Norwich University is a private military university. It started as a men-only cadet program and only within the last 30 years admitted women and within the last 10 years or so admitted 'civilians' (non-cadets). So, the experience here has been one of nostalgia, remembering back to the days of being in the Marines, as well as relationship building with my fellow security geeks.
Many of the men & women here are experiencing a lot of the same stupidity at their companies in regards to the security of their systems and the resistance they're getting from users/managers. That may be the most valuable part of this week, other than the whole 'getting the diploma' thing, the building of the relationships that were initially made online with my cohort via the discussions and homework. Additionally, the opportunity to meet folks that were in different cohorts but that I just have things in common with has been a great time as well.
Getting back to the military basis of the school, as part of the first week of undergrad for freshmen, they do the Dog River Run, which is after the 'hell week' (although they don't call it that). Basically it's a run down to the river and then maybe a quarter to half mile run down the small river that runs adjacent to the campus. Once completed, the 'rooks' are to get a rock from the river. Last year someone decided this would be a good idea for the school of graduate studies(SGS), so they started it. Monday, I participated in the 2nd annual SGS Dog River Run. Amazingly, I was at the front of the pack, doing calisthenics alongside the 20-22 year old cadet, keeping up as well as an old guy can, and running without dying. We got to the river and it is an extremely rocky stream. As we walk in, the cold of the water hits you and you realize this water is about 15 minutes from being snow somewhere....and you keep going. The rocks on the river bed are covered with algae or mud or something that makes them slippery and I'm thinking "jeez, how are we going to 'run' in this river without killing ourselves?" Well, luckily for us, they dumbed the River Run down for us old folks and let us walk down the river. Of course, halfway there we did some calisthenics. Pushups in 1.5 foot high water is challenging, especially if you didn't want to dunk half your body in the water, and as a result, many of us were soaked on our front sides, but we kept going. By the end of the run, the stream gets about 4' deep if you go on one side and so a few of us went for a short swim. A very few of us.
I got my rock, ran back to my room, emptied out the rocks in my shoes, and took a nice warm shower.