Memory Story: Portfolio #5

1) Reaction

Reading the tow stories, I found that the most vivid memories are to do with personal pain, I believe this is common because the brain remembers mistakes, and tries to illuminate them in the future. Stephen King described his bout with the measles, crushing his toes, a bee sting, and getting hit by a bus. Jeannette Walls describes her first memory, at three years old, she was badly burned while cooking hotdogs. In King’s exert, the line, “The pain was beyond anything I have ever felt since — the only thing close was the first month of recovery after being struck by a van in the summer of 1999,” shows the pain he suffered, which he correlates to the smell of alcohol. The immense pain allowed that memory to stay with him, not because he liked it, but because he hated it. When Walls says, “…I felt a blaze of heat on my right side. I turned to see where it was coming from and realized my dress was on fire. Frozen win fear, I watched the yellow-white Flames make a ragged brown line up the pink fabric of my skirt and climb my stomach. Then the flames leaped up, reaching my face,” she describes in such detail, I can infer that the memory was so important and painful, she remembered every detail.

2) What is your favorite memory?

My favorite memory starts January 20, 2011, the day my team won the FLL state championship, the most treacherous of battles with a sole survivor, and the most prestigious award given each year on the state level. This was the first of two wins, the second a year after. Anyways, the competition season started with a very successful regional win, drowning out the weaklings from the wolf pack, and that same success would be translated to the state competition. Competing with 63 of the best teams in Illinois (200+ total), my team, iLEGO, won the first place Champions award, the first place ambassador award, and the first place in robot performance, shaming he other warriors.

To start, the robot performance was one of the most impressive parts of our team, like the United States’ military’s arsenal. Hundreds of hours went into building, programming, rebuilding, and reprogramming to get a perfect 400 point score. Our team was scouted by the owner and CEO of Lego, Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, and we even scored a picture with the billionaire. Anyways, four runs, 400 points apiece, our team was unstoppable, like the Americans during the world wars. We even became known for our badass robots, which were more elegant and more complex than the best Chinese robots, just like America’s military being compared to every other country’s military.

The ambassador award was a recognition of our team both in success and the spirit of promoting the FLL organization. This was our second year in a row winning first place ambassador award, and we were even invited to Taiwan (which we did not attend) for a world open competition the year before to represent Illinois. The ambassador award not only let my team and I travel to other parts of the world, but to demo our amazing robot at places like Google’s Chicago office, the Taste of Chicago, local parades, and more.

The champions award was a real treat, because of it, we were invited to the World Festival in St. Louis, a conglomeration of all of the top teams in all of the FIRST programs (FLL, FTC, and FRC), the ultimate battle between the largest and most powerful forces in the world. At the World Festival, my team would have been second in the entire world; however, we were disqualified after two of our team member’s brothers were playing a game called “Ninja”, and through misunderstanding, they were considered battling and fighting on behalf of my team.

Because of our hard work, we were gifted the championship trophy at the Illinois state championship by shutting down the other competitors, and we advanced to the World Festival in St. Louis for the ultimate battle, making it my favorite memory.