CONGRATULATIONS are in order!

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kdupreez
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CONGRATULATIONS are in order!

Post by kdupreez »

This past weekend, NWDC's very own Jeremy Freestone and his compadres (Phil Watson and Zane Dorsey) worked their asses off during a full 4 day GUE Fundamentals class here in Seattle.

And I want to congratulate all 3 of these divers on a well deserved achievement in passing their GUE Fundamentals class!! :supz:

Congratulations and Well done gentlemen!

They can comment, but this was 4 full days of hard work, long days, late nights and early (cold) mornings, many hours in the water and they all stuck it out and as a team, they kicked ass, they came back everyday and were improved over the day before and on Sunday, they brought the best A-Game I've seen in a while !

I'm not sure who deserves the most credit, Jeremy for kicking it in all brand new gear, Zane for trekking up all the way from Oregon to be subjected to my bad jokes or Phil for having to behave in front of Canadian retired armed forces officer :)

well done guys!

Koos
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Re: CONGRATULATIONS are in order!

Post by LCF »

Congratulations to all! Passing a GUE class the first time around is an accomplishment, and doing it in front of Dan McKay is even more so. You must have had a good instructor!
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Re: CONGRATULATIONS are in order!

Post by scubnewb »

Saw some of the videos and pics on FB... Thats awesome! Congrats!
kdupreez wrote:This past weekend, NWDC's very own Jeremy Freestone and his compadres (Phil Watson and Zane Dorsey) worked their asses off during a full 4 day GUE Fundamentals class here in Seattle.

And I want to congratulate all 3 of these divers on a well deserved achievement in passing their GUE Fundamentals class!! :supz:

Congratulations and Well done gentlemen!

They can comment, but this was 4 full days of hard work, long days, late nights and early (cold) mornings, many hours in the water and they all stuck it out and as a team, they kicked ass, they came back everyday and were improved over the day before and on Sunday, they brought the best A-Game I've seen in a while !

I'm not sure who deserves the most credit, Jeremy for kicking it in all brand new gear, Zane for trekking up all the way from Oregon to be subjected to my bad jokes or Phil for having to behave in front of Canadian retired armed forces officer :)

well done guys!

Koos
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Re: CONGRATULATIONS are in order!

Post by BASSMAN »

Congrats!!! =D> =D> =D>

I'm sure you are all better divers for doing this complicated training.


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Re: CONGRATULATIONS are in order!

Post by Sea Goat »

The smiles on their faces on Sunday were so great to see. Passing Fundamentals is not easy, it's a tough, demanding course and Dan MacKay (my tech 1 instructor) is kind of a force of nature. They rose to the challenge. Well done, gentlemen. I am looking forward to diving with all of you.

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Re: CONGRATULATIONS are in order!

Post by Linedog »

Congratulates :supz:
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Re: CONGRATULATIONS are in order!

Post by coach_izzy »

What I admire most is the Zen, ninja-like buoyancy of GUE divers. Kudos guys! GUE is now in my list of must-take classes.
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Re: CONGRATULATIONS are in order!

Post by Penopolypants »

Congratulations on not just surviving, but PASSING(!!) Fundies! Well done!
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Re: CONGRATULATIONS are in order!

Post by spatman »

It is quite an achievement to pass such an advanced class on the first try, a feat rarely heard of, it seems.

Congratulations!
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Re: CONGRATULATIONS are in order!

Post by kdupreez »

They worked hard to earn their "passses", thats no lie and showed measurable positive improvement and met standards at the end of the course. But to be honest, its a bit of a misnomer that Fundies is super impossible hard and militaristic or even complicated..

Its simply a set of core solid basic fundamental skills of solid Buoyancy, balance, trim, propulsion and life saving skills that are fostered and mastered within a team of divers over the period of 4 days. There's nothing extraordinarily complicated. But, by simply paying the price of admission doesnt mean you are guaranteed a cert card. You pay for instruction and education, but your card is earned through ownership and dedication towards a goal of being successful.

The only way to fail is pretty much if you quit or put the team's safety in jeopardy. If you have not mastered the skills to the required level of competence, it doenst mean failure, it just means you havent had enough time to learn how to master this new box of tools you received, and your timeline to success is connected between the fundies course, some practice with these new tools and a re-evaluation. But again, you ultimately own your goal and timeline to success.

That said, these men did a fantastic job and earned their certs!

well done.

Koos
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Re: CONGRATULATIONS are in order!

Post by Jeremy »

Wow thanks for the congrats everyone! I benefitted tremendously from Koos' phenomenal instruction and dedication as well as from having two wonderful teammates.

I really had no idea what I was getting into signing up for this course. It was indeed very challenging and the days are ridiculously long. During days 2 and 3 I was seriously questioning why I had even signed up for it in the first place and I was nervous as hell on the morning of day 4.

