Monday, August 23, 2010

Academy Memories (part 1)

I don't really want to write a new post because I want Academy to be at the top forever. But since that's not practical, I'm writing something new! Yay me!

I've been house sitting for the last week, so I've been living out of  a duffel bag for 2 weeks. And it's SO nice to be at my house again! The funny thing is that while I was house sitting, I'd get these random feelings like I should be doing pushups. So I did. See, at Academy we would wake up, get ready for the day and get our rooms clean for inspection and then we'd run out to formation. After morning formation we'd go to breakfast. During meals, we would wait in line with our heads down, studying the previous day's class notes. If we were caught looking around, the TAC officers would yell at us, but at the same time if we were so oblivious that we missed a TAC officer trying to get through a line and neglected to yell "make a hole!" then we'd also get in huge trouble. At any point during the meal, if any Explorer in the room screwed something up--whether it was addressing an officer incorrectly or bumping in to a TAC--everyone would be on their faces doing pushups. Usually it was in sets of 10 but some mistakes REALLY made TACs mad... like if someone addressed a female officer as "sir" (an easy mistake to make when you spend most of the day saying 'yes sir') or if all the Explorers neglected to serve a TAC in a timely manner.

During the day, if we were inbetween classes and one of our TACs walked by and saw us talking at all, we'd be on our faces doing pushups. One day, one of our TACs saw us studying (or pretending to study) during our break and told us we studied too much. So he had us doing PT over the break. That's just how Academy went. If one of our four TACs thought we should be doing some sort of physical work, we did it. I'd say we did less PT because of mistakes that people made and more just because the TACs were bored :)

Twice during the week we got our guide-on (our platoon's flag) stolen and once someone got our mascot. We had to do crazy/dumb things to get them back. One time we sang "I'm a little teapot" (which our TACs lovingly recorded and put on Facebook), once we did "Party in the USA" complete with dance moves and hand motions, and once we surrounded a deputy (who got our flag) and made a kid in our group who looked like Justin Bieber sing the chorus of a JB song to her.

Good times. I'm trying to get out of the "I wish I was back at Academy" mindset, but it's hard. When we were there, if we did a good job we were rewarded. Some of us earned the respect of our TACs, and all of us definitely respected/feared them. It was kind of that perfect world where good triumphs over evil and although people are occasionally mean just for the heck of it, it was rarely ever personal. Most of it was just to break us down and build us back up as stronger people who worked together as a team. I decided life would be awesome if instead of parents, I could just have my TAC Officers fill the parental role :) (jk, I love my parents most of the time, too)

One more thing. I thought I'd explain the significance of the title of the post below this one. "If not now, then when? If not me, then who?" This was a quote that Officer H gave us on Friday of Academy. It kind of sums up the job of a police officer and it really stuck in my head. On Saturday we did mock scenes, the physical agility test, and shot at the range. Mock scenes are basically when we're given scenarios with actors who play out a scene that an officer might encounter and we have to react as an officer would (which is what the Apple Cup in May was, a bunch of scenes that we were graded on). The thing is, mock scenes kind of scare me because I'm afraid of doing something really wrong. So when we were at Apple Cup, I was really glad to have Tyler, my partner, take the lead officer role on almost all the scenes. At Academy, I had more experience than my partners so I agreed to take lead officer but it petrified me because if we screwed up it was my fault.

I remember SO clearly as we began our first scenario, a building search with a prospective burglary in progress, I stood outside of the door waiting to knock and announce and felt SO un-prepared. But that quote came to mind, if not now then when? If  I don't just do it now, when will I ever be ready to take on the challenge? If I'm not ready now, when will I ever be? I have the training, I just need to get in there and do it. If not me, then who? If I don't get in there and do this search, who will? I know I can do it because I am confident that this is a calling God has put on my life. And He will walk with me through everything I need to do. So if I don't do this job then who can I expect to do it? That quote will stick with me for the rest of my career, I'm sure.

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