The first two weeks are over, and it feels like I’ve been here a month. Time is sure strange, isn’t it? It can flow fast and slow at the same time!
I wrote my first test on Thursday! It went quite well, and I felt pretty confident that I had passed it. They had the tests marked by noon, I think, and we got our results by 4 pm – that’s definitely the quickest I’ve ever had results before! And of course I passed – passing is 80% – and did really well. 🙂 So, I am happy. In many ways, it wasn’t as hard and I had thought it would be, but I certainly won’t say I over-studied! The hardest part was the airplanes (which I knew would be tough). There were 10 planes to identify, and after quite a bit of slugging through my memory, and jotting things down on scrap paper, I actually figured them all out! I was pretty happy! 🙂 I used up every minute they gave us, and it worked out! On Friday morning, they gave us a chance to review our tests, to see what we did wrong and ask questions. The odd part is, the people who make the tests have nothing to do with the people who teach the courses. This is to prevent the instructors from ‘teaching to the tests’ and from us bugging them too much about what’s on it. It is all co-ordinated through ‘teaching objectives’ and based on the course notes, which are many and dense. I now have 10 binders, about 4 of which are 3″ thick. Eeoy.
The other highlight this week was the FIC lab. It is a room that is a simulation of an FIC (flight information centre) and essentially allows us to communicate with others as though over the radio. There is a room at the back where the instructors go and pretend to be planes (or ground vehicles like gas trucks or snowplows) and they call us and ask us stuff and we have to talk to them properly – that’s what phraseology is all about. We had two lab sessions this week, and both instructors I had were really good. They told me when I said something wrong, but were quite nice and helpful. Then, last night, a few of us went in to the lab and practiced with each other. It was fun, especially when two of us went into the back and started sending planes to the poor soul answering the calls. I pretended to be a plane lost, and then called in as an Air Canada flight, a lear jet, and as a helicopter… you get the idea. Both guys did really well answering all the calls, and I think we are going to go today or tomorrow as well and practice some more. 🙂 Next week, we get our first run in the 180-degree simulator, and I am looking forward to that, but I know that I sure need to practice more before that.
Not much else to report… I eat, sleep, drink coffee (or tea), study, but I am also exercising almost every day, either by swimming or doing weights. All my classmates are really nice and we get along great – we eat all our meals together (unless you go for supper really late, then everyone is done eating) and study together, and review stuff, and we help explain things to each other (although our instructors are very good). We did a lot of weather observing this week (another large part of an FSS’s job), and some of that can be pretty confusing, especially when it comes to reporting it on official forms. Let’s just say you can tell that the forms were made by a government department!!
That’s it for now, I’ll keep you posted! Have a great weekend everybody!