This item originally appeared in the Feb. 5, 2004, issue of The Tech Talk.
You knew it was coming. How could I not write a column on my experience in the Miss Tech Pageant, my first pageant ever?
Even I thought it was an odd idea. In fact, I joked about it around my Tech Talk friends. But something in their words of encouragement gave me hope.
Jennifer (see column above), being a pageant expert herself, said she'd help with my makeup and wardrobe.
So that got me thinking about going through with the idea, hopefully without spending the money I really didn't have to spend.
Melissa, one of my favorite photographers, helped with my headshots for the Miss Photogenic portion, which, unfortunately, I did not win.
Then there was the conflict of choosing a talent. I figured since I couldn't show my editing skills or how to throw someone out at home plate from center field, I had to go a different route. And those of you who know me know my singing skills are much too superb to describe.
Being a journalist, I realized words are powerful. As a result, I chose Maya Angelou's poem, "Phenomenal Woman." I was determined to prove I was just that.
When I went home for Christmas Break, I went to Mimi, my great aunt, for her pageant expertise. I didn't realize until that point how much work would go in to simply reciting a poem. But I stuck with it.
The part of the pageant I was not excited about was the physical fitness in swimsuit competition. It never registered that after the pageant most of the university would know just how I looked when wearing almost nothing.
It was fun, even the walking in a bathing suit and heels. I couldn't believe the confidence I had. I felt as if I owned the stage, and for a brief moment, I did.
Now, I'm not conceited or anything, but when I say I was the most fit, I was the most fit. And after all, wasn't it a fitness competition? Well, I didn't win that portion either.
The competition I thought I would ace with no problem was the interview session. I'm a journalist and am used to on-the-spot questions and answers. However, I did not win that portion. With all the dresses I tried on for the evening gown competition, I did not win that either.
With all of this talk of my not winning the individual competitions, I bet you're waiting for the magical fairy tale ending. Unless you read last week's front page article, I have to inform you that I did not win the entire pageant. That's right, my family drove four hours from Dallas to watch me lose!
Nevertheless, the support was great. People I didn't know told me that I should have won at least the talent or swimsuit/fitness competitions. Again, I want to emphasize the word fitness. By the way, I'm not bitter.
This doesn't take away from the ladies who won a title or two. I think for my first pageant, being invited to two others is noteworthy.
I've created a mini acceptance speech. First, I'd like to thank God, my family and friends and especially my softball coach for allowing me to miss practice. Oh, I'd also like to thank the little people. Just kidding; I've just always wanted to say that.
I knew I had great teammates and an extraordinary Tech Talk staff, but the support system was amazing. Volleyball players Tanya Jarvis and Heather Anderson gave me a card and my very own tiara.
So I guess when it comes down to it, I really am someone's Miss Tech.
Amber Miles is a junior journalism major from Dallas and serves as associate managing editor for The Tech Talk.