Sunday, April 21, 2013

Month 8 Day 20

Notebook Entry
21 Reports given, questioning authority, right to speak, Duty Combined Combat Operations Center, Convoy Practice, two map classes, Reception, Staging Onward Movement and Integration done. Linguist Loyalty.

Journal Entry
Continued listening to Outliers. Gladwell brought up an interesting point. He said that for most people with high-IQs you just need to be smart enough, you don’t need to be the smartest guy around. The thing that can really make a difference (in addition to the 10000 hours) is what type of environment you were raised in. For lots of kids from poor families they don’t get a full understanding of self-worth, the willingness to speak to superiors as people, not just resign themselves to whatever they are told. The middle class kids, even after stupid behavior, know how to get things done with people It reminded me of Capt Nowak and me. He grew up really poor. For him the rank is the only thing that matters. He will bow to someone of superior rank in almost a second and expects the same of those around him. He knows the emotions of those around him, but in the long run he has a hard time getting them to do what he wants except for direct subordinates through yelling. For him subordinates don’t have the right to speak. I wonder if this difference isn’t reflected in the innate class difference between officers and enlisted as well. Almost all of the officers gew up better off and were probably used to challenging authority more than the junior Marines. They are told to shut up and get in line I grew up poor, but not as poor as Capt Nowak, but Mom put a lot more time and effort into me than she did into the others. She stood up for me in a fight that I had with my principal, she wisked me around to a bunch of different activities, I was socialized in a bunch of different groups despite being very far away from everyone else physically. I wonder if this isn’t why I am like I am with people. I learned to deal with people for eight hours per day, or a few hours at a time. I was able to maintain a fa├žade of dealing with a lot of different people for a few hours, but when I got home it was time to work, study, read, because well, unless I wanted to hear mom complain about her caseload or dad talk about his route, there was nothing else for me to do. Hmmm.

I had the CCOC [Combinde Combat Operations Center] in the morning. I tried to teach Jabar a little bit more of the map. He asked me to do it. He was worried that he was going to get kicked out of intel as well once some other guys showed up. I told him I would work on permanent assignment.

I taught Qais a 5 min class on the map as well, then I had to leave to go practice convoy movement with the ANA.

The Major told us to watch how we speak around the linguists. The General has actively tasked the better English speakers in the ANA to tell him what we are saying. The General has also been asking Dinar. Since all of the suicide bombings we have closed off the razor wire, put up a makeshift door and put a lock on it. The terps don’t have the code.

The General is also determined that I am spying on all of his officers since I called them onto the carpet for some being on leave for too long. He doesn’t understand that a computer can just count all of the days absence for everyone without much human intervention. The Major didn’t tell him this he thought it was better that I be thought omnipotent.

In the evening I cam up to Maj Valquist and told him that I was tasked-out. He had just told me to compile another report for the whole group. I said, sir, I am worried that I am doing a lot of stuff, but doing none of it well. I can’t mentor 4 sections, write every scrap of paper that comes from the ETT, create an operations order look out for the literacy instructors, etc…He was not upset he said immediately. “What if I take away the admin piece, will that give you enough time? I really like you doing all of the reports” I was a bit taken aback, we talked it over a little more and he said that I didn’t need to worry about teaching the count any classes anymore. OK by me. He also said that I should think of it as an honor to be the go-to guy and that he gives me a lot of stuff because he knows I won’t fuck it up. That is nice to hear. I felt bad about it. It is the first time in my life when I have told someone that I can’t do something, not in the way they want it done, at least. I hope that other superiors act the same way. That they say ok, and help redistribute. I want to act that way.

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