Friday, September 30, 2011
If you happen to take a walk around our campus you will notice that there are various of different memorials we have representing different people, or even graduates. One of my favorite ones is the one you see first as you enter the Academy and it is also next to our Harrington Academic Building. It is the memorial for the Merchant Marine Officers who have been killed in the line of duty. Coming from a school whose first majors for many years were only Marine Transportation and Marine Engineering we have a particular place in our hearts for those who obtained their license and were killed out to sea. As you walk to the memorial there is a path to the front statue of the Unknown Seaman. The Unknown Seaman has on a pea coat and has one hand in his pocket, and it says underneath " This monument is dedicated to the officers and men who sailed the ships of the US Merchant Marine during World War II. Especially to the 6700 unsung heroes who lost their lives in that conflict. And to the sons and daughters who followed in their footsteps and continue to go down to sea in ships. We remember them. We miss them. We shall never forget them." I think it is only appropriate that it placed facing the canal (the most beautiful spot on Buzzards Bay if you ask me) and next to our academic building where these future officers learn and are trained to become 3rd mates.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
I applied to as many companies as I possibly could in February this year for a co-op, but I wanted to focus on finding a company with a data-programming side because that is what I thought I wanted to do. APM Terminals was not even a company that I had in mind, but they called me one day, after class, and wanted to have a phone interview just a few hours later. Of course I said yes and I guess the rest is history. This summer I did a co-op in Port Elizabeth, New Jersey with APM Terminals. When getting my contract with the company and seeing my title as Assistant Operations ManagerI had absolutely no idea what to expect, but I knew that it would be fun from cadets who had done a co-op there before. Quite frankly I was nervous and I wasn't even sure working in a port was something that I would want to do after graduation, but I decided to give it a shot; not only was the pay great, the terminal was an hour away from where I live in NJ, but it was a great experience into the maritime industry! The first day was overwhelming I thought. Myself and 3 other MMA cadets started right after classes were done in June and were thrown into it. Learning the machines, the protocol, the lay of the land, and the logic behind decisions made.
I am so sorry for my absense for the past week or so. Life always seems busiest in the beginning and end of the semester, or maybe it's just because I wasn't used to it yet. With tutoring, classes, the play, and now trustee requirements life has been hectic. 2 weeks ago the Board of Trustees met for their monthly meeting. It was especially exciting for me, because it was the first time that I was able to vote and participate as an active member. Being Student Trustee has been so much more awarding than I really ever thought possible. Besides being exposed to so many behind the scenes activities that go on at MMA, I have advanced my public speaking skills as well as my people-skills. I do not think either of those ever stop advancing. At the meeting, the Admiral's 5 year plan was approved and discussion on the future of the Academy was reviewed. Every Trustee on the board comes from a different background. Our Chairman is a Marine and Purple Heart Recipient as well as an agent in the Secret Service. Our Vice Chairman is a lawyer and a graduate of Mass. Maritime Academy. We have former college deans, mayors, and professionals in the maritime industry. It is that structure that makes each of our perspectives so different, but so fascinating. We also discussed the expansion onto 6th company and with our campus expanding right before our eyes, the Admiral stressed a need on expansion to let more cadets into our beautiful school. We also got reports from each Vice President (Admissions, Finance, Operations, Academics etc) and was quite pleased with each report.
Monday, September 26, 2011
Friday, September 23, 2011
Thursday, September 15, 2011
School is now back in full swing. I'd like to take the chance to look back and reflect on my summer. This summer I had the chance to travel to Galveston, Texas to work for G&H Towing Company. G&H is strictly in the ship assist business. All of their tugs assist the ships that are going in and out of Houston, Galveston, Texas City, Freeport, and Corpus Christi. I left on June 20th and got home on August 24th. It was a very worth while experience. As a cadet I had a lot of responsibilities. I did daily maintenance as directed by the master, handled morring lines while docking and un-docking, and did the towing lines for tying up to ships. I also got a lot of time behind the wheel of some of the tugs. My schedule was a little different than the average 9-5 job. I would work five days on the tug with two days off. On the tug I would maintenance/ship work during the day. While the rest of the world sleeps at night, ships are constantly moving. It wasn't uncommon for the tug boat to have 2-5 ship jobs during the night. On a couple occasions we would run for 24 hours straight. This meant that my sleep schedule was a little interrupted. G&H operates a number of different types of tugs. I was on the conventional twin screw boats, and a couple of the Z-Tech/Z-Drive boats. A Z-Tech/Z-Drive is a
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Yesterday afternoon, Mass. Maritime had their first auditions for The Passion of Dracula. Since I have been active in theater since freshman year, this year I am the new Company Manager. We had a great turn out of crew and light support and incoming actors in this upcoming production. When choosing a college, I knew that I wanted a regimented college and it really came down to 3 regimented academies. My parents and I sat down and looked at what each college offered to pick which one was the best one for me. I was very active in plays and musicals in high school and even middle school and I knew that outlet was important to me. The other school did not have an acting program and the other academy told me that if I was interested I 'would have to start my own.' It was a done deal for me as to where I felt most comfortable, and every year around this time, I am reminded on why I picked MMA. I remember how much pride I have when I wake up to salute the flag at morning formation, or how much fun I have acting and at practice. For some people it is sports that can get them to unwind, for some it's playing an instrument, for others like me, it's being able to show my creative side on stage. I am thankful that this year we are doing a famous performance and hopefully will have just as large of an audience like the last 2 years.
