Second week at the Maritime Institute in San Diego,,,,getting my butt kicked with all the studying.
Sitting in class working toward my USCG Captain’s License/OUPV isn’t really what I expected,,,,,it’s HARD! I mean, like worse than college hard, because I’ve been sitting on my butt in class for these 8 hour days, plus extra classes at night, getting slaughtered with information! I was unprepared for the overload of info they were about to give me, despite them warning me to pre-study the “box o books” they sent me,,,,,telling me it would help. And,,,,it would have helped if I had read and comprehended it all before I got here, but still would not have understood fully till I got here. I have all my sailing and boating hours toward the 100 Ton License done, so I’ve put in my time,,,and came to class thinking that I had my stuff together and would do ok. I had no idea this was one of the few brick and mortar actual schools on the west side of the Mississippi and that there might be a full class going on,,,,,I had no clue that there would be 20 students in the class and the instructor would throw material at us literally all day long, 08am to 5pm. There’s a lot to study and with the school having a 96% pass rate on the examinations, they have a certain expectation that you come with a level of knowledge and motivation to also pass the exam. Honestly, I’m getting my ass handed to me and the whole “fake it till you make it” thing isn’t holding up as well as I want in this class. The class isn’t just geared to teach to the test, but we are learning by test and skill set. There’s four parts to the test- Rules of the Road, Deck General, Navigation General and Charting. Rules of the Road has 50 questions and you need to get a 90% to pass. The rest of the tests are 70% to pass and all the tests are multiple choice. One bad thing is that the Navigation Test is only 10 questions, but they all build on each other,,,,,so if you mess up the first few, the rest could all go downhill. And, if you fail any parts of the test, you fail the whole thing. So far, the Navigation is my worst subject, although I can do most of it, there’s a lot of math involved and exacting numbers, so I’m a slow poke but usually get it right. It’s the use of the formulas that throw’s me off on some of the more advanced navigation, but I’m working on it and am not afraid to admit when I need some help.
The Maritime Institute in San Diego is US Coast Guard approved and has written most of their own tests and study guides. They have some pretty sharp staff members and the owner is personally involved in many of the classes. I’m impressed with the staff and my instructor. Anyone who comes in the class, writes down their personal cell phone number and tells you to call them anytime for help means it,,,and means to do more than just prep you for a test.
I’m also pretty impressed with the staff at this school. The staff are most valuable property the school has; as they’re all well-known in the Marine Industry and keep current on most marine issues. The school has staff that teach along the west coast and also specialize in teaching military, police and commercial Marine Industry professionals to upgrade their current tonnage licenses.
Whether I pass this damn test this coming Friday or not, I know that just in this week alone, my knowledge and confidence have increased greatly and I’ll be safer and better prepared on any water because of this course. Now, I gotta go study cause I want to pass the damn test!
So, stick with me if I’m not posting as much this week!