The Middle School Newspaper Volume 18, Issue 4 April/May 2013
Congratulations to the Middle School cadets, faculty, and staff for a terrific year. I’ve spent this week in “suspended disbelief” that the school
year is really ending…because it seems like just a short time ago that we were welcoming students for this 115th session. In less than a week our 8th grade class will walk across the stage and receive their Fork Union Military Academy Middle School diplomas. Our prayer is that we will see many (if not all) of them return to start the Upper School. Betsy and I have big plans for
Message this summer…first a vacation in the mountains of Southwestern Virginia…then a second grandchild…and then preparing for next year. I hope each of you have equally big plans. Thank you all for making this a great year in our long history…perhaps the best ever. Go FUMA!
The Headmaster’s Message It is hard to believe that this year has finally come to a close. Through all of the challenges that have been experienced through the year, all of you have grown as individuals and have grown as a community. As a faculty and staff, we have enjoyed watching this evolution take place. I wish the graduating eighth grade class much success as you continue your academic journey into high school. I am confident that you have been provided the skills necessary to be life-long searchers of knowledge. To those sixth and sev-
enth graders who will be returning to us, I congratulate you on a job well done, and I look forward to seeing you in the fall, ready to assume positions of leadership within the Middle School Corps of Cadets. On behalf of the Middle School faculty and staff, I offer my heart-felt appreciation to the parents, relatives, and friends of our cadets who have demonstrated such great support during the course of the year. We could not have accomplished our mission with-
out your support and cooperation. Have a great summer, stay safe, and I hope to see all of you in August!
Inside this issue: Commandant’s Message
Valedictorian/Salutatorian Announced Graduation Speaker Announced Parade Season
Question of the Issue Tiling Project
Ask the B.C.
Lacrosse Gets 1st Win
Interview with Ms. Sherk
8th Grade Retrospectives 8th Grade Retrospectives
Some D.C. Pictures
LTC Rob Feathers
Have a wonderful, safe, and blessed summer break!!!
Message from the Commandant It is hard to believe that the 2012/2013 school year is about to end, it seems like just yesterday that you were arriving to a whole new way of life. I have been pleased as a whole with the personal growth and development of the corps of cadets. Most of you have figured out that life is easier when you are compliant and that good things will come your way. Many lessons that have nothing to do with the classroom were taught here. Funny how school mimics life. It is my wish that as you head home for three months of vacation that you take parts of FUMA with you. Show your parents the love and respect that they deserve. Take pride in the way you keep your room clean, and the way you look (neat and clean). Show respect to your elders and listen to their wisdom. Most of all, thank God for the blessings He has given you. Open your eyes and see them all around you as you march towards manhood. LTC Bill Blanchetti
Middle School Valedictorian and Salutatorian Announced The Valedictorian of the 8th grade class at the Academy’s Middle School is Cadet LTC John (“J.D.”) Buchholz. J.D. is the son of Ms. Lee Buchholz of Lake Tahoe, NV. He is also supported and encouraged by his uncle and aunt, Lewis and Carla Martin of Charlottesville, VA. Completing his third year at the Academy, J.D. is the Battalion Commander of the Middle School Cadet Corps. During each of his years at the Middle School, J.D. has earned President’s List, Excellent Conduct, and Meritorious Conduct. During his 7th grade year, he was recognized for having the highest academic average. This year J.D. earned the Battalion Commander Award and was recognized as the M.V.P. of the Middle School lacrosse team. During his years at the Middle School, J.D. has lettered in J.V. and M.S. football, basketball, indoor track, baseball, and lacrosse.
The Salutatorian of the 8th grade class at the Middle School is Cadet SSGT Dalton Fowler of Carrollton, TX. A member of “Alpha” Company, Dalton is the son of Mr. Gary Fowler (deceased) and Ms. Katie Smith. He is completing his second year at the Academy. As a 7th grade cadet, Dalton earned Honor Roll for the year. This year Dalton made President’s List and Excellent Conduct for the Year and earned awards for his achievement in Spanish and music. He was also recognized as a Johns Hopkins Scholar through the Center for Talented Youth program. Dalton has lettered in cross country, indoor track, outdoor track, and lacrosse while a cadet at the Academy. He has also been active in the Academy’s choir.
