Big, Big Academic Question

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Candace, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. Candace

    Candace Member

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    Help!! We just need prayers and some encouragement.

    Our (almost C3C) had an academic board tonight. He has a 1.97 cumulative GPA. He made a 1.87 the first semester, and a 2.1 second semester.
    He is now in Chemistry 2 for the remainder of this summer term; so he has to catch up after missing almost this entire week.
    Can anyone survive this academically? Are they trying to send him home? He made a C in Chem. I. What are the chances of making a Cplus or higher in Chemistry 2?
    Anyone have any thoughts?
    He called us about an hour ago and he was just sobbing. We feel soooo helpless. Any prayers would be appreciated.
     
  2. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    If USAFA is allowing him to stay during the Summer and repeat Chem2, then he has a chance. Tell him to get one of the cadet tutors to work with him. He only has one class to focus on and should be able to pull at least a C+ if he works hard. Good luck!
     
  3. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    Hard love here but he has access to an enormous amount of resources to do better and pass from other cadets and professors. Some of the genchem profs are absolutely incredible. If he is still not passing, he hasn't been seeking out help like he should. The improvement shown (from failing to passing) is encouraging and means they will likely give him another chance. Chemistry and Calc are the two courses that usually trigger this.

    If he has not, here is the best advice to him - seek out Dr. F in the chemistry dept. Back in my time (I was a chemistry major), he was the course director. There is no one better than him at teaching cadets chemistry and getting them to pass. Period. He was by far my favorite prof in the dept (I never took chem 1 and 2, but he was my physical chem prof) and is unmatched in his desire to get cadets to pass IF THEY CHOOSE TO SEEK HELP.
     
  4. Candace

    Candace Member

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    Academic question

    Thank you for the response. Well, actually he isn't repeating Chem. 2. He hasn't taken it yet. He didn't actually fail any classes that he has to repeat. They are just giving him a chance to bring up the GPA with the Chem. 2.

    Will there be cade tutors available for these 2 weeks??
     
  5. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    There will be cadets around for various reasons and some should either be chemistry majors or did well at chemistry. I'm sure he has friends, he should ask around.
     
  6. Candace

    Candace Member

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    Academic questions

    Well, most of his friends are gone at this time. But, he says that he will be asking and looking for help. Our concern is that he is starting the class tomorrow--already a week behind.
    We can only offer encouragement and pray.

    Thanks!!
     
  7. buffalo

    buffalo USAFA 2013

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    I concur with hornetguy.

    Dr. F was my Chem100 teacher back in the day. He's one of the best teachers I had during my cadet experience.

    Almost every faculty member (or cadets) will be willing to help your son succeed. The kicker though, is your son must seek out the help. If he is making a visible and concerted effort to get help, chances are he will not just pass, but do so with room to spare.
     
  8. jbsail

    jbsail Member

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    I will remember him in my prayers. What Hornet said.

    Chem is tough. He should be fine though this summer without his friends around. He can catchup with the other students and go to the prof to get up to speed. He may already have a good relationship with one of his chem profs that he can visit too (frequently, lol).

    Note cards help too. Carry a handful easily (bring everywhere) if you are going to get fresh air.
     
  9. Candace

    Candace Member

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    Thanks

    Thanks for the responses. We know that it is ENTIRELY up to him. We are just offering him encouragement. It just really surprises us that he has to begin the course tomorrow. It doesn't seem very likely that he can be successful beginning the course almost a week late.
    As usualy, you guys provide awesome advice and encouragement. Thanks!
     
  10. Candace

    Candace Member

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    Thanks!

    "As usual" not "usually"
     
  11. jbsail

    jbsail Member

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    He will be fine. Just has to turn on Chem study mode (can't think of the board or past grades) as of tonight. Hopefully he found/asked around for some of his chem 2 classmates after the review board so he can start seeing what he missed.

