No Facebook, No Skype, No food, No printers

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by norcalmom2014, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. scunningham1958

    scunningham1958 5-Year Member

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    All that I can add to this conversation is that since I left my DS off in July is that the few conversations that we have had (whether it be by phone or via facebook) his only consistent negative comment is "Mom I am so hungry" there is not enough food - he is living off salad bar and fruit. Myself and relatives have sent boxes of food (before we knew he could not have it) then sent the required "energy bars" none of which he has received yet. What bothers me is that we are spending a small fortune mailing him what we think he can have based on the rules posted via the website, yet he is not receiving any of it. I know "who is in charge" here, but its just another distraction to him making it through this initial process if he is hungry all of the time. He loves the academy and everything about it - but the "food deal" is really a killer he says over and over. Wish the powers that be could figure this out a little better - with this many parents getting the same message over and over, it seems that someone could remedy the situation - like possibly changing vendors, or at least allowing the plebes to receive what has been personally mailed to them based on the rules the school has set.
     
  2. OldAirForce

    OldAirForce 5-Year Member

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    I have asked my 1/c son over the years if there was any problem getting enough to eat. He has always said it is not an issue. This came up in conversation at one of the all academy balls. Some of the other cadet/midshipmen said it was an occasional problem but the son said he had never had a problem. He used to be a picky eater but hunger and lack of options has resolved that.
     
  3. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006 10-Year Member

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    I don't know when this tread started now that I've opened the "comment" box, but I wanted to add my own opinion, take it or leave it.

    My first feeling reading this thread is that some parents are hovering a little too much, too worried about details, that, in the end, are not that important. Midshipmen and cadets at any academy have methods to speak as a unit. Let them.

    "My kid doesn't have facebook!!!!!"

    Who cares? Six years ago no one had FaceBook. In fact, as far as performance goes, as well as adjusting, it's probably better they not only avoid FaceBook but also instant messaging.

    I'm reminded of this sentiment as I found myself at CGA for a short period of time during an incoming classes R-day and Swab Summer. As a 3/c I drove disabled or tired parents around in a golf cart. I remember one lady say "they're going to beat my child, aren't they", after the parent reassured me that I could be honest because the "top brass" wasn't around.

    The staff there is there to train your kids. At this point, they may be your offspring, but they are also adults.

    Obviously, I didn't go to USMMA, but I did look there. It's the red-headed step child for a variety of reasons. First, without a clearly defined service to feed, many people are confused on where KP grads go. Then you have the trimesters so they can't go on exchange with the other service academies. Not that USCGA is that removed from the "red-headed step child" condition...I just think in the end, we don't care that much.

    With all that being said, I respect the heck out of USMMA cadets/midshipmen. The schedule they have, with trimesters and sea years and qualifications...not an easy place. I don't respect their sports teams though, ha!

    Keep your head up, let them get through the tough, less than idea conditions which will seem like child's play when they're out in 40 ft. seas, and let them grow on their own. They're growth at this point is a spectator sport for parents. You've already done the best job you can, and they'll appreciate it.
     
  4. jasperdog

    jasperdog 5-Year Member

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    Line In The Sand - Back At Ya...

    RE: Your comments this thread especially:

    I'm glad I read your full post before jumping to a reaction, I'm pretty sure I can say that the majority of USMMA graduates - especially the ones that are glad they went to the best Maritime School/Merchant Marine Academy in the nation, if not the world understand well what "service" it's designed to feed and apparently like USCGA Graduates could care less about being a "red-headed step child" compared to USMA, USNA, USAFA, and/or USCGA graduates.

    Also I'm okay with many aspects of your Alma Mater except your lame, pansy sports teams, as well.:rolleyes:

    Other than the inference about the USMMA Sports Teams, all in all a pretty good post considering it was written by a guy who is part of a service whose mission is so easily understood and to annunciate that it does so by listing 7 of them. Sort of like being the "Sybil" of military services isn't it?

    Heave Ho Lads, We've A Long, Long Way To Go!
     
