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for science!

yesterday the four of us spent the whole day at occidental college for the 2013 los angeles county science olympiad.

as a member of his school's team (a mix of fourth and fifth graders), paul participated in two events (aerodynamics and making/using a key). his first event wasn't until 11:40, but in true paul fashion, he insisted we get there at 8:30. he was all done by 1:30, but we stayed for the 3:30 award ceremony. gold medals for the team. we are very proud.

paul's level of interaction with his classmates tugged at the heartstrings a little. a couple of times during the day the kids were running around with a soccer ball... paul watched from a distance, and occasionally expressed a desire to "intercept" (he likes to cast himself an athletic bamf from time to time), but after one slip in the mud he was reduced to sulks. he was invited to play, but he always said no. when the kids were playing games on various mobile devices, the king of minecraft was in his element. kids peeked over his shoulder to see what he was doing. once his best friend showed up, they were all but inseparable. (cam called them "sam and eric," much to my amusement.) the two of them were clearly... different from the others, for the lack of a better word. paul's friend is like an alert little bird, keenly interested in the things that he deems interesting, clearly unconcerned with everything else--including such mundane things as shoelaces. paul is similar, but in paul i see a sort of longing to belong partly submerged in childish insouciance that is so familiar (and saddening) to me. not concerned enough to adjust one's approach, yet sensitive enough to feel the lack of connection... i think i've felt that way my entire life. i hope my poor dear has a smoother time of it.

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