Sunday Phone Call

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by Otter1, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. Otter1

    Otter1 New Member

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    Well, we can't wait until Sunday to hear from our DS. We were just wondering if anyone has any idea about the general time of day that the phone calls might take place? Do they get to use thier own cell phones? Don't know how it has been done in the past as this is our first experience with the USMMA. Would love insight from folks in the know, thank you for all the info on this forum and the pictures are priceless :thumb:
     
  2. usmmaparent

    usmmaparent Member

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    Ahhh, I remember the anticipation of waiting for that first phone call. A year has gone by in a blink, although my DS may disagree ;) Last year he used his own cell phone to call. Our phone call didn't come until a little after 5pm EST. Other parents got their phone call early around 8am EST. I also remember my daughter calling my cell to tell me there was a letter from him at home...what I don't remember is the ride home from the mall. I made a 20 minute ride in 7 and a 1/2 :biggrin::zip:
     
  3. baxted

    baxted Member

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    Phone call home

    I remember that first phone call too. Hard to believe it was 2 years ago. I believe it came in mid afternoon around 4 or 5 pm for us but my hazy brain may be lying to me. He did use his cell phone but the time they get to call is when their DI says they can and no one is too particular about things like "time zones". I advise you to strap that mobile phone to your hip, set the ringer to loud and make sure it is charged. Then go about your day best you can.

    This has been posted many times before but to save digging through old threads: be prepared for a somewhat shell shocked DD or DS on that first call. Our DS's first comment was something to the effect of "this place is crazy!" It will get better. Right now your DS or DD is learning to shift their paradigm without a clutch. They will sound a whole lot happier in days to come (albeit a tad tired). They'll get used to the new pace and things will get better but just be prepared to listen and offer support on that first call. Don't ask questions, just let them vent some steam.
     
  4. sdemedei

    sdemedei Member

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    I remember pacing up and down forever before he finally called.
    His D.I. was standing right there during the call, so he was careful with the conversation. We knew he'd be time restricted, so we wrote down our questions in advance in case we blanked, and to optimize every second of the call. We were so happy to finally hear from him.
     
  5. kpfran14

    kpfran14 Member

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    The call can come anytime on Sunday and you may have to just listen and DS/DD may not have time to answer any questions but do have them ready as one of the post mentions. They can use their cell phones, our problem was making sure we were in a place that had service. I can not believe a year has gone by so parents you do survive Indoc. :thumb:
     
  6. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    In my day (before cell phones) we all lined up in the passageway to wait for our turn on the company pay phone. I was towards the back and saw a couple kids get off the phone and quit. I skipped the call and went back to my room. There were many tears shed by plebes that day too as I recall even though many tried to hide it.
     
  7. KP2013Momm

    KP2013Momm Member

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    Our first call came at about 4:30, the second week we did not get a call. I remember because I was teathered to the phone and stayed home both weeks. I remember how great it was to hear his voice and hearing the DI yelling in the background. In fact our DS hung said goodby before time was up.
     
  8. kpbaseballmom

    kpbaseballmom Member

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    Our DS called around 7 pm, so it was a long day waiting. He was pretty shaky and we knew to expect that. He said he was fine, but that things were hard. Luckily, he knew not to let the yelling get to him and just ignore it and to not take it personally (he had seen some DI's trying not to laugh, so he realized it was all a game). You have to just roll with the punches.

    Our DS was out a KP the other day and saw 3 PC walking around with the dreaded "red" folders, meaning they were getting signatures because they were leaving KP already. That's also difficult for the others to know people are quitting already, especially if they have made friends with some of these individuals. When my son was a PC some kid actually bolted for the Gate during indoc, only to be stopped right before he left campus. He had even dropped his bags to be able to run faster!!

    Be encouraging when your child calls, have some empathy that this is hard, but that they will get through it and you have faith in them. Don't ask a million questions as that is what they have been pelted with these last 10 days. You might hear tears and that it natural (but still hard to hear), so don't get too upset - there is also laughter going on that you are not seeing. Good luck to all of you - it's hard on the parents too!!
     
  9. zonker

    zonker Member

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    Sunday: 1st call... (let me hop into the 'way back' machine)
    <5 mins/seemed like <2 mins.
    Was wonderful. He was hoarse & croaky. Maybe rattled a bit, but what came through primarily was tenacious determination.

    Sunday: 2nd call... we waited and waited. Zippo.
    For some reason, they lost?/did not earn? that privilege... not that we knew it at the time. Basically, by 11pm, we figured out that it wasn't happening. We were amazingly disappointed.
    However, it's part of the learning process of responsibility for them.

    Red folders... always disappointing, but I have to hand it to KP.. they handle it well. They counsel kids pretty well. DS having made it though the other side, I can observe "If you are having trouble during Indoc or having 2nd thoughts, then you are not ready/prepared for the physical challengges of the place, the tenacity to address the huge academic workload and pace, or the responsibilities of Sea Year." It is actually a kindness (some could say a Severe Mercy) to quickly get the kids pointed towards 'regular' colleges/other options.

    Some could be a simple medical exhaustion/dehydration/flu. I've seen kids like that come back.

