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Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by ktnatalk, Aug 9, 2016.

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  1. ktnatalk

    ktnatalk Sailor. Shipmate. Parent.

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    Just saw this hardcover book in MidStore for $20.95. Paperback on Amazon is $11.40. Anyone read it and wouldn't mind commenting?
     
  2. Brawny77

    Brawny77 Member

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    My wife enjoyed it a lot. Gave a lot of insight
     
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  3. jestay

    jestay Member

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    I agree, alot of insight, I laughed and cried. I had the privivlaged of hearing the author speak here in Ohio. Having all her children serving and being from a military family herself, I would say she has some insight we all can learn from.
     
  4. Cerberi

    Cerberi Member

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    She depicts USNA as a miserable place and emphasizes the negative and why people need to depend on her counsel to survive the trauma of being the parent of a Mid

    She has no connection to USNA except her long ago graduated kids

    IMHO
     
  5. ktnatalk

    ktnatalk Sailor. Shipmate. Parent.

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    Hmmm...IMHO, we get counsel and a lot more on SAF with folks like CAPT MJ, Hoops, USNABGO08, and a long list of distinguished and caring contributors!
     
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  6. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    I'm honored, ktna. Many times I delete something I'm drafting, because I don't want to blather on with something that doesn't contribute a useful morsel. I am guilty of derailing (most notably on food issues such as In-n-Out) and relating sea stories. What I don't have is a parental perspective for a child entering a military path, but can speak from a merged view as a retired Navy officer, former CO, spouse of a USNA grad who was same, former USNA BattO, 20-year mid sponsor and someone who has friends and colleagues at USNA, NAAA and the Alumni Assn. We stay fairly current with Yard doings. We also have some strategically placed sponsor alumni who can get me a straight read on something, as well as some BGOs.

    I continue to be educated and entertained by the wide variety of posters here.
     
  7. ktnatalk

    ktnatalk Sailor. Shipmate. Parent.

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    The honor is mine (and other posters'), CAPT. Thousands aspirants and their parents have benefited from your selfless assistance and guidance for sure!

    V/r,

    KT
     
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  8. SDMom2019

    SDMom2019 Member

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    I guess people interpret things differently. I read the book and have read many of her posts on the Parent Community Facebook page and didn't have the same impresssion.
     
  9. Cerberi

    Cerberi Member

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    The OP asked for opinions. I offered mine. I am certain that some people find her to be enlightening and I am very much aware of many that do not.
     
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  10. SDMom2019

    SDMom2019 Member

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    The OP asked for opinions about this specific book. If you read it, then your opinion counts. It just feels like we read different books.
     
  11. Cerberi

    Cerberi Member

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    Thanks for letting me know when my opinion counts and when it doesn't. I will certainly sleep better.

    The author has stated her opinion in her book and certainly through FB to USNA parent groups, and I have communicated directly with her. I strongly disagree with how she portrays life at USNA and Plebe life in particular and (IMHO) believe she looks to sell books and create followers by creating fear uncertainty and doubt in the mind of parents with limited military experience.

    You clearly have another opinion and I am good with that.
     
  12. SDMom2019

    SDMom2019 Member

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    You are right, we do get a lot of great information on this forum. It has been over a year since I read the book, but I'll tell you what I remember. The author grew up a military brat, I think she was in ROTC for a while, is married to a military officer, and has four kids who ended up being officers -- one each in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. I think that three of them went through USNA -- even the daughter who ended up being an officer in the Air Force. (But, I wouldn't swear to that.)

    Do I think you should buy the book? Not really. A lot of the messages you get from the book, you already get from this forum: you need to let go, cut the apron strings, embrace the suck, realize they belong to the military now, develop new interests/hobbies, etc... I did get some insight into some things about life after the academy that I hadn't really thought about. Of course, this forum has a section on Life After the Academy and often has threads relating to life in the services. Honestly, I sometimes get lost in the acronyms in those sections. So, at this point, I just don't really read them because that's a few years away for my son.

    I do think there are certain moms (probably not those on this forum) who need to hear some of the messages in the book. On our 2019 Facebook page, there were a lot of moms having a really hard time with letting go. They didn't understand that they wouldn't necessarily be called when their kid was sick or injured. They would call USNA over little things. Or they just had a hard time letting go and confessed to laying in their Plebe's bed and crying a lot. Some of the advice in the book would probably help. She advised some things like taking up a hobby (I believe she knitted), or getting in shape themselves while their Plebes went through Plebe Summer. So, I do think some moms who are struggling would get some advice from the book. I feel like between this forum and a great Parent Club President, I knew enough about what to expect that I didn't gain a whole lot from the book. You could always just check it out from your library.

    This forum is great for information. Just realize that sometimes information is dated, and things change with different Superintendents and Commandants and may differ by Company. Those who are USNA alums, usually qualify their answers with that disclaimer. A really good source of up-to-date information is Elizabeth Beedendbender who is the Parent Program Coordinator and runs the official USNA Alumni Association and Foundation Parent Page found here: https://www.facebook.com/usnaparentcommunity/info/?tab=page_info (Hope that works.)
     
