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Posted by MHK on August 08, 2001 at 09:51:11:

In Reply to: Re: so do it posted by Wood on August 07, 2001 at 20:51:50:

I've been keeping this information fairly quiet but I guess now is as good a time as any to disclose it..

As many of you may know JJ, Andrew et. al started GUE because of a frustration with existing agencies, and the staunch unwillingness to enact reforms. Both JJ and Andrew held very advanced positions within their respective agencies, which positions I can't say off the top of my head, but nonetheless they were in very influential positions. Accordingly, and probably why I admire this agency so much, is because it was born out of a shared frustration and a shared desire to increase training and education, not streamline it to meet the demands of some marketing scheme.. To that end GUE was born..

In it's infancy it was started with little financing, little resources but a strong desire to change the face of diving.. The chosen business model has been to start from the top and work it's way down.. Accordingly, cave, tech became the calling card.. Given the unprecendanted success of the those programs Andrew and JJ recently introduced the GUE fundamentals program and will be releasing shortly [ relative term ;-)] a open water program. My understanding is that Andrew has completed the initial draft of the curiculum and JJ is reviewing it..

Many of you may have noticed that I have been spending a lot of time with Andrew { Seattle & Monterey] and JJ [Florida] and that isn't being done because I need the frequent flyers miles..

I am, in fact, interning with Andrew to become a GUE instructor.. Contrary to the industry standard IDC and IE, GUE is having me do things much differently, and I believe that I will be the model by which GUE develops it Instructor program. Given that I was NOT an instructor for another agency, that precluded a crossover. JJ, Andrew and I discussed the issue in great detail and one of the options that I had was to actually go through a IDC and IE and then GUE would *cross me over*, subject to additional training.. I rejected that option because I felt that I was a waste of time and money to go through a PADI IDC and IE, especially since I walked out of an IDC 5 years ago due to my philosophical differences.. 5 years later my differences are even larger so we decided that I would do a full GUR internship, coupled with an SSI instrutorship. Andrew also holds an SSI IT rating.. However, all involved knew that I have no desire to teach anything else but GUE/DIR so the focal point has been on assisting Andrew, Walker in a wide variety of training curriculms. For example, last weekend was a tech level 2 class.. Andrew felt strongly, and I agree with many of your comments, that working with students and getting that *relationship* and time with instructor to student is of paramount importance, and you can bet that this internship is mindful of that concept..

I've been doing this for about 4 months and my suspicion is that it'll be another few more months before Andrew is comfortable with me, and before I'm comfortable teaching the way I want to teach.. I don't just want to sell you a c-card, I want you to learn what I have to offer.. Having a big mouth on the internet and at the DIR Demo's is one thing, but I don't have a teaching background so Andrew is bringing me along and showing me the ropes.. This guy is one of the most impressive guys you'll ever meet. I also have the added advantage of having one of my primary dive buddies [ John Walker] allow me to sit in on his classes, because he is as well, one very knowledgable instructor..

Our long term goals are to have me qualified at the OW level and GUE Fundamental level, and then allow Walker to concentrate his efforts on the technical level. Further to that point, the reason that Andrew offered to do a free Fundamental class for shop owners and instructors is because we believe that once you take it off the interent and actually see it, try it and understand the entire GUE philosophy that we can become a much more inclusive agency and it won't just be Walker and I teaching in our area...

Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.. Please feel free to ask any follow up's and I hope that clears it up...


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