Measured in metric awesome

By Mir
April 1, 2012

Our long national nightmare known as the prolonged agony of Science Fair has come to a close for the year.

Not that I’m not a fan of Science Fair. I think it’s great. I just think it’s LONG. From the time the kids start their projects in… I think it’s October?… until the final fair at the end of March is just… a lot of time for a type-A nerdling to worry about her project. Not that I’m naming any names. Not that there was a child threatening to head to the exhibit hall WITH HER PUKE BUCKET if she was still sick, or anything. AHEM.

So you may remember that the Regional Fair was a real nail-biter this year, but ultimately Chickie took home the big prize, and all was well. I figured this would give her some confidence, heading into the State Fair, but that’s only because I forgot who I was dealing with. Because every new level of the Fair is an opportunity to FREAK OUT!

For the record, I was about 98% certain she would get a first place award at State. And this is not because I am the sort of parent who thinks my kid is better than everyone else, but because last year I was sure she WOULDN’T place, and she ended up getting second place, and her project this year was better (more intricate, more work, more difficult) by a factor of about ten. Plus, she won the top award for the region, so it seemed impossible that she’d go on and not get another award.

But. Chickadee was nervous. There were some really awesome projects in her category, plus my darling daughter possesses some definite Eeyore tendencies. She did an excellent job of whipping herself into a frothy lather of hopelessness before the awards yesterday, despite the fact that her judging interviews went well and several special award judges came to talk to her.

Let us pause for a moment and consider, however, the head judge for her category. This fine gentleman took it upon himself at the end of judging day to pull my daughter and another student aside to tell them that they were tied for first in their category, and he had to pick just one of them for the top prize, and he couldn’t decide. He went on to tell them that he was going to go outside and flip a coin to decide.

Chickadee relayed this to me in an anguished phone call.

“Oh, honey, I’m SURE he was joking,” I told her.

“Mom, he wasn’t joking. He was TOTALLY SERIOUS.”

For reference, judges aren’t supposed to give any indication of ranking to the students prior to the award ceremony, so this guy was out of line whether he was serious about the coin toss or not. Also for reference, given that he felt okay telling this to the kids, I feel okay telling you that I think this judge is a giant douchebag for having said what he did.

Anyway, yesterday was the award ceremony, and it went ON AND ON AND ON because there are about a bajillion special awards they have to give out before they even get to the place awards. We say there for over an hour, having not heard a single special award go to anyone from Chickadee’s school, and finally—as a parent sitting on the other side of Otto was literally dozing off—we heard them call Chickie’s name.

Otto and I clapped and cheered and then we tried to figure out what she’d won. Parents don’t get to sit with the kids, but through the miracle of modern texting, I was able to figure it out.

Me: What did you win? And why? :)
Her: The metric association award. Cuz I told them i used 3 cm of my finger in a liter of water. :P
Me: I can’t stop laughing. Yay you!
Me: Is it just a certificate?
Her: And a ribbon. If I had a data plan, I could send you a picture.
Me: Haha you can show me later.

So… apparently Chickadee is totally the boss of metric units, moreso than the other 600 participants at the fair. She measured the CRAP out of those centimeters, milliliters, and… umm… other stuff. BOOYAH! And because she whipped those metrics into shape, she got this nice certificate and an extra ribbon:

Oh, yeah… she won First Place, too. (But not Best In Category—apparently she lost the coin toss. THANKS, DOUCHEBAG JUDGE WITH THE BIG MOUTH.)

Naturally, it’s her masterful use of metrics that has us the most proud. I’m thinking of buying her a shirt that says INCHES ARE FOR LOSERS. (Too much?)


  1. Stimey

    Yay! Congratulations!

    Imagine being the guy who works for the Metric Association at an American science fair. That’s gotta be a bummer of a job.

    Kudos to your girl. She’s a rock star.

  2. Tenessa

    I want a shirt that says “Inches are for Losers”. That. is. made. of. WIN.

  3. elz

    Smart girls rock! Go Chickadee!

  4. divrchk

    Don’t knock those special awards. My husband was a special judge on behalf of AIAA at our regional science fair a few weeks ago and his top award came with a week of space camp, totally paid for!

  5. divrchk

    PS… A huge congrats to Chickadee!

  6. Laura

    Rock on, Nerdling!

  7. Megan


    *mumble mumble WRONG mumble judge mumble RULES??? mumble mumble RIDICULOUS mumble *


  8. diane

    Chickie is going to cure cancer when she’s all grown up, of this I am sure. Using the metric system, of course.

