"The circle is now complete. When I left you I was but the learner, 
now I am the master." -Darth Vader

Okay, so maybe we won't go THAT far, but I can say that my training is officially over and I have now "Earned my Ears". Yay!!!! What does that mean? I get to take the little red ribbon off my name tag and now when guests ask me a question I really should know. =/ Even though I've gone through training, I really am still learning about a few things and getting into the hang of living and working down here. I commented to one of my co-workers last night that each shift feels like an experience. I go and it's something new every day or night. It's wonderful, but just mentally and physically exhausting! That's why I haven't written anything since last weekend. This week has just been a whirlwind, but I'm here and I'll try to give you the highlights.

Tuesday: Day off. I slept and went to Wal-Mart, and that was the eventful part of my day. Meh...

Wednesday and Thursday: This was officially my second day of training, since my trainer called in sick on Monday. I had a wonderful lady as my trainer, named Aleida. Aleida es de Cuba =) We were together for both day two and three and she was exceedingly patient with all my questions and roundabout explanations. While with Aleida I had a few cool expereinces. I pin-traded with a deaf couple and got to use what limited sign language I knew (Basically "Have a good day" and "Thank you")  and I got to make a few Magical Moments. One in particular involved three little girls, Bailey, Lainey, and Whitney. They were at Disney World celebrating Bailey's and her sister's (Who was on Rockin' Roller Coaster) adoption. Bailey, Lainey, and Whitney were too short to ride the roller coaster, so they were waiting. We colored in pictures of the Disney Princesses and when they were done, I had them sign them and told them to make sure they went up on the fridge at home. It was adorable!!!

Friday: This was my Fantasmic training night. Fantasmic shifts are much different from normal shifts. I can understand why some people may not like them because they really are very tiring and they are only six hours long. =/ So you don't make as much money. But I enjoyed my Fantasmic shift. My trainer, Charlene, and I took a cart out to "HOJO", or the junction of Hollywood and Sunset Blvd, right in front of the Sorcerer Mickey hat. And of course, it was the first day of the last Star Wars Weekend, so we were out there for the Hyperspace Hoopla! I might have looked a little silly wearing so much blinking, spinning stuff and dancing to remixed Star Wars music, but I had a blast doing it, so there! I believe Charlene was thoroughly amused. We sold quite a bit too, so I'd say it was a successful night.
Because Fantasmic is a night shift, I didn't have to report until later, so I went to the park a bit early so I could get a Darth Vader chocolate, peanut butter cupcake. OHMYGOSHITWASAMAZING! And while I was in Darth's Mall (Get it??) I met up with a few members of the 501st, Florida Garrison. For those of you who don't know, the 501st was a legion of Clone troopers/Storm troopers known as "Vader's Fist". Anakin fought with them during the Clone Wars and kept them around after the Purge. The real-life 501st is a group of Star Wars fans who do appearances and charity work through foundations like Make-A-Wish, etc. I got to "talking shop" with them and they were pretty cool. Two were Cast members too. They gave me their cards and told me to drop them a line if I thought about joining up. Wow! I'm not much of a fan of the Empire or the Dark Side, but these guys were pretty cool and they are super-nerds of Star Wars like me! I might have to consider it!

Saturday: Saturday was my last day of training and I had Donald. Not Donald Duck, another Donald. He seemed quite impressed with my track record thus far and after seeing me work for about an hour out at the Rockin' Roller Coaster cart, determined that I was thoroughly prepared for my final test. So we went and did that before lunch and despite a few tricksey questions, I passed! The rest of my day consisted of stocking, though, because I had a weird shift time. It was also pouring, so there were a lot of people in the shop. Queue more Magical Moments! One little boy in particular stuck in my memory. His name was Josh and he was from England (it's so cute listening to a child speak British English!!!) Josh was a huge Star Wars fan and his favorite character is none other than THE OBI-WAN KENOBI! The Force is strong with this one! =) Josh was too short to go on Rockin' Roller Coaster, but we talked a bunch and it was so fun! Afterwards I got to meet Josh's dad (an ex-rocker himself) and we talked a bit more. It was still raining when they left, so Josh challenged his dad to a race to Tower of Terror. =)

Sunday: AKA Yesterday, was my first Fantasmic shift ALONE!!!! DUN DUN DUUUUNN!!! Nah, it wasn't really that bad. In fact, it was pretty fun. I took out another cart, this one on Sunset Blvd, right near the entrance of Fantasmic. We took rain gear and ponchos, but thankfully our pre-planning meant the weather held off. I sold A LOT of glowing, spinning stuff, but the cool part was that I got to finally see Danielle! Danielle first tipped me off to the College Program and  we'd been trying to find a time to meet up since I got down here, but all of our attempts fell through until one night Danielle came to Hollywood Studios and BAM! there I was! Go figure. She took a picture, so I probably have a picture of myself with my glow on floating around the Internet somewhere. It was really cool to meet up with her again. She starts her training for her full time position at Animal Kingdom Lodge today.
I also met another Star Wars fan, a young man named Danny. Danny was in Tae Kwon Do and of course had his lightsaber with him. He wanted to spar with me (I was waving around one of the Sorcerer Mickey Light Swords when he came by). Unfortunately I had to tell him no, but that I could teach him a few actual lightsaber moves. ;) Since the street was basically empty at 10:30 (the park closes at 10, but the last Fantasmic show is at 10:30), I had plenty of space to teach Danny a few of the lightsaber moves that I knew. His mom thought it was so cool that she filmed part of it. I rounded off that night coming back about fifteen minutes late, but Danny and his family went home with huge grins on their faces and hopefully a very fond memory of the last day of Star Wars weekend. Mission accomplished.

Tonight I have another Fantasmic shift. In fact I have a lot of Fantasmic shifts coming up. Since they're so short, I'm going to have to pick up a few more hours, but that just means I'll be looking to work at other locations. I've got my eye on a Merchandise shift on Main Street, USA. Hmm...

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