Monday, June 19, 2017

Thanks, Vinny and Anthony

Thanks, boys, for the letter and the kind words. I had Vinny for Geometry two years ago and for Pre-Cal this year. He is a key member of the culinary program on campus and have baked me many treats over the years. It my first time having Anthony, he helped produce a beautiful yearbook this year. They are both great kids who are always eager to help.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Day 8 - Departure Day

Special limited-edition button. Thanks, Thomas.
On a relatively cool and dry morning, I went out to grind through a slow 10-miler in a hilly area. I went north to the river walk for a 5-mile loop, then I ran south to the World War I Memorial for a second 5-mile loop. As I walked to cool down, I ran into Tim and we decided to get breakfast at the farmers market. We each had a crepe with loads of nutella and bananas, he also shared with me a beignet. I rehydrated with a mange peach smoothie as well. We walked around the farmer market briefly and took the KC Streetcar back to the hotel. 

After Tim boarded the bus, I checked my carry-on suitcase at the lobby and watched Wonder Woman at the Alamo Drafthouse Theater. I had Protein House for lunch and got a couple more postcards at Raygun before retrieving my suitcase and Ubering to the airport.

It was a long returning trip with minor delays and crying babies on planes. But I enjoyed my second year in Kansas City as much as I did a year ago. My friends Tim and Daryl and I explored more of the city. We didn't have the stress of preparing for the acorn skit. Overall, it was a week spent with great people as we combined our efforts to successfully score over 1.3 million questions.

KC humble brag #1
KC humble brag #2
KC humble brag #3

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Day 7 - Funstravaganza

Our one-of-a-kind distance sticker
We gradually wrapped up some more boxes of folders of exams in the morning. It was encouraging as some of the readers receives breaks when the room is not receiving any more boxes. We were told to bring our belongings to lunch and meet at a hall as a group at the convention center. During lunch, I attended a briefing of Question 5. The meeting after lunch gave each of the six question leaders a chance to share with us some of the things that students did well and didn't do so well. The end of the meeting concluded our reading and we were excused thereafter.

Tim and I did some shopping at Raygun, a local novelty shop.  We also stopped Rally House before returning to our room for a quick rest prior to dinner and the Funstravaganza. The Funstravaganza was great fun. The new readers (Acorns) put together some humorous skits. Other skits include Family Feud, Holy Son of the Majestic One, What Goes on Downstairs in the Alternative Test Grading Rooms, and Fun Run Awards Presentations. At the end of the night, Tim, Daryl, and I enjoyed great conversation. We wish Daryl the best as he begins his new journey to earn a doctorate in statistics at Ohio State University.

A street sign nearby after shopping at Raygun

Friday, June 16, 2017

Day 6 - Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Kansas City collectibles.
I ran with Nick (a computer science principle reader) and other morning runners to the river for a solid 5 miler. Tim, Daryl, and I are understandably somewhat drained mentally from this week's scoring. Today was my third day of grading question 4. On my walk to lunch, I caught up with my table leader Jennifer from 2016. I thanked her for being the an inspiration for me to improve as a classroom instructor. I also attended a debriefing of Q2 during lunch. By the end of the day, we enjoyed our dinner at the cafeteria and took a break at the hotel. Daryl enjoyed a presentation at Professional Night. Tim and I visited the The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. I've been wanting to go since the badminton shuttle sculptures as they were a part of the main attractions. Unofficially, the shuttles are symbols of Kansas City. We weren't much in the mood for the arts galleries inside, but appreciated the building nonetheless.

We Ubered our way back to the Union Station, our driver played some interesting music of choice and warned us to not stay at the WWI Memorial past 10pm.  As we approach the Street Car Station, Thomas gave me the "Finding Normal" button! It was a complete surprise. I've been wanting the button since I first saw it. It was a limited edition button. Thomas won the Fun Run drawing and got an extra one the next day. We chatted briefly the day before and he remembered to save it for me. I feel so lucky. Tim and I walked back to the supermarket and our hotel. At the social lounge, I chatted briefly with Daryl and Sam as they shared their experiences at the Professional Night presentation.

Birdie # 1 of 4
Birdie # 2 of 4
Birdie # 3 of 4
Birdie #4 of 4
Tim and I exploring a different side of Kansas City
The museum staff was preparing for a special evening event

ASAP - Mile 32

A Shoe Adoption Project Update: Six more pairs of shoes will go to Kenya this summer. As of this writing, that's a total of 15 pairs that we will send to children who are starting their own soccer program. I'm in Kansas City this week for AP exams reading. I plan to deliver these to Christ's Church of the Valley or have Emily, the student leader of Chosen Children of Promise, pick these up from school next week. Thank you to all of the donors, supporters, and friends of this project.

Diadora Monaco Evo in Kids Size 1.5
Diadora Monaco Evo in Kids Size 2.5
Adidas F5 TRX FG in Women Sizes 6.5 and 10
Nike JR Bravata FG-R in Kids Size 13.5
Lotto Campione in Kids Size 10

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Day 5 - Prediction Fun Run

This year's Fun Run shirt
It was our second full day of grading Question #4. I also attended Tabor's Question #6 briefing during lunch. Most of us skipped dinner since it was the Fun Run at 7pm. Tim and I walked to the River Walk by the Missouri River as warm up. In a normal distribution, about 95% of the data fall between 1.96 standard deviation below and above the mean.

Erica is amazing, she spearheaded this Fun Run and organized all the necessary details to ensure that we had fun. It was a blast. A time of 13:01 was my ambitious prediction on a hot 90+ degree day with humidity. (I later found out that 13:18 was my official time. I under-performed by 17 seconds.) Since we modified the race last year because of extreme heat, this was a new experience for year one and year two readers.

On this evening, we're lucky that there was an overcast with a nice breeze. The shade bought the temperature down to the 80s to the lower 90s and the humidity more bearable. I thought I had came in 6th. Volunteer Gina told me that I had finished 9th. I read the finisher's card upside-down. That tells you how coherent I was at the end of the hard run.

Tim and I ventured to the Power and Lights District and walked by a country music concert with a solid crowd. We decided to have a burger at BUGR for dinner. It rained a little with heavy wind on our way back.

Tim and I on the right, Daryl on the left.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Day 4 - Dine-Out / MLS Game Night

This year's gift from the College Board
Today is our median day. A group of six of us ran southward to the Union Station and a quick loop around the World War I Memorial Park. On our way back, it rained heavily. Tim and I used the tunnel from the hotel to the Convention Center. My partner Karen and I graded Question #4 from 8am-5pm. I'm able to stay engaged throughout the long day since I'm in a room full of fun and amazing statistics teachers. Our conversations over the details of the question are thoughtful and they provide great learning experiences. Jim, Erin, and I joked and poked fun at each other every so often to break the monotony.

At the end of the day, I was joined by Daryl, Richard, and Claire as we Ubered to watch Kansas City Sporting vs Minnesota United play at the US Open Cup at the Children's Mercy Park. It's a beautiful stadium that is only a few years old. The home team won 4-0. Kansas City is filled with great people. The evening is a little warm and humid, but we all had a wonderful time. We extended our conversation as we waited for our Uber on our return trip.

Inside an exclusive all-you-can-eat/drink area at the Children's Mercy Park
Home team won 4-0