I set the tone for this blog as one in which I just talk about random stuff, as though you are sitting next to me in the cockpit of a small airplane as we fly across some unknown mountainous jungle. All of a sudden I get all serious, start focusing on flying because the weather got rough and completely forgot about you! I am so sorry…
I actually did not forget about y’all! I have wanted to get on and post for a while. I feel this pressure that says I need to post something long. I do not have time to write anything long, so I don’t write.
But I miss writing. I did not expect to miss it, but I do.
I am now about 4 months into my training. I am going to school in Groton CT to become a US Navy Submarine Independent Duty Corpsman. School is intense. I usually leave my house around 0615 and return between 1830 and 1930 each evening. I spend more time in my classroom than I do in my own house. I see the men in my class WAY more than I see my own wife and kids.
We receive instruction in the traditional Navy manner from 0700 to 1530 with a 2 hour break for lunch and PT. By “traditional Navy manner” I mean in the same way that you would take a drink from a fire hose. We have covered the entire Radiation Health program, Preventive Medicine, NAVOSH (think Navy OSHA), Medical Department Admin, Supply, Medical Department Maintenance, and Intro to Lab. Rumor is we start Anatomy and Physiology next week… we cover it in 2 days! They say they can turn me into a competent Lone Medical Provider on one of the great hunters of the deep in a short 14 months… Next time I come up for air, I’ll let you know!
While participating in normal classroom activities during the day, I have an instructor assigned to me as a Mentor who answers my questions and gives me tasks. He pretends to be my CO, XO, COB… he pretents to be everybody of importance in my world as a Submarine IDC. I have a handful of medical records for my crew (all make believe of course), and I have to operate as though I am currently serving in an IDC capacity while going through school. My mentor assigns tasks that must be completed. In case there are any future SubIDCs reading this, I will not be divulging the secrets from behind the curtain, but you can guess at the details. By the time the course is finished, I will be doing water testing, galley inspections, all medical reporting for accidents and injuries, gas free (making sure the air in a space is safe to breathe), sick call, narcotics inspections, and so on and so on… all while sitting in class from 0700 to 1530. That 2 hour break I mentioned earlier for lunch and PT turns into about 45 minutes for PT, eat at my desk while doing paperwork, and then brace for the afternoon lectures.
We took 3 tests last week. We were scheduled for 4 this week, but 1 got pushed to next week… Intense.
And I am enjoying it so much. I know I know, I must be a glutton for punishment. I do miss seeing my family and spending time at home, don’t get me wrong, but I really REALLY love the challenge… the game… the stress. They say they set this school up in order to simulate the lifestyle of a SubIDC as much as possible so that we are not shell shocked when we hit the fleet. I can only hope so!
Anyway… School is going well.
I will post shorter posts in order to keep in touch.
I also recognize that, if this is how life will be for me for the next 5 or 6 years, and I have a desire to communicate with and influence people, then I had better figure out how to balance these things in my life!
Wish me luck!