Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Kirk's San Angelo training was pretty intense. They had 8 months to cover a series of units, none of which I know anything about (except that the term 'low-pan' was used in one... whatever that means. I only know that because one of our favorite films was 'Big Trouble in Little China' - ref David Lo Pan. A bit obscure, I know). At the end of each unit they had a grueling exam, and class rankings were updated depending on performance. The kicker was that at graduation assignments would be handed out based on class standing - the top grad got first pick and so on.

There is definitely a continuum of desirable bases in the Air Force. We desperately wanted to avoid places like Louisiana, Texas etc., and equally desperately wanted to get back to Europe. Specifically, I wanted to get to England. [note - this is still true, so if anyone knows of a decent job going in, say, Edinburgh or Oxford, please let me know so I can fulfill two of my life's ambitions and a. live somewhere where I could do without a car and b. live in hopes that I'd run into Jaimie Oliver and he'd invite us all for dinner] I was quite clear with Kirk about this - Europe please, preferably England.

Kirk's class was incredible - lots of really bright people - so the competition was fierce. It was friendly competition though; one of the guys became Kirk's best friend. It was the sort of situation where Kirk thrived, and his scores got better and better. It was pretty clear that he would graduate in the top three. Then they passed out the assignment list.

No England. No Europe even. Several in the midwest, several in Texas, and only two that seemed remotely interesting: Alaska, and Hawaii. I'm always slow to cope with changes in plans; Kirk was ready to explore the possibilities while I was still fussing about not getting exactly what I wanted. There was no question we would want one of those two (everything else was too boring to consider), but they were both so remote, so far from everything else. And how to decide between frozen mountains and tropical beaches?

Assuming, of course, that the choice was ours.

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