Failed a Class - AFROTC

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by StealthyPilot, Aug 11, 2018.

  1. StealthyPilot

    StealthyPilot New Member

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    Currently I am gonna be an AS200 in a couple weeks and last semester I failed this terrible math class with an even more terrible of a professor. Long story short he was gone most the time because of a month long vacation, and because of this he had the bright idea of giving us most our exams in the last 2 weeks of school; including our final. Needless to say studying for 5 math exams plus a final in 2 weeks on top of all my other classes led to a failing grade. Got like a 57% or something. My other classes I took for my engineering degree I did alright but math is my worst subject.

    On top of this I had to witness through a facebook livestream a good friend of mine who was in the Air National Guard kill himself on Christmas Eve just before that semester started. Also needless to say it left me pretty emotional. I am no stranger to death, I lost all my grandparents and my girlfriends little sister in high school. I came around to creating my own way of dealing with it which is mostly just talking about it with whoever is willing to listen and to play a lot of video games. I am not depressed or suicidal or anything. I just needed time to grieve. Time was something though I couldn't get unfortunately. I take full responsibility for my failure, I just want to fix the whole situation.

    My question is what can I expect after failing a class? Is it redeemable, will they take into account my situation or tell me to stop making excuses? My GPA for each semester has stayed above 2.0 and I'm a none contract cadet. My overall cumulative GPA so far is a little over 2.5
     
  2. FL_FlyMom

    FL_FlyMom Member

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    Dear StealthyPilot,

    My heart goes out to you on the death of your friend and the circumstances around that. No matter how much loss we may have dealt with in our lives, to witness your friend on livestream kill himself is beyond tragic in every way. You stated that you could not get time off to grieve, yet, were you able to get grief counseling? Managing this is not something to handle alone... grief and bereavement is a complicated thing, often similar to PTSD. It absolutely compromises one's ability to think well and handle normal daily activity. Please, please find a counselor, a group, a church, or someone that is trained to help those in the aftermath of suicide or death of loved one.

    About your class, my first thought was to re-take the class with a different professor. Find out if you can do that and have the new grade replace the old grade. Your school administrators should have some on-campus resources for supporting bereaved students and dealing with a failed class. Find out what resources they offer for your situation! Unfortunately, what you are going through is not uncommon, so they may have an academic action plan for bereaved students that allow them to re-take tests or to retroactively withdraw from a class.

    You also may find this article helpful.... there are lots of options for handling a failed class.
    http://college.usatoday.com/2013/11/20/5-strategies-to-handle-failing-a-class/

    It is tough now, but you absolutely can get through this.
     
  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Agree, retake the class. It will replace the grade with the college, but I'm pretty sure it will still be included in your GPA for AFROTC purposes, along with the new grade. So, while not as good, the new grade helps out there as well. If your GPA is currently above the minimum for both the semester, and overall, then I don't expect the consequences will be too severe. You will certainly get a lecture and I'm sure you'll also be asked why you didn't seek out help as many units provide tutoring for at least some subjects.

    If it was Calculus that you failed, then check out Khan Academy which has free online education materials. They cover other math subjects as well. Sometimes a different education approach can help, and it can certainly help overcome a poor professor. If you're going to be an engineer you will undoubtedly need to master math.

    Good luck. Let us know how things work out, for others in your situation if nothing else.
     
  4. Jmoney457

    Jmoney457 Member

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    It's never the prof's fault. His job is to assess how well you taught yourself the material, not hold your hand all the way through. You should've been proactive and expected that you would eventually be assessed on the material and were not going to receive what would've just been a free grade.

    So you knew you had work to do and just turned the other way.

    Great excuse to play a lot of video games. You are not someone I would desire as one serving and leading our airmen into war.

    Take responsibility and reassess yourself.
     
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  5. LTV24

    LTV24 Member

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    There are clearly two views here and I think both make a great point. One side of me says retake the class and be resilient, be completely honest with yourself and do what you didn’t before to make it happen (study, get tutoring, communicate to your mentors and det staff, even go to khan academy, work like hell and give it all you got). However the other side of me says stop with the excuses, you pretty much just addressed every possible variable but yourself. Instead of blaming the things you can’t control, focus on what you CAN control...yourself. I feel for you, really I do, but blaming and making excuses is just going to disable you and drive everyone insane. You’ve got options, it’s your choice to make the most of them! Remember, you’re not the only one out there struggling (meaning don’t feel alone and definitely don’t sulk around). Best wishes!
     
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  6. Pima

    Pima 10-Year Member

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    I am going to leave everything else alone, but this statement
    I think you need to contact your cadre as of yesterday. 2.5 is low, low, low, even for an engineering major. The avg AS200 tech major selected for SFT has @3.0 gpa.
    ~ Yes, they say 2.5 cgpa to remain in AFROTC, but the reality is 2.5 is the minimal, it in my opinion not competitive for SFT...unless...you have CoC support, det. job, maxxed PFA and AFOQT, plus no DoDMERB issues.

