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classing up

Right now, I’m in a bubble. This is just one of those inexplicable absurdities of flight school: as flight training is very expensive and very perishable, one would expect to be rushed through as quickly as possible. Instead, there is a mandatory, months-long wait between finishing primary and beginning training in your advanced aircraft. It’s been institutionalized to the point that upon beginning the bubble, people are automatically assigned to the funeral detail for 30 days, at which point they are automatically removed. This keeps that detail staffed fairly without ever risking anyone’s flight training; there is no chance that the bubble will ever be shorter than that.

I had been proceeding up until now with the expectation that I would join my class within a week or two of Christmas. That was fine, if annoyingly long; it allowed me to sign up for the JLPT on the assumption that with nothing better to do with my time, I could study Japanese.

I went today to see the cadre member in charge of scheduling; if my start date were a week or two earlier than I had expected, I wanted to see if I could delay it until after the test. Instead, I received a surprise: the unofficial estimate by the man who will eventually make the final decision is that I will class up on October 10. This means that I’m likely to finish flight training by the end of January, and graduate from flight school perhaps a month after that.

This is great news, in the sense that it means that I’ll probably be out of Fort Rucker months before I had expected. On the other hand, it makes it unlikely that I’ll be able to take the JLPT. The universal word is that you have to study harder for your advanced aircraft than you ever did in primary. Consequently, there will barely be time to sleep each night, let alone study up in a foreign language. I could possibly switch tests and take the level 4 after two weeks of not studying Japanese; I’d expect to pass, but it seems kind of pointless.

Until I actually get a finalized start date, I’ll keep studying. Even if nothing else, I do enjoy learning the Japanese language. Still, I can’t help but regret yet another missed opportunity to get some sort of formal qualification in it.

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