I don’t even know where to begin.
This season has, without question, been the most incredible season in Ninjineers history in every way possible.
This year, we emerged finalists from a regional for the first time, meaning we’re tiny steps away from qualifying for World Championships on our own merit. Wow.
This year we entered for all awards for the first time, receiving valuable feedback and encouragement from judges to propel us forward in seasons to come.
This year I watched my freshmen, my beloved little people, grow into outstanding student leaders, shining in their own merit and showing me a brightly lit path into 2383’s future.
This year will be a year forever ingrained in my memory as one of the most incredible experiences of my life, a breakthrough moment for my team, my family, and my life.
Now, Brian has given you a wonderful frame-by-frame account of both Virginia and South Florida Regionals, but I’m going to be a little selfish and tell it how I felt it.
Being a member of the drive team for the first time was a absolutely incredible experience. I’d like to sincerely thank my team and the seniors for trusting me with this fabulous opportunity and my fellow drive team members ad I will cherish this experience forever. We created a fabulous dynamic within ourselves to handle the situation, and I never once felt afraid or lost on the field- Damian’s constant “loosy goosie”s and Andrey’s terrible jokes and Prajesh’s frequent bathroom visits kept the mood light and excited and I enjoyed every single moment of it.
And of course, Dean’s List. The award belongs to every single member of my team- everyone that has supported me, guided me, helped me- and allowed our team to blossom into the incredible organization we have become. Dean’s List is for student leaders, but I couldn’t lead anything if you weren’t an unparalleled group of people willing to work hard and together, and to shape and mold me into the person I have become. The best part of receiving the award wasn’t hearing my name, or shaking hands with Dean Kamen’s mother (WHAT?!), but the resounding cheers and avalanche of hugs I got from you guys. Your love and support is the greatest recognition I could ask for, so thank you. The entire experience is completely surreal, and I’m not sure it has sunk in yet. I honestly can’t put into words the love and gratitude I have for my perfect family.
So, this was a year of fantastic new beginnings, but also a year of goodbyes.
Many things have changed since I joined robotics my freshman year, but one thing has remained comfortably constant. The seniors leaving us this year aren’t just any old graduating class- they were the beginning of the beginning. Their freshman year started the change and as they grew into their instrumental roles their sophomore year, led us to elimination rounds for the first time. And WOW have we grown from there. This incredible group of people- Cody, Michael, Bri, Ricky, Ryan, Brian, among others- stepped into the forefront from the very beginning, and have defined and formed the Ninjineers family into what we are today. I’ve worked closely with them these past three years, and they have grown into some of my closest friends, and have come to symbolize 2383 to me. This year’s goodbyes will be particularly difficult.
So here’s a short tribute:
Cody- LOOSIE GOOSIE?! What have you done? Stay awesome and come visit often please!! I’ll miss you tons and tons! (Did we ever get the robotics environment “quote” on tape? XD)
Ricky- seriously ricky=robotics. Despite your civil wars (with the all-powerful XD) you remain a beacon of encouragement and positivity- if anyone has faith in the future of our club and our potential, it’s you 🙂 maybe you’ll have my dad at FIU and I’ll get to see you often! 😀
Ryan- Thanks for sticking by me through the fun times and rough patches! You have a bright future ahead of you 🙂 Please continue to drive me nuts for years to come <3
Bri- ANOTHER GIRL?! Remember when there were like 3 of us in robotics? It’s been so much fun rooming with you and messing around and just laughing at the boys’ antics. Good luck and I’ll miss you a lot!! Keep in touch 🙂
Michael- hey prom drama is almost over! XD and so is this year…. </3 I’ll miss you and your judgments so much :)) Please keep talking to me 😛
And last but not least Brian: you aren’t just the most amazing co-president I could ever ask for (covering for me, doing the work when junior year was less than merciful, etc.) but also the most amazing best friend. In every situation (robotics and otherwise) you have been there for me and supported me through all of the changes we made this year. If I’m a good leader it’s because I have you at my back and I honestly can’t thank you enough for the edits, backup, and memories from this year.
Thank you Team 2383 for a year full of incredible experiences, victories, lessons, and memories- now for a bigger, brighter 2015!!!
I love you all.