Basics update

We just finished our third week of basics and I can confidently say its been the longest/quickest week of my life. You know what I mean right? The day seems to drag but then you rest your eyes for a moment and the next thing you know it’s Friday. Well that’s exactly what happened. We blasted through some 15 lessons and I’m about to start week 4. The time has been weird here and we’re in our own academy bubble. You eat sleep breathe air traffic control, airspace, airspeed, aircraft, air navigation, navigational aids, navaid frequencies, ultra high frequencies, low frequencies, low altitude en route charts, I could go on forever…

Instead, I’ll take the occasional mental break and dream of finishing basics. In two weeks we’ll take our 140 question exam, a pass or fail golden ticket to the elusive “across the street” locale. Officially named after Thomas P. Stafford but who reads visitor orientation pamphlets… Anyway, I’m nervous-anxious for that because each test there will be scored and part of ‘grade.’ Unlike our weekly basics block tests which are geared to show us where we’re at, across the street we’re told to hang on to every point we can get. To pass you’re required a 70% but there are horror stories of students failing with 69.93% And the stories only get more unfortunate, amplifying our self doubt and multiplying the what-if scenarios in our heads. And whilst my mini anxiety attack down the Stafford rabbit hole, I sometimes remember to take a deep breath and relax 😜

On a fun note, I bought a bicycle!

Talk to you soon from across the street πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Advertisements

First Week

With the first week under my belt I’m feeling all sorts of relieved, accomplished, exhausted- you name it. But to avoid any oversharing or perhaps disciplinary action, I’ll summarize a typical day. I start on the shuttle at 6ish to arrive by 7…

1 hour lesson

20-30 min break

1 hour lesson

20-30 min break

1 hour lesson

LUNCH

1 hour lesson

20-30 min break

1 hour lesson

20-30 min break

1 hour crying

1 hour gym

20-30 hours of studying

1 hour sleep

RINSE REPEAT

And I expect the next 15 weeks to go similarly. Maybe a little more studying and/or crying on my part. Personally, the pace at which information is being presented is quick. I’m talking like 80 pages of text on the first day quick. The rest of my class has prior experience with the majority having gone to a specialized ATC school (who knew πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ) so a lot of this is review or at the least, not new information. I’m silently weeping in the second row having wished I paid more attention to airport markings and the weather. But I think like anything there’s going to be a learning curve and before I know it we’ll be finished with basics. Next week we’ll be starting evening classes so I’m looking forward to that.

What I’m most happy to say is that my class is compatible. There doesn’t seem to be any strong personalities (excluding myself πŸ˜‚) and everyone is helpful and friendly. I can see us working well together despite that our final grades will dictate seniority. And our seniority will dictate our placement to either the facility of your choice or Alaska or worse Kansas… I’m just kidding, it seems a lot of my class wants the Midwest/east coast. But what we’re coming to realize is that our goal is passing and not becoming valedictorian.

Overall just know that I made it through my first week. I didn’t kill it or anything like that but I’m being challenged and enjoying myself.

Until next time πŸ€—

Day 1

Promise, I’m not delusional enough to believe you guys need constant updates. This is mostly to let my mom and grandpa know that I’m alive, I’m making friends, I’m eating, this place isn’t dangerous, and yes I got everything I needed from Walmart- you know without having to actually talk to them 😜

But also the big question has been, how was your first day?

Uneventful! But that’s good right? Basically we were given the lecture that we are a federal employee and must dress and act accordingly by every department known to mankind. The one big event was a classmate’s flight was delayed and she showed up about lunchtime (lucky her). Other than that I can tell you theres two cafeterias, a lot of students, and I definitely have my work cut out!

Be back later!

Air Traffic Control Specialist

It started about a year ago with a job suggestion from a friend. Next thing I know I’ve done a couple of psych tests, a physical, fingerprinting, and I’m in Oklahoma City as an Air Traffic Control Specialist Trainee. Note the *trainee* it makes a big difference πŸ˜‚ πŸ’Έ If all goes well I will be here for approximately the next four months-wish me luck! From there I’ll be assigned a facility- wish me more luck 😜

It was a tough decision despite the many unknowns. I don’t know if I can perform the job duties. I don’t know where I’ll end up. I don’t know if I’ll even like the job!

But I’m both nervous and excited for this opportunity. Michael has been so supportive, encouraging me to find out if this is for me. Without him I know I wouldn’t have taken the plunge. And now that I’m all in, I’m gonna give it my best shot.

I’ll post when I can and I’d love to hear from you guys as well!

