May 9, 2006

done with week three...

well, i made it through another weekend... the highlight of this weekend is this is the first weekend i didn't seriously consider just walking away. i attribute that to the way the class has bonded over the last two weekends and us just not taking the instructors very seriously anymore. we're all of the belief that once we get out of class, it will get better...

okay, the weekend started as usual - me packing at the last minute. and again, i was in a debate whether to take the bike or not. weather was saying rain friday and sunday, but the morning was sunny and nice... decided to take the cage - mostly because i was last minute packing and i just wanted to throw stuff together. i know, i know, lazy on my part...

took the usual drive out... nothing to note except for the accident on 321 just north of the 40 exit. there were merging everyone to the right lane because the left lane was closed. for whatever reason, i stayed in the left lane as long as i could. i usually try not to be one of the assholes that wait to the last minute to jump in, but this time i did. and i think it saved me at least 45 minutes because traffic was backed up so far. anyway, that was about the most news-worthy item on the trip out there. weather on the trip out was fair - it did rain a little, but nothing that should have stopped me from bringing the bike. bummer...

got to the hotel and a few people were already there. after getting my stuff into the room, we all hung outside the rooms talking about how this weekend was going to unfold... some people studied the course material during the week and others didn't. i probably fell on the didn't study side - i did review some of the material, but probably not in the depth i needed to... i'm thinking the multiple guess will be on my side. after hanging out for a bit, we headed towards class.

friday night class was the usual peer teaching, running through the class room lessons. we, as a class, seemed to be more organized and smooth on our presentation - like things are finally starting to fall into place. it seems silly, but in some places i am only responsible for three or four questions. i get up for about ten minutes and then i'm done. i'm wondering how this is going to come across to the students we teach next week. it seems like it could be rather disjointed. i hope they're getting a discount on the class - not so much because i think we'll be doing a terrible job, i just don't think they will be getting the continuity or having only two instructors. oh well, we'll do our best. anyway, friday night went pretty well, with daniel and bob slinging mud at each other whenever they had an opportunity. fun to watch, but unprofessional in my opinion. then again, these doods are definitely leading by the do as i say, not as i do credo.

saturday was going to be spent on the range - a looooooong day on the range. we were going until ten o'clock!!! we got the bikes out to the range and warmed them up. of course we got them warmed up before laurel and hardy got out there, taking away any reason for them to start jumping on our cases. the morning was cool, but i think i'd rather have it cool than hot. can always put on more clothes, kind of hard to get comfortable in jeans and long sleeve shirts on a ninety-five degree day!! anyway, it was cool and overcast - if the day stayed like this, then it would make it a little easier.

the morning was the usual run through of the range exercises. just like the class room, you could tell we were starting to put things together. we had an additional ridercoach that was acting like a student - this gave us a little different perspective on things. overall things ran smoothly. except for daniel having to jump in and take over all the time. bob, on the other hand, would let the instructor speak/demo and provide feedback when they were done. daniel just wants to take over and show how he would do it. what he doesn't realize is this throws off the rhythm of the person trying to speak - and it really doesn't give them a chance to learn. oh well...

my partner george and i discussed our first exercise and decided who was going to talk and who was going to demo. we decided to switch it up from the previous week. we were wrapping up our discussion and george had his helmet on when daniel looked over and said that i was going to demo and george was going to talk. obviously he did this thinking he was going to throw us off, but what he really did was take away our opportunity to reverse roles for the exercise. oh well, we handled it and things went well. as did most of the day. george and i had two more exercises, which we did with little problem.

after the range, we finished up the day in the classroom. we went over some materials and discussed the written (knowledge) test. after going over the sample test, i felt a lot better about it. as the tests are written, if you think about it, the correct answer makes sense. then again, when you have the whole class answering the tests, all the answers seem easy. i figured studying the range cards a little more would really help with the test.

