Today was the final day of an incredible adventure. Two of the teammates left early in the morning while the remaining three were busy trying to fit in as much as they can in the remaining hours. After breakfast, we rushed over to the Knoxville Convention Center to watch a couple of our new friends perform their challenges. Their performances were extremely impressive. We realized the only challenge we didn't see was the Service Learning Challenge "Out of the Box" where teams help a chosen cause in their local area by raising money and building awareness. We quickly rushed across town to see the remaining two teams perform. One team we saw from China raised awareness about noise pollution and conducted a survey in their neighborhood about its impact. On the way back to our dorms, we stopped in Old Town Knoxville where there are many cool shops and restaurants. We also went up a golden dome to see the beautiful view of Knoxville from high up. We also saw people sitting outside in a park, selling baby raccoons and foxes. Who knew that raccoons and foxes could be safe pets?
Later, we attended the Closing Ceremony with thousands of other attendees. They showed a slideshow of pictures and videos from the week. Finally, they announced the top 10 winners from each challenge. We were a little disappointed that we didn't win but there is always next year and this gives us something to work towards. But we cheered on every other team, because we know what it feels like to finally win everything you have been striving to achieve the whole year. See you next year, Knoxville!
Today was an amazing day. We had breakfast, and went straight to the Knoxville Convention Center. We went into a big room, where all of the Drop Zone challenges were performed and where all of the props and sets were kept until teams performed. We fixed our PVC pipes in our set, and painted over the scratches on the PVC pipes. Since we did not have spray paint, paint, or thin sharpies, we painted it with face paint and extra thin sharpies.
Afterwards, we watched two Drop Zone performances and a Change of Tune performance, where teams have to write their own musicals including a change of plans. The challenge we saw was about Amelia Earhart, and we really liked the message. We also watched two Maze Craze performance, where teams had to make a maze traveler that can travel a randomly selected maze. We also went to the Innovation Expo, where there were tons of activities to participate in, including drone flying, NASA simulators, Virtual Reality, and more. Then we went to a science workshop, where we learned how to write and present short talks about scientific topics.
Then, we checked in the structure we had made. We moved the set and our props to an area behind where we would be performing, and waited until the next two performances were finished. Finally, it was our time to shine. We moved the set and our props up to the back of the stage. The area that we were going to perform in was surrounded by big and tall black curtains, instead of walls. An appraiser talked about what our challenge was. Then, they asked if the audience was ready. The audience cheered very loudly. Then, the appraiser asked the rest of the appraisers if they were ready. They said a few words. Then, the appraisers asked if we were ready. "Hyper, hyper, too much sugar!" our team yelled. Finally, the appraiser said those five last words: "Team, your time begins now." With the beep of a timer, we moved our set and props up to the front of the stage. Our set was a TV made out of PVC pipes, and a gold game show table. Our play was about four mythical friends that get sucked into their TV and into a gameshow. The weights were dropped from a height almost as tall as us. The structure broke after 100 pounds. The play was amazing.
It was time to celebrate. We went to an International Block party, where they had lots of music and activities from different countries around the world. It was really cool to have the whole world in a small field. Later, we went back to our dorm to make duct tape costumes for a Duct Tape Ball. At the duct tape ball, there was live music and some pretty amazing costumes. It took some people three weeks to make their costumes, but we were fine taking only 20 minutes.
Today was a very exciting day. As usual, we ate breakfast. We went to go watch two teams perform their Treasure challenges, where they are randomly given a subject, chosen from a list of subjects that the team chooses and have to plan, improvise, and perform a play about that subject. They were very impressive. We had met one of the teams, and were excited to watch them perform.
Afterwards, we walked a long distance to get to our instant challenge. We are not allowed to discuss what the instant challenge was until the end of May, except to our team and team managers, because some teams haven't done their instant challenge yet, and the teams that are the same age group and are doing the same central challenge get the same instant challenge. We did very well on the instant challenge. After the instant challenge, we celebrated and did a short performance we had just planned for fun.
After that amazing instant challenge, we watched a team perform their Unlikely Attraction challenge. Their play was about a girl named Ana, and the ups and downs in her life. Her grandma took pictures of every important moment, happy and sad. They made a small roller coaster that showed the peaks and valleys of her life. We loved the message of this performance, and they did an incredible job. Then, we watched another Unlikely Attraction performance, but it was not as good as the last one. We then ate dinner, and went outside to do pin trading. We set up our own table to put our pins on while we were trading. That day was amazing, and we loved every second of it.
We started out this scorchingly hot day with a delicious breakfast. Breakfast was across from the college dorm we had slept in. After that, we went to work on our play, and finish our wooden structures. We finished most of the things we had to get done. For lunch, we had a picnic outside on a very hot and sunny day.
Then, we went to the Knoxville Convention Center for an Instant Challenge workshop. Instant Challenges are short challenges of either acting, building, or a mixture. You usually have less than ten minutes to plan and solve the challenge. You do not know what the challenge will be, until you arrive. Next, in the same building, we watched two teams perform their Unlikely Attraction challenges, where they had to make working theme park attractions, using scientific methods. Afterwards, we went to dinner at the same place we had breakfast.
After that, we had a incredible experience at the opening ceremony. The hosts counted down until the beginning of global finals. It was very exciting. Two teams from each country, state, and territory walked in a line for a celebration. Then, adults came on stage and sang, danced, and tap danced to "This Is Me" from The Greatest Showman. They also showed videos of alumnis of Destination Imagination, and how Destination Imagination affected their lives. Then, they had music and videos playing, and there were breathtaking lights, colored smoke, indoor fireworks, and indoor fireballs. This day was the beginning of an incredible adventure of Destination Imagination global finals, an adventure that we will never forget.
We have been working hard since September, hoping to finally find that tiny and steep path leading to states. But even when we found the path, we could have always gotten lost again, and not find the way back. And even if we found the path, and never got lost, the path grew smaller and the night grew darker every step we took up the mountain. Difficulty increased- gradually, but building up its speed- until the path grew into a bright sunny day, that we could spend together as a team. A beautiful grassy plateau spread out across the top of the mountain. We had won regionals, and gotten into states. And the same thing happened after states. The path was smaller and in dense woods, and you we could barely see each other. But the plateau at the top of the mountain was wonderful and a great achievement. The achievement of the opportunity to go to global finals, in Knoxville, Tennessee. We had reached our goal. We had made it through everything, and there is still more to come. But we had made it to Tennessee. All of our hard work had paid off.
We spent weeks preparing for Knoxville. We polished off our props and set, made two more structures, packed and double checked everything, and raised over $1,200. Every day, globals came closer and closer, until it hit us. Today is May 22, the day we have all memorized and marked in our calendar. Today is the first day of the Destination Imagination global finals.
We were all on different flights to Knoxville. There were no direct flights from Boston to Knoxville, so we all took connected flights, or went on a plane and then drove. Everyone came in at different times, from the afternoon to midnight. The majority of the flights were delayed for hours, due to rainy weather. Although opening ceremony is tomorrow, there are still activities to do today. We did a lot of pin trading. We traded pins with people from all different places, and met teams from Virginia, Poland, and Beijing.