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Isabela G Ferraro
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Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I have to wake up at 0500ish to get ready for Army PT at 0530. Tuesdays I can wake up a little later at 0515ish for Company PT, AGR (Ability Groups Runs) with the rooks. Thursdays I get to sleep in until 0650ish (assuming my room is clean and inspection-ready) before our 0715 inspections. If for some reason any of the above events are cancelled, I would still have to get up at 0710ish for formation at 0735. In high school, the earliest I would get up would be 0545 if I was studying for a test or finishing homework, but on a daily basis I would wake up around 0645. I remember people telling me to avoid 8am classes when I get to college, but it doesn’t matter too much when you’re in the Corps of Cadets since you will be up before 8am... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at In Their Words
Today was the first Mil Lab of the year. This is when the Army ROTC cadets practice what is learned in the military science classes. The MSIs, typically freshman, and the MSIIs, sophomores, are taught by MSIIIs, juniors, who are being supervised by MSIVs, the Seniors. Today the subject was field tactics, including how to assemble a rucksack, put together a hooch, and how to prevent cold weather injuries. This year’s Fall FTX is much sooner than normal , so we have to make sure we cover all of the information needed before we are placed in a field position. I have forgotten a lot of information over the Summer, but at the same time I was surprised by how much I remembered. I always get nervous before going to Mil Lab because I'm so paranoid that I don't have everything that I need or don't know enough to go... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2019 at In Their Words
Last week, I made an appointment with the Career Center about career exploration. Since changing my major, I am happier and more invested in my classes. The downside is that I don’t have a solid grasp on the exact jobs that I can get after graduating with an International Studies degree. I went into the appointment with an open mind and was pleasantly surprised. Before the meeting, I was directed to do Focus2, a series of self-assessments to help you understand your strengths and weaknesses to help point you toward a career in which you will be both successful and happy. Although the results were very much like I was expecting (such as engineering being a weakness), the insight it gave after each section was very interesting. At the appointment, we looked over the results and made a list of what I saw for myself in my future. It is... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2019 at In Their Words
Not gonna lie, this week has been very stressful. Trying to adjust to being back at school with all of these added responsibilities is very difficult. It’s easy to get in the mindset of giving up or pretending like I don’t care, but the reality is that I truly do want to be successful. Looking around at my peers, I know that if the Juniors with cadre positions taking science labs and advanced mathematics classes on top of their ROTC and specialty unit trainings are still completing every task, I can do the same. I have been having a lot of trouble focusing on homework because there is always noise and chaos in my environment as I live on rook decks as a 5th Company Corporal. The library might be a new spot to do homework as I can no longer seem to focus in my own room. My studying... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2019 at In Their Words
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This Summer I spent two months in Taiwan studying Chinese language and culture through the Army Project Go program. Norwich sent 10 students to this program from all branches of ROTC and various levels of prior knowledge of Chinese. This is one of the great things about Norwich - the opportunities. I would never have thought that I would ever make my way to Asia, let alone study a language with no alphabet. At the Chinese Learning Center in Taiwan, there was a large number of students from Norwich and The Citadel. Being Senior Military Colleges, we often have more slots available to us for military programs than the average school with ROTC because we have the extra training to prepare us. There are definitely times when I’m rucking or standing at morning formation when I think to myself, “Why did I even come here?” It’s a valid question when... Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2019 at In Their Words
It’s so strange coming back to campus as a sophomore. This year I am the 5th Company Runner, tasked with running paperwork to whoever it needs to go to. As a corporal in the company, I have the opportunity to interact more with the rooks than those outside of a cadet training company. It’s an interesting dynamic of being there for them if they have questions or need any help, but not necessarily being their friend. The corporals have to ensure that they are still respected for their rank and maintain the professionalism between them and the rooks. Seeing the students that arrived early for either the Drill, Band, or Cavalry FTXs, it’s so strange to think that that was me last year. I have grown so much over one year and am no longer a scared and confused freshman. I’m excited for this year and look forward to doing... Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2019 at In Their Words
