Also, I know trial events aren't as important as the 23 national events, but I really disliked the way Nebraska presented the trial awards this year. From my 4 years at being at nationals, every year (except this year) the trial events were announced at the awards ceremony and the competitors received a Science Olympiad medal. This year, (in my honest opinion) it just seemed like they were belittling the trial events. Not only did they separate the awards, but the medals were imprinted with a large University of Nebraska logo and the word "Trial Event". I got the fortune of sitting up close to the announcer, and the results were simply read off a sheet of notebook paper in the corner of the venue. Of course, this is just me being nit picky on certain things, but I just don't see the need to change the way trial events were presented before. After all, I'm pretty sure the competitors who participated in the trial events studied just as hard as those who competed in the actual events.
Yeah, trials being announced separately and the advertisement medals = lame. But hey, at least you got to watch the "celebrity" egg drop (I never realized how much the definition of "celebrity" could vary...).
I can only imagine the parade of states this way being quite unexciting and taking waaaaayyy longer than usual (to the point where it's flat-out boring).
Wow, I totally called this one. I also pity the teams that were first in the parade of states lineup, as although Michigan was probably about the 15th to 20th state in the lineup, by the end of it I was excruciatingly bored. The vast majority of the random state facts that they always said were lame and boring. After watching over a half an hour of this, I could hardly stand it anymore (once again, my greatest sympathy goes out to the first teams in the lineup that had to experience any more of that than I did). And if the parade of states wasn't "exciting" enough, the rest of the opening ceremony in my opinion was also was very..."fun". And if I wasn't having enough fun already, the end of it was somehow even worse than the flash mob last year (how that is possible, I don't know).
And for each of my events:
Disease: nothing really unexpected (nowadays, is it ever?).
Anatomy and Physiology: already went over this one. Although, I did forget to complain how the supervisors showed up about 5 minutes late to the first timeslot. Hopefully they gave other timeslots the same amount of time to take the test (although, remembering the wonderful 5 page test they gave us, I kind of doubt they did).
Meteorology: I was disappointed when I found out on Friday that Dr. Clouser wasn't writing again this year. This disappointment continued when my partner and I got the test and discovered it was at most a good test for a regional competition (it would have been rather short and easy for a state competition, and way too short/easy for a national test). They were also grading the tests from the previous timeslot with a key open on a computer right next to where we were taking our test (if I wanted to, I could have probably gotten a good enough view to see some answers). And finally, when my partner and I had some questions on a couple of vaguely worded questions, instead of making an attempt to answer our questions, the event supervisor practically parroted back our questions to us (I appreciate the fact that he didn't want to mislead us, but it would have been nice if he had been able to give us a slight bit of direction).
Crave the Wave: I much preferred this test over both my regional and state test. The theoretical and experimental portions were well integrated with each other, giving the test a nice flow to it (there was no breaks in the test to switch rooms or send another group of teams to a counter to do the experimental portion). Everything on the test was fair and I can clearly see what I should have done differently, both on the test itself and when practicing throughout the year.
Solar System: once again, nothing really unexpected. The test was very similar to last year's.
Simple Machines: another good test. All questions were very clear.
Bio-Process Lab: also a fair test. More reading than I would have liked to see, but then again, I'm not in charge (nor should I be). Similar to Crave the Wave, I did learn several valuable things when thinking about what I should have done differently.