Friday, February 25, 2011

my apologies for a long hiatus...

hello again!  its been a little while since i've been able to update my e-crowd on how life is progressing to this point, and i'm sorry i havent blogged in a couple of weeks...  its not that i dont care to keep you all informed, but lets just say life has been a wee bit busy the past few weeks.  since my last post, we've had 5 tests and with tests come homework (a shit ton of it to be exact...) 3 of which i got 100%'s on, GO ME!!!  The other two tests i got 95%'s on so go me again!  I'm pretty sure at this point I have the most 100%'s on tests out of my entire class, and one of the guy's i sit by has started calling me "rainman" because of my uncanny ability to recall insignificant facts that have only been mentioned once during a 40 hour period of instruction, but i guess its never a bad thing to be smart.  Although I never expected to do this well academically, i've never exactly been an exceptional student.  A lot has happened in the past few weeks, so i'll just try and hit the high and low points...

Probably the major low point was last wednesday.  The day began as any other.  Showed up, unloaded my uniform, lunch, and backpack out of the car and headed to the locker room where i stowed my lunch and uniform in my locker because we had PT that morning, then headed up to put my backpack upstairs in the classroom (heres where i made my fatal mistake).  Our "heavy" instructor is pretty big on uniformity, and up until this point minor inconsistencies in the classroom when we weren't in there weren't a problem.  That all changed that wednesday, as myself and four other people in class returned to find all four of our books had been thrown across the room and all of our papers from inside them were in a crumpled pile sitting in the middle of the aisle.  Only one word comes to mind once you realize you are one of the unfortunate few that will spend the next 6 hours agonizingly separating over 5000 pages of paper and ensuring that everyone has each individual piece in the right order and that it wasn't ruined beyond use, and that word is "FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK".  That was quite possibly, one of the most stressful days of my life because from 9am to 3pm i sat in the back of the classroom on the floor sifting through all of the pieces of paper and picking out what i needed, and finding the homework that was in the book, and finding the pages that belonged to me because i'd written notes on them, so on and so forth.  I wasn't exactly mad about my book being messed up, but what really pissed me off is that i missed almost an ENTIRE DAY of instruction even though I was still sitting in the classroom.  I can understand making me do push ups, or making me go crawl around in the mulch pit, or whatever physical punishment they wish to inflict on me, but for god sakes dont screw with my opportunity to learn and ask questions.  If i fail the test or screw up something majorly in a criminal investigation i can at least say it wasn't my fault, because my training was comprimised.  One of my other classmates who also fell victim went and had a meeting with one of the other members of the training staff who brought it up to the Sgt, and i think its safe to say that this type of incident wont be happening again, unfortunately that doesn't change anything for the misery i endured.

The next day had its pros and cons...  We showed up and took a test, all the while my stomach was churning and growling.  I finished the test and went downstairs to get do some stretching before PT started at the end of the testing period, stomach still hurting.  We make a decision as a class that we are going to do our formal stretching outside in front of the PT table because the SWAT team was using the room we usual stretch in.  So i'm standing out there in formation waiting for everyone else to come out and for our Sgt to come lead us in PT, and my stomach finally decided it had had enough of whatever its problem was, and it was time for me to double time to the bathroom and hug the porcelain throne...  So i go running in, blow right by the Sgt and do my thing in the bathroom.  I'm not even done vomiting when an instructor comes in and tells me to clean it up, and get my gear and get out of the building and go home.  Well thats great, now i get to make up a PT session in the future and i'm missing my second successive day of class.  Fucking wonderful...  So i drove home, and spent the rest of the day sitting on the couch and working on the homework for the week which freed up the weekend for me to spend time with my wonderful wife, dogs, and motorcycle.

The major high points were that i finally finished two runs with the main formation for the first time in the academy!!!  It only took two months, but i finally did it!!!  My knee hated me afterwards, but it builds character (or at least thats what they keep telling me...).  All of the off duty running is starting to pay off, and one of the instructors had a class with those of us who suck at running to help teach us how to breathe properly and recover even when we are still running which i didn't even think was possible until i tried it yesterday on the run.  Life is soooooooo much easier when you push through all of the pain and inability to breathe and finish the run.  You dont end up getting punished at the end of the run and have to crawl through the mud and mulch, or spend the rest of the day in pain, and its a great sense of accomplishment to finally after all of the pain make it to the end with your team.  In total so far i've lost 24lbs since january 3rd, and i have no intention of stopping until i get back down to the weight i was when i left the Marines which with another 5 months of academy time i dont forsee a problem getting there, and maybe even better.