    Some seem surprised that they have to run and wear uniforms. I'm always amazed by that.

    Some have been for incredible lapses of judgement... Plainly, KP says they will do drug tests. They DO. If they get a positive, they run a more accurate test, to assure they are not getting a false-positive. With a year at sea, you don't want them to be a danger to themselves, or to their shipmates.

    Some simply discover that it is harder than they thought.

    There are a lot of different reasons. And I make no assumptions about why any individual has a red folder. It is a tough tough place.

    But EACH of these kids has gone through a rigorous application and selection process. My hat's off to them for standing above most of their peers in meeting THAT challenge and being willing to test themselves.

    All of these kids learn something about themselves... They're really something.
     
  10. Lynpar

    Lynpar Member

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    Kpbaseballmom, you mean some of the class of 2015 already had "red folders"? Yikes! I thought they were not able or allowed to quit before the end of Indoc. :eek:
     
  11. deepdraft1

    deepdraft1 Master, Ocean Steam or Motor Vessels, unlimited

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    This is the way it was when my kid went through indoc back in 2001.
    Check out the link to see how they use to do it...
    http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/photoplog/index.php?n=149 :smile:

    Are those pay phones in the picture even still there? Being a former APL stiff I think it's pretty cool that the nameboard from the old passenger ship SS PRESIDENT CLEVELAND has survived too...
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011
  12. KPMum2012

    KPMum2012 Parent

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    It's hard for me to believe that it has been 3 years since we had that first phone call. We were stationed in Europe at the time and the call came through at about 2 a.m. (8 p.m. Eastern time). We had given up on getting a call and gone to bed. It was not the last middle of the night call and we would not trade those calls for the world. (The next one was the excited - we just completed Recognition call.) The calls can be at any time of day. Be prepared for any time and for the possibility of none the following week. Stuff happens.

    As someone else said, be prepared with a list of questions so you can be sure to cover everything you want to ask. Keep it upbeat. If they need to vent, let them but don't let them wallow in self-pity. Above all, stay calm! I also recommend that you have a pen and paper handy when they call. It is quite likely that they will want you to send them something. You don't want to forget anything on their list.
     
  13. KPMum2012

    KPMum2012 Parent

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    No, as of class of 2012, the pay phones were gone. We were overseas and DD did not have a cell phone, just an international phone card. But there were no phones where she could use the card. Her DI took pity on her and let her use his phone to call Europe.
     
  14. KPDEB2014

    KPDEB2014 Member

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    Our first phone call wasn't until 8pm eastern time. It was a long day! He sounded great although a bit tired...said it was what he expected. Second phone call came at 9:30 am..that was nice! Be sure to write things down! DS didn't have anyone yelling at him, but I got so excited to talk to him I was the one that flustered. Be ready..exactly 5 min after he called, he had to go. I cried after we hung up but was very reassured that he was doing ok! Good luck!
     
  15. jakelly

    jakelly Member

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    I cannot wait! Ahahaha, even though even though I dont have a DS or DD, more like a DB. I'm gonna be calling his parents all day to see if he called and what he said!
     
  16. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    That is waaaay too familiar. I remember how excited we were to earn the privilege of sitting down when using the phones.
     
  17. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    We had one guy quit before breakfast on day 1. The first 50 or so were gathered into 1st Company and marched back to the barracks. We were still stowing our gear when he announced in the passageway that he was quitting.

    One of my friends from LI later told me that he was told to stay by the phone that morning. He got the call and showed up shortly after lunch. As long as another slot opens up before the end of the first day someone else can take it.
     
  18. Mikesdad

    Mikesdad Member

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    I love reading all this....It reminds me of where I was 2 years ago....it will go so fast and one day you'll get a call like i did from son telling me he just pick out his dinner from a cage (China) it really is a roller coaster ride....hang on
     
  19. jjohnson55

    jjohnson55 Member

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    Be prepared.

    You might hear a chipper young offspring telling you how delightful it is to live on the north shore of long island; that the cuisine is fabulous and how positive an experience they have had.

    HOWEVER....

    You might hear your DD/DS sounding exhausted, dejected, morose, hopeless or fill in the blank.

    You might freak out, panicking over what to do for your P/C who might as well be in lunar orbit; you can't get past the front gate anyway.

    You might log onto this site and read all the parent gushing about how strong and confident their plebe sounds; thus increasing your sense of panic and desperation.

    If you are lucky, the parent of an upperclassmen might reach out and tell you how after their first phone call they were convinced their plebe would be home within a day or so, but in the end wound up on the honor roll.

    And then you will realize that this is a time for growth for you who now has an offspring who is trying to take on more responsibility we have coem to expect of an 18 yrs old in this country, and the only thing you can do is let go and hope for the best.

    Because it is all up to them now. Other than a cheerful word, there is not a lot you can do for them.

    Sorry if this sounds negative. But that phone call may be tough for you to take.

    as for me, in the end, my DS wound up on the honor roll. Have faith and let them know you believe. It is all you can do.

    Good luck to all.
     
  20. sjpostiglione

    sjpostiglione New Member

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    First Phone Call

    We just got our 1st phone call. It is 2 p.m. central time. Very exciting! Good luck everyone!
     

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