About Adriana

Aerospace Engineering, Honors

Minor: Space Studies / Astronomy
Career Goals: To work for NASA or a private company as an engineer.
Why I chose Embry-Riddle: Small school allows me to form close bonds with people, the students and staff are exceptional, plus the reputation is unbeatable!

Saying Good-bye to Seattle – for now

Last week and a half in Washington State! Next Thursday is my last day here at Boeing. It’s a bittersweet moment. I’m very excited to get back to my life at Riddle in Florida, but I will definitely miss all the great people I have met this summer. Although I must admit that these past 13 weeks have gone by painfully slow at times, I really did enjoy myself here and I’m forever grateful at all of the opportunities I’ve been given this summer.

Enough with the cheesiness, let’s get to the fun stuff! July seems to be one of the busiest months in Seattle. There are a lot of events going on in the area every single weekend! Nathalie, another ERAU student, and I decided to take a trip to DragonFest—a chinese food festival in the heart of Seattle’s international district. Lots of great food at really great prices! We even got roses from a Buddhist monk booth!

DragonFest!

It was a very nice touch :-)

As part of the Propulsion Systems Division’s internship program, they hold an annual intern competition. This year: build a glider out of balsa wood. Very EGR-101, might I add…if you don’t know what I’m talking about, refer to one of my first blogs here where I talk about my freshman-year glider for the class (wow I’m old!). Needless to say…this time around, things didn’t go as we planned. It took a very long time to carve out the thing! And to perfect it? Yep, lots of blisters and cuts ensued…My team and I ended up getting 4th place…which isn’t too shabby I suppose.

Anyways, remember how I said ERAU alumni stick together? Well I keep getting proved right! Jose, who is a shipside support manager for the 787 Dreamliner, has welcomed us all with open hands! He gave us a tour of the Dreamliner assembly line (we even got to see the first -9!) Thanks to him, I even got to job shadow a Dreamliner liaison engineer one day. I had a lot of fun.

The weekend after that, my dad came to visit. He is a huge aviation fanatic (although he is not in the industry). Sadly, he was only here for a few hours, but we got to go to the Flying Heritage collection here in Everett, where they have military airplanes and tanks on display. We even got to see a V-2 rocket!

P-51 Mustang from the Flying Heritage Collection

Alas, but the weekend wasn’t over! The rest of the weekend, I spent it actually exploring Seattle. We visited the space needle, the EMP museum, the science center, the museum of flight at Boeing Field and the aquarium. And that’s not even a shadow of what the city has to offer!

Dalek (from Doctor Who) at the EMP museum

Blue Angels!

The last flying DC-2 in the world

Pike’s Place Market – the infamous wall of gum

In just 10 days, though, I will be making my way back to Florida. I’m really excited about all the changes coming to Riddle! I heard the new observatory went up on the College of Arts and Sciences, and that Daytona Beach has a new roller coaster! It always amazes me how many things can change in a span of just a few months.

Another really neat thing going on is that campus has gone tobacco-free, effective Aug. 1 2013. I think it’s a really great thing, and very progressive of ERAU to be doing that. A lot of big-name companies out there like Boeing are doing the same thing! Boeing has been a tobacco-free workplace for some time now, and from what my coworkers tell me, it makes a huge difference not only in health, but as a courtesy to others and overall employee well-being. It will be really nice to be able to walk around and not have to gasp a cloud of second-hand smoke while walking to the library. The University will be offering workshops for those students who want to quit smoking as well. Way to go ERAU!

Bye for now Seattle!

Photos from the Dreamliner Gallery & scenic Washington and the Olympic Peninsula

Hello again everybody!

I can’t believe my summer is almost up. Only 3 more weeks separate me from being back in Florida! A lot has been happening in the past few weeks…and wait for it…I have pictures at Boeing (ones I was actually allowed to take!)

