|This is unfortunately what I will not|
be doing this summer. Pic from here.
Anyway, so update number one: new laptop! Which I am presently writing my blog entry upon while sipping an iced chai latte in our local non-Starbucks café. My parents wanted to get me a kickass graduation present in return for not paying for my college education and my general awesomeness. Apparently graduating from West Point is a big deal or something. Whatevs. Anywho, they got me a MacBook. I’ve never owned a mac before, but I used to use one in my high school journalism classes, so relearning the mac process after four years of using a PC is proving to be an interesting process. For the record, I am absolutely in love with my new laptop. There’s lots of memory on it, and lots of RAM, so I’ll be able to record music to my heart’s content. Assuming I have a heart, that is. These days, it’s hard to tell.
Update number two: I failed out of Air Assault school. On zero day. This is a hugely embarrassing thing. Air Assault school, for those of you without a military background, is an Army school in which soldiers learn how to rappel out of helicopters in a combat environment. However, there’s a hell of a lot more to the school than that. It’s also incredibly grueling physically, to include little sleep and food and lots and lots and LOTS of exercise, and all the while NCOs are yelling in your face. Now, I can do lack of sleep (cue: recent college grad with more than a few all-nighters) and I can do lack of food (cue: I made it through SERE training two summers ago, and part of that school includes starving in the woods for about two weeks) and I can certainly deal with people yelling in my face for no real reason (cue: this isn’t my first day in the Army, after all). I’m also in pretty darn good shape, if I do say so myself, so I managed to make it through all the smoking (being dropped for various exercises like pushups, situps, flutter kicks, etc) and the two mile run.
What killed me at Air Assault was my complete and utter lack of coordination.
In short, the obstacle course—one of the two zero day requirements—was the death of my Air Assault career. There are nine obstacles in the o-course, and two of them are mandatory. I passed those two no problem (they don’t require a whole lot of coordination; just an indifference to heights and the ability to climb a rope). Of the remaining seven obstacles, you can only fail one and still be considered a pass for the whole course. Soldiers are only allowed two tries per obstacle. I’m a clutz. I have terrible balance. I fell off one too many times, off of one too many obstacles. Thus, they sent me home.
The upside of my failing Air Assault school, and of my being there voluntarily, was that I get extra leave…so instead of being home on July 22, I came home yesterday. Littlest Brother (and Parents) are thrilled to have me back. I’m glad to be home, of course, but…I hate being a failure. As a general rule, I don’t make a habit of failing. With very few exceptions (note: my love life), I accomplish everything I set my mind to accomplishing. For crying out loud, I made it through SERE school. Albeit it was with the Air Force, so it was fairly chill as far as SERE goes, but it was SERE nonetheless. If that term means nothing to you, a quick Google search should fix that in no time, and likely better than I could explain it. My point is that failing Air Assault—even though I know it won’t go on my record and no one in my unit will know, nor will anyone when I get to BOLC—really, really, really bothers me.
It doesn’t help the matter that Stargazer was there, and that he saw me fall off the two obstacles that caused me to fail. He’s still at Air Assault, kicking ass and taking names. He’s kind of a stud that way, and his military prowess is one of many qualities in him that I’ve always admired. That said, he’s also being a jerk right now, so I’m a little upset at him, too. That’s update number three.
Update number four: Before, during, and after my brief stint as an Air Assault candidate (you don’t become a student until you pass zero day), I reconnected with two West Point friends and realized that I like them a LOT. One I’ve known since our first year there, but we lived on opposite ends of the cadet area, so we never really saw each other apart from the class we had together plebe year and then the summer assignment we both had in Missouri. However, we have a lot in common that we never realized, and the entire time we hung out—she went to Air Assault with me, but with the heat and the smoking, she failed the run—we kept asking ourselves how come we had not been better friends. Both addicted to Buffy, Angel, Bones, and grunge rock. We also have similar opinions on relationships and men in general.
The other friend with whom I reconnected is a former love-interest, although demanding schedules and not meeting until our last semester at school made a relationship impractical. However, he’s turned out to be a great guy, and was an absolute life-saver. He drove all the way out to the camp where Air Assault school was to pick me and my other friend up when we failed out. Thus, the second silver lining to being a failure was getting two better friends :]
As this is getting pretty long, and I don’t want to dwell any longer on the emotional trauma of being a failure right now, I’m gonna pause my blogging and reread the story I still haven’t finished writing, despite having only two chapters left. Perhaps if I ever finish it, I’ll add a page to my blog about my various story cycles. For a preview, they are: Circle, Haven, and Guard. The first book of the Circle series is the one I’m presently writing. It’s called The Spinner’s Journey. Perhaps my next entry will be a summary?