Thursday, April 12, 2012

I'm baaaaack!

Well, kinda. The life of a tech school student means you're not going to see daily updates or any craziness like that (every other week, probably), but I can still update at least somewhat, and like I promised, I think I have some interesting things to say! Well, it might all be boring stupid shit, but I don't give a damn XD.

And I did promise to tell ya'll about Basic, so...

So, 0 week. People told me it was Hell Week, so I go in all nervous and shit... to find out that the TIs (Training Instructors, aka drill sergeants) don't actually start off being horribly mean, since they know people are just starting to learn all the procedures (and honestly, I think they get tired of yelling, and they only get a couple weeks down time between each flight, so they probably just use that first week as a warm-up for being mean and let the hype do their job for them for a bit), so I spent that whole week being all stressed for no reason. Sure, you have to learn the new routines, and it's kinda hard, and you spend a while being hungry if you don't already know how to shovel food, but at the time I expected it to be way worse.

1st week. Got through zero week and found it to be easier than I thought it'd be, so I spent the whole week being all nervous and waiting for the other boot to come down hard. It never did...The main thing I remember from this week was that it was the start of Entry Controller duty- basically, the ECs had to stand guard over the door (keep track of who came in and out, there were specific procedures for letting people in and out, etc) 24/7 (except for PT and class and mandatory appointments... Mostly though, there had to be people on shift, and yes that includes all night); two people to a shift (so they can keep each other awake) for 2 hours at a time (because it SUCKS to stand around for 2 hours at a time, so that augmented the whole "no matter what you will be miserable at Basic" thing).

Week 2. Still waiting for the other boot to drop, and it still never came. About the middle of this week I had the realization that "oh duh, the TIs are making their reputation work for them so they don't have to do quite so much micromanaging!", so I managed to get that less stress off me. Of course, this week was genuinely pretty hard, since at this point they expect everything to be pristine and they expect that to happen in zero time, so that was a pretty big stressor, and everybody's still getting used to 5 hours a sleep every other night (well, except me- I was the person that wasn't good at anything, so I figured I would volunteer for night EC and let the others get their sleep. That didn't really work so well... sometime in fourth week I ended up walking into a wall, and I kept walking, so the EC monitor pulled me off night EC after that).

Week 3. I'll be honest, I really don't remember too much about Basic- all the stress kinda clouded the memories, and now that I'm away from the stress I can forget about it all safely, so I did. So... this post is going to be alot emptier than it "should" be, but I really don't care. So deal. Really, this week seemed to be about looking forward to having name tags put on our ABUs (validation that we were real people and everything!), and having everyone else look forward to the blues "oooh we'll get to wear something other than ABUs!" while I stick out like a sore thumb by insisting "yeah, they're gonna be worse than the ABUs, bet they'll be all sorts of fiddly and fussy and we won't get any time to actually do it properly, like we never have time for anything"... Sometimes I really, really hate being right.

Week 4. Uniform week! We basically spent the entire day at the clothing issue getting shit fitted and altered ("Go try on 14R slacks... no, try 12L... 12R... let me see 14R again... okay, those are good" literally happened to me, and a few other girls... And I won't even go into the skirts). This week there was alot of emphasis placed on drill practice, since we had a drill eval in 5th week... At least we got a story out of this one (indirectly): One day at the drill pad, our brother fight was sucking so bad their TI "recycled" the lot of them back to first week- made them wear sneakers (first weekers generally wear sneakers with their ABUs so people know they're brand new- neither us nor our brother flight had to do that, and I don't know what was up with that), wouldn't let them march properly (since "You're first weekers, you haven't learned how to pivots yet trainees!"), made examples out of us females (one time me and a handful of females were coming back from chow in our little element, and he told them to watch us, since they'd be doing what we were doing soon)... I thought it was hilarious at the time, and only now does it strike me that was kinda mean *shrugs* ah well, it's the military, and Basic at that, whaddya expect?

Week 5. Control happened, we got a really good score for our squadron (I was assigned to the 320th, one of the toughest squadrons, since apparently all the paratropers and other tough types got assigned to 320th) so yay, and then after that we were preparing for BEAST (practicing the procedures we'd have to learn, etc etc).

BEAST Week. Honestly, I had heard that it was like camping, living in tents, etc etc, and I thought I would absolutely hate it, but I actually ended up loving it! It's actually alot more relaxed than the normal Basic routine- no reporting statements, not alot of yelling, it's mostly trainee-run which was kinda nice and kinda sucked (our dorm chief was made the Zone Leader... yeah. She managed to make the 3 male flights that were with us hate her in 2 days.). Yes, I got all sorts of grody (3 shower stalls in the female latrine... for 50 females. Yeah, I took a shower the first night, decided it wasn't worth wading through 50 other females worth of shower supplies and trying not to get their clothes wet from splashing, fighting to get my soaking clothes on because they managed to fall to the floor), since baby wipe showers only go so far, but really, I survived with an amazing appreciation for showers and cleanliness. I also came out knowing how to treat burns, bleeding, sucking chest wounds, abdominal wounds, gas, and shock (you always always always treat for shock no matter how they're injured or if they're displaying the symptoms for shock), and a bunch of other stuff I don't actually feel like regurgitating since that list was boring enough as it is.

7th Week, aka Almost Done Time for Inspections week! Everybody was freaking because OMG INSPECTIONS (we survived, of course), and there was a bunch of parade practice, and we were sooooooooo ready to be out of there. This week was the first time we were allowed to wear our Blues, and like I predicted they take alot of fiddling (once you get used to the tricks they aren't that bad, but before you get that much practice, they SUCK), and we had to wear them every day (which really, really sucked). And there was the coin ceremony (I thought it'd mean nothing to me, but when my TI handed me my coin I had to fight so hard not to cry) and parade (I thought this would mean alot, since this was our official graduation, but I felt nothing), and we got to be called Airmen (which was awesome) and stop wearing our stupid web belts (good GODS but that freaking web belt was such a pain in the ass, sometimes literally!)...

8th Week, aka We're Done! week. Basically, we did lots and lots of waiting. Still had to wear blues, but we got to spend time with our families on the weekend (well, I didn't they weren't able to come, but it really wasn't the end of the world, still had a fun time even though I got TONS of "omg your family isn't coming you must be so depressed!" shit), and then we shipped to tech school!

Miscellaneous things: We had So. Much. Fucking. Drama. It was not even funny. Our dorm chief was awful (I think some MTIs deliberately try and pick out awful dorm chief material to be dorm chief, to make the trainees rebel against them instead of the TI, and teach us all a lesson in how to deal with incompetent superiors), I got put on suicide watch (the funny thing is I'm actually kinda suicidal, but I was SO pissed since I couldn't figure out who figured it out and how they managed to find out that I'm suicidal!) which really really sucked, since I don't actually like having that much attention paid to me and that made everybody give me hawk eyes, and basically BMT sucked and I'm so glad I'm done and over with that shit XD.

A post on how much I love it here at Keesler is forthcoming... sometime. In the meantime, enjoy your post, I'm off to grab some sweet, precious sleep.

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