Saturday, December 03, 2005

First Cup of Coffee

A terrific Day By Day comic today, I don't have much to add to it:

Well, aside from the fact that John Murtha is really starting to spin me up and John Kerry is apparently still campaigning for the 2004 election. I wonder if the People's Republic of Massachusetts will finally throw the bums out? Kerry is up for reelection in 2008, Kennedy is up for reelection in 2006. More later, I'm sure.

Good news from Pakistan: Officials: CIA missile strike kills al-Qaida No. 3

Added a few new blogs to the Blogroll, Mahndisa's Thoughts and The Chatterbox Chronicles. I believe I've seen Little Miss Chatterbox lurking around LiveJournal, that icon sure looks familiar. Mahndisa asks some very thought-provoking questions, I think. Definitely worth checking out. I believe I'll be adding The Lincoln Park Regulars as well. You need to read this. (TFHT: Mahndisa)

I thought I'd relate my experience with my first test in the newly realigned Department Head School program at the Surface Warfare Officers School. The program has been revised such that the first thing we do is leadership training and navigation and seamanship training, my section is doing the latter first, so we had a Rules of the Road test on Friday. The Nautical Rules of the Road are the no kidding, must know rules of maneuvering ships on pain of expensive fines and possible (nay, probable) loss of life. We were only allowed to get five wrong out of the 50 questions, with a "bonus" question at the end. This is refresher-type material, I've done it before and practiced regularly while at sea, but I'm a little rusty after three years of shore duty.

I got 39 wrong.

After the test, I was discussing it with my shipmates, some of whom are even rustier than I am. At least I've been teaching some shiphandling and other Navy-related topics within the last year or so. I asked a couple of them, "so what was the answer to that bonus question?"

"Oh, I think it was a purse seiner," said one. That's a type of fishing boat, in case you are unaware.

"No, I mean the warship question... the last question was about a light the Secretary of the Navy authorized a vessel to display at night. I don't remember a question about a purse seiner..."

"It was definitely a purse seiner."

I realized I has taken a different version of the test than everyone else, and deduced, therefore, that I was going to get an awful lot of them wrong. I couldn't get over to the office that the instructor was in between classes, because part of the new program is keeping the schedule packed tight from 0730 to 1730, with a nice two-hour lunch for PT (physical training - Culture of Fitness!) time. So I called over there and left him a message, saying I suspected I had taken the wrong version of the test and emailed him as well, for good measure.

Great guy that he was, he had already corrected the tests by the time he got the message and had written "-39, PLEASE SEE ME" on the test, since a score like that has to be reported directly to the CO! He got my message, used the appropriate key and re-did it. He counted three wrong, but after further review, noted that I only had two wrong. No didn't get the bonus question right (the answer is, "a submarine").

I thought you'd enjoy that little story, I enjoy telling it. I love what I've seen so far of the new Department Head School. I feel engaged and really SWOtivated, unlike the way I remember Division Officer School back in the Ninties. Anyway, I'm sure there will be occassional accounts of goings-on from SWOS.


Blogger Phantom_Driver, USNR, Ret. bloody well said...

As we used to say, "The Captain may not be right, but he's never wrong".

Its tough to point out an obvious error to a superior, but in this case the superior knew something was amiss and took corrrective action.

Right on! GO NAVY!


03 December, 2005 10:33  
Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox bloody well said...

Thanks for the linkage.

My friend actually got permission for me to use the Sean Hannity picture from somebody on Live Journal. My friend reposts my blog on Live Journal but I haven't had time to really interact over there yet.

I too was happy to see the good news from Pakistan today.

I can only dream that Kerry & Kennedy wouldn't get re-elected. I really don't get how Kennedy continues to get re-elected especially after Chappaquiddick. But I had high hopes about Tom Daschle and it was so nice to see him get the boot.

03 December, 2005 21:18  

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