Physics Tutor

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by kpbaseballmom, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. kpbaseballmom

    kpbaseballmom Member

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    Heard from DS that the physics tutor will only be at KP until mid-Jan. DS said that the tutor was an excellent teacher and that many mids had been greatly helped by this teacher. Weren't we told that the tutors would be staying? There is still no Calc II tutor and now they might lose a very good physics tutor. What's going on? Does anyone know? Can this tutor be retained?
     
  2. fairwinds

    fairwinds Member

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    I'm also interested if anyone has information about this situation.

    Son is considering KP and I have concerns about lack of funding and low morale.

    Any insights would be greatly appreciated!
     
  3. nmlcfp

    nmlcfp Member

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    KP Morale

    My Mid is a 3rd class mid just back from sea in November. He loves KP and is happy he chose it over the Air Force Academy. If your son or daughter is considering KP, they should over night there. KP has some funding issues, but they appear to be getting better and Admiral Worley seems to have obtained alot of extra money to spruce things up. Barney square should be beautiful when they finally finish it! feel free to email me if you need more information.
     
  4. baxted

    baxted Member

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    KP morale et all

    My son is a plebe at KP and he really likes it there despite his musings about calculus (he had them last year too!). A change of command always brings some angst in any organization but the walls are still standing, the students are still learning and life goes on. As an old college professor of mechanical engineering, I am quite impressed with the quality of the academics at KP and I'm very impressed with the changes in my son in the short time he has been there. KP is a great choice. I too, would be happy to talk to you if you wish.
     
  5. KPMum2012

    KPMum2012 Parent

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    As for morale, I think others are correct. Any change in administration includes policy changes that will cause grumblings. Also, KP mids have turned complaining into an art form, or a competitive sport. DD went from complaining about not getting enough sleep to complaining that she got too much during the time between Spring Tri Finals and Graduation. :yllol: Even she was able to laugh at that. My point is that one needs to take the complaining with a bucket full of salt.

    Plus there will be times when all mids' morale drops. It is inevitable at a SA. It is hard and stressful. As a parent, you learn to accept the roller coaster of emotions.

    The academics are very difficult. And professors do vary in quality. DD's differential equations prof could only explain things one way. When she asked for help and further explanation, he just repeated what he'd said in class. Such is life. She found other ways to get the explanation she needed. She likes self-study, prep books that break down the problems. She also was more inclined to informal tutoring - working with a friend or upperclassman - than the formal tutoring system. Part of the problem was that with her schedule (Band and 3 seasons of sports) she could never make the official tutoring times. Mids help each other. It's the only way they survive at KP. DD sought help with math and provided help with Physics II and Chem.

    baxted's comments about the changes in DS are on the money. People are still commenting on the changes in our daughter- six months after her last visit home! I'm really going to be interested to see how she changes after her time at sea. She's been learning to operate the boiler system and has been allowed to change a burner by herself. That's got to do wonders for the self-confidence!
     
  6. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    Sorry but I've Got to be me..

    On a couple of topics and thoughts expressed here:

    re: Morale - I'm an active alum with a son who is Class of 2012. Morale has always been an issue at KP and frankly to some degree at all Service Academies (regardless of what you read here or elsewhere). How could it not be? When you take many excellent 18-25 year olds, most if not all had the option of going to places that are "more fun" for college. That said, morale at KP has a few more challenges then other academies, as has been noted the funding is tighter though not really the issue many make it; the academics are as rigorous and the academic calender more tightly packed as the USMMA student basically packs 4 years of education into 3 years on campus, for some though not all, that is offset by the Sea Year experience which I'd say is very positive for at least 85% of the students. In the end though while you are at KP there will always be times when even the most positive student will feel: "KP isn't about enjoying it while you are there it's about being from a great place when you get out" as my DS has occasionally noted over the past 18 months.

    I won't go into it here since there are different kinds of funding issues (Capital vs. Operational vs. rules re: NAFIs) but its clear to me many people here want to simplify this, especially parents, into a bundle called "funding issues = if my DS/DD isn't getting everything I or they think they should right now, there are funding issues." I won't get into that except to say I don't really agree and to rectify things takes multiple years because of how the federal budget process works.