Let’s start from the beginning (yes this is my shameless plug at delaying the pictures until the end). The weekend before the fourth of July, we decided to take in more of the beautiful Washington State scenery. My roommates, a few friends and I went on a 2-day trip to the Olympic Peninsula (yes for you Twilight fans, Forkes is there). Friday night, right after work, we made our 3.5-hour drive over there. We spent that night in Port Angeles. The next morning, bright and early, we went up to Hurricane Ridge, part of a series of mountains in the area. What a breathtaking place.

Rocks placed by an artist in the Olympic Peninsula

Although it was the middle of summer, there was snow everywhere after a certain elevation. The funny part? It was actually very warm and humid up there!!

Snow bank at Hurricane Ridge

Despite the lack of cellphone signal, we spent most of the day there. Most of the trails were covered in snow, so instead of giving up, we decided to climb over the snow and keep going. When we made it to the top, I must say it was one of the most beautiful scenes I’ve ever seen. You could see out to Victoria, Canada, and on the other side—more mountains covered with snow.

The view from near the top of Hurricane Ridge

That afternoon, before we made our way back to Everett, we made a pit stop by the beach. Again, beautiful. Nothing like the East Coast! The water was freezing!
That following weekend, we took a trip to Vancouver,BC (not Vancouver, WA…because there is one…). I’d never been to Canada before! After a short 2-hour trip, we made through the border. I must say, the officer was quite intimidating, but at last we made it to Canada! Immediately, you could tell it’s a completely different country. Everything from road signs to speed limits to gas prices are in SI Units. Plus having no cell reception (unless you want to pay those ridiculous roaming fees…), it was very hard not to get lost. Eventually, though we made it to our hotel at Vancouver airport. Yes, at the airport. Our room had an amazing view of the runway! I even got to see a Disneyland airplane!!

Disneyland airplane – the view from our hotel room.

Yep, I must admit that was the highlight of my trip!! The next morning, we spent all day walking around Vancouver. It was the Canada Day holiday that following Monday, so the city sure was “popping”! We left right after posing for pictures in front of the Olympic torch (since the 2010 winter Olympics happened there).

Standing in front of the Olympic Torch in Vancouyver

And now the moment everybody has been waiting for…Boeing pictures! As an intern, we get a lot of benefits. Some of which include some pretty gnarly tours. Most of them are of assembly lines, testing facilities, labs or such. This week, however, I got to go to the Dreamliner Gallery. What exactly is it? Think of a furniture showroom. Whenever an airline orders any airplane, they must pick out what exactly goes in the interior (seat, colors, carpets, lavatories, etc…). Instead of months of back and forth coordination, Boeing devised a way to cut on that time and stress of picking out the little things. They brought everything together under one roof: what is called the Dreamliner Gallery. There, the airlines will come in for a few days, and pick out everything, and everything is on display! They even have a full mock-up of a Dreamliner fuselage/flight deck so that the customer can see how their choices will look like on an actual airplane.

In the lobby of the Dreamliner Gallery

Now, technically, this facility isn’t Boeing operated, which is why we were allowed pictures. Now on to the fun stuff!

Stereotypical flight deck photo

We were taken into all the showrooms. There was even one that was dedicated to the crew: flight deck options, and crew rest areas. I never knew there was such a thing!! It’s literally a little room on the “ceiling” of the aircraft, where the crew has little beds or seats to rest on for long-duration flights.

Sitting inside the crew rest area in the “ceiling”

The entrance looks like a closet, pretty cool! Next time your flight attendants disappear, now you know where they went!

Pretty cool LED lighting option available as an option on the ’87

Anyhow, that is all for me this week. Until next time!

Adventures at Poo Poo Point and other fun

I have to admit: Washington State is beautiful. And what’s the best way to get acquainted with the Evergreen State? Explore the outdoors of course!

