Tuesday, 10 September 2019

My First Official Lesson As A Cadet Instructor

So, after nearly a year in the Army cadets, a mountain of paperwork, five assessments and over four months of training, everything I had been working up to came into place last night.

While the cadets in my detachment paraded down stairs I was up stairs setting up a classroom for my first official lesson as a Sergeant Instructor in the ACF. I am not going to lie, my heart was pounding and I was more nervous for this one than I was for both the lessons I had to prep and deliver while I was on my AIC (Advanced Instructors Course). Once I was et up and ready I went down stairs and joined in with the end of the parade, telling the new cadets which classroom they were in.

This is it, there was no going back. I walked into the room to find around 10 cadets waiting for me.
If I am honest the lesson went rather well, bearing in mind that if your cadets sense fear or if they pick up on a mistake you have made they will tear you to bits, I have seen this happen. Now I personally could have picked up a number of faults with it but when I asked the cadets for their feedback, explaining that this was my first official lesson as an instructor, the only criticism they gave was that, at times I was talking a bit too fast for them.

The second lesson went a lot better than the first I thought, but even then “I” noticed a few faults and things that I could have done better.

At the moment I am taking a break from my lesson plans to make this post, I have organised the lesson schedule for the rest of this month and part of next month, once these have been done I will be working on individual lesson plans for each of the scheduled lessons.

If I am honest the only pressure I'm feeling now with regards to my lessons is.. I need to make sure that the stuff that I am teaching is right and makes sense to cadets aged 12 to 16 years, if I get it wrong or pass on wrong information my recruits (Basics) wont pass their tests and move on to the next level of training.

Yeah No pressure lol

Friday, 6 September 2019

The Day I Met The Reason I Started Blogging

It's weird where inspiration comes from sometimes. Like today, it just jumps out and punches you right you in the face and all you can think about for the rest of that day is that hit.

Well, that was me today, I was at work cleaning the shop floor and someone I used to work with years ago walked into the shop, to this day I know him under his internet name "Scribbler".

We recognised each other straight away and why shouldn't we? It was this person who started me writing blogs way back in the days when you had to be sat in front of your computer to write a post, you had to have a digital camera if you wanted to take a photo for said post and podcasts were only for those with a degree in geek and enough money to set up a small radio studio.

Dead bedouins podcast studio

We talked about the old days, how he was and how I was, you know, the usual stuff people talk about when they haven't seen each other in a while. Then he asked me out if the blue if I was still blogging, to which I sheepishly replied,
"Sometimes, you know, I'll write a post saying that I have been very busy and will try to post more..and then don't post for too long, only to write another post with the same excuse".

I have to admit I was surprised when he said he did the same, except for how he intends to write a blog about what he got up to on that day, only to stay in bed until 1.00 in the afternoon.

We talked bout how we used to have a race to see which one of us could get a photograph of the first snow of the year up on our blogs, me or scribbler on his blog Mercury vapours (I don't know if Scribblers blog is still on line so it's up to you if you want to check) and if you're interested I think he is or was winning the snow post by 7 years to 4. 

After talking for about 15 minutes Scribbler continued into the store I work in and I returned to sweeping the floors, I have to admit, all I wanted to do was sit down and start to write a blog post about our meeting.

Points to note: it's nearly 8.00 in the evening and after 5-6 attempts, I have wrote the post I needed to write earlier today.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Now The Hard Work Begins

In case you hadn't noticed I have not made a post on my blog in quite a few month, thing is I have been crazy busy so far this year.

For one I have a new job working in a department store, it might only be part time but when my early start means I need to be up at 5 in the morning, early nights will become plenty. On top of this I have been in training, I`m sure I have mentioned this before but I have been training to become an instructor in the Army cadets.

As well as obligatory weekends away from home I had to go to the ACF County training wing two times a week, minimum.

Anyway, getting to the point, two weeks ago I had to go to the ACF training centre for 7 days to finish my training and be assessed to see if I was "competent" and knew enough, was compitent and was confident enough to be able to stand in front of a room full of 12 to 17 year olds and teach them military based subjects as per the ACF manual.

The good news is, I am, I passed the course and was graded as competent and highly competent.

Next week I have to go back to the training wing to return my issued field kit and officially be promoted from PI (Probationary Instructor) to Sergeant. In 2 weeks time I am able to return to my detachment to take up the roll of SI (Sergeant Instructor) and start teaching the Basics and One Star cadets (Basic cadets are the new recruits and one star cadets are junior cadets).

Hasn't been easy

I`m not going to lie, the past few month has had its low points and moments when I honestly thought about quitting.

One of those times was when I had to give a 15 minute lesson on "Why Things Are Seen" a field craft lesson taught to basic cadets.

