For the third and likely final time, my grade 10 cohort and I where split into three groups to participate in the greatest competition of our academic career. If you aren’t picking up what i’m putting down, if you don’t smell what I stepped in, I am taking about DI. If you don’t know much about DI or anything at all, it is a international academic competition that challenges kids to create a solution for any sort of challenge. In DI there is 6 main challenges, Technical, Fine Arts, Scientific, Improv, Service Learning, and Engineering.
For this year’s DI tournament we where in the senior level, arguably the least competitive yet in my opinion the most challenging. We began our DI path to greatness by somewhat randomly creating groups out of the 17 or so student in my class. I was blessed right of the bat with a spectacular group that for all things considered jived pretty well. My group was, Jessie Bullen, Marshall Archibald, Luca OG, Adlih Britton, and last but certainly not least Lucas “Aloe Plug” Koop. The next step was to pick each groups challenge, for this we where given 15 minutes to devise a strong argument for why we should be given the challenge of our choice. My group as well as the rest decided we want to take on the technical challenge. Because everyone wanted to participate in that particular challenge we opted out and chose Fine Arts crudely known as Farts. This ended up being a blessing because our group ended up working well in fine arts because many of our group members where artistically inclined (not myself).
Once my group was set up and ready to go we wasted no time jumping in to the process of creating a solution. The 2019 Fine Arts challenge revolves around games (how radical is that) so we chose to work around the eternally popular Game of Life. We chose the game of life because we wanted our performance to speak to the barriers and lack of choices in the game. Jessie Bullen, who took a leadership role and a heavy work load began working on the script right away. I would love nothing more then to act up and say how much of a fuss DI was but honestly once we found a direction and a suitable script it was virtually smooth sailing from there.
A big plus for DI this year was the independent reflections every month or so. These reflections included multiple questions about the ups and downs of DI and a pie chart of the work balance throughout the group. In this reflection I learnt a lot about myself and what kind of partner I would like to be during a project. This reflection did not only helped the teachers understand our group dynamic but also helped myself reflect.
Fast-forward to the day of DI, where my group and I where ready to put on a show. We had been working hard and where ready to present our presentation. As a decorated veteran for DI I was not working up a sweat, because for us regionals is virtually just practice for provincials. One flaw in our group I was worried about was our lack of preparation to present, we had not practiced run throughs therefor we could have been further prepared to present. Sadly, even though we had used all our class time to the best of our abilities we still did not find the time to crank out some run throughs, that is something I regret. During every DI competition one person is given the privilege to read out the DI pledge to the mass of students and adults. This year I was afforded that very opportunity to read out the pledge at my home court by Ms. Willemse, I was pretty stoked!
After the early morning set up and run throughs, my group felt pretty confident and ready to strike. Yet, it was time for something just as important as the main event, the instant challenge. This instant challenge surprised me because of its difficultly and also because of the confidence that we went in with. This was the hardest challenge I had faced, and my scores represent that well. After what felt like a defeat, my group and I where ready to whip the floor with our competition for the main event. Again we came with confidence in our abilities yet this time reaped reward. My group members and I came out feeling really good about the performance and where excited to see what the judges thought. Sadly, we felt after receiving our scores that we where not given the high scores we felt we personally deserved. In the end we ended being rewarded a second place ribbon for my age group.
In conclusion I thought my group and I worked very hard to create something we could be proud of and had fun all the while. DI regionals was a blast and I am still excited about my pledge. Thankfully, regionals is not the end of the road for us, soon we will be heading to provincials to show how we have improved. Improvement is the biggest thing we where given lots of critic and we are already improving our presentation to blow the judges out of the water! Provincials here we come!!