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 mmmckenzie002@training.navy.mil. 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.

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