It started in the eighth grade. I was on the Science Olympiad team (if you have no idea what scioly is click here), and due to an...interesting schedule arrangement a large part of our work was done in class. We were thirteen and had absolutely no idea what we were doing, so assignment of events was pretty much a mixture of voluntelling and eenie-meenie-minie-moe. I ended up working on the Scrambler (a small car powered by a falling weight that had to travel a specific distance - really easy stuff compared to what we're doing now), and let's just say it was less than stellar. But they still let me cut PVC and everything. Little did I know how lucky I was.
A few weeks before competition, I was really tired. Like really tired. I don't know why. And when I get tired, I get hyper. Like really hyper. I don't know why. Point is, I was playing with a yardstick. And it was really entertaining. So as I waltzed around the classroom, I was spinning this yardstick around and rapping people on the head with it and poking them in the side and getting into all sorts of yardstick-related mischief. (This is the point at which I realize how many times I have said 'yardstick' and how much I wish I could say meterstick. But I know it's not true. Sigh. Frigging inches.)
I broke our helicopter.
Yeah. I hit it with the yardstick. The helicopter two of my teammates had painstakingly constructed from balsa wood and plastic bags. I broke it in half. I am not proud.
And thus began five years of ridicule.
Ever since that fateful day, the unwritten rule was that Kaitlyn was not to be permitted to touch any building events or the robot. At all. To the extent that I would have to put my hands in my pockets if I wanted to go within seven feet of any build project while wearing safety glasses at all times and having a chaperone. Part of me knows that this was for my own protection ("coordinated" has never been a word used to describe me), but I know it was mostly for the sake of whatever had been built and the sanity of our build team. I really couldn't blame them.
But this year, somehow, I have broken down the safety barriers.
I got to drive the robot. Like multiple times. The arm AND the base. And I DIDN'T BREAK IT, GUYS. I got to unscrew something on the robot. I got to stand in the pit. I got to touch the code and do all kinds of cool stuff.
And today, I learned how to solder.
|I'm obscenely proud of this|
That's right. My teammates let me wield a 900 degree iron and solder. CONSENSUALLY. And I didn't break anything, burn myself, or set the building on fire.
MAYBE I CAN BE A NORMAL HUMAN TOO, GUYS.