July 24, 2012

Summer Like a Midshipman

Plebe Summer Fun

Plebe Summer Fun

When a high school graduate selects USNA, their first year begins right after high school graduation, before June is even over. It is called Plebe Summer and is filled with exercise, work, study, tests, no phone calls or IM’s. No contact with anyone.

Once they are in the Ac Year (still their first year at USNA, but classes have started), it gets easier, but not much. At the end of each school year, they get a short leave if there’s time in between other duty requirements, including summer school, summer cruise(s), working at Plebe Summer activities as Cadre or other functions.

What I’m saying is, this bias for action is a mindset that moves well beyond summers-are-for-relaxing that most teens adopt like skin. Look at Plebe Summer. It’s the last summer before college. All the Plebe’s friends are playing, beaching, vacationing, and the newest USNA Midshipmen are running with logs on their shoulders, paddling rubber boats, learning to shoot weapons, cleaning their rooms for inspection.

So, I’m thinking, high school students should try a bit of that, see if it fits them before committing. How’s this sound:

  • Summer school. Get classes out of the way to make room for the AP classes they need later.
  • Summer sports. That’s kind of like running with logs on your shoulders. My daughter was in club soccer, which competes all summer. She also took boxing at a gym. She could have gone more often, but said she got tired. I bet the Cadre don’t care if you’re tired.
  • Summer enrichment–take a class just to make yourself better. Well, truth be known, my daughter didn’t do that. She said she needed to relax a little bit, Mom. OK. I remind her that Winston Churchill said, “It’s no use saying you’re doing your best. You have got to succeed.” (I might have butchered that a bit, but you get the idea). She said she was succeeding. OK. Now, five years later, I see she was right.
  • Be so busy, you must learn to react well under stress and think clearly under fire. In my daughter’s case, not a chance. Her stress doesn’t come close to the level of ever having to figure out how to fit an elephant in a refrigerator.

Here’s a slideshow of images from my daughter’s Plebe summer:

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Jacqui Murray wrote Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a tech columnist for Examiner.com, Editorial Review Board member for ISTE’s Journal for Computing Teachers, Cisco guest blogger,IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s editing a thriller for her agent that should be out to publishers this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office, WordDreams, or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, and the thriller, To Hunt a Sub. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning. The sequel to To Hunt a Sub, Twenty-four Days, will be out this summer. Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 technology for 15 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, CSG Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, CAEP reviewer, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, and a weekly contributor to TeachHUB. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

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