  5. JMC0759

    JMC0759 S-USMMA '12 SUNY 15, D-USAFA '15 TTUHSC '20 5-Year Member

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    No facebook, no food, no skype, no printers

    When my son, a member of the class of 2012 was applying to USMMA I was glued to this site for information on how to help him get into the academy. There was some great information supplied by the parents of upperclassmen on the pitfalls of the application process. We really learned allot. I am now wondering if this site does a disservice to the mids, the school and the parents. Your kids are going to be OK. I have been to KP several times in the last two years and not see any mids suffering from malnutrition or internet withdrawl.
    Stop worrying about your kids. They will survive. Let's use this site for more important things than worrying about their calorie intake.
     
  6. KPatKP

    KPatKP 5-Year Member

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    Here, here

    Well said JMC0759!
     
  7. wac2013

    wac2013 5-Year Member

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    theres something wrong with this statement. not saying its outright incorrect, or is in any way falsified, but perhaps there's a miscommunication somewhere. there is absolutely NO reason why he shouldnt be getting his care packages. its after Indoc, the regiment no longer has any say in what mail gets to the P/Cs whatsoever. that, like in the civilian world, is again considered mail fraud. now, if he's getting the packages, and then theyre getting confiscated, thats a different story. food that isnt on the CURRENT approved list, i.e. contraband, can be confiscated if found during a health and wellness inspection. however, for that to happen, your P/C would need to have it in his possession. so, if he isnt getting his packages at all, there is something wrong with the mailroom, whatever agency youre sending them with, somewhere in that system. i would suggest checking over the method youre using to send the packages, and have your P/C check his box number again. if confiscation is the issue, ask your P/C to provide you with the (very liberal) current list of approved foods.

    as for the root of the issue, a lack of food... i really dont know what to tell you. perhaps the plebes, for some very odd reason, are experiencing different things than the rest of the regiment. i can tell you as a certainty that i have not seen Delano "run out" of food once this year (happened last year a few times, almost caused some revolts). i tend to go to breakfast and dinner near the end of the allotted meal time in order to avoid the lines. ive never gotten to the counter and have them say, sorry, no more. so if im getting food after the P/Cs... theyre getting food too. same thing with lunch- my table gets seconds of food almost every day. theyre readily available, save occasions like the day before a break, when they cook approximately 2/3rds of a chicken wing per person (remember the revolts i mentioned?) :rolleyes:. there's absolutely no reason that any P/C should not be getting a proper serving of food. so i dont think thats the problem.

    here's my take on the issue, remembering my own position this time last year. the P/Cs are most likely hungry because they are living a much more active lifestyle than the majority of them are used to. i dont care how athletic or in shape they were before they came here. the simple effort of running to and from class (and for that matter, everywhere) burns alot of calories. add to that the long days, busy schedule, and stress, and you have a pretty good recipe for hunger:wink: i believe the fact of the matter, which is pretty much confirmed by my own memories of plebe year, is that it doesnt matter how much you eat at breakfast or lunch, by 3rd period and then again by 6th period youre going to be hungry. thats when the food on the approved list, which as i have said is really quite liberal this year, comes in handy. frankly, even food that isnt approved can be retained through a few "creative" methods that the P/Cs will quickly figure out.:biggrin: at the end of the day, hunger is like one of the many other issues at KP: its something that is talked about, lamented and debated ad nauseum, but is really something plebes/midshipmen need to learn to deal with on their own. and guess what? we do. as soon as i learn about someone starving to death here, i'll let y'all know. but in my limited recolletion, hasnt happened yet. :wink:
     
  8. jasperdog

    jasperdog 5-Year Member

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    With All Due Respect ...

    RE:
    While I agree with you JMC0759 that all of our kids who are midshipmen at the USMMA will indeed likely be "okay", I cannot help but turn a sympathetic ear to a mother or father of a child who is a young adult being told by their son or daughter who has recently undergone a significant weight loss that they are always finding themselves hungry in their current environment. That said before anyone over-reacts here's a couple of thoughts:

    1) It not unusual for plebes to loose 10-15% of their bodyweight during and shortly after indoctrination. This is a function of several things 1) they no longer eat snacks, especially garbage food; 2) candidly, the food quality in Delano deserves it's ranking and comments that you may have read in any of the college guides; 3) many P/C's find they're just plain more active, not just during indoc but remember now that classes have started they need to either march to class in a formation or jog there; and 4) if they are on a fall sports team they now have that practice going on; finally 5) one of the only things they can do to get out of the barracks and escape is go to waterfront or the gym right now... You'll notice all those items either have eliminated sources of empty calories or they burn calories.

