Spring Break 2013

Spring Break is here! This fact means a couple of things. First off, it means that my fellow classmates and I will be able to use this week off to catch up on some much needed sleep and relaxation. Neither of which I have been able to get much of these past few weeks. Spring break also means that the end is near! After we get back from break we have about five weeks before final examinations begin. We are getting close to the end and it is truly hard to believe I am also almost done with my first full year away at college.

The past weeks have been relatively uneventful; midterms came and went without too much stress. My parents were actually in town a couple weeks ago and it was really nice to be able to see them and spend time together. Highlights of the week included watching a spring training with my dad and having dinner at Joe’s Crab Shack.

spring training, baseball

Soaking up the rays while watching some baseball

The Daytona 500 came to town back in February and yes, it was crazy. This town was inundated with race fans and it looked completely different. Over 200,000 people were in attendance at that race and I happened to be one of them. I was able to score a free ticket since I had previously volunteered at the speedway, so me and a few of my buddies went to check it out. I have to say, I have never been a NASCAR fan, and I’m still not, but now I see what it’s all about. It was definitely a pretty cool experience to be there at the most prestigious race in the world.

Daytona 500, daytona international speeadway

On the sidelines at the Daytona 500

More Daytona 500 fun

Air Force ROTC is still going well. I wish I could tell you that you get used to waking up at 5:45 every other morning but it always seems to be a struggle to get out of that nice cozy bed. For our midterm evaluations we had to defend a “base” against the upperclassmen. It was actually pretty fun as each Squadron was assigned a specific task and we were able to apply what we have been learning this semester. Also, we had our Beach Run PT (physical training) a couple weeks back which is always a nice change of scenery. Watching the sunrise isn’t bad either.

Air Force, Daytona Beach

AFROTC Detachment 157 on the beach after PT

Spring break (especially in Florida) should be indicative of warmer weather and nicer days. That hasn’t necessarily been the case here in Daytona Beach up until now. Virtually ever since the spring semester began back in January, the temperatures have been well below average, with the exception of a few days that have made the mercury rise. Believe it or not, this morning was a chilly 39 degrees. However, cooler weather generally means better flying. Which I have not been doing much of recently since I have been preparing for my checkride (funny how that works right?). I have actually spent most of my time doing orals and studying, studying. There is a lot of knowledge, procedures and regulations that you have to be proficient with in order to pass your checkride (especially your Private Pilot checkride). However, I am done with my flight training and ready to go. My plan was to take it before spring break but bad weather, scheduling conflicts and a high workload in my other classes means I will have to wait until after we get back from spring break.

That’s all I’ve got for now, more to come in a week or so.

September 21, 2009

This past week I had an amazing opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. and spend five days there. The reason I had this opportunity goes back to my freshman year when I decided to join a club on campus called Silver Wings. Silver Wings is a national, co-ed organization that focuses on professional development and community service. The club’s members are both AFROTC cadets and civilians and one of our purposes is to create awareness throughout the community about the military. Over the past three years, I’ve been able to develop more as a leader because of the positions I’ve held in the organization. This year I’m the Silver Wings National Treasurer and the reason I went to Washington D.C. is because we had our Executive Boards. Executive Boards are when the National Staff shares with the eleven Region Presidents what the vision is for the year. Also, our sister organization-Arnold Air Society-meets and we discuss what community service projects we will work together on amongst other things.

My time in D.C. was not just spent in hotel meeting rooms; I did get to go out and see many of the monuments. I saw the Capitol Building, the Washington Monument, the White House, the Vietnam Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Jefferson Memorial. I had never been to Washington D.C. before and to see all these monuments was an amazing experience! Also, we did get to go to one museum-the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. We decided to get a group picture taken in front of the original Wright Flyer, since our school has a replica of the Wright Flyer in front of the library. One day I want to go back, so that I can spend more time exploring the city!

One of the reasons we have our Executive Board Meeting in Washington D.C. is because the Air Force Association invites us to their Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition. When we finished with our meetings each day, we were able to go downstairs in the hotel and attend their conference. Some of the briefings I was able to listen to were from the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Air Force, and many other notable people. On Sunday morning, we were guests at the Air Force Association Wreath Laying Ceremony for fallen Air Force Association members. The ceremony took place at the Air Force Memorial and I was impressed at the size and beauty of the memorial. Also, we were included in the two formal dinners they hosted. One of the dinners was to honor the 12 Outstanding Airmen and the Air Force Band along with the Singing Sergeants put on a performance. To be able to attend the Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition was an experience that I will remember for a long time.

