Last night, I received a text from my friend Gandil that he's leaving today and will start his 8 or 10 month life at sea.
Here at my workplace, cadets waiting for their onboard assignment are assigned to different departments to help out. (Think student assistants in the university.)
The cadets are rotated weekly in the different departments. I'd like to think that cadets who get assigned to our department learn more during their week's stay with us.
It must be the teacher in me. I always make sure that the cadets don't just do clerical work or act as gofers (gofer this or gofer that) when they get assigned to us. They learn a bit of Photoshop, a bit of MS office, a bit of photography and video coverage. (Friends from other departments tease me that the cadets get in touch with their creative arts and crafts side when they get assigned to our department.)
So by the time the cadets have moved on to a different department, I'd like to think they have learned something new and more importantly, they've become friends.
It's actually nice because whenever we get to see each other in the hallway or on the road, we'd greet each other warmly and ask how things are doing.
When they get their onboard assignments, those I've become really good friends with proudly tell me and just like Gandil, even say goodbye. On my part, I couldn't be happier for them.
I don't remember how many cadets have already been assigned to us, but there are those like Gandil who I remember because of their attitude towards learning and their general disposition. They are the ones who I'm quite sure would rise to become officers.
Good luck, Gandil, and see you after a year.