For about eight minutes of presentation time, two days off from school makes for a pretty good trade — not to mention the many side adventures that arose.
The “weekend,” for lack of a better word, started 12:30 in the afternoon on Sunday. I was the last person to arrive. I put my stuff in the back of a conspicuously school bus yellow van and climbed in to find Rita P. and Lindsey A. already inside with Mr. Mac driving. The four hour trip to Penn State consisted mainly of inside jokes revolving around Derek Chen, the child prodigy who we had met the year before. (We did end up playing hangman at sixty miles per hour with the kids in Ms. Rutledge’s car.)
The weekend’s plan was:
- Arrive at Penn State around 4pm
- Present project to judges
- Awards ceremony
- Second awards ceremony
- Drive Back
Since Phong Lee had graduated the year before, Derek Chen had become the new stalkee, and we planned to find him quickly. He wasn’t walking around the tennis courts looking for pray to pawn money off of like last year so we decided just to relax and get our speeches ready for presentation. Since there were three males from our school, two would room together and one would be shacked up with a complete stranger. Guess who got lucky?
Here’s my bed on the first floor of Packer Hall (notice the makeshift pillow and the lack of a blanket)
and my mysterious roommate’s bed, who was named Nathan Simpson (I discovered by looking at his folder)
I decided to just spend Sunday night memorizing my lines.
After an uncomfortable night, my roommate decided to wake up at 6 am. Six AM. So I was awake and couldn’t fall back asleep and ended up just getting my stuff together. I ate breakfast and went out to my presentation room at the Ferguson building.
It was a fairly ordinary room. I presented third and sat near the back of the room. My view:
I, and the other nine students, were judged by these three guys:
From left to right, an Asian, Penn State student (major unknown); a meteorologist, who wasn’t exactly someone you would call nice; and a normal energy scientist thing person. Or maybe it was
Lunch separated the presentation from the awards ceremony so I filled my stomach with several different vitamins, minerals, etc. At 1 pm, I found a seat in Eisenhower Hall for the ceremony (everyone got split up by even/odd numbering) and, after a year of separation, I spotted Derek Chen, also known as the Lord of PJAS.
He vaguely remembered who I was, but he wished me good luck.
Events started snowballing from there. I sent Rita the picture of Derek and she found her away towards Derek by the end of the ceremony.
The events proceeded somewhat like this:
- Rita introduces herself to which Derek remembers killing Rita and her brother (“the tall one”) at tennis the year before.
- Derek becomes a friend.
- Rita asks Derek what dorm he was lodged at.
- Rita asks Derek what room he was in.
- Rita asks Derek where he going to go after the ceremony.
- Rita and I start becoming obsessed with Derek.
- Derek, and his other friend, leave through the door farthest from his seat, which happened to be the door opposite to our direction.
(Derek becomes scared)
Derek disappeared so we, as in everyone but Justin, went downtown to buy a Frisbee, and to find the mythical Jesus store. Rita and I returned back to dorm area to find Derek but after walking around a bit, we spotted a person, with really funky headphones, sitting all alone at a table writing endlessly into a notebook. We decided to shift our attention a moment and stare at him. Every time he looked up we got closer and continued to stare. Eventually we sat down beside him, Aaron (pronounced earon), and found out he was from our region and lived close by. He actually turned out to be rooming on my floor and was acquainted with my roommate.
Anyway, we suddenly spotted Derek walking from his dorm and began following and talking to him, who out of nowhere turned around and said he forgot to lock his door. When Derek got to the door of his dorm, he realized he didn’t have his key card to open the front door and began to panic since Rita and I were hovering above him, grinning. Sadly, he ended up using my key (which did open up a different dorm’s door) and went back up to his room where he remained for the next ten minutes. Rita and I decided to go back to Aaron (“earon”) and Rita, somehow, saw Derek peering out of the sixth floor of the dorm and waved to Derek who fled from his window. We imagine he started cursing and withdrew into the feeble position.
Now we knew where he lived.
I decided to go up to his room since he was taking really long.
Room 607 at McKean Hall. I knocked several times to no result and went back down to stare up at his window. Finally he came out a half hour later with some of his friends and we decided to go eat dinner with him.
At this point, Derek was really freaking out and said that he heard me knocking but decided not to open or respond. We followed him to the Creamery where Derek got his (cherry/strawberry/raspberry?) ice cream and ran home while Rita and I stood in line. Derek had obviously returned to the safe haven of his closet and probably began to whimper when he heard us yelling his name up through his open window which was also heard by some people down on the first floor.
I guess we were getting bored so we started talking to them and then one thing led to another and I ended up in their room taking their picture:
From left to right, Travis Tasker (couldn’t think of a fake name so he told ended up telling us his real name), Ford Stepp (got into a fight), and A-A-Aaron (won some bond at the awards ceremony). Oh, and apparently, one of them was gay.
Unfortunately, Derek wasn’t seen again; he probably was crying at this point.
The sophomores wanted to go check out the “dance” so we all, and by we I mean everyone but Justin (which reminds me of the picture we all took by the lion, and yes, the same we), walked down to the gym to find a bunch of nerds jumping up and down
We found some people to harass — things went downhill for Joe E. here — but I forgot to save the pictures.
The night ended after a depressing conversation with a priest around midnight and the next day, today in fact, we packed up and returned home.
All in all, the weekend was enjoyable, eventful, rememberable. I’ll see them all next year. Derek Chen, top hat guy, Aaron, A-A-Aaron, Travis, Ford, white Kim, Asian Kim, depressing Priest, Skyler Skyler (Skyler’s clone who really looked and acted like Skyler), jump-out-of-the-woods-stalkee person, stupid-kid-with-a-bandanna-that-stood-outside-of-Derek’s-dorm-and-gave-us-a-weird-look kid, my roommate, and the countless others who definitely won’t forget us, will never be forgotten.
Oh and we also met Jordan (like Micheal Jordan) who, I swear to God, we see everywhere.
Literally, everywhere. He probably just goes to DV and I just don’t know.
Oh, and Derek is probably at home looking out his window making sure Rita and I aren’t outside grinning and waving.