Friday, March 18, 2011

There is Good In the World

FIRST 2102 Team Paradox, Robotics Club 2011.
The newest team photo. I took this yesterday, when all of the school clubs gathered during their lunch "hour" for yearbook pictures.

Last year a lot of you generously made donations to get this amazing bunch of students to the Championships in Atlanta. Thank you. I cannot say it is "unbelievable," but it is highly remarkable: FIRST 2102 Team Paradox has earned a second trip to FIRST Championships, this time in St. Louis!

Look at them! They are a big club, full of bright and dedicated, certainly spirited, engineers, writers, artists, designers, programmers.

It's not possible to get them all to St. Louis, but this team deserves to be represented at FIRST Championships. They are Champions. The team has registration fees to pay, travel expenses, lodging costs, and they create scholarships for team members. They have continued to do their own fund raising. They are working hard to pursue new avenues. And they are maintaining high grades, taking exams, volunteering, participating in band, school plays, Japanese Honor Society, and Space Exploration Club... have I mentioned how incredible they all are?!

Some FRC teams work with million dollar budgets. Seriously! This team builds a robot, travels, and markets the team on less than 5% of that figure. It's yet another testament to the hard work and dedication of FIRST 2102 Team Paradox. To ensure the future of this team, to secure a place for them in St. Louis, I am appealing to you to please make a contribution through the school's foundation. This is a tax deductible donation to a non-profit organization. It can be made by check or through paypal. Please be sure and earmark your donation: For Robotics and this page can help you complete this transaction.

There are a lot of appeals for our money, for our time, and attention, and I appreciate you patiently, thoughtfully considering our request. Honestly, these students hold our future in their capable hands. They are focused, and compassionate. In them, we are investing in viable solutions for the problems and crises our world faces today.

Would you consider sponsoring a robotics team? Let's talk! Sponsors of FIRST 2102 Team Paradox take great pride in supporting a grateful and intelligent bunch of students... students who are eager to prove their worth and abilities in robotics, business, art, marketing, design, programming, engineering, electronics, and manufacturing.

Helen and Michal getting a handle on Lavender's controls!

Last weekend was wild... the FRC event, and those adorable new chicas! It was amazing. Incredibly, it stayed good. Saturday, after twenty hours of cheering and dancing, we went to a family birthday party. Happy birthday, Rich! It was kind of a surreal transition, but it was fun celebrating Rich's big Five-0, and also explaining a family of six arriving in matching red pants and Paradox shirts!

On Sunday we woke up slowly, and spent most of the day processing, and decompressing. Ruth and Paul came up and met the chicas. James, Deanne, and Parker came to visit too. Alex revved up the mini-bot and more good friends came by to see it re-enact its run up the ten foot pole. Michal and Helen tried the controls to Lavender, the other resident robot.

Sanka enjoyed her time in the raised bed, where she loves to tunnel and frolic. Alex and William have promised to help me make this bed a permanent rabbit habitat... rabbitat!

It is so much fun sharing the new chicas with everyone. They are doing just fine. After raising chicks with heat lamps, and vigilance, it is a simple delight to leave the heavy lifting to a good mama hen. She knows just what to do to keep her brood happy and safe.

Michael and Michal came to the SD robotics competition with their friends, Guido and Annette. They joined us, cheering in the stands, visiting the pits... and I think it is safe to say: they've been Paradoxed! Michael shared some of his impressions of the event in his blog. And doesn't he look good in his new shirt?

Michal, Ruth, Patricia, and Annette

Our good weekend moved with us to our friend's home, where they were building a nice warm fire, serving chilled wine, and some lovely food. Paul brought over his summer sausage from Wisconsin, then Geoff ordered pizzas... we needed something to soak up all the good wine and beer we were inhaling.

Geoff and Paul

Maria and Max loved the freshly squeezed orange juice, the roasted macadamia nuts, and throwing wood on the fire. I loved bonding with Corina... my personal flight attendant! She and I were really winding down a good weekend in style.

Michal, and Corina

I have not forgotten that while we were enjoying these simple pleasures, a lot of terrible events were unfolding. In fact, I think our happiness made me even more mindful of the tragedies happening in Japan. My only answer to the destruction and grief is to be thankful for the good that remains, and to continue to find the means to apply my time, interest, money, and support to education, to nurturing motivated, bright students, to exchanging ideas and constructive action with friends.

Want to learn more about high school robotics, and FIRST? It is "The New Cool." Chickenblog, through The Lady Betty Orpington Foundation, would like you to have a copy of Neal Bascomb's book, "The New Cool." Leave a comment on this post... about good weekends, about friends, about robotics, about FIRST, about Japan, about chicks... about wine pairings! Leave a comment and your name will be put in the hat for a gift drawing. Make a donation for robotics, any amount, and your name will go in the hat five times! Want to be a big winner? Make a donation, and comment here with a link to your blog post supporting FIRST 2102 Team Paradox, and you will be in the drawing for "The New Cool" and ultra cool FIRST 2102 Team Paradox swag... T-shirt, buttons, a mini-Paradox!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank You!


Anonymous said...

I donated! However, there doesn't appear to be any way to direct the donation to the robotics team via PayPal (contrary to the instructions on the SDA page).

There is a link: "Or you may also use this link here to tell the Foundation where you want your money to go." So maybe try that instead.

I sent them an email pointing out the lack of a "Special Instruction Add" link on the webpage. As it is now, PayPal donations go to "basic academic needs"

Go Team Paradox!

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Michaela... your colors are on their way! I meant to send them right before SD, but wow! Things were down to the wire busy... which explains how I missed the post you published for the team. You are incredible, and generous. We'll have to be sure you are connected to a live web stream when the next regional is played, in Las Vegas!
Also, you should know that my boys love your posts from the Dr Who convention... they are awestruck and delighted!

Dear Anonymous,
You generous and brave pioneer! Our FIRST contributor. Thank you for pointing out some of the trickier spots in the process. Hopefully we can find more people willing to take the challenge of going Paradox! We really do appreciate your donation!

Cat said...

Good grief, miss a couple days on the net, and I don't see a freebie? I am slipping! I will have to wait a bit on a donation, but I love reading about the truly awesome kiddos and the high geeky-dom fun they (and you) have. I wish something had been available like this when I had been in school, (for the girls. Sigh...)


Janece Moment said...

Sold a painting - and sent the proceeds to Team Paradox!! :) Woo!

amy smith said...

just saw this post.. sorry, i have been out of the loop!
donated $20 to ROBOTICS!!!!
sorry it couldn't be more.
love you much.