Chemistry/Physics Evaluation (Warning: Long Post)

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by AlphaBumchang, Sep 16, 2016.

  1. AlphaBumchang

    AlphaBumchang Member

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    Hi all,

    I want to start off by mentioning that I know that the military and the academy is very strict on following instructions, however I am in a position where I do not know what to do anymore and might need some help.

    In my kit, it states that I need a evaluation from either physics or chemistry teacher. I took Chemistry Honors in my sophomore year, it was an overload with the other classes I took and my counselor highly suggested I drop the class so that I can do well in my other classes. I carried out her advice and dropped my chemistry class just before 1st semester ended.

    Currently, I am taking Physics Honors, and as you can guess, I am not overloading my classes so I can balance all of them and so far, I am doing excellent in that class and all of my other classes. Since I dropped my Chemistry class, I decided I would ask my Physics teacher for a recommendation and I asked her yesterday and she said that she will not be able to write me one just because school started 4 weeks ago and she's only known me for a short amount.

    I asked my counselor what I should do and my counselor told me that I should ask my Chemistry teacher and ask if she can write anything about me before I dropped the class. Whether it's asking her for help or showing signs of handwork even if the outcome wasn't great. So then I went over to my past Chemistry teacher and had a conversation about how I am finished with everything else with my application including my nominations and that I really needed this evaluation. She said to come back tomorrow and she'll tell me her answer.

    So then I go back to my counselor and told her what happened and she told me to email my RC and ask what I should do and see if I can get a substitute science teacher to fill out the eval. Such as my biology or physiology teacher. I am planning on asking him at an informational brief next week in person, rather than emailing him.

    I'm not sure what my RC will say but in my freshmen year, I took a STEM Research Class and this class was a class where you had to fill out an application and only 30 students were admitted to this class. We would choose a research topic and were funded $100 by the school to get equipment to fulfill this research. I did a project that involved fluid mechanics and water fluid simulators. At the end of the year I was awarded the STEM Research Department Award. At the moment, I am thinking about asking the STEM Research teacher in place of a Physics/Chemistry teacher, but I will ask my RC next week about this.

    What I'm trying to say is that I know that it's my fault for being greedy and taking a lot of hard classes and eventually dropping the one class that I shouldn't have and so now I'm really out of options. I've finished and qualified medically and turned in all of my nominations and everything else in my kit except for this one evaluation and I would really hate if this evaluation stopped me from being considered.

    Can anyone guess what my RC will say after I tell him what happened and ask if I can substitute my STEM teacher with my Physics/Chemistry teacher or does anyone know what I should do now?

    Thank you so much for reading all this!
     
  2. OrionDad

    OrionDad New Member

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    My DD had a scary moment too. One of the mandatory teachers was gone for some time and could not do the evaluation. DD called Admissions and asked if another teacher or class would work, but was told that it had to be that particular class/ thus teacher....

    Explain to your teacher that this is an evaluation of you as a person, not a student who passed that class. At least she must have a picture of you that includes:

    - Challenging work load: I understand you took quite a few classes... (Explain to her if there were any ECs)
    - Dealing with a challenge/ Risk management: you pro-actively worked on understanding (analyzing) that situation was unacceptable, and worked on defining corrective actions
    - Communication: you talked to her about your options
    - Decision making: you made the tough decision to drop the class to protect your overall GPA
    - Responsibility: you cared about the situation, and acted responsibly

    Hope this helps. Good luck! Keep us posted
     
  3. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    I say wait and ask your physics teacher again in a couple of weeks. You need to follow the instructions as West Point has laid them out.

    I am concerned that you haven't had chemistry. Chemistry is a year-long course at West Point and it is very tough. West Point likes to see that you have taken advantage of the most difficult classes your high school has to offer and made an A or B in them. I think I would also rather see that you were in AP Physics because physics is another difficult year-long class at WP. Plebes have a very heavy course load in addition to all of their plebe duties so you don't have the option of not "overloading" your classes as you mentioned. Just my opinion, of course.
     
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  4. LFK1998

    LFK1998 Member

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    I understand the desire to complete your application ASAP, however I would recommend that you take the time to build a relationship with your physics teacher and put together a better packet. WP isn't looking for those who submit first, it's who's best.
     
  5. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    Your RC will say no.
    The science SOE must be from a Chemistry or Physics teacher. There is a reason for this. You will take Chemistry and Physics at West Point.
    The file application deadline is 28 FEB. Just wait until your Physics teacher is ready to fill out the SOE. They will be able to, at least, do it by the end of your semester, which is before the deadline. While not optimal to finish your file close to deadline, you can only do what you can do and that is wait until your physics teacher feels comfortable enough to do the SOE for you.
    Curious - what science did you take your Freshman and Junior year?
     
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  6. jl123

    jl123 Member

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    Follow what Buff said. They really do want Chemistry or Physics - been through it with DS.

    To correct (or be corrected) on the chemistry and physics requirement. The Redbook on the website is for Class of 2017 and has a full year of both chemistry and physics. Class of 2020 Majors Brochure indicates that has changed to 1 semester chemistry, 1 semester physics, and 1 semester of either Chemistry II, Physics II, or Biology. Still a tough schedule, but at least you get to pick your poison.
     
  7. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    Thanks for pointing that out, jl123. I looked at the Class of 2020 majors brochure and that change really surprises me. http://www.usma.edu/curriculum/SitePages/Home.aspx
     
  8. AlphaBumchang

    AlphaBumchang Member

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    Hi everyone,

    Thank to you all of those that replied. All of the replies were very helpful and insightful and gives me some hope. I took everyone's comment to consideration and talked with my physics teacher if she will be able to write it near the end of the semester (around November-December). She agreed saying that she will be able to write a strong evaluation by then and told me that she understands what I'm going through because one of the other physics teacher is a graduate of USNA and she's heard stories from him.

    In my freshmen year I took Biology. In my Junior year, I applied for Physics Honors, however my counselor after seeing that I struggled with Chemistry gave me Physiology because I skipped two math levels and took AP Statistics and didn't want me to struggle. One of the regrets I have is skipping math levels and trying to get ahead of my peers. Anyways, Biology in 9th grade and Physiology in 11th grade.

    So when I meet my RC next week should I bring up this up and tell him that my application will be completed a little bit late because I communicate with him often through email (really happy/excited that I'll be finally meeting him in real life!). Or should I not mention about the struggles I'm having with my last SOE. I'm also planning on talking to him and expressing interest in AOG Scholarship, assuming I receive my SOE and nomination.
     
  9. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    This is from West Point's Admissions page under "What Courses Should I Take?"

    To prepare yourself for the academic curriculum at West Point, you should complete four years of English with a strong emphasis on composition, grammar, literature and speech; four years of college preparatory mathematics, to include algebra, geometry, intermediate algebra, and trigonometry as a minimum; two years of a foreign language; two years of a laboratory science such as chemistry and physics, and one year of U.S. history, including courses in geography, government and economics. If your school includes a course in precalculus and calculus in its curriculum, and a basic computing course, these courses will be helpful in preparing you for your first year at West Point.
     
  10. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    I don't think it would hurt to tell the RC about having to wait for the physics teacher to do your SOE. My concern at this point is that you haven't had chemistry.
     
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  11. GoArmyBeatNavy

    GoArmyBeatNavy Member

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    I wish West Point would remove the phrase "such as" from the science courses it recommends. It needs to direct students to take Physics and Chemistry.
     

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