Adventures and Exams

The past few months have been a blur. So many hours of studying, but also some pretty fun times. And only three more exams until graduation! I can’t wait.

Things have been interesting both in and out of school. The classes have gotten more hands-on and thus more engaging and applicable to what we’ll be doing one day running the nuclear power plants on submarines. At one point we all needed to be tested for internal sources of radiation as a baseline before we go to the nuclear prototype plants. I found out my body naturally emits 0.86nCi of radation (very normal, haha).

Out in the real world, I’ve had a few fun adventures with my classmates. I went to see The Avengers in 3D and it was pretty incredible – not to be eclipsed by the opportunity to drive  my classmates brand new 2012 Mustang on the way home. What an fun vehicle to drive. Things in the tiny house have been good, the AC unit is keeping things cool inside despite the “controlled burning” that recently swept through the woods not 100 feet away. I went running in woods one day surrounded by green undergrowth and the next day it was smoldering ash-strewn desolation. Quite a surprise, but I suppose a necessity to keep the threat of a larger fire at bay.

Another thing I’ve really been enjoying recently is reading a number of different books. I discovered how easy it is the use the free Navy Knowledge Online (NKO) e-library to read them via Kindle. It’s a pretty awesome service. I started with Girl With the Dragoon Tattoo and am currently working on The Game of Thrones series. Both provide a great escape from the classroom, and it’s motivating being able to look forward to the next chapter at the end of each long day of studying.

French Cafe, Avenue Q, and Act of Valor

What a fun night. Got to go with some of my classmates to a very cool French cafe, and then we went to the musical Avenue Q at the Dock Street Theatre in downtown Charleston. My classmates and I shared a box right above stage right, and it was great to see down into the pit where the orchestra was. I had a clear view of the clarinetist who reminded me of my brother, Tim, who still plays clarinet for the orchestra at our church back home. It was fun to finally see Avenue Q for myself, especially after hearing references to so many of the songs from my college roommates who saw it together, but who I didn’t join, probably for some poor reason (like studying), however important it may have seemed at the time. I’m really trying to focus on enjoying Charleston and while still prioritizing my studies and maintain a perspective on what’s most important.

I also had a chance to see Act of Valor, and it was…pretty disappointing. Poor cinematography all around and a plot and script that just left you feeling like it totally lacked depth. Some of the technology (especially the submarine) was cool, but that didn’t make up for the rest of the movie that felt more like a recruitment advertisement than an actual movie with a story line. The producers had so much potential, and I wanted to like the movie so much because of all the men and women it portrayed who deserve our utmost admiration for the sacrifices they’ve made, but the movie just didn’t do them justice.

Amazing Day.

So today started out like any other Sunday. Little did I know what He had in mind for me. I met Jim, a retired Air Force pilot, walking into the church on base, and we just started up a friendly conversation. That turned into sitting with him during the Service and continuing to talk as we walked out. He offered to take me up in his plane to see a bit of Charleston, and I was delighted to accompany him. What an awesome opportunity to see the whole area from the skies but also hear about some of his adventures over a great dinner at Texas Roadhouse. I felt truly blessed and am very glad to have another friend in the area. I watched I am Number Four (2011) recently and really enjoyed it. I’m also inclined to agree with the following quote from the movie:

“You can go wherever you want. See whatever you want to but, um… a place is only as good as the people you know in it. I… I think this is a pretty good place.”