sunday started out overcast and threatening rain. we also decided to start an hour later since we had stayed so late saturday night. we started the day with the knowledge test. i was off to a good start, most of the questions seemed easy. they i got to the range questions... not so easy anymore. and i didn't think some of the questions really pertained to the objective of the particular exercise. but i guess they weren't supposed to... for example, the answer to one of the questions was that the students power walk their bikes between the riding lanes. now to me, this doesn't really pertain to the objective of the exercise. although it is part of how the exercise is conducted. luckily for me, it was one of the exercises i have, so i knew that answer. i don't know that i would have gotten that one if i wasn't familiar with the details of the exercise. of course i did struggle on some of the other exercise questions - and on those i guessed at what i thought was the best answer. overall, i figured there were about five questions i wasn't sure about. worse case, if i missed all of those, i would still pass... and pass i did - with 100%!!! i don't think i can take full credit because, as mentioned above, i did guess at a couple of those...

so now it was out to the range... surprisingly six ridercoaches showed up to be our students, including my friend susan. it was good to have other people there - a change of pace instead of always teaching each other. of course they did things to see what we might catch, and to raise our awareness of some of the things we might need to look out for. i think they had fun with it... we got through the first three exercises and started the fourth when the sky opened up. we didn't get too far into the exercise when they decided to take us inside. after some classroom work, they decided it wasn't going to let up, so they let the ridercoaches go and we got ready to wrap up for the weekend.

before leaving, we had to check out the room we were going to be teaching in next weekend. although we had been in there before, we needed to decide how we were going to set up the classroom and, more importantly, how to operate the dvd player and overhead projector. we fumbled around with the equipment for a while. it got pretty crowded around the equipment when several people thought they had to get in there to help. i just walked away and sat at the other side of the room, figuring once they get it working, they'll show the rest of the class. and they did. so now we were familiar with our lessons, familiar with the room... all that was left was to put it to practice - and that would come next weekend.

oooohhhh... daniel did tell us he was going to make it easy on us and we would use the same assignments next weekend as we did this weekend. i'm not really convinced he did it to make it easier on us - why would he make it easier on us now?? he hasn't done that at any other point in the class... no, i think he did it for the benefit of the students next week. it's only fair to give them the best opportunity for success. and having us as prepared as possible does that. since we were/are most familiar with the exercises we have, it makes sense for us to continue teaching those. i think that's the real reason he did it... at least that's what i would do...

before class broke for the day, we had to put the bikes away. lucky for us, the rain had stopped. a couple of the people that rode this weekend volunteered to take the bikes back since they had to put their gear on anyway... i decided to take one around. because i didn't have my gear on, i decided to push it around. it sounded like we have enough people to put the bikes away - we only had six bikes... as we get the fifth bike in, someone says there's still one bike left on the range. and, it doesn't appear anyone is getting it. i walk around to the front to get it and here comes wally, all geared up. i guess it took him a while to get geared up. then he starts mumbling something, and waffling about getting the bike. i'm thinking to myself, i just want to get out of here for the weekend. i decide to just walk it around - it'll be easier than trying to figure out if wally is really going to do it or not... so i push it around and put it away. after closing up, we gather everything out of the classroom and head home. yeah!!!

the ride home was long and miserable. we'll it wasn't really miserable - it just wasn't fun. i had decided to take a different way home, route 64 instead or interstate 40. my luck would have me getting stuck behind someone going slow on a two lane road with no opportunity to pass. damn... that combined with the rain didn't make it a fun drive. but, i kept thinking it could be worse - i could be on my bike like josh and doug. at this point, i think i was glad i wasn't on my bike. the first time this weekend i didn't regret not bringing my bike...

sooooo, that was the weekend. one more to go... i thought this past weekend was going to be the tough one - after this one, i thought it was all downhill. now i'm thinking this final weekend will be the toughest. just because this time it's for real. and we still have things to consider that we've never been concerned with - like the timing of the exercises. well, i'm sure we'll be okay...

guess that's it for now - been tying long enough...

peace...