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> New Member Thread, Don't be shy, introduce yourselves
stanleytree
post Jan 28 2014, 03:39 AM
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Hey guys and gals, I want to get to know you guys. We need all you new peoples to just say hi, tell us who you are, let's get to know each other! The best thing about decathlon is the relationships you forge- and here more than almost any place!

I'm Andrew Hartman, a coach at Dulles in Sugar Land. This is my 7th year around decathlon, two years at Pearland when I won a state championship with the likes of Sophy Lee, Edie Wu, and Ross Watson. Went to UT, hung around, found a teaching job at an amazing school and been working my way in.

What about you guys?
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Guest_Allan21996_*
post Jan 28 2014, 03:59 AM
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Hi I'm Allan Aguirre. This is my forth year in decathlon. Third year on Demidec talk. I remember first coming on this website about 3 years ago and being shy to post at first. However, once I did, I found a group of people whose interest are along the same lines as mine. We are all interested in Decathlon, and interested in hearing news/ helping other decathletes. One of the great things about this website is that is really humanizes decathlon. I find that studying for decathlon becomes much better once you know there are other's out there just like you. So don't be afraid to talk biggrin.gif
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Guest_the_crazy_honors_*
post Jan 28 2014, 05:24 AM
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This thread makes me happy. I'm Marin, a senior at Richardson in Texas Region X. I've been a Decathlete for three years and an avid DDT member for two, and I absolutely love Decathlon people. I hope you new guys will feel as at home here as I have.

For anyone interested, there's an older introduction thread where a handful of the regulars introduced themselves a while ago. I don't mean to step on any toes by bringing up the old thread - just putting it here for the benefit of those who want to know who everyone is.

If you're new here, welcome! I'm excited that we have new members, particularly those who are still competing. I'd like to point current Decathletes to the feel-good thread, plus share one more thought. When I joined, I was my school's top honors at 6600, and I saw scores here and began to feel pretty lousy. Before too long, tryingtothinkagain messaged me, "Don't think yourself short because you stand among giants. We're all on this board to help the new guys." On a personal level, the people here got me from 5300 at my first ten-event R1 to 8500 and counting, and I'll do anything I can to do the same for young, ambitious Decathletes who need that push. On a larger level, we're all here because we care. We love Decathlon. We want to see Decathlon and Decathletes succeed. We may seem crazy and argue with each other and brag incessantly, but there are people here who care about and want to help you. Joining the Decathlon community here on DDT is a journey. Welcome aboard.
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madcap
post Jan 28 2014, 05:58 AM
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Hola! I'm Robb, scholastic from Omaha Burke in Nebraska's class of 2009. We took third overall at Nationals and now I want to be a boisterous pirate on the high seas, a door-to-door refrigerator magnet salesman, or a real estate agent who advises little pigs in groups of three. Instead, I'll settle for finishing my last year in Computer Science at Rochester Institute of Technology in upstate New York. Afterwards, maybe I'll go back to NASA, where I worked last summer, or some tech company. Decision-making is slowly but surely in progress. I was born profoundly deaf but Academic Decathlon changed my life to the best possible extent (four gold medals in music, first in Nationals speech showcase, etc.), so I believe that's the main reason I love it so much and come back here almost every day.

I'm currently eating out of a box of Cheerios and wondering if people would be interested in a breakfast cereal that lets you reenact historical naval battles: cereal bits akin to Battleship pieces could represent the schooners, galleons, frigates, and so forth, ferocious fusillades of marshmallow cannonballs could smash rival fleets to smithereens, and red food coloring seeping into the milk would craft an artificial "seas of blood" effect. You could dramatize Horatio Nelson ramming into the Napoleonic fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar, Leyte Gulf, Hampton Roads, anything!

