The team is moving from build to competition and it’s incredibly astonishing how quick time flies by. I have nothing to compare this build season with, but I do have faith in that this will be a great season for the team. Every day I go into the shop I see progress, big and small. I can tell that this year is a little different than previous years, but we were warned that change would come and it definitely has.
Being that I have decided to take on the challenge of being a Chairman’s presenter I have learned so much about Team 399 and its origin; but, anyone can recite information they've attained from researching, whereas only I can depict how I have been personally affected by FIRST. Presenting information is different than telling a story and our Chairman’s committee is dedicated to being the narrators of ours. I am excited. I am nervous. Most of all though, I am proud.
We have poured much time into the Chairman's efforts; from our newly established booklet to our presentation. One of the greatest reliefs for our Public Outreach Sub-team was the completion of our mini-essays by the end of the first week of build. Ahead of the game, we dedicated our time to making sure that our legacy was clearly represented throughout Chairman's as a whole. Our presentation started off as being words and ideas scattered on a white board, but soon enough those ideas came together with the help of our new mentor Kendal Lenton. A week prior to Inland two professional public speakers of Shoptalk Toastmasters volunteered their time to act as a mock panel of judges. For some reason, I got a rush of adrenaline as soon as I walked into the room and just couldn't help but smile throughout the whole presentation, even the parts that I wasn't speaking. We recorded our presentation and the feedback that the Toastmasters gave us and reviewed it in order to improve. Once the Inland Empire was just days away, it hit us that we would no longer just be practicing, but actually presenting soon enough. Although we did not win, we Inland Empire was a great learning experience for both Chairman's and robot.
Inland Empire 2015 was my very first regional. It was an amazing experience and a great opportunity to learn what we, as a team, need to improve on. We had won the Creativity award and by the end of qualification matches we were ranked 11th and competed in the quarterfinals as a part of the 5th seeded alliance along with Team 2375, Dragon Robotics and alliance captain Team 3965 Sultans. Throughout the regional I was constantly learning. I remember walking into the Chairman's judging room and expecting to be nervous, but nerves did not overwhelm me, only joy.
I can’t say that I know everything about the bot or the building process, but I can say that it has and will continue to all come together. We will take advantage of every opportunity we come across to accomplish what we set out to do: build a bot kicking robot, and tell our story.