Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The soon to be Traveling Twisted

Another long break from the blog but things are looking up. Just a little update on what is going on....  If you have been a follower of the blog you know I've been working on my degree in Program Management. The job market is hard here in the Midwest so I've taken things into my own hands. Last month I started a truck driving course at the local community college to make ends meet until I can finish my degree. I've always had a fascination for being a truck driver. If you know me, you would know I LOVE to drive. That being said, I was always afraid it would take the fun out of driving if I did. Being in my early 50's and having the opportunity to give it a try I jumped in with both feet. Ten weeks of training and you will test for your CDL, that’s a commercial driver’s license for those of you wondering…

Prior to the beginning of class the obsession of learning all there was to know had started. One of the prerequisites of the class was to find a doctor who could give me a department of transportation physical exam before the first day of class. I also went to the local driver’s license station and picked up the study book.  The other part was I had to talk to the program director for the local community college and he informed me that I would need to pass my permit before the 2nd week of class. Me being me, I wanted to pass the test before my first day of class. I opted for the night class so I would have the opportunity to go take the tests during the day time besides the night class was $300.00 cheaper.

When I arrived at the first night of class I held my permit to drive and in the first week was determined to pass the tests for all of the endorsements available; Tanker, Doubles & Triples and hazmat. On the beginning of week three, I applied to the TSA for the federal approval on my hazmat certificate.

The first two weeks were all classroom study but on the third week we were supposed to be behind the wheel. The instructor asked me if I would change to the day class because of a disproportionate number of students to trucks in the two classes. This wound up being another week of classroom study with the head of the department. The Day class spends three weeks in the classroom so I had to retake some of the test over again and I was able to watch some films that were not shown in the night class. On day three of the day class we were scheduled for a field trip and when this was canceled the instructor took us out in the truck and we went for our first drive in the truck. I’m sure if you saw my face, it was ear to ear grins. The instructor took each of us and pushed our comfort zone. This was So FUN!
So here is the plan;
1.     Finish the class and obtain my CDL
2.     Continue to take my online classes towards my initial degree while finishing the truck driving school
3.     Drive for an over the road trucking company and in my off duty time stay current with my class work. As I finish my degree, I will evaluate the options for obtaining my master’s degree (MBA).
4.     The knitting will be a part of this but the school work comes first.

Life is full of challenges, changes and surprises. I saw this saying a few years ago and it said; “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain”. I have taken this statement as a way to keep my head up when life throws you a few curve balls.

The first day in the truck the instructor said double clutch shifting a semi-truck is like a dance, 1-2-3-,  1-2-3. Some trucks like to dance a little faster than others and some like a waltz. I felt like I was stepping on my partner’s feet most of the day.  It has been a very humbling experience for someone who enjoys driving a manual transmission car. The only similarities are that they both have a shifter. All I can say is that we have all made huge progress and the end is only a few weeks away. Did I tell you how much fun this is!!!!! ?  

Here is a picture of us from last week when we took a road trip west of here to Washington Iowa for a sort of surprise visit to one of the student’s parent’s house. She texted her parents while we were in-route. 

 The instructor is on the far left. 
This lady backed the rig down her parents dead end street.

As far as knitting and spinning goes, I'm spinning some milk fiber right now. I plan to cast on a pair of socks for my Father maybe tonight or tomorrow. Christmas is coming soon. :)

Life is Good