In February 2009 when I entered the Civil Aviation Department I couldn't really imagine what I had let myself in for but I went in with an intention to be successful. I ended up in a classroom full of people from all different walks of life and a 4 inch think mountain of a information to climb.
That was the first of three times that I would sit in the classroom at the Barbados Air Traffic Training Center and by the third time the original classroom of thirty was only seven. There is a lot to that story as to why only seven of us were in that classroom and indeed I could write a novel to explain why only five of us left that training center last year to return to the work environment.
Some things I remember like yesterday. In the first course there was an ultimatum. Only five would continue immediately ahead to do the Aerodrome Course, the rest would have to wait at least a year. They stated they would take only the top students.
The pass mark in all exams are 70%. This is no mean feat, as it is required to reproduce the work verbatim. In the end only 3 were chosen and I was the first pick. I received Valedictorian for that course. This set a standard for all the rest of years to come. I maintained a final course average of over 90% on all three courses and received a note of distinction every-time.
This is not to brag, this is t celebrate. I worked very hard and I put all of my effort into this last five years of study and preparation.
To speak of exams though is only one part of the puzzle.
Air Traffic Control requires to perform in the practical capacity as well. In simulation I also maintained an a grade in all of the courses and in all of the positions. In the live environment, working with an on-the-job-coach and then being evaluated working on my own, I continued to work at a standard that was commended by the supervisors and my peers.
My growth in this area is not at all exhausted. I have a lot more to learn and to experience when it come to practicing controlling. Looking back however, I am proud of what I have done so far.
If you have asked me in 2008 where I would in 5 years, I could never have imagined this outcome. I was working as a secretary in a Restaurant chain making minimum wage and having only a basic education, I had no idea what was coming next for me.
Now I am once again at a place where I feel uncertain about the future. I poured so much of myself into this process that now that it is nearing the end, I am looking up at the world around me like a person who has emerged from living underground for many years. The sun is in my eyes and it is blinding me.
However as I pause to look back the way I have come, there is much that I would do differently. Some things that bring me shame; other things that leave me knowing in my heart that I am strong but I am weak and overall I am imperfect and unique in my failings but beautiful in my strengths.
When I look at the road traveled, I say to myself. Well done Asha, well done.