Here’s the ranking of the three HPSP boot camps in order of “most difficult” to “pretty much a joke.”
1. Navy ODS (Officer Development School)
2. Air Force COT (Commissioned Officer Training)
3. Army BOLC (Basic Officer Leadership Course)
The Navy and Air Force were both five weeks long, students stayed in dorms, and students were restricted to campus for all but the last weekend. They had PT (physical training) every morning and classroom lectures every afternoon, among other training. Navy was more difficult* because they had to stand watch overnight and didn’t have access to the internet.
The Army just restructured their training course. The new version was four weeks, had every weekend off (with the warning, “don’t get arrested”), and stayed in a hotel. There was no PT (none!) and they went to Sea World. Two of their weeks were the field exercises, aka the fun ropes courses. And they got to shoot guns.
Totally ridiculous. Even the Army people said so.
“These are my awards, Mother. From Army. The seal is for marksmanship, and the gorilla is for sand racing. Now if you’ll excuse me, they’re putting me in something called Hero Squad.”
–Buster Bluth, more accurate than he knew
* Navy also missed the first week of M2 classes which made it more difficult, but that is not inherent to the ODS course.
Alone, Anniversary, Attachment Parenting, Babysitting, BMF, Breaks, Budgeting, Coffee Shop, College, Confederacy, COT, Crunchy, Errands, Evangelicals, Exams, Facebook, Family, Fellow Med Students, Friends, Jesus, Library, Lonely, M1, M2, Me Time, Med School, MOPS, Museums, Natural Disasters, New Hampshire, Outsider Status, Parks, Real Estate, Richmond, Single Parenthood, Storytime, Summer, Tax Refund, Weather, Weekend
Yesterday marked one year in Richmond. I’ve liked it more than I thought I would. There’s a lot more stuff (parks, libraries, museums, funky shops, etc.) close by than there is in New Hampshire. We’ve met some nice people and reconnected with others from college.
Still, I miss things like snow and mountains and not-I-want-to-die-heat-and-humidity (doing better than last summer though). I miss our friends.
I still feel like a bit of an outsider. Mention on your Facebook that you think modern military bases shouldn’t be named after Confederate generals and you hear about it from a parent at the park. I don’t think I fit in with the other stay-at-home parents here. It seems there are two groups: the MOPS type (too Jesus-y*) and the organic, all-natural, attachment parenting type (too crunchy). Staying at home didn’t seem so political in New Hampshire. Maybe I just didn’t get out enough. I don’t know. I have found a BMF (Best Mom Friend, not to be confused with BAMF) who is neither so we go to the coffee shop together once a week after storytime at the library.
Medical school is both easier and harder than I thought it would be. I don’t get breaks until The Husband gets breaks, so I feel like a single parent at times. Weekends are not guaranteed. Often Saturdays become another weekday in terms of schedule. The Husband leaves for the library or school that morning (usually an hour or two later than real weekdays) and then I see him again around dinnertime. Sundays can be the same, although not as often. He’s pretty burned out by then.
Most of our friends are fellow med students, so potential babysitters are busy at the same time I’d want them the most. Not many errands get done the week before a test. This summer–well, the two weeks after COT and before classes–I worked hard to get a little “me” time in. I hope it can continue a little bit into the school year now that we have a year’s perspective on scheduling demands, but we’ll see.
The New Hampshire house is back on the market. I don’t have faith it will sell, so it will probably be rented out again. I hope people like moving in October. No? Bummer.
Our savings account is about the same as last year, so that’s good. We did have a big tax refund thanks(?) to a drastically reduced salary for the second half of the 2012, but we also had a tree hit the house, so I’m not sure where exactly that puts us in terms of successful budgeting.
In the past year, The Baby has become The Toddler. He has gradually dropped from two long naps a day to one not-so-long nap (hence the reduced frequency of blog posts). He’s very mellow and easy-going, but fiercely independent. He’s not into talking very much and would rather observe people and situations than participate. So, pretty much the same personality as last year, except for the independence. It’s hard to know if it was always there but we couldn’t tell because he wasn’t as mobile. His interests include tractors, planes, trucks, and cars. This has manifested into very distinct preferences for which shirts he wears. If he can see into the drawer, he wants the clothing with the motor vehicle on it.
The Husband has been back at school for 2.5 weeks and has had his first test already, so we’re 26% done!
*And seems to prey on vulnerabilities to covertly evangelize. Not cool, MOPS!
The Husband came home from COT with a booklet about AF etiquette because he is expected to be an officer AND a gentleman.
Apparently the baggers at the Commissary aren’t paid and are compensated through tipping. I’ve never tipped them, even though I do a month’s worth of shopping at a time. Now I feel like an ass.
But hey, at least now I know I outrank all the unmarried women. Yes, the booklet says married women “outrank” single women. Welcome back 1950s!
I finally called the CVS in New Orleans to tell them they had the wrong number. They’ve robocalled me every few days for the past month and a half to pick up a photo order. So I feel pretty accomplished today.
In other news, yes, I’m still recovering from The Husband being away at COT for 5 weeks. How could you tell? I’m still tired, but at least I can sleep in a bit. He’s been waking up with The Toddler. Thank you 04h30 PT for making 7 a.m. feel like sleeping in to him!
In short, not the greatest postal system they have going on down there.
Even with her picking up the mail regularly, the letter I sent June 3 was only received by him during the last week of training (end of June). Some letters and cards we know friends sent were never received. We have no idea if things will be forwarded to him now that he’s home. Additionally, some letters that The Husband sent to me still haven’t arrived.
Not sure if it’s a Maxwell AFB issue or a USPS issue. I’m leaning towards Maxwell because despite what our tenants seem to think, I’ve found mailing things to/from anywhere else to be pretty reliable.
Monday night I got an unexpected phone call from The Husband.
Unexpected because he was supposed to be doing field training (i.e. camping plus simulations [I think like MASH?]), no phones allowed. Camping was cancelled because it was raining.
Well, it was raining extremely heavily plus 50+ mph winds so it probably was too hazardous for something that’s not mission-critical, but the story is much less funny that way.
And he was annoyed because he saw on Facebook that the Army HPSP students got to go to SeaWorld and they only got bowling and pizza. Not fair!
He saw some BOT (regular officer) trainees and he said they said they could tell they were in COT because they were still smiling. How’s that for awkward sentence construction?
But seriously, he’s doing well although he’s tired and missing home. The first week was hellish (by design?) and the hours are still long and it’s “death by PowerPoint.” But now they have a bit more freedom (can talk at dinner; allowed to leave the OTS campus, although still confined to the base) and a little more leisure (read: “studying”) time in the evenings.
So I’m a few days into my “alone” week. When my aunt left on Saturday morning, I was a little excited because after 2.5 weeks of having to be “on,” the introvert in me was ready to be alone for a little while.
Yeah, that lasted 24 hours.
Going a little crazy here, but fortunately some friends are coming over for dinner tomorrow.