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A few years later, a change in course.

I’ve decided to continue this blog again.  As well as buy a domain for it and change up the design because a Buttload (yes, that is a real unit of measurement) has happened between my 9 months in Utah and today.  I’ll keep it short.
-I’m no longer an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I never asked for them to cut me out of the membership ranks, but I made it clear I did not wish to continue attending church or participating in LDS activities any longer.  Why?  One very, very simple reason.  I simply do not believe it.  I’ve always, and still, consider myself Christian.  But I can’t accept Joseph Smith’s testimony of Christianity.  That said, I still follow a lot of Mormon values.  A great way to lead your life.
-I’m back in California where I was born and raised.  Returned to California in 2010.
-I attended school part time at Fullerton College in Fullerton California.  As of this writing I am ONE class away from an Associates.  An intermediate math class.
-I’ve been working part time, but now work FULL TIME for the County of San Bernardino.
-I am working on obtaining a job with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.  Have completed all steps in the hiring process, including background and Polygraph.  I need to complete a Physical Fitness test and a medical screening (including Psych) and will likely receive an academy date after that.

-I WANT TO GO TO USC!

Yep.  That is now going to be the focus of this blog.  My trek, and believe me, it likely will be an uphill climb and maybe take years, to become a University of Southern California Student.

It’s going to be an uphill climb.  Working part time and going to school part time, I averaged all kinds of grades.  From An A+ in coursework like Police Report Writing and Intro to Law Enforcement to a D in Algebra.  How in the blazes am I going to compete for a school with a current 19% acceptance rate?

That’s part of the Adventure.  The Quest for USC.

(formerly: The Adventures of a Provo, UT College Student)

P.S.: RUDY doesn’t have anything on me.  I’m going to get my own “Rudy Movie”…

Rudy

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I’m Number Two!

Well i’m #2 on a wait-list to attend the Utah Peace Officers Standards and Training Academy at Utah Valley University (police academy).

It’s kinda annoying being on a wait-list. There’s probably a 50/50% chance i’ll get in. Being number 2 isn’t bad, but considering there is only 38 spots, there isn’t too great of a chance there is going to be an opening. The Academy starts on September 8th.

The biggest problem with this entire scenario is my GI BIll and government grants to attend school. Without the Police Academy, I will be short a full time student and either lose a lot of money or owe money back to the government.

It’s sorta complicated…but basically if i’m going to get into the Academy, it’s going to be at a last minute basis. Basically they are going to tell me the day after it starts, particularly if somebody doesn’t show up. Now that’s fine and all, but not when it comes to receiving financing aid or the GI BIll.

If I cut the Police Academy out out of the loop and fill it with other classes, i’ll be assured I can use all my financial aid and the GI Bill and I won’t have to owe anything or there won’t be a delay in money being sent to me for switching things at the last minute. (The GI Bill and the university both have different policies on how you can be refunded for dropping a class, and let’s just say it’s not in harmony with each other). But that’s the problem, cutting the Police Academy means it’s cut and i’ll have to wait until June to go for it again.

Further more, because or great government is so backlogged with GI Bill is so backed up, it’s really still in the air regarding policy and payments, etc.

But if I keep the Police Academy on my schedule, without a guarantee of getting in, since school starts on August 26th and the Academy starts on September 8th, there’s a good chance that when i’m told at the last minute that I can’t attend, I will not be able to drop the police academy because it’s so late since school started ( a week is about the policy, even though it’s still a little in the air because of the new and backlogged GI bill an the University is trying to set their policy to the GI BIll as well and waiting). And if I drop a class after i’m allowed to, I still have to pay the class or academy, which in total for block 1/2 would be $1,500.00.

To add to the joyous occasion in my young life, I am looking at attending the Police Academy at another community college about 30 miles down the interstate that probably would have more openings. But that’s the problem. It’s at another university, meaning I would have to really work and crunch my numbers as far as figuring out where I could and should use my GI BIll, Financial Aid, and precious time (work, school, studying, church, and free time).

Further more, since the Academy at the community college is not worth college credit, only certification as a Law Enforcement officer in the state of Utah, I can’t use a good portion of my GI Bill and none of my financial aid, since it’s not worth university credit.

All in all, i’d have to ask myself as well. If my eventual career goals are to become a Police/Sheriff’s Deputy with an agency in Southern California, and California POST does not accept Utah POST 9in the first place (meaning i’d have to do the academy all over again in CA), why would I even bother wasting the time?

