Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Off to present!  Photos courtesy Michelle Shirk
When I was a child, my father used to refer to Christmas Eve day as the longest day of the year.  While my sister and I eventually learned that the statement was off by a few days, astronomically speaking, we certainly understood the sentiment -- the A-N-T-I-C-I-P-A-T-I-O-N (ala Carly Simon) was making us wait.

As fast as December 24th now goes in my world, the evening of the first day of National History Day in Pennsylvania competition is clearly vying for equinox status of its own. A-N-T-I-C-I-P-A-T-I-O-N , as I continually refresh the National History Day in PA! Facebook page, waiting for the runoff lists.  Remember yesterday's blog poem?  I truly believe that NHD has achieved holiday status in my mind.

It is one of those tons of family members, unpredictable changes in schedules, shaking the gift to figure out what's next kind of days that is a toss up between most emotionally draining, physically exhausting, and excitedly invigorating, simultaneously occurring.

Today seems to be one of those days, despite the fact that every single moment of the day seemed to mesh perfectly, providing timing breaks that couldn't have possibly been predicted.  I was able to see Kylee pay homage to the cruelty of Robespierre, and dash madly (you'll get the reference in a second...) to see Aiden and Joanna portray the finer points of Edgar Allan Poe in "Stark Raven Mad."   A dash back to the other end of the building, in time to meet Art Dresher, my fifth grade teacher, who had made the trip.  We were soon off to see Clark, aka Will Somers, talk about another crazy leader - Henry VIII.  The judges asked many questions, and I was sure I'd missed Ella and Mackenzie's documentary.  

I headed downstairs to be there when they came out of the room, only to find that they hadn't yet presented, and was able to witness their documentary and defense. 

Good Luck Cookies are always welcome.
I awoke this morning at 4:59, with the NHD last minute checklist running through my head. It is no coincidence that I pulled out of the parking lot at Millersville this evening at, you guessed it, 4:59 pm, after my last competitor was grilled by the judges for more than 20 minutes.  Now we wait! 
I can not say enough about the amazing support these kiddos have in their parents and extended families who came to view their projects. Whatever happens, is pure icing on the cake.  I could not be more proud of the research, the dedication, and the level of commitment to their projects demonstrated today.  

The sun will rise tomorrow, no matter what the outcome.  Each and every competitor -- and not just the ones from my district -- are experts in their field, and will carry tidbits of knowledge well into adulthood from their experiences in this competition.

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