I apologize for the lack of entries in the past 7 weeks. To put it simply, there has been absolutely no time to do anything not related to the academy. We just finished week 7 of the 18 week long police academy, so we're not quite half way. I have tried to make notes of things I have experienced along the way. I will do my best to walk you through the first few weeks of the academy.
I arrived on the first morning at 0630, we were to report by 0700, so I was plenty early. My car was loaded with everything we were required to bring. I had a suitcase and a duffel bag full of enough underwear and pairs of socks for a week, a swimsuit, a robe, white t-shirts, sweatshirt, sweatpants, shower shoes, wrestling shoes, running shoes, boots, toiletries and shoe cleaning supplies, and my labtop in a labtop bag. I carried 6 hangers - 3 uniform shirts and 3 uniform pants. I also had my duty belt, my gun, and almost 3,000 rounds of ammunition in the trunk of my car which I chose to leave there for the time being. I walked into the lobby of the academy with Michelle and Scott, the other two that I was hired with in South Place who would be going through the academy with me. Scott and I are both 22 but Michelle is a few years older than us at 26.
There were several people already waiting in the lobby. We would begin with a class of 22. It was pretty quiet because everyone was so nervous for what was to come. Inside the lobby there was a set of glass doors that led to another hallway. On the other side of that hallway we could see the troopers walking back in forth in their stetsons, they would look through the doors at us and walk away, as if they were just waiting to pounce on us. At exactly 0700, 3 troopers came busting through the doors screaming and yelling, "Pick up your trash and lets go! Hurry Up! Pick up your trash! You're taking to long! Get your trash off the deck!" I frantically hurried to try to round up all my stuff. They led us down several dark hallways and back outside to the parking lot. We walked so fast it was almost a jog, which was extremely difficult while trying to carry the suitcase, duffel bag, labtop bag, and uniforms. The screaming and yelling continued. By the time we got to the parking lot my legs were burning and I was already dripping in sweat. We stopped in front of the entrance where we had gone in which made no sense because we literally just did a big circle around the building and came right back out to where we had started. Two of the academy staff Sergeants introduced themselves. "Get your trash off the deck!" they yelled. Everyone had set down their bags on the pavement because they were tired from carrying them for so long. We all struggled to pick up all of our crap. Just as we got our bags hung on our arms, a Sgt. yelled again, "Get the trash out of your gun hand! Carry everything in your left hand! How are you supposed to reach for your weapon if you have trash in your gun hand! We never carry anything in our gun hand!"
After introductions by the academy staff, we followed them around to the barracks where we would put our belongings. It was a long way to carry everything in just one arm. I was soaked in sweat and every muscle in my body was burning. When I got to my room I just dropped everything. The next few days would consist of endless amounts of yelling! We had a time limit for everything we did. You got "x" amount of minutes to put your trash away and so on. The stress level was through the roof and I don't recall a time in the first week where I wasn't drenched in sweat. I later described the feeling to one of my buddies the best way I knew how. You know when you wake up in the morning and realize, Oh crap! I'm late! You run around the house on an adrenaline rush grabbing all of your things. Well, that is how things are at the academy pretty much all of the time unless you are sleeping. The stress causes you to lose fine motor skills. I vividly remember trying to put my uniform on with instructors screaming at us from the hallway to hurry up! I couldn't button buttons, put on socks, and couldn't even get my belt through the belt loops. I was shaking because I was trying to work quickly and couldn't manage to do anything with my hands.
We lost our first guy on the second night. We were practicing marching in formation in the gym. We had been marching for probably an hour and a half. Despite being yelled at for everything throughout the duration of this, it really wasn't that hard and was a nice break, at least I thought so. As it was called out for us to "column left", one guy "columned right" and went right out the gym door. The Sgt. screamed from across the gym, "Where are you going!!" "Oh shit, I thought, What just happened?" Everyone was confused. The Sgt. ran out after him and didn't come back so we just kept marching for at least another 30 minutes by ourselves in the gym until he came back in and told us that we would now be a class of 21. You truly had to be there to appreciate the humor in the events because the guy who quit literally marched out! He pivoted and marched off to the right, in step and everything...right out the door.