Friday, January 25, 2008

Visiting West Point


We arrived at the Admissions Office at 8 am on Friday. Since that time we have learned a lot of impressive things about West Point. I am honored that my son is even considering this place. West Point has a nobility about it that I haven't felt at other universitiesHaving not grown up in a military family, it's strange walking around in a camouflage-colored campus where people all walk the same and salute each other. I'm not saying I don't like, it's just a whole new culture. You don't see any dreadlockss in anyone's hair or piercings or tattoos, no facial hair either. It's a very clean cut campus body.  
West Point info we learned:

4,400 students attend
7 to 1 student/teacher ratio - This is less than in elementary school!
81% graduation in four years
Upon graduation cadets commit to five years of service in the Army - this is a very serious commitment
It's estimated that a West Point education is worth $448,000

Wake up time: 5:00, not 5:01, definitely not 5:15. It's not pretty if you don't wake up on time. If Nathan goes there, it should be a VERY interesting considering time to see how he does with that. Considering how much prodding his brothers do to get him up at 7 am, I wonder how he will adjust. 

Your room stays clean. Impeccably clean. 
I mean so clean not even a hair should be on the ground. You don't want a hair on the ground or a dust bunny or anything out of place. It's not pretty. You will walk the plain (a large flat field on campus) or worse. 

When we were walking around the campus, Mark was impressed with how many cadets called him, "sir" as he passed them by. I only heard some cuss word while on campus. When we visited another university, the cuss words were flying all over the place. I'm not saying they don't use them (wouldn't that be nice, though), it was such a totally different atmosphere.

I'm praising the Lord that I brought my trusty long undies as I was able to handle the chilly temp thanks to the layers of clothing. I wasn't exactly working it but sometimes you have to forgo high fashion, you know what I mean?

I have cried at least six times but not in an embarrassing way. One time, yesterday morning, the lieutenant mentioned something about saying good-bye to your family and I almost lost it. I drew a deep breath, getting ready to let loose of a few years but immediately Nathan looked over at me (he knows me pretty well) and I knew I had to try and get myself together. I sucked the tears back in and waited until Mark and I were together to let a few fall from my eyes.

We are awaiting news on his eye exam and physical so he hasn't been officially accepted yet. Nothing is a done deal yet. However, I have to accept is this - I have to accept and yield God's will for my son's life whether it's at West Point or somewhere else. The Lord and not me, have to determine my precious boy's future. We are earnestly praying and if I get ahead of myself, I'm a wreck but if I stay in the moment, I can handle things. It is obvious the Lord is using this experience to make us lean into Him more and more. 

We pick Nate up at 1 pm and we'll learn more about his overnight time with a cadet. Check back for more details as we continue on this incredible journey. 



 

6 comments:

Mark said...

I need to add this...

I've been incredibly impressed with every soldier we met, both the cadets and the admissions team (Major McBride and others). They've been incredibly supportive and, above all, honest. None have tried to sugar coat the experience. None have oversold the Army or understated the commitment. They've also all been universally proud of their commitment, happy with their role and probably the most qualified and impressive set of people I've ever met.

If there's anyone out there wondering about the quality and commitment of this country's fighting force... fear no more. The leaders being developed at West Point are on duty.

Pam Bunton said...

Mark and Cindy

You must be so incredibly proud of Nathan, I am sure that he will do awesome at West Point. I know that Cary Christian has prepared him well and we are so blessed to have all of our children there. When God is at the center of their lives, amazing things will happen. I can't imagine how you feel with the first getting ready to leave the nest. I will keep you all in my prayers.

Denise said...

I've been thinking so much about you guys. I wondered who looked at my blog from Fishkill, NY (what a name!). We're praying for you guys and know the Lord's plans are PERFECT. Happy early Birthday!

gigi said...

I'm so glad you had a positive experience at WP! One of the things I love the most about it is the sense of tradition and heritage. I wish you could have seen a parade - they are awesome. I tear up every time they play the Alma Mater after each football game and the entire corps of cadets stops and sings. There are so many moving experiences that will be even more so once you have a child in attendance.
There are also some great organizations on campus such as the Navigators and the Officers' Christian Fellowship. One weekend is just not enough time to soak it all in.
But of course, it all comes down to Nathan's choice - and I'm sure he will make a smart one - the one that's best for him. However, I must say, there is something about a man in uniform!!
I can't wait to hear more of your impressions after you've had time to process it all! So sorry we couldn't talk longer.

Denise said...

I love West Point! We went there for a football game when I was in college...the campus, the area, everything is breathtaking! Cindy...you are such a good mom! I can only imagine how difficult it must be for you! I'm proud of you!

Bleucwo523 said...

Wow-what a special young man you have. You amnd Mark have done a wonderful job raising him, Aaron & Isaac.

Love OD - Ovary Diesel
aka Aunt Lordy