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cadet blogs

1/c Summer on the Horizon

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Glick Photo This week has been madness! I’ve been swamped with finishing up term papers, group projects, routing planning memos for Swab Summer, studying for finals, and attending end-of-year club dinners.

 

My classmates and I just received our class rings this past Saturday! We had a great time dressing up in our dinner dress white tuxedos, donning our class rings, and spending the night off-base afterwards. It was a great event and definitely a milestone for the Class of 2017. Looking at our class rings, it is clear that we are almost seniors. Time has flown, but at the same time, it feels like it has been a lifetime. With the Class of 2020 receiving their appointments, it means that the Class of 2016 will soon be shipping out to the fleet. Crazy to think that soon my classmates and I will be the oldest folks here at the CGA.

 

I am excited to leave for Alaska on a 110-foot patrol boat in two weeks! After finals, I have to pack out my room and move all of my stuff to Regimental Row for the second half of the summer (which should be a monumental task with many trips)! Less than a day after that, I’m leaving for Alaska. I’ve already started my qualification for Quartermaster of the Watch with my Nautical Science instructor, and hopefully this summer will be a good opportunity to shadow junior officers and see what it’s all about. My next blog in May will probably be from the icebox!

 

More about William.

 

Two Spring Breaks for the Price of One

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Just for Fun, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Culp Photo I had a bit of an odd spring break this year. I departed a day early to perform in Georgia and Alabama with the Glee Club, spent the rest of the week with my grandparents who live outside of Atlanta, and flew back the day prior to leave expiring. So all of that was pretty standard… what made it odd was that after I unpacked from my trip down south, I simply repacked for another one! The next morning, I flew out to Rome, Italy with three other cadets, one of the humanities instructors, and her husband to compete in the week-long Harvard World Model United Nations competition. Guess who got two spring breaks for the price of one?

 

The Model United Nations team is one of the fastest-growing clubs at school. This time last year, it was a ragtag group of individuals piling onto a train going to New York City… now, we’ve become well-established enough to ship cadets overseas to compete. This particular conference is easily one of the most remarkable events of which I’ve been a part in my life. I worked with one of my classmates in a group simulating the United Nations’ Disarmament and International Security committee. We represented the interests of South Sudan in conversations about Violent Non-State Actors, and collaborated with about 400 other students from all across the globe to formulate mock laws facing that issue. The people who participated alongside us were from Germany, France, England, Iran, Australia, Syria, Venezuela, Russia, Italy, and countless other countries. Considering that cadets aren’t even allowed to leave the base most days of the week, you can imagine what an enriching experience it was to learn about so many different places from the people who know them best! It was such an excellent place in which to learn about international politics and relations. Seeing as how there is not as much room in the science major for such study, I appreciated the practical lesson in applying and acquiring current events knowledge!

 

And the conference wasn’t even the end of the fun… each night, my classmates and I were able to go out and explore every corner of Rome. I won’t bore you with the extensive list of the sights we saw, but I will mention that Harvard arranged for us to hear a speech by the Pope (yes, he spoke in Italian, so I had no idea what he was saying… but it was still him, so that’s cool), the Colosseum is indeed humongous, the piazzas are pretty and plentiful, gelato is amazing, and the best part was meeting up with one of my best friends from high school! Yes, I saw my friend from quiet little Nebraska in Europe, of all places! No better person with which to watch the sun set over Rome from a beautifully sculpted terrace in the middle of the city!

 

It’s easy to look at the Academy and think only of all the restrictions and sacrifices you have to make to be a cadet here. No daily liberty, no deciding on my own clothes, lots of time spent on homework… And yet, because I chose to give up those little freedoms, I’ve been rewarded with the most fantastic of opportunities and chances to see so much more of the world than I ever would have at a different school. Rome was incredible, the people at the conference taught me so much, and I made a once-in-a-lifetime memory with a close friend. So I suppose in a sense, by making your world a little bit smaller, you expand it beyond anything you could expect… isn’t that funny?

 

More about Abby.

 

Half Marathon Fun

(Academics, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Glick Photo “I Just Felt Like Running” – Forest Gump

 

The first day of spring arrived, and lo and behold, we had a delayed opening due to snow! But in all seriousness, it is springtime, the trees are budding, and there are more and more cadets out and about on our sports fields, running trails, and roads between 1600 and 1800, or sports period. The sun is going down much later in the evening, and let me officially declare that the Dark Ages are over!

