Taking Russian

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by TFO4175, Dec 29, 2018.

  1. TFO4175

    TFO4175 Member

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    I am a recent appointee and was wondering when doolies have time to structure their schedule for the ac year. I feel confident that my end goal is eventually working in the space program where I know Russian is a valuable skill. However, my gpa is also important to me and current cadets have informed me not to expect maintaining a high gpa if I were to take the class Russian. I speak Spanish at my house so I’m confident I would be successful took Spanish. Will we have time to choose classes and consult with professors or cadets about different class options?
     
  2. Hoodlum15

    Hoodlum15 Member

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    You're going to have to work hard no matter what. If you put in the time you should see your work reflected in your grades. I took Russian and my GPA is fine. You don't choose your classes your first semester. You'll take all core classes. In fact, you schedule will be made before you're even done with BCT. You'll put in a list for the languages you want and depending on your foreign language test scores you'll be placed in one (lots of threads on this).
     
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  3. AF22SIS

    AF22SIS Member

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    Current cadet enrolled in Russian. USAFA recently changed the curriculum that they use for Russian 141 and 142 which are your first and second semester classes. While it is not easy, it is certainly manageable and I feel that the class gets more negative attention than it deserves. I wouldn't not take it out of concern for your GPA, especially the 141 and 142 levels. If you do not like it after your first semester, your ac advisor should be able to transfer you to another language that you have experience in. That being said, instructors know that we are learning the language completely from scratch. Every class at USAFA will take work, you may as well put it towards something you are interested in. Congrats on your appointment.
     
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  4. cb7893

    cb7893 5-Year Member

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    @TFO4175 ,

    If your intention is to study Russian, let me make a few comments and suggestions:

    The alphabet is the easiest thing you will learn. Nonetheless, it is a little bit of a shock at first glance if you aren’t familiar with the Greek alphabet. Learn it over the summer. Once you learn it, you can begin to build a vocabulary of English/Spanish cognates. The name of practicality everything invented since the industrial revolution is the same in both English and Russian. Doing this will reduce the intimidation factor.

    The most challenging for English and, I assume Spanish speakers is case endings. A word’s meaning within a sentence in Spanish or English is determined by it’s placement within the word order. In Russian it is the ending placed on the word.

    Verb tenses are much simpler than Spanish, but will require you to think differently. The same goes for verbs involving motion: walk, run, fly, etc. it wouldn’t hurt to acquaint yourself with these concepts before they are presented to you in class.

    Learning any foreign language is good in and of itself, regardless of its utility in a future imagined career which you may or may not pursue. If you’re thinking aeronautical engineering, you should be more concerned about calculus. Having said that, studying Russian is more than just learning new words and filling in the blanks. It will have your brain working in new ways and augment your study of math/physics/engineering.

    Congratulations and best of luck!
     
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  5. FutureMarine07

    FutureMarine07 Member

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    Aye Comrade. Velcome to Vrussia. Hvail Vladimir Pvutin.
    That's all I'm adding.
    I'll see myself out.
     
  6. wildblueyonder57

    wildblueyonder57 Member

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    It honestly depends on what teacher you have. I had a teacher who was from Russia so it ended up being very difficult because they didn’t explain things and it was difficult to communicate with them. So because of that I was spending lots more time outside of class trying to learn the language and while the language is possible to learn and is honestly very beautiful, your time is so valuable and the grammar is insanely difficult so it would have been nice if I had had a better teacher to get help from and explain things in English. That being said, you can get instructor help from any of the instructors so I should have gone to another one for outside help, but when you choose Russian just make sure you know how much time you’re committing and how difficult your other classes are which will require a time commitment as well
     
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  7. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator 10-Year Member

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    Позор тебе! Это не очень красиво.

    Полковник стив
     
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  8. FutureMarine07

    FutureMarine07 Member

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    Hi Steve
     
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  9. fencersmother

    fencersmother 10-Year Member Founding Member

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    Unless things have changed a great deal (and that's indeed possible), you will not "choose classes" as they do at civilian colleges. Especially as a doolie, all your courses, and classtimes, are chosen for you! See! How lucky are YOU!

    And if you are not a NARP (Non-Athletic Regular Person) but are an athlete, you can probably expect to start classes fairly early in the morning (as in 7:15 or 7:30ish), work on through till lunch, then off to practice.
     
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  10. AF22SIS

    AF22SIS Member

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    You will have a list of classes that you need to complete as a doolie. If you do not validate anything from high school, these classes include:
    Calculus 1, calculus 2, foreign language sem 1, foreign language sem 2, history, behavioral science, computer science, chemistry, english, and physics. These classes are split across two semesters.

    If you do validate, you will most likely have a sophomore level class substituted in place, commonly economics.

    Your academic advisor has some flexibility in how you structure the classes that you take. For example, many doolies when they get their schedule find that they have both chemistry and physics in the same semester. Their academic advisor often times can split those up.

    You do have a say in what language you choose to take, though it does not guarantee placement.
     
  11. TFO4175

    TFO4175 Member

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    @AF22SIS

    Thank you for your comments. I was wondering if you could explain the validation process to me. Do they accept AP test scores or do I take a test there? Also when would one validate classes, I-day or after Basic?
     
  12. skiergirl24

    skiergirl24 Member

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    If I were to validate calc 1 and 2, would I take calc 3 as a freshman? I'm currently taking calc 3, but would take it again.
     
  13. FMHS-79

    FMHS-79 Parent

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  14. fencersmother

    fencersmother 10-Year Member Founding Member

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    At BCT, you will take a barrage of tests which will determine where you place for Math, Chemistry, Physics, Language, maybe others. If on the cusp and you think you might need to pad that GPA, retake the lower level (it won't "hurt" you). Or, go ahead to the more advanced class and learn to pray! :) Just kidding.

    Some people find the accelerated pace of USAFA daunting, and not at all like the high school work they'd been used to. Also, don't forget, you won't just go to class and then hit the soccer field. You will have military duties, and all sorts of KNOWLEDGE you will be required to know.

    Your best skill to learn and master: Time Management.

    As I recall, the most you might get out of a "5" on the AP exams is an "attaboy," though again, I'm not up on such matters lately.
     
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  15. AF22SIS

    AF22SIS Member

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    My pleasure. As fencersmother mentioned, you will take placement tests during basic. The current doolies took their math placement exams prior to reporting through the application portal, not sure if that is still how they are doing it. When deciding classes, the registrar and your academic advisor will look at both AP test scores and placement exams. As of last year, some classes (Behavioral Science) did not have a placement exam, so if you scored a 5 on your AP test you validated it.

    Quite honestly do the best you can on your AP tests and placement exams and let the pieces fall where they may. If you do not validate any classes you aren't at a disadvantage and can still have access to all the majors. minors, and various academic programs.

    This would be something discussed by you and your academic advisor. Not all majors require taking Calc 3, so you most likely would not take calc three if you were not pursuing one of those majors even if you validated calc 1 and calc 2. Again, this would be a discussion you will have with your acadmic advisor who is there to guide you through all that.
     
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