Its days like these that are especially hard. It is 0842 on this friday morning and I just got up and am waiting for my keurig to spit out my coffee. My next class isn’t until 1500 on monday, so thats a three and half day weekend ahead of me. However, I have such a vast amount of homework to do that I don’t think I’m going to have a weekend at all. I am relatively positive I will not leave my apartment except to go to the gym. Now your thinking big deal, you lost a weekend. What you don’t know is that over the past three weeks I’ve been limited to being able to go out only one night, and having to actually leave early so I can get up at a decent hour to do homework the next day. So for it to finally come to not having a weekend at all just sucks a little. Plus valentines day is tomorrow, which is obviously never fun when your single.
Had a Sky Harbor and Pheonix TRACON tour the other day. I’m just now writing about it at 0756 in the morning several days later because I am absolutely swamped at the moment; I actually had to get up 30 minutes early today just to do this. Back to the point: TRACON and Tower tour. This was intact the first I have ever seen a real radar scope, and It was absolutely amazing. This is something I highly recommend doing if you find yourself some how possessing the opportunity.
Phoenix TRACON is basically a dark circular room with scopes all long the wall with people just sitting at them and murmuring into their headset. The energy in that room is just something to marvel over. It is quiet and clam, yet at the same time it is the most serious and hectic room in all of Arizona. Most people probably wouldn’t feel the same way I do about it, but it definitely felt like I place I’d like to call my second home. Definitely very motivating to be there and see it, and I really do hope that I could be a talented enough controller to one day make it there.
Sky Harbor Tower was very impressive as well. Standing at something like 400ft tall makes for some pretty outstanding views of the entire valley. We spent so long in the TRACON that by the time we got up there is was night time. Which actually, is something I recommend doing if you somehow can. An airport at night, at least to me, is much more interesting. All the run way and taxi lights are actually quite beautiful, not the mention the 360 degree view of endless miles of city lights.
Even though this event sent me drastically behind on my homework, it was totally worth it. Really hoping I can pull off having my internship there. I feel like my grades and my resume should put me ahead of most of the competition, but you never know. There is always going to be someone who is better then you. That is my free life lesson of the day for you. Now I have to get to my ATC class.
“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” – Albert Einstein
Because my desk right now is a mess, and I am using this to justify it.
I received news a couple days ago that Carrolyn Bostick was forced to resign. Bostick was the front runner behind the FAA’s new insane/disturbing controller hiring processes. This is great news for someone like me, and makes the future look a little brighter. Obvious the next bid coming in march isn’t going to change and I will be taking the biographical questionnaire when I apply. However, that leaves me with some hope that if I don’t get picked up in March (2015), I will be a prime candidate in 2016 when I graduate. Fingers crossed.
“Even a fish can’t be caught if he keeps his mouth shut.” – Dave Ramsey, EntreLeadership.
School is starting to get to me a little. After joining a voluntary Non-Radar Separation class I now find myself in six classes, two of which have labs. Therefore, free time at the moment is next to non existent because I literally always have something that I need to do. Non-Radar isn’t for credits or a grade, but its contents are invaluable. It is the first thing they teach you at the academy (if your going for en route), and it also accounts for 14% of your overall grade there. The other students in this class are further in the program than I, so it is a little intimidating. Overall, the objective is to know the map (since it is the same one used at the academy, here is a link to it) inside and out. Every word, number, line, and object must be memorized. Apparently at the academy a test they give is that they hand you a blank piece of paper and make you draw the entire thing from memory. Pretty Gnarly.
“My journey took me somewhat further down the rabbit-hole than I’d intended and, though I dirtied my fluffy white tail, I’ve emerged enlightened.”- RDJ, Sherlock Holmes
January 27th, 2015 20:48
Last night marked the third time since I started at ASU that I’ve had a dream about a plane(s) crashing. I’m thinking this may be some kind of repressed fear surfacing itself since the actual thought of being responsible for thousands of lives a day actually excites me. The odd thing about these dreams though is that these planes aren’t crashing due directly to me; I just happen to be there and witness it.
