The Morning After

Dear Amelia,

I stayed up all night studying, knowing when I showed up at the flight line, I would be met by old yeller. (aka. My first instructor, the old part is a joke, and she looks nothing like a dog.) I figured I would review every procedure and read everything I could get my hands on; maybe then she might only shout half the flight. As I approached the dispatch desk at school, I heard a familiar bellow from the planning room. I cringed and glanced over a shoulder. Yep, just as I thought, my IP was warming up her vocal cords on another student. Great. I sighed, and when I turned back around, I stood eye to eye with the flight supervisor. He glanced at my feet and squinted at my high top sneakers. He bent and lifted my pant leg to make certain I was wearing socks or hose. I’m not sure, but he seemed a little disappointed when he inspected my Chuck Ts and found a pair of standard issue white ankle socks. That’s right, I’m a pro. I said with my eyes and wiggled my toes. The flight sup stomped off, and I took a deep breath and shuffled over to my instructor. I’m pretty sure she had eyes in the back of her head, because I hadn’t even reached her side when she spun and explained that since I’ve soloed, I would now have a flight partner and the student she was briefing, I use the term loosely, was to be my observer today. I said hello and reached for the student’s hand, but his eyes stared straight forward. I wanted to slug his shoulder and say don’t worry, I’ve stood in your shoes. Well not exactly his shoes, he wore lace up loafers, but what I was referring to was the part about being yelled at. As any good flight partner would, I reached in my pocket, passed him a spare pair of earplugs and motioned for him to put them in his ears; pronto. He nodded.

My IP stood and pointed a stiff finger at me. Her eyes narrowed and then she said my reserve instructor left this morning for an interview with a major airline. (Might explain the bonsai moment on the bleachers last night.) Which meant I would be finishing my license with her. Buckle up my friend. She passed me my swag of cloth cut from my shirt the day before, and then made a gesture I didn’t expect. She extended a hand and said congratulations. Oh, and by the way, she liked my shoes.

Sincerely,

A fly girl growing thicker skin