Sunday, September 2, 2012

1 Sept 2012 Update

I have not heard from Brian much this past week.  On Monday I mailed him his wallet and a 30X II TI calculator only to find out he needs an 83.  I need to hunt that one down.  I'm certain he used this calculator the last two years.  Bank of America will not close an account that I am secondary on with him.  I logged in as him but his account is locked for using the wrong password too many times.  In any event I contacted the school so they will give him time to take care of this next week.   On August 30th Brian text me and asked me if I knew MG Tate.  I said, absolutely, he is a 2-star General in the JAG Corps and lives on Fort Belvoir.  Well later I found out this person he was referring to is MG Tait, a completely different person.   Brian is interested in meeting this General and hopes he gets the opportunity.  Yes, just out of the blew he texts and asks if I know this General and he hopes to meet him.  Well that is good news, that he is actually interested in meeting this Major General.  MG Tait is the step-father of the Head of School at MMA.

Brian started his classes on Wednesday and have spent the rest of the week getting acclimated to the academic routine and the activities after class.  Next week I will obtain a log on for Edline so I can see how he is doing in classes.  Edline is used by Courtland High School and Island Pacific Academy in Hawaii so this will be good resource to see his assignments and grades.

I've called and text'd him several times today and only got one response that his first soccer game is Thursday.  I told him I planned on being there and bringing his prescription glasses.  Glasses are just for the classroom.  Hopefully he can keep track of them.

Other than this that's all I know about his week.  He does have free time 6:30pm-7:45pm and on weekend.

Here is the first newsletter from MMA.

August 31, 2012
Dear MMA Parents,
Classes have started, cadets are all (just about) in uniform, and the routines and rhythms are coming together.  It’s going to be a great year.
I’d like to ask a favor.  Please reply to this email – to verify that MMA has your correct address.
Here’s some fun news!  At the end of summer school, we announced that a DVD would soon be available for purchase ($25), highlighting all the impressive performances and activities of summer 2012.  Music (and Marketing) Director Sarajane Trier has produced a wonderful piece – and it’s available now FREE via a YouTube link in the MMA Facebook page.  So please visit the MMA Facebook page and be sure to “Comment,” “Share” the post to your own Wall, and “Like” it!  Every Facebook page “Share” and “Like” helps push MMA to the front in on-line searches for schools, which means helping us recruit and enroll more great kids like yours!  

Upcoming MMA Major Events
Friday, September 21  
1 – 3 p.m.   Meet the Teachers   
Enjoy putting names and faces (and emails) together with your cadet’s teachers .  (Full conferences October 19, after the first grading period.)
4 p.m.   Home Football Game vs. Covenant School (Charlottesville, VA)
Saturday, September 22
1 p.m.   MMA Cadet Battalion marches in the Edinburg Ole Time Festival Parade

Friday and Saturday, October 12-13
Homecoming (Alumni) Weekend
                3:30 p.m. Friday football game at Fishburne Military School
Friday, October 19  
Parent –Teacher Conferences as scheduled, 1-5 p.m.    

Sports Seasons Start!
Football team opens tonight at Quantico High School.
Soccer and Volleyball teams open Thursday, September 6, at home against Staunton School.
Schedules are posted on the website.  (let me know if you have difficulty downloading them.)

Weekend Leaves
A challenge at any boarding school is helping teenagers get fully acclimated to new routines, expectations, and relationships – and sometimes just overcoming homesickness.  The best way to help is to encourage them to stay on campus with their new friends.  Trotting home every weekend can impede progress significantly. 

So, we ask parents to join us in keeping cadets here on the weekends – at least for the first grading period.  Rather than drive home-to-MMA-and-back twice on a weekend, consider driving to MMA and visiting your cadet on campus, or go to dinner in Woodstock.  You’ll (we’ll) be glad you did, in the long run.  (The first Friday departures for new cadets should be after Parent-Teacher Conferences October 19.)  

That said, please know that all cadets must participate in the Edinburg Parade (September 22) and Homecoming (October 12-13).   

When the time does arrive for weekend leaves, cadets must submit their “Leave request” forms by Wednesday evening before a Friday departure.

Another email in the days ahead will explain details about NetClassroom, which allows parents online access to their cadets’ grades.
Questions?  Call or write!
Go, Colonels!
Craig Jones
R. Craig Jones
Head of School
Massanutten Military Academy
Fresh Starts for Future Servant-Leaders

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Report Day - August 25th

We finally got out the door for our 2 hr drive to MMA.  We arrived at the academy at 10:30 and Brian checked in at registration and received his checklist to in-process.  Although I recommended he show up in his PT uniform (shorts and shirt) he chose not to, of course.  After he ran into the Head Master for the second time he decided to go to the car and change.  Brian was immediately greeted by the other cadets that he met over the summer and all welcomed him back.  One of our stops was with Academics/Registrar and it agreed upon that his first semester schedule will be:  Algebra II, US Govt, English 11, Chemistry, Spanish III, SAT Prep and the required JROTC class - LET II.  Leadership Education Training.  These classes will earn him the advanced diploma, which is geared toward college prep.   I think this should keep him busy, don't you?  For the first six weeks he is enrolled in the Learning Support program.  Counselors offer tutoring, study skills, introduce and maintain a planner and ongoing communication with parents.  LSP goes hand-in-hand with the 1.5 hr mandatory study time after dinner.

I text him that evening to see what he was doing and no answer.  I called again since he does not have voicemail set up and he answered laughing and carry-on with his friends.  So that was a good sign. He told me he would be moving to another room on Sunday, and that he needed a trash can.  Go figure.  That is not something you can really mail.  His first soccer game is Sept 6th at 4:30 so I plan to bring it to him then.

He got his room and one other cadet helped him carry his stuff upstairs, which was so nice that I didn't have to take it three flights of stairs of building that was built in 1907.   While they were doing that I was able to speak with the dorm supervisor and he mentioned that there would be a barracks meeting Sunday morning and squad leaders would be assigned.  We went upstairs and as I was leaving the barrack's supervisor said "Brian since you've been here and know your way around I'll be looking for some squad leaders".  Brian said, I can do that I was supply sergeant during the summer.  I said to myself 1) he can barely keep track of himself let alone 5 or 6 other people and 2) taking care of the supply closet is much different than herding cats.

If anyone wants to write a postcard, send any snacks, or anything his address is:
Cadet Brian Spence
614 S. Main Street
Woodstock, VA 22664

His cell phone privileges/free time will be 6:30pm-7:45pm and Sat PM and all day Sunday.  He has a new cell number, just email me if you don't have it and would like to have it.

To see pictures throughout the 2012-2013 school year as well as the 5-week summer session go to:

Site URL:
Site Email Address:
(Use the site email address to send messages to site members and automatically post messages to the site message board. Note: Emails with JPEGs attached will post to the picture section only.)

I'm having trouble uploading photos here.