Well let’s just say it’s my own special “Internship”. Every university has their students do internships. Since most college grads usually don’t drag themselves to do the dangers and hard work of being a Police Officer, there really isn’t an internship for me directly related to being a Police Officer. So, I get POST certified in Utah, and while going to college get hired as a Reserve Police Officer and work part time whenever gaining valuable experience and training and good contacts for down the road.

You know what they say. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

And lastly, to sum it up, once your in the “club”, your are in the CLUB!

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The POST Written Test.

Before you can even start to train to become a police officer in most states, you are required to take a written test.  The contents of that test vary from state to state, but today, I took the UTAH POST test.

The test has 4 sections and requires a 70% in each section to pass.  They start you off with the horrors of Math word problems, and fortunately for me, it was only basic Arithmatic. It was 20 problems in 20 minutes.

The next section involved reading a sentence with blank spots and finding the best word that would fit and compliment that sentence.  It was 20 sentences in 15 minutes.  Piece of cake and I finished 5 minute early.  I should get 90 – 100% on this one.

The section following was mainly about reading a sentence and trying to find the incorrect word in the sentence.  Again, 20 sentences in 15 minutes.  And this time, I finished with about 5-7 minutes to spare.  Again, easy and I should get 90 – 100% on this no problem.

The last part involved reading a mock police report and then reading questions about it on the right.  Only this time, you had to hand write your answers so they could see your writing for neatness, spelling, grammer and punctuation.  I felt like I did very well in this section too, except I’m a pretty sloppy handwriter.
The hardest part of the test was the time limit.  Having only 1 minute per arithmatic problem to read out, figure out how to work out and find the answer, often needed in two parts was hard for me and I ended up with 3 problems not solved at the end of the time limit.  Luckily enough, I think I did very well on the rest of the problems I solved, enough to give me between a 70 – 85%.

I have to wait 2 weeks for my test results to come in the mail and I add them to the POST (Peace Officers Standards and Training) Application I have to fill out.  My only sweat is the math part, but if I did decent enough on there to get a 70%, then everything else will be an A+.

I’ll keep you posted…

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Gold’s Gym

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I walked across the parking lot of my apartment to the Gold’s Gym on the corner (it’s practically right out my door) and decided to sign up for the Gym.  I pretty much walked in with the mindset to sign up, although I wasn’t completely 100% happy after I did.

While it’s a really nice gym with many locations all over the US, including several in UTAH (the HQ office with the largest gym in Utah is in the next city over, with a pool, spa, etc, etc, etc).  But I was a little annoyed that I had to sign a 2 year contract just for                                    membership.  imggym weightsSince I just got out of the military a week ao, I am NO FAN OF CONTRACTS (and you wouldn’t be either if you knew what I meant).  But being the dedicated future cop I am and the need to get in shape (I want to go on dates after all), I just read all the contract, signed my name, and now, Gold’s Gym “conveniently” deducts 27

bucks from my checking account every month.  How nice of them.  It’s practically a cell phone contract, including a cancellation fee. Plus being paraded around the gym, showing off, like I was buying a new car was a little annoying too.  And they did the trick where they found out I was a Marine and pretended to offer me a good deal, even though they do that same “deal” for everyone.

But whatever, the gym is close, it’s got convenient hours and locations, and it may be the best 27 bucks a month I spent after I excel in the Police Academy this Fall.

fat-muscle-steroids-police-cops

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So…I want to offer you a job…

After 2 interviews with both of Super Target’s human resources managers in Orem, UT, I got offered a job, but it was more than I had expected.

Instead of pushing shopping carts, or stocking mac n’ cheese, I got offered a job as a Loss Prevention Officer.  Some would call this position a “security guard”, but at target, your not an employee, your a team member, lol.  This was mainly due to my extenseive military and law enforcement background and training.

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Obviously, i’m pretty happy about the whole outcome and it was more then I expected.  Like any organization that doesn’t destroy my trust or lie to me after I become a part of it (*cough, Marine Corps!), I become a loyal fan.  So Target is A-Ok in my books, and I think this will do nicely for my continued journey to that of becoming a law enforcement officer.  I think my resume is pretty well stacked with military, police training, and working with cops in the field.  Now a full time job as a security guard has got to be the icing on the cake, to finish it off.  The polish on the boot, the upgrade to 1st class on the airline, the Harvard of bachelors.

Okay, maybe it’s not that great, but let’s recap anyways.

1. No criminal record, not even a speeding ticket.

2. Law Enforcement Regional Occupation Program which also correlates with the training at  San Bernardino Community College and several awards, including the instructors most inspirational, 1st place academic award in the class, and the perfect attendance award.

