in the last 9 years, i have been in school for a total of 4 semesters, most recently about 3 years ago. i tell you this because i am now love handles-deep in reading associated with the Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) of the Month Board. it is the next step up from the Soldier of the Month/Quarter/Year board in the sense that it is for higher-ranking and, logically, more experienced soldiers. it has been almost 6 years since my last board, and in those years i have forced most of this information out of my head. staying sane in the national guard is hard enough without having to worry about which army regulation covers the length and uniformity of my sideburns, or which field manual talks about nighttime urination tactics. since my focus has been my own survival, i have forgotten many of these little military nuggets. the ones i haven't forgotten, i have never had to know: until now.
i was handed a 3-inch thick three-ring binder and some highlighted sections upon which to focus. i was also promised a 'sponsor' for this oral exam, and he has yet to help me at all (unless you consider telling me when to show up a form of help). not that i am afraid of this experience, i am just caught between the slow-moving but omnipresent glacier of ending my time in the army, and the mountain that is my competitive nature. simply put, i dont know if i should give a fuck. let us weigh the options together, shall we?
reasons i should give a proverbial fuck:
- as i mentioned a minute ago, i am quite competitive. i would like to walk into this knowing 100% of the material and really impressing everyone.
- i tend to 'do the right thing' a very high percentage of the time; why stop now?
- this would be a very fitting end to my army life.
- i have already decided that if i beat out the rest of the soldiers at this board, i would 'forget' to go to work for the rest of the time here.
reasons i should blog instead of studying:
- national guard soldiers have no reason being thrown into competition like this with active duty people. their occupation is to know this stuff. they eat it and breathe it. i should know, i used to be one of them. i have lost before i have even started.
- the award is little more than a pat on the back.
- "i was April 2009's NCO of the month" gets you as far with girls and employers as "i roadmarched 62 miles in 24 hours with a 55-pound pack." most people dont know what youre talking about anyway.
- my blogs are much more fun to write than all of my study guides are to read.
none of this writing changes the fact that i am going. it did, however, cut the time i have to potentially study by almost half an hour. army logic states that the less time i actually get to study, the more acceptable it is that i don't do well. maybe i should go running and then try to figure out how Twitter could possibly add to my life.