Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Run for the hills

Diagnostic Essay First Revision
The day I graduated boot camp was one of the proudest days of my life. At first I didn’t realize how significant the event was going to be. I thought of the graduation as a joke, just some stupid event we had to participate in to get out of that abomination of a place. Then I took some time to read and realize there is more to these barracks and drill halls then I had first assumed.

The day started very early in the morning as usual with the Recruit Division Commander (RDC) bursting through the doors and yelling at the top of his lungs “ TIME TO WAKE UP, TIME TO WAKE UP MORONS!!!” the RDC said. So I got out of bed like I did every morning showered, shaved and got dressed. I lined up with the rest of my division in front of our bunks like usual, and the RDC walked up and down the ranks as usual. As he did that something was different about him, he had this certain look in his eyes. It took me a second to figure it out but I did. It was a look of accomplishment and satisfaction, he was proud of us.

For the first time of my adult life I felt as though I really accomplished something great. As the RDC walked up and down the ranks I couldn’t help but think about what he was going to say to us and just then he stopped and said “I have seen you grow from maggots to men in two months, you all have passed our challenges with perfection. You should be proud. I’m proud, good job Sailors. At that moment the feeling I had was indescribable, and as he came through and shook our hands I honestly felt as though I was going to cry. Not like an all out whimper cry but more of an overwhelming sense of accomplishment cry.

After we got all of our other daily events out of the way, we all began the famous march to the drill hall to begin the graduation event. At this point all I could think of was please don’t mess this march up. I practiced for months to get this march right, I could practically do it in my sleep when we practiced (many of us did actually fall asleep while marching!). It was so hot outside I’m sure that was a factor in the amount of nervousness I had balled up in my stomach. As I was marching with my division entering the drill hall I could begin to see faces of people in the crowd. Trying to look for my family and trying to stay in step with my division was not easy. As I made that final turn with my division to get in our place for the graduation, I looked in the stands and there she was. At the moment the most important woman in my life, my mother was in crowd smiling at and yelling my name saying she loved me. I can’t express how I felt. To make my mother proud, to see the look in hers eyes was amazing. At that moment is when I really felt proud at what I had completed.

The day I graduated boot camp is one of the proudest days of my life. I might not like every part of the Navy, but to be able to sleep in the same beds, march down the same roads, eat in the same mess halls as some of this nation’s great Heroes did before me is a great honor.

Diagnostic Final Revision

At first I thought this day was going to be like any other day at this hell whole some would call boot camp. My bunks mate Leaf and I would wake up every single dreadful day to those drill sergeants yelling at the top of their lungs to wake up like a lion marking its territory, but really all we could think was this guy has to be compensating for something because there is no reason to scream like that. This day was different going to be different though, because on this day leaf and I would break loose and rid ourselves of this hell on earth. We had devised this ingenious scheme to sneak out at night and never look back.

“Pssss…psss…pss…” is all I heard at some ungodly hour in the morning. I almost yelled and ruined the whole thing but then I realized that this was the night, and I looked up only to see leaf with this huge smile from ear to ear on his face as he said “Byrd you awake? Its time, we got to get moving”. This is it I said to myself. We got out of the beds trying to be as quite as a mouse, but in a room with 100 other guys it was definitely harder than I thought. We managed to stay in the shadows and walk very lightly all the way to the door at the end of the room to get outside when leaf grabbed the back of my shirt and just froze. At first I didn’t know what was happening. I looked back at leaf and was going to say something, but then I saw it in his eyes. His eyes were as wide as an owls, it was a like looking at pure fear. I said “leaf, leaf, what is it?” He said nothing, pure silence.

Then I noticed he was looking at something, something further in the distance. I slowly turned my head and realized what it was. He saw a light up ahead, a flash light. Up ahead of the door a guard was patrolling the perimeter of the building. I thought damn were done well never make it out now! Then something happened, something that was like god himself reaching down and lending a hand. The guard looked startled, but not because of us one of his friends on patrol with him seemed to have a problem and called him away from his patrol, away from us. Leaf grabbed my shoulder and said “Go!!” so we took off for the door and made it to the outside.