The beauty of Washington state

That’s something you don’t get to do much in Florida. The typical summer months here are a completely different idea than my summers in the Sunshine State. I can actually spend a lot of time outside without worrying about heat exhaustion or a sun burn!
So that’s exactly the first thing we did when my roommate came. That weekend, a few other friends and I went hiking to a place called Poo Poo Point (yes that is actually the name…) After a short 45 min. drive, we started our hike at about 10 am. See, not being a very outdoorsy girl, and upon encountering dreaded a 20-degree-steep climb all the way to the top…I gave up. Yep, I’m ashamed to say it but hey I lasted a good hour and a half! Anyways, my roommate and friends kept going, and I made my way back down to the mountain to do some shopping in the little town right by it. After about 5 hours, they were still not back, and I began to worry. Two hours passed…still nothing. I decided to call them. It turns out they got lost in the mountains!! They ended up at a private residence about 20 mns away by car, so I went to pick them up one by one. It was definitely a lucky break that I had decided to come back to the car! We would have had to walk all that way back to where the cars were parked! It was definitely my first great adventure here…

The following week after that was pretty uneventful at work. My job deals with pretty much every component around the engine, as well as the thrust reversers and the APU section in the tail. Say a material needs to be changed, or there is some sort of non-conformance from the original part drawing, then it is up to my team to figure out if it’s OK structurally to fly. I mean, these parts can be $1 million plus! So we can’t just be throwing everything away for the slightest error! We do a lot of finite element modeling, which is pretty much cutting a part into a bunch of little pieces and figuring out the stresses at every point on the part. It’s definitely not an easy job, but yet again, we are dealing with very high temperatures sometimes (1000F+) and constant vibration loads all around!

Example of FEM model – no pictures allowed at Boeing!

The weekend after that, we went to yet another baseball game (it seems to be a big thing around here, and Boeing employees get a pretty hefty discount on tickets).

At the game

SUPER Mariners fan

This time, it was Mariners-v- Yankees…guess who won? Yep, not Seattle…But what we did after that was quite more exciting! A few hours after the game ended, we went to watch a Roller Derby match. Yep, those girls in roller skates pouncing at each other and doing laps around a track. It was definitely very interesting…not quite as violent as I would have thought, though.

Roller Derby!

Right after the game, which luckily for us was near the Space Needle, we walked around the famous landmark. I love this city!

Space Needle

 

 

If it ain’t Boeing, I ain’t going!

First real day on the job. The nerves start kicking in. What if I don’t know what to do? What if none of my co-workers like me?

Making new friends with the other Boeing interns

I met up with a fellow intern and rode into the Boeing Everett facility. I must say, my office is the most complicated place to find! But alas, I make my way into the area… at a very early 7 am (something I’m not very used to!). I met up with a lady from Human Resources, who showed me the way to my cubicle. With nobody there, I ask the person that sits behind me. Apparently, there was a mix up and they weren’t expecting me until a few weeks later! But all is good, as I get my laptop, keys and miscellaneous items.

A few hours later, my manager comes. Immediately, however, everybody goes out of their way to help me settle in. I work the traditional 8-hour day, but since everybody at the Everett plant seems to get to work super early (including me), I am out of the office by 3:30 pm every day! Kind of nice to have an afternoon off, and not have to go home straight to bed! That week, I do all my required training. And then…the weekend!

Of course…the weekend. Would be pretty nice, except for the fact that I am alone in my apartment until my roommates come! :-)

It was rather uneventful, but I get all settled in and make last minute purchases for the apartment. I must say, the area isn’t the nicest, but I love my apartment!

Space Needle

The following week, I am given tours galore by some of my co-workers. We make our way to the Propulsion Systems facility, where all the Boeing engine components are added to the aircraft engines. Then, we make our way to the cream of the crop: the main factory, where almost all of the Boeing airplanes are built: the 767, 777 and 787. It’s one thing to say that this building is huge…but trust me once you walk in there, it’s HUGE. It’s incredible how much the concept of a moving assembly line has evolved from the days of Ford. I wish I had pictures to share…but alas no cameras allowed anywhere on Boeing property! You’ll have to come yourself and take the guided tour!

