Friendship @ ThinkQuest
Well, now the whole team is actually in Los Angeles at the ThinkQuest Finals Event! We're all really excited to finally meet in person after all this time: Thank you ThinkQuest!
Anyway, here's a little article I wrote with Janine for the ThinkQuest page so I thought I'd put it up here too.
Instant Friends: Just Add Awards Weekend
If you had a tracking system that displayed the global position of all the cool people in the world, you would find that there was an unprecedented concentration of them in Los Angeles during the all-to-brief ThinkQuest Awards Weekend. And of course, now they’re all great friends.
I must say that the process of making new friends started the moment we arrived. I got to the Hilton at 3 a.m. on Saturday and immediately met my Indian roommate, Manas, who willingly sacrificed a couple of hours of sleep just to chat. He was the first friend I made during the weekend.
And friendship was a recurring theme that was played out throughout the weekend. Although everyone at the ThinkQuest finals has a diverse background, they all share certain things: a strong passion for their work, an appreciation of computers, and a wish to make new friends.
Naturally, it helped that the Awards Weekend gathered together a truly exceptional and inspiring group of people. Undoubtedly, the concentration of boundless energy and brilliant minds was amazing. Everyone here was incredibly friendly and just so interesting in his or her own way. The only problem was finding enough time to meet everyone. I know I certainly spent every moment I could simply talking and meeting new people, and yet I never met even half of the teens here (not to mention coaches, Tomorrow’s Teachers and national partners, etc.).
Not all of the people were total strangers.It was amazing for me to look around the room and see nametags of people with whom I’d been communicating via the ‘net but had not had the opportunity to meet until now. For months these people had been just names and text but suddenly they exploded into full 3-D.
What impressed me most, was just how quickly people came together. Perhaps the months of not being able to meet anyone else from ThinkQuest gave us a thirst to really know these remarkable people, especially if they were your teammates or coaches. I now feel as if I’ve known my team and all our coaches forever.
While many relationships and friendships were started before the Awards Weekend, countless more were formed over the weekend. Old ones were strengthened beyond imagination. I guess that in a decade or so, when all the glamour of the weekend has faded away and our entries are ancient history, the friendships we’ve formed will still be with us. I certainly hope that they last a lifetime.
Back to ABOUT / Technical differences (How do we differ technologically?)