2017 ISEF Newsletter #6 from Rahul Subramaniam

Posted: 20 May 2017

Filed Under: Our Fair

2017 Newsletter #6 (Friday)
Rahul Subramaniam

Today was the day that everything came to a climax. The day people both couldn’t wait for and didn’t want to come: Grand Awards. In my opinion, the suspense and lead-up made it only that much more exciting, though I’m sure some of my fellow ISEF finalists would beg to differ. At any rate, today was the culmination of months of effort and hard work, and everyone could feel it as we woke up.

After waking up early once again and eating breakfast, we walked over to the awards hall. Everyone was positively buzzing with anticipation, each person hoping to win in their respective categories. After entering the hall and taking our seats, we were surprised to find the awards ceremony starting without delay. Grand awards started with 4th place in life sciences, then 4th in physical, then 3rd in life, and so on. It was a rather strange but heady mix of feelings: each person (me included) wanted to hear their name called, but not right away; the awards went in increasing order, and while we were grateful to receive any award, we couldn’t help but hope to make it to the next level. Similar to a game of blackjack, each time a category went by without hearing our names, things felt a little more risky. The anticipation really built up over time, and we were all on the edge of our seats when our categories were being announced. When a name from CSEF was finally announced, it came with a wave of relief as we all applauded our friends’ achievements. When all was said and done, we did very well: Sophie got a 3rd award, Maya won a 4th award, Luca won a 2nd award and Rahul won 1st place as well as best in category. We headed back to the hotel still excited from the thrill.

After the excitement, we unwound by eating lunch at the hotel and visiting all the tourist sites in Hollywood we could find. First we found a scenic view of the Hollywood sign, and several pictures followed. We then visited the Dolby theatre, and saw a huge display of all the Oscar winners from prior years. Next came the Chinese Theatre, with all the handprints and signatures of movie stars both current and past. When it was time to go, we finally experienced something quintessentially Los Angeles: traffic. Once we finally got back to the hotel, we did some last frantic packing before heading off to the airport.

Overall, Friday was a day filled with anticipation and excitement. This trip has been an unforgettable experience, and sitting here in the airport terminal, I know I’m going to look back fondly on the memories made here for years to come.

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