G had a nice time at the competition in DC. They did a lot of activities like a scavenger hunt in the Smithsonian, and a bounce house place. We enjoyed seeing the competitions and watching how the students handled the questions. Baby was not having any of that so we took turns walking around campus with him.
G has a big responsibility for next year. He has been to the competition now and knows the kind of questions they ask and the sort of response that will earn 5 points. The other 2 youths on his team will be in HS next year. So G will be the student with experience next year. It will be up to him to help his team understand how to slow down and make sure everyone agrees on the answer in the first round. And most importantly it will be his responsibility to teach the other kids how to get the most points in the long response portion. They can't just say "Because...." They have to include the title of the book, restate the question, give supporting arguments, state their conclusion, all within the 2 minute limit.
G is struggling with feelings of spite. He has enjoyed 12 years of being a sweet tempered child and being generally adored and admired by everyone, especially his siblings. Now he's a tween and making important decisions about whether he will be a bully, and self important, or whether he will stick to his old role. He knows that he is very smart, but will he remember that it's more important to be nice than to be important?
In the movie "Moana", the character Maui valued being loved above everything else. He was rejected by his parents. Then when the gods gave him a magic hook he used his abilities to gain the favor of the humans. He created lassoed the sun, he pulled up islands, he planted the guts of an eel to make coconut trees! He put himself in danger to make the humans love him. Eventually his vanity led him to steal the heart of Te-fiti which poisoned the earth. Sometimes our desire for the adulation of others can lead us to do things that don't accomplish our goal!