Sunday, May 03, 2009

Kansas City - Here We Come
(at least 3 of us)

It's been a pretty exhausting couple of weeks, but in a good way. The last weekend in April was the annual SkillsUSA State Conference in Lansing. This was a strange year because I left St. Clair TEC in early March (so I still felt really close to the students competing from there) but I was bringing Students from Lapeer County Ed-Tech. If you know me than you know that I have said in my past that the best race would be if everybody tied.

So that being said, I told my students from St. Clair and Lapeer, that I would be proud if they did their best. And well their best was the best. Yes, the Lapeer Video Team came in first - which means they will be heading to Kansas City. And in audio - St. Clair TEC came in first and second, with Lapeer coming in third.

It was a different kind of trip being an advisor at Lapeer. First is that we can take the students in our cars - so that meant that I could leave early on Friday and plan other activities in Lansing. The first activity was visiting the campus of Lansing Community College. We toured the campus then we headed over to their Digital Media program. Were we got to see the RED camera. It's a newer digital cinema camera that was used to film movies like King Kong. The kids were really impressed.

After LCC it was on to Impressions 5 - the Science Center in downtown Lansing. That is where the video competition was going to take place. So we had the opportunity to get a sneak peek at what they would havd to face in the morning.

Then we headed over to the Banks of the Red Cedar (Michigan State University's Campus) for lunch and a chance to see what a bigger campus looked like. Needless to say there were five high school boys in the car and they had one focus - all the ladies. It was funny.

Friday night we went to the opening ceremony and then after going over some last minute strategies (with both St. Clair and Lapeer) we headed to bed. For an early rise.

This year I helped organize both the video and the audio competition. Which means I helped design the contest and run it, by helping find a location, getting judges, making sure the information gets up on the website for all the other schools. It's fun - but it can be stressful, because I do my best (with Bruce) to make it as fair as possible.

This year with audio, I got the students up and running and then left it to the judges. With video, I went over after they were set up, everything was going well until --- yes until. Well a storm poppped up half way through the day and well the museum we were at lost power. Yes, right during the editing portion. Bruce was in mid-sentence saying, "you should probably sss...." (the word was save - as the power went off. We decided to wait it out for a half hour before we figured out what to do. Well in the mean time it was really raining and we were in the basement and there was a door that you could walk out of - and well the water was all draining there on the outside and soon that water started coming in. Needless to say - we were crammed in there to begin with and now a room full of high schoolers and editing equipment (power cords etc.) was now starting to fill with water. Thankfully it subsidded quickly - but I had images of students floating away on folding chairs and tables.

After 45 minutes passed and still no power - the judges had arrived. Three of my fabulous friends from Local 4 - Olive, Angie and John. Which I then had to sweet talk into sticking around - much longer than expected. Because now we were boarding a bus and headed to the West LCC campus to start editing again. Once we got there - the students had 1 hour left to edit.

Then judging began. This year - it was an open judging. Which meant that advisors and contestants could watch while the judges judged. I think it helped make - because in the morning when there was a small snafu - everyone seemed pretty open to the fix.

What a snafu - well to be honest my team did not go to the podium for gold. No they were silver. Somehow one of the teams that was disqualified for time, made it through judging without it being caught. So they were awarded first place. Well after the awards ceremony - there advisor notified us of the mistake and it was corrected, which put Lapeer with the gold and the bronze.

Regardless of the results. It was a great weekend. On Saturday night, I had dinner with my Lapeer students and my St. Clair Students. They all got along smashingly. We had a great time.
I was really proud on Sunday to watch all my students do so well. I can hardly take credit for Lapeer - that should go to Bruce. But after the award ceremony it was great the St. Clair Students found me to give me their advisor pins. I felt really special. They said that they wouldn't have made it without my help. It made me melt.

As for Kansas City - I am now trying to raise funds to get my Lapeer Students to KC. So if you need your car washed or lawn mowed give me a call because I will be pimping myself out until June. Or better yet if you want to just donate to help the youth of America - you can let me know that to - I'll let you know where to send the check.

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