Balou Face

Fourth Street 2012

In completely random posting from someone who hasn't posted much in the last several months, I just registered for next year's Fourth Street.  I was rather disappointed that I had to miss this year's con due to military commitments.  Enlisting was waaaaay more important, but I really like Fourth Street and it's a chance to see some friends that I only see about once a year.  Looking forward to seeing them next year since, happily, the con doesn't fall on a drill weekend.
Balou Face

things that happened

I've been on an Army post for the last month and a half.  I thought it would be weird, but I suppose I don't have anything to compare it to.  Everything after BMT is new to me.

Friday was the last day of my EMT class.  The rest of the summer belongs to Nursing.  The only crappy thing is that the Air Force condenses a six month EMT course into 4 weeks.  If you're wondering if that adds stress to the experience, I tell you now that it does.

As stressful and hateful as I found the BMT experience to be, it's got nothing on the last week of EMT.  On Wednesday we had Skills.  The Day of Skills (or, as I called it - The Motherfucking Day of Skills) is where you have five mandatory practical skills that you need to demonstrate for an evaluator (can I run an assessment on a Trauma patient and treat the injuries in the proper order?  Can I work a Bag Valve Mask?  Can I properly strap someone onto a Long Spine Board?).  Then, there's one optional skill that comes from a list of 8 other skills.  You don't know what you're getting.  You also don't know what you've passed or failed until EVERYONE is done for the morning.  Then we had to go to lunch still not knowing. 

We come back, and the only thing they tell is is who passed outright.  Not me.  We know that 12 people only failed one skill, 6 people failed two, 3 people failed three, and one person failed outright.  But not who. 

Seriously, it's only when we get back up to the exam room do we find out what skill we missed.

Long Spine Board.  That's fair.  For exam, it can be a matter of inches anyway.  Stuff that wouldn't have mattered in the field but is critical for testing.  I do it again, better than the first time I felt.  I only find out later that there is a serious argument regarding my LSB Round 2 and whether I should pass.  My instructor was fighting for me against the evaluator.  It should be noted that my patient was bigger and longer than the LSB.  Friggin crazy.

I ask if I have any more skills to do or if that was the only one.  She doesn't know.  Go stand in the hallway. 

They call my name again.  Shit, a second fail.  It's probably Medical.  I forgot to verbalize checking the Patient's Four Rights and checking the expiration date on the albuterol inhaler before administering it during the Medical Assessment.  I just wasn't sure if that was failing criteria or if I just lost a point. 

An evaluator leads me to the station. 
I say out loud, "So...Medical, huh?" 
"Anytime you're ready, honey"
"Let's do it."
She reads the scenario.
Exhale.  "BSI.  Is my scene safe?"

Y'all, I was golden. 

But they STILL don't tell you when you fail or pass.  You get back to the classroom and wait some more.  At least they're watching Shrek 4. The instructors call a couple people out into the hallway, including my friend Courtney.  Not me. 

Then - "If you haven't spoken to us in the hallway, you're good."
Wait.  What do you mean we're good?
"You passed.  You're done.  Study for Registry"
Oh...shit.  Awesome.  Shit.  Registry.

The Day of Skills was hella stressful.  It's the waiting.  I know I nailed my skills (even my failures were quality). 

But Registry.  That's something else. 

Friday, Registry.  You can get anywhere between 70 and 140 questions.  It depends how well or how poorly you know your stuff.  A whole lot of people had 70.  A bunch had 120.  I had 100.  The stressor is that we're told that if you start getting easy questions, you might be answering stuff wrong and doing poorly.  It's one of the computer tests that the more you get right, the harder the questions.  So, everytime we see an easy question we freak and assume we just bombed the last two questions. 

I'm done around 11:00 AM.  Took me perhaps an hour to do my  questions.  I test fast.  Some took almost the full two hours to do 70 questions. 

But, we don't get results back until after 2:00 pm.  Yes, more spastic waiting - only this is worse than Skills.  We had people coming out of Registry crying, convinced they failed.  One called her mother over lunch, explaining that she failed.  She passed.  I passed.  We were actually called out at the same time, so we ended up giving each other a massively tight hug right after we're told we passed.  She's good people.  I'm glad she's moving to Nursing with me.

