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Offline RadicalBacon

I'm dink
« on: Nov 23, 2009, 03:07 »
I'm at NPTU Charleston, and I can't seem to undink myself. I've been chasing the curve practically since week one. I don't know how the other students do it. I've had a rough time standing watch, choking my first time. Whenever I go in for a checkout, it seems like I've forgotten how to talk. Half the time I ambush the staff, write the applicable knowledge on the board while they're on lunch or smoke break. They come back, read, ask a few questions, I get the checkout. But that's not really preparing me for board.

There's been other stuff, like someone breaking into my house, that's beyond my control and just adds gravy to the mashed potatoes of stress.

Anyway, I'm considering that I'm going about this the wrong way. My classmates have been little help but I'd wager my eye teeth that someone can offer some kind of guidance that's useful.

On a side note, now staff can no longer call dink students dink. Apparently it hurt someone's feelings. *eyeroll*

JsonD13

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Re: I'm dink
« Reply #1 on: Nov 23, 2009, 07:00 »
Why the heck are you on nukeworker at 3am on a school night?

JustinHEMI05

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Re: I'm dink
« Reply #2 on: Nov 23, 2009, 07:14 »
That is a good question. Is there something else going on that you are up at 3am? Are you playing video games or something?

Can you be more specific about your issue? Are you having a knowledge issue or performance issue or both? Are you afraid of the plant?

For watch standing, I recommend you use your off watch time to not only get check outs, but to walk down the watch station you will be performing next. Look ahead to what you are doing for that shift, and go grab the procedures and practice them, without really touching anything of course! But don't stop at routine procedures such as start up or shutdown, practice the CPs and any applicable actions you may have.

Along with that, get very familiar with the logs. You can't recognize abnormal if you don't know what normal is.

Don't be afraid of the plant. IMO, a person that is afraid to operate is just as bad as someone that doesn't know how to operate. That is not to say that you should operate with reckless abandon, but you can't be afraid to turn a switch when you know its time to turn it. If you do have a sense of fear, the only way to over come it is with knowledge and practice. So that brings me back to the walk downs. If you have to put in extra time to come in and get familiar to the point where you are not afraid, then do so.

I hope some of this might be helpful.

+K for recognizing you have a problem and seeking out the help you know you need.

Good luck and keep us posted!

Offline RadicalBacon

Re: I'm dink
« Reply #3 on: Nov 23, 2009, 09:25 »
That is a good question. Is there something else going on that you are up at 3am? Are you playing video games or something?

Categorically no. I don't have a tv or a computer. This is from my iPhone. 
Swings. I got home at about 0215 because I stayed after to get help.

Quote
Can you be more specific about your issue? Are you having a knowledge issue or performance issue or both? Are you afraid of the plant?

I think in pictures. Talking and writing is like a foreign language. And I'm a poor artist, so it's difficult to draw what I see inside my head. So I come off looking like I dont' know anything.

I think of the plant as a baby that doesn't know how to take care of itself. A big, possibly angry baby, but still a baby.

Quote
For watch standing, I recommend you use your off watch time to not only get check outs, but to walk down the watch station you will be performing next. Look ahead to what you are doing for that shift, and go grab the procedures and practice them, without really touching anything of course! But don't stop at routine procedures such as start up or shutdown, practice the CPs and any applicable actions you may have.

This is good advice I have already taken. Occasionally, my staff advisor will run the mock-up maneuvering to simulate a casualty. I take the immediate actions, but I have to force myself to think of the right words to say as I'm doing it. It'd be bad juju to full scram the reactor without letting the EOOW know why.

Quote
Along with that, get very familiar with the logs. You can't recognize abnormal if you don't know what normal is.

Don't be afraid of the plant. IMO, a person that is afraid to operate is just as bad as someone that doesn't know how to operate. That is not to say that you should operate with reckless abandon, but you can't be afraid to turn a switch when you know its time to turn it. If you do have a sense of fear, the only way to over come it is with knowledge and practice. So that brings me back to the walk downs. If you have to put in extra time to come in and get familiar to the point where you are not afraid, then do so.

Fear. My parents raised me to be a fraid of everything. That doesn't go away overnight. It's also better than it used to be.

Quote
I hope some of this might be helpful.

+K for recognizing you have a problem and seeking out the help you know you need.

Good luck and keep us posted!
I'll be sure to do so. Time to go back in.

Offline goobs22xx

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Re: I'm dink
« Reply #4 on: Nov 23, 2009, 10:08 »
Quote
I take the immediate actions, but I have to force myself to think of the right words to say as I'm doing it.

This reflects on your study habits. One of the things I try to reinforce with my students when preparing for casualty checkouts/drill performance is that it isn't as simple as memorizing a list of switches to manipulate of valves to turn. If all you have done is memorize that list when it comes time to act everything out, you're bound to not perform as well as you could. As you study, you need to visualize the way things actually need to occur, to include all of those communications.

