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TRAINEE MARISSA HAYNES WILL NOW PERFORM THE FEAR OF HEIGHTS TEST/ Launa Lorenz Hall List A: My distractions from the endless bullshit of basic training (Today's helpful distractions arefoot related) 1.A new blister on the instep of my left foot popped as we flanked around that last turn. I didn't think even the worst footwear could cause a blister on your instep. 2.As a result ofpopped blister, black wool issue sock is now sticky, and sticking to both boot and blister, sending an interesting shooting pam through my foot at each down step. Very long steps. These guys are fast marchers. 3.The piece of moleskin that I applied as weU as possible m the ten seconds avaUable this morning has abandoned its post due to sweat induced by wool socks m July—Ui Texas of all places—and it's now working itself Ulto a tight ball. "Road Guard out," the sergeant bellows. Thank God I didn't automatically get Road Guard duty, which seemed inevitable since I'm by far the shortest in this interesting little detail, only six of us. But Sergeant here, a new guy I haven't seen, Sergeant Bald Head, let's say, asked for a volunteer. Not me. I'm not looking for extra credit. I lie low. Though that's not as easy here as Ui my flight. Here, I'm the shortest. The only female. Road Guard in. List B: Endless bullshit of basic training (List updatedfor today. Since this list is infinite, Igive you the topfour items only.) 1. Gwen Gwen Gwen. Gwen has honorary top billing on all bullshit lists for the foreseeable future. Gwen, who manages to lock her footlocker open. Couldn't get it unlocked to close it. Gwen, trying to pass me a note Ui the Ethics briefing yesterday. Could she please borrow my pencil sharpener? She lost hers. Thinks this is study hall. Almost got us both a demerit. Gwen, constantly humming the Air Force 146 · The Missouri Review song. Sings it Ui a clear, high soprano every morning before PC, sailing over everyone else's voice. Oh, she loves to sing! Hums it on the way to breakfast, to briefings, on the driU pad. Is she unaware how close her scrunchy tittle lips are to my ears? Thank god I get a break from her eyes on my neck for just a few minutes this morning . 2."Acrophobia," Master Sergeant Bad Perm m the briefing room said, "Acrophobia. Sometimes Known As Hypsophobia." Oh, thank you, that's helpful. She waits a while to say, "Probably Known To Most Of You As Fear Of Heights. You Six Airmen May Be Selected For An Air Force Specialty Code That Will Require You To Work At Heights. This Test WiU Ensure You Have No Pathological Fear." And only a moment before this I thought, gee, I'm away from my flight for once. Wow. To what do I owe the pleasure? 3.Good-bye, desk job. I was just getting used to seeing myself at a desk. Fetching lunch for the Colonel from the BX. A few files, my own computer , a tittle brass key to the supply cabinet. Need a paper ctip? Ho, boy. You've got to talk to Airman Haynes. I can't imagine a job at a height. Me Ui combat boots, doing a pUouette on a high wtie. And Ui the center ring, I present to you Airman Haynes! 4.Master Sergeant Bad Perm raises three red fingernails in the air. I didn't know you could have dragon nails in the Air Force. Another little mystery. She ticks off a string of numbers. "There Are Other Job Codes," she says. "Those Are The MaUi Ones." Oh, thank you, those random numbers are very helpful. She says, "There's Still An Outside Chance You'll Be Assigned A Job At Heights." Sergeant Bald Head calls, "Detail, Halt. At Ease." I don't know exactly where we are. Not that I can see anything, marching at the tail end of a detail of taU guys. AU I can see is a wooden log, like a telephone pole but twice...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-9930
Print ISSN
0191-1961
Pages
pp. 146-153
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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