Who is the Grumpy Adult?
The Grumpy Adult is actually Ron Langstaff. The term “Grumpy Adult” came into being when the team needed an adult to pose for a safety poster to remind students that they needed an adult present when they’re in one of the shops at Make-It-Here. Naturally, the question arose “who is going to be the adult for that photo?” A contest was held with the students voting. Ron “won” by having the same number of votes as the rest of the adults combined - a landslide.
The poster above is what the “Grumpy Adult” was used for. The poster now adorns the three entrances to the shops at Make-It-Here and our pits for the 2018 competitions.
Ron has been with the team, to varying degrees, since 2013. Despite having a graduate engineering degree and being professionally licensed in 11 states for two disciplines (mechanical and fire protection), Ron does little, if anything, with robots. When he first joined the team, he recognized a few things right away: he knew nothing about robots, other adults thought they knew something about robots and hovered around them accordingly, and the team could get a coordinated email out to save itself. Ron started with e-mails - and photography. Both seemed safe vocations at the time.
What started as emails morphed into other things. One of them being “could you do something with our Facebook account?” That particular assignment, along with emails, morphed into the team communications manager. There are people out there who think Ron is actually in charge - little do they know. And then it was “we need another adult to be a primary contact on our FIRST account.” That particular task also involved ensuring student registrations are correct. With the 2016 rebranding of the team, Ron also become the chief webmaster (which is actually kind of fun, but don’t tell anyone). In short, Ron is the one who does a lot of the team administriva beyond the robot. Somebody’s gotta do it.