I've also worked as a writer and editor for DemiDec on and off over the years. My pink stuffed alpaca Matilda here also says hello and I like Scrabble and the color blue and sushi and that feeling when you recognize a former Academic Decathlon art piece and once I took a job because I liked their spinny chairs and I'm surprised nobody else voted "no" on that Texas Regionals poll where it asked whether we still call it a "hearing" if I go to court and I collect slinkies and I
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madcap
post Jan 28 2014, 06:07 AM
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QUOTE (the_crazy_honors @ Jan 28 2014, 12:24 AM) *
If you're new here, welcome! I'm excited that we have new members, particularly those who are still competing. I'd like to point current Decathletes to the feel-good thread, plus share one more thought. When I joined, I was my school's top honors at 6600, and I saw scores here and began to feel pretty lousy. Before too long, tryingtothinkagain messaged me, "Don't think yourself short because you stand among giants. We're all on this board to help the new guys." On a personal level, the people here got me from 5300 at my first ten-event R1 to 8500 and counting, and I'll do anything I can to do the same for young, ambitious Decathletes who need that push. On a larger level, we're all here because we care. We love Decathlon. We want to see Decathlon and Decathletes succeed. We may seem crazy and argue with each other and brag incessantly, but there are people here who care about and want to help you. Joining the Decathlon community here on DDT is a journey. Welcome aboard.


I utterly agree. the_crazy_honor's tale is one of my personal favorites in the chronicles of AcaDeca history, and we're all super happy to give advice or hear more regardless of who you are or where you're from so we can see "Chicken Soup for the Academic Decathlete" someday.
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The Evil Dr. Cal...
post Jan 28 2014, 01:00 PM
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My name is Chris Yetman. I'm the coach at Canyon del Oro High School in Tucson, AZ. I eat souls.
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Guest_ridgepoinths_*
post Jan 28 2014, 01:59 PM
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My name is Craig Sanders and I formed a team at my new high school, Ridge Point HS (medium school) in FBISD last school year and this is our first full year of competition (fourth year the high school has been open.) I was very proud of our team finishing third in medium school competition in Region V this past weekend as our team was very close to qualify to state as an at-large team with 34,285 points. And we did that under different conditions as the other medium (and large) schools at region V as my school was not allowed to travel on Friday so our team had the extra burden of taking all 10 tests on Saturday (other regions may have had to do that too, but I believe for the most part it was the entire region - 26 of the 28 schools competing in Region V competed with the normal two-day schedule.) So we had only one judge in speeches and interviews as compared to three and they were other coaches at the competition. Same thing with essays (coaches graded them - two readers per essay.) After lunch break, my exhausted team had to take four straight multiple-choice tests (eight competitions between 8:45 am and 3:30 pm) and then had a 10-minute window to change and immediately do their speeches. Under the special conditions and with such a new program, I thought our team did amazing and hopefully we'll be able to make it to state next year at the medium school level. I want to congratulate Friendswood and Barbers Hill from our region and am sure they will represent Region V terrifically in San Antonio next month.

I taught at Dobie HS for six years before moving to Ridge Point and that's where I was introduced to AcDec. I saw how hard Mr. H and his kids work in AcDec (and the great support it receives at Dobie from administration and most other teachers) and was lucky enough to teach many of his top kids over these past few years as well as help after school to judge speeches and interviews and offer constructive criticism.
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Guest_mrrrg_*
post Jan 28 2014, 02:00 PM
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My name is Mr. G. I have been coaching since 1995 (and did a little help out in 1983 as a student teacher). I admire the effort of all students and all teachers involved in Academic Decathlon around the nation (and elsewhere?). I am a bit perturbed that we seem to be in a trough in terms of growth and expansion. I would like to propose a few new threads that would measure the state of the program's health.
1. The census thread: how many states actually participate in AcDec and how many programs are actually 'registered' in each state.
2. The AcDec genetic thread: how is the program run in each state. Are there multiple levels of competition? What happens at each level? Waht happens at state?
3. The AcDec public relations thread: how is AcDec promoted in your community, your state. California has been able to sustain this since the 1960s. What do other states do / need to do for it to grow? Can we develop a national / state acdec sponsors list to target?
4. The AcDec future structure thread: how can we make this experience last longer? For the vast majority of teams, it's over at regionals...what if we were to craft an AcDec season of 7 meets with each meet focusing on specific objectives?

just some thoughts for now.
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The Evil Dr. Cal...
post Jan 28 2014, 02:49 PM
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Mr. G, I can provide some of the answers to your questions.

1. As of last year, I think there were 35 states participating. Some of these, like Missouri, only have one team. I'm not fully sure about which state have, say, more than 20 teams, but I suspect it's not more than a dozen. I have heard that there are teams in Maryland and Virginia this year, but we won't know for sure until we see the lists for nationals. I will send out a few emails to see if I can find out how many schools are in each state.

