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cadet blogs

The End of Forth Class Year

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Ritchie Photo February was a huge month for me and my fellow 4/c. This past month, we’ve been working hard to our first round of exams for the semester as well as boards. The month started off with 101st night on February 2 (Super Bowl Sunday). 101st night is an event that takes place when there are 101 days to go until graduation of the current year where 4/c work to earn the shoulder boards of a 2/c of their choosing. Throughout the prior week, we had to complete tasks various tasks given to us by our specific 2/c which included two indoctrination questions, two physical tasks, and two morale or spirit missions. On 101st night, we were treated practically as swabs as the 3/c and 1/c evacuated the halls and the 2/c tested the 4/c on various information we would need to know for boards. My class faced the challenges and earned 100th day privileges for the following day. We earned the white shields of the 2/c we had chosen and were allowed to act as 2/c, looking at our food, talking in the hallways, and using sidewalks. The only downside was that the 2/c acted as 4/c and could do spirit missions to take revenge on my class.


After these festivities ended, boards began. I mentioned boards in my last blog, but basically boards is an oral indoctrination test that each 4/c must take and pass to earn privileges. This year, when an individual passed, he or she could play music out loud and use his or her whiteboard. (Throughout the year, we had to write properly formatted note cards and tape them to the whiteboard outside our rooms anytime we left Chase Hall after 1900 or on the weekends. Now, many of us can use dry-erase markers and just write where we are instead. It is a huge time-saver.) When an entire company passes their boards, we earn social media privileges. We can re-activate our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Skype, and Snapchat accounts. When the whole class of 2017 passes, we’ll earn full carry-on and be able to look at our food, talk to each other in the hallways, and use sidewalks for the rest of our time at the Academy. The goal is for all of us to pass by spring break, which is March 8-16. So far, we have about 15 people in our class left to pass and one week until break. We are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s an exciting time for us as we anticipate the end of 4/c year.


More about Sarah.


Coming Back and Loving the Rhythm

(Athletics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Beck Photo As a fourth-class, coming back from winter break may seem like some kind of forced return to a work camp. We all just spent three weeks looking at our food, choosing what clothes to wear every day, and keeping our minds as far from the Academy as possible. For me, coming back was a little surreal, but as soon as I was surrounded by my company and shipmates I felt right at “home” again.


Don’t get me wrong, the leave was amazing. I spent a lot of time catching up with family and friends and basically doing nothing. I’m from Arizona, so most days I wore shorts and enjoyed the mountains both skiing and hiking with my dad. It was also great to have access to a kitchen every day, and I took full advantage of it experimenting and mostly making a mess.


It didn’t take long to get back in the rhythm of the Academy; the first week back was full of trainings and getting to know a whole new cadet command structure. This semester differs from the last in that all the fourth-class are directed to focus on passing boards above all. There are many things we can still get in trouble for, but we all have our eyes on the prize: carry-on. It’s coming quick and we can’t wait! By this point over half of us have passed our boards, all that’s left is to help those who haven’t passed with study sessions and support and we’ll be on our way to walking the halls like everyone else.


For me, crew practice starts in just a few days. It’s a huge commitment with 10 practices a week but I’m confident staying so busy will only help me manage my time better. I’ll start savoring my free time on Sundays more and (most importantly) eating as much as I want to keep up with the hard work!


That’s about it for now, for all you finishing up your applications and hoping for the best, keep your head up! Don’t be discouraged by waivers or setbacks, it’s all worth it in the end.


More about Laura.