At the end of week two: woo the first roommates start to arrive! That second weekend, her and some of her fellow classmates from Puerto Rico (also interns) and I went to watch a Baseball game. It was some Texas team against the Seattle Mariners. My first ball game! It was quite interesting…but the Mariners won! Go team!

Go Mariners!

Well, that is all I have for now. More adventures to follow in a few weeks, so I’ll be sure to keep you updated! Also—if you have any questions about life at Riddle, hit me up by email at: osegueda@my.erau.edu. Or if you just need some advice about the many opportunities ERAU’s Career Services Office, be sure to check out their website for more information. Until then, “if it ain’t Boeing I ain’t going!”

The Real World

I board my flight to San Francisco. Just a couple more days until Washington State!
I decided to spend a few days with my family since I won’t be seeing them all summer. My days are spent shopping for business clothes and catching up with everyone. That same Sunday, I say goodbye to my family and dog Bentley, and leave on an 11-hour road trip with my dad on my little two-seater Smart Car (if you haven’t seen them…well they’re smaller than a Fiat!).

Me and Bentley

Within just a couple of hours, I’m amazed at how quickly the scenery changes as you drive north. This is definitely nothing like Florida! Mountains everywhere, the grass goes from a dry mustard color to the evergreen landscape the Northwest is known for. We trek what’s left of California, and venture into Oregon, where we stop for the night in a small town. Bright and early next morning, we make the final stretch to Washington State!

We’re not in Florida anymore!

At this point, I’m getting nervous. I’ve never really been out by myself. Even at ERAU, I know I always have people there for me, whether it’s friends or faculty. But now I’m out in the real world.

Home of the 777, 747, 787 and the Dreamlifter

But at last, we make it to Everett, home of the 777s, 747s and 787s. My dad and I decided to take a little tour of the Boeing factory. I wish I had pictures…but Boeing is very strict on their no photography policy. After all, wouldn’t want Airbus stealing the designs! ;) Anywho, we made our way into the Fantasy of Flight center, where the tours begin. We then saw a short video on the history of The Boeing Company, and we were escorted into the factory. From the observation deck, you could see the assembly line. Apparently, Boeing is popping out one of these beauties every few days! And down at the Renton factory, 38 new 737s make their way out the hangar doors every month. The Dreamlifter is sitting on the runway, along all the other aircraft awaiting delivery. I couldn’t believe that in a few days, I would become part of this family!

Fantasy of Flight

We’re here!

That Friday, my first official day, all of the interns and new hires made their way into the Seattle facility for orientation, where we got our badges (!!) and were schooled into the ethics, cultures, and everything Boeing. We had a few tours here and there, but Monday was when the true adventure started!

That same day, I got an email from my manager giving me my reporting instructions, and information on my lead engineer. It turns out he is an ERAU graduate from the Daytona Campus! Instant connection, I tell you. It’s great to see fellow Eagles out in the industry working where you want to end up some day. Repping the blue and gold, I tell ya! But to hear about what’s been going on since…you will have to wait until next time!

Boeing here I come!

Hey everybody! Remember me? Well it’s been quite a long time since I last wrote a blog. When I first started doing this, I was just starting out at Embry-Riddle. Now I’m a senior!! Can’t believe how fast the time goes by when you’re working towards your passion in life.

Boeing here I come!

Not much has changed in my life. I’m still an Aerospace Engineering major with a concentration in astronautics. Except this summer, I’m here in Washington State at an internship with The Boeing Company!

Now, before I start saying anything about my job, I would just like to say one thing: you don’t know the power a good university like Embry-Riddle carries until you get out in the industry. You see, I didn’t get my internship through Embry-Riddle (although our Career Services Office does an AMAZING job at getting students jobs/internships!!). Last year, in October, I went to a Hispanics in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) conference in Orlando called HENAAC. For those of you who have previously read my blog…yes it was at Disney. Anywho, this is a huge conference where big named companies go and celebrate diversity in the field. And by big names, I mean people like Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and Chevron. Did I mention this isn’t an aviation conference? Yeah, great shot for us aviation geeks at getting a job ;)

