Do you remember what it was like as a ‘cadet’ in the SB118 academy? I know I do, and the positive experience I had in my training class really helped set me up for a positive experience in the fleet as a whole. Often, members may not realise exactly how much power the training team really has. You see, first impressions matter, and a bad first impression will most likely result in a prospective member to abandon the attempt to join, where as a positive experience can help set up a new member for great success in our group. That is why this particular team is so important.
The training team is made up of a number of individuals who all spend extra time and energy to help acclimate newcomers to SB118’s simming style, or sometimes simming in general! One of those members is none other than Alex Blair.
DeVeau: Hello Alex, and thank you for joining us!
Blair: Hello Alora, thanks for having me!
How long have you been a part of SB118 and how did you find it?
I’ve been a member of SB118 for almost four years now, and have loved every minute of it! I found the group in a roundabout way. I was involved in several PBEMs in the past and never really stuck with them. After a month or two, I would get bored and leave. One day, I was looking for something to occupy some free time and did a Google Search for PBEM. I found SB118 and on a whim decided to join. Now I don’t think the fleet will ever get rid of me!
In what out of character ways have you gotten involved in the group?
I’m involved in several of our Out of Character groups. I’m the facilitator of the Featured Bio Contest, an Academy Statistician, and a Training Team Member.
What drew you to the training team in particular and what do you like about it?
That’s a good question. I’d have to say it was my fondness for the fleet really. In a short span of time I realized how great the people involved in SB118 are and wanted to share that with others. There is really no better place to share my enthusiasm for this group than helping train the new members. You get to help newbies learn the ins and outs of simming with us. Being a part of training really let’s you be a welcome mat for newcomers. That week is their first impression of us as a whole and can be the deciding factor for whether or not they stick around.
How has the training team changed since you joined it?
Another good question. Aside from new faces on the team, and a few new facilitators, the biggest change is more accountability. As training team members we are being held to a higher standard now. As trainers we are expected to teach our newcomers how to write sims in the fleet’s style and we can not do that properly if we don’t follow the style guide ourselves. We are being held to a higher standard while working with the training team, and in my opinion that’s a good thing.
What’s your favourite memory of your time on the training team?
Like all members of the fleet, the Academy was my first exposure to being a command officer. One thing I will never forget was that first time that I was the commanding officer of a class. I had only been a Lieutenant Commander for six months and was suddenly in charge of a class containing five cadets! It was a challenge but a fun one! Through some strange twist of fate, all the cadets that week ended up graduating!
What’s one thing you wish you had done differently?
There’s always that one cadet you wish you would have pushed differently, or that one extra thing you wish you would have mentioned to maybe help someone along, but really I have no regrets during my time with the training team.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned?
Be open minded. Remember that you are simming with seven people who you likely have never simmed with before and who all have different thoughts on how thing should go. Be ready for anything to happen, because it can and will!
What advice would you give to someone who might consider joining the training team?
My advice: DO IT!! Joining the training team was one of the best, most rewarding, experiences I have had since joining SB118. I highly recommend that anyone who is thinking about joining, do it. You won’t regret it.
The training team is an integral part of SB118, but it doesn’t exist without patient and dedicated team members like Alex Blair. If you’re interested in learning more about the training team, please visit the Training Team Page over on the SB118 wiki.