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  13. SDMom2019

    SDMom2019 Member

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    Cerberi, I apologize. I didn't realize how snarky I sounded, and I hope you'll forgive me. As a Library Director, I buy books for our library and end up reading reviews to decide where to spend our money. So, sometimes, I get irked if I feel someone reviewed a book without reading it. It's not a good excuse for rudeness, but it's the only one I've got. ;)

    In this case, viewpoints about the author should be relevant even if the particular book was not read because no one would take advice from an author they didn't respect. If I had personally seen posts that gave me the opinion of her that you have, I would want to advise someone to avoid her work. I don't read all of the posts on the parent Facebook pages, especially now that my son's a Youngster. The ones that I did read, I thought offered sound advice, and I appreciated that she was trying to calm down some of the parents on the 2019 page that were struggling with the transition. But, like I said, I didn't read most of them, so I can't speak to the fearmongering. Last year, it seemed that most of the parents appreciated the counsel on the page she ran for 2019 parents. I know that one mom was angry because they deleted her posts that were critical of USNA, but I don't remember much other drama. There must have been more drama this year because I saw on the main MMAD Facebook page that some parents had started a new class of 2020 Facebook page because they were feeling overwhelmed with the advice on the other one. Of course, I was never on the 2020 page, so I have no idea what was going on that caused the problem

    When I met her at Plebe Parent Weekend, she seemed like a sweet lady, but my interaction with her was limited. Your interactions with her have given you a different opinion. I can respect that. I don't know her well enough to defend or condemn her. I just didn't get the impression from her book that USNA was a miserable place. Maybe at the time I was reading it, I was focusing on the positive and blocking that out since my son would soon be there. ;)
     
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  14. Cerberi

    Cerberi Member

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    The majority of USNA 2020 Parents have elected to use their own FB page which is for and by USNA 2020 Parents, which BTW includes a fair number of USNA grads.

    I don't think anyone that has joined the other FB page (BLB USNA 2020 Parents) was 'overwhelmed with the advice on the other one'.

    I for one left their page because (a) it was full of incorrect information (b) only the opinions of the admins seemed to matter and they were condescending to those that had a differing viewpoint which to me implies that they have a 'one size fits all approach and they decide the size and approach. (c) not one of the admins had spent even so much as a night at USNA let alone on active duty (and almost making it through ROTC Summer training doesn't count.) and (d) they seemed to emphasize all the negative things which to me implied if we only knew how tough it was - we would buy their book and seek their counsel.

    My wife left the page because they were condescending and preachy - not because she was overwhelmed with the advice.

    I would say the final post I read was when she claimed to have 'gone through Plebe Summer 15 times', so she 'knew' even though she had never been through Plebe Summer - not even once.

    BTW - the BLB USNA 2020 Parents page is very active and people seem to be having a great time being part of it.
     
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  15. ktnatalk

    ktnatalk Sailor. Shipmate. Parent.

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    Thank you for sharing, SDMom and Cerberi! I probably will try to pick it up and read it in the near future, hoping I will learn something from her unique perspective. I have been on active duty since 92 and we don't have the worries that some families have. I think being the sole parent at home during my deployments makes my wife even stronger than me in many ways.

    Maybe it's time to open a FB account?!
    :scratch:
     
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  16. SDMom2019

    SDMom2019 Member

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    Sorry. I did not mean to offend when I said some were feeling "overwhelmed with advice" on the old 2020 page. It was something I had read on a thread on the MMAD Facebook group. I went back to look at the thread, and one of the moms had said, "I am sending a request to join this (new 2020) group. I feel the same way about the other 2020 moms and dads page. Feeling overwhelmed with too much advice and drama about what is going to happen on I Day." That's where I had got that impression. The thread also made comments about administrators on the other page having upperclassmen at USNA, 2020 parents wanting a group with only 2020 parents as admins, etc... Honestly, I don't know the ins and outs of what happened with the 2020 group. I'm glad the BLB 2020 page is active, and I hope 2020 parents get as much good out of their group as I did out of the 2019 group during the Plebe Year.

    Our group was started by Napster Parents the previous year. There was another group that was started by Elaine and some other admins. The two groups merged for a while, and Elaine et al. offered advice on our page for a few months. Later, they stepped back and focused on the USNA Parent Community Page. They are no longer members of the 2019 page. The 2019 page was a wonderful way to get to know the parents of other Plebe's in my son's company. Several of us don't post a lot on the page this year, but we keep in touch offline through Facebook Messenger. I appreciate their friendship, and they make the journey better. It's fun to keep up with their Mids and see what they are doing during their summer trainings.

    I am going to refrain from further comments on this thread in order to avoid inadvertently offending someone. I seem to keep putting my foot in my mouth.

    P. S. Ktnatalk, you're missing out on some great pictures of the Plebes by not being in the Facebook groups. ;)
     
  17. ktnatalk

    ktnatalk Sailor. Shipmate. Parent.

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    Haha... I probably am. On the other hand, we live close enough to have them home or to visit them every now and then, or to have a family meal at the Rooster! :D
     
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  18. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO Member

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    Must be a new generation....I don't think my parents would have ever dreamed of calling USNA ! I remember the advice of a high school guidance officer when my daughter started high school -- let your child be their own advocate ! Granted, there may be times for parents to get involved, but those should be few and far between and in extreme conditions.
     
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  19. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    So true Old Navy BGO. I can't remember any of our parents calling USNA (or dreaming of it except in extreme situations). The only time I saw my company officer interact with our parents outside of social things like parents weekend, grad week, tailgaters was when my classmate and neighbor was killed. A good buddy of mine was the Supt's aide not all that long ago. He said the calls were unbelievable in quantity and ridiculousness. I didn't graduate all that long ago, but it was before social media. Heck USMC recruits get 1 phone call when they arrive and read a scripted card upon their arrival and don't get a single call until they graduate 13 weeks later.
     
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  20. ktnatalk

    ktnatalk Sailor. Shipmate. Parent.

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    I heard a parent was banging on the window outside King Hall trying to get her Plebe's attention last night at chow time. I can't imagine how that kid felt...smh...
     

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