On the first day of the conference, the main sponsors held hospitality suites with food (lots of it!) and recruiters and managers (hiring people!). I was one of the first ones lined up to go talk to a recruiter I had met earlier. I handed him my my resume, he looked it over, and referred me to a manager that had literally just walked in. Mind you I was standing next to students from other really good Universities like MIT, GTech, Purdue. However, when that manager saw the ERAU name on my resume, he just looked at me and said “OH! Embry-Riddle! Very good school!” I was surprised, honestly! Our University has a huge name and a very good reputation in the industry. I found out Boeing hires hundreds of ERAU students every year as interns (don’t quote me exactly on that number). To put that into perspective, here in Washington/Puget Sound area, there are around 1,040 interns total this summer. And my lead engineer is a Riddle grad too! We do stake our claim here!
Anyways, that same night of the hospitality suite, the manager called me back (mind you it was like 10 pm…). He asked me to come back to the suite. I was so nervous! What was he going to tell me? Good job, but you’re just not what we’re looking for? Nope! He wanted me to set up an interview!

So a few days later, on a Saturday, I waltzed into the career fair with an interview already set up. I had such mixed feelings about it. It was a combination of anxiety, excitement, nervousness…well everything. And when I get anxious, I tend to talk a lot. Needless to say this carried on in the interview…I felt like I was talking way too much and that I was rambling on! I was so scared at the end of the interview that I had just bored them to death. I used every tip that Career Services had provided for me, but I just wasn’t sure how well I did!
Then, the wait began. On October 26th (yes I remember the date!), I opened my email. “Boeing Global Staffing”. Huh? I opened it. My phone began to ring. Should I wait and see the email? Who could be calling me? I answered the phone. “Hello, is this Adriana?” “Uh…yes…who is this?” “Hi, this is Cynthia calling from Boeing. Have you checked your email today? We would like you extend to you an offer for an internship for the Summer 2013. You have to reply within 48 hours on your decision. The instructions are in your email.” “UH! YES! I’ll do that right away! Thank you!”
Needless to say, I accepted right after I hung up. That was 7 months ago, exactly. Today, I’m sitting here on May 26 in my apartment. I started about a week ago (May 17th). But I think that’s a story for next time…

The Boeing Company, Washington state

 

April 24, 2011

Happy Easter for all of you who celebrated it!! We are down to the last week and a half of school. Professors are getting crazy with projects, and students are going nuts over finals. Lucky for me, my honors professor, Dr. Kain, decided to cancel our final for that class. I only have 2 now! Well…minus the plethora of last minute projects and essays…I can actually say I passed Calc 2 (which is supposed to be the hardest math you’ll ever take) with an A! Unless I screwed up on this last test…but I think I did well.

I just finished writing my last paper for COM221 (tech report writing). It’s a 6-7 page analytical paper. I’m not complaining though! I did it on one of my favorite topics. I’ll leave that for you to guess…starts with a D ends with a Y? I have yet to work on my 4-5 page honors paper on Afghanistan and my CATIA project…design an airplane with everything on it AND another project too? In ONE week? I wonder what my professor was thinking…Sometimes I believe they think they’re the only class we have to study for.

Besides all the madness, I have really enjoyed these past few weeks. Last week, on Sunday, the honors program had a field trip to Ichetucknee springs near Gainesville. We floated down a river for about an hour and a half. Well…some of us ran straight into the banks of the river or got stuck inside caves or the many branches lying around (*cough Bharvi cough*). The water was freezing cold and the temperature outside was less than warm. Because of the very long walk back to the entrance, however, we decided to call it quits after our first run down the river.