    On those lines, I absolutely want to say that whatever you think about RADM Worley positively or negatively, he simply was not in his position long enough to do anything which substantively changed the funding situation or the implementation of the Capital Improvement program at the Academy. It would be a disservice to VADM Stewart and the staff at the Academy that had been and many of whom continue to labor to improve those issues for the past 10+ years to think that RADM Worley did anything that changed or accelerated those plans. He definitely was supportive of them and was starting to work to accelerate things but there is just no way anybody in the Executive Branch below a Deputy Secretary level can do much to drive reprogramming of funds any faster than 18+ months; it's just how the process works. Worley was only at the Academy for 12.
     
  7. fairwinds

    fairwinds Member

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    Thank you for your responses. I believe all the SA's (probably all universities, for that matter) have their issues. It just seemed that on this forum and others, the KP critics were so much more vocal. For a "newbie" like me, it was a little worrisome. While I never believe everything I read on the internet, it seems that there's usually a little truth in the rumors we hear. Thanks for everyone's insights.

    Still would like to know what's up with losing tutors!

    Thanks!
     
  8. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    Don't worry, they won't run out of tutors until there are no more midshipmen. There are 600+ tutors walking around that campus every day. You just have to take the time to find the right one.

    The hired tutors are a nice perk. We didn't have them when I went through most of my classes, but they can be a huge help to some. They come and go though.
     
  9. jamzmom

    jamzmom Founding Member

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    I enjoyed reading Jasper's & KP2001's comments. I'd take them to the bank. :thumb:
     
  10. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    fairwinds: Perhaps we are more vocal because KP is a maritime vs. military academy and we feel less constrained on which issues we voice opinions on "outside the chain of command". That said for what it's worth speaking just from a personal perspective, I wouldn't trade my KP degree, education or experiences for those of any other college or service academy - and I say that looking back on a "highway of life": through a rear view mirror that is 27+ years long.
     
  11. ParkerMom

    ParkerMom Member

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    While I applaud the spirit of the comments, I am reminded a bit of the Black Knight in Monty Python's Holy Grail: Cut off his left arm, "'Tis but a scratch!" Cut off his right arm, "It's just a flesh wound!" Cut off one of his legs, "I'm invincible!"

    Reduce the food budget, so the food in Delano gets scarcer and worse (it's already ranked the worse food of any college or university in the U.S.), "No problem, we're not starving!" (Although the plebes might not agree.) Get rid of the calculus tutor, "We'll get by, we always do." Get rid of the physics tutor, "No worries, as long as there are upperclassmen, there are tutors!"

    When is it going to end? Cut breakfast to nothing but cereal and milk. "That's alright! Cereal and milk is a nutritious breakfast!"

    Frankly, it's LONG PAST time for it to end.

    I'm waiting with bated breath to see who gets the job as the new Superintendent. Hopefully, by the time my DS graduates, he'll be able to both have a decent meal in Delano and walk out on Mallory Pier without falling through into the drink.

    But then again, I'm a wild optimist.
     
  12. kp13

    kp13 Member

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    It still amazes me that parents seem to complain more about life at the Academy than the Mids. and Plebes.
     
  13. kpmom2011

    kpmom2011 Member

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    ME TOO :thumb::thumb::thumb:
     
  14. ParkerMom

    ParkerMom Member

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    Glad you guys are all so satisfied with conditions at the academy.

    "Nothing to see here, just move along."

    Before you all jump on me, consider that I am interested in KP being as good as it can be. I'm frustrated as hell that that institution constantly struggles to produce the finest merchant marine officers in the world while struggling to adequately feed them and provide decent facilities.

    Enough! It's time to give KP what it needs!

    I'm tired of watching them struggle to "get by" with less and less.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2009
  15. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    ParkerMom: Not jumping on you in any way. I think we, all of us who post here, would like to see the appropriated budget for KP increased and stabilized. That said I wouldn't even begin to assume that would mean any two of us would necessarily agree on where and how the money should be best spent.

    Also the last time I spoke to my DS on the subject of food in Delano which was less than 3 weeks ago, he indicated breakfast was still the best meal of the day generally. Now that he is an upper classmate and doesn't have to get up for breakfast I doubt he would be doing so and going which he is if he didn't feel that way.

    The comment earlier that it's amusing many of the more outraged are parents is indeed interesting and I would suspect symptomatic that each of us hears different likes and dislikes and trials and tribulations from different perspectives at different times from each of our DS/DD and we all still feel our primary responsibility/job description is "parent: protect, support and fight for/on behalf of child virtually unconditionally." That said from my personal experience, all be it very dated, when you are at USMMA some days it's KPS - in every possible way on every topic, and some days it's not all that bad/pretty cool.

