GIRL OF CONVENTION 2023
DARIA GRAMADSKIKH (ISOT, MOSCOW)
— “Mrs. Helen, do you know there’s a story about lost conscience? Can we maybe use it for the One Act Play?
— “I haven’t heard of it, but if you can write a script, we may try to stage it.”
This is how the official preparation for the convention began for me. Unofficial preparation began back in November, with sketches of paintings, and panicky thoughts about the lack of inspiration for writing.
So, the official training began in January with uncertainty about the next day, in the sense that half of those who agreed to participate were not yet sure that they would go. Luckily, many of my friends who are graduating this year did get a chance to come (it’s scary to think that the next convention will be my last).
— “I knew that many would not arrive by 13:30, you see, I thought of everything.”
The first day of the convention, we are just going to the school to take the bus that will take us to the venue. This convention began with amazement at the finished paintings, the people who arrived on time, and the size of the suitcases.
The first day was the laziest, and to some extent was a lesson to us. In addition to finding out the taste of local food, we also realized that going to bed early in the morning is the stupidest thing that a convention participant can do.
— “Are you ready for Group Bible Speaking?”
— “No, you? Everyone who was asked shook their heads»
The second day of the convention aka the first day of the competitions is always the scariest. Just starting to get used to the taste of performances, everyone gets worried, and sometimes forgets the words. On this day, we just started to explore the place where convention was held, found out that when it’s boring you can play pool, and we also got the first medals (everyone was upset at that moment, because we wanted even more sparkling pendants on our necks).
— “I can’t speak,” I panic, “And tomorrow I won’t be able to get on my feet at all.”
The third day of the convention was marked for me by the loss of voice, and One Act Play. It was funny how I regained my voice for ten minutes, having played the role, and then couldn’t speak the whole next day. On the same day, all sporting events ended, so that the last day of the competition was given completely to the struggle of minds. It was also that evening that the grand finale of a beautiful story staged by our teachers was shown.
“Pssst,” someone scratched at our door at about two in the morning. On the threshold was Mrs. Helen, “How much do you love me? Can you show One Act Play again tomorrow?
A voice asked in the silence, “Do we even have a choice?”
On Thursday, everyone watched with interest as the smartest people in our schools tried to get places for the PACE Bowl and the Russian Brain Ring (the questions on the latter are really difficult, the second and third places we got are quite justified). And on the same day, for the first time in the history of the convention, a theater was shown, where we, equipped with microphones and well-placed lights, showed our acting skills. In the evening, everyone present could watch how the senior 1 students frantically tried to earn merits to buy snacks. Also, we all watched the epic show put on for us.
— “Yes it’s you, 100%.”
—»I won’t be sure until my name is called.»
And here is the day X. The very day that everyone was waiting for, feared, and hoped to get something on it. The Award Ceremony was held this time on the last day of the convention, right after breakfast, and we literally sat on packed suitcases listening to the names of those who were lucky enough to win. By the end, many of my friends got medals of different places, and I even took some of mine off, because of an impressive 11 medals around my neck.
And here is the moment for which some go to the convention, the announcement of those who received the highest score. I did not fully believe that it was I who would get this place, and only when I went on stage I believed that all my efforts were worth it (I even got my voice back when I gave the speech).