When are you sure?

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by Mman5247, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. Mman5247

    Mman5247 Member

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    Spoke to recent grad asking how she know she would like KP. She said despite overnight visits and having family in the business, she really wasn't sure if she belonged there until sea year. She loved it and knew then that a maritime career was the right fit. It seems most love sea year but you have to make it through a few trimesters to get to that point. Have you ever heard of someone who doesn't enjoy sea year? At that point, I don't think there are any good options to get out as both the mid and US Govt have a lot invested by then. Just curious.
     
  2. baxted

    baxted Member

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    Leaving after first sea year

    My understanding is that a Midshipman can walk away after the first sea term. Someone with more experience, please correct me if I'm wrong. Sadly, some Midshipman wash out from the program from failing their sea projects but that is a different thread!
     
  3. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    I don't know that I ever "liked" KP, at least not in a normal sense. As far as when did I know that I would like the maritime life? I would guess I had an inkling I boarded a vessel as part of the KP program. I am not sure if it is still done, but early in Plebe year, we rode the KINGS POINTER to a visit the Moore McCormack Brooklyn docks and made an tour of one of their break bulk ships. Of course neither the KINGS POINTER, the Moore McCormack docks or US break bulk ships are still around. . .

    The classes that kept me going Plebe year were the practical classes (both Nautical Science and Marine Engineering). We went back during the last quarter of Plebe year to the same dock and a similar ship. When I think back to how little I knew during that first tour compared to the second time through, it was quite a difference. My feeling was even stronger. Of course a few weeks later when Sea Year started, well, that was like getting an injection straight into a vein.

    There are those that don't like Sea Year. It IS a pretty big commitment to be away from home and family, but for those of us that don't (didn't) live in the NY/Northeast US, Plebe year was good training for the isolation.

    Working in the maritime industry has been something that I have enjoyed now for a few decades. It can be adventerous, and that is something that I have always enjoyed. Even though I haven't sailed in many years, my work is still adventerous at times. I don't completely mind that.
     
  4. kpbaseballmom

    kpbaseballmom Member

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    Some mids do not like sea year (the loneliness, far from home, etc) and decide that KP is not for them. Others like Sea Year too much and don't do their projects or only do them partially and fail them. As a rule, the Sea Projects are very doable, but the mids have to devote at least 2 hrs. a day to them and that's after working all day or even part of the night and all day, especially if they are going from port to port within several days' time. It's especially hard when they think they have 4 or 8 months to do the projects and don't get on them right away. Then when they see how much work there is to do, they sometimes panic and throw up their hands.

    Overall, most students will say that they really liked Sea Year and would have loved it if it wasn't for the Sea Projects. Like everything about Kings Point, you have to be an exceptionally mature person to go there and be able to see life's "big picture", often not easy for an 18 year old. BTW, those students who have gone to another college for a few years come in with a much wiser perspective.
     
  5. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    Maybe Sea Projects have changed, but I certainly did NOT work two hours a day on mine. This isn't to say that I didn't work on mine, but I did not find it to be a pain. Of course, time DOES blur things.
     
  6. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    There are always some classmates who never come back to school from sea year. My plebe year roomate was one. I never knew why he just decided he should be somewhere else. Everyone has their own reasons for staying/going so you should never make your own judgements by what others do.

    When did I KNOW I made the right choice in KP? When I started my first job, thats when it really hits you what your education did for you. It's been reinforced for me several times over the years. I even quit my job without a new one in the middle of the recession to make a career change. I had a new job in hand in relatively very little time and 15 years later KP got me the best job I've every had ... yeah, KP is/was definitely for me.
     
  7. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    Yeah, I have never been out of work for more than two months since I got out of school.
     
  8. Mman5247

    Mman5247 Member

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    Thanks

    Thanks everyone for your stories. Keep them coming. Any current mids out there or parents who can speak for them? Does anyone know for sure about the 'pay back' threshold?
     
  9. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    "Pay Back" threshold? Not sure that I know that there is one. A maritime career probably requires more commitment than any other non-military career. Going to sea requires one to give up all of the usual perks of a "normal" life, for months at a time.

    Even working ashore in the industry will most likely having to be on call for most of the year, having to work ridiculously long and/or irregular hours, outdoors in some nasty weather and often in parts of the world that you don't even want to think about.

    Pay Back? Well, that is when you know.
     
  10. Mman5247

    Mman5247 Member

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    Clarification

    Thanks cmakin. I meant, at what point do you owe the government money if you fail out or resign from the academy. Suppose you're an A-split. You are well into your 2nd year before you return from sea term. If you didn't enjoy sea term, can you drop out without paying a financial penalty?
     
  11. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    Oh, I have no idea.
     
  12. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    I have never heard of anyone actually having to pay anything back.
     
  13. thohill

    thohill Member

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    If you are separated from the Academy after the beginning of 2nd class year, you may be required to reimburse the government, but there is somebody who makes the final call on that, not sure if thats MARAD or what.
     
  14. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    Probably not necessary for anyone regularly reading this board but "the beginning of 2nd Class Year" is basically the start of your third year, i.e what would be your Junior Year at a "regular" college or university. And thanks to tohill for a shot/to the point answer to the original question.
     

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