Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Dinner, Police Cars, Book Reading

Late night for me today--I had the pleasure of going to dinner with some friends from out of town. Had a delicious and tender steak and baked sweet potato, it was wonderful, and the conversation was great. It was really nice to see these folks, and they sought me out to let me know they were in town. In a sense you could call this guy "my recruiter" except for the Academy doesn't really have recruiters--but they do have representatives to help candidates navigate the admission/nomination process and they do weigh in with the admissions committee based upon their interaction and assessment of you. Being the ambitious high schooler I was, I linked into him my freshmen year of high school and he helped me make sure I was good to go as the years went. He is retired from the military now, but he definitely helped me a lot, stayed in contact, and really cared about my professional development as a cadet and since I have commissioned. So here, truly 14 years and countless life/Army experiences since, and he's still tracking me down to check on me. His son is an officer too and deploys really soon, so they were here to see him off. One of the components of good leadership is that the leader breeds and invests in junior leaders. This officer has done that for me since before I was even in the Army. Make leaders, be leaders. I had a great example from the very start.
Today was MINIMAL classroom time and the majority outside (which I didn't know--thus my face/neck are somewhat sunburned with nice "glasses" racoon eyes--granted, that happens with our sport anyhow, so nothing new) or in a police car that I got to whip around! We did precision backing--and that took a little bit of practice to get through the course, going backwards and not hitting cones with the front or back and within a time limit. We also did a fast serpentine (35mph...sounds slower than it is, I had the back seat passengers flying everywhere and the wheels a squeeling), a quick lane turn and quick braking, and then a backwards serpentine. No cones hit in that one!! In fact, the Soldiers thought I was fairly impressive on it! Lots of thumbs ups and high fives!
I won't hit on yesterday too much--but if I thought reading powerpoint slides to me was bad, how about a 38-page book over several hours--to include reading items in the parantheses (like acronyms). It was the most painful class I think I've ever been was HORRIBLE. I did get a letter to a friend written and a couple of magazines read though. Tomorrow and Friday are more classroom classes--I pray they are good and not poor presentations because I can't take anymore of the poor stuff.

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