2. Each state has its own flavor. Arizona and Texas are very close to the pure essence, in that we have a regional and state competition, and locally organized Round 1 scrimmages. California is similar, although they have a unique Super Quiz Relay configuration. In Arizona, there are 4 regions, and all teams can compete. Forty teams advance to state: the top two in each school size classification, and the 30 best remaining scores. We have just one state meet, but do award trophies to the top 1A, 2A, and 3A (small sized) schools. In CA, each county has its own competition, which LAUSD having a separate meet and the LA private schools having a separate meet, too. The top team in each county goes, with additional teams bringing the total schools to around 60. (Abuelo or Stealer of Souls can correct me, if I'm wrong).

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Guest_melanie98_*
post Jan 28 2014, 03:18 PM
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My name is Melanie Atkinson and I'm the acadec coach at Summit High School in Mansfield, Texas. We are a medium school and are currently getting ready for state competition. I've been coaching acadec for 15 years now (6 at DeSoto HS and now 9 at Summit). I LOVE acadec. My claim to acadec fame is that a couple of years ago I bravely (and perhaps stupidly) applied and wrote the DemiDec Super Quiz workbook (most of you will remember that DemiDec used to have workbooks--now they're called 'demidrills'--and that Super Quiz used to be REALLY important!).
Welcome to those new to acadec. It's a wonderful program filled with wonderful, quirky people. Almost all of my really memorable times in teaching have come from the many talented and hilarious students I've had the privilege to coach. I'm hoping for many more to come. Best of luck to you all!
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The Evil Dr. Cal...
post Jan 28 2014, 05:33 PM
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How about this... coaches, you should require your students to look at this board. smile.gif

I will do so after our regionals this weekend.
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Guest_Martin_*
post Jan 28 2014, 06:15 PM
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My name is Evan Martin, and I am the assistant coach at Berkner HS (Richardson ISD) in Texas. This was my first year coaching, but I was a 2-year AcDec competitor in high school with Duncanville HS. And because my ego won't let me post this without mentioning it, I won 2nd in Music (Scholastic) at State in 2004. tongue.gif

I happened to come across this board while scouring the 'net for Region results, but I think I'll be sticking around. It's nice to meet so many new people, as well as seeing active members who are from my Region.

Good luck to all of those who qualified for state!

This post has been edited by Martin: Jan 28 2014, 06:16 PM
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Guest_mrrrg_*
post Jan 28 2014, 06:50 PM
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QUOTE (Martin @ Jan 28 2014, 07:15 PM) *
My name is Evan Martin, and I am the assistant coach at Berkner HS (Richardson ISD) in Texas. This was my first year coaching, but I was a 2-year AcDec competitor in high school with Duncanville HS. And because my ego won't let me post this without mentioning it, I won 2nd in Music (Scholastic) at State in 2004. tongue.gif

I happened to come across this board while scouring the 'net for Region results, but I think I'll be sticking around. It's nice to meet so many new people, as well as seeing active members who are from my Region.

Good luck to all of those who qualified for state!


And another accomplishment for me - my first AcDec newbie coach!!!!! Congrats Evan!!!!!!! (The only thing left for me to do is to teach a child of someone who was one of my past students...then it's time to hit retirement road and maybe work as an AcDec state admin)....How many other AcDec alums have gone on to become coaches (I know stanleytree is one)--that could be a whole new thread.
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Guest_masonsbro_*
post Jan 28 2014, 08:08 PM
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I'm Ethan Arnold, and this is my first year to participate in Decathlon. I'm Pearland's H3 this year, and I'm looking forward to participating again next year (I'm a junior, though, so only one more year for me).

ridgepoinths, I sat next to some of your students during Saturday's testing. Congrats on managing to get through so much testing in one day! But I would like to mention that even those of us that were there on Friday for subjectives only got two speech/interview judges (at least, that's how it was for me).
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Guest_Martin_*
post Jan 28 2014, 08:46 PM
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QUOTE (mrrrg @ Jan 28 2014, 12:50 PM) *
QUOTE (Martin @ Jan 28 2014, 07:15 PM) *
My name is Evan Martin, and I am the assistant coach at Berkner HS (Richardson ISD) in Texas. This was my first year coaching, but I was a 2-year AcDec competitor in high school with Duncanville HS. And because my ego won't let me post this without mentioning it, I won 2nd in Music (Scholastic) at State in 2004. tongue.gif

I happened to come across this board while scouring the 'net for Region results, but I think I'll be sticking around. It's nice to meet so many new people, as well as seeing active members who are from my Region.