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Middle School Announces Graduation Speaker, Mrs. Marion Moon The speaker for this yearâ€™s Middle School graduation is Mrs. Marion Moon. Mrs. Moon was elected to the Board of Trustees of Fork Union Military Academy in 2010. She is Owner/President of Convention & Tradeshow Freight Specialists, Inc., Alexandria, Virginia. The business specializes in freight transport to and from military trade shows for all branches of military. The client base includes national and international defense contractors such as Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, Booz-Allen, etc. CTFS has served for 25 years as the official freight carrier for the Association of the United States Army, The Marion E. Moon, Navy League, and other military associations. It was the first freight company to Trustee provide on-site personnel at each tradeshow to assist exhibitors with their shipping needs. Mrs. Moon also is Owner/President of The Tradeshow Group, Inc., Alexandria. This company is a general contractor that produces tradeshows and supplies the furniture, carpet, audio visual, pipe and drape for trade shows. She is active in her community as a member of the Old Dominion Boat Club. She is past President of the Offender Aid & Restoration of Fairfax, a program to set up counseling and rehabilitation of convicted drug offenders and their families. She also served as a member of the Alexandria Rotary. Mrs. Moon is a member of the First Baptist Church of Aleandria and resides in Alexandria. Mrs. Moonâ€™s son, Craig Moon, attended the Academy and held FUMA dear to his heart. This year she established several F.U.M.A. scholarships in his memory. The Middle School graduation will be held on Thursday, May 23rd, at 10:30 a.m.
Parade Season By Christiaan Williams, Bayonet Reporter Parade season is a big deal at FUMA. Beginning toward the end of April, every Sunday afternoon is a time of drill, fanfare, and marching. But why do we have parade season? I interviewed LTC Blanchetti and LTC Feathers to find out. Q:
Why do we have parades?
To showcase our military program, honor important people, and show off our cadets.
What is the background of the parade?
The parades are a military tradition to show off each unit.
Q; What happens if it rains? Does the parade still go on? A:
Yes. Unless there is lightning in the area, the parade goes on as scheduled.
Why do we wear battle jackets in the spring parades?
The battle jackets are part of the tradition, and not all parades are held in hot weather.
Question of the Issue: What is your proudest accomplishment from this year at FUMA? “My proudest accomplishment this year was my decent grades and good conduct. Also, I am proud of what I did for the basketball team and putting in a lot of effort.” Isaiah Shaw “Our second semester 6th grade art class undertook to upgrade the sink in the art studio by surrounding it with hand-made clay tiles. Some 8th graders helped, as well. None of us had done any tiling before. I love learning something new, so this project may turn out to be my proudest accomplishment of the past year.” Ms. Nolting “My proudest accomplishment this year was controlling my anger. If anyone says anything, I have learned how to ignore it or deal with it in another way.” Jacob Holsapple “My proudest accomplishment from this year at FUMA is that I learned how to juggle from the worst juggler in the world (cough, cough) Cpt. Butt, and that I learned to juggle pins and rings also.” Matthew Arnold “My proudest moment was when the entire faculty stood up for me at the Middle School faculty meeting (when I walked from Dixie in the snow).” Mrs. Brandon
Art Tiling Project Second semester Sixth Grade cadets Benjamin Gary and Jared Giszack undertook the longest single project ever in Sixth Grade Art. Result: the old sink in the art studio is now surrounded by 122 colorfully glazed hand-made tiles. Coach Roach of the Maintenance Department, an experienced tiler, fastened wooden supports around the counter. After giving Ms. Nolting a demonstration, he left adhesive, grout, and tools so we could continue the installation on our own. Eventually some Third Session 8th Grade art students lent a hand. The completed installation will be featured in our end-of-year art show, and on view for years to come. Hope you like it!
