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Nine Weeks: a teacher's education in Army Basic Training [Paperback]

by Rich Stowell
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 9, 2009 1449571433 978-1449571436
Nine Weeks tells the honest story of Army Basic Training. Rich Stowell left his career as a high school teacher and college education professor as an enlistee in the United States Army. At the barracks of F Battery, 1/40 Field Artillery at Fort Sill Oklahoma, he trained for just over two months as a Soldier in the most powerful Army in the world. His story is exceptional. As the oldest man in his training battery (of over 200 soldiers) and the most educated, Stowell had a unique vantage point from which to see and ponder the training regimen. He describes what it was like to live with privates who could have been his students just weeks before, and how young men are taught to fight in the most demanding atmosphere that America has ever produced Soldiers. Drawing on his experience as a professional teacher, he offers a candid assessment about the effectiveness of many components of the Basic Training Program. Informed people ought to know how the American Soldier is made. In nine weeks-the standard timeline for an Army Basic trainee- he illustrates the process with a sophisticated insight and humor that is a novelty in military books. Funny, yet reverent; critical and honest, Stowell brings refreshing wit and wisdom to the story of how young men are gathered from around the country and molded into modern battlefield warriors. It is a trip back in time for Soldiers who have run the gauntlet of Army Basic Training. Civilians will appreciate learning Army basics-their rationale and history-from Army rank to modern battlefield tactics. Americans of all ages and political persuasions, whether or not they have friends or family in the military, will enjoy learning about how United States Soldiers are trained.

Frequently Bought Together

Nine Weeks: a teacher's education in Army Basic Training + The Ultimate Basic Training Guidebook: Tips, Tricks, and Tactics for Surviving Boot Camp + The Soldier's Guide: The Complete Guide to U.S. Army Traditions, Training, Duties, and Responsibilities
Price for all three: $36.50

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rich currently teaches Education Technology at the University of San Francisco and works as a math and technology coach for a California education consulting firm. While he was teaching high school math in the San Francisco Bay Area he got an itch to serve his community, and joined the Army National Guard in 2007. Part-time soldier quickly became a full-time job. After his initial training Rich mobilized with the California's 69th Public Affairs Detachment and deployed to the Balkans in support of NATO's Kosovo Force. He has written extensively about his experiences on his military blog, "My Public Affairs." As a civilian, Rich has taught and coached at several Bay Area schools. He attended California State University East Bay (previously Hayward), where he met his wife, Esther. He earned his California teaching credential from CSU East Bay and his M.A. in Teaching Mathematics from Western Governors University. A Salt Lake City, Utah native, Rich has been a Californian for the past decade. He lives with his wife, Esther, and their son, Joseph Aniefiok, in Oakland.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449571433
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449571436
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 8.9 x 5.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,147,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rich is a man who loves to write. He is the author of three books and the "Rich Like Me" political column at Washington Times Communities. He has taught at all levels, and continues to teach at the university level while enrolled in a doctoral program. Additionally, he works for the Peace & Conflict Studies program at the University of Utah.

Weird, because he is also a Soldier in the California National Guard. Two years ago his unit, the 69th Public Affairs Detachment, deployed to Kosovo, where he served as the Video Section Leader for Multi-National Task Force East, under NATO command. While there he wrote for the magazine, Guardian East. He also finished his first book, Nine Weeks, about his unique experience at Army basic training, and joined the ranks of military bloggers with "My Public Affairs."

Rich holds a masters degree in Mathematics Education from Western Governors University. Before that he roused rabble at CSU East Bay (previously "Hayward"). At CSUEB he founded a student newspaper, The California Statesman. While in school, he met his wife, Esther, at a political forum.

In between teaching assignments and his National Guard commitments, Rich works on his upcoming books. You can read about them by going to the "Books" menu above.

He resides in Salt Lake City with Esther and their two young sons.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Experience basic training without going December 17, 2009
By ttmorr
Basic training is a once in a lifetime experience. There is nothing to compare it to. So it is hard to explain what it is like to those that have never experienced it before. Therefore it is remarkable, the detail and insight that Rich Stowell has managed to capture. With his meticulous journal and letter writing he was able to recreate all the ups and downs, the emotions, the commraderie, and the abdsurdities that make up basic training. His decision to join the Army later in life also adds a unique and insightful perspective of a sometimes frustrating and baffling program. If you want to experience basic training without going to basic training, I highly recommend you read Nine Weeks.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Detailed, motivating, and gripping. March 15, 2010
Nine Weeks...for civilians that term used to mean a period in school. For soldiers, Nine Weeks often times can mean nine weeks of the most grueling time in their lives. This book offers a rare glimpse into those weeks as soldiers in the Army struggle to complete basic training.

As civilians we don't often understand or see the hardships these men and women go through except in movies. Mr. Stowell's book, Nine Weeks, gives us a rarely seen honest glimpse into this time as he shares his experiances. It was an interesting book to read and I found it very detailed, well written and honest.

