Congratulations 2014, on a JOB WELL DONE!

June 5th, 2014 - by Martha McCann, Michael '13
Sponsor: North Texas Parents Association

Oceans of happiness washed over Kings Point yesterday. The day began with very exhausted 1st Classmen arriving at Cookie Cafe mid-morning barely able to hold a coffee cup or put two sentences together. To any casual observer it would be obvious that the adage about mental exhaustion taking a physical toll need only look at these seniors for confirmation.

After getting Cookie Cafe ready in Melville yesterday (Land Hall was being drafted for the seniors' barbecue), the nail-biting wait was on until the list of newly-minted Maritime Officers was posted in the Engineering and Deck Departments by the faculty after getting the go-ahead from the United States Coast Guard. After receiving words of congratulations for a job-well-done from Dean Kumar, the mustered seniors were told to find their names on the lists of those who passed; the Mids charged their respective deck or engine buildings in hopeful anticipation of good news. With the eyes of faculty, parents and staff trained on the exits of those buildings, the first wave of jubilant Assistant Third Engineers poured out, making straight to the large brass bell outside Wiley Hall to announce to the world that the very arduous journey at Kings Point was now over.

It is hard to describe the release of both joy and relief that accompanies the bell ringing ceremony. Tears of pure exhilaration were in evidence everywhere, Midshipmen and parents alike. With many younger Mids looking on with some measure of admiration and just a tinge of jealousy, the reality that it can be done was a lesson in perseverance - "if they can do it, then why not me?"

There were several Cookie Cafe moms and one dad lucky enough to be present yesterday, a day that usually doesn't coincide with Cookie Cafe. Two moms especially, have been weekly faithful volunteers at Cookie Cafe, Lisa Pino-Nicholas '14 and Denise Kummer-Sean '14. While both felt amply rewarded for their service at CC by being physically present to see their sons' joyous ringing of the bell, every Mid owes them a "thank you" for their tireless efforts on behalf of the Regiment. Many students sought us out yesterday to give personal thanks for the actions by Mrs. Pino and Mrs. Kummer in support of the Regiment. Both moms have taken the beautiful pictures each week that confirm the Midshipmen's appreciation of Cookie Cafe not to mention their warm and generous hugs to many Midshipmen. Many thanks also have to be given senior parents Nancy Baransky-Andrew '14, Jack Welsh-Sean '14 and Muffi Grinnell-Jamison '14, for their unselfish time at Cookie Cafe. They too, had the pleasure of seeing their sons' accomplishments tolled by the bell.

Yesterday was the final day of Cookie Cafe for this school year, news unhappily received by both underclassmen and staff. Thank you to each and every parent who reached out, not only to their children, but to the entire Regiment by wisely understanding that a deliciously baked cookie can send a very loud and loving message of encouragement from home. It was a bitter sweet day, realizing that the seniors will now be launched into their very bright futures and no longer rush in to see us at Land Hall. We celebrated with a little champagne but sent the seniors with the message, not to forget their fellow Mids and maybe once in a while take the initiative and send us a few dozen cookies for those left behind.

This year's graduating class will be the last students who were at Kings Point while Carol and Gene Guest served the Mids at the Academy. The Guests would be so pleased to see the fruits of their labor, both in the metamorphosis of the soon-to-be-graduated Mids and the legacy of Cookie Cafe. In addition, Cookie Cafe's moms say a big thank you to retiring Social Director Mary Cunningham, who was our "go-to" person for everything from communicating with the Regiment to tracking down the plumbing department to get us hot water or heat when none was to be had. Mary's sense of humor, her love of a good chocolate cookie, and her positive attitude helped us numerous times. Perhaps now she will come back and volunteer with us some Thursdays.

Moms and Grandmothers - get some well-deserved baking rest, but don't get too comfortable. We, the returning parents of brand-new KP alumni along with the dedicated parents of returning Midshipmen, will desperately need you in September. As we tell the Mids when their heads hurt from studying and many late nights, "eat a cookie, it will help." And continue to pray for those few who must retake a part of the license exam next week. Like anything at Kings Point, giving up is not an option.

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