across the country. No complaints, we competed and learned and worked all summer long, and the next year won Engineering Inspiration, once again allowing us to enjoy the corndogs at the Dome! This year, we've won the Chairman's award at the Peachtree Regional, and expect to once again test our mettle against, and learn from, all the best teams from across FRC, as we descend upon St. Louis in all of our robotic glory!

I do not, however, write to you today to brag on my students, as worthwhile of an endeavor as that might be and as easy as it is for me to assemble words thusly. I write today to tell you of a magical event that happened to me before the start of last season. I believe in off-season training, and in holding programming training seminars, or sessions, or classes, if you will, well in advance of kickoff, in order to not only guide the students towards the particular concerns and technologies used in FRC robot programming, but also to give us time to better evaluate potential and performance. We use this time to determine interest, groom students for leadership roles, and offer greater opportunities for them to step up and break out and really show us what they can do and where their interests lie.

The very first day of training - the very first seminar - I arrived a bit later than I had preferred, and all of the students were already seated. We held our introductory session, took names, I met everybody I didn't know already, and over the course of that process was introduced to a young lady who was the girlfriend (at the time) of the student who would become my/our lead programmer for the upcoming season, one Chris Harris. Shortly thereafter, her mother came to pick her up, and if I recall, I don't think I picked my jaw up off of the floor for at least twenty minutes after she left the building. I have no real memory of that first conversation, and no idea how I muddled through - probably with banalities and superficialities - but I walked out of that room in a haze.

Over the next few weeks a conspiracy was played out. Chris and Emily realized before either of us adults that there had been a spark, and they worked to encourage and promote its growth. They would work to get us in the same room for longer than five minutes and would stay late after sessions, trying to get us to work up the nerve to actually address the charged nature of the atmosphere between us whenever we were together. To no avail at first, as I trend towards the typical klutzy engineer who dares not speak my feelings. Chris and Emily never gave up, though, and when, in conversation with her mother, Emily said or did something that made her mom squee, that was conveyed to me, I made a similar noise, and after only another couple of weeks of being browbeaten by two high schoolers, I finally asked Michelle out. March 31, 2012, by the way, was our first date.

Michelle and I are engaged to be married, these days. We have found an amazing dream house, and we plan on closing in just a couple of months. I have found the love of my life, in a place and at a time when I was searching for no such thing, and my life is enriched and bettered beyond words for the finding. She brings so much into my world, things I never realized were lacking; she truly is the everywoman I never really knew I was searching for. She completes me, and I her, and that fills me with joy beyond my humble abilities to even attempt to express.

We never would have met if not for FIRST. This shot at happiness would have never come to be if not for FRC. We met through robotics, and the thought strikes me that if we were to be married through robotics it would be a perfect way to honor and reflect these origins. Of course, getting married on Einstein would be the best possible way to sanctify and solemnize such a wondrous occasion, and that's what is now in my head, and now we (finally) come to my modest proposal.

It strikes me that, with FLL, FTC and FRC all present, there is an opportunity for a wonderfully robotic ceremony. It strikes me that among all those robots one ought to be able to find a robotic ring bearer and perhaps other participants. I have a best man - Chris, the student who brought us together. I have a flower girl - one of our students, who is a family friend. Everything else is up in the air. Our team plans on arriving in St. Louis Wednesday, I imagine our Thursday would be spent visiting the courthouse for a license, seeking/nailing down an officiant, and other various and sundry preparations. I'm okay with that, as my programming team this year is solid enough to handle a day apart from me!

So in summary, my story is of a man and a woman who met through FIRST, thanks to the FRC program, who have decided to dedicate their lives to each other, who aim to continue mentoring and working with students in general, and FRC and FIRST in particular, and who thought it entirely appropriate were we to be allowed to be married in the presence of the greater FIRST community, among the best of the best, at the World Championships this year. My plea, or proposal, to you, is designed to engage your involvement in anticipation of helping us to make this simply the Best. Wedding. Ever. I cannot envision a better place to make Michelle Kidd into Mrs. Douglas Neumann!

Michelle and I shall eagerly await your reply, and one way or the other, we hope to see you this year as we cheer on Walton Robotics and all of the other fine competitors!

Thank you all for your time and attentions as you respectively worked your way through this missive; apologies for the mass-send nature of this note, as I was unclear to whom this ought best be directed, and Michelle and I thank you once again for all that you do for our students, for our community, and for our future!!

-dougN

Last edited by Kilibob : 05-06-2013 at 04:10 PM.
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Unread 05-06-2013, 04:20 PM
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Re: pic: Wedding on the Championship stage

wow!

Congratulations to both of you, I hope your life together stays just as magical as that journey that started on Einstein!
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Unread 05-06-2013, 07:41 PM
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Re: pic: Wedding on the Championship stage

When did this happen?
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Unread 05-07-2013, 09:04 AM
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Re: pic: Wedding on the Championship stage

This story makes me smile uncontrollably! Robots AND Dr. Who! How could anyone hope to top that?! Congratulations to you and may you live long and prosper!
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Unread 05-07-2013, 01:22 PM
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Re: pic: Wedding on the Championship stage

Wow! Great story! Congratulations to you both!

I saw that picture when it was first posted but had no idea the participants were from Walton. Then I noticed I know two of the mentors holding Frisbees.

That is just too cool in the most nerdy manner possible!!!
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Unread 05-07-2013, 05:43 PM
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Re: pic: Wedding on the Championship stage

Sheesh! What some people will do to get on Einstein...

Seriously: Congratulations, what a great story! So, are we all invited over for donuts?
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