Not dead. I would have written something this week, but there hasn't been much to tell.
Started the last two classes last week, vessel ops and union education. Vessel ops is very interesting, but very practical as well, without much wisdom to impart on anyone. The first day we went over all the different types of hand tools, most of which I had seen before, but learned the proper names and intended functions of each wrench, hammer and screwdriver variation. Tuesday we learned knots and splicing. Wednesday we moored and cast off the decrepit tug boat the school keeps in harbor. Thursday we learned about the sea project we all have to do on our phase 2 vessel in order to make it to phase 3. Friday we studied valves.
So far, it is the most interesting and useful class, but not much to share with anyone.
The other class is union education, which I have divided in my head into two parts. Last week was the easy part, going over the structure of the union, the benefits of union membership, and what the union requires of us in order to fund those benefits. Next week is going to be the high blood pressure week, in which I will practice keeping my mouth shut as a fantastically arrogant administrator lectures us on the history of trade unionism in America with a focus on the SIU. The little taste we have already gotten suggests that the story is, "evil corporations exploit, oppress, and enslave workers, but our union leaders served as Jesus analogues to suffer for our 40 hour workweek". Not that sailors get a 40 hour workweek.
I can assure everyone who is, apparently, worried about it that as soon as I know what I am shipping I will post details. Nothing happened this week, but it all happens next week. The new class comes in on Monday, we should get our shipping information (or an idle notice) around Tuesday or midweek, then on Wednesday we have the physical fitness test and we all go to Walmart to buy whatever extras we may need for the journey and have our unofficial farewell dinner at a genuine fast food restaurant, Thursday we take the union ed final, Friday morning is the Final Final exam covering the whole last three months, and Friday afternoon we go around getting all our paperwork and settling any accounts.
As for where I will be shipping, I have no idea. We have a pair of pathological liars in the class who keep claiming that commandant said this or that, every one of which has been complete bunk. Some say that we will be going to the cruise ship because the last few classes have all gone to the cruise ship. Some say we will all get cargo ships because it is "shipping season", but as far as I am concerned, I worry about what needs to be done today and am perfectly content to deal with tomorrow tomorrow.