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MIDDLE SCHOOL DRAMA STUDENTS TAKE THE STAGE The 6 grade Middle School drama students, under the direction of Mrs. Beth Sherk, recently took the stage in front of their peers to perform the play “It Was Only a Banana”, written by Mrs. Sherk. Each student was entertaining in his part, polished in presenting his lines, and staying in character for the entirety of the play. The audience, which included several faculty members and fellow cadets, enjoyed the performance…and time away from their regularly scheduled class. Mrs. Sherk, a local playwright and author, has taught drama to Middle School and Upper School cadets for 19 years. Photos from the play can be found at photos.forkunion.com. th
Cadets Cagnina, Elder, and Giszack, J. demonstrate their fine acting abilities.
MIDDLE SCHOOL ART STUDENTS PAINT THE GREAT OUTDOORS Ms. Nolting’s 8th grade Art students recently enjoyed a morning of painting by Pruitt Lake, just down the road from FUMA’s main campus. Students were encouraged to find a view worthy of transferring to canvas and were then instructed to paint what they saw. The object of the lesson also involved getting more paint on the canvas than on their clothes, a task in which all succeeded. Ms. Nolting frequently takes her students outside to work on their art projects, especially painting, to take advantage of the natural lighting. Photos from Saturday’s class can be found at photos.forkunion.com. Ms. Nolting, a noted artist in the community and around the state, has been the Middle School Art teacher for the past 14 years.
Dear Battalion Commander, As an officer, how do you keep a positive attitude and not become a hypocrite? Cadet Meadows Dear Cadet Meadows, Well, it definitely gets easier the more you get used to being an officer. One way to keep a positive attitude is to talk with people if you are having trouble being an officer. Also, just have fun and relax occasionally. To not become a hypocrite, be sure and keep yourself in check just as much as you watch out for others, and donâ€™t get too down on yourself when you mess up, because it will happen. B.C. JD Buchholz, Battalion Commander Dear Battalion Commander, In your three years at FUMA, what has been the most valuable lesson you have learned? Cadet Greenspon Dear Cadet Greenspon, In 3 years a lot has changed for me, but overall, the most valuable lesson has definitely been to pay attention. By this I mean pay attention everywhere, including in classes, chapel, the barracks, but most importantly, to pay attention to what people are doing for you and to be thankful. B.C.
Dear Battalion Commander, What are some things that you like about FUMA in the spring? Anonymous Dear Anonymous, The spring time brings a lot of things I enjoy. I enjoy sports, because they are back outside in the sun and it feels good to breathe fresh air while playing lacrosse, baseball, or track. Of course, the second reason is because the year is coming to the end! B.C.
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MIDDLE SCHOOL LAX TEAM GETS 1ST WIN! On Tuesday, April 9th, the Middle School lacrosse team traveled to Woodberry Forest School in Orange, VA to play against the Grymes Memorial School. FUMA won the day 10 to 9. The two teams were evenly matched with each team taking turns being in the lead. “One big improvement from last game to this game defensively, was that we played a much cleaner game. We did not suffer any penalties which had put us in a man down situation in the last game,” observed Coach Greenspon. “It is great to have a total team effort go into a win. We work as a team and we play as a team.” At every practice and game, the coaching staff at FUMA makes a point to stress the importance of sportsmanship. What these young men learn goes beyond the athletic field. They are taught to become men of character, not just a team of characters. The coaches appreciated positive comments from the referee regarding the sportsmanship and performance of our Middle School players at this most recent game. Thank you to all of the parents, family, and friends who came to cheer on the team for this game. It means the world to our cadets to have fans in the stands.
The FUMA Middle School lax team.
