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PSIA Level 2 blues

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I'm an instructor at our local area near Seattle, Snoqualmie Summit. This weekend was the first time in about 10 years we've had an exam here. I just needed teaching for Level 2, didn't pass, but that's another story. Our hill is pretty small but we probably have more students than any other Washington resort. It's a ski instruction factory.
The thing that really bugs me about PSIA this weekend is the examiners' criticizing the area. During the exam they seemed very uninterested , just proceeded to go thru the routine. All of us growing up here have heard the jokes (Snow crappy, S***Acres), but I don't appreciate these guys coming in with a superior attitude. I found this very unprofessional, and only reinforces my opinion of PSIA as an elitist bunch of old white guys. I've had some good clinics with a local former examiner, and I will certainly mention it to him. My technical Director also intends to "say something".
With the expulsion of private Ski Schools from Stevens'-a bigger resort-and subsequant loss of members, I'm surprised PSIA NW would chose to trash us instead of welcome us to their private club.:
post #2 of 16
I think I know who this is... I agree with you that sometimes the examiners can come across as arrogant. On the other hand, we all learn something by taking exams... they are a good way for us to continue to learn as skiers and instructors.

FWIW, I was cussing our our lovable ski area myself on Saturday. It's hard to see it's charms when you need a wet suit to stay dry!

Keep on trying. I know you'll get this exam passed next time.

Mike
post #3 of 16
sorry to hear the problems. I wish we could fix these problems. A member of my school also had a bad experience with their examiner in Snow Summit (L2). An examiner that has decided he didn't like the new module format of PSIA-W and also felt that candidates should not have "second chances" during the same season. (second attempt at the skiing portion of the exam) and expressed this to one of the candidates. The impression I got was that this examiner was going to fail anyone that was taking the exam a second time regardless of how well the candidate was qualified.

It's something that needs to be fixed in the exam system.

If Dave B is still at Snoqualmie Summit, Tell him Rich, Deb Glovin, and David Chan send their regards. We miss him down here..

DC
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yes Mike, it's me. I'm not that upset about the exam, I will deal with it, and pass it. It's just, I don't care what the examiners think, but they should keep their personal opinions about our area to themselves. I don't believe they are showing a professional attitude, and they're disrespecting us. You and I both take our positions as instructors seriously, and I simply want the same respect from them they expect from us.
And also, it was great watching them get soaking wet
post #5 of 16
Good luck on your retest of the Level II when you prepare more for it. We had four who didn't pass also , ,mostly for their lack of technical expertise. One other failed the skiing portion.

BTW. The largest ski school in Washington, is at Mt Spokane. We have the most students of all the Washington resorts.

One of the examiners, Paul Jones ,came back and held a clinic to help us become better prepared and to advance our education.I attended this all day clinic . It was the best clinic I have attended. This test is not a gimmee and the examiners expect certain standards to be met. If you don't meet the standards you need to prepare more not blame the bearers of bad news.
I respect the effort he made to improve our skiing and teaching skills. I am grateful for his time.and efforts.
post #6 of 16
sonny6, I agree with you. Completely unprofessional. And quite the contrary of the folks that I've met who are at the top of their games (like the Alpine Team members that I have had the pleasure to meet). They enjoy skiing anywhere, and one time I met with Nick, he showed me pictures of an area in Ohio where he had given a clinic and talked about how great the people were even though they were skiing stripes of white between the brown forested areas.

Disappointingly unprofessional.
post #7 of 16
It's always a shame when ego's of a few ruin the rep of a total organization...

DC
post #8 of 16
I know not all the examiners have that attitude. Seems more likely it's a miss understanding. If someone did say something unprofessional and inappropriate you should let the Cert VP know as the examiners are his responsibility.

Bashing the PSIA and all PSIA-NW examiners on some website doesn't do much good and it seems weird that you would want your level 2 if you think the PSIA is just an "elitist bunch of old white guys".
post #9 of 16
Today was a pow pow day. The examiners were all pissy because they could of been out there skiing the powder but instead were make sure you guys could ski down runs at the flattest resort in NA. Kinda intersting that there was a level 2 going down at snowcrummy this weekend, cause there was one at stevens as well.

As far as the resort goes. I have to say that the PSIA dudes do have a point, the only good terrain at the whole place is chair 2 at alpy, or the park if thats your thing. I hear alot of my friends say the snowcompton park is the best in the state, so you got that going for ya.
post #10 of 16
There is no excuse for arrogance.

It is disgraceful that top representatives of the PSIA behave like that. On one hand, this absolutely reflects badly on the entire organization, like it or not. This is especially true when it's more than one isolated examiner.

That being said, I have met more "good" (friendly, helpful, fair, professional) examiners than the type you had, sonny6. I've attended a couple of PSIA events where the examiners "made the most" out of the conditions we had, instead of complaining.