As the guard was still holed up trying to figure what his partners problem was we made our brake, across the street and to the convenience store across from the gate. This was it leaf and I were standing three hundred feet away from freedom, that and the 10 or so guards that were patrolling the gate controlling entries and exits or cars. Then I thought were ruined we will never make it out looking like this. I said “Leaf damnit we didn’t think about clothes we can’t make it out wearing this”! Little to my knowledge good old leaf had been thinking a little ahead. Don’t worry said leaf, I stashed a bad with some clothes behind the dumpster over there as he pointed behind the dumpster in the back of the sore. I said you’re a genius Leaf! We managed to change in what seemed like seconds we were so excited to finally be free. When we were done changing we looked at each other kind of like a silent conformation that we were both ready. We shock hands turned towards the gate and started walking towards the gate.

For the first time I was actually convinced we could do this we can make it out of this place, yeah it would mean abandonment but what the hell. We approached the gate and leaf looked back with that smile again. I didn’t know what he was up to but it was definitely devious. A guard finally realized two figures were approaching and started towards us. Leaf looked back and said “hold on let me take care of this”. At this point I was so confused I didn’t know what to do, but then I looked towards the guard approaching us and realized something was weird about him. He looked like the average military guard type of guy, but there was something else he looked… he looked like leaf.

As leaf approached the guard he smiled and the guard smiled back. The guard said “what’s up bro you sure you and your friend want to do this?” to leafs reply of “hell yea bro were done with this place”. Leaf looked back at me and signaled me to start walking towards them. As I approached my assumptions appeared to be correct they were brothers. Leaf looked at me and said “I told you I got this covered”. All I could think was wow we made it; we made it out of this hell hole

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The teacher from hell and his child English 111

When I decided to start school again I thought this should be an easy class, I’m a smart guy I shouldn’t have any problems. Then when I first saw Mr. Gasparo my thoughts on this English class were very much reinforced that this was definitely going to be an easy one to complete. Oh was I most definitely wrong. He turned out to be quite the asshole, but this was good in a many ways. Now I was in no way prepared for this class, and definitely didn’t expect the need to be. I figured I can write and read English pretty well seeing that I have been doing it for say twenty years. Well I found out I really suck at my own language, which really sucks. Thank goodness I wasn’t the only one in the class that felt this way about themselves.

The class was actually pretty nice, there were some people that were definitely at a higher level than most of us in the class. There was this one girl whose name I’m not going to mention (she ended up dropping out ‘cause the teacher was an asshole) that sat behind me for most of the time she was there. She was a nice person, but when it came to peer reviewing someone’s paper she was not the person you wanted to do. I can understand you might want to get good feedback from the reviewer, but damn did this eat papers alive. All I could think about when it came time to for a peer review was “I really hope she doesn’t get my paper”. The rest of the class was pretty cool, they would review papers and I still felt like an idiot but not as bad as if that girl would of did it. It was pretty cool to see how quiet that class was at the beginning of the semester, and towards the end I think the teacher was ready to kill most of us for not shutting up especially the two girls that sat at the back. Looking back at some of the assignments we had to complete, none were too hard.

When we got the first assignment to write a diagnostic essay which purpose was so the teacher can see what level we were all on, but to me that was just a nice way of seeing how stupid we all actually were. The most prepared I was for any of the essays we had to complete had to of been the argument essay, not the argument presentation though. Even though I haven’t done the presentation yet (that’s on Wednesday this week), I know already that it’s not going to be cool. Back to the argument essay, I didn’t really know what to expect being that I have really never written anything like it before at least not that I can remember. Once I got started reading and learning more about my topic which was cloning, I got a little bogged down at all the information that was pouring in on me. It took me a while to realize that I was doing a research paper but an argument paper, so I had to learn to decipher the information and only pick what would help my argument convince the reader. I hope I don’t get an F for saying this but I think the one assignment I definitely could have done without has got to be this one right here. This blog essay stuff I don’t think I’ll ever use again; I’m just not the diary or blog type of guy. Really when I look back all the essays and exercises did something for me be it knowing how to just write stuff down and read it later, or how to make the paragraphs flow into each other.

All in all this class was very good to me. When I reflect back at these past short eight weeks I get this feeling of accomplishment. I came in expecting it to be easy, and learned very fast it wasn’t going to be. Then I just got into all of it, and after the first two weeks I have to say it did get kind of easy. The instructor was great, even though he was kind of an asshole it was a good thing. I think we needed that from him to get us going, to make sure we didn’t take this class as a joke. Which it definitely is not a joke, we should all be able to read and write proper English (even though “text talk” is easier… lol). The class was probably one of the best I have ever been in. I think everybody worked well together. As I leave this essay and class behind I just want to thank the instructor for being great, you made the class different and fun and I thank you for this experience (This was not a brown nose sentence either, just giving thanks where it was deserved).