Friday, March 17, 2006

St. Patty's Day Ramblings.

I actually have a momentary high speed connection and have managed to catch up on bits and pieces of important news. Unfortunately, I can't tell you what it is because it's exam day in this little corner of the merchant marine and with the new security rules we're not really allowed to divulge anything we know.

I am bracing myself for the "junior officer" whine, an exam day tradition which will see 70 percent move on to greater things and 30 percent sent back to accumulate a little more sea-time and, hopefully, experience.

Whine: But, sir, I only hit the test button and the coast guard helicopter showed up.
Decision: Return to sea. SAR helicopters in Canada are operated by the air force; not the coast guard. If you don't know that, you can't paddle my canoe.

Whine: But, sir, 68 percent is soooo close to 70 percent. Can't you see your way clear to give me the extra 2 percent?
Decision: It's a multiple choice exam, young cadet. A chimpanzee with a pencil and a piece of fruit can get 30 percent after having missed every class and without any sea-time. That means, it's possible you only know 38 percent of the subject. I will advance you if you promise to fly in airplanes where the aero-engine mechanics have passed with the same stellar performance you have handed in.

Whine: But, you didn't tell us legibility counted on the reports.
Decision: Quite true. I have been unfair. I should have told you up front that this is training and everything you produce must be able to be read by the examiner. Please forgive me. Oh, and by the way, the fact that nobody can read the qualification on your certificate should be of no concern to you. (Yes that small bit at the end actually does say, "twit".)

Whine: How come the ex-navy guys get better marks?
Answer: I have no idea. Perhaps you should grovel to one of them and ask. I know it has nothing to do with the amount of studying they did, or the fact that they showed up 10 minutes early for everything, or the quality of questions they asked. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that old age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill.

And so it goes. Back to more substance, hopefully by tomorrow.

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