The next two weeks are going to be hectic, and i may not get a chance to blog during them.  The next two weeks are called S.C.A.T. (couldnt they have found a better acronym?) or Subject Control and Arrest Techniques.  Essentially for the next two weeks our entire lives are going to revolve around PT, and fighting both each other and the infamous redman, heres a glorified youtube video of what redman is all about...

essentially when you fight the redman things can go really well, or they can go disastrously bad, it all depends on how well you can defuse a situation.  sometimes no matter what you do, you're gonna have to go hands on and get dirty, but either way i'm really looking forward to it.  On the other hand, i'm really NOT looking forward to getting pepper sprayed at some point.  I'm gonna try and get videos of both my redman fights and me getting pepper sprayed for you all to enjoy.  Thats all ive got for now, keep checking back the fun stuff is just starting to begin!!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

What a shitty week...

Well, we all learned a VERY valuable lesson this week. Do NOT, and I repeat DO NOT piss off your Sgt because he will allow your life to become a living hell. The week started off well enough, not a lot of differences from the previous weeks. We typically have bad days on Monday because we get lax over the weekend and have to be whipped back into shape on Monday morning. Tuesdays are pretty easy for the most part and as long as we don't mess up to bad the rest of the week goes pretty smoothly.

As one of our instructors likes to put it, "we let the wheel fall off" on Wednesday. Fell off my ass, we drove the car off a cliff and blew it to oblivion on Wednesday all before 10am. The morning started off with two tests, one on alcohol beverage control laws, and one on communication skills for LEO's. Right off the bat we had two people put their scantron sheets in the wrong piles our tests were then supposedly put through the shredder and we would retake both tests in essay form on Friday morning... wonderful... next came PT, where we were going for a 4 mile formation run on a new route. Just before the run our Sgt gave us our guidon too (a flag designed by our class to carry when we are in public to show pride in the department and our class, they're a pretty big deal in the police and military world). So we start out our run and we are about 2.5 miles into it and all hell breaks loose people start falling out left and right, the formation starts breaking down, our instructor stops calling cadence because we weren't sounding off, and then not more than 30 minutes later our Sgt takes our brand new shiny guidon away from us. So much for class pride... from there our Sgt slows the run down and takes us into a park away from the prying eyes of the general public. Once in the park he threw our guidon on the ground and instructed his team to do their worst for the next 15 minutes. We then proceeded to attempt to push the ground all the way to China... after that our Sgt proceeded to tell us he wouldn't be sticking around for the rest of the day and was telling his team to continue the punishment until he came back at the end of the day. Grrrrreeeeeaaaaattttt...

And so began one of the hands down worst days of my life... from there on out for the rest of the day, if we weren't in class we were getting physically destroyed. Most of our time not in class was spent in what's known as the Roman chair position (squat position with your feet at a 45 degree angle, knees touching, back straight, arms held straight out in front of you with elbows locked, and head up) while holding one volume of our training manual which weighs about 8 pounds, and if you've never tried to hold 8 pounds of dead weight straight out in front of you for at least 10 minutes at a time, ill save you the pain and suffering and let you know that it sucks BAD!! It's Sunday and my legs and shoulders still hurt...

From the time our Sgt left until he came back we screwed up everything we could possibly screw up, and the punishment kept getting worse. By the end of the day we were squatting in a baseball catches position and passing 25 pound weights from the gym back and forth from one end of the squad to the other while reciting 10 codes.

At the end of the day our Sgt was back in the building, but he didn't talk to us again nor save us from punishment until Friday at lunch. It's a bad feeling to know that your Sgt is so disappointed in your performance that he can't even talk to you about how disappointed he is. By the end of the week the flames were mostly out from the wreckage, and we'd put one wheel and one lug nut back on but we are still a long way away from being back to where we were before Wednesday. One of the other recruits said that we are one of the worst classes at running to date and we are going to be doing a lot more of it from now on.

In other good news from the week, the tests we took werent actually shredded, that was just to make a point and I was the only person to get 100% on both tests!!! On Friday we got another period of instruction on firearms, and we now get to put our holster and magazine pouches on our duty belt and carry our bright red plastic training guns so we can practice drawing drills whenever we get a chance. Today we had an off duty PT session at the academy led by us where we ran the POPAT (police office physical assessment test) which I couldn't even finish in the time limit when we ran it originally in week one, today I ran it in 5 minutes 5 seconds which is a pretty respectable time considering the time limit is 7 minutes 20 seconds and the fastest person in our class ran it in 4 minutes 25 seconds the first time so I'm pretty stoked on it!!

