Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Week 7-9, Recruit Yost

Since last I shared my experience, several… ahem…learning experiences have come and gone.  That being said, I have dubbed these last few weeks, “My exercise in failure.”  It sounds harsh and slightly cynical, I know, but don’t worry; I can explain why it is actually positive and fitting in a good way.  Here I go…

In the classroom, I have a system.  I memorize, take notes, write flashcards, organize/compose my thoughts, and clarify any issues.  Outside the classroom, I stutter, hesitate, and question every move I make because sheer memorization isn’t gonna cut it anymore (yes I understand “gonna” is not proper English). 

Leaving the comforts of the familiar classroom environment to practical scenarios rocked my world.  It has definitely made the Academy more real than ever.  It’s one thing to hear an instructor explain a theory, it’s a whole different animal to put that theory (that you know verbatim per Colorado Revised Statues) to practice. 

At first, moving into attempting to act in a police capacity (faux scenarios of course) seemed contrived. We were given instructions via “dispatch” and we responded accordingly to law enforcement officers acting in the roles assigned to them.  It’s tough to mentally prepare yourself to “arrest” a sworn officer who has been leading our PT sessions or has instructed other various courses.  Once you convince yourself that the situation you are going into is as real as it can get in this environment, you can think a lot more like a cop and put the skills you know into motion.

I’ve said several times before that you can’t get through this with the mind set of “I know everything,” or “I’m infallible,” but I have been a tad hypocritical lately.  Since last I wrote, I have had to take my own advice, eat crow, grab a big-ole slice of humble pie, etc….  I have never been one to claim to be all knowing, but after having so much knowledge thrust upon me in the classroom, I thought I had this on lock down.  Lesson learned. Making the mistakes that I have been allowed to make has been wildly helpful. I’m grateful for the opportunity to mess up in a safe place so that I may have the opportunity to fix what I’ve been made aware of. 

Bottom line: we all make mistakes; it’s how you respond after that makes the difference.  I could allow this to take my morale out or plaster a permanent frown to my face, but that would not only be less than beneficial to my future contacts in this career, but it would make me stagnate.  Take it, learn from it, fix it, drive on.

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