Interview with Mrs. Sherk How long have you been at FUMA? I’ve been here as long as LTC Feathers has. I think it is 19 years. I can’t believe it’s been that long. What brought you here? I had been doing some theater in the community. I had a little group that I formed with my kids and some church kids. I wrote a play called The Haunted Dump, which was kind of an environmental play. We toured around local places like Central Elementary, the Baptist church. Rob had heard of me, and when he was hired he wanted to start a drama program, because that was his first year, so he called me up. Tell me a little about your job, and what you do on a daily basis. I focus on performance and creativity. We work with improvisation, acting games; we do one act plays, and make movies. I do a lot of video projects. We do a lot of brainstorming, coming up with ideas and working the ideas together. I don’t just teach in the Middle School. I teach in the Upper School in the evenings, usually classes of about 12-15. I used to do big full length plays in the spring, but I now do one act plays, which are much more doable with the schedule. Why do you enjoy teaching drama? The more I teach drama, the more I realize it’s not just about acting, being talented, performing. It is such a social endeavor. It’s about working together, personalities, the chemistry of the group. For me as a teacher, it’s about learning how to build rapport with the kids, how to motivate without squashing them, but not letting them run over me, too. I try to get them willing and interested. I have learned some tricks, like using a video camera during rehearsal. When they are being taped, they take it more seriously. Also, I do two performances, so that the first performance lets them get on their feet, get their nerves out. Some of them don’t really apply themselves until they are in front of an audience. It’s sort of like “the proof is in the pudding.” If they don’t work, it is going to be publically humiliating. There are so many life lessons in drama. It gets emotional sometimes. The pressure can trigger emotions inside the kids. What are some of the harder parts of the job? Trying to motivate the kids. Trying to keep order in a non-orderly environment. There are no desks; it’s an unstructured environment to begin with. It is so important to have rapport with them; that is the most important thing. If you push too hard, they shut down and become sullen on stage, and it just doesn’t work. One thing that has helped so much is that the first day of class I get them to tell me their life story. Once I get them to that place when they are freely talking about themselves, I know that I am hearing the real kid, and we can work from there. What are your favorite parts of the day? I love coming in every morning. I love being on the stage; I love the environment of the Thomas Gym. I love the kids . . . most of the time. They’re funny; they’re creative when they get into it, and that is really cool.
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CHESS BY Geon Woo Han Chess tournament started on Saturday, April 20. The Middle School team members were Hawkins, Pittman, Kim, and me. All of the members were first time players in the chess tournament. The Upper School chess team played before, so they don’t get nervous, but to us this is our first time in a tournament, and even our play is not that good. Actually, I was really nervous when the tournament started. I was thinking that “What happens if I lose all my games?” If that happened I’m pretty sure I would have been mad at that day. When the chess tournament started I was playing with somebody who was not a FUMA cadet. I guess he came from Indonesia. When I played him, I was thinking, I’m still little nervous. When he blocked my plan, and thought of another plan, he blocked it again. It happened again, and again, and again. After all my plans were destroyed by him, I lost that game. I thought, “I know it can happen but it was a close game.” I went downstairs and practiced with other FUMA cadets. My second match was against Weisel, an Upper School cadet. I thought, “I hope I’m not going to lose.” When I played with him I thought I was losing, but I killed Weisel’s queen and made my pawn to queen. His king was the only left. I have my king and a queen, so I tried to make checkmate, but I made a mistake, so I got a stalemate…. When I made a stalemate I was thinking, “Why I make a stalemate!!!!!” It was disappointing to me. I could have made him into checkmate. Anyway I earned 0.5 point for the stalemate. After that I played Kevin Yang, and he got me checkmate with 3 moves. This game was something I really don’t want to think about. My last opponent was Cadet Kim, and I thought, “I’m going to win this game.” I played with him best I could and made checkmate with 2 queens. Finally I won the game. That was my first win in the tournament. I was so happy because I won my last game. What made me the happiest is I got a 3rd place trophy in K-8 section, and Pittman got 5th, Kim got 4th, and our Middle School got 2nd place in the tournament. That is why I was so happy, and even CPT Keithley was happy too! Anyway, that is why I can clearly remember all about the chess tournament, and I hope I can play next time and get 1st place.