That day, we were awake from 6 in the morning to well over one the next morning. Why you ask? Well, Jim’s birthday was on Saturday. His brother decided to get married that day. Jim had to fly back home for the wedding, and therefore couldn’t spend his birthday with us. Sunday we decide to go to Orlando after Bharvi and I came back from our trip. This was almost 7:30 at night. We drive to downtown Disney (90 minutes), eat, watch the fireworks from the Polynesian, and head back. Needless to say we were very, very tired the next morning…I bought 2 Vinylmation figures though! They’re vinyl figurines in the shape of Mickey that are painted over in all sorts of designs. I bought a nerdy Donald Duck and a mystery park one (turned out to resemble one of the exit signs around WDW). I believe I have an obsession with them now…

On Friday of this week, we took a trip to, you guessed it…Disney. This time, however, we decided to stay overnight at a hotel nearby. We reserved the room through hotwire, and much to our surprise, we got a hotel IN the mall! I wonder who thinks of these things…but hey, it was right next to M&M world. The place was really nice, and the beds were an awesome change from our dorm beds. We went to eat at Bongo’s (Jim’s favorite), and the next day, we all went to Blizzard Beach, one of Disney’s two water parks.

These past few weekends have been one of the best I’ve had so far. I’m really going to miss this place, but I’m excited for summer! We’re planning driving from San Ramon to Seattle, spend the day there, drive to Vancouver, spend another day there, and taking a cruise (Disney of course) all the way to Alaska. Then, we are driving all the way down to Anaheim, California to go to Club33 (Google it!!), since I found out my dad has access to it through his company. So so excited!!

I can’t believe this is my last blog for you guys…I’m going to miss talking to all of you! You can still contact me though or keep in touch through Facebook! You females will be able to see me at the For Women Only orientation in the fall. I really do hope to meet you all in the fall…so until then, get excited Future Eagles! Your first step into your dream adventure has just begun… <3 Adriana

April 11, 2011

It’s only been two weeks since spring break? For some reason it seems to me like it’s been a lot longer than that. On one side, we’re almost done for the semester (crazy huh?), but on the other, summer is just a few weeks away. I know all of you who are just waiting to get out of high school are actually looking forward to summer, but something about this place just gets to me. Call me crazy, but I’ll miss not seeing my friends for four months. I’ll miss my room. I’ll even miss doing laundry if it means not being here! I’m not sure if I even like the fact that, when we come back, we’ll be living in another dorm (airport view!). What’s even crazier is that I’m already a quarter of the way done with college. Guess who’s staying for grad school…?

Well enough with my rant—on to the good stuff!

The rain seemed to follow me back to Daytona from my house. The deluge hit campus like there was no tomorrow! A friend of mine said: “Dear friends with snow, I’m sorry for making fun of you and your weather. But this week you got your revenge when Poseidon vomited on my campus”. If you see some of the pictures I’ll post, you’d understand…the area between my dorm and the main campus flooded with (not even joking) at least 2 feet of water! Luckily, it only lasted for a few days.

Another nice thing we did was that we went WDW resort-hopping. Yes, I just made that up. Pretty much, we went to Downtown Disney (I can hear all of you thinking “again”? yes, again…) to park the car, took a bus to the Contemporary, and took the monorail around all the resorts. We stopped by the Polynesian to watch the Wishes! Nighttime Spectacular firework show at Magic Kingdom from across the lagoon. I think it’s becoming our new tradition…

Nothing comes close to how insanely busy last weekend was, though! Jim and I signed up to volunteer at New Smyrna Beach’s annual Balloon and Sky Fest. Remember how I had mentioned we would be working chase crew? Well, let me just say it was a lot more work than we had anticipated. We woke up bright and early (well…it was still dark out, so dark and early?) on Saturday and Sunday morning to make the 30-minute drive down US1. When we got there, we were each grouped with our assigned crew.

On Saturday, we worked with 175,000 cubic-inch Oggy the Dragon, who stood at an amazing 138 feet tall. Because of the winds, we couldn’t release the balloons, so they were only tethered for the crowd to witness. To top it all off, we had volunteer that went MIA—so three teenagers, 2 elderly people, and a former Navy man had to hold own the massive balloon. We got dirty, almost burnt to a crisp when we first started inflating the balloon, and we were sweaty and hot. But overall—it was a lot of fun! One of the volunteers turned out to be a former ERAU student (a FEMALE!).

