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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 10 - What Cadets/Military Has Taught Me
David Sup
Week 10! Hello to double digits!

First, I'd like to point out that no, I didn't forget about Friday and Saturday last week.

Short version: I've simply decided to re-evaluate my schedule and finish those days later.

Long version: I've picked up more hours on Friday and am now working a 10-hour shift from 9:30-7:30, and nothing makes you less motivated to write than your entire day being sucked into the vortex of work (plus, I don't think anyone was reading the This Is Not a Book posts, anyway). As for Saturdays, I have ideas for OFic stuff and narratives and the like, but I'm hesitant to dive into those while I'm still working on my other table of fic. Therefore, I've designated Fridays and Saturdays as Free Spaces for the time being, and will work on those when I've gotten a lot closer to finishing things like Wreck This Journal, my 10-year commemorative cadet project, and UNIT!100.

Anyway, onward to cadet-like things!

19. How to sail

Practical skills today! Sailing is something that every sea cadet has to learn, regardless of what trade/courses you wanted to specialize in later. You had to get at least your White Sail Level 2 to be promoted past a certain rank, as it was all part of the specific elemental concepts that make up sea cadets (along with powerboating and trips on larger vessels). I did it all, though not without a certain amount of grumbling - it seemed that every time I went sailing, the weather was horrible.

First weekend, it was so foggy one of the days that we weren't allowed to sail; next one it was drizzly/cold/no wind one day (and we had to be towed back in), and sunny/even colder/too much wind the next day (and we had to be towed back in again, as it was unsafe); and my third one, it was rainy and miserable and cold (and only became sunny/warmed up when they were doing the capsizing drills, which I'd already done and thus was on land for).

Either way, though, I managed to survive it, and two summers of working as an officer in the Sail department at Quadra has showed me that it can be a really fantastic sport to get into, if you're willing to put up with some less-than-stellar weather conditions. :P

20. How to fire a rifle

Marksmanship - another skill every cadet had to learn, and if not master, then at least demonstrate. Once a year, we were all required to write/re-write the Range Safety Test and test/re-test for potential levels using the cadet Daisy Air Rifle (no actual rifles for cadets, due to hazards). As far as I know, marksmanship levels are the only ones in cadets that you need to re-test for annually to be considered current (ie: you can't have gotten your Expert Marksman [Level 3] 3 years ago, and still claim it's your current level when you're now only shooting at a Marksman [Level 1] ability).

You'd test by writing the Range Safety Test, proving your theoretical knowledge of the parts of the rifle and safety rules you had to follow when on the range, then by actually going onto the range (once you'd passed the written test) and firing. The physical part involves firing in the prone position at one of these targets from a 10m distance:

I thought I actually had photos of cadets firing on the range... turns out I don't. Oh well - at least you get this.

You got 10 pellets, and had to get two groupings of 5 on the page in an area equal to or smaller than a 2cm diameter circle (ie: the size of the black circles; you didn't have to hit them specifically, though, as the rifles were sighted for the competition Range Team. The circles were moreso just to give you a target to aim for.) A set of 2cm diameter groupings would give you a Level 1 (Marksman), 1.5cm diameter groupings would give you a Level 2 (First Class Marksman), 1cm diameter groupings would give you a Level 3 (Expert Marksman), and .5cm diameter groupings would give you a Level 4 (Distinguished Marksman, the highest level).

I never managed to get a L4, unfortunately, although I did manage my 3 (even though I shot a L2 on average) at one point, which I'm quite proud of. This is a skill that takes a lot more patience to succeed in, but it was always well-worth it.

Vandalism tomorrow! :D