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Yeah so this is my giant megapost about my trip to Tulsa and the BPA State Leadership Conference… be prepared for longness.

Monday:

We left out from school at about one in the afternoon and we made it Tulsa at about four. We had 11 people go all total including our teacher. We took a shorty bus and I lacked a book. So my poor little iPod got abused for three hours. (Muse makes for awesome traveling music.) We did our shopping first at Woodland Hills Mall. It kinda sucked. It was pretty much just clothing and food. No bookstores, no hobby stores, no nothing really.

It did have a Disney store though. I love Disney stores. I got two t-shirts for $20. One is black and has Maleficient and one is sort of dark periwinkle and has Snow White. I almost got a LEGO Batman t-shirt at Hot Topic, but they wanted $20 for it and the screen was pretty crap looking.

Dinner was at Outback. I had the Queensland Salad (my go to Outback meal.) I missed House. Then we took a quick trip to Wal-Mart to pick up a couple of things we still needed. I bought two books (Dead Until Dark and the first Harry Potter book) for reading on the way home.

We stayed at the Doubletree in Tulsa. The rooms were super nice. The sleeping arrangement was a bit ass though. The room had two double beds and there were three of us. We somehow made it work. Sleep the first night was fitful. I put the iPod on sleep mode and managed to way up roughly a minute before it shut off.

Tuesday:

The big day! We were up at five that morning to get ready since we had to leave by seven. We popped by McDonalds for breakfast on the way back to Okmulgee. We got to the campus just in time to unload the stuff for our team event and get their on time. We raged when we got to the room though. On the guidelines for the event it said that we would have 10 minutes to set our equipment up, but when we got there teams were already set up. Plus everyone was supposed to follow the dress code (professional dress for everyone) and there were teams in jeans and hoodies! We were pissed! The advisor for the test showed up and had us sign in and then at 8:57 told everyone that we needed to be set up by 9. We were pissed again.

When we finally got started we had five jobs to do: a flyer (which we didn’t practice), a database + business letter with mail merge (which I’m so glad we did practice), a spreadsheet, and an agenda. I thought we did awesome considering the nerves. We each knew what we needed to do to get things done. We did have a slight printer problem which made us all panic, but thankfully it cleared itself up. We know we made some errors, but we were running out of time. We finished 5th just missing getting a plaque.

I was worried upon looking at the schedule in the program since the team event was schedule to run beyond the time my solo event was to start. Thankfully that was just how long the rooms were booked in case something came up and we needed to start late. After the team event we repacked everything and headed over the student union. I skipped lunch because I had my solo event coming up, but I walked to the campus store to see what they had and on the way back we met most of the candidates running for State Executive Council.

I left for my event and had to wait forever in my really uncomfortable shoes in the hallway. I finally got called in and seated and saw that the woman who was our advisor had already graded us on dress code (I got my full 100 points! Whoo!) The computers were lined on three walls of the classroom and, of course, I got stuck in one of the corners. I had four jobs: a memo, a table, a report, and an agenda. The fact that we were all sharing one printer worried me a bit, but everything went smoothly there. I boomed through all four of my jobs and even had time to proofread! Not seeing any glaring errors I turned in my work and was dismissed. I was the second person out of the room.

I got back to the bus feeling awesome about what I did. I didn’t feel I made too many errors. We went back to the student union so I could snag some food and then we started the long wait for the last of our people to finish their events. I hung out on the bus with the rest of the team and tried to take a quick nap. No such luck, but I did get a chance to mellow out and reflect. I started to feel less awesome about my solo event since I was worried I finished too soon and had missed something in the instructions.

At about 3:15 everyone was done and we headed back to Tulsa. We stopped back at the hotel for about an hour to let everyone unwind a bit before dinner and the first awards ceremony. Dinner was at the Cheesecake Factory… it was very good, but slightly expensive for my blood. I had the spicy cashew chicken over white rice and a nice slice of white chocolate and macadamia nut cheesecake.

The first awards ceremony was for all the post-secondary students (i.e. me) and was held at Oral Roberts University. (The praying hands are awesome in person.) We were stuck in the middle of the lower section which meant a nice long walk to and from the stage. The keynote speakers were the national secondary and post-secondary presidents. I have to say I wasn’t impressed. But finally the ceremony started with much mispronunciation on the parts of the announcers. We had to sit through twenty categories before we got to my solo event. They announced the top ten by listing them on screens on either end of the stage and then asking them to meet backstage. Finalists were then given a medal and lead on stage where the executive council passed out trophies/plaques to the top four when they were announced.

I didn’t even see my name when my event came up, but I was there! I (somehow) made it down the stairs without falling on my face and got exceedingly nervous as we had to go on stage. When they started announcing the top four I calmed a little since I was sure I wasn’t going to get anything, but sure enough I vaguely heard a name that sounded like mine as the winner and my classmates cheering for me. I was in shock. Backstage the top ten had their photos taken and then it was back to my seat! I made it back up the stairs to find everyone cheering for me. I was still in total shock.

I didn’t get much of a breather since our team event was only a few categories after that. Again I didn’t see our names, but we were there as finalists. We made it down the stairs (I had to hold one of their hands cause I was still totally freaking out.) We got our medals, but we didn’t place in the top four. (On Friday we found out we got 5th.) We were all bummed, but still proud of what we did since we battled with learning new programming and computer and printer difficulties. The other post-secondary student that competed also made it as a finalist (she got 10th.)

