This is a post I just made to my teams Google group and I thought some people here may get something out of it, so I decided to share it.
I know I posted something like this already in Steven’s thread after the competition, but after talking about this and using that to hash out my thoughts, I decided to post this here.
Sitting in the stands during the alliance selections, I looked around after we weren’t selected and I saw disappointment. And I was proud. I was proud that all of you cared enough to be disappointed that we were not selected. But I knew that the real test would come later.
Then after lunch, I looked around during the eliminations and I saw everyone cheering and enjoying the matches and rooting for our friends on 171. And I was proud. I was proud that the disappointment didn’t linger, that everyone was able to still enjoy the event.
During the awards, I saw our team was also one of the first to stand and the most enthusiastic in applauding the other teams as they won their awards. And I was proud. I was proud that despite our lack of success, all of you were still celebrating the success of others.
One of the last awards announced was the Dean’s List Award. One of the winner’s announced was our co-captain, Aren. And I was proud. I was proud that the hard work put in by one of our members was recognized outside our team. I was also proud of the way the team celebrated this award despite it being an individual award.
After the event I went out to get something to eat with Alex and we talked for quite a while about the team, the weekend and the event. And as I was walking back to my apartment, I realized something. I was proud. I was proud of the graduated Fighting Calculators that were giving back, not only as mentors of our team, but as event volunteers and members of the GO FIRST alumni group here at the U of M.
Then when I got home, my inbox was full with the thread that Steven started about how the team needed to work harder. And I was proud. I was proud that there was no whining, no finger pointing and no complaining. I was proud that there was drive, passion, and a desire to work harder to try and avoid the same disappointment next year.
And as I thought about how proud I was to be a member of this team, I thought of something else; I figured out what the hardest part of FRC is. Unfortunately the hardest part is also the whole point, it’s why Dean started FIRST. The hardest part is to make everybody proud. I hope you’re already proud of what you accomplished. Your parents, siblings and grandparents are easy, if they’re not already proud all you have to do is share your stories and they will be. After that it gets harder. We need to make the whole school proud, we need to make all of Woodbury proud and we need to make all of Minnesota proud. We spent 6 weeks building a robot, another 5 weeks working on various parts of it and 3 days competing with it and our final record was 3-6. Now we have to convince 5.25 million people to be proud of that, and that’s the hardest part.
I’m proud, and I’ll always be a Fighting Calculator. That’s 1.