    Organization and time management this week. :yllol:
     
  12. Usafamom2016

    Usafamom2016 Member

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    Candace, sent you a PM, my son is doing eset and a whiz at chem, I'm sure he'd be happy to help if he's not in the woods
     
  13. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    As already mentioned/eluded to. The academy wouldn't have even offered summer school to your son if they didn't want to keep him. Obviously they do. It's all up to him. If he does his part, asks for help, and looks at this situation as an "OPPORTUNITY" to excel and not as some sort of negative, he will do fine. Many who are given similar opportunities get real down on themselves and see it as a negative. Understandable considering that the majority of cadets at the academy are Type-A individuals who did real well in high school and were tops in their class. They were a big fish in a small pond. Now, they are a small fish in a large pond. As long as he keeps the right attitude and does his best, he'll do fine.
     
  14. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    There's a lot of adjusting in those first couple of years. I can say I did not do well in my first year, and I was on academic probation (meaning, as a 3/c I had to actually study during study hour) as I made my way out of the whole I dug my 4/c year. I had to do summer school for Calc II I think. I passed that and got ahead a little by taking macroeconomics. I can also tell you, for me, it was a shock. I was a 4.0er in high school, high in a magnet school class of overachievers, well-rounded, etc etc etc (basically what anyone can say who eventually goes to an academy)... so to struggle that first year was a really check on my inner drive. "I thought I was smart, but now, how can I even consider it. I'm struggling." It's not easy for anyone used to blowing every expectation out of the water, and then, at an academy, fail.

    That said, he's got to buckle down and do well over the summer. I know at this point, it can feel like it's all coming down on him and that there's so much pressure (and yes the pressure is real), but like me, he can do it, and rebound for a respectable final three years.

    Tell him not to give up hope, many ring knockers have been where he is, and have come out the other side, often better for it.

    All you can do as a parent is encourage him, and make sure he isn't spending all of his time on the phone with you when he could be studying.

    It's very doable! Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2013
  15. sheriff3

    sheriff3 Member

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    I am an AROTC parent so I don't come to this playground very often. I have to say the SA forum is full of some wonderful folks. Case in point, usfamom2016 offering to connect her cadet with a struggling cadet to help in a difficult class. :thumb: Way to go.
     
  16. Candace

    Candace Member

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    Thanks again!

    Thanks for all of the advice from the experienced ones out there. Your words really are what we needed to hear. Yes, you guys are all right, and it definitely can be a positive. We ARE going to stay off the phone with him during this session; only offering words of encouragement.
    He is a bit discouraged because, as you know, school and tests have never been a problem.
    Thank you so much for commenting and offering words of advice and wisdom.
     
  17. USAFretired1996

    USAFretired1996 Member

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    Candace, your son probably doesn't have time to read this now but he should after he completes the summer session. I think he will find it inspiring.

    http://stories.usafa73.org/1lorenz.html
     
  18. billyb

    billyb Member

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    Personal true story of mine.... I was a cow taking some advanced math class at USMA and just wasn't getting it. I was never stellar at math. I went in for after class help multiple times per week with the prof and even he agreed that I just couldn't grasp the material very well. I thought I was sunk until.... we had a group project. He partnered me with a "star man" who was ranked 2d academically in the class. No surprise that we got an A++ on the project which was a huge part of the class grade. Was it a coincidence that I went in for as much help as possible and was also paired with one of the smartest guys in the whole school for this project... I think not.

    Moral of the story... everyone wants you to succeed at the academies. Ask for help and where there is a will, there is a way...
     
  19. MN-Dad-2016

    MN-Dad-2016 Member

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    I am curious. If someone is near a 4.0 in high school and "America's Best and Brightest", how can they struggle in several classroom subjects? I understand that some people are more science oriented/gifted. But how can someone fall from a 4.0 GPA in HS (with a strong ACT score) and drop to a 2.0 GPA average while working their butt off? Obviously they are not out partying and skipping classes which often happens in civilian college.

    I'm not being judgmental. I'm trying to understand how this can happen.
     
  20. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Part of it may just be the transition from high school academics to college academics. Many never had to really study in high school so think they don't need to in college and/or never had to develop good study habits as a result of their high school experience. Part of it is just tougher material covered much more in depth. Part of it is the very different teaching methods used in college and in particular at the academy. And part too is the demands of the academy on sports, military training, duty, etc. And finally, the grading itself is much more demanding. All of this is true for any kid making a transition to college but especially at the academies.
     

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