That said, the day 4 dives were magical. I've never felt a sense of teamwork like that in the water before. But you know what's harder than passing Fundies? Teaching Fundies! lol ... I wouldn't wish that on anyone, but Koos - you did a terrific job!

And +1 on taking Fundies with Dan watching. He's quite a character. On one S-drill I was supposed to be supporting my doner's long hose with my left hand but I was using my right. Dan miraculously appeared above me and managed to bark "Give me your f*&^ing hand!" crystal clear through his regulator. I'll probably never ever make that mistake again.
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Re: CONGRATULATIONS are in order!

Post by seainggreen »

Congrats guys, strong work! :)

All in all, it was a fantastic weekend. :)

Happy diving!
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Re: CONGRATULATIONS are in order!

Post by LCF »

It is truly humbling, how difficult it is to do simple things precisely.

My biggest "aha" moment in Fundamentals was about diving as a team -- which is funny, because being a team was something we three never really managed to do. But I saw what it could be, and I have never changed course since.

I'm quite sure you guys, although tired and undoubtedly often frustrated, saw at the end what Koos and Dan were trying to create with you. It's a very good way to dive -- not only here, and with your classmates, but anywhere in the world you go and hook up with people who are similarly trained.
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Re: CONGRATULATIONS are in order!

Post by Mateo1147 »

Congrats Jeremy! It sounds like you were put through the wringer and came out a better diver for it! I can't wait to meet up again for a dive. See ya soon. :partydance:
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Re: CONGRATULATIONS are in order!

Post by Sea Goat »

Awesome post, Jeremy. Made me sniffle. That is all. :)
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Re: CONGRATULATIONS are in order!

Post by Jeremy »

Here's another Dan McKay story.

Removing your mask in our lovely March waters can often feel like getting struck in the face with a 2X4. So I suggested to Dan that he have his students do this in shallow water first to get somewhat used to the feeling before going for it at 30 feet deep and potentially bolting for the surface. I had read somewhere on this board that Bob "Grateful Diver" recommended that students breathe in shallow water without their masks for a full minute before doing it at depth.

The next day before our no mask swim dive Dan came by during our GUE EDGE.

He said "Hey Jeremy, before you put that mask on try dipping your head in the water."

So I quickly dunked under.

"Consider yourself f&^%ing acclimatized," Dan deadpanned and turned away.
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Re: CONGRATULATIONS are in order!

Post by Norris »

Jeremy wrote:Here's another Dan McKay story.

Removing your mask in our lovely March waters can often feel like getting struck in the face with a 2X4. So I suggested to Dan that he have his students do this in shallow water first to get somewhat used to the feeling before going for it at 30 feet deep and potentially bolting for the surface. I had read somewhere on this board that Bob "Grateful Diver" recommended that students breathe in shallow water without their masks for a full minute before doing it at depth.

The next day before our no mask swim dive Dan came by during our GUE EDGE.

He said "Hey Jeremy, before you put that mask on try dipping your head in the water."

So I quickly dunked under.

"Consider yourself f&^%ing acclimatized," Dan deadpanned and turned away.
That dude sounds super awesome!!! :supz: :supz: :supz:
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Re: CONGRATULATIONS are in order!

Post by Dusty2 »

Congrats Guys, It's an awesome feeling to set a goal and then work through it as a team rather than an individual! Great accomplishment!
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Re: CONGRATULATIONS are in order!

Post by spatman »

kdupreez wrote:The only way to fail is pretty much if you quit or put the team's safety in jeopardy. If you have not mastered the skills to the required level of competence, it doenst mean failure, it just means you havent had enough time to learn how to master this new box of tools you received, and your timeline to success is connected between the fundies course, some practice with these new tools and a re-evaluation. But again, you ultimately own your goal and timeline to success.
I certainly didn't mean too imply that the failure rate for Fundies students was extremely high, just that it has been rare to see students pass right out of the gate. It seems that historically there has been a very large percentage of "provisionals" received after the class. It also seems that many students started Fundies expecting a provisional, as opposed to passing on the first try.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think several of our active local divers originally received provisonals, including dsteding, lamont, LCF, and a couple others. I'm curious to know how many of our current Fundies graduates initially received a provisional.
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Re: CONGRATULATIONS are in order!

Post by kdupreez »

spatman wrote:I certainly didn't mean too imply that the failure rate for Fundies students was extremely high, just that it has been rare to see students pass right out of the gate. It seems that historically there has been a very large percentage of "provisionals" received after the class. It also seems that many students started Fundies expecting a provisional, as opposed to passing on the first try.
Good question and I actualy spent some time talking to Dan about some of this when covering the "when to use the provisional pass" topic.

In the past almost 2 years we have had about 18 Fundamentals students and 8 GUE Tec1 graduates in Seattle alone.. and if memory serves, there was only 2 provisionals.

