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A Much Needed Spring Break

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Schroeder Photo If I could tell you one thing about the Academy, it is that time flies while here as a cadet. It is already the end of March of my sophomore year here and in a few short months I will be training the incoming class of 2018. All of it seems unreal considering the fact that it feels like just yesterday I was a swab.


After a couple seemingly long months without leave, a spring break was much needed. This month for spring break I jetted out to Orlando with a couple friends to go to Universal Studios and Disney World. I also have a friend who is interning at Disney this semester, and I got to see him for the first time in a long time. I got to see both Universal Parks and Epcot at Disney, and it was great to finally get some sun, have some fun and catch up with friends.


From experience, I know that time really starts to fly after spring break, and second semester ends before you know it. However, coming back from spring break was kind of rough. It was definitely tough to get back into the school grind after such a long lovely break. However, it’s already fourth quarter and final projects are already starting to pop up.


For now, I am just anxious for March and April to be over, because I get to go home, and to go to Mexico on vacation with my family in May. I also get to see my brother graduate high school in the first week of June. Going home will be a great way to start the summer, and I absolutely cannot wait to become a cadre and finally be able to train the new swabs like I was trained two summers ago.


More about Jade.


Go Rhea It’s Your Birthday…

(Academics, Just for Fun, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Doctolero Photo February is my favorite month. Not for Valentine’s Day, or the fact that it means only three months left of school. It’s my birthday month! I’m really excited. Gone are the days that I’m called a teenager; I’m finally the big 2-oh! And only one more year until the even bigger milestone. It’s upsetting how miserably cold it is still. In Miami, it would be warming up by now, but instead of getting warmer it feels like it’s getting colder. There are people making snowmen for crying out loud.


Not much is new in the world of academics. My classes are still mildly difficult and we still have so many trainings I can’t think straight. God knows how many times I’ve taken that alcohol awareness training, and I can’t even drink.


This year Valentine’s Day fell on Presidents Day weekend. My boyfriend flew up and we went to Boston. I had never been before but it will definitely be a place I visit again. We went to a spa, comedy shows, painting, tons of sightseeing, and of course shopping. It was a great weekend and was a much needed vacation. It’s nice to have a break. My dad always told me work for the breaks, and it’s easier when they are so close together. Speaking of breaks, spring break is right around the corner and it’s going to be a good one. I’m spending a week in Myrtle Beach and I can’t wait. Bikinis, sun, and seafood? Count me in.


More about Rheanastasia.


From Lazy to Productive in 2.3 Seconds

(Academics, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Doctolero Photo Coming back wasn’t as dreadful as I expected. Do not get me wrong, I love going on break. I went to Charleston, Jacksonville and Miami. I did a little of everything. And I LOVE Christmas. This year I must have been a good girl this year because Santa brought me everything I wanted, including an iPad. As the school year started I was excited to hit the books again. I can only take so much laziness; it was time for me to start being productive again. This semester I have more classes that pertain to my major, which means math all day. I can’t wait.


I’m also in a new division. I’m in the PFE retake division. That means that we take care of all the people that fail or can’t take the PFE. They basically just keep testing until they do pass. Hopefully there aren’t too many people. Taking the PFE once a semester sucks, I can only imagine taking it 3 or 4 times.


I’m hoping that this semester is better than the last. Not because my grades where bad or anything, they were actually really good, but there’s always room for improvement. I’m staying motivated this semester and I’m going to make improvements.


More about Rheanastasia.


One Coin Worth More than a Paycheck

(Overcoming Challenges, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Kukich Photo While the paycheck at the Academy is an incentive to some, it turns out that some of the “coins” cadets receive aren’t produced by the U.S. Treasury. Many civilians ask me how I spend my paycheck – to be brief it’s broken up in the following way. 1) The Basic Life Requirements: Haircuts for gents, laundry, wardroom meals, along with a number of other expenses are automatically taken out of biweekly paychecks. 2) The Academy Necessities: This includes all of the uniform issues and formal tickets that test our etiquette skills and ability to keep it classy. 3) The College Wish List: Every wish can’t be fulfilled with our paycheck, but we are extremely lucky to balance the cost of textbooks, some sports equipment, travel home, and entertainment if we budget carefully.


