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cadet blogs

Shield Swap

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Kukich Photo In the back half of the Running Light, the Academy’s indoctrination book, there is a Cadet Dictionary. While Swab Summer explains the majority of these terms, such as “slack ally” and “late rack”, the “Dark Ages” have to be experienced rather then read. The dictionary defines the period of time from the start of second semester to the end of February as the Dark Ages for the corps, where morale is low, the days are short, and the weather is unreasonably cold. There are remedies for this condition however; participating in sports, attending comedy nights, and the ominous 101st night are favorites currently for the class of 2016.


It is tradition at the Academy that during the winter darkness second class cadets remind the fourth class of their mission and help them to regain focus in their military studies. The fourth class is encouraged to spirit mission, or prank, their second class role models. In the ten days leading up to 101st night I sewed my second class’ shirts and socks together, put sticky notes labeling every item out in his room, and decorated with streamers and flags. On the 101st night before graduation, the class of 2014, the current second class, reverted back to cadre as revenge and ran fourth class through a Swab Summer routine for three hours. As a Bravo fourth class, I began with my classmates in Bravo Company and all of our second class, but after a short 15 minutes we ran up three floors to Echo Company. We continued to rotate through all of the companies learning different spewage and participating in various calisthenics and rifle movements. While the experience was helpful in respect to learn a mass amount of information, it was also physically challenging and mentally difficult to find myself a swab again instead of a fourth class.


More about Sarah.


The Semester's End

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Merritt Photo I guess we could only escape the onset of winter for so long! :( For Thanksgiving I went to visit my Godmom who lives in the heart of Harlem. I absolutely adore New York, and that area is no exception. The people are so vibrant and it’s extremely rich in culture. I mean, what more can you ask for in a mega-city?


So before Thanksgiving I ventured to Times Square to do some typical sightseeing. It really is a dream. There were so many bright lights, people and taxis. I wasn’t even close to being disappointed; thank goodness. Then I woke up the day after Thanksgiving to the sounds of the city, went to Katz’s Delicatessen, a place I had put on my bucket list thanks to Food Network’s Man vs. Food and roamed around the Rockefeller Center. With my satisfied taste buds and restored sense of self, I road the train back to Academy. Which I almost forgot to mention was only my second train ride ever…the first being my train ride to New York, so you can only imagine how excited I was.


Then a few weeks later, we had the Winter Formal. Formals are such a good time to see everyone with their plus ones out dancing and having just a genuinely good time. I know I did some serious dancing with a couple of classmates, particularly swing. Swing dancing, I learned, has to be one of my favorite styles of dancing hands down simply because it’s so fun. There’s so much energy, spinning and flipping involved that there’s no way to not have fun. No wonder I enjoy International Ballroom Dance Club so much. Did I mention you get a good workout, too? Honestly, what’s not to love?


Finally, the highlight of the whole month of December was going on LEAVE! After about 10 hours of travel, I was met by both of my sisters, an aunt and my niece and nephew at the airport. It’s honestly shocking how a few months will cause such changes in people, especially kids. For example, the last time I saw my niece she was cautiously waddling around with the use of her legs that she finally figured out how to work. At the airport she was just a puffball of running energy. Really though, she just would not stop going! And my younger sister, who I could once fling over my back like a sack of flour, was at my shoulders almost looking me dead in the eye! Not cool man, not cool.


Winter Leave...there’s really nothing like it. Especially this year. We got like a whole month off. I have amazing friends back home who I love like family and was so lucky to spend so much time with this year thanks to our extended leave. Though our time together is always relatively short, we’re the type of people that pick up where we left off the moment we’re reunited and I love that. I can honestly say that I’m truly blessed with great life friends. And don’t get me started on my family. My father is someone I just cannot live without. He’s both a parent and a best friend, a mentor and supporter, and a true comic. Let me tell you, that man is hilarious even when I’m the butt of his witty little jokes. Still, we’re basically like peas and carrots, but better. My siblings, niece and nephew are cute too of course. All in all, I have a pretty sweet family if I do say so with my biased self. (Love you guys!) Ah December, what a lovely month…except for finals—those could just go away.


Signing off,


More about Jalle.


Staying Warm

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Sherman Photo January may have been a bit nippy, but it was a great month! After returning to the Academy from winter leave, I felt (and still feel) re-energized—things were really heating up as the new semester started. I’m excited for the semester ahead, and I’m ready to face the challenges and opportunities over the next few months as we (the 3/c cadets) move toward our cadre summer! So, what were the things that got my flame burning brightly? Let me tell you—because I haven’t done a month in review type of blog for quite some time now!


New Roommate (Among Other Things)
It was great coming back after a long leave period. I was excited to see everyone, to hear about their exciting breaks; I was looking forward to another semester of new class and new subjects; I felt recharged and ready to tackle the tasks I’d be doing for Officers’ Christian Fellowship and the Sustainability Club. And of course, there is the new ROOMMATE (along with a new room). James is an awesome roommate. Already after a little less than a month of rooming together, we’ve gotten a great groove down. I look forward to getting to know him more over the next few, exciting months. We both have some pretty cool things coming up, so our room is going to be a place of excitement, that’s for sure!


OCF Leaders’ Retreat
After the first week back from break (called MAP week, mid-year administrative week), I went over to the home of Hank and Betsy, the field staff for Officers’ Christian Fellowship (OCF). They hosted the OCF leadership team—I am one of the communications leaders—for a retreat to recharge and refocus for the next semester. The weekend was fantastic! I spent a lot of time in prayer and in fellowship with the other leaders. The cadets on the leadership team are some of the closest friends I have, so it was fantastic to spend two days with them (and not have to worry about any homework either!). We even had a chance to go ice skating! I could definitely feel the Lord’s presence with us that weekend!


MLK Weekend
This was the weekend of doing as much as possible! Haha. So Friday night I attended Friday Night Fellowship (OCF event) as I do every Friday. Nothing outrageously out of the ordinary…

Then Saturday! I made a trip to Boston! First I met up with Gretchen A., who graduated from my high school the year after I did. She goes to BU. I went to a capture the flag event with one of the Christian groups with which she is involved at BU. It was super fun! (What an understatement! Haha!) Each team had approximately twenty small flags; we played in a small area on the Esplanade along the Charles River. It was basically an open “field” (arena?) with a few trees. It was muddy, though, from the melting ice. That’s what made it so awesome. I got super dirty!


Staying Warm (Continued) PDF Icon  


More about Justin.