Thursday, 8 September 2011

September 8th 2011

And so the last day of welcome presentations has come to an end. Tomorrow we have a team building event, and then proper classes start on Monday. I’ve got a trip to Greenwich on Saturday and a parental visit on Sunday (they’re bringing me a few more of my belongings, which I hope will brighten up my room a bit). No time to rest! I’m planning to work a bit on my writing over the weekend too, that is if I’m not distracted by Co-op visits and walks along the beach...which may surprisingly end up in a pub.

Some of the presentations today were really interesting – notably one from a captain about his entire career at sea, which involved some cracking photos of 90s attire, and one from a couple of Police Community Support Officers. For non-Brits, these are people who work closely with the police and are supposed to be a more visible local presence. They have some powers but are mainly around to try to keep the peace. We all assumed the presentation would be along the lines of “don’t drink in public, don’t cycle on the pavement, don’t annoy the neighbours” which was of course included, but we were also warned about alcohol, rape and their consequences and made to listen to a 999 call from a girl who’d been assaulted and didn’t have a clue where she was. I think many of us were slightly taken aback at the seriousness, but it was pointed out to us that their examples were all things which had happened to cadets and locals recently, so... fair enough, I guess. Alarming to hear the statistics, to say the least, and it does make me worry about the young age of some cadets and what they’re being exposed to by being away from home for extended periods. By no means do I want to think or act like a parent but when I was sixteen – even eighteen - although I thought I could handle everything fine, I was so unaware of (or unconcerned about) my own limits when it came to things such as alcohol. You can’t help but hope they’ll realise that just because something’s available, it isn’t necessary.

Onto brighter things. Tomorrow’s team building event is paintballing, which I’ve never done before. Those who have are warning everyone that it hurts, so I’m planning to have no bare flesh! I’m sure it will be fun, and it sounds like a nice (?) end to a week of meeting lots of new people. Although I can’t remember most of their names.

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