Friday, May 17, 2013

The First Festival of Summer and it is a Geekfest - Part 2

Rochester is known as the Festival Capital of the World by those of us who live here. Last week I wrote about Imagine RIT (Innovation and Creativity Festival) as the first festival of the season. I made this claim, even though Imagine RIT seems, in general, to be overlooked as a festival.

To me the basic ingredients of a festival are food, music, and people. There was definitely food. In addition to the ice-cream I mentioned last week, there was a group of students who were making smoothies in a blender. This blender was powered by a bicycle. I didn’t try the smoothies, since there was a very long line and I am not patient. I did have a bicycle once and would have loved a blender on the back to mix up an ice-cold smoothie on a hot summer’s bike ride.

Besides these frozen treats, there was a portion of the campus filled with tents where foods from different countries could be purchased. Eldest, Littlest, and I went to an indoor eatery, that was air-conditioned, and sampled some American cuisine. We each had burgers and split an order of curly fries.

Boring, I know, but we were being patriotic.

There was music. Lots of music. Although RIT is known internationally for being a strong engineering school, there was lots of excellent student music. Everything from acapella choirs, to a faculty and student jazz band. Everywhere I turned, it seemed there was music.

That leaves the last, and most important ingredient, of a festival--people. There were many people that attended the festival. I lost track after having to take off my shoes to count them.

A wonderful thing about large numbers of people together is that it becomes easier to bump into people you know. As we were leaving one set of exhibits, Eldest burst forth with, “Grace!” Eldest was delighted to see a young lady she coaches who is named, Grace. The two young ladies greeted each other with a warm hug, like long lost sisters.

Grace was there with her father and two older brothers, Sam and Joe. I like these two young men. However, Joe has a special spot in my heart for a few different reasons.

First, because he would not be out-done by his sister. When he saw his sister and my daughter hugging, he ran up to me exclaiming, “Mr. D!” as he gave me a firm manly bear hug.

From left to right: Littlest, Sam, Joe, Grace, Eldest. Another reason I like Joe, his amazing hair reminds me of my hair.

Joe also holds a special spot in my heart from his time in my young teen Sunday school class. He is the only student in the almost twenty-five years of teaching, that I have had to admonish to stop playing tug-of-war -- with a chair.

Joe was at Imagine RIT with his high school robotics team. They were showing off a robot they had built that had won some major competitions. The picture above is of the robot. I do not know what it is designed to do, I think it plays tug-of-war with chairs against other robots.

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