A Short blog from EMI

Well, I’m posting this blog a bit later that what I wanted to.  After class and dinner yesterday, I went out for a five-mile walk with two great friends of mine who are here on campus with me.  By the time we got back to our rooms last night it was late, and I ended up dozing off while I was typing this ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

Yesterday was the first day of spring.  Normally, I’d say it’s about time, but with the very mild winter we had, going into spring is no big deal.  I was watching the local news here in Emmittsburg, MD and they mentioned that today was also the start of the Cherry Blossom festival in our nation’s capital.  They further reported that it was 100 years ago that the Japanese government presented the United States with our first cherry trees.

Yesterday (Tuesday) in class

We had a very good day yesterday teaching the CERT Train-the-Trainer curriculum.  We’ve got a wonderful group of students who very willing engages in the material as well as class discussions.  We continued our journey talking about how to teach the CERT Basic units Emergency Medical Ops (Unit 4), CERT Team Organization (Unit 6) and Light Search and Rescue (Unit 5).  Additionally, we spent time talking about how, as instructors, we can manage our classroom.  In this unit we looked at topics such as ways for an instructor to get to know his or her learners, disruptive behavior and how to deal with it, and how we can accommodate others that may have access or functional needs.

A good portion of our morning was spent on our first student “teach-backs”.  Teach backs are training exercises that require students to work in pairs and deliver a 15-minute instructional presentation on a CERT-related topic.  In addition to giving students the opportunity to practice their instructional skills, part two of the teach backs allows students the opportunity to critique (evaluate) each other.

Is That Bag Pipes I Hear?

Yesterday was a gorgeous spring day.  Sky’s cleared and it was a sunny warm afternoon on campus with trees and flowers in bloom.  It was awesome walking past the 9/11 and the Fallen Firefighter memorials.  As I was walking across campus from our classroom to student housing, I heard bag pipes playing. Bag pipes!  Typically you don’t hear any music on campus, but with the National Fire Academy being located on the same campus, and the strong linkage between the fire service and bag pipes, I wasn’t really surprised to hear these wonderful sounds.  As I continued to get closer to student housing, I saw a man off in the distance playing his bag pipes (I wonder if they call this piping?).  Well, I wanted to hear more so I headed over to where he was.

After a short walk, I finally met up with Battalion Chief Brent Batla from the Burleson Texas Fire Department.  After introducing myself to Brent and telling him how much I enjoyed his playing, he told me he recently took up playing the bag pipes and was learning so that he one day he might play them as part of special events within the fire department.

I asked Brent if he’d mind playing a wee bit o’ music for me and if he’d mind if I took some pictures to share with you.  He smiled and eagerly agreed.  Brent, if you read this … you made my day.  Thanks for bringing your music to the EMI campus.  I wish you all the best.




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