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cadet blogs

#4cProblems Ma’am

(Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2016) Permanent link   All Posts
Kukich PhotoI was never a fan of Twitter before coming to the Academy; however, once the school year began, I was quickly converted. That’s not to say I actually use Twitter, (considering it is against the 4/c rules) but I do use the idea of narrating my day to make light of the situation sometimes.


Starting the school year has been rocky for me, trying to balance military commitments with academics, and especially learning the required 4/c indoc material. In order to memorize three meals in advance, the days to go until graduation, the upcoming sports games, and the movies playing in theaters, I’ve tried a number of methods – writing the information dozens of times, putting the words to the tune of a song with my roommates, or trying to race my classmates to see who can say it faster. But sometimes even the most valiant efforts aren’t enough and looking up at the clock ten minutes to go until afternoon formation, I draw a complete blank. The idea behind 4/c announcing times at clocks before formations is not only to practice their memorization for the fleet, but to make sure all of the upper class are on time for obligations; and so having nothing to say when others count on you is not a good feeling. Usually two or three seconds after I realize I have nothing to say, I resort to listening to my class mates up and down the hallways, sometimes even from across the quad. And this always works out fine, until an upper class, particularly one with great importance to the corps, walks by. Now keep in mind that my clock is just a few doors down from my company commander, executive officer, and the entire cadet regimental staff – and there is no scarcity in the number of passing command.


I started my clock before lunch the other day with a confident attitude; I had studied hard and my uniform looked good and from what I could see, there was hardly anyone in the halls. Now ten minutes to go, I recited the time, the uniform of the day, the location of the formation – and before I could continue, the summer chief of staff stuck her head into the hallway. I immediately froze up, only attracting more attention and drawing other upper class to join her in staring across the hall at me. I continued to mutter something about breakfast, lunch, and almost made it to dinner, before she asked me if I was nervous. At this point I turned away from the clock to respond, “yes, ma’am”. She laughed, and described my anxiety as a “#4/cProblem”. While she hadn’t spared me from doing the clock, she did help me to laugh at myself and remember that from the outside, some Academy training and most of freshmen year are absolutely Twitter worthy. From that point on, clocks have become easier and when I freeze up, I find something to laugh about, think of what I might post next year when I am allowed to use Twitter, and just keep going.


More about Sarah.