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cadet blogs

Our Favorite Week So Far

(Just for Fun, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Sandri Photo The week before winter leave was finals week at CGA. Finals are often thought of as a stressful time of year, but for me and many other 4/c, it was our favorite week so far. During finals week, the 1st Lieutenant (the 1/c cadet in charge of guiding the 4/c) granted us modified carry-on in the wardroom. This meant we were able to look at our food and not have to square it or brace up. In addition, closed door study hours ensued after lunch; these are time periods during which cadets are allowed to close their doors and sleep, or spend the time as they please. Usually, we must keep our doors open and stay awake during the workday, which begins at morning formation and ends at 1600.


Despite studying hard, I had a considerable amount of free time during finals. Luckily, this wonderful week coincided with the first large snowfall of the school year. One evening, a friend and I ventured outside and ended up sledding for hours on the hill that runs from Chase Hall to the auditorium. We used Tupperware box lids for sleds, which worked surprisingly well! It was a lot of fun, and a great way to top off the semester.


More about Eva.


Christmas So Soon

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Daniels Photo Season’s greetings to all from the CGA! It’s astonishing how quickly this first semester went by. It seems like yesterday that I was scared out of my mind with my cadre yelling down my back. Now all of a sudden, the first semester is over, and it’s time for Christmas leave. For some of my shipmates, this is the first time that they get to see their families again, which is a big step in their careers. Since I live in Connecticut, it’s less magnificent, but it does mean that I can help people out who need rides to the various airports around here.


Finals week has been stressful and relaxing at the same time. I’ve had more time on my hands than I’ve known what to do with. I never really studied hard in high school, and now my inability to do so has been fairly detrimental to my preparation. I’ve sought help from upper-class and my classmates, and they were a huge help during this week above all.


I’m really looking forward to seeing my high school friends again, and our schedule lines up with the choir concert at my old school, so it will be nice to see that. I’ll also be able to drive again, which is always a plus. It is going to be harder than ever to return form break after two and a half weeks of normalcy. This is going to be the true test of our class, to see who wants it bad enough to give up everything.


Until next year!



More about Drew.


Project Flexibility

(Academics, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Meyers Photo This semester, just like last, involves a lot more engineering classes. The longer I'm here, the more focused the classes seem to get in terms of major-specific material. In particular, this semester I'm taking Software Design I. Since I'm an Electrical Engineer taking the computer track (as opposed to systems track), part of my course load involves software design. The class consists of not just learning to program, but the much more complicated process of organizing, planning, and implementing your code over time.


The part that makes it all worthwhile to me is our final project, which is called a capstone project here at the Academy. Essentially, we're required to come up with a program we'd like to develop (in C++), a plan to develop it, and then to implement it fully. Overall it's worth about 30% of our grade. Throughout the semester, we've had lots of labs to prepare us for this project, but this one is much larger.


You might think that a huge project would be something that would make me NOT interested in doing the work, but it's actually the opposite. Because of the degree of freedom we're given to develop what we want the way we want to do it, I'm much more motivated to work hard and create a great program. We work with partners as well, which is always nice. For our project, we are making a Duty Demands Courage text-based role-playing game. The game gives you scenarios that relate to the core values, Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty, and allows the user to select options as responses. Based on the responses, the user gets points (or loses points). The choices the users make also affects their play later in the game. When completed, our game will have 10 different levels and take about 30-45 minutes to play through one time. I'm really looking forward to finishing this and presenting it! If I haven't said it before, I love being and electrical engineer here at the Coast Guard Academy because it allows me to work hard at what I love.



More about James.