This post is about the girl. For the past couple of months she has been involved in something big- The National History Day competition. This is a program where school kids produce various projects that are based on a given history theme. There is local, state and national competition. Last year Peach participated as part of a group. The kids produced a nice story board but didn’t get past the first round. This year she decided to strike out on her own and do a documentary by herself. This is the first time she ever attempted something like this and we could tell from the beginning she was driven to succeed.
Over the course of a couple of months I have to say Peach worked extremely hard compiling and editing, writing and re-writing her video until it was finished. As you can imagine the entire family was drawn into the process as critics, watching every new version over and over sometimes with approving comments… and sometimes not. Although we offered advice (which she sometimes took and other times rejected) she stubbornly did all the work sometimes staying up late, waaayyyyy past her bedtime. The Oberfrau was none too pleased on those occasions.
Working on the Mac was a learning experience in itself for her. As an IBM guy I simply have no idea where half of what she did came from. Some days I came home from work only to be immediately ushered to the computer for a screening of her latest revisions. In the end we all learned what a terrific program I-Movie is.
Along the way, thanks to her teacher we made the acquaintance of Phil Katz from the Katz Media Group. His help and inspiration motivated her to work even harder to produce the best video she could. During the production there were many problems to overcome. One nearly disastrous set-back was the incompatibility of our camcorder and the MAC software. Apparently that has been an issue for a long time, something we didn’t know. But like they say “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. (Whomever said that never sat in front of a computer for ten hours). The problem was finally resolved with some software additions.
The Philadelphia competition was held at the National Constitution Center in downtown Philly. It’s a big day with kids from all over the city presenting their projects. At the end of the judging we were all thrilled that her project won first place. It was a pretty unbelievable moment for her when she stepped up and received her NHD medal. History is a critical subject and too many of our kids don’t get enough of it. This program puts the focus on the value of history as a subject and thats awesome. This shows learning about history doesn’t have to be boring.
After that Peach went back and re-mastered the entire project for her trip to state. The NHD state competition is held at Millersville University. It’s an extraordinary outing for all the kids involved. This was her first overnight trip away from home, alone. The kids are put up in the college dorms and it’s a full two-day program. (It sounds more like 99% social and 1% academic by her telling). But it’s college after all. She had a blast and so did her friends. Unfortunately her quest ended there as no one from her school moved on. Still she’s happy with a first place finish at home, not many kids can say that. In fact she is even more motivated for next year and is already hashing out ideas.
I want to congratulate all the kids who participated in this competition especially Peach. We couldn’t be more proud. Nice job and good luck next year.