The Navy and I
Date: Feb 2nd, 2009 2:55:19 pm - Subscribe

November 1, 2008 - Saturday

I love Simpson. I really do. Simpson is an amazing place and I have made dozens of hilarious memories and best friends there, but the biology program isn't what I need. I want to do something more with chemistry and less with biology. I find that I tend to be more comfortable in systems based upon rules. In chemistry you start fairly simple and get more complex with time. Mathematics is the same way. It's basically just manipulating numbers. Biology... biology is pure chaos. There is so much unknown. There is no simple way to begin. Endlessly memorizing terms, ideas, and processes has become so monotonous to me. It's time for a change.

... so I've been talking to a Navy recruiter for a while. I don't want to be one of those people who go in and just pick a job without much of a purpose or plan. I want to pick a job that will translate easily into the civilian world so after four, six, or eight years I can leave the navy and be ready to continue on in my career.

I took the ASVAB pre-test thing. Scored an 84. Apparently that's really freakin high (average is below fifty), and the recruiter told me I could virtually do anything I wanted.

So I started to look into all the different careers, and one that really stuck out to me was Nuclear Propulsion Engineer. Most Aircraft Carriers and Submarines are powered by nuclear energy, and they need people who are skilled in math and chemistry. It's a six year long contract. Two years of schooling through the military (Advanced Calculus, Linear Algebra, Physics, Nuclear Chemistry, etc), then I owe them four years working in a Sub or on a Carrier doing technical analysis on the nuclear reactors or something. After I get out I can sign up for another four years and get a bonus of $100,000, or make close to that much per year starting out working in a lab or power plant. What more can I ask for? Getting paid to go to school with no loans, and then starting my career. Plus the name sounds freakin bad ass. Nuclear Propulsion Engineer? Woo!

At this point I'm basically excited out of my mind. I wanted to find out virtually everything about the program. I had some pretty in depth questions, most of which my recruiter couldn't answer, so he called up a nuclear officer and let me ask him questions. Here's basically how the last part of our conversation went:

"So what could potentially disqualify me from the program as far as my GPA or grades go?"

"Have you ever gotten a D or an F in a high school math class?"

"No sir."

"Have you ever slipped below a 2.0 overall GPA?"

I laughed. "No sir."

"Then with your ASVAB pre-test score it sounds like you should have no problem getting accepted into the program. Any other questions?"

"One last question. I'm almost completely color blind. Could this limit me in any way as far as Nuclear Propulsion is concerned?"

"Uhh... well unfortunately color blindness completely disqualifies you from the program."


"Are you serious?"


Wow. Not really sure how to react to that. Colorblindness has always been no more than a mild annoyance to me, if not an occasional humorous conversation piece.

"Really? You're colorblind?"
"Well what color is this ______?"
"Well, I don't know, I'm COLORBLIND!"
lol. It's actually rather hilarious. That is, until now.

Colorblindness has never limited me. It's never physically stopped me from doing what I knew wanted to do, especially something as pertinent as my future career. It's weird. The closest thing I can describe it to is feeling wheelchair-bound. I know without a doubt that I have all the intelligence I need and then some, but my physical disabilities keep me from getting up and sprinting like I want to. Frustrating would be a significant understatement. Infuriating would be more accurate (although obviously not toward any specific person, especially myself). Quite frankly, this feeling sucks. And I'm not sure what to do with it.
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