Sunday, April 20, 2014
Alex In Las Vegas For A State Math Team Practice Session
Song: Adagio In C Minor
The night before our flight to Las Vegas for a state team math practice session.
Alex and I went to one of our favorite restaurants...Naan and Kabab.
Alex had his old favorite...Salmon Kabab.
The purpose of this session was to familiarize the team members with one another...
and to find out their particular strengths and weaknesses so they may not only compensate
for each other during the team rounds, but to develop a team strategy for attacking
the problems at the Nationals.
We had awakened Alex at 3:30 AM so we could get breakfast before our flight.
Alex had grilled Salmon...
and I had a T-bone steak and eggs at a local Denny's on our way to the airport.
As I usually stay awake all night...
I hadn't slept since the day before.
Although I was feeling fine then...
later on in the day...
I really felt it.
We are at the Reno airport on our way to our departure gate.
We had arrived plenty early.
Alex just relaxed with his iPad.
This was only Alex's second time in an airplane.
His first time was seven years ago when he flew with his mother to Japan
to see his grandparents.
We had a short and pleasant flight to Las Vegas.
Alex enjoyed looking out at the passing scenery.
This hung in the room of the math teacher from Hyde Park.
Hyde Park has consistently produced many math champions over the years.
One of the team member's father had picked Alex, and I, up at the airport...
and took us to the math teacher's classroom for a day of team math practice.
Some of the parents of the state team members were there in the morning.
This is the state math team coach.
He has been the coach of the state math team for quite a few years.
These four young men are the best Middle School mathematicians
in the State of Nevada.
They are all very bright...
and all so closely matched in mathematical capabilities.
The coach first separated the four into teams of two...
and gave them problems to solve.
The coach then had the members rotate so each member could work
with all of the other members of the team.
Both, the young man in the hooded blue shirt, and Alex, are 8th graders...
and so, this is their last year of Mathcounts competition.
The young man in the solid blue shirt, and the young man in the red shirt...
are both 7th graders.
For these two to have made the State Mathcounts Team was extremely impressive.
Almost certainly, one of these two will be number one in the state next year.
One of the members explaining how he had solved a particular problem
(this young man seemed to be particularly strong in Geometry).
A few days before this practice session...
each member had to create two problems for the other members to try to solve...
and they, of course, had to have detailed answers included.
Alex's problems are below:
Team Nevada hard at work.
Each member is driven by his goals and dreams.
Each member is highly intelligent...and is deadly serious in his training.
Each member is thoroughly dedicated to his mission to master his art.
And each member knows he will soon enter the arena of intellectual combat...
and so, he must constantly hone his skills if he is to fare well...
for each is an intellectual warrior preparing for battle.
The Intellectual Knights of Nevada.
The top four Middle School Mathematicians in the State.
The team having lunch in the teacher's lounge area.
The father who had picked Alex and I up from the airport
had taken me to a sandwich shop as a special trip just so I could
get Alex a Tuna sandwich.
He was very understanding to Alex's aversion to certain types of food.
The rest of the team had Pizza.
After the team finished their lunch...
I stayed in the lounge area and got some much needed sleep.
The father of one of the team members (in the far center of the photo)
had awakend me at the conclusion of the study session.
The other parents were here to pick up their children...
and the same father in the picture then took Alex and I back to the airport.
Alex with the math coach (Mr. Lawrence)...
the Weapons and Tactics Master of Team Nevada.
It was through this practice session that he had worked out their final battle plan...
the tactics from which the Knights of Nevada shall forge their team into a single battle unit.
There is nothing left to do but for each knight to apply the final polish on their armor...
and to sharpen their weapons one last time before they engage with the
220 finest mathematical knights in the nation...
in the greatest Middle School mathematical tournament in the nation...
the Mathcounts Nationals
(to be held in a few weeks time in Florida).
A tired Alex at the Las Vegas airport.
As we had a few hours to kill...
we ate at a Chinese restaurant before our flight.
Alex enjoying the twilight's last gleaming from 34,000 ft.
We are on our final approach...Reno Airport.
The practice session with the rest of the state team was very productive...
and Alex had gotten a lot from it.
We were, however, very glad to get back home.
Both of us were very tired...
and we looked forward to relaxing some before going to bed.
As tomorrow is a holiday...
there is no ARML practice.
I think Alex and I will go out to enjoy ourselves at an Imax movie...
after he completes his normal daily studies...of course :)