OKC

It’s been awhile but I’m baaaaack πŸ™‚ I’m here to post about my journey from Honolulu, Hawaii to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. With me is my ever supportive boyfriend Michael. I’ll answer whyyyy I’m here tomorrow but for now I’ll chat about howww we got here πŸ˜‰

We missed our original flight to Las Vegas from Honolulu on Thursday but by the skin of our teeth made the 7am Friday morning flight (standby life- another story for another day). The timing would have been great but unfortunately our connecting flight was delayed and that extra hour or so really zapped the life out of us. We ate expensive airport food and stared at each other for three plus hours… From Vegas to OKC we had OPEN SEATING on Southwest. Honestly, who does open seating?! Well, since we bought the cheapest tickets we were nearly last to board and were nowhere near each other for the two hour flight. We had hoped to catch a movie together but the only open seats were the middle seats. Anyway we endured that and arrived in Oklahoma a little after 1am local time. Got our bags, scooped the very last Uber in the area, arrived at our apartment only for the keypad to not work. Since it was approximately 2am local time and we had been traveling for 16 hours (?) and had no way of contacting the property manager we were SOL. Buttt up comes Domino’s pizza delivery to suggest a not so gross hotel not so far away. Lucky for us Lyft was available and we slugged my three bags overs. Exhausted and beyond grumpy we MADE IT!

more shenanigans to come…

 

No passport needed

Yokohama beach, Oahu -Hawaii

DCIM102GOPROGOPR2287.JPG

After a bit of traveling, you start to really appreciate the small things that home has to offer. For us in Hawaii, I can’t get over our (mostly) clean and beautiful beaches. The water is clear and blue and unbelievable sometimes.

DCIM102GOPROGOPR2297.JPGSeriously, you don’t even need a filter to bring out color. Our west side of Oahu looks this perfect. I have the sunburn to prove it.

DCIM102GOPROG0812372.JPG

You can literally swim with turtles!

DCIM102GOPROGOPR2354.JPG

I never though much of it growing up. Oh birthday, let’s have it at the beach. Oh 3 day weekend, let’s camp at the beach. Nothing to do, let’s go to the beach. I mean yeah, I live on an island but it really never occurred to me that people spend thousands of dollars and travel many miles to adore these beaches that we often take for granted.

 

Everyday I remind myself to be thankful.

 

 

Memorial Day

So we’re back in the states (just barely, we live in Hawaii, and many would argue the validity of Hawaii’s state status but I’ll save that for another day). I’m still out of sorts, beyond jet lagged but it’s Memorial Day here.

IMG_3710

A day we set aside to recognize those who served in our armed forces and gave the ultimate sacrifice. Today I participated in the annual Lantern Floating ceremony at Ala Moana Beach Park. This is held on Memorial Day but the lanterns symbolize much more than our soldiers to encompass all lost loved ones. Ten of thousands of people gather together in remembrance of friends, family, and loved ones.

IMG_6500

Our family came together to celebrate and remember my grandmother who passed away last year. As somber as this event was, I can’t help but focus on an altercation between two guys. Altercation is probably too strong of a word. I may not have witnessed the entire confrontation but a taller Caucasian man was visibly upset and yelling at a smaller stalky Asian man who looked more embarrassed at the scene than anything. My mom yelled ‘hey’ or something or another to break the tension and keep things focused on why we’re really here. It was a short disturbance and will probably slip most of our minds in the near future.

IMG_6496

I’m hindsight though, I wish I had my mother’s instinct to speak up. It may not seem like much- with an estimated 50,000 people compacted into a little more than half a mile of shoreline- but I think sometimes it all we need. In the digital age of viral videos and our worst moments of humanity recorded and replayed, I think we lose ourselves in the pack. We lose ourselves, our voices, our morals, our guiding principles, and we become passive spectators. The beach was more than crowded. It was hectic, it was claustrophobic, and everyone was rushing to the water or trying to head out. At least fifty of us witnessed this and no one really said a thing.

IMG_6491

It seemed clear that the taller man was out of line and causing a scene. The other man with his family no less was non-confrontational. But what if it had escalated? At what point would someone have stepped in? I couldn’t be prouder of my mother in that moment. She’s your typical Asian woman who probably would have gotten annihilated had she physically stepped in but I have no doubt that she would have. Sometimes all it takes is one person, one word, one small act to change a situation. I hope to do that one day.

She’ll probably want to kill me for posting this (she’s one of the handful of my followers) so thank you for sparing me mother. But I just wanted you and whoever else is reading this to know that not all heroes are men and women in uniform or commit huge acts of bravery or sacrifice. Yes, we honor them on this Memorial Day but if it’s not too much I’d like us to recognize the living heroes too and that includes you.