But sonny6's testimony about his observation of certain PSIA examiners is believable, and probably not just some "misunderstanding." Some of those examiners don't deserve to be examiners.


Pass or fail, the candidates should come away from any PSIA event feeling proud to support and participate in the organization. Examiners are supposed to set a standard of skiing proficiency and attitude for PSIA members. "Pissiness" doesn't cut it.


Quote:
The thing that really bugs me about PSIA this weekend is the examiners' criticizing the area. During the exam they seemed very uninterested , just proceeded to go thru the routine. All of us growing up here have heard the jokes (Snow crappy, S***Acres), but I don't appreciate these guys coming in with a superior attitude.

Did you happen to hear any of them say, "This would never happen at Deer Valley/Vail," sonny6?

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=49516


I hope that your next PSIA event will feel like it's worth the money you spent.
post #11 of 16
I don't think this happens in PSIA-E, but I have observed the pass rate is lowest on l2 skiing where conditions are easiest. If the snow is very difficult, or the resort is steeep, the examiners give the candidates some more slack, or so it appears. OTOH if the exam is at a relatively flat resort, or conditions are just perfect, the candiddates really need to bring their "A game." I think this is because the standard allows for some deviation from ATS dynamic parallel at level 2, but not continual deviation. The discretion would seem to reflect the resort conditions. for example, if pivot slips are the task and there are six inches of new snow, the candidates might not be able to do them as well. The examiner then has to see if the underlying movement pattern is basically what he or she is looking for. Of course, I am not an examiner, and my discussion reflects observations based on pass rates. I do know that a recent exam at a nearby resort yielded one of the lowest passing rates for our resort's candidates, and the conditions were relatively good, a bit slushy, but the resort was relatively flat. OTOH passing rates at the more challenging resorts seem to be much better.
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baja View Post
There is no excuse for arrogance.

It is disgraceful that top representatives of the PSIA behave like that. On one hand, this absolutely reflects badly on the entire organization, like it or not. This is especially true when it's more than one isolated examiner.

That being said, I have met more "good" (friendly, helpful, fair, professional) examiners than the type you had, sonny6. I've attended a couple of PSIA events where the examiners "made the most" out of the conditions we had, instead of complaining.

But sonny6's testimony about his observation of certain PSIA examiners is believable, and probably not just some "misunderstanding." Some of those examiners don't deserve to be examiners.


Pass or fail, the candidates should come away from any PSIA event feeling proud to support and participate in the organization. Examiners are supposed to set a standard of skiing proficiency and attitude for PSIA members. "Pissiness" doesn't cut it.


I hope that your next PSIA event will feel like it's worth the money you spent.
Very well put...

My L3 skiing last year was at Heavenly. Pouring rain day one and two with only 2-3 lifts running. We complained about the weather and the lack of terrain, (not the resort's fault just happens) But the event was great. We skied what we had, we skied hard and we learned a lot..

I have not skied with any examiners that have not represented the best of the organization so I would have to guess that there are more good people than bad. Again it's just too bad that the few bad ones always stand out..

How my IBM manager put it was,

One "AW S*** will wipe out a huge stack of ATTABOY's"

DC
post #13 of 16
By the way, I like your attitude about the actual exam. Keep it up and work hard. Find a mentor if you don't already have one. Your goal will be reached. The goal is a worthy one and the journey is great. I continue on mine as well.

Good luck and good skiing.

DC
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your input.
The reference to "old white guys" is actually a quote (perhaps not exact, I'd have to look it up), from the PSIA NW outgoing presidents' remarks in our newsletter, about trying to deversify the organization. And...........I'm also an old white guy. Later.
post #15 of 16
sonny6,

Sorry to hear about your experience on the L2 teaching. The module system has been in progress here for a number of years. What trainers don't understand is that it is as difficult as the L3 Teaching and professional knowledge (part 2), but is focused on lower level skiers. I give the same information to each candidate regardless of which exam thay are taking. I refuse to give anyone a canned rap to use for the modules b/c thay don't learn anything from that. Instead, I get them thinking about what skill to develope, pick an exercise to promote that skill. From there , they have to break it down into it's basic elements and present it and, of course, relate it to skiing. It is the level of understanding you are being tested on, not how well you can teach (which doesn't hurt). So, I hope you don't feel too bad about not passing this time and keep on working on the areas where there is room to improve.
I am also shure the examiner who was dissing your area will have to explain to the BOE why there was complaints about him. Good luck!

RW
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
Ron, that helps out, the lightbulb is going on above my head (it's on a dimmer switch). My TD and mmckimson (another clinic member) have been very helpful to me, and will help me out next year.
I'm pretty close, I just need to arrange my verbal and thinking skills to focus on that fifteen minutes of teaching. Not any easy task for a retired construction worker. I took the exam this year because it was at my home area, I didn't need the credits. I wanted to do what I did; get an idea of what they're looking for so I can work on it in the future. Thanks.
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