January 31, 2011

Hello all! It has been an insanely busy (but interesting nevertheless) few weeks! The life of an engineer is really getting to some people. It is not easy to make it through it. I’ve already lost on hours and days of sleep, but it will all be worth it (I hope). So much has happened over these last two weeks it’s unbelievable to think that it’s only been one month since I was home!

On Tuesday the 18th, the Student Activities organization held the Activities Fair. If you recall from last semester, we had a similar one to the one in September. My picture was once again featured in the Avion (the school’s newspaper) once again! I decided to try out a few new clubs, like the Catholic Student’s Association, while still maintaining membership in old ones like SWE. I felt a little sad that the Hispanic Student’s Association wasn’t present…or at least I didn’t find it. I went to talk to my advisor, Mr. Stickney, who is in charge of the club. He told me it was dying out because of lack of participation. I’ll try contacting the current president and see how that goes…Wish me luck!

That same weekend, the Indian Student’s Association held their annual kite-flying event/picnic. Because my roommate is part of the club, she invited me to tag along. I must admit I’m not a big fan of Indian food, but I made some great new friends while still bonding with old ones. It really put our aerodynamics lessons to work! I learned the hard way. After having punched a hole through my kite, I ended up attacking people with my new weapon—it kept spinning in circles out of control!!

This past Thursday (I believe…), we held our welcome back dinner for the FIRST mentor program (Female Initiative Reaching Success Together), hosted by the Women’s center. The program pairs up upperclassmen with freshman students. It’s especially great, since our mentors can advise us who not to take as a professor (but shh….nobody needs to know that). Cindy Oakley-Paulik, the director of the Diversity Center, filled us into this semester’s activities, which includes a trip to the Space Center for an up-close tour of the facilities! Oh, and did I mention that the person who attends the most events and has the highest GPA gets a $1,200 scholarship…?

The end of this last week was kind of bad, though…living in Daytona certainly has its downs during this time of year. Yes, yes, racing season is just rolling into town. The speedway hosted its first big event—the Rolex 24. For us students living on campus: a 24-hour, nonstop, LOUD race that will drive you crazy. For those racing fans: well you might just be in heaven. Although I didn’t go, I did hear a lot of good things from people who did. Racing fans, of course—so I attached a pictured of that for you to see.

However, things did end on a high note! Girl’s weekend on Sunday! My roommate, and 3 of my other friends (Sam, Mary and Jess) went shopping in Orlando. We even saw a Justin Bieber look-alike (we think), and got lost on the way to the mall because we were trying to follow him. A lot of silly fun, but it’s what we do best! It was a very nice change from the constant testosterone overdose we receive at Riddle…

Well, that about does it for me today! I’m off to do a million and one pages of drafting homework, math problems…and well you get the idea. Until next time! Watch Alex’s videos!

September 2009

It has been a good first month here at Embry-Riddle. I have learned so much already and can’t wait to experience everything else this place has to offer.

During the beginning of the semester, every club/organization on campus gets together at what is called the “Activities Fair.” I learned about all the different clubs, sports and organizations on campus and, of course, the activities within them. A few of which I definitely liked were The Avion (our campus newspaper), First- Generation Students, Eagle Sport Aviation Club, Ultimate Frisbee Club, and Airport Management Club. Many fraternities and sororities were also a part of this event. Unfortunately, because of my class schedule, I cannot participate in every club I was interested in. Hopefully next semester I’ll have the time, but until then, two (Avion & First Gen) is enough for me.

Living on campus is definitely the best place to be freshmen year. You get to adapt to the college lifestyle and best of all, you’re in the most convenient location possible. All the amenities are available to you: Food, Internet, Movies, Laundry, Parking, Shopping, etc. In addition, classes are just a bike-ride or walk away. I prefer biking to class because it is the quickest way, however during a peak-time, when everyone is walking, it could be a little difficult.

I’m definitely lucky I was paired with some cool people for room assignments. Our room is kept clean and in some order for the most part. We’re all Aeronautical Science majors and get along really well. We help each other out with homework and study together on occasion. On the weekends, we try to all do something together; in addition, we each have our own groups of friends.

Flying here, in my opinion, is the most exciting thing to do on campus, hands down. However it is not all fun and games. It requires hours of study time and demands a lot from you. But in the end, when it’s all over, it is well worth it!