Overall, that steady paycheck can help to make the Academy a rewarding experience. But even more gratifying are the experiences had here. One of my favorite opportunities so far has been participating in the color guard, specifically at the Major Cutters Commanding Officers Dining In event on base in February 2014. The yearly event is hosted at the Academy and in addition to all the major cutter CO’s who attend, the Commandant of the Coast Guard and many distinguished guests also come. It was very nerve-racking to present the colors in front of so much gold, knowing in the back of my mind they very well could be the ones to write my evaluations in a few years. The audience collectively had accomplished an unimaginable magnitude of good and at the end of the event Admiral Papp, Commandant of the Coast Guard, mentioned that my 3/c classmates and I would be the ones to take their place someday as future leaders of the service. In recognition of our small contribution at the event, he presented all nine of us on the line with his challenge coin – a highly regarded tradition in the service. On one side it reads his name, “Admiral Bob Papp” and Commandant, while the other reads “Shipmates Semper Paratus”.


Receiving Admiral Papp’s challenge coin didn’t add to my paycheck, nor did participating in that color guard event necessarily help my grade in Differential Equations, but in the long term that accomplishment is what sets the Academy apart. The idea that one coin can be worth more than a paycheck makes the nightly feeling of exhaustion just a little more satisfying.


More about Sarah.


The Semester is Flying

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Daghir Photo Hello blog readers!


Sorry about my absence but I’ve been a little busy this semester. I am playing on our women’s lacrosse team and I love it! In addition, I’ve been taking more of my major-specific classes and learning about physical oceanography and marine geochemistry. I have to say that the semester is flying as there are only four weeks left of classes before I take finals and then begin 100th week.


I guess I’ll talk to you today about how my cadet career is about to change. Up until this point, I have been seen as a follower; I am expected to follow the rules and to do as I am told, respecting authority and following blindly all orders that apply to me. Even though I have not been taking out the trash, or squaring my meals this year, I am still on a very low level of the totem pole, expected only to follow the rules more closely as to become a pseudo-model for the fourth class to see. As I completed my duties as a fourth class and a third class, I found it hard or impossible to see that “light” at the end of the tunnel, the beacon that would bring leadership, or at least the ability to take on more responsibility. The time has come for me and the class of 2016, now in the final stretch of second semester third class year, to discover the weight and meaning of leadership. I guess it started when I applied for a leadership position within Delta Company. Second class cadets are expected to fill the roles of assistants to the department heads (Master at Arms) and one second class each semester to be the Guidon, which is the leader of the fourth class, upholding them to the standards of the Academy, and leading them through their first semesters. I am not sure whether or not I qualified for the positions, but applying for them opened my eyes, as I had to produce a semi-leadership philosophy.


This summer I will be a cadre. Waterfront 1 cadre. I think that the weirdest part about this is that I might be more nervous to be a cadre than I was to be a swab. My goal during Swab Summer two years ago was to survive, to make it through the summer to the school year. But this summer, that isn’t an option. I am going to be standing duty, watching over the incoming swabs, teaching the swabs how to sail and the rules of the road. I will not only be expected to perform these duties, but it will be up to me to inspire the Class of 2018 to become members of the Corps of Cadets. I am ready and willing to take on this challenge but I know that it’s not going to be easy. This is the transition point, and I wish that time would slow down enough for me to see the transformation and to anticipate it, but instead, at the rate at which time is moving, I think that the next time I blink my eyes, there are going to be two stripes on my arm, and I will be a leader and not a follower.


I hope that everyone is having a nice spring, and I hope that spring starts to act like the spring we all need it to be :)


Happy April!


3/c Lucy Daghir


More about Lucy.