  9. Sharon

    Congrats!!! She should move to Canada! We are all about the metric system. Inches are so passe and totally for losers!!!!

  10. Zudie

    Inches ARE for losers. Go centimeters! :-)

  11. ste

    Yay! Congratulations Chickie! (And as a Canadian, I must say that centimeters rock.)

  12. Arnebya

    Nerdlings whipped into frothy frenzies make the world go round. Congrats to Chickie for the wins and to you for raising such an awesome girl.

  13. Midj

    Hurray! Love the shirt idea. I think the metric system is the way the US needs to go, though I still convert to non-metric in my head, every.stinking.time. My third grade science teacher would be sooooo disappointed… :-)

  14. Lara

    Not sure how you can win first but not best in category?!? Congrats to Chickie on the big win!

  15. Jeanie

    Chickie, congratulations! You are AWESOME! The coach? Not so much.

  16. dad

    Chicadee has always been my metric favorite.

    She is smart and pretty too.
    Just like someone else I know.

    This is much easier news to disseminate at the office as an expression of my pride than the pirate video of your performance in the Vagina Monologues.

  17. jadine

    That’s so freaking awesome! As a Canadian ((living in TX)), I applaud your use of not one centimeter, but THREE! :) Good job, girl. A metric tonne of congratulations.

  18. Daisy

    Eeyore tendencies – I must use that one some day.

  19. Sleeping Mom

    Congratulations to your little girl! That’s fantastic.

  20. Beth in IA

    If I haven’t said it before, I love you Mir’s Dad. The head judge at the state science fair, not so much. Congratulations to Chickadee for the first place and the metric awesomeness!!

  21. Em

    She should put that on resumes for the rest of her life. #1 – Totally impressive and #2 – No interviewer is going to ask her to elaborate because they will assume the answer would go over their heads. Anyone who associates with metrics to the degree that the receive an award for it is in a class by herself.

    And as much as I am totally digging an “inches is for losers” t shirt, I suggest she don’t wear it in mixed company. You know, adult, mature company mixed with company like mine with gutter humor.

    Congrats on raising a kid who works hard, cares about school and achieves! I would take any two of those three for mine. You have a good one there :-)

  22. victoria

    And no buckets were seen that day ;)

  23. Rachael

    I totally love the shirt idea. :)

  24. Frank

    Congrats to Chickie!

    Glad someone (Em, above) came out and said what I was thinking about the shirt. I could not find a way to relate an “Inches” shirt to probable young male interpretation without sounding creepy…
    Although, I DO have to say that if the US ever DID make the conversion, one of 2 things would happen: either “Inches” related jokes would become more funny (“Centimeters” are So small….) or those jokes would be an eternal holdout…

  25. liz


  26. Brigitte

    . . . and also awarded, first place in the “I didn’t hurl at the State Science Fair” award!

  27. Aimee

    Boo to douchebag judges. But YAY! YAY! YAY! to Chickie for winning and for being metrically awesome!

  28. Grace

    She sounds so cool. And I kinda want to punch that judge in the mouth.

  29. macwade

    I have to ask – did you report the judge? Someone higher up the food chain needs to hear about this guy. And super congrats to the scientist!

  30. Beth R

    Whoo hoo Chickadee!

    I second/third/fourth the call to report the judge’s behavior. Inappropriate to the Nth degree!

    Oh, and Mom? You get to tease Chickadee about her Eeyore tendencies only if you’ve never exhibited them yourself (hee hee) :)


  31. Valerie

    The judge was so overwhelmed with his decision between two projects that he had to talk to the kids, but couldn’t figure out a TIE? Yet another application for the word LOSER. As long as the kiddos are smiling, all ends well. Nice news!!

  32. Hope

    Tears in my eyes! I am telling you! Kvelling. But if we lived in Georgia, my daughter would’ve won the special prize because she can count in metric.

  33. Cele

    Woo hoo chickie.

  34. Heather

    My Canadian self deeply appreciates her metric accomplishments ;)

  35. Lady M

    Hooray, Chickadee!

    I can’t believe someone admitted to a coin toss.

  36. mamaspeak

    OHEMMGEE! Your dad is killing me. The vision of his trying to “share” your performance at “the office” has me laughing the ugly silent laugh. Thank you Mir’s Dad.

    Congrats to Chickie! I would totally buy that t-shirt BTW. My friends would probably think it means something inappropriate, bc we’re really all 9yo boys inside.

  37. Kelly

    So proud of her!!! Go nerdlings!

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