Amazingly, we’re almost done with the longest 14 weeks imaginable. In a 9 more days of actual work, we’ll be done with A School at NNPTC, promoted to Petty Officer Third Class, and given 10 days of leave. It’s hard to think it’s been that long because when you’re working the hours that we do, time blurs together. McGowan, a friend/classmate of mine, likes to think of it in that there are only three days to a week: Monday, Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday, and Friday. Everything runs into one really long day and by the time Friday hits, you’re pretty much ready to be done with everything and enjoy your weekend, if you don’t have duty or assignments, which we invariably do.
For me, A school hasn’t been particularly hard. I’ve managed to be the honorman throughout the school (at least, after math), and so I’ve had voluntary hours (“vols”) since nearly the second week of class. Of course, I can’t speak too soon since we still have two more machinery tests and our comp review left — and I really haven’t put much effort into preparing for any of those. Hopefully I won’t need it, but we’ll see. The only real motivation I have to do well on it is to just avoid the hassle of people yelling at me, or ordered hours, or the possibility as using it as a highlight in another officer’s package to see if I can pick up a commission.
I really would like to switch fields completely if I make officer. It seems like Nukes are generally overworked and completely unhappy with everything. Everyone else I talk to in the Navy loves their jobs, but Nukes all seem pretty disgruntled by the whole experience. That said, I think a lot of that is just the mindset of the military in general: if there’s an outlet, you better be complaining. Right now, my focus is on just getting more money so I’m not barely getting by. Once that improves, I should be much more content. Either way, if I have the opportunity, I’d like to make Public Affairs Officer like I had originally hoped — that’s what I love to do, and that’s what I find fun. I guess it’s ironic I’m complaining at all since I’m performing the best in the class (and higher than honormen in most other classes too). But, the grass is always greener I guess.
That said, a lot of the class has been entertaining because of the dialogs with the instructors and random fleet stories. But, the most entertaining is just how insane we all start to get after being around each other for so long. We tolerate each other pretty well, but we can rage here or there. I know my humor is lost on some people in the class, and a few of us are completely annoyed by each other. But for the most part, we survive just fine. McGowan is a constant source of random stories and past life anecdotes — it’s really about the only thing that you can do to keep from falling asleep or just slamming your head into your desk over and over!
In 9 days of class (which will be the 21st of October), we’ll be completely done with everything and graduating. I can’t wait for the leave, to see my family and friends, but also to just not be here for a while. And when we come back we don’t class up until December 7th, so we have time to work out, hang out (by playing Skyrim non-stop), and explore Charleston — of course, we still have to work, but at least it doesn’t involve nuclear physics for once!