    I think if you talk to your cadre being frank and honest, they may give you some leeway. HOWEVER, let's be real you will have to prove yourself come this fall. That means MAX your PFA. It means very strong results on your AFOQT. Volunteering for every opportunity offered while maintaining a much higher gpa by midterms...think the 3.2+ area fall semester.

    Freshmen year is hard, we all get that, but as others have stated you need to take responsibility of your life.
     
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  7. turtlerunnernc

    turtlerunnernc Member

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    I am so sorry for the loss of your friend and how it happened. It's horrible, no way around that. I am not familiar with AFROTC, my son is an AROTC cadet on scholarship. So, he must maintain a 2.0 to keep it.

    Like you, he had some horrible things happen that affected his grades. Over Christmas break his freshman year one of his best friends was murdered by his step father. He went back to school the day after his funeral. Needless to say he was not in a great place mentally. Dug himself into a hole. He managed to pull himself out. The next Christmas break another friend was killed in a car wreck. He again went back to school the day after his friends funeral. This brought back all the emotions of the prior year, throw girl trouble into the mix, you get the picture. Another hole. Again, he somehow managed to dig himself out.

    My point is, you can't make excuses. You need to get the job done. If your professor isn't teaching you, you have to teach yourself.

    I highly recommend couseling, grief therapy or speaking with a pastor. We are not meant to process horrible things like that on our own.

    Best of luck to you.
     
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  8. bookreader

    bookreader Member

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    I'm so sorry @turtlerunnernc for the things your son has had to deal with. Two deaths is brutally hard. And well, I understand about girl troubles (I have 2 boys) and how that can derail a young person.
    I remember your posts from a few years back when our sons were both looking at VMI.
     
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  9. StealthyPilot

    StealthyPilot New Member

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    Good job at nit picking what I said. As well as putting words in my mouth. I do take full responsibility for my actions and I have been taking 10 credits worth of classes this summer to makeup for it.

    In all honesty I don't tell people at school stuff like this. Because if I tell them, I fear they have the audacity to tell me that watching my dead best friend I watched murder himself is somehow an excuse to feel bad. Should I be a cold hard emotionless invidividual instead?


    And with all due respect, you should be ashmed of yourself for disgracing the good memory of a suicidal service member that I lost. My biggest regret in all this failure is not being there for him as he told me he was gonna put a bullet in his brain. Despite all the "i love you's" and "dont do its" I told him. I was helpless to stop him. That is my biggest regret and an even more tremondous of a failure than any class I will ever take.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  10. GoCubbies

    GoCubbies Member

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    I am sorry about what happened to your friend.

    However, you do seem to have a way way with turning things around and manipulating the situation.

    How someone disgraced the good memory of your best friend... I don’t see how you got there from anyone’s post. I really don’t.

    YOU CHOSE to feel like someone disgraced your friend. You could have chosen another feeling when Jmoney replied to your post. Yet, as I said before, you CHOSE to feel like someone disrespected your friend’s memory. I didn’t see it that way. No one can make us feel or react to something. We all choose our feelings and reactions. You chose the feeling of your friend, God rest his soul, being disgraced. Not Jmoney’s fault.

    There’s this thing called resiliency. Some have higher degrees of it than others. Something bad can happen and a person becomes a basket case. That doesn’t make that person a bad person at all. Something bad can happen and a person picks up the pieces and they’re on their way again tracking to be general or flag officer. Maybe the USAF has resiliency training. I know the Army does- maybe 15-20 hours/year?

    Hope you get back on track with your studies and get any help you may need. The way things went south after you saw a friend die suggests you may need to some help- and that does not, by any means, indicate you’re a bad or weak person.

    Bottom line is if you got a 2.50 GPA as a freshman, then you need at least a 3.50 as a sophomore (unless you repeat classes) to get you to a 3.00.
     
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  11. StealthyPilot

    StealthyPilot New Member

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    Everything you said is true. But can I ask a serious question? Please answer as honestly as possible. Forgive me if my emotions are a little compromised. This is emotional for me to remember.

    Is watching my friend blow his head off an excuse for having a lapse in grades that was otherwise a 3.7 GPA the semester before? If so is it a valid excuse? Or just another excuse?
     
  12. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    StealthyPilot: There’s nothing to gain by continuing this back-and-forth. Your question is “what to expect?” The only ones who can answer that is your chain of command. So your best next step is to speak with them directly. You say you take full responsibility for what happened with your grades. Well, then, do exactly that with your chain of command. They will dictate the consequences, and you will have to live with them, because that’s what taking full responsibility means.