Coming to Norwich, I heard from Admissions “Oh, students change their majors all the time.” However, I never thought that I would be one of those students. I spent my freshman year majoring in Criminal Justice, thinking that I would love it and having a clear idea of what I wanted for my future. As I went through my freshman year, my least favorite classes were my CJ classes. I didn’t think too much of it, just thinking along the lines of “Eh, it’s just this class, it’ll get better.” I was part of the CJSA club, but I didn’t enjoy attending. I would go more out of a feeling of being obligated to be a part of the group since I was in that major. It all changed this Summer. I went to Taiwan through Army ROTC with Project Go, studying Chinese language and culture. It was there that... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2019 at In Their Words
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Being a part of the Army Spring FTX is one of the most miserable experiences, but at the same time the most rewarding. We started the weekend on Thursday, with a night ruck of over 12 miles. By the time we got settled in our ORP, it was 0230 and we had to wake up the next morning at 0530. Friday and Saturday we had eight lanes in total. Each lane consists of receiving, planning, and executing a mission ranging from raids, to ambushes, to defending our area. The MSIII are graded on their leadership and tactics while the MSIs and MSIIs are there more for gaining experience. Sunday, the MSIIIs went to the range to practice shooting while the MSIs and MSIIs had land navigation on the mountains. One of our points was at the top of a mountain and a few feet away from the point was a... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2019 at In Their Words
This past weekend there was much chaos as the Juniors finally were given their Junior rings. After the Junior Ring march down, I carpooled with a rook cousin to my sister’s apartment. She just moved in, so our family - just my sisters, parents, and I - spent the Easter weekend with her to make any final adjustments to the new place. The Catholic mass we went to was bilingual, but in reality it was 75% Spanish which kept things interesting. It was great to see my family, but they weren’t able to bring our rabbits to visit which was a little sad. Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2019 at In Their Words
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Last Monday, our Cavalry Troop training class earned our Sabers, symbolizing the end of our training. It was great having the support of our rook brother, sisters, and cousins at our ceremony. We also were told our roles in the troop for next year although, I will not have a job in the troop since I will be the 5th Company runner. It has been a long eight or so months of learning horse anatomy, cavalry history, equestrian vocabulary, how to tack, and of course how to actually ride a horse. I’m proud of our training class and am excited to officially be a part of the troop. Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2019 at In Their Words
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About half of my platoon participated in the Norwegian Ruck March, an 18.6 mile walk/run with a bag containing a minimum of 25lbs. I was in a team with three of my rook brothers, which made it ten times more bearable - I definitely would never have signed up to compete by myself. Having teammates, we were able to keep morale high and encourage each other to push through. We were all together until the point marking the last three miles. Two of us ended up finishing in time to earn our pins - I finished within the male standard with a time of 4 hours and 28 minutes. The female standard allowed for more time of 5 hours and 15 minutes. Overall, we were all glad we participated in it, although our bodies were pretty messed up by the time we finished. Half the platoon was limping around for... Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2019 at In Their Words
Here at Norwich it is often said that there is nothing to do, being in the middle of nowhere Vermont. However, I have never had one boring day here. I joined more than five clubs along with a specialty unit so there is always something to do. At times I feel overloaded with activities, but I prefer a busy life to a boring one. If everyone is done with their homework, my friends and I will have movie nights, especially on the weekends. Each week we had Bachelor viewing parties. This isn’t what I would have imagined for a school like Norwich - a bunch of college men aspiring to serve in the military all crowded in a room commenting on the drama of The Bachelor. This school will definitely force you to find creative ways to have fun! Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2019 at In Their Words
As a student pursuing a contract in the Army ROTC program, I have had to participate in many rucks so far this year. A ruck march is a fast paced walk, carrying a load. Last semester, our rucksacks would have to weigh at least 35 pounds, while this semester the weight has been bumped up to 50 pounds. This doesn’t include all the extra equipment we need such as the Kevlar, which is similar to a helmet. These 50+ pounds are more than a third of my body weight! Just this morning, Alpha Company for Army rucked roughly 4.6 miles into town. We will be rucking once a week in order to prepare for the Spring FTX which will require having to cover many miles throughout the weekend as we reach our objectives with all of the materials we need. Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2019 at In Their Words
