By Madeline Hsu and Maia Vo
Do you like to compete for your school? UIL is a great way to learn new and exciting information that you wouldn’t normally learn in class. It is also a way to meet people that have similar interests as yourself. You can also learn great skills that you can utilize in the future to interact with the outside world. But this year, a lot of the UIL activities that were offered year long are only allowed half of the year, such as Art, Chess Puzzles, and Music Memory. This could possibly lower the overall school points for winning the Championships Sweepstake at the end of the year. This might also lower the amount of school participants for half of the year since a lot of students like competing in only those events. Many students compete in only one or two events so that they can focus on only that topic(s). Hard work earns medals, trophies, and ribbons. It also contributes to the total amount of points and even the smallest amount of points could help lead the team to Sweepstakes victory.
Mr. Dabbs said that the team will be attending four out of the total six competition dates this year, as they do every year. All the competition dates are on Saturdays: October 29 at Revere Middle School, January 9 at Yates High School, April 8 at Pershing Middle School, and May 6 at Westbury High School. Mr. Dabbs said that he loves to be the main UIL coordinator because he can express his “nerdiness” in a way that also supports his school.
Former UIL competitor Ben Illiev, who used to participate in speaking events said that he enjoyed doing UIL because he could learn about subjects that you wouldn’t learn in school. He also said that if you don’t win, you still gain some knowledge. Speaking events are one of the few events that don’t require sitting in a chair for an hour. They are also a way to express your creativity vocally.
Middle school UIL is a little bit different from elementary. Instead of having the school coordinator walking you to your class, you have to find your way through the big schools yourself. Luckily, there are some student volunteers that attend that school that will help you if you get lost.
You will also make a lot of new friends in Pin Oak’s big UIL family. Mr. Dabbs hopes to see you in future competitions!