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cadet blogs

Fingers Crossed

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Haerr Photo Hi, again!

 

It’s finally spring semester, though it doesn’t really look like spring for there is a LOT of snow on the ground! These past weeks have included many snow days due to the winter storm, Juno! I’ve never experienced such large amounts of fluffy snow in my life! In Texas, we usually get ice.

 

During some of our snow days, we got to go outside. We went sledding and had plenty of snow ball fights. Some of my shipmates even made huge tunnels on the football field! One of my good friends here is from Panama, and you can imagine her surprise with all the white on the ground—let’s just say she couldn’t stop making snow angels!

 

Other than all the bizarre weather, 4/c life at the Academy this semester has included much preparation for our Boards. This exam concludes life as a 4/c and when everyone in our entire class passes the verbal indoctrination exam, we finally get “carry on,” which means no more squaring and bracing up! Fingers crossed and plenty of prayers for the Class of 2018!

 

More about Kathryn.

 

Snow Days on Snow Days

(Just for Fun, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Stowes Photo I hope you are staying warm, CGA blog readers. New London has been freezing cold and snowy for the last two weeks! Last week, base was closed for two straight days, which is almost unheard of. Then, we got another snow day this week!

 

Last week, the snow was so bad that for the first day, we weren’t allowed out of the barracks until midafternoon and that was only so we could go workout. For the morning, we were stuck inside. Luckily, since base was closed, we were able to sleep in, relax, and do work uninterrupted. On our second day off, we were able to go outside and play in the snow. I always enjoy the first big snowstorm because some the 4/c from the South have never seen snow before. It’s funny to watch them have snowball fights and build snowmen. Personally, I went out and enjoyed an awesome game of rugby in the snow or snugby for short. I was able to get a bunch of the rugby team together and we went down to the football field to play in about two feet of snow! It was really fun and tiring trying to run through all the snow. I had a great time overall, except the times I got tackled face first into the snow. That was cold!

 

This week, the snow day could not have come at a better time. I was away all weekend in Boston for a mock trial competition and when I returned the Super Bowl was on. I got back from Massachusetts just in time to watch my beloved Patriots win the game. Sorry Seahawks fans! What a game! Anyway, the snow day was great because I had all day to catch up on the work I didn’t do over the weekend. We were stuck inside the barracks again until the midafternoon, so it was nice to have free time to work at my own pace.

 

On a different note, while snow days are a great time to relax, it is important to keep the big picture in mind. Our senior leadership at the Academy has a tough decision to make every time there is a winter storm in the forecast. Our leaders have to be aware of the faculty, staff, and base employees that work here in addition to cadets. Their safety is very important, so I appreciate that they are considered when the decision to cancel school is made. Also, our leaders show that they care about us because they have to make sure we are fed and that there are personnel here to take care of us if someone has a medical emergency. Furthermore, it is difficult to cancel school because we have to cover a lot of material in our courses and snow days usually mean playing catch-up. With so many days off, we are all pushing hard to cover material.

 

Overall, I’m happy to have a snow day but I also appreciate that our leaders are so conscientious about the other people on base. It can be easy to forget the big picture.

 

If you have questions about my blogs, feel free to email me any time at Hunter.D.Stowes@uscga.edu.

 

More about Hunter.

 

So Close to Freedom!

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Auzenbergs Photo I am currently sitting in the library looking at a soccer ball with a sharpie face drawn on it, wrapped in one of my extra bed sheets, wearing my issued nanook, and I must admit… it really does resemble a baby! My job this week was to take a regular soccer ball and pretend it was a baby that I should carry around with me to classes, meals and basically anytime I wasn’t in my room. I needed to make up random Coast Guard facts about it and introduce it to anyone who asked as “Bobby.”

 

Why, you ask!? Well, this upcoming Sunday is 100th day, or the day the 4/c must relive Swab Summer with our old cadre (now 2/c) for a few hours. Logically, that makes this Monday 101st day, better known as the day that the 4/c are supposed to switch roles with the 2/c, and watch them brace up, square around and greet us. We know that this will not happen as expected but in order to even earn the possibility of carry-on for a day, we as 4/c need to earn the 2/c shoulder boards! This can be accomplished by completing physically challenging, mentally challenging, or just plain embarrassing tasks. I have seen some 4/c doing pushups in the P-ways, riding around Chase Hall on broomsticks, performing spirit missions on the upper-class, and spouting off indoc facts to prepare for Boards at the end of this month. To me, my challenge falls in the embarrassing category and most of my fellow 4/c get a kick out of it at my expense… but it’s all in good fun.

 

Boards are the indoctrination test that all 4/c must take toward the end of the spring semester to earn carry-on for the entire class. This is a very exciting time but also extremely nerve-racking. No one wants to be that kid who can’t pass and holds the whole class back! Plus, when you pass as an individual or company, you slowly earn more privileges before full carry-on is granted. Studying the 64-page packet of facts about Coast Guard heroes, flags, cutters, aircraft, rates and ranks, and historic events won’t be fun, but every single 3/c, 2/c and 1/c cadet had to do it, so it’s definitely possible.

 

More about Gabrielle.

 

Snowy Day

(Just for Fun, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Coburn Photo Since I am from New Hampshire I am very much accustomed to snow days, but I have to say snow days at the Academy are pretty awesome. We got hit with Winter Snow Storm Juno at the beginning of the week and in turn got around two feet or more of snow. They announced at lunch on Monday that the Academy was going to be closed both Tuesday and Wednesday. The wardroom erupted and I knew that I was in for a good couple of days. After school, everyone rushed to the cadet bookstore and the exchange to pile up on snacks and hot chocolate and then the snow began.

 

On Tuesday morning we didn’t have to get up till 0745 and we were allowed to do whatever really we wanted for most of the day, besides go outside, because there was a blizzard going on. It was a great time to catch up on homework (and sleep) and everyone was in a great mood. On Wednesday the storm had died down, so we were allowed out of Chase. My friends and I decided to go and play in the snow. We went down behind the gym, near the obstacle course and had a great time sledding down hills, and playing on the obstacle course in the snow. What was really cool was seeing my friends from Florida and the south reacting to seeing snow (or a lot of snow) for the first time. Some of them liked it and others vow to never touch snow again. All in all it was a great day and I really hope there are more snow days to come.

 

More about Mimi.

 

A Month of Closure

(Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Glick Photo December has been a month of closure. I say goodbye to 2014, and what a year it has been. 2014 was jammed packed with 4/c indoctrination boards, the end of 4/c year, 3/c summer on Eagle and a 210 foot cutter, and the first half of 3/c year. Last semester was challenging not only because I had 20 credit hours, but also because there was nobody constantly checking up on me. Unlike 4/c year, there isn’t a whole lot of pressure to keep up grades, room standards, or really much of anything. So it was a challenge to keep myself motivated when nobody was watching. At the Academy, there is a sponsor parent program, which pairs cadets with local adults around the Academy community to unwind during liberty hours. I was paired with a Senior Chief Petty Officer, who has helped me escape the Academy over the weekends to golf and enjoy good food.

 

Last week, I went to the International Debutante Ball in New York City, where the wealthiest families around the world introduce their daughters to high society. I got to go for free, and spend a few days in the Big Apple. The ball was amazing: the pageantry and showiness was like nothing else I’ve seen, and the ball started at 6:30 p.m. and ended around 2 a.m.! I met dukes, duchesses, and cadets from other Academies at the Waldorf-Astoria. Before the ball, I saw the United Nations Building, Rockefeller Center, and the New York City Library. It was nice to roam around aimlessly and not have to worry about school for a while.

 

More about William.