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I Am Clever


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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Sunday, Week 3 - What Cadets/Military Has Taught Me
Where's Edge
Back from competition! While it was good to see so many people I haven't seen in a while, it's good to be home and be able to sleep on a real bed (as opposed to a hardwood floor, but as I said last week, I've become able to sleep just about anywhere because of repeated experiences such as this).

Seems more fitting than ever to post more cadet/military-related things coming off the heels of that, so on to today's two things!

5. To be enthusiastic and support my teammates

One of the big things that's emphasized a lot in cadets is the concept of teamwork. Whether it's the idea of "one band, one sound" or "succeed as a team; fail as a team", the emphasis is heavy on working together, not going it alone. As such, during any kind of competitive setting such as the Confidence Course at Quadra or sports tabloids of any kind, we were always told that if we weren't participating at the time, we should be cheering on our teammates.

Often times, we were being bribed with offered the opportunity for bonus points for the cheering, so I won't lie and say it was all altruistic behaviour (hey, anything to gain an edge). But, there's nothing that's more encouraging during competitive settings than to hear your teammates cheering for you, and sometimes that was all people needed to give them that boost. So I have learned to appreciate it, especially now that I'm an officer marking how people do for enthusiasm when we run competitions and have some people trying really... interesting methods to cheer.

A few examples actual from this weekend (we ran the flag hoisting station):

"Stop trolling, noob!"
Apparently we became the internet without realizing.

"Try harder! Better! Faster! Believe harder!"
I wanted them to start singing Daft Punk after that. I was slightly disappointed when they didn't.

"Keep going! Keep going until you DIE!"
I'm really not sure what was up with this one.

6. How to tie knots/do ropework

(Figured this was appropriate, as it was a Seamanship competition this past weekend.) They say "if you can't tie knots, tie lots", but I've never needed to resort to that method. As a cadet, I happened to pick up on the ropework/seamanship training fairly well, and it only got better when I took the Boatswain course for summer training (total of 15 weeks of training over 3 years), then staffed the Seamanship at the same summer training centre for two years after that. We learned everything from your basic knots (sheet bend, figure 8 knot, reef knot) to your more difficult decorative stuff (bell ropes, decorative paddles, bracelets), and even the mechanical engineering wonders that are rigging heavy-lifting devices (sheerlegs, jackstay, gyn, etc).

I can't begin to count how many times this set of skills has come in handy; it's definitely one of the skill sets I appreciate most. Here's some examples of things I'd never have been able to make if it hadn't been for the training I received in cadets:

My first paddle I ever made, working with a friend of mine; I was 15 at the time. We got to present it to a Rear Admiral at Final Grad that summer.

An unfinished shot of the paddle we made next year; I unfortunately have no shots of it finished.

My first solo paddle. I was asked to make it for an outgoing CO; I was quite proud of how it turned out.

Closer shot of the paddle shaft.

Shot of the blade.

I was commissioned to do up these wine glasses shortly after the last paddle. So pretty.

This is a sheerlegs. It's actually quite cool how this all works.

Couldn't find a shot of me actually helping to build a set of sheerlegs, but next best - I'm instructing! I love these classes.

Book-Wrecking tomorrow!

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Ah, knots! Coming from a Naval family, I am surrounded by knots. I've never mastered them though! That "tie lots" mantra sounds like a good one. Cadets weren't an option, and I had a splendidly useless book with some quiet hilariously complicated diagrams. Keep thinking that I must learn properly, but never do. I think it's time I did!

Try this website: http://www.animatedknots.com

I'm told it's been quite helpful to people who've had difficulty with learning knots. :)

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