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So, What Was I Up to in October?

 Permanent link
Merritt Photo Hello blog readers,

 

It’s almost the middle of November, which means that I made it through October unscathed!

 

So what was I up to in October?…hmm, well I went to Six Flags New England for Fright Fest with Genesis Council, survived midterms, had a Connecticut College/USCGA ice cream social to foster relationships between our respective student unions and as of right now I’m less than a week away from going on Thanksgiving Leave, which I’m going to spend in NYC! I can’t believe how quickly it’s gone! Barely two and a half weeks after that and I’ll be finishing up finals and heading on home for Winter Leave. The chill is picking up here in Connecticut, which means it is definitely a good time for me to go reconnect with my support team back home, namely my father and older sister who definitely make me tread a fine line when it comes to managing my phone bill!

 

Though the cold is starting to pick up, let me tell you, fall in New England is absolutely incomparable. You know how they always have those pictures of fall, and they just so happen to be in like Washington or near this area because of the splashes of vibrant yellows, oranges and reds? Well, those pictures are not a lie folks. The color display is just brilliant—absolutely priceless. With all this talk of weather, I won’t forget to mention a bit about Hurricane Sandy. So we did get hit, but the Academy is built to last (both structurally and systematically) so during the entire time I felt totally safe thanks to precautions I had personally taken, the Academy required and the support of the cooking staff who insisted on coming in to feed us. Thank you Aramark!

 

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now…besides class which I need to head off to!

 

Until next blog,
3/c Jalle Merritt

 



More about Jalle.

 

It All Comes Back to Running

(Athletics, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Lash Photo The corps is about to hit the final sprint of the semester. The problem is that this 15-day sprint is booby trapped with group projects, tests, final papers, exams, and random 2 a.m. fire alarms. It’s time to watch some Indiana Jones movies, and learn all the tricks to avoiding the hidden trap doors that line the road to winter leave.

 

A weekend of cross country running and New York City was the perfect way to blow off some steam with friends before throwing myself into the void of homework and sleepless nights. After running a PR of 27:04 at the DIII regional meet, two XC runners and I went to NYC for the weekend. It was a weekend filled with coffee, joking around, good pizza, sightseeing, jacket buying, and countless miles of walking in circles and asking for directions. It was great to celebrate the end of an amazing XC season with them.

 

The season was so “amazing” because it was so surprising. I liked the confusion on people’s faces when I ran a time that was 2:00 faster than the previous week. The new coaching style was great and it really worked out for me. I had no idea what I was capable of, seeing this is only my second year running. In September I was afraid I wasn’t going to make the team, and this past week I ended up placing 4th on the team in the DIII’s regional race. I ran a 6 second PR, but I didn’t break 27:00 like I wanted to. I look at that as a brief, but necessary setback. Not making that time keeps me hungry for more, and I want to be breaking 26:00 by the end of next season. This is certainly going to require a lot of work, but I’m more than willing to make running my number one priority to achieve it.

 

My dad recently told me that “You’re not going to remember your classes, but the sports and activities that you did.” I really realize that now. I’ve made some amazing friends this XC season and I look forward to keeping them as friends for the rest of my life. That group of 20 guys who enjoy running way more than any human being should are some of the best guys I know. I can’t wait to see the adventures and races that lie ahead for us in the next few years.

 



More about Jon.

 

It’s All Happening So Fast!

(Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Martin Photo It’s a week from Thanksgiving? No stop! I didn’t think I’d ever want to slow a semester down, but right now things are flying by so fast its hard to keep track of what’s what. We only have two full weeks of school left and then finals and yet we still have more than 50% of grades left to earn in most classes. That means that this is going to be a busy next two weeks and I’m already feeling the heat. Three tests and three 20-minute presentations a week and to finish it all off, five three-hour finals to make or break you. The stress levels are high all around the Academy, but there’s a nice Thanksgiving break coming up that will be a good 30-second timeout before play resumes.

 

I have never listened to Christmas music before Thanksgiving’s over, never! Once it’s the day after Thanksgiving, the Christmas lights come on and the Christmas music gets turned up. Unfortunately, this State of the Union address is to inform you that this sacred law has been broken. On the 11th day of November in the year of 2012, Christmas music was played, and it hasn’t stopped. It was just the only way to get through the week! Play a little Christmas music and homework doesn’t feel as arduous and the nights don’t seem as late. The sun shines a little brighter (that is, if it ever does shine during the Dark Ages) and that glorious three-week break seems right around the corner. In reality, it is right around the corner, yet it feels miles away with what has to get done before it can get here.

 

It’s nice to stop and think for a minute about where we are. We are just about done with the first half of our 3/c year. Soon enough we will be hearing trainings on how to be great cadre this summer and then we will see our cadre graduate. It’s a tough four years, but from what I can see, it doesn’t last long.

 



More about Matt.

 

Veteran's Day Weekend Adventures

(Athletics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Cantrell Photo What a great weekend! Since Veteran’s Day was on Sunday, the Corps of Cadets did not have school on Monday and we were all able to take a “long”. A “long” means that you can leave after your last military obligation (normally class) on Friday and not come back until Monday at 1900 (for 3/c). I had a home swimming and diving meet on Saturday so I couldn’t leave until Saturday evening, but it was still a great long weekend. Friday night the swimming and diving team had a pasta party at one of the swim team girl’s house close to the Academy. Saturday after the diving meet, which Coast Guard won on both the men’s and women’s side, I jumped on the ferry with three of my friends and headed for Long Island. My friend’s aunt lives on the Island and we all decided to go to her house for the weekend. It was so relaxing to be at a house and go to sleep early and just hang around. We all woke up at a decent time on Sunday and took a train into New York City. It was my first time on a train so that was pretty exciting! The city was great we all just walked around and shopped and met up with my aunt for lunch. We took an early train back to Long Island and were able to cook a nice dinner, which is something we are never able to do at the Academy so it was a lot of fun. Monday was a little depressing because we had to pack to return. It’s a weird feeling you get in your stomach knowing you’re coming back. It’s hard to explain, but it helps that I’m a third class now and it makes it a little easier to cross the bridge.

 

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and everyone is getting excited and anxious to get home. This year is the first time I will not spend Thanksgiving with my family, but I will be spending it with great friends and an amazing family. Once I’m an officer, I might not be able to spend every holiday with my family so it’s good to get use to it now. Plus, I will be going home in a month for winter leave so I have that to look forward to.

 

The semester is almost over, which means exams are sneaking up. Crunch time is coming and there is a lot of studying to be done. I’m ready for this semester to be over with and to be able to start fresh again after winter leave. Third class year is tough academically, but if you put in the time and effort it is definitely doable. I hope everyone has a happy holiday and from what I remember, acceptance letters will be coming shortly so good luck to all of you and if you have any questions feel free to email me!

