BYU: Spanish Language Case Competition

Trip Start Aug 11, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Utah
Thursday, November 11, 2010

Provo is a beautiful place. As much as I love Bloomington, I needed this weekend away and Brigham Young was a great place to spend it, because it offered an entirely different landscape and culture than IU. The snow-covered mountains were spectacular, but it was the combination of the snow-covered mountains and the full-leaved trees that really took my breath away. Somehow the trees managed to keep their leaves up until now, mid-November, and the color was still as vibrant as the beginning of fall. 

Ok, besides the awe-inspiring scenery, I genuinely had a fantastic time on the trip overall. Thursday was a bit strenuous, seeing as I was up from 3 am until 11 pm Utah time and we were all under a lot of pressure to practice the presentation and get it to a competition-worthy level. The best part of Thursday was that we got to meet up with Rob (my fellow intern from Brazil) and have dinner with him and his family! I can't even describe how happy I was to have been able to see him again and meet his wife and daughter. It was a great dinner but there definitely wasn't enough time to catch up on everything that has happened between Brazil and now

That night, I fell asleep (in my king-size bed, mind you) within seconds of turning the light out and 5:30 am on Friday came much too soon. We had a nice hotel breakfast, complete with a buffet and coffee (although it was delayed due to the fact that the staff knew it was a BYU event and therefore thought no caffeine was allowed) before heading out to the Marriott School on campus. We had three presentations in the first round, all in different rooms with different judges, but all the same presentation. To keep our anonymity, we competed as team Gamesa for the day. Around 4 pm, we got together for the announcement of the finalists, and we were shocked to learn that we made it to the final round. We presented third of the three finalists, and had stiff competition in terms of the language component. One team learned their Spanish on their two-year missions (they were all Mormon) and the other just had a good handle on it as it was. I might be biased, but I do think our analysis outperformed both other team's. 

After the final round, we had dinner and a keynote speaker. Nic, Nathaniel, and I enjoyed talking to the Mormon team from the University of Utah (the other finalist team) at dinner. One of the team members had to leave early so he could go propose to his girlfriend! What an exciting day for him overall. We ate dinner and then heard a speech from Warren Osborn, a successful entrepreneur who graduated from BYU and had interesting insight to share with us about the future of our careers and the international dimension he had leveraged to help him achieve his successes. 

After dinner it was time for the final awards, and we placed third. The Utah team placed second, and the Miami team was first. Considering the amount of time we were able to spend on the case and the level of Spanish of the teams who competed, I was happy with our finish. We went back to the hotel, shared a bottle of wine, and passed out for the night - it was a MUCH needed 8 hours of sleep. Funny story, I woke up sleeping horizontally on the king bed (and still wasn't touching either end). 

That last morning, Saturday, was another early morning even though our flight didn't leave until 5 pm - we got up to go skiing! That had been our plan all along, because we knew that we didn't want to stay in Provo all day, and we had enough time to get a half day of skiing in at one of the nearby resorts, so we took advantage of it. We skied from 9 until 12:30, hitting mostly greens and blues at the Brighton Ski Resort, but mostly just enjoying the beautiful scenery and the fact that we were able to accomplish so much in such a short period of time. After the short jaunt on the mountains, we headed down to Salt Lake City, where we walked through Temple Square and spent a few minutes in the Family History Library. We made it in time to the airport, successfully returned the rental car, and embarked on our unwelcome journey back to reality (read: started on the pile of homework that awaits me even now). Arrival back in Bloomington was around 11:50 pm and I made the mistake of staying up entirely too late when I should have been asleep, resting up for a full day of homework. And what am I doing now? Writing in a blog. When I should be researching/writing/reading. Ah, such is life. Thank goodness Thanksgiving break is soon.
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