Unfortunately, this is going to be a long story. In our 5 min. phone call yesterday our DS informed us that he ended up deciding to be in the band after all. He was placed in the Band Co. building which we already didn't like because we had a feeling he would then be "encouraged/pressured" to participate in band not just live in the band building (By the way -- anyone know why they segregate band kids in the first place? We think it is odd and have heard weird stories about how band kids are viewed at KP in general) We are very concerned about his band decision, not due to disliking being in band itself, but because of the tremendous time commitment. When he left home he was very clear that he did not want to continue with band at KP, he wanted to do some offshore sailing and be an EMT as his extracurricular activities. These are already enough in our opinion because the more important goal here is to get a great education to prepare him for his service and his career. His goal is to either go Marines or Naval and hopefully get a flight spot at some point. So, we have a few concerns about the band commitment. If anyone has a DS/DD who has tried to combine band, a waterfront sport and EMT as well as do well in the academics, we would love to hear about how it can be done. Here are our concerns: 1. He is enticed by the idea of things like playing in the Macy's Day parade -- does he mean this Thanksgiving (we already booked the flight home -- yikes!) and at inaugurations, etc. He might be at sea even during these things he looks forward to, who knows? How do we find out the band schedule since we need to make flight reservations to come home for Christmas, etc. We counted on him being here at Thanksgiving, etc. 2. If band doesn't work out for him and he needs to quit, is he penalized in any way and can he quit at any time during the year? Can he do it one year and not the next? There is such a variety of new things to experience at KP. 3. How does band effect doing offshore things, how can he do any other activity when he has to practice with the band almost every day? Is the commitment year round then? 4. What is the sea year split based on? We have never understood how that is determined. We thought he would do his first one next November due to choosing waterfront activities, but now we wonder if it will be June due to band (?) 5. Lastly, sort of unrelated. If kids do their sea time in June, how do they get any time to do internships in the summers? Again, we are so new at this and have no idea how things work. Thanks so much to whoever has patience to read this diatribe and respond.