 



More about Sara.

 

Men's Crew

(Athletics, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Murphy Photo The crew team this year has been my rock. We are the closest team on campus; the only team that has its own “house”. We have barbeques almost every Friday and travel on weekends to races. It is a great opportunity to get away from the Academy. Best of all, the team consists of walk-ons. There is no previous experience needed to excel in this sport; in fact, many rowing Olympians picked up the sport in high school.

 

This fall season, Coach Steve Hargis has returned as a Men’s Head Coach. This man is a rowing legend. He has been rowing /coaching for over 30 years and currently coaches the U.S. junior national team in the spring/summer. He has turned the Coast Guard men’s rowing program around. If you want to be a part of something special, the men’s crew team is where it’s at. If you are looking to try another sport, try out men’s crew and be a part of a revolution at the Academy.

 



More about Sean.

 

Passing the Big Test

(Academics, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Chavarria-Aguilar Photo I have a few things to say about my third semester here at the Academy. Last year was rough in its own respect, but this year has been a whole new animal.

 

Now, I don’t need to tell you that life as an upper-class cadet is worlds better than life as a fourth-class. I’ve breathed the fresh air of independence, and there is nothing sweeter. Despite the fact that we are still restricted from civilian clothes and owning cars, the rights that we have earned back are definitely worthwhile. For instance, I can go out on Friday nights and stay out later on Saturdays. Also, I can wear rec gear (khakis and a polo) out on liberty, instead of the Coast Guard uniform. And, rather than being a follower, we are now expected to be role models for the new fourth class. Fortunately, the job isn’t so hard since we had all of last year to prepare for it. I myself am lucky enough to be in a division with a great fourth-class who knows how to do her job right.

 

On another note, my classes have not been easy this semester. I’ve struggled with a few different subjects and have noticed that as each semester passes, my GPA drops every so slightly. At first, I feared that I was doing something wrong. However, I later realized that it was a sign of how challenging the courses here at the Academy can be.

 

I once read, “…a man enters a new world with the aim of becoming something greater than he once was. He is tested once, twice, three, four, five times, each test harder than the last. Then comes the most difficult test of his life. And at the end of the week, he emerges a different man. He has met the hardest test of his life, and he has passed or he has failed.” I like to think that my time here at the Academy is one of those tests. Within the big test is smaller tests that I encounter each and every day. Even though I may not pass all of the tests, I know that as long as I pass the right ones and learn from my failures then I can make it out of here a better person.

 



More about Alexis.

 

What It Means to Be a 3c

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Lash Photo The constant blur of 3/c year continues even more so with a daily routine. The days seem long, but before you can blink the week is over. Then you start to think about what you’ve done recently and another month is finished.

 

It was hard for me to find a purpose as a third class at the beginning of this semester. I was running everyday and improving my race times (I’ll get to that later), but I was having the most trouble finding my place in the military chain of command. It is hard not to just fly under the radar and stay quiet as a third class. Your life changed from being constantly watched to not being watched at all (this happens in only one month’s time). My 4/c was having some intercompany issues and through counseling her, I found my purpose as a third class.

 

I realized that the 2/c and 1/c serve as the ones to enforce the rules, but the 3/c are around as the middlemen. 3/c cadets are supposed to build up the 4/c, be their points of contact, their role models, and their advice givers. I now realize how important we are to the 4/c and that we can really make their day by offering a few positive words in passing. It is amazing how much of a difference a few kind words can make.

 

Cross country is coming to an end, and this season has been really surprising. I’ve shaved almost 3 minutes off of my 8k time and my current PR is 27:10. I placed high enough on the team to qualify for the Division III race in November!! I had no idea I was capable of hitting those times and now that I know what I can do, I’m setting my goals even higher. I’m hoping that this track season I will be able to break 15:20 in the 5k and 4:30 in the mile.

 

Other than that, life has been pretty normal here. Life doesn’t change too dramatically on a day-to-day basis…

 



More about Jon.

 

Thanksgiving!

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Cardoza Photo Thanksgiving is such an important time of the year for cadets. It marks the end of the semester and the beginning of finals week. I have to say, having this semester wind down to an end came up a lot faster than I expected it to! It seems like everyone has been rushing all semester that we never actually stopped to look back on all that we’ve done. This year is definitely a lot different than 4/c year in the sense that there is more academic work, and that we also have 4/c looking up to us. It is a totally different perspective, but one that I know all of our class has enjoyed. I have seen my class grow in ways that I never thought that we could and it has been amazing to witness how people change throughout the course of one year.

 

I cannot wait until the next semester comes up! That means that we are just that much closer to being cadre and leading a summer experience and possibly changing somebody’s life. It will be interesting to see who rises up as a leader people look up to and who doesn’t. I have the utmost faith in my class though that we will continue to grow and learn from all the challenges and experiences we encounter.

 

More about Samantha.

 

Crunch Time

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Ellis Photo It’s crunch time here at the Academy, and it sure is hectic. I am getting ready for finals, which are only a few weeks away. It seems like I have fifty percent of my work due in just these next few weeks. I have also been busy keeping up on memorizing meals and keeping my uniform and room looking spiffy.

 

Luckily all of the fourth class has earned some privileges that make the added workload and obligations a little bit better. We earned running suits, which are AMAZING! Now we can wear them to dinner instead of our uniforms. We have also earned dry cleaning and flip-flops. We also had a really fun Halloween dinner and trick-or-treating around Chase Hall. We got to dress up and have carry-on around Chase, which made me feel like an upperclassman for a few hours. Here at the Academy, it’s the little things that are awesome.

 

While being busy academically, athletically and militarily, in addition to the added privileges, I look forward to Thanksgiving break and then shortly afterward, Christmas leave. Thanksgiving will be the first time for many of my classmates to go home since R-Day. I am lucky that I live so close and can go home occasionally.

 

For example, I went home this weekend for Veteran’s Day. It was great to sleep in my own bed, even though while I was at home I was not doing something I particularly wished I was doing. After Hurricane Sandy, I decided I wanted to home to help my family recover and clean up. When I arrived home, I got straight to business. I spent my weekend throwing out destroyed furniture, ripping out carpets and tearing down soggy drywall. It was not the most pleasant experience but I was glad that I could spend time with my family at home.

 

Now I cannot wait until I can go home for almost an entire month for Christmas. However, first I must make sure I have completed all my military obligations as well as take my finals. For now, its crunch time until leave.

 



More about Kayla.

 

The Start of 3/c Year

(Academics, Just for Fun, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Kearney Photo It has been quite a year thus far. After my summer adventures, it was nice to get back into the swing of things at the Academy.