Good luck to all of those who qualified for state!


And another accomplishment for me - my first AcDec newbie coach!!!!! Congrats Evan!!!!!!! (The only thing left for me to do is to teach a child of someone who was one of my past students...then it's time to hit retirement road and maybe work as an AcDec state admin)....How many other AcDec alums have gone on to become coaches (I know stanleytree is one)--that could be a whole new thread.


Hahaha, I thought you might have been THAT "Mr. G" - I was hoping to surprise you with the news at State this year, but alas, it just wasn't meant to be. It's good to hear you're still fighting the good fight - drop me a line any time!
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stanleytree
post Jan 28 2014, 09:21 PM
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QUOTE (masonsbro @ Jan 28 2014, 08:08 PM) *
I'm Ethan Arnold, and this is my first year to participate in Decathlon. I'm Pearland's H3 this year, and I'm looking forward to participating again next year (I'm a junior, though, so only one more year for me).

ridgepoinths, I sat next to some of your students during Saturday's testing. Congrats on managing to get through so much testing in one day! But I would like to mention that even those of us that were there on Friday for subjectives only got two speech/interview judges (at least, that's how it was for me).


Ah yes, another Oiler on the board. Welcome! Congrats on your score!
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Guest_ridgepoinths_*
post Jan 28 2014, 11:28 PM
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QUOTE (masonsbro @ Jan 28 2014, 02:08 PM) *
I'm Ethan Arnold, and this is my first year to participate in Decathlon. I'm Pearland's H3 this year, and I'm looking forward to participating again next year (I'm a junior, though, so only one more year for me).

ridgepoinths, I sat next to some of your students during Saturday's testing. Congrats on managing to get through so much testing in one day! But I would like to mention that even those of us that were there on Friday for subjectives only got two speech/interview judges (at least, that's how it was for me).


Ethan - you guys were amazing and while everyone on your team needs to be commended, we should also probably mention that one of the highlights was the spontaneous standing ovation that Shivam Dare received when it was announced he probably recorded the highest individual score in Texas AcDec history. I guess I should have mentioned that all the schools at our region had to make it through less-than-ideal conditions. My team mentioned how nice everyone on the Pearland team was who they met during the weekend. Congrats and best of luck in San Antonio.
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TinDefacto
post Jan 29 2014, 10:12 PM
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Yay, another introduction thread! Hello everybody!! biggrin.gif

My name is Sebastian Jeronimo Garza, and I competed as an Honors for Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas (a Dallas suburb) my senior year (2012-2013). I'd previously tried out the two years before but only really kicked it into gear then. I now try to Vikariously [sic] coach my team even though I've since relocated to Boston where I'm studying mechanical engineering.

I'm also a resident scores geek (and madcap's protégé) and obsess over the goings-on in AcDec to the point where it's probably definitely really unhealthy.

NUTELLA = ♥
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Guest_RD724_*
post Jan 30 2014, 05:16 AM
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Hey! My name is Rajan Desai, and I'm currently the H2 and a senior at Pearland High School with ma boy Ethan at H3 and of course Shivam Dare at the H1. The region V meet this past weekend was mine and Ethan's first meet ever and pretty exciting! I tried out for the team last year and didn't make it sadly but I'm back this year to help the team win state like it did in 2008 and 2009.

@Ridgepoint- Your team was great and wish you all the best in the future, hopefully you've started the next ACADEC powerhouse in region V! Thanks for the luck, and we'll do our best to kick as...butt at state (can i swear slightly on this forum? not sure..)

@StanleyTree- watch out, there's a certain V1 oiler whose bent on chasing down and smashing your record!
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Guest_Nicholas.Goettl_*
post Feb 3 2014, 03:12 AM
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I'm Nick Goettl,
2nd year team member at Boulder Creek High School in Arizona. This year could potentially be the last year of Academic Decathlon here due to our administration.
Has anyone reading this gone through similar issues? If so, how have you reconciled with the admin at your school?
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