I firmly believe that the success rate of students are solidly attributed to the amazingly active and growing local GUE community where people make themselves available to share their knowledge and help square away equipment deficiencies and develop basic core stable platforms long before divers get to class.

This makes classes much more enjoyable for students if they can walk into a fundies class with at least being familiar with and have no issues with equipment and possess a basic platform of buoyancy and some exposure on what to expect with regards to propulsion, etc. This way they can come to class to learn and develop and establish solid skill and core foundation and excellent situational aware team diving protocols, without for example having to futs around with figuring out how their equipment works or what a frog kick is..

For example, on my fundies class, I was very very fortunate to have had Lamont and Laura as my amazing mentors and firmly believe to this day that I would not have passed that class first time round if it was not for them. The same on my GUE Tec1 class and GUE Instructor programs where Laurynn and Guy took me under her wing and served as my guiding light.

So - I personally have a LOT to be grateful for towards my mentors, as many students after me are (I'm sure) are grateful to their individual mentors.

So the golden Key to success in my mind is the community involvement and the selfless nature of people in our diving world that want to help each other out and see each other be successful.

On the flip side, I taught a 4 person Fundamentals class in Florida two months ago with Mark Messersmith in toasty 75 degree super clear fresh water and those students (mostly in wet suits) did not have the luxury of such a vibrant community at all.. We had 1 recreational pass and 2 provisionals and 1 Fail. Thats a 25% "first pass" rate versus our local in the high 80% percentile "first pass" rate...

Sure, student skill and attitude makes or breaks a class, but when looking at the above, the real unsung heroes of success here are not the instructors or the students, but the amazing collection of diving family we have, people like Maggie, Kees, Laurynn, DAve, Dan, Laura, Lamont, Serge, Will, Doug, Larry, Adrian, Bert (and others who I'm sure I've missed) are the true keys to success!

Koos
Last edited by kdupreez on Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: CONGRATULATIONS are in order!

Post by spatman »

:grouphug:
kdupreez wrote:In the past almost 2 years we have had about 18 Fundamentals students and 8 GUE Tec1 graduates in Seattle alone.. and if memory serves, there was only 2 provisionals.
It would be very interesting to see how the ratio of provisional:pass changed year to year over time as the local community grew.
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Re: CONGRATULATIONS are in order!

Post by defied »

spatman wrote::grouphug:
kdupreez wrote:In the past almost 2 years we have had about 18 Fundamentals students and 8 GUE Tec1 graduates in Seattle alone.. and if memory serves, there was only 2 provisionals.
It would be very interesting to see how the ratio of provisional:pass changed year to year over time as the local community grew.
I'm sure you could ask GUE for metrics. They should (hopefully) have a database to track all of this.

D
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Re: CONGRATULATIONS are in order!

Post by LCF »

I think people get prepared MUCH better now than they did when I took the class six years ago. We didn't have very much of a community here then, and the more advanced people weren't out diving with the "youngsters" much, either. I was lucky enough to have Bob Bailey to give me some help, but I took Fundies at about 60 dives, and my classmates had 18 and SIX. It was no wonder that we didn't produce much in the way of passes.

Nobody would send divers that inexperienced into Fundies nowadays. They'd get mentored -- go diving with the group, get their equipment tweaked, work on their buoyancy, get an introduction to situational awareness, and perhaps even take the Primer class. By the time they got to Fundies, they'd be ready for it.
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Re: CONGRATULATIONS are in order!

Post by coach_izzy »

LCF wrote:Nobody would send divers that inexperienced into Fundies nowadays. They'd get mentored -- go diving with the group, get their equipment tweaked, work on their buoyancy, get an introduction to situational awareness, and perhaps even take the Primer class. By the time they got to Fundies, they'd be ready for it.
Are any of these dives taking place on a regular basis? Would definitely love to join you guys!
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Re: CONGRATULATIONS are in order!

Post by Grateful Diver »

I'm one of those people who ended up with a provisional the first time through.

I think one of the reasons you see a higher success rate now is that the format of the course has changed ... much for the better, to my concern.

My initial Fundies class was 2-1/2 days long ... which was really fast-paced and trying to pack way too much into too short of a time frame. When they moved to a four-day class, I think they did their students a huge service by giving them more time to process and perform the skills. Before, if you didn't get it right the first time, you were pretty much guaranteed not to pass.

The other thing that's changed is that back then there was almost a sense that if you passed the first time through, the instructor didn't push you hard enough. I think that mindset has kind've gone by the wayside ... at least among the local instructors.

I will say that the instructor I took my Fundies class with the second time around ... Joe Talavera ... remains my all-time favorite scuba instructor. Sadly, I don't think he even dives anymore. Dude was the instructor I aspire to some day become ...

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