 

So far the semester has been no easier than the first two; I’m taking 20 credits worth of courses which include Calculus II, Physics I, Ships and Maritime Systems, Applications in Navigation Lab, Morals and Ethical Philosophy, Professional Rescuer and my favorite, Principles of American Government. As a Government major, it’s nice to finally begin taking classes within my major and so far I’ve enjoyed my Government classes a lot. As crazy as it may sound to many of you aspiring engineers, I would much rather spend hours perfecting an essay than solve a page of calculus problems.

 

This year I have also been able to take a lot more trips. Even though we don’t see as much of our paycheck as we’d like, the money accumulates over time and I’ve been able to take multiple weekend trips to New York and a trip to Baltimore this year. Fellow blogger, 3/c Jon Lash, and I, along with a few other friends took a trip to NYC earlier in the year to attend a concert, and a few weeks later I had the honor to travel with my friend 3/c Ryan Hub to see my all-time favorite sports team, the Baltimore Orioles, wrestle in game 1 of the ALDS against the all time most-hated baseball team (at least in my eyes), the New York Yankees. The atmosphere in Camden Yards was one I have never been in; waves of orange from the stands empowered the stadium, and no matter what anyone says, I know us Oriole fans are the greatest of them all. It is great to get out every few long weekends, and the Academy gives you that opportunity to visit places I wouldn’t have been able to go to if I was a poor college student at any of the state schools I applied to.

 

As always, never hesitate to email me if you have any questions about the Academy. And if you are a potential Academy cross country runner, stay tuned to an upcoming blog about this past season. Adios!

 



More about Zachary.

 

Veterans Day Weekend

(Just for Fun, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Ulbricht Photo This past weekend could not have come at a more perfect time. Academics have been tough, and life as a cadet stressful, so the weekend off was much needed. I am usually not someone who likes to go places without a general idea of what we will be doing, but this time I did not plan any of the logistics of the weekend, so I was a bit worried of what would come out of it. The weekend brought many stressful moments, walking around Boston trying to find people, driving out of our way to pick up more people only to wait in traffic, when all we wanted to do was get to our final destination and rest. One thing I did learn was that it is ok to not have a plan. As long as you have people who can think quickly on their feet and a fully charged phone, things won’t be so bad. You will only get seriously frustrated and stressed with each other.

 

We spent time in three different states in three days! We ate too much lobster (if that’s even possible!), danced the night away in Boston, and had some amazing clam chowder (or at least I did). This weekend will most likely be brought up many, many years down the road because of the crazy things we did. Weekends like this are what make being so far from home not so bad.

 



More about Cameo.

 

Holiday Weekend Getaway

(Just for Fun, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Corcoran Photo I cannot believe it is November already! Time flies so fast here at the Coast Guard Academy. In exactly one week from today we will all be able to go home and see our families and I cannot wait! (Mainly to see my dogs but shhh!) Anyway, this week cannot go by fast enough.

 

Speaking of which, we only have a four day school week this week because of the Veteran’s Day holiday this past weekend. Normally I’d use Veteran’s Day to thank my mom, dad, and brother for their service, so it was weird this year to get text messages from my parents thanking me for mine. This past weekend was definitely eventful, since the corps of cadets were granted a long weekend. I used this time off to my advantage by hanging out with all of my friends from school. On Friday evening, I went to a friend from my company’s home in Rhode Island with a couple other 4/c from. We had a campfire and made s’mores like we used to when we were little. Then, Saturday I spent the day in Boston with two other 4/c in my company, one of which is now my date for the holiday formal on December 1st. Sunday, I spent the day with my roommate and her sponsor family. Their home reminded me of my house, especially the shedding dogs.

 

Despite all of the fun I had this past weekend, now it’s back to work for the rest of the week. All of my professors and upper class keep reminding me to work hard through these next couple of weeks, which I am determined to do.

 



More about Samantha.

 

Oh, The Places You’ll Go

(Just for Fun, Class of 2013) Permanent link
Ward Photo This past weekend was a three-day weekend in honor of Veteran’s Day. I picked up an old friend who is doing an internship in New Hampshire and we spent the weekend in the New London area. Although New London is not always viewed as the most interesting of cities, we had a blast. When people email me asking about what there is to do at the Academy I often give the standard list of shopping, sponsor parents, movies, and eating, but for those of you with a more adventurous spirit (as well as the help of a car) there are a lot of things to do.

 

My friend and I covered a lot of ground this weekend starting with Mystic Seaport (an outdoor museum with buildings and ships to explore the past of seaports in New England) and then the center of Mystic stopping at the Pita Stop for lunch. We then went to a coffee shop to chat away a few hours and then drove over to Niantic which has the Book Barn. For those of you who are book lovers, we spent a few great hours browsing through books. It's made up of three separate locations, one of which is a collection of buildings full of books. While she was here we also visited Clyde’s Cider Mill in Stonington. They have demonstrations on how they make their cider, which was really interesting to watch. Some of the gears and mechanisms they use I have studied in Mechanical Engineering so it was fun to see them in action. The cider was delicious as was the kettle corn. We ate a multiple venues including the Black Sheep Pub, which I highly recommend if you’re ever in Niantic.

 

There are many things to do in the local area, although a car is very helpful, I know of many cadets who are able to branch out and have a blast without one. Then again, half the fun is the people you’re with anyway.

 



More about Jessica.

 

So Close I Can Taste It

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Rossi Photo As the days wind down and the air gets colder, all us cadets get very anxious to go on Thanksgiving and winter leave. You could imagine that it is hard to stay focused with the end in sight. This past weekend for me is making it especially hard. Being a hockey player and having an undying love for the sport I always run the risk of getting injured because of the intensity of the game. Unfortunately, for me I dislocated my knee and have to be out for a while. Though I did get injured, I did learn that I had a huge support system here at the Academy. After coming back from my X-ray, there were ten people waiting for me including teammates, my coach, a player’s parent, our trainer, and even my firstie. Just having them be there in support made the process much easier.

 

Despite the little speed bump in the road, I still have Recruiting Leave to look forward too. For those cadets who qualify, R-Leave consists of departing the Friday before Thanksgiving, which gives more time at home, however each cadet must go to two schools to “recruit” potential cadets for the Academy. I am extremely excited for this since I will be going back to my old high school and my cousin’s high school to share my experiences and brag about the Academy, hopefully inspiring others to apply. For all those reading, I appreciate you taking the time to listen to what I have to say and hope that your holidays are pleasant.

 



More about Michael.

 

Sprint to the Finish

(Athletics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Duplessis Photo And after Veteran’s Day Weekend, that’s exactly what the last three weeks of the semester feels like. Fourteen more school days until finals, and, more importantly, winter break!

