Friday, December 30, 2011

Checking In

Been enjoying the Christmas Break. Met over half my high school classmates at a parent-sponsored event Tuesday night. Spent Christmas in Canada with family- Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City. I've resumed keeping a daily journal, and will pull out the highlights to post on my blog. Felt very productive today, and this is the icing on that cake. Did a 4-mile run on the C+O canal, did homework, played the violin, and even picked up doing work on a short comic book that I started back in 2005. Just opened a can of worms. At least it's a kid-firendly book!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Typical Mid-year Plebe Weekend

On Saturday,the Regiment held a regular Class B room inspection. These happen occasionally on Saturday mornings. At 9am, you stand outside your room with your roommate (unless you're a firstclassman), and stand at attention (if you're a plebe/ fourthclassman like I am) until and after your room is inspected. The Class B lasts about an hour and a half; the actual room check lasts about 10 minutes. Sometimes, other duty calls a midshipman to be absent from inspection. My roommate was at a swim meet, and I was at EMT class. A good deal, right? Well, our room passed (though, since my roommate was out since Friday morning, less cleaning was done in my room for inspection than usual).

When both roommates are gone, the parts of the scoresheet that involve personal appearance and knowledge are omitted. But did we get off too easy? Since we're plebes, yes. I'm on the list for room reinspection tomorrow. So I've lived this weekend in essentially a sterile room, and spent an extra few hours today making sure my room and my uniform is perfect for inspection. Why so much dedication to cleaning? Tomorrow's inspector emailed me to let me know that he would not be as lenient as Saturday's inspector. On the other hand, we don't have to stand outside our room for as long as we would on a Saturday. That's plebe life.

Furthermore, liberty was secured (not granted) for plebes. That was a surprise, since we were on track to get some after the inspection. Since the firstclassmen who give us liberty were in Atlantic City for the weekend (just about all are 21 now...), we thought that they had forgotten that we were 'stuck' on campus (except for off campus runs). So tonight we found out that we had done a motivational spirit mission on Thursday night in celebration of the 200 nights the firstclassmen have until graduation, but had not gotten permission to do so. It involved bringing up 13 sailboats to spell "200" on the grass-- $40,000 worth of waterfront equipment. Someone was not happy about it, and that was how liberty was not granted. I've had a typical plebe weekend, as the upperclassmen will say. But plebe life only lasts so long.

Key to note, I got an achievement award--in the form of weekend passes- for a 3.6 GPA last trimester. I seek to keep that up. That means more times studying and less time being regimental. First off, EMT class runs through the plebe training period two of four nights a week (Weekends start on Friday...). So I've noticed I'm already being less of a plebe. As the Academy's unofficial slogan goes, Academics first, regiment second; or the more practical "people get kicked out for academics, not for having a dull shine on your leathers--though try not to end up on restriction" (you will not hear a regimental firstclassman say these phrases, except during exam week). Then why did I clean my room this weekend? An insufficient score equals restriction: extra duty hours and forming up every few hours on weekends and twice on weekdays. Not a good list to be on.

So asides from academic "judgment days", where two 20%-of-a-course-grade tests take place on the same day, this is as hard as plebe life gets. Halfway through already, 2015.

I've already lent the link to a Class of 2013 midshipman's blog to cover for my infrequent postings while I've been at the Academy, but I'll lend it again:

Also are less comprehensive blogs: attempts which started strong but were set aside by the pressure of more pressing duties at the Academy (homework, etc.):

Class of 2015, 3rd Company (Bro Co): //Disclaimer: written by a restricted plebe. Has a Holden Caulfield vocabulary and mindset.//
Class of 2013:
And, since we like to point out our classmates when they're being "different", here is just one of many hometown articles about classmates before they head off to the Academy. Drill Instructors like to find these articles, as well as Facebook profiles, to get a background on their charges before Indoc begins. Guess how one of my platoonmates got the name "Toga Tom"?