This week went pretty fast and pretty well!! It took a day or so to get back into the groove of studying and thinking about weather and airport advisory all the time, but I’m well into it now. The weather theory test we had went good – there was a flurry of studying, but everybody passed and in fact, I think the class average was probably about 95%!! It was not a terribly hard test, but it psyched us out a bit to see questions that were worth 12 marks!! That is a lot for an A, B, C, or D!! Crazy. But, weirdly, those questions were usually the easiest, maybe because they were the newest material, maybe because they were worded in a straightforward manner. They are not always so. With wx theory, questions are often worded so strangely it takes a minute just to figure out what they are getting at! Similar to physics, now that I think of it… Anyhoo, it is nice to be completely done a subject. No more wx theory! But, I think we will more than make up for it with aviation and weather obs. Next week, we have what is called “sim ops.” It is where we have to do the hourly weather observations just as we will have to do in the field. We have to have them transmitted on the system by 7 minutes past the hour, as well as filling in the paper form, and we have to make sure that the weather conditions do not change significantly between the hours to warrant a ‘special’ observation. So, for 4 days next week, all afternoon, we’ll be looking up… On Monday, it’s just a practice day, and Tuesday to Thursday is the test. It could be interesting… hopefully, there won’t be any snow storms! The bad part is, we are sort of stuck in that one room (between dashing outside) for the whole time. Oh, well. I am going to bring binders of stuff to study in between observations. It’s kind of ironic; I used to observe all the time – astronomical observations – at an observatory, and now, I am doing observations of the weather all the time!!
As for aviation, there’s still lots of new material coming up, and we just learned on Friday a whole new set of phraseology that we have to use now if the weather conditions deteriorate below visual conditions. It is a lot of words to say!! Especially when you have to say “IFR or special VFR authorization is required” over and over again!! That’s 17 syllables!! Man. I’m sure in no time I’ll be able to say it in 1.2 seconds! How fast can you say it, eh? 🙂 So, now we have so many things to think about when we do sim runs, it is a little hard to remember everything. I’ve been trying to think of ways to remember – little ‘red flags’ in my mind so I don’t forget to say something, or do something. It’s sort of all coming together – the weather, advisory stuff, traffic, safety stuff – which is good, but a little nerve-wracking. Actually, my nerves are quite healthy, thanks to the sauna and time spent sizzling in it!!
Outside of class (and the sauna)… Last night we had a meet and greet party to get to know the new VFR controllers class. There are 11 of them, and the ones I met seem pretty nice – I didn’t get to chat with them all, but I’m sure there will be other chances. They have 4 girls in their class, which is nice. It was a great party! We played beer hockey (don’t worry, I just cheered!) and I’m not sure, but I think my class pretty much won. The french FSS class was also quite good at it too! For those of you who are unfamilar with how beer hockey is played, you have to have 4 people on your team, and you stand side by side, facing a table, with the other team on the other side of the table facing you. When it’s time to start, one person at a time, like a relay race, has to glug back the beer in the plastic glass in front of them (the glass is not always full), and then set the glass on the edge of the table with a little bit hanging over, and then gently bump the glass from below to flip it over so that it lands perfectly on its rim, upside down. It is VERY hard to do, and depending on how much beer is in you/how many rounds you have played it gets a lot harder (or a lot easier!?!). When one person gets it flipped over, the next person can start, and the first team to have all 4 people do it wins. Anyhow, my team made me proud and I cheered wildly for every one of them who flipped the glass, many on the first try!! 🙂
Well, lest you think it is all fun and beer games, I am going to get going, and yes, I am going to do a bit more studying tonight, a Saturday night, before heading off to bed.