Sunday, June 8, 2008

Back To School

Fort Dix, NJ in the late summer - how refreshing.

Yes, I am in Ft Dix, NJ attend the third phase of a military education course called ILE, Intermediate Level Education. The completion of this course (on Friday) is part of the boxes that need to be checked if I want to make the next rank of Lieutenant Colonel. I do.

The course material is good. The course load, managable. The first two phases were a lot of fun and I am fortunate to have some of those people here during this course. No, you don't go through all three phases with the same people. Its the luck of the draw with fellow students and instructors. This group is a little more work oriented than team building oriented. Ok, fine - at least there are some interesting folks and no know-it-all jerks. The days start at 0730 and runs to 1630ish with homework most nights.

To be honest, I just want it over with. This is basically a pass/fail course and there are no real recorded grades. In other words the super smart and the coat tail riders get the same certificate at the end. I am somewhere in between the smart and the riders - at the higher end of the bell curve.

I do most of my work as soon as I can fit it into my schedule in order to free up as much of the weekend that we have "off" in the middle of the two weeks here. My fellow students, many of them, are shocked to learn that my three page paper was 80% complete on Thursday night when it isn't due until Monday. I wanted my weekend off to go visit Pat, Amy, and Megan who live fifteen miles down the road. It's not that I'm an over achiever, it's just that I want to have fun without a deadline hanging over my head.

Visiting Pat and Amy is always relaxing. After 25 years of friendship its easy to chill out immediately upon entering the door, going to their fridge, and popping a beer. Today went to Six Flags Great Adventure and rode a bunch of rollercoasters until the heat drove us back to an air conditioned house.

This trip to Ft. Dix is a benefit in disguise because I am meeting after classroom hours with some of the people who occupy the offices and sections who will help us mobilize later in the summer. A dinner here, a bottle of Grey Goose vodka there - I am not opposed to greasing the skids to ensure a smooth training experience to keep the distracting bullshit to a minimum.

Taking personal charge of our mobilization has consumed more of my mental time than the course work. Maybe its a good thing the course is pass/fail.

On the unsettling side, TJ turned one year old while I was down here. The little guy isn't aware its his birthday, or that daddy and mommy were both working. However, he's a Rock Star and will get a Rock Star's party when I get home. I got him a Superman onesie with a red velcroed cape from Six Flags. I can't wait to see him in it. Also unsettling was that the tempature rose to the high 90s back home and Lisa had to call a friend of ours to put in the AC. Great, the hint of a year to come where I am too far away to be helpful.

On the good news side, I read where an old work buddy of mine just returned home safe and sound from 17 months in Iraq. Yea, Kurt! That reminds me...

I am also reading Malcom Gladwell's, The Tipping Point, just for kicks. Kurt gave it to me and I misplaced it. Yes, it's a very interesting book.

So that's it for now. Hope all is well where you are.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the shout-out! It is great to be home and I'm glad you're finally reading that book! Not sure how you may use it over your deployment but you never know!

Take care and let me know if you need anything!