Reality (posted by Lani)
I wouldn't exactly say it bites, but it's definitely beginning to set in. We're down to 33 left in the class now with two days left; we may lose one or two more but it shouldn't be more than that. This class hasn't had as high an attrition rate as is normal, yay us. Today is my last exam, which is purportedly the hardest of the lot; I'm not sweating that because I've managed to get this far with a 99.something average so I could bomb this one and still pass. Tomorrow is the must-get-100 evacuation drill, piece of cake. Saturday I have off! Yay! Sunday I go out on my IOE or Initial Operating Experience, more on that later and yes Mom, it's changed; I was originally scheduled to go out Saturday but I get a day off. FINALLY. After 13 days straight of training.
Anyway -- I get back on Wednesday, and while initially we were told there would be a nice little break before our graduation ceremony on November 2nd, now we're all going to be sent straight out to our domiciles on completion of the IOE. No passing Go, no collecting $200; congratulations you passed, here's your diploma, here are your wings, now go to work, we need you on the line. EEEEK. Nervous much? Oh yeah. About the IOE and the really truly doing this on my own with no instructor to catch me if I fall. Eeeek, squared. And about Steve, who is keeping a stiff upper lip but isn't very happy about this whole Lani-going-to-Philadelphia thing, and even less happy about the right-away part of the equation.
First, some pictures. The first few were taken with my cell phone, so pardon crappy quality; they're still pretty funny. These were all in our first aid class, where we had Fun With Bandages in a giddy excess of relief after all having passed our CPR and AED (automated external defibrillator) certifications.
From left to right Diane and I with our victim, Brittany; Brett makes a bid for sympathy for his injured finger (so he SAYS, anyway), and Mary Katherine and Ray ham it up.
On the left here one of our instructors, Ken, passes out last night's exam; and on the right you see a group of us who attacked one of the mechanics and hijacked his cart for a photo op (not to mention hijacking his copy of Maxim, poor guy took a LOT of ribbing about having that at work). In the very back are Tara and Karen; second row is yours truly, Laura, and Veronica; holding the magazine is Kimberly, next to her is Mary, and the little brunette is Diane.
Back to my IOE. I was so psyched earlier this week; yes, I was leaving on Saturday morning, but I had such an easy IOE schedule. Well, scratch that. The new schedule has a lot more flights; good, I get more practice, but bad, I'm going to be one tired girl. On the other hand I have a layover in Providence, RI, and I've never been there before, and two in Raleigh-Durham; one of those is nice and long (I get in at 11am and don't leave until the next morning, I'm there over 19 hours, ya'll!) so assuming Cathy is in town I'll be able to go visit her, eat sushi, see Onyx's brother Caesar, and generally enjoy myself.
So overall, I'm excited. But as I sit here today I've got Steve working quietly at my left with Jasmine lying on his feet; Hunter's on top of the computer cabinet watching both of us impartially; Onyx is sleeping upside down in his basket on my desk; Pippin is on her bed beside me, Jesse is making happy-birdy noises in his cage ... I'm really going to miss home. I'd better get back to Norfolk fast.