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OFF Relief: A Night "OFF"

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So as you might have seen in my other posts, I am currently working on what's called "comps" in the States. First, it sounds more like a medical condition than an academic process - and this is probably accurate. It's a culmination of two years worth of PhD work: where you are examined twice: once in an eight hour exam and again a few days later in an interview with your professors. The idea is that they test you to see if you know everything there is to know about your field: mine being "Modern German History." The last three months have been a horrific blur: spent doing the normally insane amount of work I do every semester with the added burden of preparing for this exam by reading through some 150 books.


Needless to say, I haven't seen a flight sim in months.


But I finally cracked last night. I had had enough, enough of reading and note taking, enough of staring into my word processor for hours at a time. I needed a break. So I walked over, fired up the gaming computer, and started OFF.


For the sake of my old pilots - who sit in suspended animation until this summer - I created a new pilot: Cecil Graves, and put him into a plane that, surprisingly (given my name) I haven't flown in OFF: The Sopwith Camel.


Cecil's first patrol took him up over the lines on a patrol in beautiful clear weather. The patrol was eventful too! In addition to dodging flak and not getting lost (his patrol sector was in a location I wasn't terribly familiar with) we wound up coming across a low-flying formation of DFW's painted in lavender and green. I rolled my Camel over and descended - opening fire on the first DFW as I screamed past at a high rate of speed. After flying in the 1916 early 1917 era for so long, this new Camel felt like a jet fighter by comparison! I circled back around - the clattering of machine gun fire was deafening as all sides poured on the fire - also a big change from the intermittent rat-tat-tat's I'm used to hearing. As I came back around from my turn, I opened fire again - the force of the twin Vickers guns was tremendous and with my trusty Track-IR equipped, I leaned forward and looked through my gun sight to guide the rounds in.


It was incredibly fast. It was incredibly violent. And, in the end, a DFW was left on fire, plummeting to the earth.


It was a tremendous first patrol back. Cecil performed well - never losing control of the tricky widow-maker of the Sopwith Camel. We turned, headed for home, and descended across our side of the lines.


And as I sat back, hearing the wind whipping through my cockpit, watching the sunlight dancing across the shell-torn landscape below, and looked off my wingtip to see my fellow Camel pilots, my mind finally stopped.


No comps. No papers. No grading. No language exams. No student debt (which is now nearing BMW 5-Series territory). And no comps.


It was glorious. And yet again, I owed a debt, not only to the devs - guys like Pol and Winder and Shred and Sandbagger - but also to you guys: The power supply in my rig was donated, as well as the TrackIR system that I can no longer fly without.


So thanks: everyone - for giving me a wonderful break from a stressful semester of work. I owe you all one!


Cheers! :drinks:

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Bravo CaptSopwith!


What a great experience for you in a stressful time. I too just picked up the joystick after a 9-month layoff and it feels good to experience the wonderful world of OFF once again. Good luck in your schooling and in the unfriendly skies as well.

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I did none of that and so cannot take the salute. But I am glad that you are back to getting some use out of your OFF. We all need a bit of leisure time to blow off steam. If we don't we end up going mad. Mad! I tell you!!!!!!

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