As the semester continues, the workload increases tremendously and the excuses start to become unacceptable. Excuses in general are not acceptable, but now they are inexcusable. I’ve learned you shouldn’t study for a test only two hours prior, and you shouldn’t wait 1 hour prior to class to complete a homework assignment. This isn’t because each assignment will take one hour, but you should allow time to completely understand the assignment, rather than just ‘winging’ it. Also you should factor in some “technical time”, such as scrambling to find a working printer, if needed. What may have been working in high school does not work in college, and, in the end, does not work in reality.

During my time here so far, I’ve experienced a night shuttle launch in Titusville, Florida with some of my friends. In fact an ERAU alumni was on board, headed towards the International Space Station (ISS). I’ve spent a weekend with my cousins in Satellite Beach, Florida, where I was given the opportunity to go tubing out on the Banana River, which was a lot of fun! Most recently I went to Universal Orlando City-Walk one night for dinner.

My plans for October include getting my Private Pilot License, taking a trip to Universal Halloween Horror Nights, and possibly taking a few scenic flights around the state.

That’s all for now!
Over and Out.

September 21, 2008

Happy fall! My favorite season of the year would probably be fall because it’s when the leaves start to change colors, combines are out in full force harvesting corn and beans, and the weather starts to cool off. Unfortunately, here in Florida the seasons don’t really change and there is no corn to be harvested. Thankfully, my mom realizes how much I miss the seasons so she sent me a bunch of fake leaves to make my dorm room feel like fall! In case you didn’t already know, I’m from the Midwest—Illinois—and my hometown is surrounded by cornfields for miles. I am so glad to be in Florida come winter time because I don’t have to walk across campus in below zero weather with snow blowing in my face.

Silver Wings has gotten off to a good start this semester. After the Activities Fair, we had several nights of fun so potential members could get to know members and ask any questions they might have. We went cosmic bowling and I enjoyed bowling, even though I’m not very good at it. On Saturday and Sunday, four Silver Wings members participated in the Second Annual Great Eagle Hunt sponsored by the Embry-Riddle Resident Student Association. The Great Eagle Hunt was a scavenger hunt that took place all over Daytona Beach and lasted for twenty-four hours. There were 208 clues and after figuring out the clue you had to find the item or location and take a picture with half your team in it. I had a lot of fun but towards morning I was pretty worn out. Our team didn’t place in the top three; however, I did get to know the people on my team really well!

For September 11th, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University hosted a remembrance ceremony. I wasn’t able to attend because I had class at the exact same time, but I heard about it from my friends that went. There were replicas of the twin towers raised at the same time that they were hit and the towers were constructed out of plywood boards that clubs had decorated. Each club on campus could pay $25 to decorate a section however they wanted to, which I thought was a really good idea. The best part was all the boards were sold before the decorating even started! I was able to go by the field later on that day after classes and see the two towers standing, so check out my pictures.

The United States Air Force celebrated its birthday on September 18th and to celebrate the Detachment hosted Airpower Day on the following Saturday. Airpower Day is where every flight comes and competes against one another in various competitions. Some of the competitions were a 1.5 mile run, relay races, knowledge questions, Ultimate Frisbee, and tug-of-war. My flight didn’t win but we had fun and got sunburned! Physical training is going well and I think our beach run is coming up soon—I’m looking forward to that!

My classes are going well and this past week I had quite a few tests, so it will be nice to see how well I’m doing. My math class is getting a little more challenging and the last homework assignment took several hours which made me realize I shouldn’t put it off till the night before. My group for Management of Production and Operations class is still waiting for the professor to okay our company for the research project. Hopefully, we will find out this week because I want to get started on it soon. In my Human Resource Management class, my group decided to compare labor laws in the United States to those in China. I think it is a really good idea and I hope to learn a lot, but the research isn’t going too good, so I hope the library will have more information or we might have to pick another topic.

Lastly, I have decided that my classes and Silver Wings weren’t keeping me busy enough so I joined the Relay for Life planning committee. Last year was my first year to participate in Relay for Life and I was a little disappointed that more people didn’t show up for such a good cause. This year I think that will change because everyone on the committee seems super motivated and excited. Also, I decided to be the Luminaria chair and I’m looking forward to getting started. I’ll keep you all updated on what’s happening and our ideas.

Send me an e-mail if you have any questions at all!

Until next time,
Kaleigh