FIRST, my thoughts

I love FIRST…It was my life, but unfortunantly I will be going to a city that has no FIRST team. Fayetville, Arkansas to be exact. I will most certaintly miss being a part of FIRST. Although I do plan to help out as much as possible, and even start a team with somem friends our Junior year, that is quite some time away. I was once a member of the Baxter Bomb Squad, for the most part we are considered one of those “veteran teams” and you can often hear our name mentioned along with Wildstang, Beaty, Chief Delphi and the X-Cats. Not only will I miss FIRST, but when I have my own team to mentor I will miss the Bomb Squad, I’ll miss the legacy. Having to live up to the status of Chairmans Award Winner is something that inspires old and new members alike. How do new teams create a sense of dignity and professionalism in their new students?

In general I loved last year. I don’t like the scoring used in the finals, and I hope it gets changed back to 2 out of 3. Toates were horrible, I wouldn’t mind cubes so long as they were actually cubes, but there is just something about a soccer ball being sucked into a 129.9 lb beast of mangled aluminum and cable that is sooo cool. Auto mode-At first I despised it, what a horrible idea, but after we got to the nationals and hit the hill in 2.67 seconds(.5 seconds faster than what we timed as the second fastest - Thunder Chickens at 3.1 seconds) I got to like it.

The Bomb Squad was one of the lucky teams chosen to be Ambassadors, and I was the lucky student chosen to stand up infront of my heros(Dean, Woody, Ceo’s of Delphi and Solidworks, and even an couple guys from NASA - not to mention a bunch of people we were trying to get sponsorship from) and tell them how the program changed my life and how funding for the program must continue. I told them of my humbling expierences working with such brilliant engineers, and of my nickname ‘the human calculator’(cause i could figure the game score in about 2 seconds as aposed to the ref’s 2 minutes). I was told that I was a very fine young man and thanked for my testmonial. I was proud of myself, I’ve always been able to give a good speech, but I never thought that I could’ve given one infront of such persons.

I guess I’ve kinda been spoiled by the Bomb Squad, not that thats a bad thing, I just hope I can manage to understand that a rookie team(when we get ours going) simply won’t be the same.

I think FIRST is going in a very good direction. We are growing amazingly fast, but as Dean says it’s the good news and the bad news. I think we are reaching a part of the community that we had previously not been able to. We are certaintly teaching young minds what it means to be responsible and creative and intuitive and thoughtful and professional and what true brilliance is(just look at designs like WildStang’s 2003 or Beaty’s 2002 or dare I say it Bomb Squads 2003). We are teaching them what it means to pour your heart and soul into a project and fight and argue and absolutly despise your co-worker and go out with this project and watch it fail horribly but then look at that same co-worker and love them.

I once heard someone say that Dean is “building an army of engineers.” I disagree. I think he is building an army of the informed.

I dont know that this means anything to you. Heh, I dont know that it means anything to anyone(it’s 5 am). But I hope if it did you will give me your feed back.

P.S. Woody, If there is any chance your reading this(yes I know he’s not) you’ve changed my life

Don’t worry about where you will be. Just consider youself lucky for being where you have been.

I didn’t really realize how lucky I was to have the experience of being on a FIRST team until just a week or so ago. In my CNC machining class at the local community college, there were adults who could not grasp the concept of the coordinate system. They never had the chance to be on a FIRST team.

So, what I’m saying is take every opportunity you get. And if you don’t get any, just be thenkful for the ones you took in the past.

I was sitting in my A+ class last night and i was debating with a MSCE student about the future and what it brings. We where of course talking about computers and then hybrid and electrical cars. Then i brought up robotics and this seems like the only subject in this whole discussion that we agreed about. I told him what i was involved in and we talked on how the future is in the engineering of robotics and soon how robots are gonna be able to be built on a assemblie line. We talked aobut all the engineers that are coming out of FIRST. The guy i was discussing with is a baby boomer and of course the baby boomers where the people that carried the careers that past 10-15 years. The baby boomers will be retiring or are retired already and we where talking on which group will take the next big uprising of careers and where. We talked aobut all the kids graduating going to college to be a engineer or a programmer or even a pr person because of FIRST. I know FIRST was big and had a lot of impact on people but as i was talking to this guy it really hit me on we are gonna be the next generation to step up into the high demandign careers and a lot of these people that have the careers as being a Engineer for the Army, Motorla, NASA, They are gonna come out of FIRST. Thats when we bothed agreed that the “Generation of FIRSTER’S”(as a term i came up with for all kids that are involved with first… :rolleyes: nifty heh?) will be taken over for these baby boomers. Well thats my input sorry if this seem completely out in the open.