 

Bears women’s soccer finished early in November, which is always bittersweet for me. It’s nice to have nothing after school you have to immediately go to, but you begin to miss seeing everyone after a little while. We didn’t have the greatest season this year, but I’m proud to have played with my best friends. We had a few absolutely amazing games (we took the number one seeded team, Springfield, into double overtime but eventually lost 1-0) that make me motivated to play next year, and I can’t wait.

 

Although fall soccer is finished for me, this is the time of the year I feel busiest. We have about ten academic and military things (projects, CER’s, tests, etc.) dumped on our plates all at once, and we have to finish all of them. Additionally, finals are a rough week here at the Academy. Like everywhere else, I’m sure, we all cram as much as we can into our brains and throw it all out on a final. The exception is that, here, we each have up to six or seven finals, and usually there are two a day.

 

It’s always hard work to be here but that motivation to do your absolute best is why I came to the Academy, and why, at the end of the day, I enjoy being a cadet.

 



More about Lindsay.

 

Semesters to Go

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2014) Permanent link
Patron Photo The semester is quickly wrapping up and with little room for idling. Just in this week alone, I have two exams on the same day, and two papers greater than 10 pages. There are also smaller projects here and there that keep me busy. All I can say is that I am counting the days until Thanksgiving. It has become a Patron Family tradition to make the drive to New York to watch the Macy’s Day Parade and this year is no exception.

 

Once all the festivities are over, I report back to USCGA for the last few days of classes and begin preparing for finals. All I can report is that this semester has been the quickest yet! One minute I was preparing for cadre summer and now I am transitioning to my second semester (meaning I only have three more to go)! During my freshman year, I was talking to my uncle (Class of 1997) about having a year of prep school and one semester under my belt and he replied “great! Only SEVEN more to go!”… I gave him a frustrated look but I understood his point. It was, and still is, going to be a long road until you reach your goal. With that said, I will leave you with a few words my dad told me after the comment my uncle made that same day: Take each day one and a time. Don’t rush anything. And remember to keep the end goal in mind.

 



More about Jennifer.

 

There’s No Place like Home for the Holidays

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Roesch Photo Wow, November really flew by! Already next week is Thanksgiving leave marking the first time I will be home for an extended amount of time. Even though it’s a short six-day break, it is plenty of time to recharge and get ready to tackle finals, which are quickly approaching. This month has, yet again, been quite busy for me. Last Thursday (08NOV) I left for Maryland with the cadet Glee Club for the weekend to sing at various concerts for the Veteran’s Day weekend. It was a lot of fun to sing for different people and get out of the Academy for a few days. When we weren’t performing we had liberty which was another positive (the best part was eating great food, i.e., Chipotle and Starbucks!). On Saturday of that week we sang for the opening of the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. and afterwards got a chance to walk around the city and go into the museums. I have only been in D.C. once before, which was when I was like 10 so I really didn’t realize how awesome of a city it is!

 

Then on Sunday we woke up at 0300 to head up to New York to sing at the NYC Veterans Day Parade – on national television! It was a wonderful experience that I most likely will never get again in my life…unless I become famous or something, but let’s be realistic here! One thing I will never forget about that day was after my performance a little girl asked for my autograph (kinda contradicting my last statement about fame here, but bare with me!). I was truly astonished, but it was also incredibly adorable. I signed her autograph book and after she handed me a card saying “Thank you for your service.” Never have I ever received such a warm thank you. It’s for people like her that I chose this route for my life.

 

I’m really looking forward to leave; being at the Academy isn’t too bad if you get a good group of friends (which isn’t hard), but I miss my family a lot and can’t wait to spend time with them. It will be nice to spend every night not doing homework, be able to look at my food and walk like a normal person, and sleep past 6 a.m. And then shortly after that, it’s Christmas break already! 4/c year is going by crazily fast, but I’m OK with that! As always, if you have any questions feel free to email me.

 



More about Allie.

 

Thanks from a Grateful Cadet

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Driscoll Photo Veteran’s Day is definitely a special holiday. This Veteran’s Day weekend, I participated in the nationally televised Veteran’s Day Parade in New York City. The Coast Guard was the featured service this year, which is good, considering all that we have done in recent weeks to help the New York and New Jersey area to recover from Hurricane Sandy.

 

Those of us who marched in the parade woke up at 0630 (on a Sunday, no less!) and rode busses into downtown New York. After getting our coffee fixes, we formed up and stood in a loose formation for approximately an hour and a half. Of course, we looked like slackers next to the Cape May CCs (company commanders—the recruits’ cadre) and the latest recruit graduates. They were super locked down and professional. Finally, we stepped off and quickly marched through the parade route. I hope that we all looked good as we marched past the reviewing stand in front of the Commandant, ADM Papp. It was amazing to hear all the cheering and feel the positive energy from the onlookers who love the Coast Guard! That was the best part of the parade.

 

We got a bit of time off in the city after the parade. Wandering the city in SDBs and being thanked for my service was an eye-opening experience. I always feel awkward when someone thanks me for serving in the Coast Guard. Yet I smile, thank them, and move ahead. One of my teachers described situations like these as being thanked for your future service; I’m glad to stand watch over Americans both on and off the water, both now and in the future. Military service isn’t for everyone; it demands so much of you that a simple explanation cannot even begin to illuminate. However, with simple thanks comes heartfelt admiration and gratitude. Thank you to those of you who understand what military members go through daily.

 

I’d like to close by saying, “Thank you” for supporting the troops in any way you possibly can. Let us never forget what they have done for themselves, their families, communities, and country.

 

(As always, please email me at Peter.M.Driscoll@uscga.edu if you have any questions or comments!)

 



More about Peter.

 

Core Curriculum at the CGA

(Academics, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Kloo  Photo The academics here are rigorous but more than that, they are incredibly diverse, which is something I am starting to appreciate. One of the best parts of any college experience is to be able to decide, in part, what you are going to learn. CGA has a really heavy core curriculum, which to some people may sound like a bad thing, but in reality it is something to welcome.

 

The variety of topics covered in the mandated courses is something I value much more than when I started. For example I am a Marine Environmental Science major focusing on chemistry and physical oceanography. Currently I am taking Meteorology, Marine Biology, and Physical Chemistry. I am also taking Ships and Maritime Systems and last year I took Statics and Engineering Design, neither of which is specifically for my major but the knowledge I gained from those two engineering classes often times help me in day to day problems but also will be invaluable in my career and life. We also take several non-technical classes, which include Macroeconomics, Morals and Ethics, and Writing about Literature, all of which are have provided me with skills and knowledge that will serve me for the rest of my life.

