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New Jewelry

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
Passed my level II today. I want to thank everyone who participates here for your help. The discussions that we have make every instructor who participates at this forum a better instructor.

I do want to single out Bob Barnes. I asked the guy for help and he gave it. In all honesty I was embarrassed by the amount of time he spent with me. I had a couple of serious flaws. His keen eye, knowledge of biomechanics, and his calm demeanor fixed my problems.

Bob, I got a ten for RR track turns and nines in the bumps and crud! It is all thanks to you! Thank you.
post #2 of 30
post #3 of 30
Congratulations Rusty Guy on passing level II. This is the level where the "Rubber really begins to meet the road." It's obvious from your scores that you're already on your way to Level III. Go for it!!!!!!!! Give youself a season to train for III and then take it. The steps get larger as you move toward II & III, but it will give you another real goal to strive for.

Congratulations Again ******* Whtmt

post #4 of 30
congrats RG.. way to go.
post #5 of 30
YAY! Congrats Rusty Guy!

Now you can ski for fun for a while, eh?
post #6 of 30
Congrats Rusty Guy, on to level III.
post #7 of 30
Rusty Guy,

Congratulation, that’s a great accomplishment! Savor the pass and enjoy the rest of the season. Don’t worry about level III until at least July or August. Go for level III next season. It ain’t easy but it is a wonderful feeling to pass. I thought the best way to prep for level III was to take out clinics groups of upper level instructors that weren’t studying for an exam.

post #8 of 30
Thread Starter 
Thanks you guys. It's funny. I didn't spend much time working on my wedge christie's and almost blew it. I got a five. Lot's of extension, no tipping to initiate, I know it looked stiff and contrived.

A friend of mine who was a SSD from North Carolina and who is working now at Eldora flunked his level III for the same reason. I am going to have to work on blending my fundamental movements before going any further. I think that's the beauty of the exam process that the W.C. appears at all three levels! My demo stunk.

I'll bet I can go out alone this morning and do it well. It was those eyes and the notepad. I choked.
post #9 of 30
RG, Our examiner really helped us in the demos. I wonder if more of the examiners will start doing their exams this way. Instead of standing at the bottom and doing a call down after giving an example, he had us do a rotating line, almost like a clinic instead of exam time. As we skied them he made comments and encouraged us to make comments and encourage each other. It was almost like we were just warming up for the final exam but it turns out it was our exam. I suspect we all did much better because of the "relaxed" format and it makes sense that the examiner wants to see our best relaxed demos because hopefully that's what we are showing the customer/guest, Not our stiff tense less than perfect exam demo.

Again Congrats..
post #10 of 30
Great job Rustyguy!!!!! 9's and 10's are rare! Of course as I tell all my candidates...they don't engrave your score on the the 5 won't show up either!! Looks like working on your WC to converging step is next!! That's what the scoring is really all about!
Dchan...the steriotypical "call down/head shaking/scorecard-bit" has been dead for a while...most enlightened examiners will "guide" you to a pass and inspire changes within the least dig with you to increase any and all possibility of enhancing your performance. If it is in there, they should help you find it! Trust me, a sincere effort on the part of the examiner ultimately helps both sleep better at night.
post #11 of 30
Rusty, Congratulations!!!! Well done!!

DChan, At least in the East, there is a pretty big difference in the way a Level II exam is run, vs a Level I. Level II has very little coaching and there is a big jump in what is expected from the candidate. Then, when going to Level III, there is another big jump. Although the format and feedback is similar to the Level II, the examiners get VERY picky about the quality and precision of demos and the ability to think on the fly and understand relationships and concepts of skiing, teaching and learning.

You can probably liken it to the quailty control of car manufacturers/builders. A level I is sort of a Chevy Cavalier. It can do the job and can perform well enough to be safe, meet requirements and have a level of dependability. Level II is more of Corvette, where the details and performance matter a lot more. Level III is kind of like an F1 race car. Every little nit and detail must be refined to a very high level, and there is little toleration for flaws.

I think (my opinion) that PSIA is so strict on Level IIIs because they know that people who make it to level III have a good chance of ending up as trainers at their home mountains, and the PSIA Ed Staff wants to be sure that the people that get trained by these folks are getting quality instruction and information, so that the general public also gets quality instruction.
post #12 of 30
Interesting thoughts. After talking to our examiner, I got the impression he was out to change that part too. Although the testing will be more exacting, He mentioned the format he likes to follow is still moving away from the "call down" format. The reason he gave for becoming an examiner/trainer is that he wanted to make a change. The goal is to have fun and still make sure the skills/demos/etc are up to snuff. Isn't that what it's all about. Passion and passing it on (of course with the utmost accuracy)
post #13 of 30
Man put something over all that silver!!! The reflection is blinding me!

Congrats!!!! Way to go! Hey, look a pay raise.

post #14 of 30
Rusty Guy,

Congratulations on a job well done. Wear the badge with pride.


