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cadet blogs

From Boring to Books

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Sherman Photo As spring slowly creeps into Connecticut, I find it hard to focus on schoolwork with the warm breezes flowing through the now-open windows in our classrooms. Half of my mind is already at my summer assignment, the Sequoia, a 225’ buoy tender from…Guam! Spring semester the third time around has been, in some ways, boring (for lack of a better term). Perhaps routine is a better word: life just seems so rote. Wake up, get breakfast, go to class, eat lunch, class, run, dinner, homework, bed, repeat. It’s that time of year where the first class cadets get senioritis and the rest of us get “summer-itis” (again, for lack of a better word). Not that life hasn’t been busy and that there aren’t things to be focusing on! I’m still working on a video blog from FEBRUARY! Hopefully I can get it out before the end of the semester in just three short weeks!


Anyway, I am happy to say that I have found a wonderful way to combat the boredom (severe cabin fever?). Books! I think perhaps part of my boredom is that I actually do have more free time now that I am an upper-class, so instead of frantically running from place to place doing this and that, I actually have time to just sit and read. It’s been fantastic. There are some nights when I just put the homework aside (it’s usually not due until the day following the next given our alternating days class schedule) and lie in bed with a fiction novel. Other nights, my roommate and I both read in bed before falling asleep. It’s hard to explain, but it’s wonderful. The sense of adventure is great as is the emotional excitement, charge, and catharsis one gets from a particularly gripping novel. I carry my book with me everywhere so that, if I get a have free second here or there, I can read it.


I didn’t do much “fun reading” in my first two years here, so now I have to make up for it! I discovered that our library even has a fiction section—and here I thought it was just a research library. I’ve found many great books to read, and I’m happy to say that my reading list is, for the time being, at least, getting shorter…slowly but surely. I’ve heard many people say that great leaders read a lot. I hope that’s true, and I hope that as I continue here at the Academy and eventually out in the fleet that I continue to read all types of books—fiction and non-fiction alike. The summers have always been great times to catch up on reading and I’m looking forward to this one for sure! My cutter will be making the journey from Hawaii to Guam, so when I’m not learning how to navigate and steer the cutter or what the signs of a failing engine are, when I’m not staring across the endless Pacific, I’ll be reading…probably inside to save my skin from the harsh tropical sun (along with my many books, I’ll be bringing many bottles of sunscreen). And when we’re in port, I’ll bring a book to the beach and attempt to get some semblance of a tan.


Needless to say, reading is great—I’ve always loved it, and I’m glad to be getting back into it and finding a great cure to an otherwise relatively mundane semester.


Happy spring! Go Bears and go books!



More about Justin.


End of 4/c Year Update

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Ritchie Photo As the number of days to go until graduation reaches the 40’s and the temperature outside finally rises above 40, things start to get crazy at the Academy. There are more military trainings to prepare each class for the summer, providing us with both information for our work in the fleet and warnings to be careful during our time on leave. This summer, I’ll be spending five weeks on Eagle, sailing to the Caribbean, and six weeks at a small boat station in Florida. Every year, the upcoming 3/c spend part of their summer training on Eagle and part of the summer at an assignment in the fleet or in summer school. These experiences offer us the opportunity to employ what we learned in our 4/c Navigation class throughout the year as well as provide us the opportunity to learn and grow more as future officers. The weeks are winding down quickly, and I’m really looking forward to it.


At the end of the school year, I remember teachers in high school would always try to cram in all the rest of the material they were supposed to cover in a course; it made the last few weeks really stressful. Here, other than finals week, 4/c cadets usually have at most two exams per week. There are exam periods on Tuesday and Thursday where the officers and professors who teach 4/c courses schedule exams so they don’t overlap, and no one gets stuck taking two exams in one day. The only place where this doesn’t apply is in Navigation Lab where it is possible to have a Nav Lab exam after another exam in the morning. The system really helps me to stay focused and study more efficiently for one subject at a time.


My class finished passing our boards soon after spring break, but we still haven’t been granted carry-on. Almost all of the upper-class say we deserve it and we’ve earned it, so the decision is just waiting on command. There are rumors that we will be granted carry-on for finals week, which gives us something to look forward to for now. The weather has been the main thing keeping my morale up. The much-needed sunshine and warmth have really helped me to renew a positive outlook, and it feels so nice to finally be in short sleeves again. I’m hoping for smooth sailing through the rest of the semester.



More about Sarah.