Today was hackathon day. I heard about a hackathon event exclusively for high school girls and registered Adi right away as this will be a good opportunity to introduce Adi to computer science field that earns bread and butter for our family.
I have to first thank Adi for not giving up or protesting and keeping her options open to explore different fields. Trust me, it is not an easy task to wake up a high schooler at 5:45am on a weekend and I know kids who have let go of opportunities because they absolutely cannot give up on their morning sleep. So, thank you Adi for waking up at 5:45am, getting ready and catching the 7am bus to New York on a Saturday morning. We were 15 minutes early to the bus stop.
The venue was right across NY bus terminal and we checked in at the event at 8:30am. There was a long line of high school girls with parents at the check in. As the event was all day long and I didn’t have anything else better to do alone in NY, I signed up myself as a mentor.
We spent all day in one big room, Adi hacking along with her team on a cool idea and myself helping few teams with technology/programming challenges. I was able to help a specific team get through their idea and they secured 3rd place. The girls found me later and said “Thank you Aunty for all your help, Thank you for sparing your Saturday to help us!”. That was more than enough to make me happy and smile wide 🙂 Another mentor took my phone number because she thought I did awesome in helping the girls and wanted to stay connected with me. I had a good chat with few other volunteers and mentors throughout the day. The organizers (high school kids) and their parents have done an incredible job with the arrangements.
We were served bagels, pizza, cookies, brownies, juices, soda, coffee, tea unlimited all day and it was a total cheating day for me. I chose to eat mindlessly as it was the first day of monthly special. I just needed something to suppress the pain. Adi had her fair share of junk as well.
The event got over by 6:30pm, we checked out, walked around Times square for a bit and then boarded the 7pm bus. Reached home around 8:30pm and here I am typing this post as fast as I can so I can just retire for the day.
I was very much impressed by all the ideas and solutions presented by young girls. Some of them were totally into it. Adi said her experience was “meh”. She felt bored and would not go to a hackathon again if she had a choice to skip. However, she won a “gaming headset” in raffle.
I didn’t attempt to convince her as I felt it would be biased. My job is only to give her the exposure and experience. She will figure it out someday on her own as what will best suit her.
While we were gone, LHB went to star wars party at the local library and performed in a group dance for a pongal theme tamil song at the temple. As I am typing this, he is sitting next to me and showing all the goodies (star wars character cards) he got from the party and educating me with their names.
It was a day well spent for me. Off to start bedtime routine. Night night peeps!!