Between 4-6 May I am at University Politehnica of Bucharest for one of my favourite IT contests: Acadnet. It consists of 2 age categories (grades 9-10 and 11-12), each with 2 sections: networking, which contains problems from the Cisco CCNA courses, and computers, which follows the syllabus of IT Essentials. I have qualified only for the networking section (btw it's the most difficult) and I'll leave the contest for a day because my DELF (Diplôme d'études en langue française) exam overlaps with the contest.
Faculty of Automatic Control &
Computer Science [contest HQ]

First day

There have been some problems with the date of this contest, but things have settled down with only a little "damage": I cannot participate Saturday at NetRiders, another contest organised by Cisco, and I'll miss the workshops [I would have liked to talk to someone from Rosedu but...].

However, I am now in my dorm room. Qualified also from Valcea, but at computers 9-10 is Alex Chiriac, but we knew each other before, because we learn at the same high-school. The road Valcea-Bucharest was really easy, because the teacher who accompanies us decided that we travel here by car. The accommodation is pretty nice [we stay in the dorms for foreign students] and the food is good [we eat at the rectorship cafeteria].

Daniel Popa [examinator],
Emil Popa [engine] and
Razvan Ruginis [host]
Being for the second year, I already know many of the participants. In addition, the opening ceremony was really nice: mr Razvan Rughinis, the head of the Cisco Academy in the faculty, had a very good motivational speech and mr Emil Onea, the "engine" of the contest was as hospitable as he always is. A moment that really caught my attention was a girl, student at Poli in year 4, who last year won the global NetRiders networking competition, beating all the men who thought that they are the masters of this skill (she was really proud of it).

Tomorrow, 3-7 pm, is the exam: one theoretical and one practical. The modification that this year's contest has is that the practical exam is 70% of the final score... which I think is one of the best decisions ever.

Second day

Networking 11-12 contest
Picture taken from mr Emil Onea's album
Well, the contest was as we expected... 3 hours and a half of brain burning. I am a little disappointed, because I carelessly started the subnetting of the network from the smallest to biggest subnet, when I should have done it reversely... but a contest is a contest. The statements were a little different from the last year, but they neatly tested all our skills [kudos for the students who made them].

After the contest, I went with Danut and Florin to the cinema, to watch The Avengers. It happened just like after the Olympiad last month: another great movie makes me realize that there are more important things in life then getting the most points in a contest.

Tomorrow, I have to go on my own to Pitesti, take the DELF exam, and finally I want to return back before the Rosedu workshop and the finishing ceremony...I hope there won't be any incidents (like missing a bus :-).

Third day

Rosedu Workshop [via Florin]
I woke up at 7am in the morning, at 8 I was in the metro station, at 9 I took the bus to Pitesti, I arrived at 10:15 in Pitesti, and after 20 minutes of walking I made it to the test center. I had time 5 minutes to  talk to the other students from Valcea, then we entered the examination room for the writing test paper.

Luck... I had a lot. I was only afraid of the composition I had to write... I don't like to write about philosophical subjects like friendship or poverty. But the main subject was volunteering, which I happened to talk about with my teacher just a week before.

The oral examination was even more better: the examiners saw my t-shirt with Google, so we started talking about my passion for computer science. Then, for the subject at first sight, the theme was how can technology help students for revising for their final exams... just pure luck. I'm really confident I'll pass the Delf exam with a high grade.

Ending ceremony
Immediately, I went to the bus station and took the first one to Bucharest: I had to catch the workshops and the ending ceremony. Unfortunately, the bus that I selected took me on a much longer route [+40 minutes] and full of potholes [I <3 Romania].

I arrived a little late, but just in time to catch Razvan's great presentation about open source. The final ceremony was held in the rectorship building. Neither me, nor Alex won anything.


Well, I am disappointed. However, nothing compares with staying in the campus of one of the top universities in my country, socializing with a group of 30 students, debating about Linux vs Microsoft and making new friends. Next year will be my last, so I better allocate more time for learning for the next edition.