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Do You Believe in Miracles?

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2012) Permanent link   All Posts
Wowtschuk Photo Hello, Shipmates! Well, it is official, I can dodge bullets. Tomorrow I am changing my name to Thomas Anderson (you can call me Neo), and putting in for a billet on the Nebuchadnezzar (just look up the reference people; I don’t have time to explain). All joking aside, somehow I graduated and have received what only a few select individuals in history have had the privilege to receive, a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the United States Coast Guard Academy. No matter how hard they try, they can never take that away from me. Oh yeah, I was also handed some sort of letter that says something about officers and the Coast Guard and commissioning or something, I’m not really sure what it is, but I’m not going to worry about it, it’s probably nothing.

 

This blog was almost never written, it has now been a few weeks since graduation and my motivation to write a blog about the Academy, for the purposes of promoting the Academy (fo’ free) has been waning. Luckily for you all, I was inspired the other day, partly by the crack of my editor’s whip and partly by the kind words of a German artist.

 

It was halfway through a flight back from let’s say Not Europe, when I decided to start up a conversation with the man sitting to my right. He was a large man, average height but radially challenged and tended to use his own stomach as a substitute for the provided food tray. He wore a grey skull cap on his head, out from which protruded flowing unkempt white hair that came down to just above his shoulders. His face was tired looking, with a deeply set pair of fierce blue eyes, a broad nose, and a white goatee with hairs stretching well below the chin line. He wore an old embroidered vest which revealed skinny white arms covered in an array of colorful flowers, sparrows and doves. His voice was part Mike Tyson, part Truman Capote, and part Hugo Stiglitz. He told me about the art work he was working on, inspired by the Euro Cup; he was covering soccer balls in paint and kicking them at a large blank canvas (Michelangelo would be proud). Although this man and I had nothing in common, I felt a deep connection with him. I thought to myself, “If this man can dedicate his life to terrible art, I can dedicate an hour of my time to an amazing blog.”

 

It has now been several days since that flight, and in about three hours I will begin my drive out to Seattle, my first ship, and my new life. I am not exactly sure what to expect, but if the Academy has taught me anything it is that I can expect to find competent, hardworking, and selfless people wherever I go.

 

Fun Facts:

  1. Don’t ever let anyone tell you you can’t see: Frankfurt, Nuremburg, Prague, Vienna, Belgrade, Novi Sad, Naples, Pompeii, and Rome in twelve days.
  2. Frankfurt has the world’s best cabarets
  3. Red plastic cups are not sold in the Czech Republic
  4. McDonalds in Vienna do not provide ketchup
  5. Wedding rings are worn on the RIGHT hand in Serbia
  6. Italians love 1980s fashion
  7. And, evidently, Rome was NOT built in a day

 

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