Log Entry 130112.44

My first evening at the Academy was spent with Bairn who very kindly showed me around. I think we both know that we're not going to be inseparable bosom buddies or anything, but that doesn't mean we won't be friends. As she pointed out, we will be sharing a room for the next three months, so the least she could do was help me to settle in.
As we walked through the Academy, males of all species turned and looked at her, but she ignored them all. Bairn obviously enjoys the power she commands, but not to the exclusion of everything else. While she was showing me around, I was the centre of her attention, so we did get to know each other quite well.
Bairn is a forth year student and she doesn't have a boyfriend. She finds men 'quite tiring and a little shallow'. She says that men are good for many things, but rarely make good friends. Naturally, I argued the point on the basis that, if what I had seen so far was anything to go by, she rarely saw them at their best. Orion women produce really strong pheromones that attract the males of most species while giving females a headache. (I suppose, to eliminate the competition). The result is that men in their company are usually completely distracted by them while the women are lying down with a cold compress.
Bairn's medication seems to work well but she still attracts attention. I can't help but wonder though, how will she fare in Starfleet? She will never be able to command a vessel while her crew are more focused upon her than on the approaching Borg cube or whatever. For similar reasons, she would be a liability for any Captain. At some point, I don't doubt, I'll have the opportunity to pose that theory to her. It will be interesting to know her thoughts.
It was too late to eat in the Mess Hall by the time we got back, so Bairn decided we would head into town. There's a lovely little café that she knows where they have a pianist who plays jazz. It was a super place, but I was so tired. As the evening progressed, I began to yawn. She could see I was shattered, so we returned to our quarters and I had an early night.
It took me a while to get to sleep. I had no idea how well I had adjusted to life aboard a starship, or how much I'd miss it. The gentle, almost undetectable hum of the engines and its subtle vibrations. When I did finally get to sleep though, I slept like a log, which was just as well, because the next morning, I had my first lecture and didn't that just bring me down a peg or two!
It was the formal welcome and introduction to the Cadet Development Program: why it had been initiated, how it differed to traditional Academy training and what was expected of us.
As far as the courses are concerned, it is accepted that we all have some prior knowledge acquired through experience that your usual cadet doesn't have, but that we are lacking in the disciplines expected of an Officer. And by disciplines, he didn't mean the ability to do as we are told. We are ambassadors for Starfleet and thus we are expected to behave with dignity and decorum at all times (no more scuffles in the cargo bay then). There are ways to conduct ourselves and our business, and ways to deal with enlisted staff who may not be officers but are often more qualified in their field than we will be in ours. We will need to recognise these crewmen and then utilise them to best advantage.
That we had come from enlisted ranks ourselves meant nothing other than that we had failed to achieve our maximum potential in life so far. If we had been successful Crewmen, we would already have attained the rank of Petty Officer with a specialism and already earned the respect of our fellow officers. He went on to explain that Petty Officers were also being offered a chance to further their careers via the Officer Development Programme that was running alongside this one.
I think that told us quite succinctly, where our place was. I was thus doubly shocked when I saw Rutter sitting at the back of the room. That just wasn't right. He IS an officer! Despite everything, he has earned that rank and still holds it. It should have been recognised. If he needed lecturing, then it should have been done on a one-to-one basis, not in front of everybody else! It made me quite angry and, much to my own surprise, I suddenly felt quite bad that I hadn't correctly addressed him as 'sir' back on the Drakonia.
As to our timetables, we need to gain knowledge in a wide range of subjects and, with only three months at the Academy each time we come, our agendas are much heavier than the traditional cadet's. We have much to learn while we are here and will be furnished with enough material and knowledge to continue our studies while at our postings. A lot of our practical training will also be done aboard our respective ships.
With regard to what exactly I will be studying over the next four years, I have an extensive range of both core and ancillary subjects. This first stint at the Academy is focusing on the Skills of Leadership & Command and Starfleet History, but will also introduce me to my other subjects:


• Xeno Studies, Anthropology and Archaeology

• Communication Skills & Techniques

• Understanding Phonology & Xenolinguistics

• Astro-, Xeno- and Exobiology

• Psychology

• Astro Studies, Stellar Cartography and Temporal Sciences

• Weapons Training

• Tactical Analysis and Training

These subjects will be studied both at the Academy and while serving on the Earhart. However, there are a number of subjects that I will learn solely aboard the Earhart before being tested at the Academy. These are:

·         Hand-to-hand combat
·         Survival Strategies
·         Emergency Medical Course
·         Shuttle Pilot Course
·         Engineering Extension Course (which includes basic theory in Subspace Geometry, Warp Design, Plasma Physics, Quantum Chemistry, Robotics and Transporter Theory).

We are also to 'be fully informed with regard to' (that means learn by heart) The Prime Directive and Starfleet General Orders and Regulations.
My feelings regarding the project are now mixed. I am both filled with excitement and daunted. I was, thus, very pleased to hear that these subjects are not set in stone. If we find ourselves drawn into, or particularly adept at, a specific field, that we should discuss the matter with our Academy Mentor, or Ship's Training Officer. It is not unusual for a Cadet, upon learning new skills, to find their niche, and Starfleet are eager to take advantage of these talents. Changing subjects is always an option.

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