Month: October 2015

How do I help a lonely and isolated teenage girl?

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Answer by Thomas Zerbarini:

Find a way to get closer…slowly! I can't say I am an expert at this, but I have had my share of being lonely and the new kid or strange kid with all the moving around I did as a child.

I would suggest:

  • Sit at her table or near her.
  • Make eye contact and smile nicely from time to time.
  • Talk to a friend or someone else, near her and in her earshot, about some of the things you described experiencing–She will hear things she can "relate" to you about. This may make her feel less alone and isolated.
  • What stranger noticed you? What did they say? What did they do? How did that "break your spell?"
  • Consider asking her for help. Most people in a withdrawn and depressed state do not want to hear that they have a problem or need help. They may be willing to help others with a similar situation thereby opening their mind and thought to what they are experiencing.

I would also consider talking to an experienced professional on the matter to get more substantial advice. I admire your desire to help and your compassion for others. I too have that same drive, just be careful and smart about it. Confrontation is typically a negative way to go. Subtle gestures of compassion and caring I find has better results.

Thomas Zerbarini

How do I help a lonely and isolated teenage girl?

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What does it take to be an airline pilot?

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Answer by Thomas Zerbarini:

Go and get your private pilot certificate. You'll know then if it's an endeavor you want to undertake.

Even if you don't go all the way to become an airline pilot, to have obtained your private pilot certificate and be able to call yourself one of the few aviators of the world is a prize worth having. Not as a bragging right to others, but as a personal achievement for you to admire.

I hope you decide to take the plunge.

Thomas Zerbarini

What does it take to be an airline pilot?

Do you need to take psychometric tests to become an airline pilot?

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Answer by Thomas Zerbarini:

The simple answer is maybe.

Pilots are questioned and evaluated by their Medical Examiners overtime they get their medical certification updated. They ask questions and observe your behavior while you are in the office and conversing with the staff.

Also, many airline application/interivew screening includes a psychometric test(s) like the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) or a derivative that uses data collected by profiling their own pilot group and identifying desirable and undesirable behavior patterns.

The MMPI has its shortcomings when it comes to evaluating individuals for employment screenings. The main problem is that when you are going for a job interview, you want to present yourself in the best light. The MMPI has certain "lie" questions and other questions that you may not be so eager to say in an interview. Things that may be okay for you to discuss with your doctor or therapist you may not be so inclined to share with an potential employer.

Essentially in an employment screening scenario the Psych Testing can produce false negatives for an applicant trying to look his/her best for the employer.

Thomas Zerbarini

Do you need to take psychometric tests to become an airline pilot?

How can a kind child stand up against a bossy kid who obliges the child to play exclusively with them?

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Answer by Thomas Zerbarini:

This sounds like indirect bullying to me. It sounds like the controlling child has not been taught to include others and is not comfortable around others.

If it were my child, I would talk to them about what a good friend means and what a not good friend means.

I would talk about how important it is to have more than one friend. To interact, play and share with others is a good thing and nobody should make you feel bad about that.

I would emphasize that it is important to include others and be friendly to others, especially those that are alone, shy, single out, teased, etc… Nobody wants to be left out and being left out hurts feelings.

I'll also explain that it is okay to have one on one time with a friend, but not all the time. You should spend time one on one with other children to build your friendships.

Children and friends can be a difficult thing to navigate sometimes. Kids can be mean to each other one day and best friends the next. I have had talks with my kids about that very issue. I simply said that they can share their feelings with their friends when they are being mean and say that you need to take a time out from your friendship for a little while. Amazingly, it worked and my kids handled it incredibly well. To help, I would spend a little special time doing some activity with them and even helped them call and set up play dates with their other friends.

I think the most important thing is to teach our children that a bossy friend is not good behavior and maybe not a good friend.

Thomas Zerbarini

How can a kind child stand up against a bossy kid who obliges the child to play exclusively with them?

What was the best advice that your parents had given you?

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Answer by Thomas Zerbarini:

This is what my parents shared with me that I remember and credit their advice both directly and indirectly.

  • If you have a hard time saying you Love someone, show them you Love them with your actions.
  • Be honest with yourself and others–always.
  • Share your feelings, don't bottle them up inside
  • Talk and be open and honest with others, (an honest person talks in detail, a dishonest person avoids conversation and lacks detail)
  • Make eye contact, (the eyes are the window to the soul)
  • Never, never leave your wingman (take care of your family and friends)
  • Stand up for others; help those that are bullied, teased, lonely, struggling, afraid, hurt, etc…
  • Finish what you start
  • Clean your room

My father always had a lot to say and a lot of advice and direction to offer. My mother was quiet and didn't say much. I learned a lot from both of them. Learning was a choice for me to listen and watch from my parents and others. I left behind the bad advice and habits I observed and kept and good advice and teachings that I could use to try and be a better person.

Thanks for the question. It's nice to remember and ponder what I learned from my parents. It feels good to give credit where credit is due.

Thomas Zerbarini

What was the best advice that your parents had given you?

Is it possible for an ordinary person, not associated with the air travel industry, to experience a simulated airline emergency evacuation?

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Answer by Thomas Zerbarini:

Aircraft manufacturers complete live evacuation simulations when they seek certification for a new aircraft from the FAA or other governing certification agency.

In addition to manufacturer demonstration of evacuation and airline specific demonstrations, there are more computer generated modeling companies that can simulate evacuation(s) with limitless variables considered. For example, they can use several interior designs to determine the fastest evacuation time. They can tweak the design and add/change obstacles and features to better the results. They can also place human factors in the modeling.

Here is a video of a UK company that conducts computer generated studies of evacuations:

https://youtu.be/txnjO7O1aVs?t=18m12s
Of course simulating airliner evacuations comes with the risk of injury. The faster you try to get out the more likely they'll be injuries. Hence, the more emphasis on using computer simulations for most of the testing.

I would recommend reaching out to these software modeling companies, aircraft manufacturers and independent research firms and see if they can help you volunteer your time. Just be careful when you do and watch your head.

Thomas Zerbarini

Is it possible for an ordinary person, not associated with the air travel industry, to experience a simulated airline emergency evacuation?