Friday, July 30, 2010

I Tried

I tried real hard not to doze off while attending mandatory drill this morning. I did everything I could to stay awake, except stand up and do jumping jacks. I did pretty good, too.

Well except for that 10 second spell where my eyes closed, my head started to nod and the beginnings of a snore escaped my sinuses. I caught myself and jerked awake before the instructor said something. My firefighter was just getting ready to kick me when I came out of it.

It's my bad, it's just that a darkened classroom, a boring pre-packaged delivery, covering material we have heard 15 times over the past two years makes it tough to stay awake. Just how many ways can "wildfires can be driven by, topography, weather or fuel" be said?

I should have had another cup of coffee before class, poor planning on my part caused me to run out of time. Might I suggest allowing coffee in the classroom, at least for this one class? I think it might help.

Have a great weekend, mine starts this morning.

Thanks for reading,


  1. Its not your fault Capt. Dont you have the insane ability to catch a few zzz's no matter what, no matter where now that you've been in this profession for so long? Add boredom and your body kicks into not "fight or flight" but "sleep and survive" mode. Sitting through boring classes falls under "sleep and survive" I'm sure.

    I can remember falling asleep on the way to calls at 3am or 2pm (if I was working a double). As long as my partner new where we were going and I didnt have to navigate, a 3 - 5 minute nap was in order.
    Lights, sirens, 80mhp city driving had no detrimental effects on my ability to catch a snooze.
    I can still do it on occasion.
    Hope your weekend is fabulous!

  2. Dear Captain,
    I frequently wonder why instructors don't ask what people have heard already--anybody know the three drivers of wildfire?--

    and then I remember these classes are really about liability and ticking off a box rather than development. So I am rendered speechless, and you soporific.

    And that just won't do,
    Ann T.

  3. Ann T. - Checking boxes is correct. While I see the need for training in this area, the process has become unwieldy. I will be addressing this in detail in the future.

  4. Cap,

    As an instructor at our academy, I can only say this: If a student is falling asleep, it's a clear sign of the instructor's failure to keep the interest of the entire class.

    We tend to teach the fire service through "death by powerpoint" these days, and I can't help but wonder how much (or little) I would have picked up in my Paramedic classes if Crafton Hills College used that method back in the early 90's.

    So, it's understandable that you should be less than enthralled by material being covered for the Nth time, in a darkened classroom that's just a little too warm for comfort, delivered in typical monotone fashion by an instructor who's spoken the same words to a similar group so many times he can't count. I think you had remarkable restraint- I would have been in a full-out snore, drooling on the desk.

    The guy in the other shoes