Gainesville Ramblings

This is a blog, and thus it barely qualifies as writing, let alone formal writing, so I'd not let it bother you.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Humanity Approaches

Currently, I'm sitting on a couch in my room at the Holiday Inn Express outside Newport, RI. For the first time, class 12-08 has been granted overnight, off-base liberty, and I am taking full advantage of it. And while I like my class and my classmates alot, I don't feeling like going out with them to the bars and clubs of downtown Newport. No offense to them, but I've spent 8 weeks with all of them, with never any time for myself. No time to read a book, no time to veg out in front of the TV, no time to go for a walk outside now that the weather has finally become nice, no time to watch a movie, no time for sleep, no time to be by myself and think for a while.

So I'm sitting in my room at midnight on Saturday night, watching Die Hard on DVD and enjoying my first glass of milk in 8 weeks. I have three new Science Fiction books that I plan to devour over the next few weeks, and listening to the music I've missed since the beginning of March.

OCS proceeds. Another week down, four more to go. I've had a song going through my head for the past week: the opening number from the Buffy musical episode (yes, I'm a nerd) called 'Going Through the Motions.' That may give you some idea of my thoughts and motivations as my time at OCS comes to an end. I'm not looking to excel here. I'm looking to get out of here and go on with life.

Something that you realize around the time that you are getting beaten during RLP here at OCS is that Officer Candidate School isn't real. I've talked to people who have 5, 8, 10 years in the Navy who are in OCS, and they have no idea what this place is trying to teach people. Personally, I think the 'School' part of the OCS is kind of a joke. The academics here are horrible and pointless. I've learned more about the Navy in talking to my Chief for an hour than I have in dozens of hours of classes. And most of the stuff in OCS is based on people being Surface Warfare Officers. But very few people are SWOs. Most are Supply, or Aviation, or spooks of some kind.

OCS is a filter, to see who wants to be a Naval Officer. I'm 8 weeks down, 4 weeks to go, and frankly, I think I learned all I needed to know about myself and what OCS can offer me after week 6. Now, my goal is to keep my head down, get the hell out of here, and get on with life.

But for the next few weeks, things are looking up. Liberty is happening, which provides a welcome break from everything. Orders are starting to trickle in, meaning I should be finding out what I'm going to be doing for the next while soon. And as we get closer to the end, we start to become more human. Our Chief Petty Officer laughs and jokes with us, tells us sea stories and about her life. Our DI starts letting us do things like snort when he says something funny without killing us. We move to a new hallway where we're left more alone. And Monday is our last day of PT ever, meaning we can start to PT on our own, meaning I can start running in the afternoon and evening, maybe even do some weight lifting.

Also, I posted a bunch of pictures on Facebook, and hope to post a bunch more tomorrow. I'm also trying to upload the drill comp video, but its a rather massive file, so it might take a while. Hopefully I'll have it done soon. If you need anything, give me an email at And I should be putting together a facebook invite for drinking in NYC on May 24th soon. Like I've said before, your all invited, if you can make it.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

One more week down...

This past week passed really very quickly, and it had its up and downs.

The ups was basically the USS Buttercup. Its a leak simulator, where you learn how to do damage control on a ship. But really, its an excuse to dive into a room filled with water up to our necks, and try to hammer large pieces of wood in place so the water stops. It was a lot of fun.

Actually, there were two drills, and the first time wasn't a whole lot of fun, if only because I was 'On Site Leader,' so I was in charge of everyone. This is with about 1 hour of training, so I had no idea what I was doing. And when I forgot to step on the hoses running around the deck, and stepped over it, the guy running the simulation declared I was dead.

The second drill was alot more fun, because I got to actually go into the water and try to fix something. Now that was fun.

As for the rest of the week, it was really bipolar. One day would be horrible, because our DI was pissed at our drill practice. The next was great, because our 6th week Personal Inspection went really really well. And then Friday sucked, because it was a day a class graduated, and the DIs like beating thier classes on graduation day, to remind them they haven't graduated yet. And then Saturday was great, because our DI was really happy with our drill practice. So, basically, it was really topsy turvy, and I have very little reference to know what is actually going on.

As for this upcoming week, we have drill comp on Wednesday. The good thing about that is that Drill will finally, finally, be over. I'm getting sick and tired of drill, especially this past week, when we've been doing it for at least two or three hours a day. And then a test in 'Movement Boards' which isn't that hard, just something that's completely foreign, so alot of people are freaking out.

But the good news is this: I have 6 more weeks of OCS. 2 weeks of the same old crap. 2 weeks of slightly less crap, in nicer quarters (King Hall here I come!) where I'm allowed my cell phone and laptops and food and to go to the commisary. And then 2 more weeks where I run the place and can leave base. This is the home stretch. I can make it.

I miss talking and hearing from all of you. I can't wait to catch up with everyone, and find out how your life has been going. But until then, try to survive without me. Yeah, I know its hard.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

5 weeks down, 7 to go.

Hey everyone,

Thought I'd give you an update.

Things suck, but thats no change. This past week dragged on, and hopefully this next week will fly by, as actual interesting things will happen, like fire fighting classes and leak simulators. And maybe, just maybe, we might get liberty this weekend.

As for everything else, I'm surviving, and I'll get through this. But don't think I'm counting down the days till I'm out of here.

Also, I know this posts on facebook, but I can't really get into there from here. So if you want to comment, go to my blog at Also, if you want to email me, my email address here is

I have so many stories to tell all of you, but they are so bat shit crazy, that you wouldn't believe them if I wasn't there in person. So you'll have to wait.

One more thing: Rachel, if you read this, I don't know what the Navy has planned for me after I get out of here, but if I'm free, I'm coming to your wedding. So count me in. I'll let you know if plans change. Also, I'll be there in my dress white uniform, so single ladies, be ready for that.