Balls, that was some stressful shit. 

Oh, and then we have our CPR test right after - but they couldn't lecture CPR before Registry because even though CPR has changed (it's CAB now, not ABC), Registry doesn't change until October.  Quick do that, score 100% and raise my course average to a 90.3% and I'm done. 

I pass out by 8:30 that night.  Some folks are going out to celebrate, I'm sleeping. 

I can't tell what stress I feel from Registry and what I feel from my father's cancer stuff that we're waiting to find out how bad it is.  Probably both. 

I'd tell trollcatz if I could.  I think she'd have been excited and proud. 

Tomorrow: I'm going to look good in my Blues and start my Nursing course.  Three and a half months until I come home.
Balou Face


Four days.  Holy shit. 

Um.  My eloquence, such that it is, has escaped me.  I received notification this morning that my flight has been booked. 

If you're wondering, the nerves have definitely set in. 
Balou Face


Only twenty seven days until I leave for BMT.  Holy shit!

Other than a sliver of being freaked out that lies somewhere deep in my chest, I'm still calm about it.  This makes sense, because I chose to enlist, but it's such a huge change.  I'm calmly excited (yes, this makes sense), but I think it won't be until that last weekend or when I'm driving to the base to do outprocessing before the flight to San Antonio that the calm will only be on the outside. 

There are a few niggling little details to take care of here, and one slightly bigger one (what the hell to do with my mail?), but it's all so small and easy.  Just wait.  I've been waitingAnd waiting

Now, twenty seven days. 

I'm tired and weary of the waiting, of the having so much of everything in my professional life on hold because I can't fairly look into making changes until I've taken care of my training and returned. 

So, I'm excited to leave for BMT.

What I explained to someone else is that it isn't Basic Training that I'm excited for.  I don't think many people really are.  It's what comes next.  It's starting the military career in whatever capacity it happens to be for a given individual.  It's learning the job and taking your place.  It's what comes after.  BMT is an experience I want to have had, but that's not what I'm looking forward to.  But you can't really say all that when someone asks you if you're excited to leave for Basic.  The simple answer is yes, but what you mean is everything else. 

I mean everything else.  I mean overcoming that nagging bit of self doubt that never quite goes away, it just shifts to something new.  I mean figuring out what I want out from this service.  I mean becoming stronger in ways I didn't expect.  I mean hopefully becoming something of a mentor to the kids I'll be with in BMT.  I mean putting the uniform on for the first time.  I mean earning my EMT-B.  I mean the chance to do some really cool and different stuff in a few years when I'm fully trained up.  I mean everything when I say yes.  
Balou Face

endeavors that are vertical

Okay, that was awesome. 

A friend and I went to Vertical Endeavors last night.  I've wanted to go for a long while, but finally had the opportunity. 

That shit was crazy fun! 

The interesting thing to me was just how intellectual of a challenge climbing is.  Trying to figure out how to get your body up the wall.  That, and the physical challenge, of course.  A few times I think I *could* have made it all the way up, but my forearms were just smoked.  And my hands!  Grip became a challenge.


Definitely going to go back. 
Balou Face

League #6


Don't know where the hell that 171 came from, but I was ON.  Alternated strikes and spares each frame until the 7th, picked up a spare in the 8th, missed in the 9th, and finished the 10th with a strike and a spare.  Was golden. 
Balou Face

League #4 & #5

Just a quick update on the bowling

Week 4: 104-135-121
Week 5: 112-155-161

That 155 was my highest score EVAH, which I promptly followed by my new highest score EVAH.  I bowled two games the next night with some folks from work and had a 99-107 - and those scores were waaaay better than I bowled.  Hopefully the craptacularness was an aberration and I can keep improving.

Apparently I get some money back at the end based on how many points the team wins over the course of the season and how many games I bowled.  Too bad I'll miss the last 8 weeks of the season, but my co-worker is estimating I'll get something like $40 back.  NICE!  I'll have to get that paypalled into my account so I can have a little extra scratch in Tech School when I get computer access.  I can deal with that.