Carefree hours, and a touch of holiday spirit
This past week has been one of the most satisfying ones so far this year. I do not know what it was, but everything seemed to go right. Let me start with Saturday. After a long wait and much anticipation, HITS finally had its first range day of the year. This caused a lot of us to all but jump for joy, since it meant we would finally be shooting the pistols we had been mock-practicing with for months. The range was in Barre, and took nearly an hour to get there, but the wait was well worth it. Just to get out from Norwich is a welcome opportunity is well appreciated by any Rook, and to do so for shooting was probably one of the better reasons. I didn’t break any records at the range, but I was happy to see that I still knew how to shoot a pistol fairly accurately, as well as being very familiar with operating it. I think my instructor was a bit surprised that I managed to close the slide by tapping on the magazine, despite what we were told to do. Of course, being at the range wasn’t all firearms: My group successfully executed an L-shaped ambush on the next group arriving in the vans with snowballs. Needless to say, they were a bit astonished that this was actually happening. But, what else would you expect from a bunch of recruits just given a taste of freedom? Once we got back, we watched what is probably the mandatory movie for HITS: SWAT. No matter what, it wants us to get up, kick down a door, and clear a room. Of course, the theme song helps with that!
On Sunday, I did something I hadn’t done in years: Christmas caroling. That’s right, apparently the Rev gets a lot of people, Corps and civilian alike, to go out caroling for Christmas. I didn’t know about it at first; in fact, I had just been intending to go to Catholic Mass that night until I heard what the Rev was doing. I figured, “Why not? It’s not like I’m doing anything.” So, off I went, and I have to say, I think it was worth it. It might seem odd that I would enjoy something like that, but we laughed, told stories, and just got to go out into the community and bring them a bit of holiday cheer. Of course, Mrs. Rev’s cookies were one heck of an incentive for a lot of people to get out, but I’ll just chalk that one up to coincidence!
Now that finals have begun, I find myself slowly slipping into a relaxed mood. I normally wouldn’t do this, but the campus has all but shut down now. Truth be told, I like it. It gives all of us, cadre and freshmen alike, a chance to recharge and focus on academics without having to deal with other things. Well, we do having morning formation, a change from last year, but only a minor one. We do it every weekday; why should this week be any different?
I cannot wait to see my family again. My cousin is coming home from Naval Station Great Lakes, where she is in A school for Electronics; her brother, the musician of the family; my mother and father, who will be getting gifts this year, despite having to wrack my brain without picking theirs; and my friends, who I haven’t seen in a while and am eager to meet. All we have to do is focus on the present, get done what needs to be done, and then disappear.
Safety and Peace,