    There’s the well-known saying that goes something like, “You can’t control what happens to you. But you can control how you react to what happens to you.” Best wishes to you.
     
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  13. StealthyPilot

    StealthyPilot New Member

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    Yes sir, thanks for the advice.
     
  14. Futuremarine98

    Futuremarine98 New Member

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    Your making excuses for yourself. Death is a part of life in the military, especially suicide. If you can't handle it then don't join the military.

    Taking responsibility and grow up.
     
  15. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    @StealthyPilot
    I am very sorry this has happened in your life.
    As my first boss told me at my first duty station, “There may be good reasons for what you did, but there is no excuse.” You are accountable and responsible for your performance as a student, which is your job at this point in your life. Own it, tell the people who need to know, figure out your recovery plan.
    It is also perfectly ok to seek counseling assistance from a pastor or student counseling center - you are grieving, you probably have some survivor’s guilt, you don’t have all the tools you need to coach yourself through this rocky point.
    Someone above mentioned “resilience.” You will need this to get through all that life will throw at you, especially in the military.

    I was in the Navy Staff spaces in the Pentagon on 9/11. Late that night, in our temporary spaces in another building, the Chief of Naval Operations looked around at the senior officers gathered, all of us disheveled, exhausted, coughing, shocked, and said something along the lines of “We have seen things today that our mind’s eye will never forget. We look around this room and know some of us are in that smoking rubble over there. Some of us got out. Some of us didn’t. It is horrific to imagine the deaths of our shipmates in those few minutes. I know some of you repeatedly went back into the impact areas to look for survivors before first responders arrived. We need to grieve our horrible losses, but for right now, we have a job to do, leading the Navy. I ask you to focus on that.” Different from your situation, but the point is, you have to keep moving.
     
  16. Pima

    Pima 10-Year Member

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    Stealthy, again, I am going to leave what has occurred in your past, in the past. This is the present.
    You state that you are taking 10 credits currently. A couple of questions:
    ~ do you need to take all 10 to keep on track for your academic progression?
    ~ what grades are you pulling in these courses?
    ~ is the cadre aware of you doing this?
    ~ are you taking 10 credits, to replace multiple classes taken, or is this repeating the class you failed, and the other courses are to lighten the load as a sophomore?

    To me some pieces do not add up from an academic perspective. You state your current cgpa is 2.5. That means if you carried basically the same amount of credits both semesters than if you pulled a 2.0 spring, to get that 2.5, you pulled a 3.0 fall semester(you only had 2 semesters since you were a freshmen). Thus, if that is the case, it shows why I am asking why 10 credits? Why not just re-do the class you failed, spend the rest of the time studying for the AFOQT, and going by your moniker, get some flight hours in for when you become an AS300 and meet the rated board?

    I don't know about your AFROTC det., but my DS's always did for every cadet an end of term review every semester. Sorry, but I forgot about that when I posted earlier and said contact them now. The fact is if they did end of term review and even if the grades were not out yet, it was up to you to put that info on the table. You had to know before going into your final that you were close to failing the course you had to take 5 exams in 2 weeks, I am sure you were getting those grades back quickly, that was the time to tell them during your academic review regarding this class and the particulars.
    ~ I am a Mom, so let's be real, I know how the summer school thing works for college kids. Are you saying that you also hid this from the folks until you got home, and than slammed them with a bill due in a few weeks for 10 credits? If you say they knew, and you DIDN'T tell the cadre, why not?
    ~~ Again these 10 credits and why you are taking them does matter from how things may be seen by the unit.

    Finally, there is 1 statement that leaves me perplexed and go HUH?
    The last time I checked or took science classes (granted decades ago) math is going to be a part of your life and only get harder over the next few years due to the fact that you need math to do science as an engineer major...pick any engineering major, chem, electrical, aero, etc. Every semester you will have a higher level of math than you had the previous semester.
    ~ My DS is a bio chem grad. He had to take math all 4 yrs. Sorry, but he never had to re-take a math class during the summer. He did however had to re-take a class...Organic Chem 3. See above about being a Mom.

    Engineering is very difficult. IMPO you have to love it to succeed. You are very fortunate in a way since you are not scholarship. You can change your major with out HQAFROTC approval. Now, you may believe that being an engineering major gives me the best chance to become a pilot. I am here to tell you that you are wrong!
    ~ My DS was an AFROTC scholarship govt and politics major. He is an ADAF pilot.
    ~~ SFT and rated boards do not see the scholarship. It is what ADAF calls "masked". What they saw were his grades, his AFOQT/TBAS scores, PFA, CoC rank, etc.

    Just saying doing alright is not the same as doing well.
     
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  17. GoCubbies

    GoCubbies Member

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    There are two terms you should get familiar with if you eventually become an officer in the greatest military the world has ever known.