 

So if you are reading this and thinking that perhaps a large core curriculum is something that isn’t for you, I would recommend you reconsider. A strong core curriculum diversifies your knowledge, makes you more well-rounded. This is something you cannot really appreciate until something you learned in core class comes in handy.

 



More about Alex.

 

Veteran’s Day Weekend – Las Vegas Bound!

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2014) Permanent link
Townsend Photo The Coast Guard Academy always offers amazing opportunities to network and meet different people in various ways. Over Veteran’s Day weekend I had a great opportunity to leave base and travel to Las Vegas, Nevada for a conference. I am writing this entry right now from 34,000 feet up in the air on an airplane heading to the conference. A group of cadets including myself are helping with a conference for the Academy Robotics on the Water program, which is offered at high schools throughout the United States to give students a chance to be exposed to robotics and the missions of the Coast Guard. I have attended a conference like this in the past and it is a great chance to teach others about what the Coast Guard does and to apply my knowledge of robotics that I obtained from being part of a FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team in high school.

 

This is a great way to end the semester, which only has about 12 more days of school in it, and then it will be time for a very much-needed winter break. I look forward to spending some quality time with my family and friends. I am also very much looking forward to catching up on sleep after a long semester of projects and homework. This semester has flown by and I can not wait for next semester to be one step closer to getting my commission and graduating.

 

I am very thankful for the opportunities that I receive at the Coast Guard Academy especially because I know I would not be able to take advantage of things like this at a normal college. On this Veteran’s Day I am also very thankful for all of those military members that have served our amazing country, and for all of their sacrifices that they have made to keep us safe. Veteran’s Day is a great chance to step back from our busy lives and realize what the people in our military have done for us. Thank you veterans and stay safe wherever you service brings you.

 



More about Brianna.

 

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Carani Photo As I write this, I am sitting in my room listening to Christmas music, joyously embracing the change in seasons. A lot of people say that you have to wait until after Thanksgiving to listen to Christmas music, but November 1st is good enough for me!

 

School gets pretty hectic this time of the year, as we only have 2.5 more weeks of classes and then final exams (as of today, Nov. 11th). It seems like the projects, tests, and papers never end, but now I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s not so hard to stay motivated to finish up the year strong! I can’t believe this semester is already winding down; it seems like just yesterday that I was writing my first blog article of the semester! I’m looking forward to being home in a week, and getting some much needed rest and relaxation with my family and friends.

 

One of the best parts about being home for me (besides the food, sleep, time with family, seeing my girlfriend, and BEING HOME) is getting together with my friends from high school and “re-living the glory days” (as they say) by having an alumni basketball game at my high school! Although I am extremely rusty, having not played in two years (evidenced in the fact that my little brother now kicks my butt), it’s still a lot of fun to get together with my two brothers and all of our friends and play some Thanksgiving basketball. I know most people play flag football games, or do “Turkey Trots,” but my tradition has always been playing basketball, and I am very much looking forward to continuing the tradition this year!

 

Oh yeah, I almost forgot! The Mike and Mike talk show on ESPN came to the USCGA last week, and that was really cool! Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg host a talk show that can be seen on ESPN 2 and heard on the radio from 6-10 a.m., and last Thursday, November 8th, they broadcasted live from the cadet wardroom! It was great publicity for the Coast Guard Academy, but more importantly for me it was a lot of fun to eat breakfast and listen to the two of them talk about sports. Who needs TV when you have the real thing!

 

I hope any and all of you prospective cadets reading this are having a great year in high school! Enjoy those days, the time definitely goes by fast, and you are going to make some great lifetime memories and friends. As always, if you are reading this and have any questions about ANYTHING, email me at Luke.W.Carani@uscga.edu and I’d love to answer your questions! Have a great Thanksgiving!

 



More about Luke.

 

Fun in the Shadows

(Academics, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Chavarria-Aguilar Photo In most cases, the concept of going to summer school is viewed in a negative connotation. A lot of people think that if you go to summer school it is because you failed a class and need to catch up. However, this is not always the case. I went to summer school because I chose to do so. Yup, your heard me, I sacrificed six weeks of my summer experience in the fleet to stay at the Academy and study Calculus! Heaven forbid! Who would ever do such a thing, right? Well, I’ll admit that I had my doubts about whether or not the decision was really worth it. In the end, everything managed to work out just they way it was meant to be and I learned that sacrificing one thing for another has the potential to create a truly unforgettable experience.

 

In one of my previous blog entries I explained how I ended up in summer school. So now I’d like to tell you a tale of what Academy life is like during the summer, sans squaring.

 

You see, the third class cadets that go to summer school exist only in the shadows, behind the scenes so to speak. We were told that we do not exist to swabs, and that the color red (that of our shields) should never be seen by little swabbie eyes. So this made for an interesting time. I’ll have to admit, there’s something quite unique about witnessing R-Day from the outside. I got a bit nostalgic while watching the new swabs run around all frightened and awkward like. Ah, the good old days…

 

On another note, I only had to take two classes, Calculus I and Leadership and Organizational Behavior. This was nice because I had a lot of free time to get help. The instructors stayed on base most of the day, so getting homework done was a cinch. I spent my free time with my two best friends, Virginia Stoddard and Maria van Scoyoc, which made the experience that much more worthwhile. One time, we were laughing so hard that an officer had to walk all the way down from the other end of the hall to tell us to keep it down. We didn’t for long. I had a lot of fun during summer school, and although some of the assignments were difficult, I managed to end up with solid grades.

 

Have no fear. If you ever find yourself headed toward summer school, keep your chin up. You never know what kind of fun could be coming your way.

 

More about Alexis.

 

The 'Other Side of the Fence' Part II

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Chavarria-Aguilar Photo During my 3/c summer assignment at USCG Station Port Canaveral, I assisted in the first Search and Rescue mission (SAR) of my Coast Guard career. On May 12, 2012, after a long day of volunteering at a Palm Bay Veteran’s function, I was pretty beat and had put my feet up to watch a movie. Before I could hit the play button, the SAR alarm sounded, and I startled up from the couch. My heart raced as I listened to the announcement on the pipe: “male in cardiac arrest onboard Disney Fantasy

 

So I might have over exaggerated a bit when I kicked the door open and sprinted to the watch office, but it was really hard to bottle the sudden rush of adrenaline. I slipped in quietly with the rest of the crew as the two watch-standers, an enlisted personnel and 3/c Leigha Steinbeck, communicated on the radio with the ship’s captain. I crossed my fingers, hoping for the opportunity to help, and waited for further instructions. Moments passed before the NCOOD pointed a finger at me and told me to grab a PFD (‘lifejacket’ for y’all landlubbers).