I'll leave you with my quote of the week...
"if you didn't win, you didn't try hard enough"
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.7

Sunday, February 6, 2011

PT, PT Everyday

It was one hell of a week for PT this week. We had PT four out of five days this week, and I ran at home 3 days after work too. Needless to say my body begging for Friday night by Thursday morning. Monday we went for a 3.5 mile run which i fell out of (still suck at running, and I always will but I'm trying hard to be able to stay in formation all the way through!), then Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday we had PT inside where our instructors have begun to introduce martial arts moves or SCAT (subject control and arrest techniques) as the police department calls it.

Wednesday was lots of fun, we broke out the kicking pads and started working on shin kicks to the side of the knee, and knee strikes. On a side note females are never allowed to sit by eachother, be next to eachother in formation, or be partners for anything throughout the academy and I ended up with a female as my partner for our first striking class to hold my pad. The female I was paired up is a scrawny woman about 5'10" and maybe 100lbs soaking wet, wearing a fully loaded duty belt, and after making several trips through the line at golden corral... then there's me, the 235lb former Marine with a decent amount of hand to hand combqt training. We were instructed to only kick at exactly 62%, and even at that I was afraid I would break this woman in half... So every kick the woman gets pushed 2-3 feet to the side and has to scamper back over to get in place so I can kick her again. I felt pretty bad about it to be honest...

Thursday didn't focus a lot on SCAT, but was mentioned in passing a few times in reference to what we learned the day before. Thursday we played "PT poker" 5 card stud to be exact... Our Sgt had a deck of cards (which we all assumed was loaded...) and he dealt out five cards one for each of the five exercises on the sheet (burpees, 4 count push ups, flutter kicks, up/downs, and air squats). If it was an ace that got turned over we did 15 reps, face cards were 10 reps, and 5-10 were face value, 2-4 were replaced by 8 count body builders instead of the other exercises. We played 5 hands for our squad leaders, 1 hand for our Sgt, 1 hand for our PT instructor, and 1 hand for all of the training staff not present. If you wanna get destroyed physically do this workout. It's lots of fun, but you'll feel it in the morning.

Friday was full of LOL moments... we spent Friday learning how to fall down from a standing position, and how to fall and roll while running. If you want to see hilarious, show up to a police academy the day they teach this... we had to break down how to do a somersault to every little step, and people were still failing miserably at putting their hands and head on the ground arching their back and rolling forward. Having been falling from decent heights riding BMX since I was 6 I'm a natural of course...

The best news is that the academy is starting to get fun! We are really coming together, and i think I may have finally found that feeling I've been missing since I left active duty back in 2008. I've got pride in my job, I love being in uniform again, and I care about the people I work with and their success. Everything happens for a reason and its finally clear why I didn't get the firefighting job in 09 and why I got the job at 911 which pointed me to the PD. Now I just gotta survive until July and hit the streets!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.7

Friday, February 4, 2011

good cop... naked cop...

Our instructor showed us this after a break today... I LOL'd, hope you do too!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Complacency kills

Well, found some time mid week to drop a little knowledge on ya. defines complacency as such; feeling of quiet pleasure or security.

Just a heads up, this is no way for a class to feel on week 5 day 2 of the hardest police academy in the state. I could feel it in the air this morning as I walked into the locker room to don my uniform and prep myself for the day, the lackadasical demeanor was almost palpable in the air. It continued throughout the pre roll call duties... People were screwing off during the flag raising (which I take particular offense to having fought and sacrificed for that flag), somebody put white out on the sign in sheet because they signed in next to the wrong name, and a couple other things I forgot...

Well the morning kicked off perfectly in sync with the tone set by the recruits as always. We got destroyed for people screwing around during colors, and then a two person lab table got THROWN across the room because ONE person didn't sign the second sign in sheet before it was handed in again, just to be torn in half and crumpled up so we could try a third time. On top of all that we've set a standard that only 5 people can miss 10 codes during inspection, and we had 10 misses which when you add a 0 gives you 100 exercise repetitions, then factor in the fact that we didn't meet our standard and you double it to get the final count for what we owe our Sgt, 200. Today was nowhere near our highest number, just fyi.

So what changed from Monday to Tuesday you ask? Mindset... Monday was a great day for us, we finally had EVERYONE pass an academic test on the first try (one of the hardest in the academy at that), we had a good PT session in the morning, we only had 5 misses on 10 codes during inspection, our uniforms looked great, and our Sgt hooked us up because of our stellar performance and we left before 5pm for the first time since the academy started. It's easy to get lazy and COMPLACENT with all of that praise, and I really friggen hope we learned our lesson. Our instructors gave us two choices from the beginning, we can be smart or we can be strong and its our choice.

Let's hope for a better day tomorrow.

Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.6