    The 2 terms are reason and excuse. The difference between the 2 is accountability.

    You can go to your boss at the AFROTC det and say, “Sir (or ma’am)... this is the reason why I bolo’ed the math course.” The other thing you can say is, “Sir (or ma’am)... here’s my excuse for why I bolo’ed the math course.”

    There are legit reasons why you failed. The excuses you’ve provided put all the blame and focus on others around you.
     
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  18. StealthyPilot

    StealthyPilot New Member

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    The detachment knew about the 10 credits. It was recommended by my academic advisor. It was originally only 7 but since I failed the math course I had to test out of the class I failed and take the next class in order to stay on track. Taking summer classes for my degree is gonna be something I need to do every summer almost since I need to take a lot of prerequisite classes.

    I had my review fairly early on in the spring semester and it didn't occur to me my math class would be a problem to me until later in the semester. I really should have left that class and just got a new one of the same course early on in the semester. For whatever reason though I didn't. About 2/3rds of the class withdrew or dropped out. Which even a withdrawel would have protected my GPA. Again though I thought for whatever reason it wouldn't be a problem and my work ethic would get me ahead. It didn't work out like that this time though.

    Switching majors is certainly an option at this point. Still need to think it over though.

    Also my grades range widely from some C's in math to A's and B's in everything else. I have a terrible time studying for math since I need to put in about 3 times the studying time for that class than any other class for me to understand the material. So it creates a real time prioritization issue of what I should work on. By the very end of that semester I calculated it was better to get good grades in every other class except math, instead of getting a great math grade and mediocre grades in everything else. So at that point I just prioritized all my other classes except math in order to maximize my GPA.

    My parents did know ahead of time I would be taking classes in the summer since my academic advisor and I planned it out in the beginning of my fall semester.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
  19. Pima

    Pima 10-Year Member

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    You do realize that if you are picked up for SFT next summer, than it will be very difficult to try to juggle both summer courses and SFT.
    ~ Are you going to say to your CoC --- I can't do Max1 bc we are still, in school, Max 2 &3 work, but 4-6 doesn't because I need to do summer school for academic reasons? Needs of the AF is always going to come 1st, and you are now asking your CoC to ask HQAFROTC your Max SFT class date for your needs. Something that rarely ever occurs.

    If you get picked up for rated, they will send you to Wright Pat AFB for your FC1 physical. It is a 3 day medical exam, and a 5 day TDY ---will typically fly out on Sunday and come back Thursday night or Friday.
    ~ Again, this is the summer of finishing your junior yr/rising senior. Are you going to say, obtw, I can do this, but not during June 15th -Aug. 1st because I have to do summer classes?

    Next, I am even more confused why you are asking the question because due to your statement they know you failed the course.
    Surely they had to give you some insight on how badly this will impact you, but here you are asking an anonymous forum.
    ~ Sorry, but 2 +2 does not equal 4 right now. You state they knew, than if they knew than they had to give you some direction/guidance, etc., hence, no need to ask us.

    My best advice to you is the following
    1. Think about switching majors.
    ~ It is 1 thing to have to retake a course, another as a rising sophomore to say to stay on track you will need multiple summers spent in the classroom.
    ~ Understand your academic weaknesses. Math is yours, and unfortunately for you and your intended engineering major, it will be there for your entire collegiate academic career.
    ~ You are not contracted. You do not need HQ AFROTC to switch majors.
    2. SFT is make or break
    ~ No SFT and they will most likely dis-enroll you from AFROTC
    ~ Study for that AFOQT. You need to max it impo. Why? because academically you are not hitting the bar and you need the CoC to see that tragedy you endured was a 1x deal, and you have the smarts...sorry, if that hurts, but that is my opinion.
    3. If you stay as an engineer, think about taking classes during winter break so it does not impact you for when they need to send you during summer break
    ~ All 3 of my kids schools offered classes during winter break, even the JC here offers it.
    4. If you get SFT, get some flight hours if you want to be a pilot.
    ~ SFT is the easy break point compared to pilot. Just like tech majors get an edge for SFT, there are other aspects when it comes to selection. For rated it is called PCSM, TBAS (a test like AFOQT) will be given to you as an AS300. Your flight hrs in this situation will give you an edge.
    5. GET YOUR MEDICAL RECORDS IN ORDER

    I wish you the best of luck, and thank you for wanting to defend this great nation. Push forward.
    ~ You are not contracted, thus, you never took the DoDMERB exam. Your dreams can come crashing down quickly if they DQ you because your eyesight or allergies.
     
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  20. StealthyPilot

    StealthyPilot New Member

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    Thanks for the advice I will take this all under consideration.

    The summer classes I planned out didn't include during the summer of field training. I meant every other summer.
    Also for some reason they had me do dodmerb in my first semester and I was qualified a few months after.