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.
I know this repetitive but I’m falling behind on writing and I’m going to try and make more of an effort to dedicate the time. Now I find myself taking the shuttle again some what frequently so hopefully I can make that time happen. Believe me, this writing thing just doesn’t spew right out of me like rotten yogurt. This article alone took me 31 minutes; that time up there is when I started writing it. Hopefully I don’t look back at this as a considerable waste of time.
So last week was a week of firsts: New Job, MAX SIM, and Valentines Day. Even though I started the week prior to last I consider this previous week my first real week at my new job. I’m still unsure of it to be honest. It’s a rather small company without the tools and reach my previous one possessed. It is a staffing agency, however, the owner is trying to branch out into the more technical positions I am familiar with and make it more of a recruiting firm. This places a rather large emphasis on me doing recruiting which is not what I’m trying to do. At the same time it offers great potential to help a business grow and expand. This needs to be a launch pad and I will not accept a failure to launch and be grounded indefinitely. I DO NOT want to become a recruiter.
Now, enough of the drowning story that is my work life. Last week was also my first time in the MAX Simulator, and working incoming traffic on ground control. MAX SIM is the 320 degree simulator that simulates a tower cab, and incoming traffic means airplanes that have landed and need to taxi to their terminal for parking. Both of these aspects introduce quite a learning curve. First, the MAX SIMs lack of ground radar makes you control traffic solely based off of looking out the tower cab. This means you really have to be to look outside and know what you’re looking at. Second, giving “taxi to the ramp” clearances really means you have to know how to formulate routes; which means you have to know the map and what you’re looking at. Working parking traffic into your flow of departing traffic is also another plate to spin and balance. I will start writing more with regards to my progress on the simulator and tips I find that help.
Lastly, last week was also the first Valentines Day in which I was in a relationship. My girl and I have been at it for what I want to say is nine months (this is probably something I should undoubtedly know). Regardless, this is the only serious relationship I’ve ever had in my life and it is a nice change. As time goes on I definitely feel my love for her grow, and it becomes harder and harder to look into to my future and not see her there. Being the cynical ass that I am I can’t end it on that note. So I want to take this time to address what a fucking scam Valentines Day is. Whack a racket, men seriously get bent over for this holiday; I’m still too scared to even look at my bank account and see the aftermath.
Currently sitting on the shuttle for this first time this semester, and it’s pretty cold and dark. They recently acquired these double decker London style shuttles that look cool, but I doubt their efficiency. It also scares me because this thing looks like crunch city if we roll this bitch. Any ways, I’d like to use this time more productively by starting my book report book for aviation law, but it is way too hard to concentrate in here with it being this dark. Being half way awake doesn’t help either; so I’m in no shape to start reading a book about how the Supreme Court is ruining America; a serious lack of interest probably doesn’t help either.
On a more repetitive note, once again I find my grip on this semester is starting to slip out of my hands. I certainly don’t regret going snowboarding last weekend, but it wasn’t the smartest move. I say and feel this all the time, and whether it is true or not is beyond me, but my 4.0gpa is definitely in the greatest danger it has ever been in. This weekend is going to require some serious catch up, and involve some serious reading.
On an ATC note the simulator so far is going well. I made incredible progress as first and I looked like a natural born control spitta. I got through the first real simulation problem with ease. However, now that we’re trying to use more complicated phraseology to sequence aircraft (Example: “Southwest twenty nine thirty one pass behind the Alaskan Boeing seven thirty seven”) I feel like I’m starting to struggle. There is a bunch of different ways to say that control instruction, so I find it hard to determine which one is most appropriate. However, I’m still doing the ICE SIM Lessons, which is just a lesson that makes you say control instructions a specific way even though there is five other ways to say it. We’ll have to see what happens when I get free reign to say whatever I want. If that didn’t make sense I’ll explain how the different simulators lead into each other and which ones are actual simulations and which ones you just follow along with.
Today was my second day into the semester, and my first simulator class. Even though we pretty much just went over the class I am still excited to get on the simulator. I like how they grant your ASU ID access to the building/room so you can go in at any time. I can see myself catching an uber there after a night of stay in drinking.
I wrote that first paragraph and pretty much ran out of any idea what to talk about. Then I logged into my ASU to check this semesters bill since I’ve yet to pay it and what the fuck. This semester is $6,840, how is that even realistic? I mean how is there a special class fee of $500 for a class that is only a lecture, and is taught by a fucking professor who just joined ASU last semester. This is totally outrageous, and completely eye opening. It makes me seriously wonder if this was all a mistake, and if I’m putting myself into debt for nothing; how am I going to repay all this?
This brings up an annoying thought. Why haven’t I gotten any scholarship I’ve applied for? I have a goddamn 4.0 GPA and a better resume than 95% of anyone on campus. Yet because I’m not a minority and I’m middle class I get bent over sideways? Fuck that bullshit. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to keep trying now and trying harder then ever. Because the remaining semesters are going to match or exceed that tuition since they’re mainly ATC classes; which I guess are special and have an outrageous lab fee.
School is seriously beginning to look like a huge scam. My first semester was only around $5000, but now that I’m too deep to back out they know they can jack up the prices. I find it humorous how people have school spirit and basically bleed for their schools, what a bunch of fucking clowns. I feel like thats basically thanking your rapist. I’m going to go make the strongest gin and tonic I’ve ever made.
Unfortunately the ride of winter break is over; this will be the last weekend of it. I say it’s over because I don’t think I’ll be doing anything exciting for the weekend. Now for the update: I previously touched the topic that this semesters schedule was really going to test the flexibility of my work schedule, and it did. Thankfully my new proposed early start time was accepted, I believe. I say believe because my boss has a new boss and there is a chance this guy is a dick head and won’t like the idea of me training with our office administrator for the purpose of leaving the company. Although when I put it like I guess I couldn’t really blame the guy.
As far as school goes I’m having brief moments of clarity on how tough this semester is going to be. I say brief because I quickly burry that shit and retreat back to blissful ignorance by thinking about other things. Getting up on Monday and Wednesday at the ass crack of dawn to go to work followed by class immediately after will not be fun, and I know I’ll end up in bed the minute I get home. Therefore, my time utilization skills are going to have to be amazing. Otherwise, I won’t stay in front of school and I’ll end up chasing my own ass. On top of this mess I’ll also be dealing selling the car I’ve had for the last seven years and acquiring a new one. I’ve never sold a car before but I have a feeling it won’t be a smooth process.
Christmas and the New Year are fast approaching, along with the end of winter break. I’ve probably mentioned this before but the spring 2016 semester will be brutal. My class schedule is abhorrent, and I’m not sure how it is going to work with my job; I’ve yet to break this news to them… We’re about to seriously test the flexibility of my work schedule. Another thing worth noting is that I have four real classes this semester, not two online ones. So seeing as I barely scrapped by with all A’s this past semester this one is going to be an actual challenge.
However, on a more positive note it will be my first attempt on the ATC tower simulator; a moment I’ve long been waiting for. I really need to start studying the PHX airport diagram again so I’m familiar with the airport right off the bat. I believe only having to worry about phraseology will be extremely beneficial, and I’d definitely want to try and hit the ground running.