This past week I joined nine others from Norwich for the Alternative Spring Break in Puerto Rico where we were able to do many hours of community service along with exploring the island and its culture. The biggest thing I noticed throughout the trip was the fact that many mainland United States citizens do not fully understand what Puerto Rico is in relation to the nation overall. When I went out to eat with my Tio Miguel, a native of Puerto Rico, he asked me how mainland Americans’ view the statehood debate. I had to answer that as far as I’ve witnessed that the issue of statehood, or even Puerto Rico in general outside of being a vacation location, is very rarely thought about or discussed. For example, when purchasing a souvenir, one of the students presented a U.S. dollar and asked, “Is it okay if I pay in U.S.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2019 at In Their Words
Prior to this week, I never knew International Women’s Day existed. Here at Norwich, it was celebrated by having a poetry slam performance of four female students from both the Corps of Cadets and civilian sides with ranging ethnicities and cultural backgrounds. The format in which it was presented was very powerful, utilizing lighting, tone, and body posture for emphasis. Typically when trying to read poetry, I often find myself easily confused and bored, but at this event I was entranced the whole time and understood the message. I believe this program was especially needed on this campus due to the nature of it being a male dominated military environment. Personally, I know being around so many men makes me want to work harder. Regarding my PT test, I have a score that is higher than many of the males in my platoon. It bothers me that our physical standards... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2019 at In Their Words
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Last semester, I tried to donate blood but my iron levels were too low so I ended up volunteering instead. For this semester’s Blood Drive I signed up to volunteer right off the bat through the Center for Civic engagement. The biggest incentive to participate is being excused from Army PT on Friday morning. That extra hour of sleep makes a biiig difference in my day. I was helping at the Canteen station where my rook brother and I cooked hot dogs to serve those who just donated blood. It’s important for everyone to sit and eat some food to ensure no one passes out from the loss of blood. There was a great turn out and it's nice knowing that our university's efforts will help so many people. Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2019 at In Their Words
It's crazy to think that Spring Break is just around the corner! This break marks the halfway point of the semester. On the plus side, this means there’s only one semester left until the Summer. On the down side, that means midterms are right around the corner. Luckily, most of my classes aren’t having the midterms in exam form, but rather in the form of essays and projects. For my Spring break, I will be going to Puerto Rico on a service trip with a group of students from Norwich through the Center for Civic engagement's Alternative Spring Break. I am very excited since I have puerto rican roots. Although half of my family lives in Puerto Rico, I haven’t visited in over eight years because of the constant issues from the Zika virus to high crime rates. I can’t wait to have this opportunity to do a part in... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2019 at In Their Words
Today is Valentine's Day! Although not always so fun as a single person, with good friends it can still be a great day. My parents were able to visit for around two hours before leaving to visit my sister in Burlington. They brought plenty of snacks including a few ring pops and cupcakes to share. A few of my rook sibling's moms sent bags of candies and cookies for everyone in the platoon and there were many exchanges of candy throughout the day between rook siblings. At the chow hall, I chose to treat myself to a big bowl of ice cream as a celebration of being single. (There was a steak dinner offered for those who wanted a romantic, non-Sodexo dinner with their date). My friends and I finished the night off with watching the latest episode of The Bachelor. Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2019 at In Their Words
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Snow, ice, and freezing temperatures. Welcome to Vermont! This is my first Vermont winter and even though I’ve lived in the Northeast my whole life, Massachusetts winters are a lot less extreme. A couple hours distance makes a biiig difference. All of the classrooms are super warm to compensate for the cold outside. In my Spanish class, the room is set to 75 degrees. If I know I’m going to be outside for a while, such as for leadership lab, I’ll dress in layers. Otherwise I just suffer the cold for a couple of minutes while I speed walk from class to class. Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2019 at In Their Words
