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cadet blogs

Classes and Summer Assignments

(Academics, Class of 2012) Permanent link   All Posts
 Michael Klakring 11FEB09

Not much has happened since my last entry, classes have been building up and I am in the midst of the first round of exams. I find that moods generally come in weeks here, I look at my desk calendar and I can see how I am going to feel that week. Like this week, the week of February 9th, I have one quiz, two exams, a paper due and an inspection, in addition to the normal homework load. It can be pretty strenuous. If you manage your time well while here, you will be much better off than the rest of your classmates, and might actually have time to help them out as well. Utilizing the small amount of free time I have has enabled me to stay ahead in my schoolwork, making my life in general less stressful.

Once swab summer ends, the stress and difficulty does not. Aside from bracing up all year, classes are extremely difficult. There are plenty of ways to get help though. For almost every course there are Cadet Academic Assistance Program (CAAP) sessions once a week during the evening training period and instructors are always more than happy to stay after or use their free time for individual appointments. It is up to us as students to take the initiative to seek the extra help instead of giving up. You really do get as much out of everything as you put into them when you are here.

That being said, today a lot of the 4/c stresses are alleviated, because today is 100th day. Every year, 100 days before graduation, the 2/c and 4/c switch roles. Right now I am listening to music out loud, talking across the p-way to my friends and didn’t have to square my breakfast this morning. Granted, we had to “earn” this privilege last night in a ritual called “101st night” but it was well worth it. This day of privilege puts it all into perspective and reminds us that we are almost finished with our first year here at the Academy. It has really flown by.


The summer assignments for soon to be 1/c and 3/c were sent out this past weekend. It is a really exciting time, most of the firsties are spending 12 weeks on a cutter, others are spending six on a cutter, six at an internship, ranging from an air station to headquarters in D.C. to an engineering firm anywhere in the U.S. As for the upcoming 3/c, we all spend six weeks on USCGC Eagle, the other six are spent on a cutter, at a small boat station, in summer school, or in my case, ocean racing. The offshore and dinghy sailing teams take sailors (18 total) to spend one of the summer phases ocean racing on two of the Academy’s boats. Last year the big race was to Bermuda, this year our longest is from Annapolis, Maryland to Newport, Rhode Island. It is pretty exciting; I am looking forward to making some awesome memories and am interested to see what the open ocean does to a forty or so foot boat. As for my Eagle cruise, the second phase begins in Bermuda and we will sail up the east coast through Charleston, Boston, Halifax, Nova Scotia and end up in Rockland, Maine. Then I get to go home!

But before all that happens, we have to finish this semester. This Friday is midterms, when grades come out for the first time this semester. This week and next are really busy for me, an English midterm and paper, a history paper, chemistry exam, calculus exam, SED quizzes on top of normal homework. And this Saturday is the Advancement Qualification Quiz (AQQ), a final exam of knowledge we have been studying all year in order to get us to the equivalent of a lower enlisted member of the Coast Guard. All year, about twice a week, we have been assigned sections to study that have petty officer heritage, managing your checkbook, information about changing of stations, and everything you need to know about being a petty officer in the Coast Guard. It’s all part of the Enlisted Professional Military Education, (E-PME), an initiative by the command staff that will enable us to have the same knowledge of a chief petty officer by time we graduate, making us more practical for the fleet. If all of the 4/c pass the AQQ, we get our first set of privileges awarded. We’ll see.

More about Mick.