academic homework at USNA

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by greeneagle5, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. greeneagle5

    greeneagle5 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Messages:
    301
    Likes Received:
    15
    Son is concerned about having enough dedicated study time for plebes during that 1st year .........Is there any more available homework/study time alloted (other than the evening study hours after dinner) that a plebe could regularly depend on using ?
     
  2. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,498
    Likes Received:
    447
    Weekends. Seriously.

    There is more than one reason that plebes have limited liberty. In theory, you should do at least 2 hrs of homework for every hour spent in class. Plebes carry 16/17 hrs (in my day it was 19/20 as I recall, but today is much better). So, that's 32/34 hours. And you have 3 hours of mandatory study hall each night. Do the math.

    In fairness, not every plebe will need the full 2-to-1 ratio for every class. Some will require less but some will require more (at least for certain classes).

    Also, in fairness, you will have "free periods" on some days and your afternoon sport may not take the entire allotted 3 hours every afternoon. That said, you also have watches to stand and rates to learn and pep rallies to attend and rooms to clean and shoes to shine and . . .
     
  3. cfam386

    cfam386 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    0
    Your son will have enough time to do all of his homework if he budgets his time wisely. I was able to get everything done plebe year even with taking Friday nights to relax, but I always brought some work to my sponsors on Saturdays, and Sundays were pretty much all work.

    He just needs to remember to prioritize. While the presentation his 2/C wants him to do may seem more important than his chemistry test, (because the 2/C is in his face all the time and he only sees his professor once a day), it really isn't, and he needs to focus on getting his work done first, even if it means getting more unwanted attention from his 2/C.

    Just remember, bad grades are one of the quickest ways to get separated, so don't even let it get to that point. There are plenty of resources here, and again, he should have plenty of time to finish his work if he plans ahead.
     
  4. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    2,952
    Likes Received:
    4
    The basics have been covered. All I'll add is that it's not as impossible as it seems when looking at it through the prism of a candidate. Thousands upon thousands of plebes have managed to complete there work, and thousands and thousands among those even managed to EXCEL at their academics, so why shouldn't you?

    My biggest problem at USNA was a lack of effort on my part when it came to studying. If I'd done my part just a bit better, my life would have been WAY easier while I was there, and my life today could very well have been TOTALLY different.

    Good luck. :smile:
     
  5. VMINROTChopeful

    VMINROTChopeful Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    0
    do you think your grades in USNA actually affected your professional Navy career?
     
  6. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    2,952
    Likes Received:
    4
    In my case it is an absolute fact that they did.

    Why? Because I wanted to become a nuclear submariner more than anything else in the world. I was obsessed. Sadly, however, that obsession did not translate into good study habits or efforts. As such, my application to Nuclear Power School, a mandatory prerequisite for ANY submarine officer, was rejected. My dream died that day, and I still remember that morning as if it happened this morning rather than 17 years ago. I was left with no option but to go SWO.

    To put it bluntly and simply: IT BLOODY SUCKED. :mad::frown:

    It is for this reason that I rail, sometimes incoherently, about the importance of STUDYING and getting GOOD GRADES. Ditch everything else, including the Significant Others. You only get ONE crack at USxA, and there are no do-overs.

    To this day, I cannot watch a special on submarines without getting tears in my eyes. :frown:
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2008
  7. VMINROTChopeful

    VMINROTChopeful Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    0
    :eek: :unhappy: that's just tragic. i sincerely mean that-

    in the civilian world, you constantly get do-overs and you get to try something until you succeed. you never really need to quit your dream unless you give it up yourself. i'm going to have to remember your story as an example that in the military/navy world, you often only get one chance to prove yourself, and if you screwup, you're toast. :frown:
     
  8. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    2,952
    Likes Received:
    4
    Tragic? No, it wasn't tragic. It was STUPID.

    "Tragic" would have been me getting hit by a deer on a dark road the night before graduation and losing an eye, or having to drop out because my mother was terminal with cancer, or something like that.

    What happened to me was karma, and the only person I have to blame is MYSELF.

    Some people wonder why I hang around this board, and why I hung around at the other place. After all, my info is old, my record is hardly a good example of how to be a Mid, and I only did my 5 years and got out.

    If you learn the lesson above, apply it to yourself, AND SUCCEED, then you'll know why I hang around here. My kids are still too young to understand the lesson (and frankly I'm not so sure I'm doing such a hot job raising them anyway), so I parent vicariously through fine folks such as yourself.

    I'm no model Mid, or model officer, or even model citizen. I'm just a guy who's been there, done that, and long ago tossed the t-shirts. If I can spare just one poor soul from sitting in his room, staring at a rejection letter in shock, and realizing that his life has just taken a REALLY lousy turn, then I feel justified in occasionally being a bit of a fool online.

    Please don't let it happen to you. Hit the books and hit them HARD. You can sleep when you graduate. You can flirt and socialize after you pin your officer's insignia on. You can daydream when you're DEAD. Until then, WORK LIKE AN ANIMAL.
     