3. Over 400 hours volunteer experience working with deputy sheriff’s of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, including the explorer academy with 80 hours of law enforcement instruction.

4. Honorable Discharge from the United States Marine Corps including 2 deployments, 1 to Okinawa, Japan and the other to Al Anbar Province, Camp Fallujah, Iraq, including a government secret clearence.

5 . (future) Bachelors in Psychology from Brigham Young University.

6. Security Guard at Target.

7. (future) Completed Utah Police Officers Standards and Training

8. (future) Reserve Police Officer with the Provo or Orem Police Departments.

The Ultimate goal is to get that well paying Law Enforcement job with a California Department, probably the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.  But you know how goals change over time…

I think the path is laid out in gold.  And I think i’ve prepared myself for a future career in law enforcement.  But i’ve got a lot to work on.  I’m out of shape as of now, i’ve got the memory of an 80 year old (correctible hopefully), and the Marine Corps, interesting enough, shatttered my confidence.  So i’ll have to build it up.

But that’s what 4 years of living on my own in Provo and going to school is for.  And that’s what is now possible now that I have a full time (which i’ll move to part time as school starts) at target as a secur- I mean Loss Prevention Officer.

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First job interview…

Since leaving the Marine Corps, I went to my first job interview today.  It was one a good experience.  I didn’t feel fully prepared, but I got out answers to the questions, I thought, professionally and thoroughly.

Strangely enough, at target, like in business professional companies, they require 2 interviews, one with the human resources manager and then one with the store manager himself.  I was invited to the second interview tomorrow at 3:30 PM.

One of the hardest things I struggled with today before the interview was what to wear.  Target isn’t like interviewing for a major stock trader on Wall Street, but it’s not a small time thing either.  I went online to look for answers at what other people wore, and that really messed me up.  Some said jeans and a button up shirt, some said a dress shirt with slacks and nice shoes, others said a full suite.

So in the end, with an hour until the interview, I called my former Law Enforcement instructor Mr. Gettings and asked for his advice.  He said simply a dress shirt with a “power tie”, and slacks and dress shoes in a conservative color (black).

A power tie, evidently, is a mutli-colored tie, rather than the usual black or gray.  I guess it helps keep you in the mind of the interviewer during and after the process.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have a power tie, but a black one.

The questions were pretty simple.  I was nowhere near as scared as I thought other’s might be.  I felt confident.  Interesting enough, the one thing that made my feel so confident was the fact that I felt a “little” overqualified for the position they were giving.

I felt most people who I  saw working in the store where college students, just out of high school or people a little bit older unable to find a job elsewhere.

Some of the questions were the usual such as “why should we hire you” or “tell me of an experience where you lacked the skills to do certain job.  We also struck some common ground when he mentioned his cousin was serving in Camp Fallujah, Iraq, the same place I served.

So that about ends the day.  I came back to my room, and took a nice, much needed nap.  I hope, as great as they are, not to take too many, because they throw my night sleeping schedule out of wack, as bad as it is already.

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Pushing out of the “BUBBLE”!

When your used to things for so long, it’s a weird experience to move away from “normal” and into unknown territory. And for this Marine Corp Veteran, that wierd experience just so happened to be going down to the local Super Wal-Mart and shopping for food and clothes.

I’ve been in the “Bubble” for over 22 years. The “Bubble” is just a way of saying I had everything I need in protective and secure surroundings. Whether it was my Mom, my dad, my grandparents or the government (Military). I always had everything I needed.

BubbleBoy1

I had job security in the military or no need for a job as a kid. There was always dinner waiting for me at the chow hall or on the table at home. All I had to do was show up and eat. The bills were always paid for by the United States government while I was staying in the military barracks or my parents flipped the bill. These are just a few examples.

So now that i’m cut loose from the military, I should feel an intense amount of freedom. But what I really feel right now is restricted and scared of the unknown. Is there going to be enough money to eat, will I find friends who like me for exactly who I am, will I find a love interest down the road, what will I do between those 7 days where I switching apartments and have to move out and move in between a gap? (August 15th – 22nd). What about school work? I’m horrible at math, and that’s an understatement. What if I just don’t get it. There ain’t no tutor to turn to that I know of yet. What about that job interview at Super Target on Monday (June 29th). What if I don’t get the job? How will I fund cost of living then? I won’t! I have to get that job…or I have to face the fact that college isn’t possible!?

It’s completely natural though!

Fact is, if millions upon millions of kids right out of high school can go to college, live on their own, and burn top ramen in a microwave…then I CAN TOO!