If you're a civilian who has wondered what goes on in a basic training camp then pick this book up. I think it will give many people a newfound respect for those who serve in the Army.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A spectacular journey into the military world January 5, 2010
Richard gives an insight into the traditional young boys right of passage that is 'basic training' with a fresh and witty insight that will make you laugh out loud. His experience, as a teacher, grants him a rare perspective on how the Army operates. If you are a Soldier you will be brought back to the best and worst days of your own experience. And if you are a Civilian you will gain a hard to obtain perspective on what the average recruit goes through. I have read this book twice already and delighted in it each time. Rich Stowell has agreed to begin a sequel, possibly called 9 months, that catalogues the experience of his first deployment, if he sells 1000 copies of his book so please people buy this book. The laughs alone are worth your money
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great read February 11, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very insightful and extremely well written. Anyone who works with students should read this; one receives an intimate, day-to-day experience with all things military which can only help prepare students for one possible life choice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing October 9, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am about to go off to Basic Training at Ft. Sill, am 34 years old, and have a Masters Degree. This book looked to be the perfect preparatory material for me. However what I bought was, essentially, a bitch session. The drill sergeants in charge of his platoon looked little more than immature bullies, while other platoons had much more lenient drill sergeants. In 251 pages and 10 weeks (9 plus reception) I saw what started as a mature individual turn into a whiny 14 year old away from his home for the first time. No doubt that BCT is challenging and will push you to your limit and then some. And I have no doubt that this is how the author remembers his time in training. The one incident that really threw me and inspired this review was towards the end of the book. At the end of training, the drill sergeants present each trainee with a "coin". It is a memento of the challenges overcome. In this case the memento was a dog tag with the Army Core Values. Within two sentences the author dismisses the entire nine weeks by nonchalantly giving it away to his niece. I would be proud to get through BCT, especially without injury and graduate on time. It is a personal challenge. But to the author, BCT is an affront to his intelligence and all things curriculum based. The one use I had for the book was to get a glimpse as to the timeline of the process and what happens. It is for this reason only that this review got two stars instead of one.

If you do happen to pick up the book, note two oddities that I have found. One is that the chapter one title is the heading for the entire book. Two is that his spell check determined that quite is a perfect substitute for quiet.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome! November 8, 2010
By stusf
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book talks about Rich Stowell's experience in the Army National Guard as he spends nine weeks at a rigorous training camp. I am in his Teaching, Learning, and Technology class at the University of San Francisco and let me tell you, he is a great teacher!! The book talks about classes that the soldiers had to attend, and how the lessons were taught. In class, we learn about different ways to incorporate technology into a classroom. One thing that is highly emphasized is the use of powerpoint presentations. We learned that using this form of demonstration software can either enhance or worsen a lesson that you are teaching. In his book, Rich talks about how the presentations that their leaders gave them were boring, sloppy, and unnecessarily long. If you want to be an effective teacher, your powerpoints must be interesting, but not over the top with animations and sounds. Rich taught us this, and many other important things during this class at the University of San Francisco.

Buy this book! :)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A successful book on BCT.
Nothing really groundbreaking in the book, but I think the book set out to be a diary of BCT. I enjoyed it enough, but I would have liked to see more connections between the life... Read more
Published on February 17, 2012 by Agb451
2.0 out of 5 stars It's hard for me to read this
This guy is a teacher? because, he must've ran the drama club, This book is so over-dramatic, i'm trying to read a book where i can possibly assume a military workout and all i am... Read more
Published on June 23, 2011 by NickyLou
4.0 out of 5 stars A look into what really happens in basic training...
I admit when I first picked up this book I was filled with contempt prior to investigation. I am generally uninterested in anything that relates to the Army even though I know... Read more
Published on November 7, 2010 by Ashley
1.0 out of 5 stars Ok, but I wish I wouldn't have spent money on it.
This is the kind of book that you might not mind spending money for in a used book store, but not so much one that you would order online and also pay shipping... Read more
Published on October 18, 2010 by Snapdragon
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book About a Friend
It's not often you have the opportunity to read a book written by someone you know. So you get insight into their lives that you otherwise would never have. Read more
Published on September 5, 2010 by OrphanAnnie
5.0 out of 5 stars please be informed
before enlisting in any military committment, potential enlistees and their families should read this very informative book
Published on May 9, 2010 by amazon affecianado
4.0 out of 5 stars BCT primer/memoir from a slightly older, better educated recruit
NINE WEEKS is an interesting look at BCT from the standpoint of an older, better educated recruit than is the norm in today's all-volunteer army. Read more
Published on May 2, 2010 by Timothy J. Bazzett
5.0 out of 5 stars a quarter in the army
The book, Nine Weeks, by Rich Stowell, was both poignant and frustrating. I could just feel how he felt as he went through the nine, or rather ten weeks of basic training. Read more
Published on April 20, 2010 by A. Estrin
5.0 out of 5 stars Tactics of Teaching
I am studying to become a teacher and I thought this book was very applicable to me. It goes through the first 9 (but really 10) weeks of training in the army, which revolves a... Read more
Published on April 2, 2010 by B. Dorn
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