The greater (Greatest? Same difference)...
The greatest part of our weekend was spent with 2102 Team Paradox, at the Kick-Off. Two days of reading the ins and outs of this year's FIRST FRC Challenge: LogoMotion! Two days of brainstorming, designing, discussing, debating, and creating for the new robotics season.
You may have noticed, I write a lot about robotics, about F.I.R.S.T., and about 2102 Team Paradox. I write a lot about bright and inspiring students, who may or may not be exceptional, but are certainly incredibly gifted, and motivated to learn, teach, and share their spirit with the world. Their actions and attitudes are what motivate me to continue spreading the word about FIRST, and recognize student's abilities and interests in math, science, and art, business, programming. I want to encourage everyone to find a way to stand behind students everywhere, and say: How can I support you as you work to achieve your goals? Let me show you that you are first in my heart.
Having written about this a number of times, I wonder how I can share the story in a new way, in a fresh way? How can I convey, what for me is always fresh, always new, the significance of what is happening in these school clubs? Maybe, I should just trust that my words and spirited point of view will send out the message, will tell the story, will compel you to smile and feel good about the world.
Or, how about another point of view?
Maria loves robotics. She has an internalized passion about 2102 Team Paradox, and the students, mentors, teachers, and families that participate in the robotics club. I am not the kind of parent that thrusts my kids into a scene and expects them to put on a game face, so trust me: Maria's interest and devotion to team meetings, to robot design and build, to feeding students, and learning dances and cheers, and wearing team colors... all that stuff... She Wants It. She seeks it out, and takes a genuine interest in participating. Her energy for all of this probably exceeds a lot of member's.
All of these images are Maria's. With her friend Erika D.J., Maria spent the afternoon taking photos of friends and family, of cake slices too, and the designers, builders, artists, programmers, mothers, fathers, mentors, teachers, and siblings of 2102 Team Paradox. I adore these pictures. I love that I can see her point of view, and I love that when she looks in the lens she sees incredible friends, kindness, warmth, support, joy, industry, talent... looking back at her.
Thank you, Team Paradox. You give our family countless reasons to be happy, and to feel good, and you have made the youngest team member feel certain that she has a future with her team, in science, art, dance, photography, design, and build. (We hope we can keep up!)
**January 11, 2016**
Dean Kamen is fond of saying "It's not about the robots," and frankly I never appreciated this sentiment. I understood that he was saying FIRST is more than building a robot, but I was really into the robots. Today, being reminded of this day, of people dear to me, of what we've gained, and lost, I sincerely and emotionally agree... It's not about the robots. It's about the people, and FIRST 2102 Team Paradox has been, and still is, comprised of some of the best people.