Saturday, February 2, 2013

Alex At The 2013 MATHCOUNTS Regionals

Song:  One Day

Artist:  Helen Jane Long

We had missed the MATHCOUNTS Regional dinner last night
because Alex had come down with the flu
(many children are out sick at Alex's school).

He had gotten home from school and immediately went to bed.
He had slept from about 3:30 PM until we had awakened him at around 7:30 AM...
the next day.

He had slept for 15 hours straight. 
 He had skipped dinner, and my wife was monitoring his fever every few hours.  

He was still very lethargic this morning...
but his headache and fever weren't so bad, so... he wasn't going to miss this
once a year event...and he especially couldn't let his school math team down.

Had it just been an individual event...
we would have skipped it this time.

However, the greater lesson here was that when people are depending on you...
you must push past normal thresholds of discomfort
(had he been vomiting or had diarrhea...he, of course, would not have gone).

This was for the top math students and math teams from each middle school 
from Northern Nevada to compete for the right to go to the State Finals.

There were 3 separate written tests.
The first two were placement for the individual category...
and the last one was for the team placement.

The MATHCOUNTS Regional competition.
The competitors were in the break room awaiting the start of the testing.

The competitors getting the orientation and the contest rules prior to the testing
(parents were there only for the orientation portion.
Alex is in the black shirt near the upper right of the seating).

Alex on break after the first round of testing.

The lady standing at the table's end is Alex's Algebra 
and math club MATHCOUNTS Instructor.

The man standing next to her is Alex's Geometry
and math club AMC 10 Instructor.

Coral Academy of Science 2013 Regional Math Team.
This testing will determine which four from the team will advance to the State level
(Alex, and the other two students without the light blue team shirts
were too big for the ones which were brought for them to wear on that morning).

While we were awaiting the conclusion to Alex's last test...
I was in pain.

Notice the tissue in my ear. 
 I had to emplace impromptu earplugs.

My wife thought it was funny that I had done this.


Well...there is only a certain volume of noise...
and especially, a certain frequency...
that I can tolerate.

The group of girls at the table to the right of my head in the picture...well...
they had surpassed my threshold on both levels  :)

When you can't adapt to the situation...
you improvise a solution :)

There was still another hour or two left in the program.
There was a fun round for the top 8 competitors...
and then there was the results announcement and award ceremony.

We had to skip both as Alex was still not feeling well.
He was very pale and very tired.  Right after the testing...we went home
 (although Alex had the worst of it...all three of us were hit with the illness).

We went home and all of three of us went right to bed.

Before leaving...
I had asked Alex's MATHCOUNTS Club teacher to E-mail us the results
as Alex wasn't up to staying around for the awards ceremony.

Upon awakening...
we got the results.

Alex had placed 3rd overall for the Northern Region of Nevada in the individual category
(with little doubt that at least one of the top two came from the Davidson Academy)...

and his Math Team also came in 3rd place...
allowing his team to also go to the State finals.

Alex is competing at the State Finals next month in both categories...
Individual...and Team.

The State Finals will be a simultaneous competition for both regions of the State...
Northern and Southern.

 There...individuals, and teams, will be competing for placement at the Nationals.

Here Alex is not feeling well at all...
having had done his best for himself and performing for his team...
and there I am...
a bonehead trying to remember where he had parked the car  :)

The next article I was supposed to write on about Alex's extra credit essay
will probably have to wait a few days...
instead of being written tomorrow as originally had been planned
(Alex is not only tougher than I am in many respects...
he doesn't complain nearly so much as I do  :)

Alex had performed well...
and all...
without excuses...without complaining.

He kept his focus on the testing...
and he soldiered on...
for himself...
and for his team.

This was his biggest lesson for this day...
and learned it well... he had.


  1. Alex looks miserable in the pictures... I'm sure it was very difficult for him to be there. To do as well as he did under those conditions is amazing, and speaks to the strength of his mind and character. Hopefully you all feel better soon, and that Alex will be in top condition for the state finals.

  2. Yes...he did a fantastic job trying his best under illness. He hasn't been back to school yet. He will stay home one more day.


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