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CADET BLOGS

cadet blogs

Fall Semester in Review

(Academics, Just for Fun, Class of 2019) Permanent link
Silliman Photo The fall semester was a long one and I’m certainly glad it is now over. So far during 3/c year I felt like I managed myself a lot better, but it certainly brought many new challenges.

 

Spring semester last year, I set the goal of getting a term GPA of 3.15 and making the Dean’s List. I did that last semester, but doing that again was harder than I expected. For most of the first half of the semester, I felt all my grades were where I wanted them, but quickly found out I had a lot of improvements to make if I wanted to stay on the Dean’s List. I really struggled with math this semester and my English grade was also not where I wanted it. Over the next two months I put a lot of time into my schoolwork and was able to raise the grades in most of my classes. I achieved my goal of staying on the Dean’s List, but getting there certainly had its sacrifices.

 

I felt that I did not spend as much time off as I wish I could have. I spent a lot of time on most weekends doing work. But I did march in the Veteran’s Day Parade in New York and that was a lot of fun. Being close to home, I also managed to take an extra weekend visit my family and was able to I bring friends from school.

 

Thanksgiving allowed me to catch up with some friends, but it seemed like a tease because I was home for only the brief period of five days and I had other work to do while I was there. After Thanksgiving I had just under two weeks left before winter break. With a lot of hard work, I was able to get out of the Physics final, leaving me with only two exams to take. After the first two days of final exams, I was home.

 

For Christmas, Golf Company went crazy with Christmas decorations. There were a lot of rooms that you could walk into and they did not feel like Chase Hall. I hung lights around my room, decorated a Christmas tree, and my door. I also put up a little Christmas village on the empty desk in my room.

 

Having two 4/c this semester gave me a lot of perspective and it was weird thinking that was me only a year ago. At the end of my semester, the other 3/c and I evaluated their performance at the end of the semester and they both did well for their first term. I did better than I expected and received the highest military score for an academic term yet.

 

Thus far, I have seen a couple friends from home over break, going skiing, hiking, and now I am off on a family trip to Great Britain. This coming semester I think will be a lot of fun. I have a ski pass to Killington to get away and here at the Academy I will have three different 4/c I am in charge of. My classes are also going to be more career-specific this semester as I am now done with general math and English classes. 125 weeks to go until commissioning, and Cadre Summer is on the horizon. I can’t wait!

 

More about Derek.

 

Chasing Dreams

(Academics, Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2019) Permanent link
Kearney Photo This past semester I sat in my room, lights off with only a yellowed bulb desk lamp, while I stared at math problems, listening to music with a pencil in hand. Time would pass with problems unsolved and my eyes would wander toward the guitar sitting in the corner, or the pack of crayons I bought on the way to a cross country meet, or the pumpkin sitting in the window sill I had so doodled on with sharpie images such as Winnie-the-Pooh or the flag raising on Iwo Jima. I’d proceed to take my headphones off and glance at my roommate behind me watching Netflix. It was quiet. A large contrast to the adventure I had during the past summer. I’ll be honest; I had forgotten why I had come to the Academy. I knew it was the right choice, but I couldn’t remember why it was right. The loudness of my thought was lost in struggling to understand linear algebra (no, this is not the same as regular high school algebra it’s a lot harder as I found out) and multivariable calculus (yes, this is also a lot harder than regular calculus).

 

I have decided to be an Operations Research and Computer Analysis major for reasons I believe are equivalent to my reasons for coming to the CGA. In high school, my cross country team would talk of chasing dreams and changing the world. We’d talk of courage and taking risks with passion. I want to solve problems, and I couldn’t think of a better major than ORCA to learn how to better optimize systems using very real and applicable methods. From pre-school until now, I have been in a formal education system for basically all my life, and in 2.5 short years, all of that learning will come to the test as my class graduates and become officers in the real world. It sounds classic, but we only have so much time in our life to accomplish the goals and desires we dreamt of as children. I came here to make a difference. I came here to take risks. I came here to chase my dreams. I came here to change the world.

 

More about Alex.

 

Lighting the World

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2019) Permanent link
Kearney Photo The stars have never burned brighter nor has the water glowed bluer than that which I saw this past summer. You see, I’m fascinated by lights. I saw the green glow of the Space Needle on the Seattle skyline. I saw the orange lanterns of a Hawaiian Memorial Day celebration float across Honolulu’s waters with the shadow of a mountain behind us rising out of the Pacific. I saw the reflections of old London structures off the puddles of rain in the streets. I saw green, purple and gold firecrackers bloom above the Madeiran city of Funchal blanketed in terracotta as people watched with awe. I saw the moon’s glow dance lightly off the cool Bermuda water to the soft beach at my feet. I saw the green sparkle of tiny ocean life riding the waves past the ship’s hull in the pitch black of night. I saw the dazzling lightning bugs glitter the fresh air of the Shenandoah Valley, my home. I have no tales of saving lives or hunting drugs like some of my fellow classmates, but I still got to see the lights of the world. You might be wondering what has this got to do with the Coast Guard? Everything. It’s the little things that matter the most in life. Never forget that.

