The 2005 Nachzen Letter

by Jonah

Here’s this year’s second annual Nachzen Letter:

Yes, it’s that time of year again…

The Best of 2005 Nachzen Letter

The big news this year is that we’re in Colorado! But we suppose we should explain…

The beginning of 2005 saw Berck becoming increasingly exasperated with his flight school in Norman, Oklahoma, as a combination of inclement weather and broken planes kept delaying his completion month after month…turns out there’s a reason it’s the cheapest flight school in the country. In the meantime, Joanna was still plodding away at her warehouse job. The hours were still too long and the pay too low, but we were grateful for the income. She even got promoted from “puller” (taking product off the shelves to be sent to the retail stores) to “in-checker” (putting product on the shelves…or as Berck liked to call her, a “pusher”) and then to “inventory specialist” (trying to find the product that is supposed to be on the shelf). Finally, she volunteered to be a “mover,” supervising part-time help building new shelves and moving product to a new part of the warehouse. A year and a quarter after starting work there, Joanna’s boss offered to move her to a cushy office position.

Right about that time, Berck was only a check ride away from getting his last rating. He asked the chief flight instructor if he were looking to hire new flight instructors, but the answer was an unexpected “No.” Berck started sending resumes out to flight schools all over the country. He even sent one to the United State Air Force Academy. We had a good laugh…like they would hire someone, with no experience and a ridiculously low 215 hours flight time, to teach America’s finest!

So imagine our surprise when Berck got an e-mail from them asking him to come out to Colorado Springs! Things suddenly started happening very quickly. Berck finished his final check ride on Wednesday, August 10, drove out to Colorado on Thursday, had the interview Friday, drove back on Saturday. Joanna went into work on Monday, told them she was moving (and couldn’t take that office job after all), we drove back out to Colorado on Tuesday, fell in love with the very first apartment we looked at on Wednesday morning, and drove back to Oklahoma on Thursday. By the next Thursday, we were unloading a Budget truck into our new home. Whew! To make things even more exciting, we found out later that Berck’s flight school in Norman had an eviction order to vacate its building on August 15th; it is now closed (looks like for good).

Instructor PilotBerck is enjoying flying in way cool, fully maintained Diamond Katanas, fitted with sticks instead of yokes. He must stay constantly alert as today’s future fighter pilots attempt to endanger his life. He has to be at work at 05:30 a.m. every other day, but he gets to wear flight suits to work (Berck calls them “pajamas”). He technically works for Embry Riddle, which has the contract to teach cadets how to fly. Berck is currently taking advantage of their program of free online college classes for employees.

Joanna, meanwhile, has been hired by her old friends Duncan and Michele, in whose horseback riding program for kids with special needs she volunteered for many years. Duncan is an attorney specializing in property development, and Michele is a headhunter specializing in technology companies. Joanna specializes in being a Girl Friday to both of them, doing everything from proofreading corporate bylaws to web development to running errands. It’s definitely a step up from her last job. And she gets complimentary smoothies for lunch each day!

We love our two-bedroom apartment in the foothills of Colorado Springs, often enjoying nature right on our doorstep. It seems like a palace compared to our tiny, one-bedroom in Norman. And with two incomes, we feel like royalty (except for those student loans from flight school). We are loving the snow when it falls and the mountains when we go exploring. Feel free to drop by…we have an air mattress and a whole study to put it in!

Berck and Joanna

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