The day after that, we worked with Sunny Boy, a sun-shaped balloon. This one stood taller at 140 feet, but held much less hot air, so it was a lot less work. After that, we took a stroll around the place, and ended up mining. Spruce Creek Mining Co. had set up a tent, where, for a few dollars, we bought a bag of dirt. After cleaning out the bag using a river-like system, we found a few big Emerald stones, rubies, peacock ore, and even some quartz! That must have been the highlight of my day…

Last big thing—The Big Show! Touch N Go productions held its annual big show on Saturday. This year, the university hosted Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake, two ska bands. It was less crowded than I had expected, but, having been drained of energy that day from balloon fest, we only stayed and listened for an hour or so. Still fun—I can never pass up a good show!

I suppose that’s all. Nothing too exciting coming up next few weeks. I have an analytical report to look forward to. Nothing too exciting except…OPEN HOUSE/SNEEK PREVIEW DAY!! Have you RSVPed yet? I look forward to seeing you all around! As always, message me with all your questions! This will be one of my last blogs (sad face), so I want to get as many of your questions answered before the end of the semester!

March 28, 2011

Before I begin, have you RSVPed for Sneak Preview? It’s in a few weeks! April 16th. I expect to see every one of you there! Not much academic-related news this time because we had spring break (finally) last week. Let me answer a few frequently asked questions first:

1) Do you get to pick your dorm/classes? No you don’t, they’re randomly chosen unless you’re in Honors (then you end up in 5th floor Adams)..although some people claim there’s a way around it. I’ll leave that for you to figure out, because I don’t know exactly how that works.

2) What’s it like being a female on campus? Pretty nice, I’d say. Some people say that you see more squirrels than girls around campus (which has happened to me), but we get a lot of perks.

3) How are the parties on campus? Honest answer: they don’t happen on campus (in the dorms like you see in the movies). Our Campus Safety personnel is strict when it comes to underage drinking/loud noises…so I would recommend if that’s what you’re coming here for, then Riddle isn’t right for you. Besides, you’re spending so much money already, right? Parties do happen..you just have to know where to look (the Greeks are a good source).

Now that that’s taken care of, let’s get to the good stuff! Spring break was a lot of fun (at least for me). My roommate, who stayed on campus, said it was very quiet around. She also told me how every food place was closed at 7!! That’s just crazy if you ask me…Dining Services needs to do something about that.

I myself went back home to California with Jim. Sad to say, however, it was raining like crazy the whole time we were there. And now that I’m back on campus it’s raining here too! People say I brought it back with me, but trust me I’ve had to pay with the flu…

Because all my classes got cancelled on Friday (yay me!), I didn’t have to skip any to get to my flight from MCO—PHX—OAK that afternoon. It was a very long flight, like always, but it was nice to have some company on the way there. My parents had plans to go visit Yosemite National Park that weekend, but of course, it had to snow, which blocked the roads. I was a little upset, because having never seen snow, I didn’t realize how bad the roads could get. We decided to go see the USS Hornet Museum in Alameda, CA instead. If the name doesn’t sound familiar, that was the carrier ship that rescued both Apollo 11 and 12 (and 13th? I may be wrong) from the ocean after their return from the moon. Because of that, inside the ship, they had a mockup of the Apollo capsule as well as the original trailer in which the astronauts were quarantined. I also saw lot of airplanes, along with the helicopter used to pull the capsule from the water (I’m not sure if that was the original one…but still pretty neat). We toured the bunk rooms, the dining halls, the bridge, and even got to see where the seamen assembled torpedoes!

