Class of 2013

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by FLKPMOM, Apr 25, 2009.

  1. FLKPMOM

    FLKPMOM Member

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    Never posted before so I hope this goes ok. My son is a (plebe? not sure how to say this) candidate for the USMMA class of 2013 and he is very excited to go to KP. We are also very proud of him and want to make this a great experience and provide all the encouragement we can. I have been scanning old posts and am a little concerned, I want to know what I can do to make his 4c year successful. I have seen a lot of discontent with living conditions and nourishment. These are the basics and make "going away" more tolerable. I am also aware of the recent increase funding and support for USMMA and hope this is a mute post/point to make. If anyone has any feedback or guidance it is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks for any input from a newby parent to KP:rolleyes:
     
  2. kpmom2013

    kpmom2013 Member

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    WELCOME

    Hi FLKPMOM! I am new to USMMA and new to this forum as well, also. My son and I just returned from Kings Point where we attended the open house on Monday. I had some of the same concerns as you, but they were all settled during the trip. Some of the students there complained about the food, but they were the same ones who complained about the barracks, about the weather, about everything else in life. In other words, they seemed to us to be pretty much just the complaining type. My son saw the barracks and said they were terrific, a lot like the rooms at West Point and Annapolis. He did say that those that were not yet remodeled were not as nice, but were still fine. I think all the remodeling is supposed to be done by November. He said the food was good and there was plenty of it. Kids always complain about food. He said it was ten times better than his high school cafeteria, and that they have a great salad bar everyday. As far as how to help him through his first year, I will leave that to more experienced parents. Congratulations to your son for being appointed to such a fine school!!
     
  3. KPMarineopsdad

    KPMarineopsdad Member

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    O.K. first, congratulations! You are about to embark on an amazing journey.
    Be warned, however that this is an emotional roller coaster with "Cybil" at the switch. So my first piece of advice is to r-e-l-a-x it's going to be a long 4 years and plebe (pronounced: pleeb) year is only the beginning. These young people will complain virtually every time they talk to you. Learn to take it in stride and with a grain of salt. True, the food at Delano hall is not very good, (they are consistently rated as the third worst in the country.) but, nobody has ever starved to death there. I sent them a very fussy eater and he has managed to gain about 20 lbs on the third worst food in the country. This school is difficult, the academics are relentless and they certainly won't be having a typical college experience but, the rewards are well worth it. They will see the wrong side of 2A.M. more often then they should and it won't be because they were at a "frat" party. As parents I believe that the best we can do for them is listen, let them vent when they feel the need, rejoice with them when they succeed and generally stand on the sidelines and be their cheerleaders. Most of all stand back at let "the system" do it's job. It's not always pretty, but the end product can be quite amazing. Bottom line .....KP is not going to kill your kid... they may think they are going to die (heck, they might wish they would) but that would be too easy. Only kidding! Your candidate is going to be in good hands. They've been doing this for a while now. Oh, one more bonus, for the first year you will know exactly where your son is every night.
    How many parents of college freshmen can say that?
     
  4. jamzmom

    jamzmom Founding Member

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    Welcome to the forum & congrats! The two previous posts are spot on. As a brand new KP parent, the unknown is pretty creepy. I remember the feeling very well and feel sure that your becoming part of our community here will help. You'll have many many questions along the way and sometimes trying to find the answers from your kid will be impossible. Having a place to come to ask about things is pretty awesome.

    I've known quite a few young people from all of the Academies and I really find a small bit of humor in that they ALL complain to some extent. Kper's happen to be the kings of the realm. LOL They wear it like a badge of honor. Hung up on my kid once when he called & went off on a tangent that reminded me of The Exorcist movie. His head was spinning around & the fifth spewing forth from the other end of the phone was freakish. One day they are happily chattering away, the next you could be on the other end of Satan. Its been that way for four loooong years. The very worse thing you can do is to say these words: "I understand. It'll be ok." Just become the best sounding board that you can. They need to blow off the steam & get it off their shoulders. There won't be anyone else to blow up on so = Tag! You're it! :smile:

    Thats a parent's view & I know that my kid would give a different one. He'd probably say something to the effect: remind him to study every second, keep a sense of humor, study every second, breathe, study every second, nothing is fair, study every second, look forward, study every second, I just sent you a box full of twizzlers & beef jerky, ect. You get the idea. He would have never have gotten this far if I wasn't sending pounds of gummy bears & telling him to shut up & take one day at a time.

    It sure is a love/hate relationship. Yup. The food is "fried & dyed", as KPers like to call it but mine hasn't starved either. Plebes do kinda stay hungry with all those calories they burn. The largest worry for a Plebe & their parents are those kick-butt academics. Its a make 'em or break 'em situation for sure. Plebe year is rough. I watched most of it with hands over my eyes, on my knees praying. Not trying to scare anyone but just forewarn. IT IS TOUGH.

    They won't be able to talk to you much either. Example: "How was your day?" Answer, "Yes." "What do you think of your professor in History of Sea Power?" Answer, "No". When you pry for more details, you'll get, "Mom! I'm trying to IM you, iron my shirt, polish the floor, read a memo, find a pen for my roomie, print out my paper, WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT FROM ME!! ARRRRGGGGG!!!!" So don't flip out when this happens. :biggrin:
     
  5. Mindy G

    Mindy G Member

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    I think as parents we need to remember that a Service Academy (stole this from USNA) is a horrible place to be but a great place to be from. I was told that they get through it one minuite at a time and our job was to listen. On one of the boards Zaphod had posted hints for parents. I think it was valid for all academies. I will try to find it and post a link. If anyone else knows where this thread is please let me know.
     