<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 06, 2002 10:23 AM: Message edited 1 time, by WVSkier ]</font>
post #15 of 30
Nice job Rusty Guy!
post #16 of 30
Rusty.... awesome job. Welcome to the ranks. At my mountain, we celebrate with B52 shots... so I'm sending a virtual one to you.
post #17 of 30
Rusty- Great Job! As Robin said 9 and 10 are amazing scores!!! It is great to observe how far you and others have come in your skiing. It is an inspiration.

Please remember the growth is in the journey NOT the attainment! Not to sound like a corny quote but I still see to many going for a pin instead of like YOU going for self improvement. There is a big difference and in the end I think the cream rises to the top as you have shown.
post #18 of 30
Thread Starter 
Strange Day! Go give a lesson to a regular customer for two hours and it was probably the worst lesson that I have ever given. Picked bad terrain, did lousy demos, picked the wrong exercises. It was outrageous. So self improvement.....yes, I need plenty!

It seems my wedge christie's are getting worse each day.

I had a neat discussion with our SSD. He said my scores were the highest in the group so I asked him the obvious question of how far am I from level three. Specifically I asked if any extrapolating could be done. I know my wedge christie's are bad. What does an eight, nine, or ten on the level two equate to in terms of the level three exam?

I'll wait to see what you guys say and pass along his thoughts. He is a Rocky Mountain Examiner.
post #19 of 30
Hey Rusty--Congratulations! 9's and 10's are indeed rare and worthy accomplishments! (In the Rocky Mountain division of PSIA, we score on a 1-10 scale, with "6" being a passing score. A "10" is to the PSIA-RM exam what a "6.0" is in Olympic figure skating--and I'll bet the examiner was not French!)

I am honored that you attribute any of that success to me, but you know perfectly well that it was YOU who did that skiing, Rusty. I had no doubts!

Dchan--Like JohnH says, the exam is likely, even despite your examiner's good intentions, to become more pressured and less "clinic-like" as you go up through Levels 2 and 3. The ability to perform consistently, accurately, and under pressure become increasingly important considerations, especially at Level 3. Level 3 is the "certified" standard of PSIA, so it is rigorous and unforgiving.

All good examiners do their best to keep the pressure as low as possible, and to create a supportive environment that encourages participants to perform their best. But Level 3 demands almost 100% ownership of the movements. The standard would not allow for the candidate to take several attempts before he/she got it right. Like the old Bic pens, at Level 3 it's got to be right "first time, every time"!

So that's not such a comfortable environment. It is not forgiving. And it could be argued that it's not the optimal situation. But I think it is legitimate to demand that level of performance and consistency at Level 3.

Of course, that's not to say that a fall, or a mistake, will end someone's chance for a pin (unlike a gold medal!). We're looking for fundamental movement patterns, ownership of good skiing habits as well as versatility. Mistakes don't count! The REASONS for those mistakes might count, though. If a skier has a stance issue that causes a fall in moguls, for example, that stance issue would be his downfall--not the fall itself!

Anyway, Rusty, congratulations again! I'm sorry I wasn' there. I was down in New Mexico, at Robin's old (and future, Robin?) haunt Angel Fire, for their exams. I am not aware of any "10's" scored down there, in any group, at any level! The highest scores received by anyone in my group (Level 3) were a couple "8"s. Only 2 out of 7 candidates passed the full Level 3 exam in my group, with a third person passing the teaching/technical day but not the skiing day. The other Level 3 group had a similar pass rate. It's not easy!

On to Steamboat for another set of exams....

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #20 of 30
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>What does an eight, nine, or ten on the level two equate to in terms of the level three exam?

Very hard to say, Rusty. The standards are quite different, as you know. You should be quite comfortable with anything you scored "10" on, though. Assuming (bad assumption, of course) that you perform those Railroad Tracks the same way on the Full Cert. exam, I would expect similarly high marks. The big question will be--can you maintain the same level of brilliance when you dial up the intensity, speed, edge angles, and forces involved in the "dynamic carved turns" of the Level 3 exam?

Now, as for those wedge christies--let's work on that! Remember that the best way to peform a "real" wedge christie is to try not to! They are the result of the very same fundamental movements and intents that produce basic contemporary parallel turns. It's a tactical situation--make sure you do them slowly enough, with tight enough and complete enough turns, that those same movements and intents INEVITABLY result in the wedge christie.

