After two awesome weeks of leave, it’s that time of year again. It’s time to come back to the Academy and start preparing for the second semester. I think I speak for most of the corps when I say that we all wish we had more time off, but in reality leave was long enough.
I had a fun break. I got to go home and see all my friends, see my cousins in Arizona, and I even got to celebrate my birthday and the New Year in Las Vegas. Even though I’m under 21, Las Vegas has awesome stuff to do for people underage. I saw three different shows and visited the Hoover Dam. Then, New Year’s Eve was awesome. I heard that 330,000 people had flown into Las Vegas to celebrate the New Year. On New Year’s Eve, the streets were totally packed. It was a struggle to walk through the masses of people, but just being there to take it all in was worth it. At midnight, I was standing in front of the prestigious Caesar’s Palace Hotel and the Bellagio. Then, all of the hotels started launching fireworks. It was amazing. I could spin around and see fireworks in every direction.
On January 1st, I heard about the massive winter storm headed for the East Coast so I had to leave Vegas a day early to get home ahead of the snow. Luckily, I was able to get back to my home in Massachusetts before many of the flights to the Northeast were cancelled. Some cadets were not so lucky, and they are stuck waiting for flights back to the Academy for a few more days.
When I got back to the Academy yesterday, I wasn’t too excited about physically being here, but I was very happy to see my friends again and to hear their stories from leave. Luckily, we don’t launch right into classes as soon as we get back from leave. At the beginning of each semester, we have a week dedicated to academic and professional development. This week is the “Midyear Administrative Processing” week or MAP week for short. MAP week is a great time compared to the rest of the semester. Throughout each day, we have a variety of trainings and meetings, but no academics. Each class meets with the Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, Commandant of Cadets, Assistant Commandant of Cadets, and their class advisor. Individually, cadets meet with their academic advisors, division members, and so on. Additionally, we take our physical fitness exam, have sports practices, and move rooms. MAP week is great because it’s the ideal time to get everything non-academic taken care of before the semester begins.
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