Chess tournament Kim young Jun
There was a chess tournament at our school. It was Saturday, April 20, and so many people were not in the barracks. I woke up at 7:00am because I thought the chess tournament was at 7:30, but when I woke Han, he said that the tournament will start at 8:30. I read a book until 7:45. I ate a big breakfast with Han and Shim. At 8:30 we came to center barracks to see Captain Keithley, but he was not there. Han and I looked for Pittman. After a few minutes Captain Keithley came and took us to the Thomas gym. When we arrived there we knew that Hawkins was not there, so Captain Keithley went out to find Hawkins. While waiting for Hawkins. Pittman and me were looking at the trophy that was red and it looks very good. My team was Pittman, Hawkins, Han, and me. When we were waiting for the other teams to come, we practice with FUMA’s high school team. Our
team coach was Captain Keithley and the high school coach was Col Nothnagle. My first opponent was an American that looked Asian. I played for a very long time. Luckily I didn’t have the timer on the table. Beside me and my opponent was Hawkins playing against girl. Hawkins is the best player on our team, but he lost to the girl. After an hour I lost to the Asian boy. After I lost to the boy I went downstairs to practice some more with cadet Jacobson. He is very good in chess. When I played with him, I lost by 4 moves. I asked Jacobson how to do four moves check mate, and he told me how to do it. We played round 2. My opponent was Chinese and I thought he was not really good, so I did the four move checkmate to him. When I did the moves he blocked it with his knight, so I lost again. My next opponent was Weisel; he is a high school player so I got nervous at first. After an hour I almost made a check mate, but I accidently made a wrong move so I lost my queen. That time I felt really bad and angry but I thought very carefully and finally I beat Weisel with check mate. That was my first win. After Weisel I played with Han, and he is the second best on the team. I lost, but by a very close point. After the tournament we went down to the waiting place and talked about the tournament. We knew that no Middle School player got a trophy from FUMA. After an hour we went out to the trophy presentation, and in the Middle School Hawkins got a ribbon, Pittman got a 5th place trophy, Kim got 4th place trophy, and Han got 3rd place with trophy. We got a 2nd place team trophy. I didn’t know that I got a 4th place trophy. I also didn’t understand why Hawkins got the lowest in the middle school. For me, I thought I would get a ribbon and other people will get trophies. After taking a picture of all Middle School and high school players, we were dismissed. I ran to Captain Keithley’s house and knocked on his door and he came out with his wife. I gave him the trophy for the team trophy for the team and he was happy. After the tournament Captain Keithley put our team trophy in the Teacher’s Lounge to show to the teachers. I wish that he will put the trophy in his room.
My 8th Grade Year By: James (Jimmy) Lehman My 8 grade year has been a wild ride. I started out in Louisa and that went downhill fast; I got into a lot of trouble for little things. One incident was in Science class when we had a sub and the whole class was playing around and we started throwing stuff at each other. I saw some dry beans on the back counter of the classroom in a bucket so I took about a handful and started throwing them. They suspended me for stealing, because I took them out of the bucket and they weren’t mine to take. I was supposed to be suspended for 5 days, but since I told the truth I only got suspended for 3 days. During my time as an 8th grader at Louisa I got suspended for 18 days. It seemed like every other week they were suspending me for something. I was also getting kicked off of every sports team that I played for because I kept getting suspended. Getting kicked off a sports team is like losing a family member. You really like the sport and you get to hang with your friends, but doing something bad makes you lose all of that in a moment. I could not deal with it any longer, so I had a talk with my mom about switching schools and going to FUMA. My mom was tired of me getting suspended for the little things, too, so she was all for me going to FUMA. The talk with my Mom went well; she said that she will be willing to pay for me to come to FUMA but I need to work really hard at everything I do. She got us a tour and after that we had a talk with the Head of Admissions. Leaving the meeting, we were hooked about me going to Fork Union Military Academy starting on January 14th. Everything changed when I came to FUMA. I was determined to do the best that I was capable of doing and to make my mom proud. I was very happy to have a clean slate, and everything that I had done in Louisa didn’t matter anymore. With me getting into a lot of trouble at Louisa my grades had also been slipping. I had 3 C’s and 2 B’s on my last report card and that is horrible for me. That was the first time that I have ever gotten more than 1 C on any of my report cards. I was usually getting all A’s or A/B honor roll. Since I wanted to go to college, I needed to get my grades up and not get into any trouble. FUMA was the perfect place to get me to college and to become th