Starting the new semester as a freshly recognized cadet, it is very clear that I will have to develop an efficient work/play balance. With more credits than last semester, I can already feel the workload piling on. As a Criminal Justice major I know I may not have to do challenging math equations or develop scientific theories, but I do have a loooot of reading to do this semester. The worst part about having reading assigned as homework is that it truly requires all of your focus. I often find myself rereading the same page over and over, too distracted to actually comprehend any of its contents. The biggest challenge for me is to find a quiet location on campus to help eliminate external distractions. Often times in between classes I go to the chapel and do my reading there. This is a peaceful environment and occasionally a piano player... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2019 at In Their Words
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This past Saturday numerous student took part in the Norwich Martin Luther King Jr Day of Service. This day, from 0800 to 1600, we split into eight groups and went out into the community to serve in eight different locations as a way to remember MLK’s impact on the country. My group went to a homeless shelter and worked to organize shelves, organize their food supply, clean out the refrigerator, and many more miscellaneous tasks that they needed assistance in completing. The staff and members of the homeless shelter were all very appreciative of our help. The best part was that there was a small dog at the shelter that would hop into your lap with no hesitation! This was a very fulfilling experience and I’m excited to participate in the next Day of Service! Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2019 at In Their Words
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Download D733FDA3-2022-416C-8D71-2293064A8F97 Download 207FD9AB-E44D-40CD-A335-1A61BBB3AFFB There was a big snow storm just in time for the start of Spring semester. This resulted in many cancelled flights and many rook family members not returning until Tuesday or Wednesday after classes have already started. However, the snow doesn’t always bring bad news - Army and remedial PT was cancelled, so cadets were relieved to have one more day to sleep in, at least until formation at 0730. My roommate had never seen so much snow, so she rallied up a bunch of us to play outside in the snow. None of us had the proper snow gear - there was ripped jeans, heeled boots, and lack of hats and gloves. Besides the fact that we were all slowly losing feelings of our fingers and toes, we enjoyed rolling down the hill and tackling each other in the fluffy snow. The campus looks as... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2019 at In Their Words
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Tonight was Thanksgiving Dinner, where we were able to eat at ease with our cadre for the first time. I'm not entirely sure what the orange food on our plate was, but the mashed potatoes, turkey, and cranberry sauce were very good. I was challenged to eat a piece of pumpkin pie in less than 30 seconds which I succeeded in doing. Our platoon shirts we designed and ordered online hadn't been delivered in time, so we all made our own white shirts to wear to chow under our tunics. On our shirts, we had our wolf logo spray painted on the front and an American flag on the sleeve. The back of the shirts were free for everyone to personalize. On my shirt, I made sure to include "Let's Rook and Roll." We designed shirts for our cadre as well, personalizing them with things relating to their specialty units,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2018 at In Their Words
Last night was the class registration for freshman, opening at 2000. Our cadre advised us to leave barracks and try to go somewhere not a lot of people would be using the internet for the hopes of getting a good wifi connection. After chow, my rook siblings dispersed to Mack, the library, and other locations. I thought I could still get a good connection in barracks since everyone else was leaving, so I stayed. I was stress eating some cheerios when I looked at the clock on my desk that indicated it was 2000. After taking one last bite, I refreshed the page and of course the wifi connection failed. I sat at my laptop for five or ten minutes desperately trying to figure out how to reconnect. Finally the page loaded and I put in all my CRNs, but unfortunately two of my classes were already at the maximum... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2018 at In Their Words
Today is my birthday! As a rook, you usually don’t get much joy or celebration on your birthday, but today was an exception with the help of my rook family. As we got on the wall before chow, my roommate posted her fist and announced to our cadre that it’s my birthday. The whole platoon then proceeded to sing a loud happy birthday and gave me one clap for turning 19. Overall, it was an especially nice day. I was able to spend time in the chapel practicing drums and guitar with a few members from my rook family. One of my rook brothers got donuts from Dunkin as a birthday treat and another rook brother gave me an awesome drawing as a gift. All throughout the day, I heard shouts of "Happy birthday!" from my rook siblings and cousins. Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2018 at In Their Words