 

The sun was beginning to set as I jogged to the locker and grabbed my PFD, along with four extras for the victim’s family. We were told that we would possibly be bringing his children. This was concerning because we did not want them to get seasick in the survival compartment on the 45’ patrol boat. Within about ten minutes of the initial alarm, we were on the water, making our way through the port toward the ocean. Fortunately, the cruise ship, which was roughly 13 miles out, had turned around and was making its way toward us. At one point we were put on standby as it was debated whether we should send a helicopter instead. The decision was eventually turned down and we continued on.

 

Once we were clear of the no-wake zone our coxswain hit the gas and we barreled into the open sea, lights-a-flashing. We bounced over four to six foot swells, catching some wicked air, racing toward the Fantasy. Meanwhile, the ship’s captain maintained communications, giving us frequent updates of the victim’s condition. I stared in awe at the colossal structure that steered toward us, as if it were going to mow over us without hesitation. I felt like an ant next to a boot. We took a wide turn and pulled alongside the Fantasy’s port side. Forward of us, toward the bow, a hatch opened in the ship’s hull right next to the waterline.

 

The 'Other Side of the Fence' Part II (Continued) PDF Icon 

 



More about Alexis.

 

Skipping Uphill

(Just for Fun, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Sherman Photo Have you ever tried to skip up a particularly steep hill? It’s hard. You move forward (which requires quite of a push), but the whole time you move, you feel the tug of gravity pulling you back down the slope. Now, skipping downhill, on the other hand, is easy and exhilarating! I’ve done both of these recently during my long runs this month.

 

I really enjoy running. I don’t do it competitively (I don’t think I’m really that fast—good enough to be competitive, that is). Yes, I run for exercise, but I more do it for my mental well-being. It’s been great. The autumn is an amazing time for running. The weather is cool and comfortable. The sun is bright, the sky a vibrant blue, and of course, the trees display their glorious colors. We’re allowed to go on runs off campus at any time (well, whenever there’s daylight), so when I want to go for a run, I usually go off-base so that I can be surrounded by the beautiful colors of fall—and running through residential areas or along long highways is more exciting.

 

I generally tell people that I go for runs to think. That implies (at least to me) that when I run, I am actively thinking about something. That’s really not the case. It’s more that when I run, I don’t have to think about one thing. I get away from the Academy and just let my thoughts settle out. There is so much activity going on at school and in Chase hall (the dorms/barracks) and when I am at the Academy, my mind is whirling—planning upcoming days, wrestling with homework questions, reflecting on lessons. It never stops. But, when I run, I can leave that all behind at the Academy. I just run and whatever floats to the top of my mind is what I think about. Most of the time it ends up being just thoughts about the landscape and “humanscape” around me (“Watch out for that car before crossing the street.”). Occasionally, a song or part of a song pops into my head and just rolls around over and over again. Even more infrequently, I’ll be struck with a brilliant idea, but when I think about it (see, there I go thinking again), nothing very concrete comes out of my run “think times.” But I think (again with the thinking) that’s a good thing.

 

This past month has been busy. I’ve been here, there, and everywhere. I have group projects in practically every class, so I’ve been meeting with two, three, four other cadets to work on them. I’m hardly in my room anymore. I, along with other cadets, am confronting the loss of friends as cadets are asked to leave for poor grades or conduct offenses. It is a very dynamic time at the Academy. Amongst all the changes, as one of the Sustainability Club leaders, I am trying to encourage change of my own. For example, the SusClub is working hard to overcome challenges in instituting a recycling training program for cadets in addition to continuing our primary responsibility of providing cadets with opportunities to participate in sustainable activities and to learn more about how to be sustainable here and outside of the Academy. It often becomes frustrating because progress is slow and difficult to attain. I’m passionate about the things with which I am involved here, and when I don’t see (immediate) success, it can be discouraging. Yes, we are moving forward, but I am constantly aware of how easy it is to just slip back to doing nothing. It’s like skipping uphill.

 

But when you’re on a long run and you’re tired, you can’t just stop. If you do, you won’t make it to the end where you can truly rest. So, I’ll keep skipping until we reach the top of this proverbial hill (or mountain?) and begin the exciting skip down the other side.

 



More about Justin.

 

The Opportunities Are Endless!

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Belanger Photo Can you believe it? It is already November! We are more than halfway done with fourth class year! As I sit here at my desk looking at my countdown clock seeing that I only have 1293 days to go I think, “Man that is still a long time to go…” October was a super busy month. From a corps-wide lecture with Joseph Kennedy II to having the time of my life accomplishing a Tough Mudder, the opportunities I have been able to take advantage of are endless. At the beginning of the month I was able to run in the Hartford 5K which was held at the Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon location. After running the 5K, I know my goal is to run the half marathon next year and who knows the full marathon the year after that!

 

The Academy has also given me the opportunity to get involved with the New London community. This past month was Breast Cancer Awareness month and I was able to start a collection to donate to the American Cancer Society and participate in the Breast Cancer walk in the local community. After surviving Hurricane Sandy, cadets have had the opportunity to get involved with the cleanup effort. It feels great to be able to give back to the community that supports us so much! I also had the chance to go to Providence, Rhode Island and see a Providence Bruins game with my fellow shipmates. It was a great bonding experience! The main highlight of my month, however, was accomplishing the Tough Mudder in New Jersey! It consisted of a 12 mile obstacle course involving walls, fire pits, electric shocks, and of course mud! I really could not believe how much fun it was! It took a little over three hours to complete but the bonding experience with my company officer and people from all classes in my company is a memory that I will never forget! I cannot wait to do my next one in August 2013!

 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate! Nathan.D.Belanger@uscga.edu 

 



More about Nathan.

 

A Day in Boston

(Just for Fun, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Miller Photo I’m already more than halfway through the first semester, and I have no idea how I got here so quickly. I’ve been staying busy between school, crew, clubs, and military obligations. But I’ve also managed to have some fun—this past Saturday, I went to Boston with one of my friends. It was an…. interesting experience. I’ve never actually been to Boston before, and neither had my friend, so we had no clue what to do. We ended up going to Harvard Square and walking up and down the Charles River, where the Head of the Charles (a major rowing event) was taking place. The varsity team was there, so we spent a few hours trying to find some of my friends who were at it. Unfortunately, we didn’t find them, but we enjoyed just being out in the real world and wearing civvies. It actually kind of felt weird to wear jeans.

