Knowledge, Integrity, Excellence

“Knowledge, Integrity, Excellence.” It’s a pretty legit motto for the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command (NNPTC). We had a brief today and they stressed the importance of integrity and how it has helped maintain the trust of the public in the Navy’s nuclear program. All it would take is one ‘Three Mile Island’ type incident and that faith could be shattered, so maintaining a perfect safety record is paramount. We had our second exam today, and it went really well. Our section had the highest average between the three that make up our class – which was cool. The guys that make up our section are pretty legit – they work hard but are also really funny and hilarious when they joke around. A lot of witty humor. I just hope the guys on my sub are this awesome.

One of the best parts of today was biking onto base. I woke up at 0415 so I could get in by 0500 and cram before the test at 0700 (filling the short-term memory banks right before the exams seems to be a common and beneficial strategy). It was a cool, damp morning and felt like the same type of morning I’d wake up to back in college to go to crew practice. It was just cold enough to have a nip in the air, and it was so damp there was dew dripping off the tiny house roof, and you could see fog wisping through the air and collecting in low areas like drainage ditches on the side of the road. It was kind of ominous, like the eve of a battle, and also reminded me of crew practice in the morning when I had an exam later that day. Good times.

Battle Rhythm

One down, twenty-four to go. The first test at NPS was definitely challenging, but it feels great to have it behind me and officially be making progress towards graduation. The routine is already starting to get solidified, and I’m liking it so far. Waking up way too early, getting on my bike and cycling in, and getting in a couple hours of studying before class starts has been really nice. It’s cool to get infinite miles per gallon and also get a little PT in before a long day of classes. I always bring my lunch, so it’s also great to save time and get a little of studying in during the time we have allotted for lunch. I usually head home (via bike) after classes are over and either do some mandatory group PT by running with one of my classmates in the woods behind the RV park or just take some time to catch up on life. Then it’s back to NPS for an hour or two of studying and preparing for the next exam. It’s frustrating to not be able to study at home but just part of the way it has to be. Then home and dinner consisting of whatever I can find to cook-up and enjoy (usually lots of rice and veggies). I try to stay creative, but it’s tough only cooking for one person! After dinner I usually get things squared away for the next day and head to bed early to start the next day fresh and ready to absorb all the new material we’ll have taught to us and be expected to ingrain in our minds. It can be challenging, but who doesn’t like a challenge? I hope I continue to enjoy it.

We’ve hit the beaches.

Wow…what a crazy week of classes. I knew it was going to be tough…but it still definitely exceeded my expectations. The amount of class and studying is pretty intimidating, but I figure I’ll do my best and that’ll have to be enough. They describe it as almost like being on deployment. There is little time to do more than go to class, PT, study, eat, and sleep. Even now I should probably be studying, but I also don’t want to burn out. I just wish I could figure out a way to cram more into my brain and retain it better. It’s not too tough to get the concepts, but the verbatim memorization is tough. The one thing that makes it a little better is the realization everyone else is going through the same thing with you, and you’re in it together. I hope we all so well on our first test on Tuesday!