Day 2: Privyet
Up bright and early for breakfast at 6:30. Not that waking up that early was a difficult feat to manage—we four students were all still very jetlagged. After breakfast, we decided to walk over to the competition building rather than wait for the bus. Security there was stringent. Dr. Meyer tried to walk around a little bit and observe the different projects but was very quickly escorted out. The judges who questioned me about my project all seemed very nice, but none of them were native English speakers so I tried to use simpler language without simplifying the science behind my project. One judge, however, asked me to present in Chinese, something I had never practiced doing. It was… quite an experience.
The presenter next to me was a girl from Israel who actually went to a competition in Orlando, Florida that I also attended last year. Small world! I also got to meet Dmitrii from Russia and a pair from Denmark who were both in their 20’s (Danish kids must go through 3-4 more years of secondary education than us). All the presenters in my vicinity had fascinating projects, but, personally, I was more interested in learning about the other aspects of their lives. I also got to talk to Celia, one of our guides, and she had some very fresh insights into the modern lives of Chinese millennials.
Day 2 reflection: rewarding but physically (and to some degree, mentally) draining.