    General advice you can and I recommend you give your P/Cs -
    1) Do not skip any meals especially breakfast, someone earlier indicated their DS/DD skip breakfast - bad move for a lot of reasons but maybe most of all because it's the most reliable meal of the day in that it's pretty hard to screw up eggs... it's also a meal that generally, even at Delano, has a fairly good balance relative to supplying Protein, Carbs and Calaries..... worst case your DS/DD can have cereal and unless they are lactose intolerant whole milk...

    2)If you are sending them food send it to them at the proper Academy Mailbox address via some service provided by the US Postal Service - it will get to them, if I'm mistaken on this someone needs to explain to me why this year is different than the prior 30+ years....

    3) If they are not getting enough food at/during the meals they go to they need to tell their Table Captain, if that doesn't work they need to bring the issue up to and through their Chain of Command --- flying under the radar is one thing and it's smart; not speaking up when you should is the opposite - stupid.

    4) If they've lost more than 10% of their body weight and are having issues they need to talk to their athletic team trainer or perhaps even someone at Patten...especially if they find themselves continuing to loose weight. It is probably nothing but if it's not ... well it's not.

    5) Remember in most cases though we are talking about 18 year old males and they are all probably more than used to and missing the freedom and convenience of going to our refrigerators and/or pantries and pulling out something that supplies them 500+ calories in a flash to "nosh on" and now that option isn't available and that as much or more than anything else is probably why i) they are "always hungry" and ii) your weekly trips to the grocery store no longer require you to take out a home equity loan as you pass by the cashier....:redface:
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2010
  9. shutterbugC

    shutterbugC 5-Year Member

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    My DS told me yesterday that the list from the NCAA website of "approved" foods is taboo. The only food that is "approved" is "power stuff".
     
  10. zonker

    zonker 5-Year Member

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    Wow. I'd make a fortune if I came up with wrappers:
    Power-Snickers, Power-BabyRuth, Power-ButterFinger.
    (Dang. made myself hungry reading all this stuff).:shake:
     
  11. jamzmom

    jamzmom 10-Year Member Founding Member

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    I can't agree with Jasperdog more. Keep in mind folks, you're hearing from kids who are making a huge adjustment. They are burning calories left & right & can't snack as they used to. Hell yeah, they are hungry. They're also beat up mentally & they're sleep deprived. Probably overwhelmed at the rest of the craziness. Their new regimented lifestyles are preparing them for what is to come & they are going to need the discipline. I plead patience. Its going to be ok. Let them figure it out. I know its tough. I REMEMBER what it was like worrying at this time & place but give it a chance. I try not to sound like such a cheerleader all the time but dang it all, I KNOW the worry. Just hang tough a while longer. This time next year will be another story. You'll be worried about many large large large larger things. I meant to stutter.
     
  12. DinghyMom

    DinghyMom 5-Year Member

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    same ole, same ole

    I find it ironic (or maybe not) that these very same topics/conversations occur each year. In the past, however, they happened in a different forum.

    Three years ago, DS complained about the food too- not enough, no fresh fruit, no MILK (that's when I went ballistic), five hamburgers, six Mids, etc., the list went on and on. The bottom line is that he made do - he learned - he coped/adjusted and got by. Now as a 1C, he is looking for ways to lose weight (LOL).

    As I recall, another major issue among others, was that there was not enough TOILET PAPER!!!!!!!! :eek: Just imagine!!!! It was a crisis - but they made it through and learned to cope.

    Resiliency, coping, creative problem solving - incredibly valuable attributes for them to learn at such a young age.
     
  13. KPDEB2014

    KPDEB2014 5-Year Member

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    Zonker, That's funny! I'll help you wrap the bars!!
     
  14. jamzmom

    jamzmom 10-Year Member Founding Member

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    DinghyMom got a :biggrin: from me this morning by mentioning toilet paper shortage. They seemed to have gotten by that issue by finding just enough to tee pee every tree on campus one year. I'm sure it wasn't humorous to some folks at the time.... but...... LOL
     
  15. jasperdog

    jasperdog 5-Year Member

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    Ahhh yes, I now fondly recall my own first class year as an offshore sailor at a table full of dinghy team members who were working on getting down to the weights they were targeting for Nationals.... never had to worry about having enough food at our table for the three of us who weren't Dinghy Sailors...not even on the occasion when it was something actually really good...:thumb:

    Thanks for the fond memory and morning grin today Dinghy Mom!
     
