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October 2015 Highlights

(Academics, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Glick Photo I’m looking at my ticker for graduation and it tells me that there are 560 days until the Class of 2017 graduates. How the time has flown by this semester. October’s highlights include the Model United Nations (MUN) team attending the MUN Conference in New York City, Halloween dinner, and of course, midterm exams.


I went to Columbia University for the Model UN Conference and I had a great experience. This wasn’t my first rodeo—I’ve gone to five conferences since I started at the Academy. I’ve attended National MUN in Washington D.C., West Point Security Conference and New York University MUN Conference. Columbia’s conference was fast paced, and I was a member of the Soviet Union 1950s historical committee, debating with delegates from Harvard, Yale, UC Berkeley, and other big name schools about where we should take the USSR on the world stage. I learned about how the USSR functioned during the 20th century, and sharpened my debating and parliamentary procedure skills. In November, I along with other members of the team, will be running simulations to get us ready for the West Point Security Conference in February. Some team members are also traveling to Rome, Italy for Harvard World MUN in the spring semester.


Halloween dinner this year was a blast. Cadets in all classes donned their costumes for dinner in the cadet wardroom and then stormed The Hill, where the Admiral and the other top officers live. The exchange cadet in my company and I swapped uniforms for the dinner and we went as “Swab and Sarge.” I wore the famous West Point grays, while he was dressed up as a swab.


Midterms came and went, and there was one week where I had four exams! This semester has gone very well academically, and I am finally getting into higher level elective classes. My favorite class is Human Resources Management, where the topics range from pay policy to handling cases of discrimination. It’s an interesting class, and my enthusiasm for law and labor relations is growing. Soon, Thanksgiving will be on its way (only 22 more days)!


More about William.


Crazy Midterms?

(Academics, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Daghir Photo I didn’t think that this year’s midterm exams were a really big deal until the following week when I realized that they were nothing compared to the four tests, two papers, speech and the extra duty of organizing the flags for a large Coast Guard event here at the Academy. Long story short, my weeks have been speeding by. I can’t believe that Halloween is upon us. I have been doing an October Spice Yoga challenge, where you do yoga every day for a month at least to capture a different pose every day. It has been fun and but adds to the busy days. Homework and everything didn’t seem too bad until this week, so I am really excited for the weekend.


Additionally, my little brother and parents are coming up tonight to go Bears Day tomorrow, which is a one-day open house when high schoolers can go to class without spending the night. It will be good to see them, and what’s crazy is that I might get to see my mom again next week because I applied for a trip through the Government department to go to D.C. and got it! My mom works on the Mall, so I am pumped to be back in the Maryland area. I have to say D.C. is probably my favorite city. I am finding that I am applying for more opportunities this year, ones that I might have felt were long shots before and I am actually getting them!


For now, I need to get back to the books, well, actually I am practicing my leadership speech for today. For the moment, the academic “storm” has stopped and I guess, as cadets, we all need to know that this stress can be self-perpetuated. That’s why I like to do yoga. I had dinner at the Admiral’s house two weeks ago in Quarters 1 and he was surprised to hear that the Yoga Club can do yoga off base any day of the week during sports period! It was funny to see his reaction, and really cool to get the chance to interact with our senior leadership like that, in a small group setting.


The fall ball lacrosse season also just ended with a play day of four mini games on Sunday! We had a great time and I am so excited to keep us strong through the winter for our season start in February!


Happy Halloween!


More about Lucy.


Celebrating as a Cadet

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Just for Fun, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Culp Photo Over the long weekend, while I sat on my sponsor family’s couch and watched movies with them, I found myself considering the many costume possibilities for the upcoming Halloween dinner. Yes, holidays are celebrated within the Corps of Cadets, too! In fact, they are some of the most entertaining events of the year! For Halloween, all the cadets throw on whatever goofy costume they can conjure up, and we eat dinner together in the wardroom and participate in a costume contest. This is followed by the real gem of the evening – trick-or-treating on the hill where the Superintendent and the other Academy leaders live! And we’re not just talking about Hershey bars – cadets receive privileges such as extra liberty, late racks (a.k.a. sleeping in), positions like “Commandant of Cadets for a Day”, and all sorts of other prizes that beat candy corn any time! (Actually, maybe not candy corn…but definitely Twizzlers. And Tootsie Rolls.)


