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Day Nine... last chance to fix any problems!
Wow.....24hrs to go, and yes Iím still driving everyone crazy by smiling more than I should be! But secretly it is all a front, every time I think about the IE I get that horrible twisting and turning feeling deep in my tummy, I would rather not let on that Iím nervous, and just keep smiling and giggling. I hope that for the guys laughing at me, this helps take their mind off their own fears about the Instructor Exams.
Up again bright and early, we head down to Namma Bay. As part of the Instructor exams we will all have to demonstrate how to approach a unresponsive diver on the surface, begin administering rescue breaths and de-kit ourselves and them, whilst continuing with the rescue breaths and towing to safety. This if you remember, is the only skill I need to complete to become a qualified Assistant Instructor, but Jilly likes leaving the rescue skills until the last day of our Instructor Development course so itís all nice and fresh in our heads before the Instructor Exams. We all kit up and enter the water, and Jilly starts to demonstrate on Dips who has decided to pay dead in completely the wrong place!! After a little manoeuvring of our pretend dead body Jilly continues, little to her knowledge that Dips has his BCD threaded wrong and has never used the pinch clips needed to be undone in the skill......I dunno, poor Jilly, you just canít get the staff Instructors these days..... After finally sorting out Dipís BCD, Jilly finishes the skill and we take turns giving rescue breaths using mouth to mouth and Mouth to Pocket mask. Everyone seems ok with the skill, Phil forgot to pinch his victims nose on the first attempt, but got it ok after that, so we head back to Ocean Club and to the classroom, with Thalia and I officially Assistant Instructors (Matt and Phil were already AIís before the IDC)
In the classroom, it all dawns on us as Jilly sits us down for our final presentation "The Instructor Exams". It is exactly the same briefing that the Examiners will be giving us tomorrow morning, but Jilly likes to give it to us now, as she says that tomorrow morning we will all be so nervous that none of us will listen to it. So let me explain to you what Iím going to have to do :
IE Day One: In the morning we will be given a sheet which will list the skills we have to perform during the IE. Once all our paperwork is handed in we will complete our two exams, one on General Standards, and the other on Dive theory. Once these are completed, we will head to the pool and complete the confined water presentation for our given skill, and also perform 5 skills from the Open Water course to demonstration quality. After this we will have time to prepare our knowledge development presentations on our given subject, before presenting them to an examiner in the evening.
IE Day Two: Again we will be given a briefing in the morning and will begin by briefing our given open water skills (2) to the examiner, we will then kit up, go to the beach and enter the water to be assessed on our Rescue skill by a given course Director (Unfortunately we canít be given Jilly). After this we will descend and perform our open water skills, with our fellow candidates posing as students. When we exit we will debrief our skills. After each section we will be told if we have passed or not, there are opportunities in some areas to do a makeup if you fail. At the end of our Open Water debrief we will find out if we have passed or not.
I think this is the only presentation Jilly has given where not one of us said anything. All you could hear in the classroom was us inhaling loudly at certain points as we became more and more nervous. Once the presentation was over, we all looked terrified at each other and quietly exited the classroom.
Well....thatís it. The IDC is over, we just have the Exams to do. There are no more presentations and more skills to practice. Jilly says are ready. It feels very strange as we are given the afternoon off to do what we want. All four of us head over to Picasso's to get some lunch and Jilly says it would be good for us to complete a mock exam, so we head back to do that. We all pass, and while everyone else is sorting out their own bits and pieces, I fall asleep on a sun lounger and grab a much needed half an hourís kip. When I wake, I find the giggling Gemma has disappeared and I feel petrified about the Exams, I try to hold it together but I canít and as I lay there on the lounger with my back to everyone, I can feel tears starting to roll down my face. I donít want anyone to see me crying so I quickly wipe them away, I really want to pass these exams, but the IDC has shown me how easy it is to lose control and mess up, I donít want to let Jilly down, and I donít want to let myself down. Jilly comes over and rubs my head, checking I am ok, she can tell Iím scared. Phil is older and used to being under pressure with his job, and Matt and Thalia have each other, I feel very vulnerable, I am always being told that I act older than my years, but at this moment in time, I feel like a ten year old child.
Jilly and Dippy head home and we four candidates decide we need a break, so head into town to the Camel bar for food. We order, but to be honest none of us have much of an appetite. While we are at the bar we try desperately to think of a present we can get for Jilly for all her help over the course, we head to a little back street antiques shop and discover an old Brass Stanley on London prismatic maritime compass, itís beautiful and we practise our haggling skills, and get it for Jilly.
Pleased with our purchase, we all decide to head back home for an early night.....after all it's a busy day tomorrow and I am to meet Jilly at her house at ridiculous o clock.
Back to the Beginning
Tomorrow the Exam
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