Naval Academy, A New Experience
Naval Academy, A New Experience
  • Reporter Kim Jeong-in
  • 승인 2011.09.06 12:55
  • 댓글 0
이 기사를 공유합니다

One student’s experience with the summer course

A new education course was made by the POSTECH leadership center. This course was named Activity-based General Education Curriculum (ABC). As the name suggests, ABC is far from other major courses of POSTECH as it would make students do novel activities like going to the Naval Academy, attemdomg freshman seminar and culture colloquium. Therefore these courses would help students to make future plans and promote intellectual depth. All Postechians must finish 10 credits to graduate. 4 units are essential parts, so postechians can select 6 credits of what they want to take. The group activity which, is xperiencing the Naval Academy, was one of the choices for 6 credits. These courses were made purposefully for leadership development; also this gives 2 credits to freshmen. A representative of the leadership center said that this course would be extended to the upper grades students, as well.

Postechians who participated in this course started from POSTECH at 10:30A.M. It took 3 hours to go to Naval Academy. When we first saw that, I felt the brightness and openness because Naval Academy is located in front of the sea. When we entered the Academy’s dormitory, which was facing at the East Sea, in the room were 4 beds, 4 desks, and 4 cabinets. I thought that a Naval Academy student’s life would be with hardship because there was no air-conditioner. After we unpacked our packages, we were divided into three platoons (I was in the second platoon). When we started to have a meal, we had to pick up spoons and chopsticks all together and left the restaurant together. This tradition was so novel to us but we could realize that ‘diversity’ of eating speeds, so I noticed manners of a person who eats more slowly.

The training of the first day was simple close-order drill and moral education; however, this ‘moral education’ was not ‘telling something’ but ‘doing something hard’. Fortunately, moral education was so short that we could go to sleep early to prepare for the next day’s hard training.

The following morning started early. We woke up at 6:00 A.M. with a whispering instructor. Staring at the wide and brisk sea, Postechians rotated the running track of Naval Academy. After finishing the track, we went to have breakfast. While having a meal, we chatted about battle swimming in the morning. I heard that this ‘battle swimming’ is very hard and difficult, thus I became suddenly tense. When we entered the swimming pool, I felt fear, since I couldn’t swim. Before entering the real course, to divide Postechians by swimming ability, we took a test, which was a simple swimming pool crossing test with a life vest, but I couldn’t cross the swimming pool. I thought myself odd because when I smashed the water, I went back to ground! It was quite strange, how could I disobey the law of ‘action and reaction’? Finally, I was rescued by the instructor of swimming training. Naturally, I had to go to Level C, which was the lowest swimming group. Our C group members learned how to take a breath in the water and how to float on the water, important skills to survive the water.

After combat swimming class, we had IBS training. IBS means ‘Inflatable Boat Small’. Instructors said that IBS training would be the hardest course, so Postechians got a little nervous about that. When we went out to go to take IBS training, it poured down, so we worried about sinking the boat because of the heavy rain. On arriving at the training place, we wore life vests and learned how to pull on the oars. In this course, the most important thing was cooperation with other friends because if we didn’t cooperate, the boat couldn’t pull ahead. We were divided into 5 groups and we competed against each other. The goal of this competition was returning from one white buoy. Because the distance between us and the buoy was so long, our teammates were exhausted for rowing. But the cooperation of IBS course with friends was a great experience for me, which made me feel connected with other friends.

The next day, climbing the mountain was so hard that some of the Postechians inwardly hoped it would rain in the morning. However, the third day’s morning was clear and fresh. Finally, my friends and I had to climb up ‘Manghaebong’. The mountain was not high; however, since we took the curved path, we spent 3 hours to get to the top of the mountain. The meaning of this mountain is that of ‘staring sea’ as it is. Because of the previous day’s rain, the road was so slippery; therefore we placed out feet very carefully. Three hours passed so fast, and when we arrived at the top of the mountain, I could gaze at the wide and vast ocean. The view of the sea made me forget the trials of everyday life. After taking photos at the apex, we heard an explanation of a naval cadet’s life. They always climb this mountain once a week.


▲ Postechians are practicing back stroke for combat swimming.


In the afternoon, we had a lecture from the principal of Naval Academy. He wore the military uniform with one star, which means he is the brigadier general. Owing to his years of experience, we could easily understand his lecture about lifetime. Also, we listened to good words from the museum director. While listening to his lecture, I thought that this lecture was similar to the class of Dale Carnegie because he and Dale said the same thing about good communication skills and how to live a great life. This lecture was very impressive to me.


▲ Pull on a oars! (IBS training)


The fourth morning was very cool. This was substantially the last day in the naval academy, so I felt the hardness of training was a little less than the other days. However, we had special training this morning which had an object in view for friendship and health. Those were group jump rope and dodge ball. We had a good time before we took a woodstick gym. This gym has been called ‘the test of friendship’ because if one person relaxes one’s arms, the others would be very hard. Therefore, the woodstick gym requires friendship and responsibility. We were divided into many groups which consisted of 8 people with similar height.


▲ A picture at the top of the Manghaebong


We did the best we could to do the woodstick gym. That was hard for us because of the hot weather and the weight of the stick. The weight of the woodstick was astonishing 80kg. We did this only for 30 minutes, but it felt like 3 hours.


▲ Students are taking log-lifting training.


In the afternoon, we met real naval academy’s cadets. Like one-to-one training, one postechian met one third- grader cadet. When we first arrived at Naval Academy, we talked about ‘how to stay in this place’ because we thought there would be no joyful places in this academy. Surprisingly, the lives of naval cadets were similar to those of us, but theirs lives were more regulated by many rules. Also, the connection between senior and freshman was very powerful, which was different from that of POSTECH, I think.

Many Postechians participated in this leadership training course which was held at the naval academy. In this course, there were some of female Postechians as well. Of course there were many female cadets in the naval academy and this was not a surprise, but was the female students’ experiences and resolutions more special than that of the male students? We had an interview with a girl student whom participated in this course. Yu Yae-won (IME, ‘11) who we interviewed said that she decided to go to Naval Academy because she thought this course would be valuable for making new friends and having fun.  However, her first impression about training at the Naval Academy was not fun, but hard. Yet, she recognized real friendship and responsibility while doing hard trainings. Furthermore, when she met a female naval cadet who was assigned for her, she was moved by the navy woman’s resolution not to fall behind men. With this as a momentum, she could think back on her life in POSTECH. Finally, Yae-won said that this experience was so great to her because she was able to get the spirit of “I can do anything!”

The last day, we could go back to POSTECH! Five days were a little hard, but I experienced something great, such as new friends, the hard training and responsibility. The purpose of this experience course was to promote ‘leadership’. But I thought that this course was not only ‘leadership training’ but a new life experience. Though we only took a five days course, we could feel how hard it is to protect our oceans. So, if a junior in school has agony about taking a summer course, I would strongly recommend this course.