Shopping for school.....

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by navig8r, Apr 4, 2010.

  1. navig8r

    navig8r Member

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    I realize that all questions will probably be answered when Logging In for the Class of 2014 arrives, BUT in an effort to plan ahead, can anyone make suggestions for shopping for the required items on the checklist? We are having Spring Break and I would like to get a head start if possible.

    In accessing the Logging In document for the Class of 2013, I see basic items required. Should I assume that most of that list remains the same from year to year? Fourteen T-shirts, pairs of socks and BVD's all white are probably a safe bet. But I don't know if I understand what "navy blue PT shorts" are - and I didn't see a color listed for the compression shorts. Can anyone help with answers to things like that?

    I have also heard that there are the things that aren't on the list that are always good to have - like duct tape.

    I was unsuccessful at scheduling the wisdom teeth removal for this week due to the oral surgeon's busy schedule but I could probably get an appointment with the doctor for necessary vaccinations - if I could be relatively certain they would not have changed from last year. Anyone know if those requirement change from year to year?

    All expertise gratefully welcomed!
     
  2. ParkerMom

    ParkerMom Member

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    Oh, goodness, navig8tor! Your post certainly brought back memories - it seems like much more than a year since we were dealing with those issues!

    Most of the things in Logging In don't change from year to year, but there are some changes - you just never know what they will be! It's a pretty safe bet that the immunizations won't change. PT shorts are simply the shorts guys wear for sports and stuff - to play basketball in, or to run in - that sort of thing. They're usually made of some kind of nylon material and come almost to the knee.

    I don't really remember what color the compression shorts we bought were, but I do remember that that was a big question among the mom's of the class of 2013. I'll ask my DS what we ended up with (I think it pretty much came down to a personal preference for black or white, but I'm not sure.)

    There is a short list of other stuff that's useful (like duct tape); I'll see if I can resurrect what DS took with him.

    I'm sure your post with spark many responses - there are also many threads from last year that discuss all this.

    Good luck! You're at the beginning of a period of a lot of stress, anxiety, and fun!
     
  3. navig8r

    navig8r Member

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    Parkermom -
    Thanks for your post! You really made me smile.

    I know I'm probably not the only one wondering and it's so funny for me when I look back on things like these from high school and go "Jeez, was I ever that dumb?!" and the answer is most certainly.. YES!!!! And as DS made it through freshman year I was the first one saying I should write down all the little unpublished hints for the next class.

    So far the KP family that I haven't even officially become a part of has been nothing short of wonderful.
     
  4. kdbax

    kdbax Member

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    "Navy blue PT shorts" - You're pretty safe with navy workout shorts from a sporting goods store.

    One thing I learned is not to completely trust your plebe-to-be when it comes to buying supplies. My DS did a lot of his own shopping - and the night before Indoc (very late - we went to a Mets game), he realized that he had purchased 14 pairs of white Youth socks. They didn't even fit his 9 YO brother.:rolleyes: baxted can tell you all about going out at 6:30 a.m. to find a CVS in Bayside and purchasing their entire supply of socks.:yllol:
     
  5. KP13Mom

    KP13Mom Member

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    Parkermom~can you believe it's almost been a year and we are still here!

    Navig8tr-

    Don't buy top of the line tshirts, socks and towels. They will last during indoc, be stenciled and then used to polish shoes.

    Resupplied all items during parent weekend. Went with tighter tshirts to fit under the uniform.

    Sent a box of basic school supplies when we got home. DS didn't want to carry them at Indoc. Got to know the postmaster. Once DS had email, received several 'could you ship.....' each arriving after coming home from shopping and dropping it at the post office (PM name is Dave). NEX ran out of supplies within a day or 2.

    Sent black and white compression shorts. Both colors worked.

    Make copies of all paperwork and have an extra set for backup when dropping off at Indoc.

    Enjoy the ride. I have learned to love rollercoasters:thumb:.
     