Thanksgiving is more low-key since cadets go on leave for the holiday. Many cadets are able to go home to see their families, but unfortunately, the limited time makes that impossible for others. The wardroom serves a Thanksgiving meal for those who are staying at the Academy for some reason, perhaps not enough time to travel far distances or for sports. Since I wasn’t able to go home my 4/c and 3/c year, I celebrated Thanksgiving with my sponsor family – they were gracious enough to let me stay with them for the entire leave period, and even eat all of their mashed potatoes. This year, I am absolutely thrilled to be going to home for the first time, as I qualified for extra time off to recruit potential cadets in my home state of Nebraska! The Admissions office gives some cadets permission to miss a couple days of classes prior to Thanksgiving leave as long as they visit high schools to talk about the Academy and try to get students interested. I can’t wait to see my family again, and for even more time than in a usual school year!


Christmastime at the Academy offers the chance to decorate for the weeks before finals and leave. Just as long as you don’t wreck anything, you can come up with all sorts of creative ways to brighten up your room! Last year, my roommate and I went crazy covering the walls with wrapping paper and creating a winter wonderland on the deck! It was quite festive, if I do say so myself! There are also some fun events on base; my favorite is the Lessons and Carols service. The Glee Club performs several Christmas songs at the chapel, with each song accompanied by a reading from the Bible. The lights are dimmed, and the whole congregation holds candles – and what a congregation it is, I might add! It is so wonderful to see the pews filled with so many people; it brings a new feeling of life to the quiet chapel!


In the spring semester, cadets are given a weekend off to celebrate Easter in whatever way they choose. Again, I’m not able to go home for this weekend, but I have been blessed with loving families that let me join them for that holiday! My 4/c year, a couple from the Officers’ Christian Fellowship took me with them to their church, which is an Episcopalian church just like mine at home. I’ve since been back to that church as much as possible. It is so much like the one I grew up in back in Nebraska; my first Academy Easter was made all the more special for God introducing me to a friendly congregation and a service so familiar! Last year, as a 3/c, I went with one of my best friends, Sulli, to New York City (one of my favorite places!) and spent the time with her mother and friends. We saw a show on Broadway, visited the 9/11 memorial, walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, and simply enjoyed the sights of the city. I don’t know what I would do without people like Sulli and her mother sharing their holiday with me!


Please don’t assume from this entry that it’s not hard being away from my family during these important days; I always miss them the most when celebrations roll around. But, I’ve found that there are plenty of people and things to help make my holidays special in a different way while I go through life here. I’m very thankful for those blessings, and they help keep me going and allow me to enjoy my time here. That being said, the best holidays are undoubtedly the ones with my family in the land of corn and cows.


Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to find some accessories for my Halloween costume – time to search “flapper headband” on Amazon…


More about Abby.


Classes, Lacrosse and Glee Club, Oh My!

(Academics, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Eshleman Photo I cannot believe that it is already September 21st. This month has flown by. My typical week this year has changed a lot since fourth class year. The workload is much greater but I am very interested in all of my classes. In my Intro to Mechanical Engineering Design class we are building finger engines. First we design them on SolidWorks (which I have never used before but it is a lot of fun) and next week we’re moving to the lab to actually begin constructing them. Getting to be hands-on in the classroom is exciting and challenging.


Sports wise, fall ball is about to begin for lacrosse. I am thrilled to get back on the field. I have biweekly meetings with my coach leading up until the actual season where we discuss anything and everything. Sometimes going to a small school can be frustrating because there is not much privacy, but I also really appreciate how close everyone is and how interested all of the teachers, coaches, and mentors are in their students’/players’ lives. It is nice to know people are looking out for you.


Glee Club has been insanely busy. Fall is the season for performances. I have my first solo called “O, America!” arranged by Dr. Newton. I sing the alto 2 part while there’s also a soprano and alto 1 part. We have our big NYC trip coming up in the beginning of October. Many people are looking forward to it. Getting to travel to sing is such a blessing, and I am so glad I was introduced to the club as a fourth class. Next weekend is Parents’ Weekend, so I am thrilled to show my parents around and tell them about all that has been going on here at the CGA.


More about Hannah.


Spring Break 2015 - Ireland Bound

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Just for Fun, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Martorell Crespo Photo Hey everyone! So for spring break this year, I had the opportunity to go to Ireland with the chaplains from the Academy. We were a group of about 30 people, which consisted of some 1/c, 2/c, 3/c and 4/c cadets. It was a fun and exciting trip. We went to Galway, Donegal, Belfast, Dublin, and many other places.


Besides doing a lot of sightseeing, we also visited the Irish Coast Guard. It was an enjoyable and unique experience. We were able to learn how their coast guard is small and that it’s Irelands 4th Blue Light Service. Its objective is search and rescue and it also provides security to all those people who are in danger at sea, on the coast, or in any other place.


Overall, we were able to have a fun time but we also were able to learn many things about Ireland and its ancient buildings and castles. This will be an unforgettable trip. We all loved Ireland and we would all love to go again because it was a really nice place but also because of its people. Not only they were helpful but they were nice and friendly.


More about Irene.