 

Last weekend, I ran in the Savin Rock Half Marathon near New Haven, Connecticut. I had been training since January, and I finally did it. There were over 500 people in the race who had come from all over. Apparently, there is an underground community of half marathon fanatics, some of whom do one every weekend. Each cadet must participate in some approved athletic activity in order to remain in good standing, through varsity or club sports, intramurals, or an approved athletic activity. As a cadet, you can run an official half marathon and receive sports credit, so I decided to try it this semester. When I started taking running seriously at the beginning of the semester, I couldn’t run more than 3 miles. By the beginning of March, I was running ten miles at a time, and about 30 miles per week. I was a bit nervous for the race last week, but it went by quick—just under two hours. I was pretty sore the next day, but I decided to sign up for another one in central Connecticut in two weeks. A bunch of cadets are running it to get their sports credit and have some fun, so we’re driving up there together. I’m looking forward to exploring this newfound hobby for the remainder of my time at CGA.

 

More about William.

 

Academy Weekends: Work Hard, Play Hard

(Academics, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Glick Photo February is flying by, and spring break is right around the corner: next week! My classmates and I are anticipating the summer billet list. We are curious to find out where we will be spending our summers!

 

If you have ever seen the movie Groundhog Day, that’s pretty much what the Academy is like 2/c year, or in any year of the Academy experience for that matter. In the movie, Bill Murray lives the same day over and over again, and tests the limits of his newly discovered power of repeating the same day. Likewise, at the Academy, everything is routine. You eat at the same time every day, walk by the same people at the same time every day, workout at the same time every day, and see the same faces every day. My weeks keep me busy with classes, schoolwork, getting the Corps ready for the arrival for the Class of 2020 as a member of Battalion Staff, attending Corps-wide leadership lecture series, and fulfilling military trainings.

 

Now, to discuss life at the Academy after Friday LMO (last military obligation): the weekends are when the magic happens! This weekend, I am traveling to USMA for the West Point Model United Nations competition. Two weekends ago, some of my friends and I checked out Mohegan Sun, one of the largest casinos on the East Coast, and ate at some high class restaurants. Last weekend, I went to New York City, and the weekend before that we had a Class of 2017 event at a downtown New London restaurant. Another weekend this semester I drove to Wesleyan University to meet up with a friend. The weekends break up the constant rhythm of the Academy weekday routine, and allow cadets to explore their interests, faith, and the local area. Some of my friends also travel with the Glee Club, boxing team, and other sports teams all across the country on the weekends.

 

Having said all that, Academy weekends are sometimes all about rest and reflection. Every few weeks, we have formal room and wing inspections to ensure that we are keeping work-life conditions clean. Most weekends, I stay back and get ahead on homework, projects, and resolve problems regarding the highly anticipated arrival of the Class of 2020! Of course, there is plenty to do in New London on weekends, including restaurants and many different faith congregations in the area. On my quieter weekends, I grab breakfast with some friends before church early Sunday mornings, or go downtown on Friday nights with the boys. In all, weekends are what make the Academy experience fun and enjoyable, and allow for cadets to engage in reflection and self-discovery, and catch up on our many duties.

 

More about William.

 

An Early Spring?

(Athletics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Cannon Photo Well, it's the first week in February and it is supposedly going to be a high of 61 degrees on Wednesday. I never thought this day would come. As a baseball player, I have struggled with playing in New England weather with the bitter cold and harsh winds (from the Thames River). Nevertheless, I am so excited about this season! We have 14 pitchers, so the arms are plentiful this year. We had a decent season last year with about half that number, so I feel like the possibilities are endless. In addition, we are all waiting in eager anticipation for this summer. The only thing that I am sure of this summer is that I will get to be involved in Swab Summer one more time. This time, however, at the very top of the food chain. It will be me and my classmate, 2/c Derek Victory, running one of the companies this summer so it should be an awesome time! My fingers are crossed that I will get over to the West Coast for the first half of my summer, or being out in the Pacific would be even better. But for now, I am just looking forward to getting down to Fort Myers, Florida for spring break with the baseball team. Warm weather and baseball is like peanut butter and jelly! Here's to another great start!

 

More about Colton.