  6. kpmom2011

    kpmom2011 Member

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    Welcome to the KP family and strap on your hard hat AND seat belt because you've just gone through the easy part.....getting there. :) The insane ride starts the minute your child walks through the gates the morning of 9 July 2009!

    With that said, one of the things that me and another Parent's Association national officer work on each year are "plebe parent tips." I'm in the process of editing the Class of 2013 version which will then be approved by the Commandant of Midshipmen. These are specific for Kings Point, and you will receive a copy of them or if not in the mail with the logging in book, they will be available on the USMMA web site.

    If you want to give me your email address I'd be glad to forward you a copy when they are ready for publication.

    The points that 2013 made are very valid. Some kids do complain more than others and our job as parents is to listen then tell them to "suck it up."

    As KPmarineopsdad said, let the system do it's job. Your child will be in good hands, and will be formed into a more amazing young man than he already is...in the meantime, give him lots of hugs, make him hang out at home (he may think he wants to be gone out with friends, but trust me on this one) some because I can assure you he will be missing home more than ever!
     
  7. FLKPMOM

    FLKPMOM Member

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    Thanks for the support.

    Wow, thanks for the support and your responses. It helps make KP less intimidating for us. The common theme from the posts is that he will survive, I have a specific job...encouragement and perseverance, and that KP is a place for him to evolve and become someone better and trust in the system in place. I do like the fact that I will know where he is every night during his freshman (plebe) year!

    I check the USMMA site and Parents Assoc. sight often to look for updates. If you become aware of new updates or information and would like to pass it on, my e-mail address is attached. I have also contacted the Florida Parents Association and will attend the orientation meeting the end of June and hope to sponge all the information from them I can, as well as meet 2013 students and parents.

    Thanks again for your words of encouragement and sharing your experiences.

    dougnrenee@cox.net

    :biggrin:
     
  8. kdbax

    kdbax Member

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    I'd love to receive a copy of the updated guide as well. I found the 2012 parents' guide and it was a great help - thanks to the guide, son has already applied for his TWIC. My e-mail is kdbaxter@mhcable.com. Thanks!
     
  9. luv2fly

    luv2fly Member

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    Hey FLKPMOM,

    Welcome and congrats. I see your from Ocala. We left Ocala a few years ago. I don't know if you know it but their is a Kings Pointer from Ocala class of 2012. He plays baseball. If you go to the USMMA Baseball page you can see who it is.

    Regards,

    luv2fly
     
  10. KPMum2012

    KPMum2012 Parent

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    Hi and welcome to the KP family!

    As a parent of a newly recognized 4th class mid, I have to say that roller coaster ride is an excellent description and "Cybil" is definitely at the switch.:shake:

    First, on complaining. I joke that complaining is a competitive sport at KP. My daughter corrected me - it's not a sport. They take it much more seriously than that.

    I don't think there is a better description that Jamzmom's that one minute everything is great and a moment later you swear they have been possessed as they scream at you. There are times where nothing you can do is right. Mom: I sent you some more gummies. DD: What are you doing? Trying to make me fat? A month later. DD: I got the box with the speakers (after recognition). You failed! You didn't send chocolate. Mom: But you accused me of trying to make you fat!?! DD: Doesn't matter. You failed. You didn't send chocolate. :eek:

    The real reason I'm adding to this thread is not just to echo everyone else. But our experience was a bit different. I read all about needing to be supportive, sending encouraging cards during Indoc. Our DD has always been the independent sort. But I figured that with all of the extra stress, she would actually want support and cheering up. She didn't! She didn't like getting cute and motivational cards. She didn't want to receive letters because then she felt like she should answer them and didn't have time. But she wanted mail. She needed us to purchase and mail many things. (Did anyone warn you that you will feel as if you are single handedly supporting the budget of the US Postal Service?) She didn't even want me coming to these forums. ("Stop stalking me! You can't understand! Don't even try!") Oh, another good one - don't send me emails. I get too many official ones and I don't want to have to deal with more. We communicate via IM. I leave it open while I'm at the computer and I wait to let HER initiate contact unless I have a specific question.

    What's my point with all of that? Some KPers need to separate KP from their outside life. Be prepared for your plebe to NOT react like everyone says they will. Don't take it personally if they don't want letters or cards. Maybe our daughter just felt she needed to prove to herself that she could do it herself. I don't know. I DO know that since Recognition she's been a lot more cheerful and friendly. I'm sure that she will revert to the spawn of Satan at some point while studying for exams, if not sooner.

    One last point, about academics. It is HARD! But it is also DOABLE! I'm still not sure how DD survived her first tri. Between Beat Retreat Band practices, cross country practices, physical therapy (dislocated her shoulder during Indoc) and the normal extras for plebes, there was very little time for school work. She had enough sense to ask for help when she needed it. The help is there! Then she wondered why we were so happy with her grades. Our response was that she didn't fail anything, wasn't set back, didn't need to go to summer school and wasn't on academic probation. The GPA even went up a little second tri. Let's just say that your definition of successful may shift, especially when compared to your expectations of siblings at civilian schools.

    It's a difficult thing they choose to do when they go to KP. But the ties that develop between them are fantastic! When I hear DD talk about her friends and the things they do together, I know she is at absolutely the right place for her. One day she will even decide that it was worth it.

    Sorry to be so long-winded! :wink:
     
  11. OldAirForce

    OldAirForce Member

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    Just a note about complaining. I had a talk with my son about chronic complaining before heading out to KP a couple of years ago. Anyone who has done any military time knows KP has no monopoly of complaining. Since he has been at school that really hasn't been an issue. Not that he is perfect, you could call your Mother more often, yes Mt. Fuji is pretty, could you be in the picture also?
     

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