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Class of 2015 Billet Night

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Cantrell Photo Although this month was full of schoolwork and fun adventures there is only one thing on my mind and that is BILLET NIGHT. Billet Night is only four days away and I can barely sleep or think straight about anything other than Thursday night.

 

Now, you may be wondering, why is she so excited about Billet Night? What is that? Well, for anyone asking themselves these questions, Billet Night is the ceremony at which the first class cadets (seniors) find out where they will be stationed after graduation for either two or three years. I don’t know all of the details about what exactly happens that night because they try to keep it a secret to make it as exciting as possible. I know that there will be a dinner before, then our names are called and we walk up on stage to open our billet in front of the rest of the class. It is going to be such an exciting and nerve-racking night for all of us in the Class of 2015. I personally am hoping to go to Portsmouth, Virginia on a 270’ cutter. Some of my friends want different types of cutters located all over the country, from Hawaii to Alaska to Florida. Some want sectors and some want flight school.

 

For me, Billet Night will be very exciting, but also a little bit sad. The only reason I say sad is because it will be a definite reminder that after graduation, my best friends who I have been able to live with for four years may be across the country. We have already planned to take a girls’ trip once a year, but the reality of it, with everyone on different cutter schedules and all over the country, is it may not always happen. No matter where we all end up, I know I will stay up-to-date on their lives and how they are enjoying their first units, but it will be hard to not get a hug from them on a bad day.

 

As Billet Night quickly approaches, I wish everyone in the Class of 2015 luck and hope we are all happy and make the most out of our first experience in the fleet.

 

More about Sara.

 

January Snow and the Most Memorable Diving Meet

(Academics, Athletics, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Cantrell Photo The month of January was filled with snow! Really only the last week, but it was enough for a whole season. Every time I see the huge piles of snow I wish it could be sand. I guess it’s because I am a Florida girl at heart. We had a normal day of school on Monday, but by Monday afternoon the snow had started. It was beautiful to see the flakes falling down, but then it started sticking and it got scary to walk around base. It looked like I was learning how to walk because I was so scared I would slip on ice.

 

Storm Juno gave us two days off of school mid week, which was a great surprise. It was also the first time I’ve shoveled snow. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t want to shovel a long driveway, but shoveling out my car with my friend Carolyn was pretty fun. It also wasn’t as bad as I thought.

 

Other than this month bringing storm Juno, the schoolwork is in full swing. I had my first paper due this past week and have my first test in a couple of days. Quizzes and homework are regular tasks.

 

We also had our last home meet ever. It was against The Merchant Marine Academy, which is our biggest rival. It was an amazing meet and will be my most memorable meet of my diving career.

 

More about Sara.

 

Golden Glove Champion

(Athletics, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Hazen Photo For one of the top 10 coolest moments in my life, I have to thank my coaches for leading me to a New England Golden Glove Championship victory. When I made the decision to box last August, I was just looking for something new and exciting to do, while still getting in a great workout. I never imagined I would be the 132 lb. New England Golden Glove Novice Champion, let alone be fighting in the tournament. After the final bell rang, I ran back to my coaches and I knew I had done something right when Tom hugged me and lifted me off the ground. “You just won the New England Golden Gloves!” It didn’t seem real. That was until the ref called my opponent and me back to the center of the ring. “And the winner, by unanimous decision, coming from the blue corner is Coast Guard’s Mary Hazen!” It was unbelievable!

 

The day started off like any day of one of my fights. I would go through moments when I would be so nervous my stomach would cramp up, and then the cramps would slowly fade away as I didn’t think about what was ahead of me. This happened frequently throughout the day. At 1600, LT Webb, Trevor, and I loaded into the van and I quickly fell asleep, more or less to keep my mind from wondering. When we got to the venue in Lowell, Massachusetts, I weighed in and got checked out by the doctor. After being herded around, we were finally directed to the locker room, where Tom wrapped my hands and gloved me up. I warmed up, starting out with relaxed and easy movements, working up a little sweat, and then Tom had me work on some combinations. Once he was pleased, he sent me off and I said my three Hail Marys (one for each round) and tried to clear my mind.

 

When the second bout of the night made their way to the ring, my opponent and I stepped up on deck. Tom kept telling me to relax and stay loose. I was so nervous! But was able to keep relaxed by jumping around and reminding myself that Tom, Mike, and LT Webb had prepared me for this fight! They all knew I would succeed; I had to have the same confidence. The winner of bout two was announced and Tom and LT Webb escorted me to the ring.

 

My nerves subsided as the ref touched my opponent’s and my gloves, and the first bell rang. I went in full force, just like Tom had said to. I fought behind my defense and used my jabs to my advantage, mixing up different combinations and combining head and body shots. The bell ending the first round rang. I returned to the blue corner feeling pretty good, as Tom and LT Webb told me to keep up what I was doing. The second bell rang; round two had begun. Much like the first round, I went out strong, using mainly defense and my jabs. The bell ending the second round rang. Again, Tom and LT Webb told me to keep it up. The third round went similar to the first two and at the sound of the final bell, I ran back to the blue corner to get my headgear removed, where Tom picked me up and was the first to unofficially announce me New England Golden Glove Champion!

 

I was on cloud nine! I have won games and races in my day, but I never fathomed the idea of winning a Golden Glove Championship title! It is an amazing feeling! If there is one last thing to say, it’s that I have been incredibly blessed and would be nowhere near the person I am today without every single person in my life. I am so grateful for the relationships I have built over the years and am so appreciative of my support system. I love you all and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

 

More about Mary.

 

Something Different

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Quintero Photo Last semester I took a class at Connecticut College and I learned a new way of thinking and experienced something different that I had not been exposed to at the Academy. Conn College is a liberal arts college across the street from the Academy and they offer very different courses than the Academy. Cadets in good standing, with the approval from the Dean of Academics, get an opportunity to take a class across the street. When I attended my first class over there, all the students were looking at me when I first came into the classroom, because I stuck out like a sore thumb. That is because we still have to wear our uniforms to class. There are many differences between the Academy and Conn cultures that I noticed on the initial day, first off there is no need to ask permission from the instructor to come into the classroom and if you come in late there are no penalties. Secondly, you are not required to stand at attention when the professor comes into the classroom. Lastly, some professors like to set a comfortable environment by having the students call them by their first name. To any college student the latter are merely everyday things, for me it was unorthodox. However, soon I would find out that my new classmates and I were not very different from each other. We both enjoyed the gifts of life such as sports, music and good food. The class I took required every student to attend five cultural events, and it forced me to experience new things I would have probably never ventured out to!

 

More about Carlos.

 

Last First Day of School

(Academics, Just for Fun, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Cantrell Photo Today marked the “last” first day of school for my undergraduate degree. It is crazy to think about that and to finally write our graduation year at the top of my papers. The corps just returned from winter break, which was full of sand for some and snow for others. I was fortunate enough to go home for a week to spend time with my family and friends before heading over to the west coast of Florida for the swimming and diving training trip. My time spent at home was very relaxing and fun. It was great to spend time with the people I care about and miss so much while I am at school. The training trip was a lot of hard work but also very fun.

 

It was hard coming back to school mostly because of the significant change of weather, but I am happy to be back with my friends and to complete this final semester together. Our billet lists are due in a couple of days, which is exciting and nerve-racking all at the same time. I am ready to submit my list just to stop thinking about it until Billet Night in March.

 

Not much to report yet for this semester. Since classes just started, the homework, quizzes, papers, and tests have not begun, but they will before I know it.

 

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday with their loved ones and I wish everyone a happy and healthy new year!

 

More about Sara.