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Help Yourself; Be Early Not Just on Time


"Punctuality (better yet, being early) … and Following Through — Two Very Important Personal Qualities”

             Here’s a real-life story about life lessons that one of our FISH learned well.  Thanks to the Emanuel Family for sharing with us.

Help Yourself; Be Early Not Just on Time


This fall Katherine Emanuel, former FISH swimmer and 2016 Washington Lee High School graduate, had an opportunity to compete for one of four Air Force Academy slots to participate in the 2018 Tri-Academies Viet Nam and Cambodia trip.  The trip is a three week long all-expense paid cultural immersion experience with each service academy selecting four students to participate.  Selection for one of the four AF Academy slots was based on class rank, an essay, and an interview with the political science professor leading the AF contingent.


Katherine was confident that she could do well on the class rank assessment since she is in the top tier of the class of 2020 and could write a decent essay.  Doing well on the interview she felt was critical because as an electrical engineering major it was unclear to her how much preference (if any) was given to political science majors.  She also recognized that at this point in her academic career she was an unknown to the political science department.  Katherine showed up 15 minutes early for the interview. Her timing paid off.  The professor started the interview early, and she learned that she was going to be competitive for a slot because she was early.  It turns out that the professor leading the trip values punctuality.  He wants to be able to count on the cadets to show up early each day of the 21-day trip so that they don’t miss travel connections or give a bad impression to their host country sponsors. 


In late January Katherine was notified that she had been selected for one of the four trip slots out of over a hundred plus candidates.  She was immediately given a checklist of pre-trip requirements to include applying for a military passport, renewing a tourist passport if expiring, and getting additional immunizations if necessary to be medically cleared for travel.  What Katherine didn’t realize was that the evaluation process was still on-going.  Recently, she was notified that one cadet selected for the trip had been downgraded to an alternate for not progressing on the pre-trip checklist.