We’ve always feared “death by PowerPoint”, but how exactly is that death carried out? Perhaps in the classroom? The library? The sitting room or the motor pool perhaps? Will it be Colonel Mustard, Mrs. Peacock, or the Sergeant-Major?
Everything is spelled out ahead of time in the training schedule, but there are, in my experience, many phases of training schedule interaction. The first –like Alvarez, and me for quite a while as a young soldier– is to be unaware of the training schedule, and to react with “disbelief and mistrust” when confronted with it. Then, “amazement” as you realize what an astounding look into the future it is. You learn to carry a copy and refer to it constantly.
After that comes “healthy skepticism”, when you learn that many times the training schedule is adjusted on the fly to accommodate emergent situations. After that is “cynicism”, in which the training schedule may be referred to as the “training suggestion” and events foretold are described with some sarcasm.
And of course, finally comes “acceptance” as you realize that the training schedule sorta-kinda gives an idea of what was expected for the weekend, and you will probably find something similar to that as the weekend unfolds and you just roll with it.
But it is that aura of mystery that keeps things so alive in our relationship with it, yes?