I think of it as analogous to hitting a baseball or making a basket in basketball. To be successful, it isn't enough to prepare by studying a list consisting of:

Initial Conditions:
1) Holding bat
2) In batter's box on appropriate side

Immediate Actions:
1) Watch ball
2) Hit ball

Follow up Actions:
1) Run to first base

One of the most fundamental lessons I learned in baseball was to actually visualize how I was going to do everything and then practice when it didn't "count". If you were never a sports guy, relate it to something that you're familiar with (I was a musician myself, and there are many parallels to be made WRT quals there as well).

As you find yourself better prepared for checkouts, you'll find progress easier to make. As an instructor, I have to spend more time with the guys that I know to not prepare as well to make sure that they're getting all the information that they need. The guys that do well and know how to study find points easier to get because I know that I don't have to go as in depth in a lot of areas.

Offline Neutron_Herder

Re: I'm dink
« Reply #5 on: Nov 23, 2009, 12:27 »
I had similar problems while I was initially qualifying at prototype, and then on my first ship.  What it all came down to was that I was memorizing things instead of learning them...  They're two separate things.  You can be successful through the classroom portions of the pipeline by simply shoving numbers and drawings into your head and then regurgitating them on demand.  Once you get into the plant that just doesn't work anymore.

Spend some time learning what the systems do.  Don't ignore the initial sections of the chapters on systems where it discusses the purpose and the interrelation with the other systems.  That's really valuable knowledge, and if you can understand what the system does, it's easier to come up with a functioning one line diagram of the system.

Don't be too worried about freezing up on watch the first time...  You're definitely not the only one who has had that happen.  With time comes confidence.

When reviewing procedures, make sure you read the principles associated with each step.  If they don't make sense, ask someone!  I'd recommend asking a knowledgeable staff member, and not a fellow student though.  Your classmates are under just as much pressure as you are to qualify, and they might not understand it either.  Once you know the system, the "why's" for the steps become more apparent.

When you're on watch during casualty drills, remember that you have time to react...  Not a lot, but there is time.  You'll notice that 10 seconds is a lot longer when there's a bunch of alarms going off than it is when you're sitting in front of a computer!  It can feel like an eternity.  Use that time to evaluate what's going on and make the correct decisions for immediate actions.  Then be very deliberate with your actions.  You don't want to make a casualty worse by turning the wrong switch.

It sounds like your staff advisor is really trying to help.  Use that time, and again don't be afraid to ask questions.  If your advisor has been around a while they'll be able to help you find a good way to make reports without tripping over yourself.  It just takes time and practice.

Eventually the light will come on, and things will just make sense.  That's a really good day!  Just start with the basics...  If you know what things do and how they do it everything else will fall into place.

Good luck!
"If everybody's thinking alike, somebody isn't thinking" - Gen. George S. Patton

Offline debib

Re: I'm dink
« Reply #6 on: Nov 23, 2009, 08:47 »
I sent you a PM with some information that may be helpful.


Offline LivinginParadise

Re: I'm dink
« Reply #7 on: Nov 23, 2009, 09:10 »
The best advice I could give you, as a prior student that was Dinq in off-crew and ended up qualifying first on my crew, is that you don't want to be that guy that sits in the TA all day.  Those guys were perpetually dinq, or close to it.

Here's what I did. Systems not withstanding.

I bought a notebook, and went through and gave every casualty a different page. on the page, I would write the immediate actions, a brief synopsis of the follow up actions, in common sense form. And then I'd read over the WHY side of the page, then close the CP's and write off in teh margins the WHY. I would also write off in the margins any other casualties that were initiated or that my actions initiated.  At the bottom of the page, I had a short two or three word list of everything that each watchstation should be doing.

I spent probably three days doing this for every casualty on my qual card, and then I took my qual card and that binder with me everywhere I went.  I spent virtually all my time on the boat either studying, or talking to instructors to see what amplifying information they could supply me, getting checkouts or watching other students perform casualties.  The next time I sat in the TA, I was studying for board.

If you're not in a check out, you should be waiting for a checkout. if you're waiting for a checkout, you should be studying as well.

It seemed to me that the students who went about the prototype experience with a notebook of some form faired better than those who didn't. I thought it helped because when I did it that way, I only had to translate from the technical writing to common english once, vice every time I needed to look at the information. (the last 10 pages also had every specification for the various systems, because lets face it. you have no choice but to memorize the specs.)

Offline debib

Re: I'm dink
« Reply #8 on: Nov 23, 2009, 09:24 »
At some point though, you get it and the information sticks.  The danger can be that someone who is perpetually dinq may be a 'star' down the road
or an asset to the crew.  RadicalBacon said that he thinks in pictures, which is a 'slower' thinking method when words are not put on top of it because
other people cannot tell whether you are learning or not.  The notebook idea is great but I hope some of those people that were in dinq land for a long
period of time did not give up on the big picture.