On today's deep sidecut skis, with their ability to carve and shape such tight radius turns at such low speeds, the tactical window where wedge christies occur is very small. Too slow and it will be difficult to match smoothly. Too fast and they will become parallel. Finding the right tactics is the key, and the real challenge!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #21 of 30
Bob B, I've heard that in the PNW the pass rate for level 3 is in the 30 percent range. Has that been your experience?
post #22 of 30


Keep up the journey!!!

post #23 of 30
You know Bob, I was just in Durango Mountain Resort for the Edwin Terrel...and Dogger, Milt and Kris H. all asked me the same thing! Future...who knows where the future lies. "Saving the Ski resort at a time"
Seriously, we had a great session..."rooting" "posting" etc after a neat indoor Tai Chi session...then some on snow MA from the Tai Chi instructor! (she was new to skiing)!
Did you do the III? I heard Frank Hicks earned his at the ripe age of 75-76!! He worked hard...and I know from his last endeavor there ain't no gimmes or life-time-achievment awards at III....makes me proud!
post #24 of 30
Yes indeed, Robin--Frank Hicks was in my group, and at age 75, he was one of the two who passed! He did well on the teaching/technical day, but I had little hope for him pulling off the skiing. He did it! To my surprise, and delight, he nailed the bump run--great mechanics and tactics, and more than enough speed and athleticism to suit me! Dogger watched the bump run too, and was equally excited to see Frank burn it up! Some of Frank's old ingrained movement patterns from ages ago haunted him slightly in the crud and free skiing run, but he more than made up for it elsewhere.

Congratulations, Frank Hicks--a job well done, and an inspiration for us all! I'm proud to wear the same pin!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #25 of 30
When Frank came to us (in his 60's) he had worked parttime as an eastern 'troll, had a beautiful reverse shoulder/tip lead with feet glued. Everymorning rain or shine he was on the first, he has shed some baggage!
He almost made it at Purg a few years back...I am so tickled to know that he persevered...truly an inspiration and very deserving!
post #26 of 30
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Robin:
When Frank came to us (in his 60's) he had worked parttime as an eastern 'troll, had a beautiful reverse shoulder/tip lead with feet glued.

As in the "ski patrol roll" ?

I was skiing with a few other instructors last weekend and we were doing some MA just for practice and 2 patrollers went by. One had the typical patrol roll, one had all the "parallel alignments" (Shoulders, hands, hips, knees, feet all in parallel alignment) It was a very stark contrast and suprising since most of the patrollers I have seen do have the typical patrol roll.

Just an observation...

Thanks for sharing the Frank Hicks story with us. It's always inspiring to hear great success stories like that.
post #27 of 30
Thread Starter 

About those wedge christie's. I must confess a somewhat funny as well as illustrative tale. Our examiner was Jennifer Metz. Chris has scared the living wits out of me by saying she was/is a "tough grader". That obviously ratcheted up my emotions a notch or two. In short, she was superb. Obviously I liked the deal.

At the start of day two, she asked if anyone had any questions. I did not mention names, however, I said I had skied with two different examiners (you and Chris!!!) and that I HAD INTERPRETED a slight difference in how a wedge christie should be initiated. I said, I BELIEVED Chris had very visible/dynamic/substantial extension to begin the turn, while you stressed tipping to allow the skis to "fall" into the gravity line. Jennifer went on to describe flexion/extension as a mechanism to balance and that tipping was obviously a movement that needed to be blended into the mix. She was diplomatic. I was simply trying at this point to figure out some way to improve my lousy turns!!!

I go outside, lock up, fall prey to "purpose tremor" and initiate my first half dozen or so turns with zero tipping and enough extension to give David Thompson a run for his money, in his prime, (46" vertical leap while playing roundball for NC State in the late seventies). In the midst of this debacle, I realized my ship was, in fact, sinking and that it was far to late to start bailing water. I honestly thought I was going to puke while wrapping up my final few turns My nauseum and my fear of soiling myself, immediately moved my c.o.m. forward, and my final few turns at least had a little shape. I didn't want to sully my brand new Bengal Orange Phenix jacket, with matching orange hat, that I wore to look "cool". You've seen the jacket. I think I actually only succeeded in looking like a CDOT snowplow driver.

Alas, I was too late to stop extending/flexing, a la a snowgoose in a mating ritual. Notes were being copiously written and I was tempted to yell..."wait...I can actually do this the right way".

So, as you so aptly pointed out, wedge christie turns should be "done"not "tried".
post #28 of 30
Rusty...Jennifer is usually good for one group "redo"....did she offer or did you resign yourself to fate? Of course with a few 9s and 10s you could afford the tax!
I sent a email to national to find out if they have record of the oldest person to earn their III...I have two of the countries 59, 40 year pins on staff and none of us can recall an older candidate cutting it!
Incidently, Rusty since Jennifer is such a did she score your bumps...what kind of feedback...she once gave me an excercise I have used with great success.
post #29 of 30
Thread Starter 
She asked if anyone wanted a "redo" and no one could agree as to which maneuver. She then suggested hockey slides which we all took as a hint.

I got a nine on my bump run and we actually did two bump runs. I felt I had done fairly well on my first run and let it loose "a bit" on the second pass.
post #30 of 30
hmmm. Hockey slides....

My elbow still hurts from my last outing doing those about 2 1/2 months ago.
I was moving along at a pretty good clip, swivel right --- Sliiiiiiide, Straight---swivel left --- Sliiiiiiiide, Straight again .... hey I had forgotten how fun these were... BAM. all of a sudden I'm on the ground all the other instructors are ROFL.. I dropped into a rut going across the cat track while sliding sideways. the skis and feet just stopped and of course I kept going. Owwww,

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