Sunday, 27 November 2011

Consolidation and Thanks Giving

This week we concluded our five weeks of ground school for this module. We now have one week of Consolidation starting tomorrow followed by a study week and if all goes well during the mock exams the real IAA sitting in just over two weeks time.

This week was also a time for the United States to celebrate one of it's biggest holidays. As someone who lives in the UK we are well aware of the tradition but not a nation who takes part was a whole. So to be here in the US on such a day, I was hoping for an insight into the 'pre-Christmas' holiday - something a number of us certainly got! More on that later.

The time comes again where we must spend many an hour sat in front of the computer and books revising for the forth coming examinations. Round 2 is almost upon us as General Navigation kicks off tomorrow morning bright and early at 9am.

As it was eight weeks ago we all sit Consolidation exams to determine whether we are indeed ready to sit the IAA tests. We will be put forward for any or all of the subjects we achieve a score of 80% or above on.

The Consolidation papers take place over one extra day compared to the IAA running from tomorrow morning (Monday) to Thursday afternoon. All three modules will sit any of their respective fourteen subjects they're currently studying for. The results are usually distributed pretty swiftly within hours.

This week I have General Navigation on Monday, Radio Navigation on Tuesday, Flight Planning on Wednesday and the two Communication papers on Thursday.

Following this, assuming all are passed, we will have ten days to swat some more before the finals the week before leaving for Christmas.

As mentioned above, Thanks Giving is a big day on the American calendar where all families come together (maybe for the first time in twelve months) to say thanks, whether that be to their family, their friends or through their beliefs. 

Eight students from my class including myself were lucky enough to be able to attend a real traditional Thanks Giving in the home of a big American family. With what must have been over forty people coming in and out all afternoon the food production was run like clockwork. It was great to meet so many different people from so many different backgrounds who had all come together at one time.  

The evening was concluded by all gathering around in one room (I'd never imagine a family being so big!) to each say what they were thankful for. Overall it was a fantastic day and I can't thank enough the family for their hospitality.

The day following Thanks Giving is known over here as 'Black Friday.' Another national holiday (for those who don't work in retail anyway!) where the nation almost comes to a standstill...outside of their nearest superstore anyway. The country goes into lock down with consumers snapping up what I as a European can only describe as eye-watering cheap deals. Seeing people camping outside of Best Buy on Thanks Giving with tents it's the extent some will go to to make big savings and get their early Christmas shopping done. 

Needless to say I also took part in this tradition - it would after all be rude not to!

So...back to the books I go - less than twenty four hours to go...


I'm not wanting to make a habit of these bottom post-blog comments but I think it's only right to highlight the sad news today of the death of one of the Premier League's all time greatest players; Gary Speed.

The Welsh football (soccer) manager was this morning found dead at his home, believed to have taken his own life.

I grew up with the Premier League and the entertainment it has brought to billions around the world. Up to only a couple of years no other player had contributed more playing time to the spectacle that is the greatest sporting league on the planet than Gary Speed - he will be a great loss to the game.


  1. Excellent reporting of your exploits so far GS.

  2. Glad you like our American traditions! We flew to Phoenix Az from Dallas Tx for thanksgiving with family - and not on the airlines! Fun, fun fun!

  3. Hi D.B.

    It was a great experience and something that I as a Brit have never come across before!