  6. Mindy G

    Mindy G Member

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    The year has flown by quickly, we found all the white towels at Walmart or Costco, DS bought compression shorts, navy mostly at Modells or Dicks. The sneakers were the hard part had to call around, wanted to get him 2 pair but he only wanted 1. Guess what I had to find and ship him later?
    DONOT delay get those wisdon teeth out before you get there, you won't have time during the year and it probably is not how you want to spend a vacation.
    Welcome to the KP family and keep posting questions!!
     
  7. wac2013

    wac2013 Member

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    definitely bring 2 pairs of shoes, if for nothing else than you'll probably end up ruining one pair. and as for the wisdom teeth, DEFINITELY not something you want done over a break. take it from me. get them out while youre still at home and it will make your life much easier.
     
  8. navig8r

    navig8r Member

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    Oh boy! Thanks everybody - really good info. I figure I will wait to find out the model numbers required for running shoes before getting them, but never thought to get 2 pair! That was a great tip.

    The wisdom are coming out April 22, we have the TWIC appointment April 13 - but I didn't know TWIC wouldn't take a check - that was a good tip too.

    I'm going to press my luck and beg your indulgence for a couple more questions.....

    DS wears contacts. He's not bringing them to INDOC. But I want to get him a spare pair of glasses to bring (just in case). Anyone have suggestions? Am I safe getting him regular garden variety frames or should I be thinking in terms of something heavy duty? I read they can't be Transitions and he can't use sunglasses, but I though just an extra pair was a good idea. Any advice?

    And... it's a good bet DS will be in Band Co. I hear many dorms have been remodeled and are air conditioned but not Band Co. If this is the case, what is the type of fan he should bring? I know I read something about which ones are best but I can't find it. And I think I read that it should be wrapped in a certain way to make it more easily carried when reporting to INDOC. Anyone?
     
  9. kdbax

    kdbax Member

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    Our DS is Band Co. To be completely honest, the fan didn't last much beyond the first trimester. He did have a desktop model - we rigged the box with punch holes and twine so he could carry it. That worked fine for Indoc.

    Glasses are a great help during Indoc - as our son explained, sometimes they got going so quickly in the morning there was no time to put in the contacts. I would go with garden variety frames. Bring the contacts anyway, though - our DS did use them in the later part of Indoc, and after Indoc he rarely wore his glasses.
     
  10. wac2013

    wac2013 Member

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    youre fine with normal frames, mine didnt even come close to taking a beating during indoc other than falling off my face once or twice. its one of those things that you most likely wont need, but if you do need another pair, you REALLY need another pair. i would bring the contacts, because he's going to want to start wearing them the second indoc ends, if he's anything like me. but youre right- there is NO time in the morning to put contacts in. so glasses are the ticket for a few weeks.
     
  11. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    I'm just going to add my support for the 2nd pair of glasses. Don't worry about heavy duty, just make sure they aren't the flimsiest.

    I actually got kicked (wasn't that hard) in the face during indoc during the morning PT and it ended up bending my glasses a bit. I was able to bend them back to somewhat normal, but would have been nice to have had a back-up pair as well.
     
  12. zonker

    zonker Member

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    Fans:
    I saw them available on campus at the NEX (think of it as the Navy equivalent to the Student Store---sorta).
    Easy to get one there, or a Costco on Long Island/etc.
     
  13. wac2013

    wac2013 Member

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    probably better to bring one. the nex is great, but they dont stock alot of stuff and if more than say, 3 people want the same thing.... one of you is out of luck. plus, unless you go ahead of time, we didnt get to go to the nex for supplies until a few days from the end of indoc. im not sure whether we were allowed to use them during indoc or not, my room was actually TOO cold (6 of one, half dozen of the other:biggrin:) but its pretty bad in the companies with no A/C. most guys that brought them brought small portable models, just enough to get some air flow. handles duct taped onto the boxes work well, and remember to put your name on it as well.
     
  14. KPDADTX57

    KPDADTX57 Member

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    Ok let's see if we can short circuit some of this for navig8r - the list below dates back to 2007; we took what we felt were the best suggestions from this and the other forum, cut and pasted comments into a word doc and then put together our DS packing list. When DS showed up everything fit in one medium size soft bag (cheap) including the fan - it weight 25 lbs tops. They get overloaded with stuff the first day - so get it in one bag.

