Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Looking for my lost shaker of salt

Wasting away again in Margaritaville...

To bring you up to speed I am currently sitting by the pool at a lovely Bed & Breakfast in the FL Keys, it is wonderful! The temp is a chilly 78 degrees with a light breeze. We heard from friends they received snow back in KS today! That makes me smile.

My pal 007 is currently reclining and watching clouds. It's a hard life. Did I mention I'm here for work. Yep, gotta love work travel. To be fair I did indeed do some work today all day. Granted we moved the meeting outside to soak up some sea air but still it was work. Add to that the goofballs I have to spend my work time with. Ugh. We got most of the things we need to get done, which means I should have a short day tomorrow. I'm crossing my fingers on that one

In case anyone is wondering, the academy nomination interviews went very well this past Saturday. Whenever I feel that the younger generation is being lazy I get to meet these dynamic kids and I must eat my words. I am happy for that.

Who stands out? A few kids. One young man in particular. He did not make it into an academy last year but instead headed to K-State, joined ROTC, and reapplied this year. He also picked an engineering major. I interviewed him last year and boy what a year makes! He was so READY and any of the academies will be very lucky to have him. He of course wants West Point. When our panel of judges reconvened he was my groups top pick and I think will be the Congresswoman's topic pick as well. We really sold him to the rest of the judges he impressed us that much.

Then there was the kid, always one in each bunch the little nerd just like me. This kid had it in the bag though and stole my heart from the moment he walked in. He had on an astronaut tie. Yep, that impressed me. I'm a dork what can I say. The reason it impressed me was he was daring enough to let his personality shine through. I like that and I can respect that. He of course wants to work for NASA and go into space. Not a bad dream. He is hoping for MIT but realistic in their statistics for admissions so he is also aiming for West Point. They want him and he's already accepted just needs a nomination, which of course he will be getting!

The final kid was a bittersweet case. I hate when a sterotype enters the room. I really hate it and my fellow panel judge who reminds me a lot like BD brought it up. The other judge is Pete and he's a dynamic individual with humble beginings. He now works at the Pentagon. So having Pete on the panel is a ton of fun for me and it also leaves no room for stereotypes from our candidates. He won't tolerate

So in walks our kid and he's dressed in some kinda pimp suit. It wasn't good and Pete was already annoyed. Then the kid only speaks above a wisper, not good. We tried to talk with him and put our "issues" aside but it wasn't happening. Then the kid sealed the interview when he asked if he could go pro out of the academy. Yea, it can happen 007 informed me. However, thats not what any of the academies are looking for. Never mind the fact that this kid doesn't come from any impressive school, he's not being recruited so this "idea" is just that an idea.

Pete tried to reason with the kid but he wasn't about to hear any of it. Sad because his attitude got in the way of one hell of a mentor. Pete still gave him his card with the hopes that the kid would wake-up one day. No, he will not receive a nomination. He's not ready nor does he have a clue what it means. That was our last interviewee. So we ended on a sour note but it still was a great experience and I am very proud I got to be a part of it all.

Guess tomorrow we will have to check out the beach and see if I can turn another color than red... probably not likely.

A photo opt down in Key West. Yep that is where we flew into after three plane rides. Oh, air travel is so much fun these days!

It's 007 and his very own palm tree! To bad he has to leave it behind in the keys.

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