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a better person. I was tired of getting into trouble so when I started at FUMA I told my mom that I was going to stay out of trouble and get my grades where they needed to be. The rule at FUMA is if you stayed in trouble then you couldn’t go home. If I didn’t stay out of trouble, I couldn’t go home; I wouldn’t be able to see my family that much. I have never been away from my family for a long period of time, so I pushed myself to stay out of trouble because I wanted to see my family. Coming to FUMA has made me more responsible and mature. Since I was getting kicked off of every team I played on this year, I didn’t get to have the athletic season I was hoping for. Coming to FUMA gave me another chance to finish the year off right and play sports again. I got kicked off the football and basketball teams at Louisa. When I started at FUMA I wanted to play basketball, so I tried out for the team and made it. I worked hard and I got good minutes on the floor and I was just happy that I got to play again. Playing for FUMA showed me that if I wanted to go to the next level in any sport I would have to work super hard because the next level won’t be easy. My work ethic got a lot better because I wasn’t just going to be given playing time I had to earn it. The way I earned it was by working hard on and off the court. FUMA has changed me into a better guy all around. It has made me a lot more mature, responsible, respectful, given me a better work ethic, and made me a stronger student athlete. FUMA has been a great experience and I wonder what it will do to me if I stay here for 4 more years
TRYING TO TURN AROUND By Isaiah Shaw Starting off the year I would get stuck a lot, turning me into an uncaring person. Getting stuck was like spitting in the wind to me. Every time I would let it all out and not care, at that moment my decisions would come back on me. It always started off well, but when it comes back on you it feels awful. It never crossed my mind that I was in the eighth grade and my future was starting. Even the little things that I would do could change my whole life. In study hall, around cadet officers, and even faculty, my behavior would be the same no matter what people would say or do. Later, realizing that I would like to make my life easier on myself, I tried starting over on a good note. The start of basketball season is what got me on track, because I wanted to go to practice and play in every game. When it comes to the court, I forget all about what happens at school, and just do what I practice. Also, I was trying to impress my mom by scoring, good conduct, and grades. My mom’s opinion mattered the most when I got here, so I tried my hardest to prove that I could actually succeed. I stayed off of ED for a long time, and then the unexpected happened. Even my mom would have never thought that I would make excellent conduct. Faculty and cadet officers started to respect me more as a person, and not so much as a trouble-starter. I stopped running my mouth so much, I respect more adults, and my best achievement is not caring so much about myself. For instance, before, everything had to be done the way I wanted it to be done. In all this I have gotten a lot closer to my family; now I care a lot more about doing well. Before, when I was home, I was surely destined for failure. This school hasn’t been that bad; it has allowed me to look at all my opportunities not just as an athlete but as a student and maturing in the future.
My Year at FUMA By Khari Coley-Trice
FUMA has been a place to change and improve. There have been ups and downs about being here, but you must keep it together. I came to this school so that I could make it in life, because at my old school they believed that I needed special education help because I was so far behind. I knew I didn’t; I just didn’t know how to tell them. My dad told me one day, he said: “You’re fine and you don’t need help; this school is just being soft. They aren’t letting you take responsibility for your actions.” Coming to FUMA I had straight C’s. By the end of the year I almost made honor roll with all A’s and B’s and one C. All I needed was a bit of help, someone to push me and tell me not to give up and to go the extra mile. I came here again for my 8th grade year, and was still excelling. I have dropped increasingly towards the end of this year, but it’s not over yet. I try to talk to my dad every day or when I can, and he gives me the energy and the push to finish strong. I try to talk to mom and she tells me to push on and make it through the year. I will do my best to finish the year strong. “No holding back, ; leave it all on the field,” my dad tells me. And that’s what I will try to do. Maturing at this school, I have learned to be more responsible. For example, if I do something wrong I take responsibility because people will find out. No one here can keep a secret. I’ve learned that not everything is a game, and that even though you have years until you will be paying bills, your future awaits you right now. It’s your choice whether you want to be dumb as a box of rocks or to excel in life and not have to worry about being overdue with the rent. This school has taught me how to take care of myself and to take responsibility for my own mistakes. My dad told me that sometimes you may want to go to the Estes with your friends, but you may need to work on a homework assignment so that you don’t fail the class. He told me that it is my choice and my grades, not theirs .You have to do what you have to do to make sure you pass the class. Since I have been here, I have also enjoyed the people I have met from different places. I think it’s cool because I have made friends that are nothing like me and friends who are just like me. I hope that when I come back here next school year I’m going to make even better friends. I have enjoyed this year because I have met new people. Also, even though you have to listen to the same people every day, it’s good to learn to work with people you don’t like. Sometimes you may be in a bad mood and you don’t feel like listening to CPT Butt rush you into his room for class when you have to use the bathroom, but you have to learn to push through and accept the fact that he’s not you and that you have to imagine things from his perspective. Another thing is if you wake up on the wrong side of the bed and you’re upset, it’s like waking up to a petting zoo. You have kids running in and out of rooms telling you to wake up and I guess you have to smile and just say that they are morning people. I have learned not to take my emotions out on others, but to take it out on places like the playing field. After all, I have learned to love this school because I feel my life would have never been the same without it.
