So yesterday I went over to Mesa Airlines to discuss the details of their internship with my future professor. Good news is it is paid, bad news is it is generally just during the summer. Therefore, with where I am credit wise at the moment I will have to do it on a non-school related basis. Which is obviously more work in the grand scheme of things but it also allows me to intern at PHX which is obviously something I want to do. Regardless, the interning at Mesa seems like a real possibility, but I will have to get rid of my car and get a new one immediately after this semester ends…
On the subject of this semester the pressure is starting to build with finals fast approaching. Local South was proving to be a considerable problem in ATC 431 until this past Thursday when it started to click. I’ll try and write a report as to how to succeed at local control, because its a serious learning curve. Regardless heres what I’m up against over the next couple weeks:
ATC 431- Simulation Graded Eval., Written Final, and the take home test thats 100 something questions.
ATC 332- Final exam
AMT 442- Book review (halfway done), and final.
AMT 214- Stage 3 exam, homework questions on all the chapters, and the final exam.
On top of this I have this Professional Women Controllers conference I will be attending the week before finals. I’ll be writing an article for their newsletter, so I have to find some way to fit that into my school work. Regardless, I need to try and attend this even as much as possible as it is a great networking opportunity.
It’s been a little while since my last entry, and big shocker: a lot has happened. First, I’ve officially been offered an internship at the Phoenix TRACON/Tower. Now you think this would be a cause for celebration as it is where I’ve wanted to do my internship since I started school for ATC. However, given the FAA’s current hiring practices regarding controllers, I have to seriously consider whether or not this internship is worth it. This is because it currently won’t further my chances of being a controller. How fucked is it that I have to question my dream internship for a dream job for something that will help my back up career? Very fucked.
However, this brings up the other bun I’ve got going in the oven. During my writing hiatus I looked up a dispatcher on LinkedIn and asked for, and got a tour of Mesa Airlines dispatching office. I definitely think I’d enjoy working there as dispatching is a very neat and misunderstood occupation. So, I’m currently trying to get another visit scheduled so that I might be able to establish an internship there. Reason being, an internship within dispatching would make me a very viable candidate for a real dispatching position, which is what an internship is supposed to do.
Honestly, if it came down to the two, I’d have to go with Mesa Airlines.
Side note: You have to pay for your internship credits, how fucking ridiculous is that? I have to pay to go work somewhere for free. What a scam this is.
Have you ever noticed the times when the clarity of being able to grasp everything that is going on in your life becomes clear? Then the tremendous weight of everything you have going on becomes a realization. Just the amount of shit that keeps piling on top of me makes the future look very unhopeful.
For example, first and foremost I’m unsure how next semesters tuition is going to happen. I have filled out my FASFA but the idea of taking out more loans is sickening. On top of that I already have the loans for the money I’ve already spent all of, something like $20k. God knows how paying it all off it going to work out come graduation time. On top of that I need to find some stability in work because I need to get rid of my old car for a newer one, if the motor in that goes I’m royally screwed. Currently it is running great, but I just can’t afford the time and the cost of a major upset with it. However at the same time I don’t know if I can even afford having a car payment again. Combine all this with the fact that even though I have a well paying job I can’t seem to save money and I just don’t see a solution. It’s like I’m tumbling down a steep hill and picking up more speed the farther I get down it.
That was just the financial side of it too. At the same time all the tests I have coming up, the book report I need to start, how next semesters schedule is going to work, and how I’m going to maintain my 4.0 GPA. On an unschooled related note I have my shoulder rehabilitation going, as well as the fact I started a diet this week because I need to shed this extra weight I’ve put on. It’s just amazing, how much shit can a single person handle. Writing about this is making it worse so I think I’m going to stop. Acknowledging and dwelling on the weight of the shit pile on top of you probably makes it worse… Don’t get me wrong, I’m not sitting here having a panic attack or falling into depression. It leaves me more emotionless and unmotivated more then anything.
As I sit here having another early morning bagel killing time before I head into work early I can’t help but remember how fleeting life really is. I realized this back in 8th grade when everyone would go to Shea 14 every Friday to hangout. One night it just hit me like cinderblock that civilized life consists of hopping between ruts. Now thats some heavy shit for an 8th grader to realize, and it depressed me considerably. If you haven’t realized this yet, you certainly will when you acquire your first full time job. Living the work week in auto pilot, only to really enjoy the weekend feels like a wasted fucking life, and it can be sickening.