 

But if you want to know actual Coast Guard work, I did get to do some cool things like needle-gunning, sanding, and painting on the USCGC Polar Star, USCGC Sherman, and of course USCGC Barque Eagle. I drove a small boat en route to drill with an HC-130H (an airplane) and drilled with helicopter basket lowering. I became qualified in standard Coast Guard duties on board a vessel and learned so much from the various crews. I would like thank all of the crews of the units I visited for their immense knowledge, skill, and willingness to help train me and my fellow cadets throughout the summer. In addition to work duties, I got to have the most secluded “pool party” in the world as I literally jumped into the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with 150 of my closest friends. I got to see whales, dolphins, jellyfish, the Seattle Mariners, Big Ben, men dressed in all white pushing people down a hill in baskets, so so many beaches in Hawaii and Bermuda, and turtles – lots of turtles.

 

More about Alex.

 

Hello, It’s Me

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Just for Fun, Class of 2019) Permanent link
King Photo A few months ago, I got a letter in the mail from myself. I had written a letter to my future self two years ago at a summer camp and it was time to open it again. I had nearly forgotten about it, and eagerly ripped it open, excited to hear the wisdom of high school me.

 

The first thing I noticed was the terrible handwriting. It was large and uneven. It was funny – it started in cursive, than quickly switched to print. I guess I figured that I shouldn’t have been too fancy in my own letter. The very first question besides “How are you?” was “Did you get into the Coast Guard Academy?” I’m sure high school me would be happy to hear that I made it in.

 

Reading it, I realized that I couldn’t write letters that well back then. I also realized that I’ve grown so much in those two years since writing the letter. I am much more focused and calm. I have gone on so many adventures like sailing across the Atlantic and lived through Swab Summer. I also went through two years of trials, such as Calculus and 4/c year. Both have helped me learn more about the world and myself.

 

That being said, high school me did have some good pointers. In the letter, I told myself to be persistent and have a sense of humor. Looking back, I wish I could tell my high school self to be more adaptable and careful, but hindsight is always 20/20.

 

A new year and new semester are coming up and, pretty soon, I will be transitioning to be a leader. While I’m proud of how much I’ve learned in the last two years, I know there is much to improve on. I am excited to find out what the next two years and beyond will bring.

 

More about Deborah.

 

Staycation

(Overcoming Challenges, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2019) Permanent link
Pavan Photo From what I hear, the summers here at the Coast Guard Academy are a blast! You get to go out in the fleet, experience the Coast Guard and apply some of the salty knowledge you learned throughout fourth class year, and go some pretty rad places… Well, so I’ve heard!

 

Unfortunately, in the spring of my fourth class year I had to undergo knee surgery to reconstruct a torn ACL, leaving me not fit for full duty for the entire 11 weeks. This summer, my classmates had the opportunity to do half of their summer aboard our training ship USCGC Eagle and spend the other half either somewhere else in the country experiencing the operational Coast Guard or attending summer school to fulfill academic requirements. This year, my classmates got to take the Eagle to Europe, which is an amazing opportunity, and if you’d like to read more about that feel free to dig around for their blog posts on it.

 

I spent the first five weeks focusing on getting strength back in my leg enough to be able to ditch my bulky brace and the second half I joined my classmates and attended summer school for six weeks while I was still doing a physical therapy program. Although I wasn’t about to share any crazy nautical experiences with my classmates, I was able to enjoy looking at my food and finally finding my way around Chase Hall! I was bummed at first, but I believe that everything happens for a reason and I could not be more thankful to have such a great on-base clinic with a physical therapy staff that is so flexible and knowledgeable! I’ll be back on the rugby pitch soon enough.

 

This winter, I am taking the opportunity to do something called “Winter Fleet,” where I will spent part of my winter leave doing similar training as my classmates did this summer (*completely optional*) just so I can experience the fleet and get a sense of what awesome things I have to look forward to. Since I live in Fort Lauderdale, the officers over in Cadet Training have helped me a ton in planning out a perfect schedule so I can work in the nearby station, go underway on some fast response cutters out of Miami, and still be with my family on the holidays so I am extremely excited for what is to come! I am stoked to be able to apply the knowledge I learned from fourth class year, as well as the things I am learning this semester and apply it in the fleet. Can’t get too carried away though, it’s not even winter yet!

Semper Paratus!
Bruna.M.Pavan@uscga.edu 

 

More about Bruna.