    However, in the end for most who live it - it's never about being "at" KP and it's always about being "from" KP - and that means once you've been through it or even at it long enough to see the light at the end of the tunnel, you generally see no reason, the character building experiences you've endured should be any easier for any one after you; and you worry if it is much easier, the quality of those who get through it may be lessened.
     
  16. fairwinds

    fairwinds Member

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    Thanks, jasperdog and ParkerMom, for your thoughts!

    If there are any USMMA mids who post, I would love to hear your opinions, also.

    I am not trying to start a war or words, I just want son to make an informed decision.

    KP is a great Academy with a truly impressive mission!

    Thanks, again.
     
  17. USMMADISTANCE

    USMMADISTANCE Member

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    The physics tutor is a overall awesome guy. He knows what he is doing and has really helped me out. However, its really tough right now because of the split of people taking physics 2 and physics 1. He is the only professional physics tutor so he tries to break it up evenly.

    The professional calculus tutorer position is spotty. There wasnt a professional tutor until about the 3rd week of the 2nd trimester. They now have someone in the athletics department that tutors either calculus 1 or 2. However, his hours are 1230-1300 and 1600-1700. So if your on a sports team is almost impossible to get help from the professional tutor.
     
  18. ParkerMom

    ParkerMom Member

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    fairwinds, I want you to know that our DS was admitted to both the USCGA and the USMMA. He also went to the AIM program the summer between his junior and senior year. At first, his choice was the USCGA, but after finding out more about USMMA and going for an overnight visit, he was strong in his choice of USMMA, and hasn't regretted it for a moment.

    jasperdog, you are so literal! When I made the comment about cutting breakfast to cereal and milk, I was being hyperbolic - I certainly have no notion that Delano has any plans to actually do so!

    As far as it being about being "from" KP and not about being "at" KP, and former mids and even upperclassmen not wanting to 'deny' their younger brethren the "character building" experience that the depravations of KP bring, I take note that the alumni try their hardest to improve things with their amazingly generous contributions to the school, which I interprete as a desire to improve the situation. I also have a personal theory that some of what has been seen as bad behavior, poor attitude and lack of leadership by the upperclassmen (i.e., the incident at the Thanksgiving dinner as one small example) is a result of their having put up with 3-4 years of seeing KP sink farther and farther into poverty during their tenure, with no end in sight.

    I don't know that we couldn't agree on where and how to spend money at KP. At this point, there are so many needs in so many areas that any money spent anywhere would be a positive good. Increases in the operational budget and the capital budget, and improvements to the physical plant: any and all of those would be welcome!

    I worry that without some major infusions of funds, KP could fall behind in areas such as having the most up-to-date simulators, the laboratory and other training facilities that are needed to keep our mids at the top of the heap. Plus, I can't help that the mother in me worries that these guys and gals (still 'kids' in many ways) can't perform their best when they constantly face bad food, meal after meal after meal. It wouldn't take that much to effect a noticeable improvement in the quality of food. Again, I have a theory that the food service workers in Delano have bad attitudes because of the chronic low budgets and the constant abuse they hear from the mids.

    There, I've gotten it off my chest. Maybe someday I'll get a chance to actually do something useful besides get on my soapbox.
     
  19. KPMarineopsdad

    KPMarineopsdad Member

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    Is2dayforhim is a current mid in the first class. He has always brought a unique perspective to this forum and his comments are usually spot on. He has displayed a wisdom well beyond his years which is particularly noteworthy considering the section he is in.:shake: Feel free to check out his observations over the last 4 years. 186 days is2day!!!!
     
  20. Is2day4him

    Is2day4him Member

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    thanks ops dad.
    i am indeed a proud member of section 1E1, the saltiest section at KP.
    as far as insight, i've read through this thread and i'm trying to decide which issues you want the midshipman view of. we have a ton of problems at the school right now and it's only getting more irritating as time goes on. we ARE making moves to bring about the necessary change to save our school, but it is questionable whether or not anyone is willing to listen to us.

    as far as the physics teacher is concerned, i've heard tell that he's thrown in the towel because this is the fourth time they have failed to pay him for his services.

    as far as the rest of the program is concerned... helicopter parenting is destroying a lot of these kids potential in this industry. as soon as things start getting tough, mommy and daddy get involved rather than letting the kid deal with the issues on their own. this isn't helping at all.
    i don't know if these issues are the ones you were looking for midn. insight on, if i missed the boat please feel free to just let me know what's up. :)
     

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