I can’t help but be reminded how fleeting life is again now that it’s Friday and spring break is almost over. This week went by like nothing, and I don’t know if I ever was really able to decompress. Or maybe thats because I never needed to decompress, I don’t know. Regardless, it certainly doesn’t seem like I’ve lived my spring break like a college student is supposed to. I wish I had some advice as to how not to feel this way, but I do not. Unfortunately, it seems like you just have to bend over and take the feels.
Currently I’m sitting at the bar at Z-Tejas because my girlfriend is about two or three gin and tonics away from getting home, and I came up to Scottsdale early to avoid the traffic. This brings up something I should probably disclose, I’m older then your average college student. Don’t get me wrong I’m not that ancient dinosaur that happens to be lurking in one of your classes each semester. However, I am old enough to drink (by several years), and drop some wisdom on you.
If you’re reading this because you’re going to school to become a controller I’m going to assume your a youngster like most of the kids in my classes. Half these kids in my class don’t even look like they have pubes yet to be honest. I swear kids are looking younger for longer, or your ability to judge age seriously diminishes as you get older. Any ways, I guess I promised you some advise and I suppose its time to deliver on that:
Alright, because I got into the four year university game later then all my high school friends I learned some things from watching them. This is sound advise regardless of your major too, it should be disclosed to every kid before they start college. First, YOU HAVE TO NETWORK! Befriend your professors, get letters of recommendation, attend school networking events, attend any event you can to be honest. Now I believe I’ve told you that before but I feel the need to reiterate it. Secondly, take this shit seriously! Learn as much as you can, try as hard as you can. You’re paying, or your parents are paying, a lot of goddamn money for you to be there. In addition, every other person you’re sitting next to will be your competition for getting a real job once you get out.
Lastly, get your ass a job in the same industry that you’re studying in or trying to work in. This will give you a TREMENDOUS head start after school in regards to financially as well as with your future. For example, companies are coming in and pitching jobs to seniors at an hourly wage that I’m already making (minus pilots and people getting picked up of course). Now this advice to me is logically sound, I don’t see how you could disagree. However, I guess we’ll have to wait and see if I’m standing at freeway exits a year or two from now panhandling for money; maybe I’m a fucking fool.
Also, if you’re day drinking at bar don’t be the weird person chatting up the bar tender constantly. No one wants to hear your meaningless conversation, I’m here to numb myself, not dumb myself from what I hear come out of your sound hole. Plus, she probably doesn’t want to talk to you either.
Currently I’m sitting at the half way point through spring break. I can’t say its been exciting, but it has been relaxing. However, saying its relaxing is still a bit of a stretch. I find myself questioning doing anything not school related. For instance, I’d really liked to of boughten and gotten into a video game that came out this week. However, I know four days from now I’ll no longer have the time to play it; so I’d be wasting money.
On the subject on money I’m currently trying to save as much as I can. My friend and I, the one who helped me site this whole website up, are trying to do a eurotrip. Our plan is Morocco, followed by Switerzland. I’m highly doubtful that I’ll be able to save enough, especially with the uncertainty of how I’m going to pay for school next semester. Not going to lie, school tends to seem like a bigger mistake as I get deeper in debt.
It seems like after every major testing event, finals and midterms, I feel empty inside. It’s like during these times I have purpose, I have a drive inside me that pushes me through and blocks out the bullshit that accompanies being a living human being. The second finals and midterms are over everyone else feels relieved and jubilated, but I just feel lost and empty. Although I haven’t gotten my Aviation Law grade back yet I’m fairly certain I’ll get an A when he curves it. Now most people would be ecstatic about receiving all A’s on their midterms. I however am completely indifferent and emotionless about it, maybe even a little depressed.
Why? Will I be happy with it if I finish school maintaining my 4.0 GPA? Will that finally leave me with some sense of accomplishment? Thinking about it this almost scares me. It’s like my focus is so honed in on the objective of becoming a controller that the path of of getting there is rendered meaningless. What the hells going to happen if I never get picked up?
