Parent/Midshipman Question

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by castaway, Sep 11, 2015.

  1. castaway

    castaway New Member

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    Greetings, first time poster on this site, but I have been a behind the scenes observer since our DS expressed interest in attending USNA after STEM camp the summer of 2014. He is just starting his sophomore year now and although I am biased, I consider him exceptional…..strong varsity athlete in 3 sports (football, basketball, and baseball), 4.0 grade point average, and an exceptionally compassionate and giving community volunteer. My question…..Aside from the excellent academic and athletic qualities, DS is what I would consider a “normal” teenage male…in other words he is a bit of a slob when it comes to bed making, picking up his laundry, dishes, etc…..very “un-military” For those parents of successful candidates, were your children tidy as teenagers? Did a switch flip at some point before they left for I-day, or was it a cold turkey shock? If you attended USNA, were you tidy as a teenager?
     
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  2. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    Don't worry. His Plebe Summer squad leaders will solve that problem so fast you would be amazed to see it in action.
     
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  3. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    I was always tidy and clean, but you will see a whole variety. A couple of things help as a Mid/Cadet... It's the rules and the last thing you want is restriction or spending a Saturday cleaning. You don't have much stuff, so it's sort of easy to keep clean. You learn the short cuts to keeping a reg bed and clean room.
     
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  4. LongAgoPlebe

    LongAgoPlebe Member

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    I was a two-sport standout and 6th in my class (of 350-ish, IIRC). I was also a complete, utter slob as a girl and young woman. Really, I just didn't care. During PS, at first, I viewed making my bed and folding my clothes just things I was expected to do alongside all the other things I was expected to do. It wasn't until during my first semester that I had this weeklong epiphany, that precision and attention to detail were not just behaviors or things to do - they reinforced habits of thinking that mattered to me. Whether your kids are tidy and precise now or not, parents, they will come to understand that making your rack, cleaning shower walls and floor corners, and folding clothes precisely reflect someone's internal organization and attention to detail, too. It's about building a habit now, with (frankly) pretty trivial things like clothes and beds, so that when it matters later in the Fleet and in life, they do it automatically, without thinking, because they've built the habit.
     
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  5. Vtmom

    Vtmom Member

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    DS was a mess at home. I couldn't see his floor. He had food in there. I had to remind him to throw trash out and bring food dishes back to the kitchen. This was a fight I was unwilling to have because he was a remarkable student, played sports and had a job for his last two years (between 12-24 hours a week) on top of doing community service and attending sports, leadership and stem camps in summer. I decided to let the room slide and just shut his door. He was personally clean, ironed his own clothes, and did his own laundry. He is now a plebe and doing very well. No complaints during the entire PS about anything. Including making his rack and cleaning his room! Even asked for some cleaning products to be sent! I would say concentrate on the things that matter. The cleanliness will come...they know how - they are just too busy (or lazy) to do it now. (I hear that the cleanliness does NOT transfer home when on leave unfortunately!)
     
  6. mclark97

    mclark97 Member

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    I'm currently a Rook at Norwich University in Vermont. I'll admit before Rookdom, I wasn't the tidiest person. When I got to Norwich, a switch flipped. My rack is made every morning before 0600, room is SOPed (for the most part), and I like to keep my desk in order. Its a habit that you learn on your feet. It comes in handy when you're pressed for time, you know where everything goes and don't have to fret about it under pressure. But its different for everybody. Its one of those things thats gonna be trial and error until they find the process that works for them.
     
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  7. THS

    THS Member

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    +1 VTmom, DS was the same, we closed the door to his bedroom until it was too awful to tolerate. They are serious when they say you'll see a transformation in your DS/DD after plebe summer. We were amazed to see a well made bed and organized closet when we visited during PPW. I complimented DS on how neat and pressed he looked in his summer whites and asked about the creases on the front of his shirt. He said he didn't rate dry cleaning service and that he had to iron his shirt and put the creases in. DS never ironed anything at home. I was stupefied!
     
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  8. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    I graduated awhile ago but not a million years ago... I still organize my closet dark to light, left to right. I fold my tshirts like I did at USNA. All my books are shortest to tallest, left to right. My shoes are organized by type and color. I am definitely type A but somethings just were engrained in me. Funny part is most my friends closets look the same too.
     
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  9. landlock

    landlock Member

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    Same as VTmom. Slob here at home, no problem being clean/organized at USNA. I would say tidiness lower down on all that they must do to get in!
     
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  10. BlackKnight89

    BlackKnight89 Member

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    Yeah it's freaky the stuff that never goes away…my fork and knife still sit on my plate the way they did at West Point 25 years ago.
     
  11. cabarle

    cabarle Parent

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    Looking back, I think our daughter met expectations on what constituted a squared-away room. She was in the U.S. Naval Sea Cadets and much of what she learned was applied at home: Squaring away her closet, stenciling clothes, etc. As a Midshipmen, she further refined her organization skills. While on leave, she slips into a food coma on the couch with her dog sleeping nearby. Mrs. Cabarle dutifully removes her dishes....
     
  12. VelveteenR

    VelveteenR Just gathering dust in the nursery...

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    Can't wait to see what VelveteenPlebe's room here at home looks like after he's been back a day or two over T-day break. He sent us pics of his closet and bed at WP, and I almost teared up. Oh please, God, make it stick, make it stick...
     
  13. ahs67

    ahs67 Member

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    This phenomenon is routinely discussed on the midshipmen parents facebook pages, especially during or following a break.
    It's comforting to see those pics posted of mids rooms that look like a category 5 hurricane just blew through. And trust me, there are plenty of parents with the same story. Somehow, they manage to rise to the occasion when they have to. I don't worry about it much anymore, I just close the door.
     
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  14. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    There is some great commentary in this speech about the importance of something as "trivial" as making your rack (bed). If you haven't seen this, its a great motivator and worth the time.

     
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  15. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    What a great speech. Thanks for posting.
     

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