Saturday, April 21, 2012

Tech School Amore

So I've been here for about a month, and I still freaking love it here, so there's something to recommend tech school for ya! Of course, I'll probably be here for about 8 months. At least that's the average... technically if I did all the schooling straight it'd be 5 months, but here people have to switch between different buildings, wait on there to be enough people to take a class, wait on instructors to become available, etc etc, which makes for alot of time spent Awaiting Further Instructions (AFI), which means loads of cleaning... But anyways!

The attitude here is half positive and half negative, really- in this squadron (we're the geek squadron, everybody who's in training for Radio Frequency transmissions (aka RF, which is what I am, why they don't have the t in the acronym I have no idea), cyber transport, something and some other thing) is assigned to the 338) everybody's here so long alot of people are all "omg I hate it here lemme get out already!", but because everybody's here they learn what you can and can't get away with, what's important and what you can blow off, and it's only taken me a month to pick up the "fuck it" attitude (and enjoying it! Even when I was growing up my rents were too strict for me to be able to "aw, fuck it"...). But yeah, people get bored and frustrated here, but we all learn to be goofs so I suppose it balances out?

There isn't alot to do here for reals, apparently- there's various places (bowling alley, beach, community clubs) but there's "not really much to do, like to hang out and kill time and such" (not a direct quote but that's the gist). We get alot of free time here, so it's pretty much up to you how to spend it (you can either be a good airman and study, volunteer, go be a rope, etc; or be a shitty airman and hang out with people and develop an actual hobby or whatever. Right now I'm leaning in the shitty airman direction, since I do need to recharge my batteries and doing more work ontop of school would drive me into the ground). I don't care, I don't actually know what normal things to do are, so the things to do here seem luxurious to me!

Since I've joined, I've really had a sense that I grew up different- around here, when you introduce yourself, one of the first questions asked is "where are you from?" Having to answer that and then later on kinda explaining how I grew up really helped me analyze my upbringing... Like, I knew growing up in the middle of nowhere (the cows outnumbered the people, literally) made for a sucky childhood, but now I REALLY know that damn but I had no life... I suppose I may be so positive because here at Keesler is so much better than where I was there's no comparison... Not sure if I should be upset that I apparently that sucky a life, or be glad that I can appreciate what I have now. So I'm going for the positive aspect of things XD.

Oh, I mentioned "go be a rope". Basically, the leadership system is organized by ropes, and everybody wears a rope on their shoulder to show what they are. Like, a bay chief (like the name implies, they're supposed to help keep their bay (section of dormitory, there's 3 bays to a floor) on the straight and narrow, but they also have to march flights to and from school, keep up on all the announcements so they can tell everyone else what's up, and basically be good little airman leaders) has a green rope, a floor rope (like a bay chief except more responsibility, and there's 3 floor to a building) has a yellow rope, and then building ropes (more responsibility) have a red rope. Those are the airman leaders, and then MTLs (Military Training Leaders, basically tech school drill sergeants but mostly they just yell at the people who do stupid shit, like drink underage, and organize appointments and shit) have blue ropes, and then the people who do extracurriculars have to wear a rope as well (there's white ropes, who man the fishbowl- common area, has video games, ping pong, etc- and volunteer for shit, and are representatives of Keesler to the community; there's the drill team, who do either precise marching routines or an awesome freestyle routine involving tossing rubber rifles around, and they wear black ropes; and the band people wear a white and blue rope, except the band commander, who gets blingy rhinestones instead of white). Are you thoroughly confused now by the massive wall of text? XD

Hmmm, let's see, what else... Oh yeah, might wanna talk about classes, the reason I'm here in the first place XD. Classes are fucking BORING as HELL. As in, if people don't drink at least one energy drink (monster, 5 hour energy, coffee, whatever they prefer) they will fall asleep, and if people have had a bad day they'll end up having to stand at the back of the class to stay awake. Some instructors are cool, some manage to keep it engaging, some are boring as hell and speak in monotones and read off the power points (they don't have to make lesson plans, the lesson plans for each day are mandated, and are basically the textbook in power point format) because they don't wanna be there... It really depends. Anyways, there'll be days spent on theory, lab days (where you actually apply the shit you learned), appraisals (practice tests, some instructors prefer you to take them all at once, some prefer you to answer the questions for each unit as you learn it), and the last day of a unit there'll be an actual test (and then you spend the rest of the day cleaning).

In case you're curious (basically I started typing half this out, then decided to finish and make it a paragraph in its own right), here's my schedule for the days. Mon/Wed/Fri we have PT, so that means I have to be out of the room and in the main CQ hallway before 0400, since that's when they open the doors and if you're not among the crowd flowing out the doors then you're late. Then there's accountability, then PT (weak, pathetic, if you aren't busting it out like it's nothing you won't even be able to pass the PT tests), then we're released to go shower and eat and shit, and then we report to our school squadrons. Tuesdays and Thursdays, we don't have PT, we just have to report on our building's drill pad for accountability, then it's off to our school squadron. Either way, we have to be formed up in our little squadron (a flight is 4 elements and 12 ranks, plus a guideon in front, and a squadron is having a bunch of flights lined up until we run out of people) by 0530, then we march to our hall (school building, they all have names like Dolan Hall, Cody Hall, etc) and have to be in class by 0600. Then... tons of class. We get breaks at 0745, 0915, 1000, 1100-1200 for lunch, 1300, dismissed at 1445, then we get marched back to the squadron for Final Form, during which announcements are made and we get praised/yelled at for shit people did., and then we get released from there approx 1530. And that is the official duty day. We get every other Friday off (which is really, REALLY nice), and on weekdays the curfew is 2200, and on weekends we don't have curfews (which is awesome :D), and the rest of that time is free time!

So I just realized I spent alot of time describing my environment, and not much time describing me or how I've changed... I kinda wanna do a blog post on that, catalog all these changes I've noticed in myself, but then I'm not sure if I want to be that self-absorbed idiot writing about themselves like other people care. Besides, that's what journals are for, right? ...Except I keep forgetting to write in mine XD. But anyways, I guess next blog post you'll find out what I've chosen to write about, my two dear and darling readers. Don't stay tuned, go get lives of your own already :P

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