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cadet blogs

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.

 

Coming Back for Spring Semester

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Wright Photo Happy 2015! Break was great. I loved going home, seeing family and friends, and celebrating Christmas. Unfortunately, it was all too short and now we are about to start classes again. It was difficult coming back after having been home, especially since we have to be back earlier than most colleges. Each semester here is preceded by a week of administrative stuff also known as Mid-year Administrative Processing (MAP) week (the fall session is CAP week). We have trainings pretty much daily, switch rooms, take the PFE, and meet with academic advisors. However, we also get more free time than during the normal school year, which makes it easier to transition back into school. Everyone says that the spring semester flies by, which is great since I can’t wait for summer!

 

More about Erin.

 

Round 2

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Chang Photo The last time I wrote one of these blogs, I was looking forward to going home for Columbus Day. I was a fourth class cadet, full of hope and motivation. Now, however... nothing’s changed. First semester was definitely something else. One class in particular, Statics and Engineering Design (SED), was especially the bane of my existence. This class had no mercy and proved to be a formidable course that would eventually drive me, as well as many of my shipmates, to the brink of madness. The only reason I got off that class with a C+ is because of the help of instructors and shipmates. Going to tutoring sessions and dragging a buddy to come with you is a great way to study. In fact, the mutual suffering brings you closer. Seriously though, studying with a friend is one of the best ways to learn. You teach each other, correct each other, and may even find new ways to think. This is one of the great things at the Academy; everyone’s a student, but, at the same time, everyone’s a teacher.

 

Now that first semester is over, we’re in MAP week. This is when everyone returns to the Academy and prepares for the next semester. Despite classes not being in session yet, it’s a pretty busy week because of things such as class scheduling, roommate switches and almost falling asleep during trainings. The busiest day was Wednesday, when the Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Paul Zukunft came and addressed the Corps of Cadets. He talked about leadership, the Coast Guard’s future plans and even handed out a few sea stories. I think everyone took something from his words, and whatever they take will show in how they do in the semester.

 

More about Olivia.

 

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.

 

Happy 2015!

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Wu Photo It is a surreal feeling to finally be in the year that my classmates and I are graduating. Since Swab Summer, “2015” has accompanied us through our cadet experience. We were referred to as the “Class of 2015” and that was where our identity lied.

 

Going into the last semester at the Academy, I am feeling bittersweet about graduating. Just when the routine at the Academy is becoming familiar, it is almost time for us to leave. We are all looking into available billets, which are the job assignments and locations for ensigns. Our jobs and the responsibilities involved in being an officer seem so foreign right now even though it is in our near future. Aside from planning for the future and putting in for assignments, I am excited for all the events coming up for us! I am most excited about spending my last semester with my friends and having a good time before we disperse across the United States.

 

As a class, we were pretty successful at leading the corps fall semester, I hope we can continue our positive influence spring semester and set the underclass up for success as they finish off their Academy experience and eventually join us in the operational fleet.

 

I was very fortunate to have a good 2014 and I looking forward to what 2015 will hold for me! First off will be the last first day of classes!

 

More about Wu.