  9. jamzmom

    jamzmom Founding Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,958
    Likes Received:
    3
    And that, my dear friends, is why if you fluff off & just get by while getting through 4 years of your education, Z & the hounds from Hell will come for you. He will be watching. :smile:

    VMINROTChopeful, not totally tragic. He's ended up doing some good in this world. Don't let him fool you too much. He's an excellent Pirate, eye patch & all. Arrrrggg.
     
  10. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    2,952
    Likes Received:
    4
    I won't need to. He'll haunt himself every time he looks in the mirror and remembers. Ask me how I know. :frown:

    If you say so. :redface:
     
  11. pknguyen44

    pknguyen44 USNA '13, NAPS '09

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    24
    Zaphod, I heard from some of the admission officers that there was something called "lateral transfer," could you have transferred into your desired MOS?
     
  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,795
    Likes Received:
    930
    Bullet's cousin went to USNA from 85-89 (I think, might be off a couple of years either way), but I am sure he would concur with ZAPHOD.

    He was constantly on academic probation his entire career, it was a roller coaster ride, on/off, than on again off again. He did not graduate as the anchor, but darn close to it.

    I think by his final 2 years he just gave up, he had already figured out that his dream could not physically happen. His dream was to fly and be an astronaut. Had he had the best grades it could of, but in the end he didn't. He eventually got a pilot slot 2 yrs. later, but by then he lost all motivation, flew out his committment, he continues to fly reserves, but will to this day say it was his grades, that made a difference

    I think the lateral transfer you are speaking of is what Bullet's cousin did...remember it is not that easy to transfer, you will have to compete for it and have command support
     
  13. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    2,952
    Likes Received:
    4
    There is that option, but back in my day it was EXTREMELY difficult to get.

    If I were to show you my earliest FITREPS, you would see that I requested that I specifically be recommended for Nuclear Power School upon completion of my SWO certification. Sadly, the early-90's drawdown was in full effect so transfers became practically impossible. Additionally, my ship went into the yards for the better part of a year (which is REALLY HARD on a SWO-pin qualification schedule). Put the two together and I was pretty hosed from the moment I got that letter.

    Oh, well. Lesson learned! :frown:
     
  14. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    2,952
    Likes Received:
    4
    The really frustrating thing about academics at USNA (and I assume at the other SA's) is that performance sometimes seems to be so RANDOM. You already know that the overwhelming majority of the students were at the very tops of their HS classes. They are bright, motivated, committed, etc. And yet, for some reason, that just FAILS so many people when the time comes.

    In HS, I'd barely crack a book and still manage to get straight A's, even while taking Honor classes. At NAPS, it was pretty much the same.

    At USNA, it was a nightmare. :eek::frown:

    Years later, I was able to swing two Master's degrees simultaneously while also working full-time. Lowest GPA I got was a 3.85. My CQPR for my MS in Industrial Engineering was 3.97. Go figure. :rolleyes:

    I saw guys who were obviously VERY smart completely fall appart academically. There was no pattern, and it wasn't because they were sitting around shooting the breeze instead of hitting the books, either.

    A lot of them were friends. My NAPS class was near decimated before we finally graduated after four years. :frown:
     
  15. pknguyen44

    pknguyen44 USNA '13, NAPS '09

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    24
    Zaphod, wat are the chances for an individual nowadays to say after they graduated and went SWO instead of getting their first choice, i.e. aviator using the lateral transfer?
     
  16. VMINROTChopeful

    VMINROTChopeful Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    0
    you can also ask that on airwarriors.com

    Peter, there are definitely some aviators there that went SWO and transferred to SNA. one on there transferred to aviation as soon as he got his SWO pin. there is even a Sub guy there that was subs for many years before transferring to SNA. they can probably tell you more about the process and the chances.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2008
  17. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    2,952
    Likes Received:
    4
    I regret that I cannot answer this question with ANY confidence. It's been way too long since I've been directly involved, a LOT has changed in the Navy and the world, and I don't readily have any solid sources that I could recommend to you.

    One alternative has been offered already. There are also others here in a better position than I to give you good data

    Sorry I can't be more helpful on this one. :redface:
     
  18. RetNavyHM

    RetNavyHM USN (RET)

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,273
    Likes Received:
    2
    You are asking about something that is at least 6 years away for you. Just think of everything that can change in 6 years. We could be done with the war on terror, and out of Iraq and Afghanistan. We could be selling our nuclear secrets to the Iranians and Chinese.

    Who knows, the military could be drawn down to 1/4 of the strength that it is now.

    Or just the opposite could happen, we could be at war with everyone, there is a national draft, and you could get whatever career field your little heart desires, being an academy or ROTC graduate.

    There are way to many variables, and I have yet to meet someone with the crystal ball who could accurately tell the future. Now if you asked that question today, after having spent 1.5 years as a SWO, you would probably get a much better answer.
     
  19. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    2,952
    Likes Received:
    4
    Excellent point, Doc. Excellent point. :thumb:
     
  20. cfam386

    cfam386 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    0
    Seriously, don't even worry about lateral transfers yet. In fact, don't even consider it. Just worry about doing your best at the Academy. If, (and this is a big if), you don't get aviation when service selection comes around in four years, then start thinking about it. For now, focus on getting ready for USNA, and once you get here, kick it into high gear and don't look back. Don't forget to shoot me a pm when you get pilot in four years :thumb:
     

Share This Page