National Geographic : 1959 Jun
U. S. AIR FORCEPHOTOGRAPHICAND CHARTINGSERVICE (MATS) Hong Kong Holiday Gives a Cadet a Taste of Foreign Relations Last summer a third of the Class of 1959 traded home leaves to tour U. S. bases and countries in the Far East. This man explores the British Crown Colony by ricksha. "Don't let's alarm the Academy's neighbors, however. Be sure and say the cadet 'birds' never leave the drawing boards!" I tried some classes in nuclear physics, elec tronics, and aerodynamics, after which I went back to see Colonel McDermott. "I'm worried," I said. "This difficult stuff, I've been told, is the sort of thing we must know to survive as a nation. With all due respect, these cadets were children only yes terday. Do they truly learn these things?" "You can stop worrying," the dean smiled. "They learn and ask for more. "We have something here you might not expect to find in a service academy. We call it an 'enrichment' program. Part of it consists of a group of optional courses considerably more advanced than those in the prescribed curriculum. "After a cadet's first year, if his marks are extra good, we let him take an 'overload.' Mind you, we don't pressure him; we just offer him an opportunity to get more out of his stay here. "We didn't look for any rush to take us up, but to our complete astonishment we've wound up with nearly half the first three classes on voluntary overloads."