  16. kpmom2011

    kpmom2011 5-Year Member

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    Ditto the morning grin for Dinghy Mom :)

    My 1C son said there is plenty of food. He actually gets to breakfast late and there is plenty left.

    Wait till after sea term when they pack on the pounds :) Just make sure that Zonker is not around when your DS/DD weighs in after sea term :yllol:

    ......My DS was giving Zonker a tour of the gym after his 1st sea term and DS decided to jump on the scale to see how much weight he gained after the great ships food....unbeknown to him, Zonker was slightly touching the scale with his foot showing a weight gain of over 20Lbs. My son jumped on and off several times before declaring that the scale had to be broken......to which my husband jumped on and claimed it worked fine.....needless to say my DS declared that he needed to go on a diet and that he was going to watch what he ate during his 2nd Class year sea term......:yllol::yllol::yllol:
     
  17. jasperdog

    jasperdog 5-Year Member

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    I post this only because I am still hearing from...

    I post this only because I am still hearing from some p/c's parents that they believe that mail is not getting to their DS/DD - that packages are being screened/opened/etc. and that in some cases food is being removed and the rest of the package contents like watches, school supplies, etc. delivered.... I find this hard to believe but would consel that if this is indeed happening folks need to review the applicable statutes see below and then take a good look at the applicable USPS Poster from their compliance awareness campaign - I suspect if it is indeed happening those thinking they are within their rights to do so as part of the Class Rates process/policies for the Regiment or their company might indeed quickly rethink their approach to enforcing those applicable Class Rates...


    http://www.usps.com/communications/news/security/mailtampering.htm
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2010
  18. navig8r

    navig8r 5-Year Member

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    Spoke to DS last night. He is one P/C who is not starving. I asked because of the many posts here and he says there is certainly enough food and it's pretty dreadful (but we all suspected that, right?). The only thing that has saved him was the discovery of "mandango sauce" (search youtube for that little slice of heaven).

    We have sent him a selection of Power Bars and Clif Bars and there has been absolutely no problem in the delivery of any package we have sent.

    Would he like more, better food? Sure. But he is surviving just fine and actually misses MY cooking (which is really saying something!).

    And as for this forum maybe doing a disservice ..... I disagree. Of the 350ish P/C's, combined with the other classes at KP there are a relatively small handful of regular posters here. What percentage of the P/C population is really being represented here? Whether the posting is a glowing evaluation of life so far at KP or an ongoing complaint about one thing or another, are we really representative of the entire P/C population? I seriously doubt it. And to kind of echo and add to some of the previous comments......... none of us has actually seen or spoken face to face with our DS or DD since July 8, right? If I were hearing complaints from my P/C, I would seriously wonder if it was a legit complaint or tainted by the fact that he is there and not at the beach with his friends or not snacking at Cluck U Chicken with his buddies three nights a week or because his precious car was left behind. In other words, I'd want him to look me in the eye and tell me first hand what his complaint REALLY is before I took it as gospel.

    We're just lucky I guess. He loves it there and if I ask about something negative I've heard here on the forums, his answer is always "Adapt, improvise, overcome". And then he just tells us he has found a way around "it" - whatever "it" is. Which I suppose is a good lesson to learn early if one is going to be working in the middle of the ocean.
     
  19. kpfran14

    kpfran14 5-Year Member

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    Navig8r Thank you, my DS is doing ok and said he is getting enough food. When I ask him about some of the things on the forum he will respond maybe but I just do what I have to do. This is all in the 5 minute conversation. This past Sunday was nice because the talk was longer and we were able to find things out. I have sent 5 packages, so far only one has not been received. When we talk on Sunday I am expecting him to tell me he got it. The NEX was wonderful about the printers and my hope is that he did go and pick his up. Thank you to the mom who let us know about that. My DS has been also studying and found a tutor for math. We went to a picnic run by one of the parent's associations and the mids told all the candidates help is there ask for it.
     
  20. KP2013dramamama

    KP2013dramamama 5-Year Member

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    Glad the PC's are getting their food, learning to adapt to KP. They will find and make great friends!:thumb:*