Along with the semester starting classes, maintenance also started this past Monday and had maintenance from 0800-1100. I almost forgot about it until a shipmate of mine reminded me that we had to go get on our boiler suits after morning formation and head over to the ship with our PPE (Personal Protective Equipment such as gloves, hearing protection, goggles, flashlight etc) and our TWIC (Transportation Workers Identification Credential). Maintenance is a graduation requirement and is for 3 hours, once a week, for 4 weeks= 12 hours a semester. It is a long time, but if you have a good group of cadets with you, it goes by quickly.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
After a long summer, I am glad to be back at MMA for another semester. In the first week of school I was very busy. I had the opportunity to attend the Admirals Gala. I was invited to the Gala because I was featured in the scholarship book that was being handed out to the guests. My self along with two other cadets were featured. The Gala was an excellent time. Not only was it a great chance to meet new people and network, it was a fun atmosphere. Our new ABS Information Commons was buzzing with people, live music, and excellent food. Among one of the very exciting things to see was the new ship simulator. The new simulator is beyond anything I could have ever hoped for when I heard it was being built. When standing inside the bridge of this simulator, I felt like I was on the bridge of a ship, every part of my body felt like it was at sea. The new simulator accomplishes exactly what it is meant to do. It is meant to fully immerse students into a environment where they can learn, make mistakes, and try things that we cannot do in the real world. It allows us to make a mistake without suffering the consequences, so that we will not make the same mistakes in the real world.
My next blog will be about my summer in Texas with G&H Towing.
-New Bedford Waterfront Festival
Sunday, September 11, 2011
I had the honor of participating in this year's Travis Fuller Invitational Cross Country Race at MMA on Saturday, September 10th, 2011. Not only was it an honor to sing the National Anthem and God Bless America but to me, meeting his 2 sisters was quite humbling. Travis Fuller was a MMA grad who was killed on January 26, 2005 when the CH-53E helicopter crashed near Ar Rutbah, Iraq. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3 Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, and Marine Corps Base Hawaii. He was a Massachusetts Maritime Graduate who joined the Marine Corps upon completion at the Academy and every year since MMA host’s an invitational cross country race in his honor. Travis Fuller was also a cross country runner who touched the lives of many. I never had the honor of meeting Travis, but his ultimate sacrifice never goes forgotten. I found a website honoring our fallen heroes, and the page dedicated to him. At the award ceremony his sisters stood up and told a story about how when Travis had heard that the towers had fell, he rushed to NYC to help, and when he wasn’t able to go into New York, he came to MMA and sat along the canal with his shipmates in awe. They thanked the Academy for being the place that he ran to that day, but I think more than anything, Saturday MMA thanked 1st Lt. Travis Fuller for his bravery and unselfish acts that fateful day in January. It was a touching ceremony on Saturday that truly set a humbling mood for the weekend. Today is September 11th, and no matter where you were that day, it is forever embedded in our hearts and our minds. I hope that you had a reflective and were able to share it with loved ones.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Last night, I attended the Admiral's Gala as MMA's Student Trustee. This year, our Admiral's Gala took place in our new ABS Information Commons and was a complete hit! I had the honor of meeting the CEO from Seabulk International, Gerhard Kurz. Apart from being friendly and a joy to talk to, he had so many words of wisdom to share with the cadets there. There was great food, great conversation and of course a great speech given. This was my first event of this type, and I hope to be able to go to many more. I met many alumni's who were very impressed (and some even speechless) with the ABS Information Commons.
A few of my shipmates and I also decided to go see the newly constructed Ship Simulator. I wish I could explain how breathtakingly amazing this room is to be in, but I hope that you get to see it for yourself. I spent an hour in the simulator, and I was so convinced that the floor was moving on hydraulics! The details of the 360˚ screen that surrounded the “bridge” was amazing. We had a sound power telephone that was connected to the control room where a certified faculty member put obstacles in our way, as well as even changed the weather! I am a business major, and I went into this simulator with two other IMBU cadets and an Emergency Management cadet and all four of us came out of the simulator saying that we should have gone Marine Transportation.
The picture above isn't as clear as I had hoped, because the room is dark but you do see a bit of what the room is like. The man on the left is Mark Stevenson a 2000 MMA graduate (Marine Engineer nonetheless), the man in the middle is Arthur Patsios an Emergency Management major (Class of 2013) and on the right is Michael Kastrinelis an International Maritime Business major (Class of 2013) who is now seriously considering shipping out. The Admiral's Gala last night brought together all age groups of maritime professionals and, to me, it was especially touching to see the alumni and current cadets interacting. The alumni's have so much world experience, but still are able to connect with our cadets. The Gala was such a success!
- - J--Jordan Megee