Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Math Jean Yus

I really wasn't sure what we were walking into when we showed up at the theater last night for the Math Awards.

But people were looking pretty dressed up. Uh oh.

Ken and I were really working the Nerd-Geek Family angle. Ken was sporting his HItchhiker's Guide To the Galaxy T-shirt. I had my Blogger t-shirt on, and Skip was kind of sad that he couldn't lay his hands on his Official Star Trek Captain Kirk jersey. Yeah. We're all Overdressed like that.

I was kicking myself for returning the 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. I really needed it.

The 50mm just wasn't working for me. And I am kind of sad.

But I have the memories in my brain.

When we got to the theater, we were immediately greeted by a woman in a red dress.

"Oh! I'm SO GLAD that Skip told you about tonight. I was worried that I was going to have to phone you myself to make sure that you came."

Say what? I'm glad that she's so diligent, making sure that all her students have their parents at this event. I guess we were the last hold-outs, or something. She told us to all sit in the audience, and when Skip's class was called, he could just go up with the crowd.

So we got comfortable in the audience. I fuss a bit. We should have dressed a little nicer. Maybe I should have rented the big lens again.

"It's not a big deal, mom. We go up, they shake our hand, we sit down. Do we have to be here?"

There are a LOT of kids in the Honor Society. 41 in Skip's Algebra II/Trig class, alone.

And here those 41 get called up to the stage. Hooray Skip! Now go and stand RIGHT in the middle of the stage, like I told you. Honor your mother, dude. I'm taking pictures for Poppa.

Oh, look at that! He listened! And he's right smack in the middle of the stage.


Oh grr. That's the best focus I could get? I am kicking myself for returning that big lens.

Listen to my mantra: It's not the camera, it's the photographer. It's not the camera, it's the photographer. It's not the camera, it's the photographer.

And besides, I could be shooting with a blurry little instamatic, and I wouldn't care. That's MY BOY ON STAGE!

One of the teachers was retiring, after 41 years at the school, so the A+ students from the graduating class performed a little song for him. There were THIRTY SIX kids that got an A+ in the class. Those are some high achievers. Egads.

And to go along with their presentation, they made him wear a crown and a king's robe.

It kind of made me sad that Skip wasn't going to get to be taught by him. He was obviously a great motivator and a favourite of many of the students.

He took over, at this point, and wanted to present the awards for top students in the school. First, he invited everyone that had been involved in writing any of the Math Competitions over the year to come on stage.

So Skip went back up on stage.

That's Skip on the left. Looking awkward and out of place among all the Juniors and Seniors.

The Retiring Professor announced that this year, a Freshman had really risen to the top, and had beaten out all other Freshmen and Sophomores at the AMC 10 competition.

Congratulations, Skip Parker!

Then he said "We'd also like to recognize that we have a student here on stage that is in the Top 1% in the Nation.... So come on back here, Skip. You're not done yet."

WHAT? I looked at Ken. "Did you know about this?" HE was just smirking. Yeah. That apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Ken had been in the top 1% when he was in Senior High. Can you say "Proud Papa?"


Then it was time to honor the Sophomores. And one of them had won the AMC12 competition (which is against ALL high school students in the nation) THe professor said "Congratulations, Ben. Don't get too comfortable. Remember, Skip Parker beat you in the other exam." (the AMC10)

Yeah. Shout Out to my boy!

That's Skip doing his "AWKWARD" look.

And then it was time to honor the Seniors. "OK, you can go sit down now... oh, not you Skip. Sit up here on stage. It'll save you some time later..."


"Don't worry, son. You're not in trouble."

He just didn't want you to have to walk so far when it's time to honor the Outsanding Freshmen, 5 minutes later...

(ooh! See the little blondie on the left? That's the girl that crushed on him so badly when he was in 1st and 2nd grade. How CUTE!)

So the Prof is going on about the "fresh blood" and how these students are The New Legacy, and then he says "But we want to honor the TOP in each grade. And that's hard, because the freshman class gave birth to TWINS. SO let's honor our TWINS, Skip and Louis.

And everyone laughed.

Because there's not much else that could be different about these 'twins'.

(and I laughed the loudest, because I knew that Skip had thought he was Chinese until he was in 2nd grade, so they really were more alike than people knew)

Congratulations, Skip.

You can use that trophy to build your muscles.

Put it on the shelf. Take it off the shelf.

Put it on the shelf. Take it off the shelf.

Wax on. Wax off. Wax on. Wax off.

And at the end of the night, we made sure to offer our most sincere thanks to Skip's teacher, who really went above and beyond to make sure that we got to see this wonderful event. She was so modest, how it was all him, but I know that a bad teacher can kill your will to live, let alone your interest in Math, and I told her as much. This trophy speaks nearly as much to her inspiration, as it does to Skip's natural talent, and I don't want her to think anything less.

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