April 1-3: Robotics Recovery

Robotics is over. I am both very sad and also hugely relieved. It was such a good season. We ended our first competition at 6th out of 36 teams. We were captains of the fourth highest ranked alliance, but a burned out motor kept us from moving past the quarter finals. I’m not even mad. Second competition was a much larger and more challenging field. We ended up 13th out of 59. Seven of the 12 teams ahead of us were already qualified for World’s, meaning they’d already won a regional competition. We came out ranked higher than three teams who were qualified for World’s, and the five non-worlds-qualified teams ranked higher than us were very good, and I have zero shame about being ranked behind them. Considering last year we were basically bottom 10% at both our competitions because the robot never actually worked, I am super pleased with our overall performance.

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Sunday night I slept 12 hours. Monday morning I woke up, sat up, stretched, and blacked out. I slammed my forehead into the wall and came to very disoriented with my husband trying to figure out what on Earth just happened. It was a weird way to start the day. Monday night I got almost no sleep because I took a long nap after school and then Tuesday had a full day interview in SF for a potential new position next year still pretty fuzzy from the blow to the head and too tired to even attempt to put up any kind of “This is an interview and I am a professional” front that is normally expected. Peak Val Plus Head Trauma may lead to interesting results. Tuesday night I slept 14 hours. I’m still exhausted. I have no idea when I will ever be not-tired again. I hope sometime soon.

Physics: This unit has been half-taught by my colleague because he’s taken over the classes where I’ve been gone for robotics and interviews. It’s the circuits part, which makes me a bit sad, since I freaking love circuits, but such is life. Today we talked about power in series and parallel. It was pretty great to see their faces when we found that the exact same resistors in parallel drew FOUR AND A HALF TIMES more power than they did in series. Minds. Blown.

Honors Physics: We started mechanics when we got back from break. Done with forces and starting energy. I already introduced that the only two types of energy we really care about are “moving now” and “how much can it move later”. How do you make things move later? Work. And done. We’ll do a lab tomorrow and Friday will bring in LOL diagrams for more complex situations where there’s friction or other outside forces. The best.

AP Physics: We’re almost done with the entire AP curriculum. Today we talked about Lenz’s Law and generators. We then had a discussion (ok, I talked) about different ways of generating power and how there is literally no good answer, because every single options is harmful in some way and we need to be aware of the trade-off and cost-benefit required to find a good solution. Tomorrow will be LR and LC circuits, and then we’re done. After that, a month of practice problems and released AP problems. It’ll be great.

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