8th Grade Experience MAJ Hegler
I was tired, stressed out and angry on regular daily basis at home before I came to Fork Union. I was constantly arguing and being disrespectful to my parents. It was obvious something had to be done. When I first showed up to FUMA, I did not want to be there but I knew what I had to do. I did extremely well and returned this year to a leadership position. As an officer I have to set the example and I cannot fly out in rage when I get angry. I have gained a sense of self control this year and have carried it back home, too. Whenever I get really angry, I have learned not to flip out because I have to set the ex-
ample for the other cadets. For example, one cadet on my hallway is very energetic and loves to run around and be obnoxious. One night I was in a bad mood when he came tearing down the hallway. Slipping and sliding, this cadet came laughing and screaming down the hallway until he slammed right into my gut, causing me a great deal of pain. I surprised myself when I almost exploded, but caught myself and calmly told him to return to his room and calm down. Normally, I would have exploded and made the situation worse. But instead I set the example and exemplified self-control; no one wants to listen to an officer that gets angry and yells at cadets all the time anyway. Cadets will listen to an officer that they respect and one who shows self-control. That is a big thing that I learned this year. I have also carried this back home with me. One night, when my Mom asked me to do my chores and my little brother’s chores, too, instead of flipping out I said “Yes, ma’am” and did them right away. She was just as surprised as I was, and was pleased at my progress. Now instead of arguing with my parents about my anger problems we have conversations about my progress. Now we can talk about good, beneficial things, like receiving the most distinguished Middle School cadet award, starting on the JV football team, and getting promoted to Major. I feel like FUMA has given me the ability to have a conversation with my family without them being scared of me getting angry and starting an argument. We feel more comfortable around each other now. Before FUMA, my parents felt they were walking on egg shells whenever they were around me. One mistake and I would explode. Cadets talk about how FUMA stinks, but in the end it is very beneficial to come here and I am very grateful to have been given the chance to attend FUMA.
Un-Sat to Excellent By John Davis This year was like a Wal-Mart Superstore, there’s always something new around every corner. I have never experienced anything like it. Arriving at FUMA, I thought I was going to meet my goals extremely easily. I set super high standards thinking I would make them by the end of the year, but after about the second week, I realized how difficult it was going to be. One of the main reasons I didn’t do as well as I wanted to was because of homesickness; homesickness is one of the worst feelings a person can feel, especially if you are eight hours away from home. I live in Myrtle Beach and that is an eight hour drive from FUMA. It took me about ten weeks to stop feeling homesick. Then, I went on leave for about three days and when I got back to FUMA, I felt more homesick than I did at the beginning of the school year. That next week I took a little unexpected ten day leave and my parents and I made this sheet that said if I get good grades and good conduct I get to pick the school I go to next year. When I got back to FUMA, I started to slowly improve. I improved in my grades and in my conduct. I went from unsatisfactory conduct to satisfactory plus and then to excellent. One of the main reasons I
wanted to improve was that I saw all of the rewards. Good conduct people got to do practically whatever they wanted without anyone asking them what they’re doing. So, I kept improving. Now, I’m on Color Guard and I’m also a Sergeant. Once I got out of the Un-Sat range, I decided to try my best to stay out. I’m so proud of myself because only a couple people that ever came to FUMA have gone from Un-Sat to excellent conduct. My parents are very proud of me, too, because they know I’ve tried my hardest in making all of my accomplishments. I’m near the end of the year now and I met all of the goals I set and already picked out the school I’m going to next year. Since I did so well this year, I decided to come to FUMA next year. Now that I’m getting everything under control and I know how everything goes, I think I will be more successful next year than I was in the Middle School. Next year is my ninth grade year and every ninth grader in the Upper
School tells me that ninth grade is the hardest grade. So, I will have to try super hard when I get to ninth grade. I’m kind of looking forward to FUMA in ninth grade, but I’m not used to giving the effort that this school requires me to give. All of the other schools I’ve been to don’t require me to put in much effort. The reason I’m picking this school to go to next year is because it will help me out later in life. I think that if I try hard now, I will be a whole lot more successful than I will be if I go to public school. So that’s why I’m choosing to come back to FUMA.
