The Finals for the Global Reading Challenge were held last night, and Katherine’s team looked ready for battle.
This picture was taken once everyone had arrived. There was a little drama getting everyone to that state, however. There was a good-sized event in the park across the street from the library where the Finals were being held, and since both were downtown, parking was at an extreme premium. Students and parents were asked to arrive at 15 minutes before the event was to start, and at least two of Katherine’s teammates walked in with only a couple of minutes to spare. Katherine was checking the hallway outside the room every minute for the last ten leading up to the kickoff. Hee hee. Just burning off a little nervous energy. Nothing to see here. Move along.
As you might expect in a “Finals” round of any competition, the bar had been raised. Not only was the competition stiffer, but nearly every question was a “short answer”. The “multiple choice” questions were an endangered species, and “true/false” were the thing of legend. I think it was CJ that remarked the organizers did that to help ensure there wouldn’t be any ties.
After each question was read, Katherine’s team spent a lot of time in the huddle, debating answers, and hurriedly writing them down before time was called.
In at least one case, however, huddling with her teammates and trying to jog each other’s memories about story minutiae appeared to be insufficient. I honestly think Katherine tried extracting the answers from thin air:
“ALL YOUR ANSWER ARE BELONG TO US!!”
The HVAC in the room we were in was really falling behind as the event wore on, and I noticed a lot of people were fanning themselves by the end. Now, Katherine is normally a very cold-blooded creature – frequently wearing sweaters into the summer – so I figured she would be fine. However, she had been wearing two T-Shirts all evening and was generally amped up, so even she was getting uncomfortably warm towards the end.
The Finals were broken up into three sets of eight questions each, with a very short break in between sets – just long enough to stand up and stretch. During one of the breaks, Katherine darted out into the hallway, and it took me a second to realize that she was really too warm and needed a drink from the fountain. Her teammates looked a little confused when she got up and left, but then REALLY went into a panic when the next round was being announced and she wasn’t back yet. She did make it back in time for the first question, but it was a close thing. When she stood up during the next break, I think me, her teacher, and three of her teammates all yelled spoke forcefully at once “Katherine, don’t leave!”.
In the end, Katherine’s team placed third. It was close though – the second place team was only a single question behind first, and third only a single question behind that.
On the drive home, Katherine expressed a little disappointment that her team didn’t win, but she was very relieved that it was over – both very normal emotions.
All in all, she handled herself very well, and she has two very proud parents.