Saturday, December 21, 2013

More in the new simulator

My employer has posted my piece from earlier in the week about the riverboat pilot training simulator at the Mountwest Community & Technical College's Inland Waterways Academy.

To fill in some blanks: The dedication ceremony was this past Tuesday at 3 p.m. Adam doesn't get off the school bus until around 4 or 4:30 (we live at the end of the route, so he gets on at 6 a.m.). I went to his school to pick him up so he could attend this ceremony and get a look at the simulator.

While there, he met U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., and Bill Smith, superintendent of Cabell County Schools, which Adam attends. He sat through the speeches and watched as the bigwigs got to play with the simulator. Before we left, John Whiteley, the man in charge of the Inland Waterways Academy, offered to let Adam try his hand. Adam did, and performed well. Pilot simulators are his favorite video game, even more than Minecraft, where he has spent several days building an American Queen-type passenger boat.

Before we left, Capt. Whiteley talked with Adam for a while about various training options for a career on the river, whether it's by getting a job straight out of high school or even applying to the U.S. Maritime Academy.

That's the nice thing about river people: If a kid shows a genuine interest in their work, they will take the time to give advice.

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