My Experience at F.U.M.A. By Jacob Rising At first I hated the idea of coming to Fork Union. At my old school, I had been getting in some trouble and I was doing badly academically. So one night my parents told me that they wanted the best for me so they wanted me to go to FUMA. I was not happy. I looked at it like I was losing all of my friends and they were punishing me and just wanted me out of the house, until one my day my whole experience here at Fork Union Military Academy changed! I can recall this day very well; it was my 17th day at FUMA. I had to go home for something that happened where I lived, so my dad came and picked me up; that was the day my life changed. When he came in the building he went to LTC B’s office to sit down and ask him how I was doing and if I was adjusting well. LTC B said I was adjusting well and that I was a fine young man. I showed my dad the tour sheet, and how a cadet who had started at the same time as me already had 87 tours. I told him how I had not yet been stuck and all the work I had done so far. Then we hit the road, and that’s when it happened. We were talking and I asked how my brother’s car was doing, because he has a nice Camaro and I loved riding in it. Riding in that car was like riding on an airplane on the ground - it was so fast. That’s when my dad told me that the night before my brother had wrecked it! I think I stopped breathing for a couple seconds. I asked what happened and he said that he had been racing on the street; my brother wrecked his car at 130mph. I was scared to ask if he was dead or not so I just started crying. My dad said that luckily nobody was hurt, and he had a friend in the car and he was not hurt either. This event motivated me to do well because I did not want to make the same bad decisions my brother had made. I slowly realized that my parents had sent me to FUMA to become a better person. Since they wanted to see me be successful in life, they sent me to FUMA. That is what I had to get in my head. Once I got that in my head I have been very successful here at FUMA. I have been on honor roll and have made excellent conduct my whole time here. The structure here has been the key to my success. It’s been my teachers in class always getting on my butt about doing my homework and getting good grades on my tests, but what really has helped me are the friends I have made and how they tell me when I am about to do something that I will get stuck for. Once, I was very mad at a cadet officer because he kept sticking me for no reason, and I was about to go and confront him and say something unnecessary. My friend stopped me from doing that, and kept me from getting a lot of demerits. I did so well this year I have decided that I will come back to FUMA for all four years of my high school experience. I am hoping I will be able to do the same things in the Upper School as I did down in the Middle School and even be more successful. So, I do think FUMA has given me a chance to do good things with my life! If you are a cadet this year and you are reading this, your parents just want the best for you, too!
History of the Dining Hall Before building the current Estes Dining Hall, FUMA cadets and staff ate their meals in the basement of Hatcher Hall. In 1998, the Dorothy Thomasson Estes Dining Hall was finished and dedicated. The dining hall can serve the entire Corps of Cadets at once, and functions as a community center during power outages or other emergency situations. FUMA cadets spend a lot of time in the Estes Dining Hall. Three times a day, seven days a week, cadets enter its doors, totaling more than 300 hours during the academic year. Do we even think about the history of the building when we enter? Originally, the site of the current dining hall served as a playing field. In the middle of the 20th century, the space was paved, and was used for parking, drill practice, and for extra duty marching. LTC Feathers, who grew up on the FUMA campus, remembers riding his tricycle on the surface as a young boy. Directly next to the parking lot, about where the salad bar is located in the current building, was a playground. The playground had a swing set, tetherball, and shuffleboard courts, used by Middle School cadets during recess and free time.
The arrow indicates the current location of the dining hall as it looked in 1956.
Some Pictures from our Washington, D.C. Trip