09 December 2005

Definition of Success

I'm bummed out about my Mod C & Hazmat test. I just can't come to terms with a grade in the 80s. I really just need to get over myself, but oh well. I think I set my standards too high.

I read a quote today that stated "Success is whatever you think it is. No one else's definition is worth anything. Only you can decide whether you succeeded." It made me think long and hard. A lot of times I do base my success off of what other people think of me. It is nice to get a pat on the back; and every once in a while I can accept the praise. Other times, people say "good job," but all I can think of "it wasn't that great" or "I definitely could have done better." I'm not sure what I can do to make myself realize that I'm doing okay, that I'm still new at this job, and nobody can be perfect all the time. I'm always really good at reassuring everyone else, but I'm not so good at doing the same for myself-something to work on I suppose.

Things happen for a reason. I will do the very best on my exams tomorrow that I can. I am really wigging out about them right now. I have been staring at my ERG (Emergency Response Guidebook) for about an hour now: trying to learn all the placards, the hazard classification system (and the divisions within each classification), the different ways to identify railcars, trailers, and tankers, the container types for different classes of materials.....I'm exhausted. I think the only thing I can remember for sure is the number to call in case of a hazmat emergency: 9-1-1, use the thumb rule, then 1-800-CHEMTREC. Damn. I wish I didn't have to take both these tests tomorrow. I've definitely got the thumb rule down-can I just test out on that? I promise I'll put a pair of binoculars in my car.

Mod C is another hassle, another story. I have a zillion NFPA codes to remember- I still have to go through the chapters covered in this mod to be sure I definitely know the codes covered. Other than that there really wasn't much to this mod. That is kind of the scary part. The less material-the more detail you need to know. Basically we covered: Fire prevention/pub ed, incident command, alarms/communications, ropes & knots, and terrorism awareness/ FF survival. Way less material than either of the previous modules. I will probably be up all night studying.

There once was another quote that I lived by, but today it is not making my situation any easier. "The problems of today will only be solved when we resolve ourselves to focus on tomorrow." The only problem with that is just that....today's problems are tomorrow!!!

I should probably stop jibber-jabbering and study, but I probably need this break so that I don't completely freak out and end up walking around the apartment complex, in the snow, naked, reciting NFPA codes....ha, ha. Very funny.

Not to worry-I will just light some candles and try to relax, read a book (not a school book) for a few minutes, and then get back to work.


Yeah, so I just tried to light a candle and almost burned my finger off. Ouch. You know, those candles in a jar, that you have to reach an inch inside it to get to the wick....yeah, I tried to use a lighter (a mini-lighter at that) and totally burned my thumb. I think I'm getting a blister :( What an ass.

So much for the relaxation. The candles are lit though, as is my finger, and I believe I have finally wasted enough of the precious time (now only 10 hours until my exams) messing around and procrastinating.

I do have some good news though....I stayed in a holiday inn express last night.....No. Actually the good news is this: whether I get an 80 or a 100 on the exams tomorrow I will still be a firefighter when this is all over with. As they say: whether you graduate at the top or at the bottom of your class, you still graduate as a firefighter. I guess that's true. The count down to graduation is now four days. Wow.

We have one more practical before graduation. We are having live burns at the ComEd facility in Zion on Sunday. We will just be burning pallets and hay, etc. in the burn towers, but fun all the same.

I'm still not even sure I will be able to get my car unstuck to get to the exam tomorrow morning...shit. Hopefully I will, considering the test is an hour away in Mundelein. And I sure hope we don't get anymore snow tonight to slow my progress anymore. Okay, now that I'm done being completely pessimistic, I'm gonna go study :)


Blogger Craving A Change said...

You're absolutely right that you can't always be perfect, but it's only a failure if you don't learn from it. Just the fact that you're thinking about it and wanting to set high standards says to me that you're going to be a kickass firefighter when it's all over.

Good luck! :: hugs :: I'm sure you're going to do great!

Blogger Sabine said...

I know how you feel with setting your standards to high. I am the same way. There are 2 subjects, where if i just pass the tests then I am happy, but with the rest, I have to get a really good grade, like and A to be proud of myself. Even if other people complitment me on how well I did, most of the time I'm like, ya, right,I sucked. LOL. I like the quote. I need to apply that to my life. THanks for your advice on the blogger links. I got the links to show up, now I just need to get them to lead you to the actual website. Good luck on the test.


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