VMI matriculation & next steps.

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by marjorieli, Aug 18, 2012.

  1. marjorieli

    marjorieli Member

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    Greetings from Lexington where we participated in our first Rat matriculation and march out to the sound of drums and bagpipes. It is a joyous experience and it's very elating to be part of a group of proud parents and determined and excited Rats - future VMI Cadets. Please send any advice for next steps...all suggestions are so welcome. Can't wait to have more news from our DS although I expect he'll be very busy and won't have much time for us - and that's how it should be. Anyway - a most exciting time. Greetings to all.
     
  2. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Marjorieli- make sure that you are near the phone around Wednesday as I think that is the day they meet their Fac advisor and will get a couple of minute phone call. Beyond that- make sure you have reservations for Parents weekend!!

    Good luck and best wishes to you and your new Rat!:thumb:
     
  3. HMQ

    HMQ Member

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    And don't miss New Cadet Oath weekend - coincides with Labor Day weekend. There's parade/football game/tailgating on Saturday, after which you can pick up your Rat and have dinner, hang out until they are due back at Barracks for the night. The Sunday ceremony at New Market Battleground is special, and after the ceremony you can picnic together, and then watch the Rat Class parade in the town. Again, you can pick them up when they return to VMI and spend the evening together before return to Barracks.

    This is their first opportunity to see you after Matriculation, and I think it really means a lot to them (and you!). At this point, their Dykes will have counseled them to set short-term milestones to look forward to, and this is the first, with Parents' Weekend following not long after.

    I can't believe our son is now a Second, and that two years have whizzed by since we stood outside Washington Arch looking up at his room on Matriculation day! You'll be amazed by the changes you see in just a few short weeks, and so proud of your Rat! Good luck and best wishes!
     
  4. marjorieli

    marjorieli Member

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    Thanks - we'll be sure to be available on Wed. evening.... and will arrange for Parent's week-end - won't be able to come for New Market. Any recommendations besides protein bars ? Thanks again
     
  5. Goarmymom

    Goarmymom Member

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    We just got back as well! Our DS was so excited and couldn't wait to get things going. As for me, I had trouble keeping myself together. I was excited for him but I'm going to miss him terribly. But we do plan on going to New Market and Parents' Weekend, and hopefully some of the football games.
     
  6. Bird85

    Bird85 Member

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    We sent Gatorade powder and granola bars first week. After a while when the weather cools, you can send them just about anything they like and it won't melt. They get to have a food box in their room to stroe what you send them. Between your DS and his roomates, they should have plenty of snacks. I know in my DS's room, beef jerky was popular too. During exams they liked Mio Energy drink mix.
     
  7. marjorieli

    marjorieli Member

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    Gosh - it's raining today - will they be outside in the rain all day ? I hope it lets up later ! Thanks for the tip on powdered Gator A. Great idea. Sure miss our DS but so happy for him and everyone was great at matriculation !
     
  8. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    I envy all of you - this is such an exciting time for you and for your Sons and daughters as well. If they went with a can do attitude and a little physical preparation they will do ok! Just remember to be supportive, listen to them if you get emails or calls singing the blues and keep reminding them to hang in there even if things seem tough at the present, It does get a lot better if they stick with it. Good luck to all!
    :thumb:
     
  9. bjkuds

    bjkuds Parent

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    poptarts, snack crackers, beef jerky, juice boxes, ramen noodles(they have ways of getting hot water), cookies, nuts; anything that they can eat without cooking. Packages from home are the biggest morale boost. I've also sent fresh baked goods through Engineers without borders for finals week and at different times. Also there is a bakery in Lexington that was happy to deliver to the Post. If you want I can get you that number. Just make sure you send enough so it can be shared with BR's. Having a full food box allows them to skip lunch at Crozet if need be and focus on the overwhelming list of tasks at hand. Shining, cleaning, studying and shining some more. Good Luck to you and enjoy the journey. You have a right to be very proud.
     