The whole conference was a one of a kind opportunity and I’m so glad that I joined Silver Wings my freshman year. A big part of the college experience is joining organizations on campus and Embry-Riddle has something for everyone. I encourage you when looking at prospective schools to also look at the clubs they offer. My college experience without Silver Wings is one I wouldn’t dare to imagine!

Until next time,
Kaleigh

September 7, 2009

Hello and welcome back! As some of you may know, my name is Kaleigh Sides and this is my third year at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. I have had the pleasure of writing a journal since my freshman year! You can take a look in the archives to read my past entries.

Let me tell you a little about myself: I’m a senior majoring in Aviation Business Administration with a concentration in General Management, I’m in Air Force ROTC and will commission in May 2011, and I hope to start working on my MBA next semester. I enjoy going to school at Embry-Riddle and the weather is an added bonus! I’m from Sidney, Illinois where snow at Halloween is not a surprise, Florida weather is nice and, if you ever get too warm you can go jump in a swimming pool or the ocean!

The summer seemed to fly by for me! I went back home to Illinois for the first two months and worked at a local ice cream shop, and then I headed to Maxwell Air Force Base on July 4th for Field Training. In order to commission into the United States Air Force, ROTC cadets must complete Field Training between their sophomore and junior years. I spent 28 days with cadets from around the nation developing and enhancing my leadership skills, learning what happens in a deployed environment, and how to be an effective team player. The whole experience was fascinating and something that I had been looking forward to accomplishing. After Field Training, I had two weeks left of summer and spent my time working and getting ready to come back to Daytona.

I was excited to come back to school and see all my friends again! This semester has been another full of firsts: my first time having my Jeep in Florida, my first apartment, and my first time living by myself. A car is not necessary to have when coming to Embry-Riddle and my freshman year I walked all over the place with my friends. My sophomore year I got a scooter and was able to go a little bit further from campus. So far I have enjoyed having my own car because it’s nice to not have to ask people for rides or have to plan around the weather when I want to go somewhere. Right now, I’m living in a studio apartment about 5 minutes from campus. I like the fact that it’s close enough to go back if I have a break between classes, but far enough to not be on campus all day, every day. After having roommates for two years, I decided that I would like to live by myself and so far I’m enjoying it!

This semester I’m taking 18 credits which equals out to be 6 classes. Since I’m in my senior year, I’m just taking business classes and I’m enjoying all of them. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I have Aviation Labor Relations and Professional Selling. My Aviation Labor Relations class is not just textbook work, but also a simulation where the class has become a company and labor unions may or may not become part of the company and every student has a role. I decided to take Professional Selling because I wanted to work on my public speaking and I heard this class gives you multiple opportunities to do so. Currently, we are making business cards and working on a 30-second commercial to sell ourselves to prospective employers. Also, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning I have Air Force Physical Training (PT) or Lead Lab (we learn about the Air Force). Tuesday and Thursday are my busy days where I have class from 8:15 to 2:00. My morning starts off with Air Force class where we are learning about leadership and what it means to be an officer. Then, I head over to the College of Business where I have Strategic Management, Aviation Insurance, and Management of the Multicultural Workforce. After class, I usually feel a little overwhelmed with all the information that I just received. In order to take all the classes that I wanted to, I had to make my schedule this way; however, I sort of like it because I have the afternoons free. I’ll keep you posted on the interesting things happening in class!

This year I also got a job working at the Embry-Riddle kiosk located in the Daytona Beach Airport. I work three times a week and answer people’s questions about Embry-Riddle or the arriving flights. I love being busy and I think with all that I’m doing this year graduation day will be here before I know it! Since many of my friends are graduating also, I’m trying to spend time doing fun things with them. This weekend I went to a comedy show in Orlando, rode on one of my friend’s motorcycle (kind of scary!), played poker for the first time and came in second place, and went bowling. Next weekend I will be in Washington D.C.—I’ll tell you more about that in the next journal entry!

Until next time,

Kaleigh