Tuesday, April 19, 2005

One Semester (and then some!) in the bank!

It's Tuesday so time for the scholarship report.

My husband always says that his job has always reflected the teaching he learned as a boy and then in his callings via the church. The church has offered us all blessings beyond what we think of on a daily basis. Public speaking. Orgaization of thoughts and life. Being Prepared. Being firm in convictions and standards. Being comfortable conversing with new people who have different ideas and cultures. Making goals and staying focused. Doing the task at hand until it is finished. Knowing that if you have failed there is a lesson to be learned and you can turn it into a positive life lesson, and so on. He says being a business manager is very much the same as his experience in the Bishopric.

Up at 6:30, drive an hour and a half, avoid a jam on the freeway by accessing alternate routes. Having an ATM machine eat my card. Showing up early - who knew? We grab name tags and brochures, find our places and ready ourselves for the opening introductions. It is brought to our attention that today's competition began with teachers and administrators hand picking eligible students who showed academic and civic achievement. That pool was narrowed down determined by the highest scores to a field of 350 -375 in each of California's 10 districts. The 350 or so were pared down to a group of 32. Those 32 kids were divided up into 4 groups and sent to today's competition. Applied Arts, Liberal Arts, Fine Arts, and Math & Science. My #5 was in the math and science group of 8.

Going into the competition she was calm albeit full of trepidation due to her perceived lack of math and science skills. She feels her strong suit is English, grammar, and writing. The competition was 3 part. #1 They were given 30 minutes to prepare a statement (that would not be judged nor even read) to help them gather their thoughts on the topic. #2 One by one they would present a 2 minute presentation of their thoughts on the topic. (This part would be judged by a panel of four assorted community business persons) #3 As a group, the 8 contestants would panel discuss the pros and cons of each contestants idea and could be spontaneously asked questions by anyone on the panel and the judges. (also judged) Scores would be tallied and then a lunch with awards after a keynote speaker.

When #5 was "released" for the 20 minute break between competition and lunch, she looked sick. I could tell she felt she had failed. "I was the only one who took a different view point and then everyone attacked it. The judges were asking all the other kids questions and smiling at them and then whenever I made a point someone else would shoot it down. One kid even tried to gain sympathy by relating his siblings disability to the related topic... but he couldn't state for a fact, but he just stood there all weepy and everyone was sad for him. UHG!" She was very sure they were impressed more by the other kids because they kept more queries for them instead of her. She got a few questions but not rebuttals from the judges like the other kids. While she expressed her disappointment in herself, she was at least smiling and trying to enjoy the event. She introduced herself to most of the kids and about half of the adults and asked who was going where and what their majors would be and tried to fill the time chatting.

Lunch. Rubber chicken with rice. o.k. Not much to write home about. In the introduction the host reassured everyone they were "truly winners just for being here!" Yeah, yeah, o.k., but I want her to win. It sounded nice, but pretty cheesy even for the mom sitting there very proud of the gal who got through the eliminations. The added bonus is for everyone who showed up - just for being there - they would receive a pretty good chunk of change. So, hey, at least we go home with that! S'mee was satisfied.

Of course because it makes a good blog entry and the fates were against us, her category was presented last. All through the day Dad kept text messaging me asking for updates as he couldn't attend. During the 2nd category awards I got his 6th message wanting more news. A "She's already won in my opinion, tell her I love her." was passed via the phone under the table for view. She smiled.

Her friend's category was up. She had the same experience as #5, lone wolf crying in a desert of penguins with all the judges throwing fish. She too felt she would lose, although she felt justified and confident and that the judges in her category would most likely give the high award to a certain boy, whom she admitted graciously deserved it, and to a girl who did not. She was right and she received her prize money, smiled like a beauty queen and was quite the gracious little gal. I was proud of her attitude.

#5's group. 5 honourable mentions, then 3, 2, and #1. It was torture. There was a particularly rude gentleman whose name was called first. I admit I was glad he wasn't in the top ranking and that his name had been called before #5's -"even though in the 5 there were no particular order of importance or rank". WHEW! o.k. I am ready for you to call her name. Another name and another and then another. I was all "OH MY HECK!" then I remembered that there was one more in the bottom 5. Not her name! She's in the top three! HOLY HANNAH! I am screaming on the inside. Third place, Second place and then there was #5! She actually received number one! I was jumping up and down inside and my heart was pounding as she walked up to the podium to receive her scholarship money. BIG money. I was thrilled!

On the ride home we talked about what happened in the competition. After hearing her rendition of the proceedings in detail, I noticed that the reason she more than likely won was due to her learning and experiences in the church. She's just like her dad.

add to sk*rt

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