November 19, 2010
This class was our first try at teaching a split weekend class in Seattle. The first weekend was November 19, and then I came back down for the second half of the course on the second weekend of December. The results were outstanding and as long as the logistics work out, split weekend courses are very successful. In this particular case, the students did very well due to a huge effort and attention provided to their mentoring by Laura James and Lamont Granquist, GUE members from Seattle. Laura and Lamont have been building the GUE community in Seattle, brick by brick and diver by diver. Their work has really paid off and the five students in this class owe a huge debt of gratitude to Laura and Lamont.
We had two teams for the class. The team of Steve, Koos and Kees had been diving together for a while and working on their fundamental skills. Their teamwork abilities were very good and it was clear that they had been "encouraged" and coached. Dan and Larry were on the second team and while not having as much time to dive together, the 3 weeks between sessions let them fine tune their skill set and really ramp up their team work.
I have to say that the three weeks between class sessions really makes a difference if the students make a concerted effort to work on what the instructor points out as room for improvement. In this case, the difference between the first and third session was like night and day. I vividly recall team "alpha" doing their first gas share ascent and watching their deco captain running the ascent like a precision machine. It was very rewarding to watch. Team "bravo" had some of the best in-water communication skills I have had the pleasure to observe in students also. They improved several fold between first and second sessions and made some very significant advances.
All in all, the split weekend format was hugely successful and we plan on doing it again in the near future. Again my thanks to Laura and Lamont for working so hard to build the GUE community in Seattle and thanks to Margaret and Owen for running the camera on the first weekend. Laura usually has about 3 cameras hanging off her gear somewhere but she had prior commitments the first weekend so was unable to attend.
Way to go guys! Hope to see you in some Tech I classes... :-)