After the awards ceremony we headed back to the hotel. I changed and then hit the lobby with the team and one of our computers to see if we could get the net and go over what happened in the event. We were still bummed. We didn’t get to sleep till nearly one in the morning! We were all still wound up about the day. Sleep came much easier… I passed out and didn’t wake up till the alarm sounded.

Wednesday:

We woke up a bit later than the day before and dressed for the secondary (high schoolers) awards ceremony. We stopped at Krispy Kreme for breakfast (we were planning on IHOP, but some were strapped for cash.) We got to Oral Roberts late and ended up in the upper section. The keynotes for the second ceremony were great. They were a comedy duo called The Skit Guys. I thought there were great. I got some good laughs out of them.

The awards ceremony finally started, but both events for our high schoolers were near the end. One of the girls made it to the top ten (she finished 9th) and the other didn’t make finalist. We took group pictures before we left.

We stopped by Barnes & Noble and I picked up Otomen volume 1 and then hit up McDonalds for lunch (wasn’t really in the mood for a sit down meal.) I changed in McDonalds and ate on the bus. Back home it was cold and rainy and we finally made it back here at about 7:15. When we stopped for gas at the end of the turnpike we ran into my 8th grade math teacher who is now a principal at one of the local schools here. He remembered who I was even though I haven’t seen him nearly ten years. It made me happy since he was one of the coolest teachers I had.

Picture of me with my medals and my trophy (I’m holding it backwards lol I'm also trying not to bust out laughing):


I was exhausted when I got home, but I somehow made it to school on Thursday. I got congratulations from my other classmates and the administrators at school. Needless to say I got a huge boost of confidence.

Nationals is what I’m faced with now though. It’s being held in Dallas this year on May 6-9 which means I’ll be there on my birthday. In fact my event is on my birthday so there we go. I’ve already been on all the tours they’re offering so we’ll probably skip all of those and do our own thing. I do get a free trip to Six Flags on the 8th. I hope they actually have someone dressed in the costumes this time. I’m still pissed there was nothing the last time I went. I want my picture taken with Bugs Bunny! And also Batman. >_>

I’m bummed that I’m the only one going to Nationals though. I’m gonna feel all weird and out of place since I won’t know anyone that’s going. A couple of the girls from the team said they wanna drive down for the awards ceremony at least so someone will be there to yell when I win.

On the 26th of this month I have to go Stillwater for a winner’s workshop. I don’t really wanna go since it’s a long ass drive up there and I’ll be there all freaking day. But you gotta do what you gotta do… and I get to miss another day of school so whoo.

This (the time of year and what is rapidly approaching in April) has made me think about what mom would think of me now. I’ve certainly changed in some way. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I definitely know I’ve changed. I know she’d be super proud that I went back to school even if it is just a technical school (and I can get a college degree through them anyway), but I’m also really enjoying learning what I’m learning. I haven’t been really happy to attend class in a long time, now I’m actually enjoying learning to use the different computer programs I’ll need and learning medical terminology was awesome. (I can decode House now!)

I also think she’d be proud of me for just trying to do this whole competition thing. I’ve never been one to try something like this. I’m too afraid of trying and failing. I always stood back and let it pass me by in high school. At first I only signed up because my solo event had a computerized pre-test I had to get through first. I figured that if I failed that I’d still be okay, but then I got roped into the team thing which I was going period. I also had to learn Access in less than a week and I was so worried that I wouldn’t understand it and bring the whole team down. I was worried the entire week before that I’d get up there and completely blow both events and come home a wreck. But I didn’t. I did damn good in both my events. Sure, we didn’t a spiffy plaque for our team event, but you know what… we still kicked ass.

On the way home I was feeling kind of silly for getting a confidence boost just from winning an event where I typed up a bunch of office documents better than anyone else. But the more I think about it the more I feel like I should be boosted from it. I should be feeling awesome. I’m a state champion at something! I could potentially be a national champion at something! That’s fucking awesome! I feel like this contest did change me because I tried something I never even thought to try before. I did something I’m proud of. Go me! I’M AWESOME!

This is getting really long so I guess I should wrap it up… we’ve got company coming over tonight so my uncle gets to brag about how I won to someone. =)

Also leaving my cat for two and a half days has turned him into a needy love thing that’s driving us all crazy. Can’t wait to see what’s gonna happen when I’m gone for nearly a week.

Also also... I finally did catch this week's House. Wilson ♥

I think I'll change the top banner on the journal tomorrow. I'm in the mood for something red...

Date: 2009-03-16 01:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kohikki.livejournal.com
YAY QUEEN!
I'm so happy for you!
I like that you were able to get your 100 points from dressing nice and I'm sure your mom would be really proud of you!
Keep kicking ass at the nationals too!
You can do it! >:3

Date: 2009-03-16 04:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] angelosarcasm89.livejournal.com
Aww honey, I'm so proud of you!

*Gives you hugs and Batman and cookies and stuff*

Date: 2009-03-25 09:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rozillla.livejournal.com
I'm so out of the loop with yo Cris!! You look great! What is it that you're doing?? Medical sturf I'm supposing.. but whut??

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