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I Am Clever

alec_towser


A Fine Line - Between Chaos and Creation

Everybody seems to think I'm lazy; I don't mind, I think they're crazy...


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Day One Hundred-Sixteen (Aka: 30 Day Photo Challenge, Day 26)
The Clock is Ticking
alec_towser
Day 26 - A picture of something that means a lot to you

Photo on 2013-04-27 at 12.21 AM


This is my Boatswain's call.  It represents 15 weeks, spread over three summers, of completing a trade in cadets.  It also represents a chance I wasn't supposed to get.

I joined cadets late.  You can join when you're 12; I joined when I was 13, and turned 14 halfway through the training year.  (The joys of having a January birthday)  I was told in my first year of cadets that because of my age, I could apply for a TG1-level course as opposed to a General Training course.  I did so, but put GT as my third choice because I wanted to keep my options open.

Fast forward several months (applications are submitted by the end of November, selections for courses are made in May/June).  Lots of other people from my corps were finding out that they'd been picked to go on courses (you can only send so many per corps).  I was kinda bugged that my name wasn't among them.  I had fulfilled the technical requirements - over 75% attendance, and I was a good cadet.  Didn't that warrant any merit?

I asked one of my officers, who told me: "Due to your age, you have a 90% chance of not going to camp."  Now I was REALLY bugged.  The same factor that apparently could have pushed me past a first year summer training course was probably going to prevent me from going at all?  It was frustrating.

Anyway, a few weeks later, mid June, we've finished our training year and had our ACR (Annual Ceremonial Review).  Now we're having our Banyan (fun evening at the corps; usually consisted of water fights in times past).  At the end of the night, the CO pulls me aside.

He gets me into his office, and shows me a printout of an email he's received, regarding me.  On it is printed my acceptance for Boatswain TG1, with course start-end dates, as well as another cadet's for a TG3 course.

What struck me about the email, though, wasn't the fact that I was actually going to get to go.  It was the header:

"Here you go, Earle - you owe me big."

After that summer, my course reports spoke for themselves, and I managed to get accepted for TG2 and TG3 the next two years, and staff that department for two years after that.

But all through that, that one line of text has stuck with me.  The fact that my CO made that kind of effort to get me into summer training that year made all that much of a difference, because without it, I probably would never have gone to HMCS Quadra at all due to my age.  I probably would never have met a lot of people I know now, I probably would never have made it to CPO1 before aging out, and I probably wouldn't be waiting for my chance to staff this summer.

So this represents the opportunity (literally) of a lifetime.  One I was originally never meant to get.

Thank you, Sir, for giving me that opportunity.