|The "line up" for the night
Did my 25 minute talk last night in London, Ontario. As soon as I walked into the large elongated rectangular room I knew it would be an issue for a PowerPoint Presentation with the screen nestled at one end. I would only have the first third of the room's attention, the middle third would be tuning in and out and the back third....talking. Well Captain Doug pulled a "speaker's faux pas." I made a gruff comment two thirds of the way through my talk. The chatter proved too distracting. I then tried to back paddle about the comment.
It was about as distracting as a lady who passed out because she had too much to drink in the front row of another talk I did two years ago.
Speakers pick up on the "vib" and for some reason I didn't get it last night. Years ago, I did a "toast to the bride" speech and remember when one gentleman half way through my talk gave me a "thumbs up" signifying "you are on a roll." I always make it a habit to complement the speaker when they return to their table. People don't realize how wound up speakers are. One can never enjoy the meal either because your mind is on the speech. Last night when the other speaker sat down, he said "I'm glad that is over with, now I can relax" and took a large gulp of his rum and coke. Maybe that's what I should have had? LOL
The students as a whole were great and many remembered me when I gave an informal "pep" talk three years ago. I chatted with three and I asked them what they figured their four year degree coupled with flight training cost...about $100,000!
Seems of late, I've been doing some soul searching and after my less than stellar performance last night I've decided to be less "open" in giving talks. Driving for three and half hours (there and back), getting a free meal and a sip of wine and selling one book all for half a tank gas money just isn't cutting it. Plus I had to give up a date with the "boss."
Again, the graduates and the others enrolled in the course were all top notch and if I was doing the hiring, I would hire them all!
Did manage to get a free copy of a book from the professor who recruited me three years ago. She wrote...E-Learning in Aviation
Today...a new day...
After a long night for me, I received a few "pat on the backs today." Actually, one from the student president of the program saying "good job last night." Thanks Grant!
But here's one from a frequent flyer who likes my enRoute stuff:
I'm an avid reader of your blog, and a frequent flyer on AC. I don't do any of the crazy transcontinental flying others do, but I usually do 60-70 segments a year on AC metal...mostly in Canada and quite a bit on the YOW-YYZ-YOW commute. I've been a long time fan of your column in EnRoute and for years I've asked many a SD if you were commanding when I've boarded an A320 hoping for a chance to meet you in person and thank you for sharing some insight to those of us who sit in the back but dreamed at some point in life of sitting up front.
I'm not sure if you know, but there are quite a few posts on the AC forum at FlyerTalk that list having you as the captain of their flight in the "Canadian Celebrity Sightings" post. I'm sure you'll be happy to note that many of us frequent flyers, who talk to flight crews about turns and wheels up time, consider you a celebrity.
Thanks for taking the time in both EnRoute, and your blog, to give propeller heads like me a chance to hear about your experiences and hopefully I'll run into you one of these days.
A New Private pilot:
Hi Doug! After a year and 3 months of being a weekend warrior, I passed my PPL flight test. Talk about a stressful day. You know the drill from forced landings to diverting in bad weather and then of course a real 15kt wind G25 made for fun times. Just some paperwork for transport and I can take passengers!
My ground brief exam was 2 hrs and the flight test was 2.1. Very long and thorough, I had a migraine going home. I was extremely happy, but also hard on myself over some of the errors that I did make (I think I am always too hard on myself).
Thanks for the kick in the butt a few years ago to get going with the flying!!!!
Flying has its ups and downs, financial headaches, days where you don't want to fly because you are having difficulty with a maneuver from the last class (pre solo circuit work trying to land!), days when you are worried to fly because you saw a 152 skid off the runway the week before (not me in that plane!), days when you generally feel like you aren't progressing as an aviator, nights studying for the written exam.... The list goes on and on.... Learning to fly is a huge commitment, and staying current is just as important. Through all these downs in flying, there are way more ups though. I don't need to go through all of them as you know them. All I can say is when I am up there, there's nowhere else I want to be. Learning to fly and sticking with it was the best decision I have ever made.
A frequent follower, Bas, did one hell of a write up on my book. Boy, I sure could have used him last night as my P.R guy. I spent an extra 45 dollars to rush books for my talk and sold one. "Oh well" as they say. THANKS BAS
Tomorrow I teach weather to Air Canada's new hires.