 

We also met up with a Harvard freshman who is friends with someone we both know at the Academy. We ended up going to a Mexican place that seemed like an elite version of Chipotle, and enjoyed some of the food there. Then, Sam and I took a subway back to Boston and wandered around there for a bit. Boston was actually a little sketchy, since it was dark and there weren’t too many people there. We did find a good frozen yogurt place, which was nice. I know that we both wished we could have spent the night in Boston or Harvard Square, but since we had to stand duty the next day (which meant that we had to be back by 7:15 Sunday morning), we had to catch the 9:30 p.m. train. By that point, we were both tired as a result of cleaning for formal room and wing the night before and just from the long week. On the train ride home, we both slept.

 

Of course, as soon as we got back to the Academy, we felt awake, and ended up hanging out in the Bravo Dayroom with another 4/c, who, incidentally was the friend of the freshman at Harvard. We were later joined by a 1/c, who was interesting to listen to, because his ramblings kind of had meaning in them.

 

I finally went to bed around three, kind of out of it… It had been a long day. But overall, it was good— it was nice just getting out of New London for a few hours.

 

If you’re interested in finding out more about the Academy, feel free to email me at Caroline.Miller1@uscga.edu!

 



More about Caroline.

 

College Carnival

(Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Wu Photo After a while, the days at the Academy blur together as if you have been spinning around and around on the Teacups at the carnival. Mid-terms have already past and the Corps of Cadets are working toward Thanksgiving, hoping we can last on this teacup ride, and hold on without getting sick; hoping the world will stop spinning enough for us to catch our breath. The college carnival scene is very much like the ones we go to back home where the Pirate Ship is full of ups and downs, where we experience the same queasy feeling in our stomachs that we have on the ride when we are about to take an exam. Pop quizzes also seem to occur at the Academy as spontaneously as kernels pop at a popcorn booth. The whole experience at the Academy is like being on a Ferris Wheel – there are so many views you can have of this place and it all depends on where you are on the giant wheel. As a 4/c, you start at the bottom, just getting on the ride, taking a seat, and joining the Corps of Cadets at the United States Coast Guard Academy. At the start of 3/c year, you feel on top of the world, seeing the whole purpose of the Academy and having the privilege of no longer being a 4/c. However, the academics sneak up on the majority of 3/c as we slowly descend and slump into a narrower view of simply trying to pass classes, do well on exams, and survive past the semester’s finals. Although, our view is limited and approaching the bottom can tempt us to get off, the Ferris Wheel keeps moving. The college carnival can really be tiring and at times you just want to Whack-A-Regulation, but like all carnivals, the Academy life is predictable. All the rides and games are expected and in the end, we will be walking out of this college carnival with a prize: a diploma and a pair of Ensign stripes on our uniform.

 



More about Ellie.

 

Closer to the Goal

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Hirst Photo Wow—it’s hard to believe that it’s already the end of October! Life at the Academy has become much more routine, which is good in many ways, yet bad in some others. I say it can be bad because it’s somewhat easy to just go through the motions with things. It’s good because things are more predictable. I’m able to look ahead and see what’s going to be tough throughout the week—granted, as a fourth class you never know what can be thrown at you instantaneously. Those kinds of things are just something you learn to deal with. No matter what, you will make mistakes; however, you can’t hold them over your head. Every day is one day closer to the end goal.

 

Anyway, the weeks here have varied. It seems like I’ll get a rather smooth week, then the next week follows with ridiculous amounts of homework, tests, and essays. Taking it one day at a time makes things a lot easier and it all goes by rather quickly. Like I said, I can’t believe things have gone by this fast. Yes, in the midst of all the work it seems slow, but when I actually step back and think about things, the time has flown. Still, the Academy remains the best opportunity out there.

 



More about Townshend.

 

Fall Sports Update

(Athletics, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Subramanian Photo As we approach two months into school, my morale has never been higher. As a huge Coast Guard sports fan, there is so much to brag about with our school competing at the intercollegiate level. Where do I even begin?

 

The football team is one win from securing a .500 season, a feat that was deemed near impossible at the beginning of the year. I have been to every home game, and I am proud to say I sit next to WR Collis Brown in Leadership class and LB Joel Wyman is my partner in a Materials project.

 

The volleyball team is successful as expected. The team made their schedule difficult this year to face high-quality opponents, traveling to Maine, New Jersey, even Chicago! They will be 4th seed going into the NEWMAC Tournament, and will host one home game.

 

Men’s soccer has been great. The goalkeeper is Richie Burns, a classmate of mine, and has had a great season. They are 11-5-1, a totally surprising record, and almost had a chance to bring the NEWMAC Tournament to the Academy. Their best result has to be the win over Kings Point 3-1, a victory against MMA for the first time since 1999! Even though they lost to Babson to end the regular season, they enter the post-season confident on their chances to succeed. No matter the result, they will be proud of the amazing record they put up this year.

 

In club sports, men’s rugby is undefeated entering the post-season, and women’s rugby is also doing great, winning their last game 84-0. In boxing, six boxers competed versus West Point in the Freedom Fights in Cheshire, Connecticut. With a 3-3 result, the highlight of the night was 3/c Taylor Tennyson knocking out his opponent in the second round. Men’s water polo qualified for Nationals, a first in school history!

 

I am very excited to see how the post-season in all fall sports ends up. I know that the Bears will do well all-around. For the record, winter sports are also right around the corner. Bears swimming had their first meet last weekend and the men’s basketball team has their pre-season opener versus Division I University of Rhode Island this Friday. It is said to be the biggest arena that most of the Bears players will have ever played in!

 

That is all I have for a sports update. I will write again soon.

 



More about Kevin.

 

Hurricane Sandy

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Ellis Photo As you all probably know, Hurricane Sandy decided to direct her course into New Jersey. The eye made landfall about 15 miles from my house where there was 3 to 5 feet of flooding. Trees were knocked down and power is out. My family and my house are okay, but there is a lot of damage. On Long Beach Island, there was a mandatory evacuation. The National Guard and The Coast Guard were out rescuing people all Monday and Tuesday. When I called my dad he told me that there were people who did not make it out in time.

 

Before coming to the Academy, I knew I wanted to help people; I wanted to make a difference in someone’s life. This desire has amplified now that a disaster as big as this one has hit my hometown. I feel helpless right now; I wish I were at home so that I could help my family and my neighbors. This is why I joined the Coast Guard, so that could I help people to ensure that they are safe. One day, I hope that I can make a difference in someone’s life.

 



More about Kayla.

 

CGA Drama Club Presents 'Don't Drink the Water'

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Just for Fun, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Krakower Photo Exhausting. Sitting here after our first showing of “Don’t Drink the Water,” I can say that after all the work involved, the craziness of memorizing lines and blocking, and the fear of no show at all really puts this play into perspective. It was something incredible, done by an amazing group of individuals.

