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cadet blogs

In Full Swing!

(Academics, Athletics, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Simon Photo It’s been a while since I posted a blog, but I’m back from a bit of a blogging hiatus…


A lot has happened since I last posted, so I’ll bring you all up to speed.


I just started my 2/c class year, after finishing up an amazing summer where I participated in many different training programs such as Coastal Sail Training, range qualification, and Rules of the Road. I was an AIM cadre, so I worked with the rising high school seniors who were accepted to the AIM Program. My cadre section and I gave them a basic indoctrination to the military and taught them about the Academy, so they could make an informed decision as to whether or not the USCGA is right for them.


School started in late August, and we’re almost to midterms. Thus far, I love my classes! This is my first semester at the Academy where all of the classes that I’m taking are in my major. I’m a Government major with a concentration in Public Policy and Law.


I’m really enjoying Spanish (this is a requirement for all Government majors). My instructor is patient, always has a positive attitude and a joke to share, and he truly knows his craft and how to teach topics in multiple ways to help his students understand the material. Above all, he creates an environment where it’s okay to fail or not fully understand what’s going on. He reinforces what we learn in assigned reading and homework through different types of in-class exercises ranging from written work to speaking with my peers and online quizzes that offer immediate feedback on where I’m struggling. I have this class four times a week, and I look forward to it.


I am also really enjoying National Security Policy. Aside from reading about national security policies and directives, this class is teaching me how to look at various historical and current events, as well as policies, more critically. Weekly we delve into various national security topics and determine what the larger impact is on American security and interests. It’s started to transform the way that I look at various domestic and foreign issues… It’s almost like I’m searching for a deeper meaning, as I try to understand the overall scope and impact that an issue may have on relations and security.


Crew season is in full swing—we’re halfway through the fall season. We had our first regatta in September and the Men’s and Women’s teams both did really well. I was the coxswain for the Women’s Varsity Open 4+, and we came in second place. Lately, the weather has been beautiful and the water has been great for afternoon practice. The women’s team will be competing at our second regatta this weekend in Hartford. After this race, we have one more race before we gear up to compete at Head of the Charles in Boston, Massachusetts later this month. Head of the Charles is one of the largest regattas in the world. It has more than 1,400 crews that come from all over the world to race. It’s a 5k row on the Charles River, and the entire racecourse is lined with spectators. I competed at Head of the Charles last year, and in my opinion, it is one of the most exhilarating and humbling races because the crews that compete are some of the best in the world. It’s just as much a coxswain’s race, as it is a rower’s race. The course is laced with turns that wind through bridges and boats are everywhere. I’m looking forward to steering down the Charles later this month.


With October here I’m looking forward to finishing up the crew season and midterms, and enjoying the beautiful fall weather here in New England. As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me. Go Bears!



More about Lili.


Busy October

(Academics, Athletics, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Cantrell Photo This month was another busy month with lots to do on the weekends and plenty of work to keep me entertained during the week. I experienced tests in most of my classes. They were difficult, but I studied pretty hard and did better then expected. I am a lot more interested in my classes this year because they are major-specific and I absolutely love being a Management major.


I started my diving season last week, which added some stress because we have practice from 1900-2100, which is right in the middle of dinner and homework. This is when my time management skills must be perfect.


The weeks are flying by and everyone looks forward to the weekends. The Secretaries Cup was a few weekends ago and the corps took buses to the Merchant Marine Academy to watch the football game. The volleyball, soccer, and water polo teams also had games on Saturday that the cadets could go watch. I watched the soccer team win against MMA for the second year in a row.


The weather up here is cooling down and everyone is beginning to think about winter. I like the fall weather, but I know it’s going to be a while before it gets warm again. This is when I start to miss Florida.


This month is another full month of homework, projects, quizzes, and tests. I am looking forward to Columbus Day weekend because the corps gets a long and I will be able to hang out with all of my friends. Halloween is also at the end of this month, which is exciting because we all get to dress up and go to dinner in the wardroom in our costumes.


More about Sara.


Everyday Failure

(Athletics, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Kukich Photo Failure is not a climax of a cadet’s career at the Academy, it’s an everyday experience. I personally know that I have failed in almost every pillar of excellence the Academy has challenged me. From Calculus to rowing to keeping up a shoe shine, it is impossible to keep on top of everything and do it all well.


Recently I have been confronting my biggest failure yet; what a surgeon has described as shoulders only repairable by surgery. I had my dominant shoulder reconstructed in February followed by a painful six weeks wearing an immobilizer sling, and then an additional five months in physical therapy rehabilitating. Not only did this surgery temporarily take away my independence in simple tasks, like tying shoes or putting my hair up, but it forced me to learn to write left handed and doubled the time it took me to do anything. Worst parts of the experience included taking the boards indoctrination exam five days after surgery, attempting to square my meals in the wardroom without being able to talk or ask for help, and literally being trapped inside a t-shirt if my shoulder froze up in the middle of changing. To say the least, I was ecstatic to have almost all of my range of motion back and start building up my strength in August. I took on the responsibility of class vice president along with being a member of the color guard, a cox on the men’s crew team, and all of my other club involvement in the excitement to be physically fit for full once again.


The recovery from this failure has been short lived however, as I will be likely having my second reconstruction on the opposite shoulder soon. Sure, it will not be as difficult to write with a sling on the other arm or to eat dinner now that I can look around in the wardroom, but the mental hurdle of being broken yet again is something entirely different.


I knew coming into the Academy I would face tough situations, though I never expected to have the body of an elderly man before the age of twenty. Facing this everyday failure is part of it all though and in the end I know I will be a stronger officer, mentally and physically, because of overcoming these challenges.


More about Sarah.


Cruising on Through!

(Academics, Athletics, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Krakower Photo Wow. I haven’t written in a while. The last thing I wrote was from July, and normally I’m a month-by-month writer. It’s now almost October. It just shows you how busy I am!


The school year has been busy so far, but definitely the start I have been waiting for. Academically, I’m doing the best I’ve ever done to start off a semester. Being someone who has seen pretty average grades throughout my time here, this has been the boost I’ve been expecting. Hopefully, I’ll be able to keep it up throughout the remainder of the semester.


For clubs, all remains well. Mock Trial is looking good, as we prepare for our first event in late October. I’m going to a Model UN Conference down in D.C. in October as well! Glee Club/Idlers already went to Cape Cod for a three-day long performance weekend. And I got another spot in this year’s play, Rumors! It won’t be the lead like it was last year (I need more time to myself with all these other clubs!) but it’s certainly a funny show with a lot going for it!


Lacrosse is shaping up for a great year. We’re finishing our final lacrosse fall practice tonight, and then it’s into the offseason for four months. We’re finally officially a varsity sport, so the practices have changed, and there’s certainly more pressure. I think we’ll be just fine.


I’m also a Master-At-Arms for Echo Company, which means I run a Department along with the Department Head, but mostly I’m there to help out the 4/c. It’s been great so far, making sure everything is up to par with the fourth class. There’s also a lot of work in being in the External Affairs Department, but it’s been rewarding.


How I’m able to do all this is simple – a positive outlook every day makes it easy and worthwhile for me to do as much as I can with my friends here. It’s definitely true – upperclassmen have it a lot better than the underclassmen do. I think working for those two years made this start to the year as sweet as it is!


More about Sam.