Offline Neutron Whisperer

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Re: I'm dink
« Reply #9 on: Nov 24, 2009, 06:47 »
You're not going to get any earth-shattering advice in this forum.  Use the staff at NPTU, they're trained to help you.  If you're not getting help from one guy, ask another.  Keep asking until you get what you need.
Disclaimer: there is no "tone" to my post.

Offline Smooth Operator

Re: I'm dink
« Reply #10 on: Nov 24, 2009, 08:05 »
Sitting in the cube memorizing is not a good method if you don't get it conceptually. Regurgitiating IAs won't do you any good if the Staff starts digging in to your level of knowledge because it will easily show you don't really know anything. You need to balance the rote memorization with time in that big training aid they call an MTU.

Let me give you a recent example of what I mean. I recently took an annual commericial nuclear exam and although they are multiple choice I find them just a difficult  as my old Navy exams. When I was going through initial training, it was mostly memorization of my notes and I did well, averaging over 95 per exam. All I did was study, because that was what I was paid to do.

Then I spent a year in the plant and had less time to study and was only afforded a few weeks a year to study without distraction.

I then took an annual exam and during the test I now had a new reference for my answer strategy, the plant. I could visualize what I did during procedures and trip procedures. I had now a year of OTJ training to make educated guesses when I was not sure.

The point I am making is get in the plant and put visuals to the immediate actions, go find all the things, even the non-inrate things. You will be amazed how much more fluid you will be able to discuss your duties and answer test questions.

Offline RadicalBacon

Thanks for playing
« Reply #11 on: Dec 01, 2009, 05:49 »
I've been denuked.

Goodnight, everybody

JustinHEMI05

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Re: I'm dink
« Reply #12 on: Dec 01, 2009, 08:40 »
I am very sorry to hear that. Would you mind sharing details as to why? If not, that is fine, of course. I just hate when someone that knows they have a problem and are working hard to correct it are given up on. I have seen many people like that go on to be terrific operators.

In any case, good luck and keep us posted and remember that even if you are not a nuke, there is still a wealth of information and resources here at nukeworker for you to use, so don't disappear.

Offline RadicalBacon

Re: I'm dink
« Reply #13 on: Dec 04, 2009, 03:39 »
Not for lack of effort, but for lack of ability. Spending an average of 14 hours a day, with something like 150 hours more than I needed to be there helped me.

My dad died. He had a heart attack at the same time I was filling out my disenrollment papers. And mom doesn't know how to send a red cross message. This week sucks.

JustinHEMI05

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Re: I'm dink
« Reply #14 on: Dec 04, 2009, 07:05 »
I am sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers during this trying time.

Offline debib

Re: I'm dink
« Reply #15 on: Dec 04, 2009, 10:35 »
I lost my dad at a younger age too.  Please make sure you have support at this difficult time.  In my life, I've seen many
friends feel lost and think they have nowhere to turn but your real friends will support you.

Can I ask you what kind of 'ability' the staff thought you didn't have?

Offline Smooth Operator

Re: I'm dink
« Reply #16 on: Dec 04, 2009, 12:17 »
My thoughts are with you in this very emotional and stressful time.

Offline goobs22xx

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Re: I'm dink
« Reply #17 on: Dec 04, 2009, 10:31 »
Can I ask you what kind of 'ability' the staff thought you didn't have?

Can I ask you what kind of answer you're expecting here?


Offline debib

Re: I'm dink
« Reply #18 on: Dec 05, 2009, 12:08 »
I just feel terrible for RadicalBacon and hope he doesn't think he is unable to do this job in the future.  That is
why I asked about 'ability'.  There was nothing more than that.  I hope things get better for him in the future.

Thanks for the question.  Have a good holiday season.


Offline mooredee13

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Re: I'm dink
« Reply #19 on: Dec 07, 2009, 10:04 »
I've known quite a few good people who didn't make it through the Nuke program. Nobody succeeds at every undertaking 100% of the time; what matters is that you didn't roll over and quit without a fight, so you have zero to be ashamed of.

Take it as experience, put in the effort to excel at whatever you choose to do in life, and you'll do just fine.

Good luck with whatever you do and I'm very sorry to hear about your loss.

Dave

Offline Neutron Whisperer

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Re: I'm dink
« Reply #20 on: Dec 11, 2009, 08:10 »
I've known quite a few good people who didn't make it through the Nuke program. Nobody succeeds at every undertaking 100% of the time; what matters is that you didn't roll over and quit without a fight, so you have zero to be ashamed of.

Take it as experience, put in the effort to excel at whatever you choose to do in life, and you'll do just fine.

Good luck with whatever you do and I'm very sorry to hear about your loss.

Dave

A book "Failing Forward" makes the point that failure is not something to be feared, that it's inevitable.  Everyone fails now and again.  What matters is how one deals with that failure.
Disclaimer: there is no "tone" to my post.

 


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