Friday, March 04, 2005

Good news and bad news

The past couple of days have been really good and really bad. So let's begin:
Starting at 7:30am I had six solid hours of classes; namely three flight slots. The first was my regular slot in the Piper Arrow doing instrument training, it went ok. The second was my Chipmunk flight. For those of you who don't know, during my Purdue career I get exactly one flight in a Canadian WWII trainer called a DeHaviland Chipmunk doing "Upset Training." In this context, upset means aerobatics. So I went up with Professor Dillman (cool Prof who goes to my church) and we start doing maneuvers I've never done before. The plan was to do every maneuver twice, once with him demonstrating and once with me doing it. We started with 2.5, 3, 3.5, and 4.5 G pull ups, which means we pull back and get up to 4.5 times the force of gravity pushing us down in our seats (this is around the point where you feel the skin in your face distorting downward with the force). Then we did some 'runaway trim' recovery training. Then came the loop. The loop was a lot of fun, but I was getting kind of queasy by the time we were done with it. My stomach doesn't like rapid transitions between positive and negative G's, and before each maneuver we would dive for airspeed (negative), then pull back sharply to loop (positive), then as you come around the top of the loop the plane slows down (it's underpowered and you get negative G's), and then as you come through the bottom (yeah, when you look forward and the ground is 5000ft straight ahead) you get a lot of positive G's. So yeah, I wasn't feeling too good by the end of those. Then came the Aileron Roll; by the time he finished demonstrating the first roll we had gotten enough negative G's that I had the sic-sac (barf bag) ready to go and we had to fly straight and level for a few minutes so I could recover. He offered to end the lesson then and just fly back to the airport, but I wanted to finish. So we decided not to do a second roll and move on to spins. Yeah, spins. If you don't know what they are like, ask me sometime to describe them. Basically by the time we leveled off from the first spin, I had the sic-sac to my mouth and was waiting for it to come. It didn't, but I was so sick that I wanted to barf in hopes that it would make me feel better. So we made the wise choice to take the plane back and not do another spin. Basically the Chipmunk flight was a lot of fun, but I wish my stomach were up to it.
Then, right after the Chipmunk, I had the final exam for my simulator class (called a Phase Check in the AT department). I was expecting it to go badly because I did very poorly on it last semester and I still had a bad headache from being sick. The good news is that I managed to talk the examiner into delaying the start of the test for 20 minutes so I could recover and I used the time to mentally prepare for the flight. The good news is that I did far better than I ever could have guessed was possible, so for those of you who knew it was coming, thanks for your prayers. It was definitely a God thing that I was able to do well at all that morning. I spent much of the rest of the day relaxing; watching some TV, taking a nap, Cru sophomore dinner, and then cell group.

So I get up today feeling very groggy because I didn't sleep well last night and nearly missed the bus out to the airport for my 7:30 class. Then, on the bus, I find out from a friend that we have a 25 question short answer quiz in that class that I had completely forgotten to study for (and this Prof likes really hard questions), so I went into panic study mode for the following 5 minutes of bus time. I think I did ok on the quiz, but I know of enough wrong answers that I know I didn't ace it. Then another three hours of uneventful class, lunch with Dustin and Rebecca (who, I didn't know until the previous night, is quite the dedicated Trekkie). Dull afternoon at work and a quiet dinner (the people I usually eat with on Thursdays didn't show).

So then things get interesting. I talked with Mike Rose and finally got some definite plans for how I'm getting to Big Break and back. This is extremely good news because I've been trying to find a ride all week and this worked out as one of my better-case scenarios. Basically we'll be somewhat comfortable during the ride down, which did not previously look like something we could hope for.
Then the bad news: I found out that I did not get accepted as an RA next year. This is a huge disappointment to me because I have really been hoping to get the job, looking forward to it, and need the tuition break that comes with it. Be praying for me because I'm really disappointed and frusterated over this.

The last piece of bad news is a doubleheader: I have a huge exam on Monday that I am not nearly prepared for. This exam (called a Midterm but more like a final) covers the entire class, including the second half of this semester. It will be 75 multiple choice questions taken from the Gleim book, which is the book listing every question the FAA can give you on the Commercial Written exam (which I'll also likely be taking sometime next week). Basically I have 3 days to study material that would normally take several weeks to adequately prepare for. This is some of the material that I wasn't able to focus on a couple of days ago when I complained about being distracted. So please pray that I'll be able to stay focused as I study this Gleim book over the next couple of days. Like I said, this is a doubleheader; the second reason this is bad news is for all of you (although I have no idea of how many you are because you haven't been commenting); because of this exam I probably won't be able to update this blog until after the exam Monday morning.

Finally, although she might have been a little overcritical at times, Rebecca did raise a couple of good questions in comments on the last entry or two. Alas, I don't have time to answer them now, but I do have answers and hopefully will get to them with my next entry (including the part about flying faster). So yeah, I do intend to try to answer questions that are raised when appropriate. As I look back, I can see that this is yet again another long post, so sorry if you've actually read all the way through it; you can tell I really don't want to go study.


At 11:54 AM, Anonymous Rebecca said...

You're not the only one who has had a really up and down last couple of days... although probably not so many had the physically up and down in the aerobatics flight. Although that story reminds me a bit of my summer job... I don't get motion sickness, but smells do the same thing... and all the dead, rotting, fish at the pet store go into this black bag... working in the fish department was hard on my stomach... Anyhoo...

I am glad you got transportation arranged for Big Break. I knew God wouldn't let you down on that one.

Good luck on that exam on Monday. I've already been praying for you on that one (helps that I just started keeping track of prayer requests in a notebook on Wednesday...) Have fun studying! (I say have fun with these things but most people don't seem to listen...)


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