Friday, April 22
We meet at Valley Lanes bowling alley to load the bus, for whatever reason. We are not allowed to get a quick game of bowling in. This aggravates a few people. We load the bus with another school, a school much worse than DHS. Thus begins the longest drive ever. We stop a couple times, a bathroom break here and there, and finally after some 14 hours we arrive in Nashville, Tenn. Reading that sentence took about 6 seconds. Read that sentence 8,400 times, and that should get you around the time it took for us to get to Nashville. Once we get there, we all go have a delicious dinner at Demo’s Pizza and Spaghetti restaurant and check out the downtown area. It looks like a fantastic city to go to if you are above the age of 21. The food is fantastic. Everyone loved it. That was basically the entire first night, as many of the people were tired from the long trip.
Saturday, April 23
Saturday was a busier day. We all woke up early and had to go to the Deca 5K that we were forced to run before 7:00 a.m., something everyone was thrilled about. Not everyone ran the whole thing, like Varun Shanker. Many jogged or even walked. I am guilty of the latter. Despite this, Michael Szabo and I beat the president of DECA in the end. Later we walked around the city. We took a bus to a river, where we got on a two hour cruise boat. There was a pretty long line, as there always was for everything we wanted to do, ever. One thing we learned: DECA competitors from around the world do not like waiting in lines, especially for elevators. They will sneak in front of you if you are not a rude individual guarding your spot in line like a bear guards her baby cubs.
After a nice meal, we eventually got back to our rooms. This is where most of the laid back fun went on because many of us learned things about each other we didn’t expect. Like how Aditya Middha is messy and sleeps with shoes on. Side note: our room was the worst place on earth at the end of the week. It looked like a dumpster in a back alley of Thailand, or a regular sidewalk on the streets of Cleveland. Saturday night was also the night before testing. To celebrate this, DECA decides to have opening ceremonies in the Nashville Predators (NHL hockey team, not group of sex criminals) hockey arena that is a seemingly never-ending show of boring announcements combined with the largest collection of high schoolers posting Snapchats to show they are finally at something that they think is worth showing off.
After this, many, like Michael Szabo and myself, stayed up until 5:00 a.m. studying. Others, like Aditya Middha, did not. Hence why Michael received a test medal for his efforts. Meanwhile, I studied more than he did and did not receive that same medal. This proves another thing we learned: life’s not fair and sometimes you fail. This lesson was pretty grim, but still true.
Sunday, April 24
Sunday most everyone had testing. Despite this, many were still able to visit the pool in the hotel. There was a hot tub, as well as, a deck that was outside where most everybody laid out and tanned. This afternoon made the trip worth it because we were able to get some sun on our pasty white bodies. After this and a few meals, many prepped for the role plays that were to be done the next day. More or less, that is basically what we did this day. Many stopped at Panera after their testing were done. This was the night before the roleplay events, so many stayed up late in their rooms to study. Szabo and I had our roleplay at 9:00 a.m. so we decided to stay up through the whole night and prepared while Aditya Middha slept soundly.
Monday, April 25
Monday was very spread out because everyone had their events at different times throughout the day. Most had the exquisite Panera again for lunch. This did not stop us from being able to go to the Grand Ole Opry to witness two (supposedly famous) country singers sing for a while. Side note: country songs seem endless and it all sounded like he was singing one continuous song. The finalists in the the top 20 for each event were to be named the next morning at the first awards ceremony.
Tuesday, April 26
Tuesday morning, we all had to go to the arena again to sit through the finalists for every single roleplay event. It was as much fun as it sounds. Only two from DHS advanced to the next round, where they had to do more roleplays that the winners are to be announced later that same day. In the meantime while they competed, all the losers (including myself) were rewarded for our mediocrity by going to play black-lit putt putt golf which everyone enjoyed. This was in part due to the continued use of the game Chances. This involves one person giving another a ridiculous proposition like heckling Kofi Ofori-Darko while he mini golfs. The one receiving the proposition gives a range of probability from 1 to any number, in this case 15. Then, at the count of three, they each say a number in this range and if the number is the same, the receiver follows through on the action, in this case heckling Kofi while he mini golfs. This game kept DECA lively and unpredictable.
After golf, we stopped at the Johnny Cash museum. Then it came time for the final awards ceremony. A few of us from DHS didn’t go because we were scheduled to play the Escape Game. This is a game where we are locked in a room with a backstory, and we need to solve riddles, find clues, and be good detectives to get out in under an hour. This was a memorable game that was a solid way to end the trip.
Wednesday, April 27
This was the trip home. We stopped at Chick-Fil-A which was awesome; everyone was excited about it. The bus we were on broke down in Grand Blanc when we were dropping off the other school. We waited about an hour and a half for another bus to get us. Meanwhile, we had a nice dinner at Meijer which consisted of lunchables and bags of chips.
Overall, there may have been some boring things we did, and it was hot, and there was a lot of walking, and many didn’t win, but that’s not what DECA is about. DECA is about the amazing people that you meet and getting to know one of the best teachers at DHS, Mrs. Deboer. She does a lot so that these students are able to have these experiences and she deserves the most amount of praise possible for that. Everyone should at least try DECA and give it a shot. It could be worth it. It, also, might not be, but at least you’ll know for sure.