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more training

Discussion in 'Advanced Scuba Discussions' started by stevensamler, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. DaleC

    DaleC Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Leftcoast of Canada
    4,981
    2,323
    113
    I think people need to consider how far they have explored their current training level before automatically taking "the next course" because they think they are supposed to. OW, AOW, Basic Nitrox and Rescue comprise the core educational components of rec diving. IMO, that should keep people busy for a little while. Fast tracking to DM or Tech training without spending time refining rec skills is the big fail I see happening around me.

    It's also pretty easy to get ones head all screwed around trying to meet the artificial expectations of a course and forget why you started diving in the first place. For some that does mean challenging themselves in a course but I think others get caught up in the hype or ego or status of achievement. There's a line somewhere in education between accentuating your diving and becoming its primary focus.
     
  2. BCSGratefulDiver

    BCSGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: On the Fun Side of Trump's Wall
    78,240
    65,834
    113
    My initial class was 6:1 ... the instructor showed up at around 6 PM on Friday and left around 1 PM on Sunday, and tried to cram the whole course into that time frame. We went until about 11 PM on Friday night, did the pool work at 8 AM the next morning, got to the dive site by 10 AM, and were there until about 8 PM. The next day started at 7 AM and went till 1 PM ... it was still very ... VERY ... rushed. Nobody passed ... everyone provisionaled.

    My second time around was much more organized ... and I was far better prepared ... and I passed. I felt that it was worth every penny I paid for it.

    [OT]When did you move to China?[/OT]

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
     
  3. PfcAJ

    PfcAJ Orca

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: St Petersburg, Fl
    7,727
    6,737
    113
    Interesting.

    The course structure for Fundamentals has been increased quite a bit from when you (and I) took it. Its now like 4 days, I think. Maybe 3 full days and an evening. I will agree, the way it used to be crammed a lot of stuff into a small sack. The Fundamentals classes I've been involved with all went from 7-8am till dinner time. Looks like GUE has made some good changes.

    [OT] I moved here about 3 months ago. I'll be done with my contract around July '13, and I plan on moving back to Florida then :) [/OT]
     
  4. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    36,349
    13,607
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    I think the Fundamentals class has matured a lot. When it started, it was just a workshop. Then it became a class, usually taught over no more than 3 days, and with very little in the way of support materials, which is how it was when I took it. Now, seven years later, it's much more of a class, with more material in it, and has published standards for recreational and technical passes, and it has pretty decent support materials which are standardized. It's now four days, or some instructors will spread it out even more -- our local one often teaches it over two weekends, allowing practice between the sessions.

    Some of the older GUE instructors do seem to approach classes with a "evaluate to failure" attitude. But I think the organization has made a very strong effort, through the instructor training program in place now, to teach people to TEACH, and to select people who really want their students to succeed. The person Bob was talking about took Fundamentals the first time through one of the early instructors, and the second time through a much more recent one, and saw the kind of difference I'm describing.

    I haven't met all the GUE instructors on the West Coast (have yet to meet Alan Johnson), but of the ones I know, I know that every single one of them teaches with a sincere desire to have students learn and succeed. However, people come into the class with very varied degrees of skill, depending on how much they've been exposed to good diving beforehand, and how much they have dived. No matter how good the instruction, you can't learn pinpoint buoyancy control while task-loaded in four days, unless you were pretty sorted out beforehand. It takes practice, and that's what the provisional is for -- once you have seen the bar and know what is possible, you can go out and practice until you can reach it. I'm personally glad the provisional exists, because if you applied the published standards to all Fundies students at the end of the original class, you would fail a lot of people who would pass with a month's work.

    GUE now has a Primer class, which is probably the final step in its reverse evolution -- each class they have was developed in response to a poor pass rate on the class higher up on the training ladder. Primer is a pre-Fundies workshop designed to introduce the bar and allow students to go off and work on the things you can't teach (beyond a few tips) so that when they get to Fundamentals, more time can be spent on the actual skills, and on reinforcing team behavior.
     
  5. tye1138

    tye1138 Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Van Nuys, California
    184
    55
    28
    Yea, I mean where is the "just diving" course eh? I'm sure PADI could make a lot of money off a course where they join you up with an instructor (as a buddy) and go diving. :wink:

    I think people forget that like anything, just having experiences will make you a better diver. Some people are so focused on continuing their education (reliance on instructors) they forget to get wet and figure stuff out on their own. Yes a rescue course is a must if you aren't trained how to rescue in your OW course. But after that, put some effort into diving! People just don't do it and nothing an instructor is going to teach you, will compensate for "experience".
     
  6. MADiveGirl

    MADiveGirl Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
    44
    39
    18
    I have been lucky in that I have essentially this set-up, although my instructor dive buddy doesn't charge me. :) As soon as I was certified I found a local DAN instructor to take the First Aid / AED / O2 courses - it so happened that she was new to the area and was looking for a dive buddy. Perfect timing! She does NOT allow me to rely on her (which is sometimes annoying as hell, when I'm mentally tired and not entirely sure where shore is anymore and I just want to follow her lead...) - while we generally dive for fun, she is always teaching me in some way. Asking me questions underwater, we plan to do some interesting nav work for the hell of it, etc. I am not sure this would happen with a "regular" non-instructor dive buddy. While I'm not at all saying that "just get out and dive" isn't a good thing - of COURSE it's a great thing - it's also really useful to "just get out and dive" with an instructor. Personally, I'd pay for what I get for free. It's incredibly useful.
     
  7. BCSGratefulDiver

    BCSGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: On the Fun Side of Trump's Wall
    78,240
    65,834
    113
    Why wait for the agency to do that? This past week-end I had a fellow ScubaBoarder come out from the east coast and spend the week-end with me. Saturday we did a drysuit class. Yesterday we just went diving ... joined by two of my local current students. Sure, there was some teaching and learning going on, but we were "just diving" ... seems to me that's a great way to keep people actively diving, which should be an end goal for instructors and dive ops alike. Besides ... it was fun ...

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
     
    tdtaylor likes this.
  8. Sleepdr

    Sleepdr Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Boise, ID, USA
    59
    13
    8
    I don't generally quote entire posts, but yours fits with my recent experience.

    My overall diving history isn't extensive, and I'm getting back into it after many years away. None of the LDS were terribly interested in working on a curriculum that fit my experience level and long-term goals. One of them in particular doesn't seem interested in any teaching beyond open water, and hasn't bothered to respond to several requests for an AOW course.

    With that in mind, I contacted the nearest GUE instructor from the website. He's helping map out short and long-term goals, including a logical progression through training. I'm not worried about a wallet-full of cards, but am hungry for learning. With that in mind, we're starting next week on the basics of primer and drysuit skills. That way, the eventual AOW dives can help reinforce the buoyancy and propulsion techniques instead of building training scars. When ready, there are a few more regional people interested in a Fundies class. I respect and appreciate his attitude of teaching/coaching towards high skill, rather than allowing me to waste his and other team members' time by not being ready.

     
  9. tye1138

    tye1138 Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Van Nuys, California
    184
    55
    28
    I was being a bit sarcastic! LOL :)

    That sounds like fun! I really need to come up and say HI sometime! Looks like you got some epic diving up there. :wink:
     
  10. KWS

    KWS ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: SE TEXAS
    4,891
    1,253
    113
    If tech is your goal then get your recreational nitrox out of the wayl and spend the time for several dives in it. Then proceed to adv rec trimix. Keep in mind there is a mind set that goes along with more advanced diving to consider also.
     

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