Sunday we went to Chinatown—my personal favorite—and went to see my aunt Jenny who had had an accident the day before. Monday we went to Old Town Sacramento, where we got to visit the Railroad Museum. We even discovered a huge candy store where we could sample everything in the store! I have a newfound love for saltwater taffy as a result…

My brother had to go to school, and my dad had to work for the rest of the week, but we still managed to enjoy our stay. Jim and I ended up taking the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit—our public transportation system) to San Francisco, where we went around the famed Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf, as well as rode on the cable cars. The sea lions were around! They come every year and just lay on the pier. They were very loud…and very smelly, to say the least. Jim also got to visit his uncle, who lives in the nearby town of Emeryville (where the Pixar Animation Studios are). He gave me a very nice necklace he made himself, since he’s an artist. Friday, I took Jim to the San Jose flea market and a supermarket called Mi Pueblo (Hispanic food)…that was something, but at least I bought a neat phone case, guavas (SO good! Haven’t had them in years), and bought some awesome food to take back to my room.

We headed back to campus on Saturday night. Red eye flight…it was horrible! We didn’t get back to campus until 1:30 PM the NEXT day! We had a long delay in Charlotte because our pilot over-fueled the plane (therefore putting it over the maximum landing weight), which delayed us for an hour because the extra fuel had to be taken out, and the tanks balanced…and then bad weather hit us, delaying our plane another 30 minutes. Not complaining too much, because I know some people got stuck in Atlanta anywhere from 4 hours to 2 DAYS! I feel like this is getting too lengthy, and there’s a whole lot coming up in the next blog! An airshow, a hot air balloon show ( I’ll be volunteering there to help the chase crew!). Can’t wait

March 13, 2011

And just like that we only have 50 days before summer…I finally booked my trip home through American Airlines. Flying through Los Angeles. I don’t know how to feel about not being in school for 4 months. I’ll definitely miss this place!

The past two weeks have been filled with nothing. I think I may have settled a record for going to downtown Disney! A record 2 times! Just can’t get enough of it, I suppose…We tried out a new restaurant, though! A hometown favorite: Pollo Campero. Fried chicken at its finest, if you ask me!

Earlier in the day, though, we took a trip to Ikea. It was Jim’s first time! He had to buy some sheets, but we ended up with so many things!! Alex bought a chair, and I bought more rugs for my room. I absolutely love that store!! We spent hours over there.

It seems like everybody on campus left Daytona when they had the chance to these past few weeks. Remember when I said that Race Week was the busiest I’ve ever seen Daytona? Well, I stand corrected: bike week has been one of the worst things ever. Bikers everywhere! Estimates top 20,000 bikers in town. Student Village went on lockdown all day, too, giving access only to those with Eagle Cards (our University ID card). A few friends and I decided to go to the Speedway to check out what was going on. We went at the end of the day though (near 5 o’clock), so as everyone was packing up to go home, we headed to the Ford tent to get some free goodies.

The weather hasn’t exactly been cooperating these weeks either. Jim has had to ground himself because of weather. It’s been so cold (to you northerners—yes, 60 IS cold), too! Next week, though we’re supposed to be getting temperatures in the mid-80s.

This past weekend (well, technically this weekend), Jim’s friend from back home came down for Spring Break. We went to visit her and then headed over to Disney’s Boardwalk after. I liked the place. It’s one of the few places at Disney where I’ve never been. It’s so empty though, and we were able to catch the EPCOT fireworks from a distance. The day ended with a nice dinner at Bongo’s (Cuban food), once again.

So overall, things have been going great. School has been fine…although I’m thinking of changing my minor from Astronomy to Unmanned Aerial Systems. I have to go talk to my advisor tomorrow to see if they will accept some of those credits as my upper-level technical elective (so I don’t have to take too many extra classes). I also went to talk to my other awesome advisor, Stickney! To those of you who have him as your freshman advisor…kudos! He’s amazing. We’re looking into revamping the Latin and Hispanic Students Organization on campus! All you Latinos/Hispanics, join next semester!!! To those of you familiar with Miami—cafecito day, anyone??

I’ve also noticed many of you have been getting your acceptance letters. Congratulations!! If you send me your questions, I’ll answer those, and heck, I might even start addressing frequently asked questions on here, so ask away! I’m going home next Friday, so I promise next blog will be longer and better J I leave you with one thing: Sneak Preview.