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Hvala Belgrade

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2012) Permanent link
Wowtschuk Photo Hello Shipmates! I am writing this blog from the middle of an eleven hour trip back from Belgrade. Since, I know none of you know what that is, I will save you a Google search and tell you it is the capitol of Serbia. No not Siberia…Serbia…they are different places. Serbia is a country in the Balkans region of Europe (South East Europe), not in Russia (like my credit card company thought). We actually went to war there thirteen years ago…Who Knew?! (Some of the bombed out buildings still aren’t fixed).

 

Anyway, I went there to participate in a Model United Nations Conference, along with two other cadets from the Academy. We were three of only about ten Americans at the conference and we were the only ones who actually flew all the way from the States (the rest go to school in Europe). All of the other participants were from Europe, and the vast majority of the 270 total students at the conference were Serbian.

 

I’m not going to talk about the actual conference, but about the people I met while I was there. It is the people of Serbia and the people I worked with at the conference that made it an incredible experience. I would almost use the term life changing, but that’s pretty heavy. During my five days in Belgrade, I made some closer friends than I’ve made in the past four years at school.

 

My new favorite person in the world is a Serbia girl; I’ll call her Novi Sad. She is in the running for the most awesome person I have ever met. Extremely nice, incredibly cool, funny, down to earth, oh and did I mention beautiful. She made sitting in four hour straight committee sessions tolerable and sometimes even fun. She did everything in her power to help me…uh, make female acquaintances. I wish there was a way to repay her for her covert reconnaissance missions into gathering relationship statuses. I can’t even begin to thank her for all she did, I will never forget it.

 

I met a girl with the most beautiful name in the world, jet black hair, and gorgeous crystal blue eyes. Don’t worry, I told her. Дякую!

 

I ran into my ex-girlfriend at the conference too…well not exactly, but I did befriend a girl who looks just like her….except a lot prettier and not nearly as manipulative. (Note: the following is the best pick-up line I’ve ever used) “Hey, do you mind if I take a picture with you? You look just like a friend of mine.” It worked…sort of. Regardless, I couldn’t help but get lost in her deep round hazel eyes every time I spoke with her…an absolutely amazing girl.

 

I showed another girl a thing or two about American dancing, and rocked out to old school 90s hip-hop in a secret underground club. Apparently Wu-Tang is forever in Serbia.

 

I spent my last day walking around Belgrade on a spectacular day with literally the hottest girl I have ever met, AND also one of the sweetest. I don’t think I stopped smiling for six straight hours. This girl, who not only has supermodel good looks (she made it to the finals of a supermodel completion in Serbia. In Serbia! Where you see the most gorgeous girl you’ve ever seen every ten minutes), but she also still wanted to talk to me after I told her she was gorgeous…which being from NY, completely blew my mind.

 

In conclusion….I need to go back.

 

Fun Fact: It is not easy to spend $200 in Belgrade in six days…even if you try.

 



More about Bo.

 

The Final Stretch

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Martin Photo Wait… final stretch of 4/c year? I don’t believe it. But it’s true! Coming back from Spring Break and leaving family and friends behind was not my favorite, but, seeing the Chapel spire as you cross the bridge over the Thames, you realize that you are in the last stretch of the worst year and after this, it all gets better! Just one quarter left, yet we all know it will be the worst quarter. Cumulative finals, final papers and reports, presentations and oh… Boards. If you don’t know, Boards are the 4/c oral test to make sure that every 4/c knows basic sea knowledge, history and customs to be a functioning member of the operational Coast Guard on our summer assignments. It's what all the 4/c are stressing about and it will keep stressing us until about April 15th. Once we pass Boards, we have Challenge of the Guardsman, which is a version of Sea Trials that is meant to be our “cumulative event” of being a 4/c and transitioning into the small leadership position of a 3/c. We have a lot on our plates, yet we keep looking toward the finish line, well the break point, for we are never truly finished.

 

End of March and beginning of April is a pretty exciting time around here: the firsties find out where they will be stationed for their first assignment, 4/c start earning privileges like playing music out loud or wardroom carry on, and the corps is doing a lot of events. Last Friday we had the Ethics Forum, which is on a Friday where all the cadets go to sessions on ethics instead of classes. It is really good information on how to be an ethical leader in stressful and challenging situations. I went to three sessions, one by a retired Army Major General, one by a reservist Marine Corps Corporal working at Lockhead Martin, and one by a Navy Captain and distinguished pilot. All of their themes were the same, all with different sea stories, war stories, or business stories that tied it all together. With all of their experience, they wanted us to take away that being a moral and ethical leader is essential for the success of the organization, the unit, and the individual. It was a great day meeting and hearing from people that most others wouldn't be able to hear from. We also have Eclipse Week coming up which is a week dedicated to learning about the benefits of having a diverse organization. A lot of people complain about having to go to these trainings, but its one of those things that sets us apart from civilian schools in that who gets to hear from these amazing speakers in a small environment and learn how to be leaders from the best leaders.

 

Just four more weeks of classes! I’m so ready to get underway.

 



More about Matt.

 

Mjolnir

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Kekoa Photo I’m not sure what it feels like to be hit with Mjolnir, Thor’s war hammer, but if I had to take a guess, I’d say it feels like something similar to what us freshmen are feeling now.

 

The first semester, for the most part, was still a transition phase for the fourth class into the corps of cadets. All we had to worry about was staying on top of our academics, sports, extracurricular activities, military obligations, and remaining sane; the latter being most difficult. However, this semester, on top of the previously mentioned, freshmen are preparing for a test to earn our place among the ranks of the upper class. This test is known as “Boards.”

 

The dreaded B-word is an indoctrination test, consisting of 10 questions, 8 of which must be answered correctly. The questions are drawn from any and all required Coast Guard or military-related knowledge, so studying adequately is crucial. A board of upper class cadets will test you and the 3/C (sophomores) will serve as your guides during this process.

 

As a class, certain privileges will be given if boards are passed. Simple things such as looking at our food or relaxing in the hallway are at stake so there is added pressure that we all pass this beast the first time.

 

It is almost time for summer and as Jets linebacker, Bart Scott, once said, “Can’t Wait!”

 

Aloha.

 



More about Kody.