This morning I ate some of DeEtta and Chad's yummy gravlax before going to my "mentor shift." All new Rangers, called Alphas, must do their first shift with two mentors. We basically follow them around and talk to them and help out if needed. Then they get together and talk about us, and decide whether we've got what it takes to become a full-fledged Ranger. To me this sounds a little silly-- it's a VOLUNTEER position. At home, we're happy to take anyone who wants to Ranger....we don't tell anyone "sorry, you're not good enough." In my opinion, there's a place for everyone. But whatever...their sandbox, their rules.
On my mentor shift, I rangered first with Two-Step, then with Beavis. They were both older and fairly low-key guys, who seemed impressed that I'd already been Rangering for 5 years, and they told me not to worry...it's not THAT different on the playa. By 6:30pm, our mentors declared that most of my graduating class (at least two didn't make the cut) were fit to Ranger, and there was a little ceremony where we got presented with our Ranger hat and shirts. That part was kind of fun, even though I felt bad for the ones who didn't make it. I guess a lot more is at stake here and they can't afford to blow it.