  10. bjkuds

    bjkuds Parent

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    Also don't freak out if it doesn't happen. DS (now a 3rd) was the last to meet with his adviser and till they got to him his FA had a dead cell phone..(I assume it is a rare occurrence) hence no call. We did hear from him on Sunday morning though. He ended up catching a ride to church and first thing in the door he was handed a cell phone and told.."Call your Mother" before church starts. His voice was shaky and I think he believed he had made a terrible mistake.. As Bruno stated.. be strong and encouraging. They are overwhelmed by everything at this point. Quitting should not come up in your conversation.. when DS talked about how bad things were we turned the conversation to how hard he worked to get there and the short term goals. Most Rats are feeling the same way. Till next Sunday they will have survived Hell week which is more pressure and dramatic change in their lives than there fellow HS friends will ever do. Once academics start it gives their day a different complexion, and after Hell week, any change is good.
     
  11. larry2013

    larry2013 Member

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    GREETINGS! Yesterday was a beautiful weather day! I echo my suggestions - even for those advanced cadets -VMI remains a unique enivorment - so care pkgs are always boosts!
    I have found that nuts, peanut butter crackers, jerky, even those individual fruit cups - things that will give them some nurtiion are great! Snack bars, down the cereal isles, if your cadet likes, pop tarts, etc - just remember for RATS espically, they have to keep in their food box, supposed to be packaged for individual consmuption - no big bag of chips that will be leftover.
    Also, those powders they can add to botted water. In this warm weather tootis rolls, fruit rollups, smarties, etc wont melt.
    I sent musical cards once in a while - at least our yeaar they got a smile out of them!
    I sent short, inspirational, encouraging emails - not everyday, but often. These first weeks, months - always mentioned the next milestone - keeps them focused on short term, not the LONG journey. Realize that no matter how prepared they thought they were, now that it has begun, wont seem so scary, but will be exhausting and demanding!
    I believe this year, for whatever reason, there is NO football game new market weekend so really havent heard what privileges or plans for saturday. September will be filled with weekend events - I believe there are 3 home games and the corps is being bused to USNA as the corps trip - so busy month! Each home football game the parent council has their tent up and offers hamburgers, hot dogs, etc espically meant for RATS and their families, tho it is opened to all. I know that many Dykes include their RAT in their tailgate group if they have one going on.
    Start and keep sending cards, care pkgs, emails. I am pleased - it looks like this coming week will give them a break from our oppossive heat and humidity!
    larrys mom
     
  12. Pontiac33

    Pontiac33 Member

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    I, too, was a proud parent at Matriculation yesterday. Thank you for all of the suggestions. I have a question about the food packages though. The cadet that brought DS to his room indicated that food had to be locked up until after cadre week is over. Is that correct? I am just trying to time my care packages knowing they will take 2-3 days to get to him.

    One suggestion that was given to us at the Social Friday afternoon was to prearrange a meeting place on Post so when you are there your DS/DD will know where to find you.
     
  13. bjkuds

    bjkuds Parent

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    If memory serves me correctly DS wasn't allowed to check his mail or get packages until after Hell week was over. I would time it so they can possibly pick it up Monday.
     
  14. Pontiac33

    Pontiac33 Member

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    Hum....I was going to send a priority mail envelope with notes of encouragement from home tomorrow. Maybe I should wait until Thursday to send it then, that way I know it will be there next Monday.
     
  15. bjkuds

    bjkuds Parent

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    Let me shoot DS a message to confirm this .. He should get back to me soon and I will let you know. He is there now and will give a definite answer
     
  16. Pontiac33

    Pontiac33 Member

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    Thank you!!!!
     
  17. bjkuds

    bjkuds Parent

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    No problem.. some things can be different from year to year.
     
  18. bjkuds

    bjkuds Parent

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    DS just confirmed.. Packages/letters won't be picked up until after Hell week.
     
  19. Pontiac33

    Pontiac33 Member

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    Thank you, bjkuds. Now I will just send the care package and letters together later this week.
     
  20. AprilWR

    AprilWR New Member

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    We also participated in our first Rat matriculation. What a day! I have to say the march out to the sound of the bagpipes and drums was amazing. The first care package box is already started. Thanks to all for your advise on what to send. :thumb:
     

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