Thank You All !!

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by Treemantwo, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. Treemantwo

    Treemantwo Member

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    My thoughts outlined here are meant as a form of encouragement to others as well as a show appreciation for all those who have contributed to this forum and helped my son in his quest.
    Ten days ago my son received his LOA from the US Merchant Marine Academy with an appointment conditional upon receipt of his CFA, Congressional Nomination, and continued excellence in school. On Thursday, with these contingencies having been met with lightning speed, he received that much coveted Federal Express envelope. With the MMA appointment in hand I couldn't help but reflect on the long journey that got us to this place. My son didn't grow up with boyhood dreams of attending a military academy, but committed mentally late in his junior year of high school.
    The process began and ended his senior year with a congressional nomination, disqualification by DoDMERB, and better understanding of what it takes to succeed. With great fortitude he immediately began the journey by 1st resolving the medical issue. Next, came the decision as to whether or not to attend college on a scholarship or self-prep a 5th year in high school as a post grad student. He decided with wisdom way beyond his age to do a 5th year where he could fine tune his resume, continue to excell academically, and mentally prepare.
    Upon submission of a completed application this past November he vowed to chase the dream of attending the MMA until he turned 25 and, if need be, enroll in a maritime college while trying. With great anticipation the letter arrived after Thanksgiving and with my son away at school I couldn't resist the temptation to hold it up to the light. I was in tears and speechless. Not only did he want the MMA, but the MMA now wanted him!
    The journey was marked with highs and lows, but never the thought of surrender. I want to thank everyone who contributed to this forum because it was an invaluable aid in OUR success. We were silent observers assimilating all the information we could and putting to use the advice people had to offer.
    We will continue to read this forum and seek advice when needed, but also hope that our experience might put us in a position to offer assistance to the next potential candidate. Thanks to you all !
     
  2. KPMarineopsdad

    KPMarineopsdad Member

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    Congratulations to you and your son. Now, as Jamzmom would say "wrap him in bubble wrap" so he doesn't get injured between now and July. Fasten your seat belt the admission process is just the beginning. Now the rollercoaster ride begins in earnest. Indoc, Plebe year, sea year where has the time gone? It seems like just a few months ago we were dropping him off and now it is almost over.
     
  3. 2012kpmam

    2012kpmam Member

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    Congratuations

    If I have any advice , other than that previously offered, it would be to work on his math and physics. Does that mean doing well in his current classes? Of course! But in my mind it also means trying to find tutors/college courses in Calc 1 and Physics and start getting to work! These seem to be the biggest reason why people don't make it at the academy. Good in these subjects already? It's not like working at lightening speed fitting a semester of work into at least 2 less weeks than a normal college semester. I cannot stress enough how important it is to do the ground work now and lessen the pain and disappointment later.
     
  4. nmlcfp

    nmlcfp Member

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    Megadittos on the calculus and physics prep

    I couldn't agree with you more on the calculus, physics and chemistry prep 2012KPmam. My Mid got all A's in all of these subjects in high school and was hanging on by his fingernails hoping to get a C or a D during his Plebe year. We were holding our breaths during finals. You cannot do too much in this area!
     
  5. KPMarineopsdad

    KPMarineopsdad Member

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    I couldn't agree more. Calculus, chemistry and physics are the bane of every plebe's existence. I don't believe that these classes are necessarily more difficult at KP then they are at another service academy but, the trimester system means that they only have 14 weeks to cover 16 weeks of material and the pace is relentless. In addition they will be carrying 17 credits where other colleges consider 15 to be a "full load." So, how can we make it harder? I know, lets only give 3 test for the entire tri that way if you "tank" on the first one you've dug a really deep hole for yourself. We are not trying to scare you or sound too negative. This is an amazing school with amazing opportunities but it is important to understand the challenges ahead. By the time many plebes realize they need help it is already too late. Seek help early and often. Consult those scary upperclassmen. After all, they are still here so they must have figured something out. Sports teams, clubs, Color Guard and the Drill Team are all good opportunities to meet Midshipmen, establish a support group and get an occasional "PONY"
     
  6. jnblucy

    jnblucy Member

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    Definitely Agree on Calculus and Physics

    Congrat to your son and family!!

    Couldn't agree more on the importance of Calculus and Physics. My son did very well in Physics in high school but only took up to Pre-Calculus. When he got to KP and took the Math placement test, he tested into the most basic math class first tri-mester because he was unfamiliar with some of the Calculus equations. He had the additonal challenge of being put in a Physics class before taking Calculus at KP, which apparently is a no-no. The class basically had to learn Calculus and Physics in the same class. He passed Physics, but was really sweating it out down to the final exam. All that's been said here before is quite true... ask upper classmen for help, get to know the professor and take advantage of their office hours, use all tutors available and join a study group.

    I think you may be able to get some information on exactly what the Math Department expects the plebes to know in Calculus when they report. When I went to the Open House last April (well worth it!) one of professors in the math department handed out some information sheets that highlighted the basic knowledge they expect of the students. I posted it on our fridge at home as a constant reminder to our DS. We were willing to pay for a tutor if he needed to get up to speed, but his grades were great, he had a pretty good case of Senioritis by the late Spring and and he gave us the "Yeah-yeah-yeah.. I know all of this stuff." Looking back, not sure he really did.

    He is doing fine in Calculus this semester and loves Terrestial Navigation, which I hear has a bit of Trigonometry in it.
     
  7. Treemantwo

    Treemantwo Member

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    All Helpful Advice

    Thanks for all the feedback. That's why I think this forum is so valuable a tool. Knowing what to expect and the many hurdles yet to be faced at least offers some chance at having a plan. My son has been reading the many posts and I'm going to encourage him to continue to do so to get in the "zone" well before July.
     
  8. zonker

    zonker Member

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    Excellent determination ! Congrats !!

    I'd add CHEM to 2012's list, to complete the triumvirate of "plebe killer" classes.
    Continue to run!
     
  9. Mindy G

    Mindy G Member

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    enjoy the moment, get the bubble wrap, hold your breath until you drop him off and tell him to start working on the academics. Plebe yeaar is hard but not undoable
     

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