Jakob N QuisenberryGatton Academy Application1/03/18    My most unforgettable learning experience occurred in the eighth grade. This particular event occurred after school, the middle of eighth-grade winter. I was in FLL Robotics. ‘First’ was the company that sponsored these events, and being in middle school, we were qualified to compete in FLL, or “First Lego League”. The competition consisted of three parts. Two were rather standard, as they both dealt with performance and skill. These were Performing Arts (Skit), and the robotics skill assessment (obstacle course). The third was arguably the most important thing First was looking for, upholding core values. The major value was the open display of gracious professionalism. Over the course of two days, I learned many valuable skills and gained tools that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.    It was the day before the big competition, and the entire team was staying late for the critical preparation period. We were running final diagnostics on the robot, and finalizing our skit in a final effort to strengthen our game. The skit team had finished preparing and was in the process of packing up. Everyone gathered in the robot room for a final meeting and walkthrough of the skills contest. We began a timed run of the robot and ran the mission programs. (Missions were the term for the tasks the robot needed to complete). The final mission was executed, but the laptop holding the programs began to make odd sounds. The screen turned blue, and the device rebooted. When we re-opened the program editor, everything was gone. The crucial programs needed for the competition had been deleted.    Our team was distraught, and our hopes of winning the competition were eliminated. Our instructor, however, looked calm and collected. She told us to sit, and she told us “you can’t predict these things, we just have to rebuild better than before.” We had two choices; Quit, and opt out of competition, or rebuild our programs and compete. We chose the latter. We stayed several more hours, everyone focused on the software rebuild, and around ten o’clock at night we finished. We had completed our goal and decided to accept the outcome of the competition.    We anxiously awaited our results and sighed with relief when out of thirty teams, we were one of the two finalists.  Going through this experience definitely taught me to look at a problem from all angles, as a problem’s solution can become clearer with perspective, I learned that my outlook on the problem can cause the solution to come in or out of focus. It how I see things that makes them more manageable. This event is what I believe solidified my determination and strong work ethic. Now, I firmly believe that no matter how adverse the situation appears, I can change it.

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