I stood in front of the Training Sergeant Major and my mind went blank, I couldn't remember a thing, litterally it was possibly the worst 15 minutes I have had in a very long time.
I recorded a video about it the next day. I think that moment was one of the main times I honestly thought about quitting.

Obviously I didnt quit and I`m so happy that I didnt, the amount of confidence I gained from doing my final week long course was huge. I know where I went wrong and have learned and had time to practice planning and taking lessons and had my lessons critiqued by my peers and regular soldiers.

One of my work colleagues from the store I work in saw some of the photographs which were taken while I was on my course and told me today that I looked so comfortable and at home when I was in the field, soaking wet and tired and that this was definitely my calling.

When all is said and done, now that my training has finished, the work has only just begun and boy and I looking forward to it. 

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

I am not Unfocused

Good morning world,

So I thought it might be a good idea to update you guys on what I have been up to blog wise. When I first started this blog I had the idea of writing stuff about horror movies and how to survive should your fav horror flick come to life, tomorrow.

Thing is, believe it or not but, although I am a stupidly huge fan of post apocalyptic movies there are other things that I enjoy or get me way to excited for a bloke my age should get.

Yes, there is Bushcraft and urban/wilderness survival but there is more still, I happen to have a big interest in the paranormal and ufology, I like to think that I am a spiritual person even though I prefer not to align to any specific religious doctrine and no, before you say it (and one of you will say it, or at least think it), I am not unfocused, I am multifaceted, I have more than one interest and I want to share those interests here.

For this reason I have deleted what I liked to call my archive blog, where I kept all the posts I have ever made, going right back to March 2006. I dont want to write a blog about horror movies and the apocalypse, not when there is all sorts of things I want to write about.

So there you have it, have a look around, Im sure that there will be something here which catches your eye.

Regards Jim

Monday, 22 April 2019

Would You Let Your Kids Have Energy Drinks?

Tell me, what are your thoughts on Energy drinks?

I have a kind of love hate relationship with them

A few years ago I was at a point where I would be drinking the stuff regularly, almost daily I think.

I have stopped now, and hardly if ever touch the stuff

The reason why I want to talk about energy drinks again is because a few days ago I had just nipped out to the local shops and I passed a guy and his son, his son must have only been about 5 maybe 6 years old if that and this kid was clutching an open can of energy drink.

I swear I could not, I was in a state of shock,

I didnt say anything to the guy who was with this kid, Im assuming he was the kids Dad but he looked like the type who talks with his fists if you know what I mean.

Is it just be, My kids don't even get fizzy pop on a regular basis never mind energy drinks,

Internet Image 

What ever happened to getting your spawn a carton of juice or ribena if they started with the “Im Thirsty” routine, why a can of energy drink?

The little person drinking the can is a freaking kid, they have infinite amounts of energy, hell they dont need to have itheir energy levels topped up, they wake up on full tilt

Can you imagine the crash this kid will get when that can wears off?

I don't know, what do you think about this?

So right now I am trying to cut right back on all stimulants, you know, coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks so that my body can get used to getting its energy the natural way,

I eat a relatively healthy diet, I exercise and I drink plenty of water and try to go to bed early-ish

If we were to wake tomorrow to find our selves booby deep in a zombie apocalypse and we had to bug out and try to get to the safe location set up by whatever government organisation has been set up to handle the crisis,

You know that safe zone which is invariably either never there or has already been wiped out.

What are you going to do?

Grab your go bag some food then nip to the shop because energy drinks man, I need my caffeine hit just to get through the day,

Of course your not,

Youre going to grab a bag and throw a few things in it and youre going to leave, taking the backroads and side streets because we all know that the main roads and streets are going to be chock full of people in a mild state of freak out.

You know that the chances are high to.. Oh look there they are, that the zombies are already on their way because someone has laid on an all you can eat buffet

Meanwhile Mr Knuckle dragger and his tweaked out 5 year old son are looking for that half empty can or red bull that junior forgot about because something shiny

Lets put it like this

What are you going to do when you are making your way to that safe zone or the next one and the caffeine withdrawal headache hits you


You're carrying a huge backpack, have a screaming kid in tow who is crashing because he hasn't had an energy drink today and a dozen flesh hungry zombies on your tail and now you get a caffeine headache!

Dont get me wrong, Im not saying that we need to quit drinking coffee, tea and energy drinks, hell i still have the occasional can of what ever energy drink is available when Im feeling run down and still have a good few hours to get through before I can rest.

What I am saying is that Kids, especially small kids are like little pocket rockets, they have an excess of energy, if we could plug those little buggers into a power grid we would have enough power to light up a small town.

They dont need energy drinks, its like buying a long haired German shepherd a false fur coat, you wouldnt do it, they dont need it.

I dont know, would ou let your young spawn drink energy drinks, if you would, leave me a message or a comment letting me know why, Im interested in your thoughts.