Dreams are mostly forgotten shortly after waking, so I don’t remember the first one because I probably thought nothing of it at first. The second time I was actually in a control tower and I watched several planes just plummet into the earth and explode; thats pretty memorable. Last night, for some odd reason the aircraft was a space shuttle, and I was just on the street and happened to notice two people eject from it. Then it just withered its way down to the earth like a falling leaf.
Not sure what these dreams mean if dreams actually supposed to mean something. I do plan on asking my professor if this is common among controllers. Therefore, standby for an update.
Update: He said he had never heard of it. However, he told me not to worry about it. He thought it was most likely a result of me learning how much more gnarly being a controller is; compared to what I had in my head before I started this program.
January 19th, 2015 21:03
Almost had a psychotic episode tonight towards a family inside Rubio’s (Mexican restaurant). I am completely wound up right now because of my AMT 350 class. The title of the class is called Aircraft Design and Logistics Management, and is taught by a professor Jason Day. After what was probably about 5 hours of frantic homework I now find myself somewhat finished, it just needs to be reviewed tomorrow morning before it is submitted.
Anyways after hours of trying to decipher what is the worst textbook I have ever had to use, I found myself in a completely manic state. My brain was absolutely fried and my temper had a fuse the length of a micron. However, I needed to eat something since I hadn’t eaten in a while so I chose to go grab a burrito from Rubio’s. Practically on the verge of shaking I drove myself down there.
After having gotten there and placed my order I sat down and waited. It was rather busy inside and the increasing noise levels were starting to get to me. To quote Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, “That’s one thing he hated! The NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! NOISE!” is exactly how I felt. At this point I probably started to look like a lunatic because I had to start breathing very deeply and exhale out my mouth very slowly to keep my composure. Then the little kid behind me decided to start screaming at the top of his lungs. Thankfully he stopped after the second time because I probably wouldn’t have been welcome at that Rubio’s anymore if he’d of done it again. It definitely would have gone down like this.
January 12th, 2015 13:45
Today is the start of my second semester at ASU. First semester went pretty well; I took 14 credit hours and received straight A’s. I’m taking the same amount of credit hours this semester, but my class schedule is a little goofy; thankfully it is just monday-thursday and i live close to campus.
School is a game I’m pretty good at playing, and I do not know if thats just because I’m smart or because I have quite a bit of experience since I already have an associates degree. It’s hard sometimes to stay motivated though. I see through the bullshit they try and pass off on students and it irritates me significantly. My major is for air traffic control however out of my five classes this semester only one of them is actually about ATC (and it was the same for last semester).
In no way is knowing how a jet turbine engine works ever going to help me in separating aircraft.
Then an added frustration about these non ATC related classes is that they are mostly pilot oriented. For example, AMT 182 (Private Pilot Ground School) was probably my hardest class last semester. They only briefly go over topics since there is an expectation that your are receiving more information out in the field while you are out flying and stacking hours. However, I’m not out there flying a plane so I had nothing to relate any of that information to. Therefore, I would sit there in the testing center and work my ass off to scrape by with an A; while I watched my classmates, who I feel are at quite a substantial deficit in intelligence when compared to me, get A’s with ease. Needless to say most of it was useless information with regards to air traffic control too.
Hopefully this semester will be different and I can actually learn something that will help me be a better controller from my non ATC classes. I’m pretty doubtful, my guess is the school is more interested in making money. Thats something I think students need to always keep it mind, its a business first. Sure the professors might actually care what you learn, but the people above them that write your required courses sure as shit don’t. Remember that next time your sitting in that class you think is useless, you pretty much got robbed.
Well thats it for now, I need to make lunch and get to campus. I’ve never had a class in the building I need to go to so I’m greatly looking forward to wandering around like a clueless freshman trying to find it.