Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Milestones of the 126th
My A-100 class is affectionately known as "The 126th." And in the life of the 126th, this is already shaping up to be quite a week. A little sampling of why:
Meritorious Honor Award: Today the 126th class as a whole was given an award by the State Department. Every A-100 class goes off-site for a few days to do teambuilding and leadership exercises, and everyone stays at a woodsy little resort and "works" all day and parties all night. It's called, imaginatively, "the offsite." For many years, the State Department has been using a certain West Virginian resort for the offsite. Apparently the 126th got the (un)luck of the draw, and during a party on the first night we were there, the deck that about thirty people were standing on collapsed and fell one story to the ground, people and all. There was blood, there were broken bones, and there were a lot of uninjured people who quickly came to the rescue. The injured were triaged, everyone did whatever they could to make the emergency crews' jobs easier, people were assigned to watch others for delayed symptoms, an overnight "task force" was arranged, and the class as a whole pulled together and managed the crisis remarkably well. So, to fellow members of the 126th who were unable to be there this afternoon, here is your award for "exemplary professionalism, teamwork, composure and compassion" (its permanent home will be in the A-100 suite):
Mexico-bound: With such a preponderance of our class members assigned to Mexico, those who did not leave long ago are leaving in a big group right around now. Big groups departing are always hard, and after this set of people has gone, there will be very few of the 126th left at FSI. Having spent yesterday evening saying goodbye and bon voyage (or whatever it is in Spanish) to one of my close friends from the 126th, it is finally dawning on me that they're all headed out. Happy trails to Nathan and all the rest who are Mexico-bound!