The Joy of Winning
"Oh my God!" was exclaimed into my right ear and resonated above everyone in the room. My heart was thumping because I wasn't exactly sure what was happening. I wasn't excited to be going or even pleased. All I could think about was, "What did I get myself into? I shouldn't be here, I don't deserve this."
It all began on one of the most disastrous bus rides I have ever experienced that doesn't include a wreck. I was going to Grand Junction for the Western Slope Science Fair. I didn't even care about what I was about to do. I knew my information well enough just to get through the day. Then the storm hit us. I looked out the front window of the bus and peered out into the ferocious blizzard. The heater was not working on the right side window. On top of not being able to see, we had just hit a construction area where I wasn't sure what could be on the road.
An hour later than expected, we got out of the bus and headed for the auditorium where we were to set up our projects. After sprinting inside to keep my board protected from the elements, I walked with my fellow participants and set up my project. I didn't care at all about how good my project appeared in the eyes of the judges.
After I had set up, I got ready to go to lunch, since most of my companions were ready to eat. We all went down to Mesa Mall's Food Court where I had sausage pizza that had grease dripping down onto the plate. After I was finished eating, my friend Jimmy had to buy a CD, so we flew down to the FYE Music Emporium. As we ran out to the bus to go back, a hailstorm picked up. The hail felt like a thousand needles striking me at the same time and there was no way that I could open my eyes completely. By the time we got on the bus, I couldn't think of anything else that could go wrong that day.
As I came down the stairs to go into the project hall, I found out that I had to stand next to my project for the next four hours. The hard concrete floor made me tired before I had stood for ten minutes. The judges started coming to certain projects around me but they never stopped at mine. I didn't really care since I knew I wasn't going to win anyway. Finally, a group of engineering judges approached me. The speech I gave to them was jumpy and I thought they didn't care about my project anyway. Nevertheless, the questions began to fly my way.
"How could you come up with such a unique and radical design?" one of them asked. I was thrown by complete surprise by this because I thought it was no big deal and that I hadn't come up with anything new at all. I told them how it was actually a mistake, but it wasn't like I didn't have a clue about what I was doing. It came from the idea that a curved structure produces more lift than one that has no curve. My design has many curves in it to get a lot of lift. The questions kept coming from them and I answered them like a pro. I became more confident by the second...