On a side note, my friend finished the academy today passing first in his class; he says the feeling hasn’t hit him yet.
Yesterday marked the last day of this semesters midterms and I’m glad that its all over. Its been an exhausting past couple of weeks, but it would appear I came out on top. I’m the only student in my ATC 431 class who received an A on the written exam. Speaking of that exam, when you look at the study guide it doesn’t seem like you need to study much but I recommend putting in some time. Its not the hardest exam but it wasn’t easy, I barely got an A on it; the closest score below me was an 84.
ATC 332 (TRACON) exam was too easy, the entire class is too easy to be honest, I don’t feel like I’ve learned anything from it really. I’m the kind of person who needs to be challenged and put under pressure to learn something. Not to sound arrogant but I’m smart enough to get through a class without really having to learn anything. Now part of me likes this, I’m already under enough pressure as it is. However, the other part of me thinks about how much fucking money I’m spending to be in there and it pisses me off that I’m wasting time and money.
Not to be disrespectful but this new professor is no Joe Gridley (previous TRACON professor). She hasn’t controlled traffic in something like a decade, and her knowledge base seems very rudimentary. It also further frustrates me that she’s more than likely going to be the one teaching me the en route class as well. To be honest, I feel like almost writing a letter to the head of the department and complaining about the price with respect to the qualifications of the person teaching the class. Now I will say these feelings are all preliminary, I’ve yet to see her in the simulator; hopefully she proves me wrong.
Here I am, another early morning at a coffee shop studying for this weeks two midterms before work. Thankfully these two are my last two, and they include the written portion of ATC441 and ATC332’s midterm. Of the three I took last week Aviation Law (AMT442) was by far the most brutal; to be honest it wasn’t very fair. However, he supposedly examines the entire classes results and curves according. Therefore I’m not to concerned, but we’ll have to see what happens.
Yesterday I finally reached out to my friend who is in the academy. Astonishingly he’s already on his final performance assessment this week; this means he’s at the end and it is make or break time. I have no doubt he’ll pass, and thankfully it sounds like he’ll be able to choose a facility that is not only close to his home but is also an up down. We talked a bit about how hard it is to maintain faith that you’ll get picked up by the FAA, and it was pretty enlightening.
When you get towards the end of your schooling you have to start focusing on laying a foundation for your backup career plan(s). Doing this really shines the light on the fact that never becoming a controller is a real possibility. Which in turn chips away at the blind faith of “I’ll get picked up if I keep trying.” This is especially hard when you finally get to the point you’ve been waiting years and years for: when you start running problems on the simulator. Here I am finally controlling airplanes but outside of the simulator I’m focused on how I’m going to establish connections to help a future career of airline dispatching propagate. I’m just glad to hear he went through the same thing, and I suspect that this is probably a feeling shared by all ATC students who are rational enough to set backups in place.
Needless to say when you start to let the self doubt of never being able to achieve your dream accumulate, it hurts. Unfortunately this breach appears to be unavoidable, and I suspect you just need to grab a bucket and start shoveling the self doubt overboard before the ship takes on too much and sinks. Let’s just hope the rate at which I’m shoveling is faster then the leak.
I just wrote a post addressing how I have three midterms this week, and how the same shit is happening at work and I hate it. Then after reviewing it I realized what a load of worthless shit it was to anybody but me. That may even be a stretch because I don’t think I would read it if I was looking back on my past, shit is boring as hell. I feel like I’ve written those same words addressing those same subjects countless times now. Is this just because life is repetitious? Are each of our lives just a monotonous record that auto replays every time it gets to the end? Or is that what a blog/diary is; some sap writing the same garbage again again but spaced far enough apart so that no one recognizes?
Although I guess I’m not writing this for the sole purpose of entertaining others, in fact I wouldn’t be surprised if no one ever read this… I’ve just been told by so many people that they’re excited to see where I end up in life because I’m bound to be successful, and I too believe I am capable of things beyond the average person. So maybe one day I would like to look back at the journey and reassess how I got to be where ever the hell it is I am in the future; or how I drove myself insane by burying myself in debt for a lost cause of a career.