 

Some back info – this was the CGA Drama Fall Show. Normally the Spring Musical gets a lot more Public Affairs attention, and the play has always been overshadowed. Last year, in “Murder Runs in the Family”, we were able to garner some awareness, and it went very successfully. This year, the exact same occurred, and after the first night, it’s proved that a little thing can go a long way.

 

So here’s the story. In an American Embassy behind the Iron Curtain, a family of tourists, the Hollanders, rush inside to escape the Communist police who are chasing them. It’s not much of a refuge, as the ambassador is absent and his son, Axel Magee (me!), now in charge, has been expelled from dozens of countries for his questionable abilities. Nevertheless, the characters carefully and frantically plan an escape, while Axel and Susan Hollander even find time to fall in love! The story is a comedic farce, and is really funny.

 

Practice was one hour a night starting in early September, and from the get-go we knew it was going to be a blast. If you think memorizing the Running Light is difficult, try memorizing over 200 lines! It’s tough stuff. All eight to ten of us actors and actresses had a great time working day in and out on accents, physical actions, and getting our characters down. We were just about ready to go…when Hurricane Sandy struck. The base got hit bad, so we assumed that we would have to cancel or at least postpone it. But thanks to the crews on base, they got everything cleaned up and working real quick, and we were still set to go!

 

Last night was the first show and tonight is the last one. Personally, I feel like we should do more shows, but the Academy really isn’t an artsy school. The play is for cadets interested in the arts who really want to get out there and show what they got. I’ve always loved acting; it’s one of the things I’ve really enjoyed. This was my first time with the lead, and it was amazing. Everyone on the crew, the other actors, and the audience really made it quite a show. I’m excited to do it again tonight! All our hard work comes down to an hour and a half of laughs, insanity, and an attempt at ESCAPE! Axel Magee out!

 



More about Sam.

 

A Busy Month

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Wright Photo October has turned out to be quite the month. Patents’ Weekend was great, seeing my family is something I always look forward to. It was neat being able to take my sister and our exchange student to all of my classes, even if they thought it was a little boring. Being with them was a nice break from the demanding schedule here at the Academy, but having them leave was extremely difficult. I have been told that it gets easier and I hope that’s true. I feel like it’s those moments that you really have to dig down and remember why you decided to attend a service academy, I just think of how proud I am making my family and the end goal of one day becoming an officer (even if that may be several years off). Since they have left I have stayed busy as usual. Crew season ended, and while I enjoyed my time on the team, I have decided to try either lacrosse or tennis next semester; I’m still undecided. Classes have been demanding and there have been a few weeks where I am amazed that I survived.

 

Right now we are sitting out Hurricane Sandy. It has turned out to not be so bad here but I’m not complaining about a few days off. As far as being a freshman at the Academy, the past week has been pretty exciting. Usually we have to get back into our uniform to go to dinner, and study secessions but we finally got the privilege to wear running suits. I know, it’s the small things in life that make it wonderful. One thing that reminded me of how much people care is that since the beginning of the year, our Gideon (the junior in charge of all the freshman in the company) also gave up his running suit, you can imagine how excited he was to hear that we got our running suit privileges because that means he got his back, too. Just another reason that I’m glad I chose the Academy – I don’t think you could find another school where everyone looks out for each other as much as we do here.

 



More about Jessica.

 

Cutter Chase and Double Dutch

(Just for Fun, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Kukich Photo As cadets we collectively joke about living aboard “Cutter Chase”, nicknaming our dorm building Chase Hall for a saltier Coast Guard scenario. At first it sounds ridiculous to think of the floors as decks, beds as racks, and hallways as passageways, but with time these references begin to make sense and our life on land seems just a little more seaworthy. It is an undoubtedly a privilege to live in Chase, however, I don’t think there is anyone who would voluntarily “stay aboard” for more than a day.

 

And unfortunately this is just what happened October 29th and 30th, 2012 – As rumors spread about the rest of the city of New London being evacuated in preparation for the hurricane, cadets of the Academy were gearing up for a night in Chase. Lectures were cancelled in the morning as professors found it impossible to drive through the Hurricane Sandy’s chaos and by afternoon formation, all courses had been cancelled for that Monday and the next day. By 11:15 a.m., both my roommates and I had returned to our room and were uncontrollably excited. Caroline and I made a quick trip down the Coast Guard Exchange thinking we had better grab necessary supplies; beef jerky and salsa for her, iced tea and espresso beans for me. Then an indoor formation was held and the corps headed to the wardroom for lunch. Surprise announcements during lunch from regimental staff gave my freshmen class the privilege to wear “running suits” finally, and to watch movies during the storm. These were absolutely huge to us and immediately improved our morale, despite the threatening weather and ominous potential to be locked in Chase.

 

The fun of comfy sweatpants and canceled classes wore off quickly though; our room transformed into a chemistry review session and before long, we were all too exhausted to do much more. Now stuck in Chase, stressed and tired, we decided it was time for our own version of a sports period. Caroline had the genius idea to tie two issued jump ropes together and Allie suggested Double Dutch when our friends stopped in to say hello. To the normal college teenager, this proposition must sound like the complete opposite of fun, but to a group of cadets, aboard Cutter Chase in Hurricane Sandy, it was the best. We watched movies, helped our friends finish homework, and went to sleep early that night, but out of all the fun we had, I can definitely say trying to Double Dutch until our stomachs hurt from laughing was the absolute highlight of our day.

 



More about Sarah.

 

Keeping Afloat

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Rossi Photo Though there are eight different and unique majors here at the Academy, we all must take a core curriculum similar to other colleges. However, these classes are not the typical college courses. Every 3/c cadet must take a course called “Leadership and Organizational Behavior,” LOB as we cadets call it. In this class we learn how to become the complete leader and really start to get exposed to different leadership styles. For example, each year you are required to write an essay in a particular class that will be submitted in the Hewitt Writing and Speaking Contest and as a 3/c, you write the paper in LOB. The topic of the paper was about your identity, asking how it has changed since high school and what would you like to change for the future. For me, I originally saw this as just another assignment. In fact, it turned out to be a solidifying part of why I am here, because I had to reflect on the memories of high school and remember that motivation that brought me to the Academy.

 

My thesis was about being a leader in the family and transitioning that into a profession; for me this is easy since I had learned so much from my dad and grandparents, also from a personal experience during my senior year when I lost both my cousin and uncle. Mr. Wilhelm, my high school principal, brought me aside and told me that I had to be the leader in family and stay strong. His token of advice was, “Things don’t get better, they get different.” Indeed they did, by me accepting the appointment the Academy I was showing my family it was easy to overcome adversity. I go into everyday thinking that I must treat everything as my family, because when I am in the fleet if I treat my shipmates and ship like my family, I will never let them sink.

 



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