    There is probably advice on the weekly call home plebes are permitted to make with cell phones - it used to be that only pay phones were used to make calls home during indoc and that is what our DS had to do initially. Now I understand they may let them use a cell phone under the direction/supervision of a DI. We sent him up with a pay-go phone with about $30 on it. When he was finally allowed to use call it worked fine and then we sent up his good phone later.

    Current M/N's may want to chime in if some items are unnecessary or no longer permitted. For all of those who see your comments below - my apology in advance for using without permission, but this should help.

    Notes from Forums

    Do not address your letters as "Plebe Candidate John Smith" until AFTER Indoc. Address them as just "Candidate John Smith" DURING Indoc. They will not become Plebe Candidates until after they complete Indoc. Ya'll trust me on this.

    try to stick closely to the list they give. the only thing i brought extra was gold bond, extra socks/underwear, and a small flashlight, and saftey pins, also a big hint is get moist towelets for attempting to keep your hygine up during indoc...

    i was happy with only 3 pairs of compression shorts... you can wash them out in your sink...
    http://www.bargainoutfitters.com/cb/cb.asp?a=221739


    Rolls of quarters, dimes, and nickels
    Stamps
    Pre-addressed envelopes and writing paper
    Telephone credit card
    All your important phone numbers and addresses
    Extra pair of eyeglasses (including contact lens wearers)
    Alarm Clock - NO CLOCK RADIOS
    Lint Brush or masking tape
    Pictures of family and girl/boy friend (a visual link with home, although not allowed on desks right away!)
    Small pen flash light
    Table or Window fan (about 12 inch/oscillating...New York is HOT AND HUMID during the summers, even for Oregonians!)

    We suggest that you put small items in zip lock bags so that if the DI asks you to dump out your duffel, only a pile of sealed bags will fall out. You will not have time to chase things that roll down the hallway. Rolled contents in ziplocks by hand to get the air out - also re-use them again for sea year packing.

    Ask your Midshipman about his/her need for a state flag. In the past, midshipmen have been required during Parents Weekend to display a flag from their state. You may be able to obtain the flag from the midshipman's high school, from the senator or representative who nominated your midshipman, from your state capitol, or from a local flag store. This is sometimes more difficult than it seems, so you may want to start early.

    recommend packing three extra sets of: undershirts, underwear, and white socks. If the inspection drawers are still the same you need three and can simply use those for the inspection drawers and put the others in the non-inspection drawer for daily use. The regs on inspection drawers have changed, but chances are they'll change again prior to the new candidates reporting. another good thing to bring, though you won't use them till after indoc is as many pairs of solid black dress socks as you can, you'll be thankful you did later.

    will second that ......throughout all the inspections I’ve had the same 3 pairs of everything tucked away for inspections and then i just threw everything in a bag for inspections and put the three good pairs in the drawers

    this year you got docked points if you only had 3 pairs of everything. they want them to be "working" drawers, so i'd suggest at least 5 of everything

    Ok, so the skinny is...pack everything on indoc list PLUS 5 more pairs of all the under garments for inspection (not to be used, but just for "show")?

    We sent son with a 10" desktop "turbo" fan that fit into his duffle. It worked well he said. A seasoned Mom once told me to pack just the things on the list & send extra socks, etc. so that the box would arrive at the end of Indoc. And she advised to buy the cheap socks/t-shirts as they take a real beating in the beginning. (They do their own laundry during Indoc) Buy the better quality stuff later on.

    The bag that you see them carrying all around in the Indoc photos is the one they supply for them to collect their PT gear, new shoes, ect. I understand that the bag they take in with them gets to go through a little inspection, then ends up in their room. I recall they took son's alarm clock out of his bag but gave it back to him after Indoc. Keep in mind, this was two years ago so things may have changed on that front.

    bring a power strip...


    I forgot to mention that your son will probably need a "Swiffer mop" and the swiffer wet cloths -- Not the wet mop just the regular wet cloths. This is invaluable for inspections. The command inspections are "TOUGH" nothing slips by. Has he told you he does not sleep in his bed? Only on top. To make a regulation bunk takes 2+ hours. They sleep on top all four years. My daughter asked for a sleeping sheet when we came down for parents weekend. She also wanted a roll of duck tape (to secure the bunk), and her own iron.
     
