So, here it is…the end of the semester. I haven’t written in a while, and it’s been sitting on my to-do list. However, I just finished my last exam of the semester, and it was pretty easy.
Finals week here at the Academy is really relaxing compared to the weeks ahead of it. After coming back from Thanksgiving break, teachers love to pile on as much work as possible. It’s like they don’t realize that in your other five classes, the other teachers are doing the same thing. That leaves you with several projects, papers, and presentations to do—all in a two-week timeframe. I don’t have it as bad as some of my classmates do, because I don’t have several challenging engineering classes. I had a navigation brief to deliver, several papers, an interview in Spanish, and three projects to do. Each was made more difficult by the fact that my project partners had the same workload as I did, and we never had the time to meet. Finding the time to meet and work on projects was the hardest part, and the main reason those two weeks were sleepless.
While the preparation was hard, the delivery was easy. My favorite projects were the navigation brief and my individual Ships project. Navigation briefs are delivered by junior officers each time a cutter transits through restricted waters—a.k.a. every time it goes in or out of port. It covers things like the charts used, the intended trackline, major obstacles, and timeline of events for the transit. My group simulated a navigation brief for a cutter leaving Newport, Rhode Island—with RADM Stosz, the superintendent of the Academy, as the commanding officer! Nothing like almost having a heart attack when you walk into the room and see her sitting there with a red pen. However, it went well. After that, I zipped through the Plexiglas hull analysis that we had to do for Ships. Ships has been a fun class, and I’ve learned a lot about naval architecture. However fascinating the material is, I still do not think that I would be happy as an engineer.
Finally, after getting through the countless projects and sleepless nights, finals week arrived. Everything becomes much more relaxed around here that week. You can sleep in, eat buffet-style meals, and nap starting at 1300. Everyone focuses on finals, and finals only. And after all that studying, the tests aren’t that bad. Now that I’m done, I can finally go home for a month of well-deserved leave!
Have a great holiday, readers! As always, if you have any questions or comments, email me at Peter.M.Driscoll@uscga.edu. No promises that I will not get it until January, however!
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