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cadet blogs

Fourth Class Adventures

(Just for Fun, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Corcoran Photo What’s the point of all work but no play?

 

After a long night of cleaning for the formal room and wing inspection on Saturday, October 20th, the corps of cadets were rewarded a short weekend for their hard work, mostly due to Bravo Company senior fourth class (the cadet in charge of organizing all of the fourth class in their respective company), Abigail Isaacs, my roommate. Abby did such a good job organizing all of the fourth class to clean for formal room and wing that our company came in first in the inspection. As a result, my good friend and fellow cadet blogger, Caroline Miller and I decided to take the Amtrak to Boston for the first time in our lives. We ended up taking what the Bostonian natives like to call the “T” to Harvard Square, where we watched the Coast Guard Academy rowing team compete in the Head of the Charles. An interesting thing we observed was a boat in the shape of a Mini Cooper, something definitely not normally seen at the Academy. It was nice to be able to get away from campus after a long, hard week of work and be able to wear civilian clothes and let our hair down, something 4/c cadets are only allowed to do when 75 or more miles away.

 

Exhausted from our day, Caroline and I fell asleep on the train ride home. Having been asleep for quite some time, the train attendant must have assumed we had to get off soon. He awoke Caroline who was sitting on the outside seat by trying to guess her rank.

 

The attendant muttered, “Ensign…Lieutenant…Lieutenant Commander…”

 

I was glad the man thought so highly of us, considering most people do not even think I am eighteen years old yet. It was better to be associated as an officer than as a train attendant, which many people who are boarding the train tend to think.

 



More about Samantha.

 

A Long Four Months

(Life as an Ensign, Class of 2012) Permanent link
Shih Photo ENS Shih here from Dutch Harbor, Alaska. It’s been a while blogging community… I’ve been four months underway and I finally have my underway EOW qualification. It took a lot of hard work and studying but finally I am standing qualified watches and the drawings of the engine rooms in Hawaii seem like a distant memory. In just a few days, I am going to fly off the ship and head down to San Diego to attend Damage Control Assistant (DCA) school. It’s an exciting time a) because I am going to a Navy School (some rumors about mandatory 2 hour lunch breaks???) and b) because I am going to San Diego (after being in the Arctic for months)! After attending that school, I will have the knowledge and expertise to train all other crew members on damage control, and be in charge of fighting fires and flooding that might occur on the ship. Good stuff. Hoping to attend Boarding Officer (BO) school after that. We’ll see.

 

It has been a long past four months, but like any semester at the Academy it seems like at the end of it, time has flown by. You struggle through it, but at the end you appreciate it. The thirty day stints at sea are no joke, and being on a ship can be hard, both physically and mentally. Sometimes you feel like you are in a bubble, trapped with nowhere to go. The world flies by around you, and although you get pieces of it, you are in your own small city onboard a ship. I have to say that being on a Legend Class cutter is not the easiest platform to be to. We go out longer than nearly all the other ships in the Coast Guard, 4 to 5 month patrols, with 30 day periods where we do not see land. Although the ships are brand new, that still does not mean they are perfect in manpower requirements or their new systems. As with any relatively new project, there are kinks that still needed to be worked out, and it takes tremendous effort on all sides of the house to ensure things run smoothly. But, for all the times of frustration and difficulty onboard a big white boat, it also has its moments. Seeing the Northern Lights, getting your own personal customized “Shih” pizza from the crew, becoming a Polar Bear in the Arctic waters with hundreds of your shipmates – it’s the type of things that I will never forget even if I don’t continue down the afloat career path.

 

Well, I know this was brief but I have a tremendous amount of work to do before I leave the ship. I’ll check in sometime soon. But please email me at Christen.C.Shih@uscg.mil or cshih31@gmail.com if you have any questions!

 



More about Chris.

 

Transitioning as a 3c

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Zwenger Photo So a lot of things are changing around the Academy right now. We now have family style breakfast every morning. On top of that, since we have family style breakfast every day, the process of taking a late rack is a lot more complicated that it was last year. I guess the whole point of me telling y’all my problems is so one I can vent about it, and two because it helps me realize that change is always going to happen. The corps really doesn’t have any other option but to cope with what we have and try to make the best of it. Which leads me to say that this is kind of a trend here at the Academy. Changes are made, people complain about it, and then the people get used to it. It seems that sometimes when changes need to be made for the good the it takes a long time, but when changes are less positive (in the eyes of a cadets) it happens overnight. To me there seems to be some sort of disconnect there.

 

I’m sure y’all have heard enough of my complaining so there were two things dawned on me this month. One is that I have a lot of division work this year, a lot more than last year. Last year all I had to take care of was myself and ensure that my grades were up to par. This year I am responsible for my grades in addition to making sure my fourth class’ grades are not poor. Oh, by the way, getting greeted all the time by the fourth class gets old after about a week, sometimes you just want them to have a regular conversation with you without them calling you sir. Anyway, aside from what every third class is responsible for I am in prospective cadet division, so I am the one that assigns the visiting prospective cadets to the host cadets. So chances are if you’ve been here this semester I was the one that paired you with the cadet. And since we have prospective cadets coming in almost every week, we stay extremely busy as a division. Which, as I said, is a lot more that what I was doing last year.

 

As for my personal life, the most amazing weekend and best single day of my life happened over Labor Day weekend. I went to a musical festival in New York City in Randall’s Island Park. It’s called Electric Zoo. If you’re at all familiar with dance music you probably know that this is one of the best music festivals on the East Coast. People that were there included Steve Aoki, Bingo Players, Skrillex, Tiesto, Benny Benassi, etc. In fact the reason that Sunday was the greatest day of my life was because I got to see Tiesto and Skrillex in the front row. On closing night at a festival that hosts around 100,000 people, that’s kind of a hard spot to get to. Honestly, I can’t even begin to describe how much fun I had. The only way to understand is to go. I spent $800 that weekend; I do not regret spending a dime of it. In fact I’ve already bought my ticket for next year. Electric Zoo 2013! Any questions feel free to email me.

 



More about Spencer.