  15. navig8r

    navig8r Member

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    KPDADTX57, I am humbled and totally appreciate the effort you took to come up with that post. It was extremely helpful in so many ways.

    I read the comments regarding the "extras" for inspection to DS and you are his new hero. He understood EXACTLY what that all meant and how it would be an amazing idea, based on his own overnight visit experience.

    This morning I casually mentioned the fact that I was going to have to track down a particular model of New Balance running shoes while I was getting my coffee at my local bagel shop. The owner of the store (whose daughter plays tennis in college) gave me a great tip that may help other parents who will ALSO be tracking down these shoes (once we know the actual model number).

    There is a place in Bergen County NJ that is pretty much the largest New Balance dealer in the country. I think the name of the place is New Balance of North Jersey. For parents who live in the tri-state (NY/NJ/CT) area, they are located on Route 17 in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ. And evidently it is worth the trip to have the student professionaly fitted by their experts. Once the wearer's profile is entered in their computer, all one need do to get additional pairs is call them and they will ship directly to the school. Evidently tennis players in colleges do this all the time.

    For the students who live in the other 47 states, they also have a website: www.aperfectdealer.com. If you try on a pair of similar New Balance running shoes at a local store, you can probably chance an internet order and do just fine.

    Talk about valuable info from an unlikely source!
     
  16. usmma2013dotcom

    usmma2013dotcom New Member

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    We found that pre-printed post cards w/stamps and fill in the box stuff circle how you feel worked. Got one back pretty much every day. Also sent a small ironing board after indoc. They fold nicely and don't cost much to send. If you time it they'll get it right after indoc. The flag you can order on line for 3 or 4 dollars. I was asked for an American flag so more than 3 plebes could be in the same room. Didn't hear much about that after though. The swiffer broke down so it could fit in a prepaid usps box. You can jam those things full if you try. Don't bother with a "send after indoc box." DS thought he would need books and other stuff. Havn't sent that box yet, don't think DS will ask for it. DS hasn't looked back once.
     
  17. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    If your kid is frugel/cheap like many of them are they will continue to do their own laundry vice paying for it to be done and use that portion of their activity fee to dry clean and pres their SDBs, etc. Our DS is at sea now and whan my wife did finished washing the stuff he didn't take to see we had many socks with names and even years that don't match his ... it was really nice to see that some things haven't changed in the 30 years since I did my own laundry in the zero deck of Barry Hall....
     
  18. navig8r

    navig8r Member

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    Any advantage to a steamer vs and iron? We were the guests of our local parents association last month and someone mentioned their son had been something of a celebrity for having a small clothes steamer.

    Because I had been thinking of trying a steamer for drapes, etc., I found a small one on the HSN website but it was out of stock. Found the same thing brand new on ebay for $10 less and it came with a second smaller handheld steamer.

    I was wondering if the travel size steamer might not be a bad idea for "after Indoc". It works great but can it be as useful as an iron?
     
  19. dblomomkp2013

    dblomomkp2013 Member

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    The most helpful input that I can share is that we packed all of our DS's needs for INDOC in a green, standard, military duffle bag (the one that has backpack like straps). This allowed his hands to be free. DS had 2 pairs of running shoes~one he wore to INDOC and one packed away. The most useful toiletry item that he took (besides toothpaste, toothbrush and deodorant) was a product called Body Glide~it is an anti blister/anti chafing stick~that we wrapped duct tape around the container, so he did not have to take the entire roll.
    When classes began, the NEX ran out on many school supply items. I went to Staples and bought items like I was supplying a small personal office, stuffed it all in the large Flat Rate Mail box and shipped it off to DS.
    Hope this helps~there is a lot of good information out there!! Good luck!!
     
  20. proudmomcolorado

    proudmomcolorado Member

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    underware

    I know, I know, subject matter. Just to let you know that ds lost quite a bit of weight during indoc, so if your ds/dd are right there between sizes, opt for some of their underware to be on the smaller size. I guess it needs to fit just so for all the indoc activities. LOL. :redface:
     

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