It’s Almost Summer!

Last Thursday was the final day of classes of the Spring 2016 semester. Friday is a study day before the first day of exams starts. The Hunt Library is providing donuts and other snacks to students in the evening in an event called “Cram With Cookies.” I have no idea why “cookies” is mentioned because they mainly serve donuts…strange.

Finals will begin on Saturday and continue from Monday to Wednesday evening. I was lucky this semester to be exempted from a few final exams. In my Airport Management class (BA 310), we did not have any quizzes nor exams throughout the semester which was fun. Instead, the professor gave us four assignments related to the airport industry, such as airport security. At the end of the semester we were assigned a large group project and a take home final exam consisting of four short essays which were quite similar to the assignments.

In my Airline-Operations class, we had a total of two exams during the semester, excluding the final. The professor would drop the lowest grade of the three exams so you didn’t have to take the final if you were satisfied with your current grade in the course.

This semester I have to take three finals: International Aviation Management (BA 426), Corporate Finance I (BA 332), and Managerial Accounting (BA 312). Like my colleague Jack mentioned in his latest story, most of the finals in the College of Business are just a regular test and are not cumulative. My only cumulative exam is in my Finance class where I will have to refresh my mind with the material we studied back in January.

This weekend, I plan to study for finals obviously and enjoy my last days in the beautiful sunny and warm weather of Florida before heading back home for the summer. On Monday, I am taking a study break as I will be flying to Atlanta to be onboard’s Delta’s inaugural passenger flight of the Airbus A321 that was just delivered over a month ago. The airline has ordered a total of 82 airframes. The first flight is scheduled to depart Atlanta (ATL) at 8:55AM and arrive at 10:19AM in Orlando (MCO). Stay tuned for a summary of the flight and some pictures!


Photo Credits: Delta

In the meantime, I wish all of the students from our Daytona Beach, Prescott, and Worldwide campus good luck on their finals. Go Eagles!

Until next time!


Contact the author at

5th Week Update

Happy Monday everyone! Or should I say one of the busiest Mondays ever! I hope your weekend was great! Congratulations to the Denver Broncos on their Super Bowl 50 win! It was really an amazing game. Defensive and offensive. I don’t really follow football, but I did go for the Carolina Panthers solely because I liked the color blue on their uniforms. Anyway, it’s the 5th week of school! One of the craziest weeks scheduled so far! As for today, I had class from 8:00a – 12:00p. I lucked out and did not have a quiz in Physics today. Everyone was exhausted and I am assuming the teacher was too. From 12:00p – 5:00p it was studying after studying for my calculus exam tomorrow. 5:00p – 7:00p was an officers meeting for Society 4 S.P.A.C.E. We got a lot accomplished! We decided on our trip to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, the website, and also decided to host a fundraiser next Tuesday! Progress!

Unfortunately this is not the end of my day. 7:30p – 8:00p dinner, 8:00p – 9:00p studying for calculus, again, 9:00p – odd hours of the night studying calculus with a friend – whenever I sleep is humanities homework. So a very packed and crazy Monday/Tuesday. However, I really am excited for this week because I have my first NASA Solar System Ambassador (SSA) telecom with NASA! Super exciting! I have to complete my Orientation and Training tomorrow along with my other homework. At this rate, this week may never end!

BUT it is a holiday week! A double header…almost! Valentine’s Day is on Sunday! A time for love and love and more love. I am a very crafty person and have a lot of fun creative gifts for my boyfriend. I also plan on making cupcakes for my friends. For all of you Valentine’s Day celebraters, have fun! Love and give someone a hug! Or a cupcake! President’s Day is on Monday and we do not have school. Yay break!

Almost a break for me, I have a research meeting, lunch meeting, fundraising meeting, and officer meeting on Monday so looks like more going and going. I will tell you this, one thing about Riddle that I love is that it doesn’t matter if it is the classes, or the clubs, you will ALWAYS be busy. For a person like me, who loves being busy, I absolutely love it. If I am not busy, I will find something to do whether that is to finally start my Russian Rosetta Stone, read, or watch Netflix. When I am busy, I feel like I am creating the best out of life. I am in college, this is the time to work your butt off for the career you want, and I feel like I am fulfilling that to the max! It makes me happy.

Speaking about college and career, registration for summer classes is on Wednesday! For the crazy people like me, I will be attending Summer A and B. However, for those of you on the fence about summer classes, here is some advice from someone who took summer classes last semester, me. I personally LOVE summer classes. It is tough and condensed, but you get the chance to get ahead and leave the “not so fun classes” for the summer, therefore you knock them out a lot quicker. It gives you a quicker graduation date, which means starting your career quicker. Think about it.

Anyway, it’s off to dinner and more studying/homework for me. Have a great week everyone and study hard!

Welcome to the New Semester

Hello everyone! Welcome to the Spring 2016 semester! Sorry it has taken me a while to write a blog, I have been super sick for the past week, but I am getting better. This semester is exciting for me. I am taking five classes: Speech, Physics, Calculus, Humanities and Commercial Space Ops Seminar. On Monday’s and Friday’s I am 8:00a to 12:00p, which is really awesome because it gives me a chance to go home and get homework done and more time to relax at night. On Tuesday’s I have once class from 9:45a to 11:00a and Wednesday’s 8:00a – 12:00p and 1:00p – 2:00p. Luckily, I have Thursday’s off so I really am enjoying this semester. In particular, I really am enjoying my Humanities class. It is HU145 for McKee. The theme is music, which is really awesome considering that it’s not literature or hard core history. We get to read a couple books on music and actually listen to old time music.

On the other hand, I am currently a Mechanical Engineering and Human Factors Psychology major…I am most likely going to be switching my HF major to Commercial Space Operations. That is why I am taking the CSO 101 seminar class to see what it is all about. I am taking it with Lance Erickson, the man who wrote the program. He is retiring after this semester so I lucked out with that. I really am enjoying the class. There are a lot of interesting jobs that really interest me. Plus, it is about space and space is my life.

Speaking about space, I was recently named a NASA Solar System Ambassador (SSA) for 2016. I get to do four giant speeches a year! It is totally awesome. I get my own name badge and everything! Once I know more information on it I will be sure to write about it.

As for the new semester, a lot awaits. New classes, new starts, new teachers, and new chances. Most importantly there are new opportunities. Personally for me, I am excited for the new opportunities: NASA SSA, classes, and possible connections. There is an endless number of things that can happen in someone’s life and a new year and new semester sets a perfect tone for that.

Have a great semester everyone!

A Quick Update and Some Study Tips

I cannot believe that in just a few days it’ll be November; time sure flies when you’re having fun. Yes despite two tests last week and two this week as well as a speech due, it is still possible to have fun!

It’s time for a (very quick) update:

Two weeks ago, I was on Fall Break; it was nice to enjoy some R&R in Daytona. I had another interview and used the time to get caught up on some homework and projects that were coming up; apparently, I really enjoying being a week ahead or so when it comes to school work. 🙂 Better ahead than behind, I guess.

Since the Industry/Career Expo, it seems like everything is a lot calmer at the moment. I aced both of my tests last week and have two more tests to go this week. I remember the thought of having to take tests and write essays in college scared me as I thought they would be extremely difficult. Although, I was quite surprised that it can be the opposite since I followed the tips below that I got from other students before classes started.

  • Try not to get behind, but if you do, be sure that you communicate with your professor and work hard to catch up.
  • Don’t procrastinate!
  • Try to complete homework as soon as its assigned.
  • Don’t start studying for a test the night before.
  • Lastly, don’t stress too much! Make sure that you enjoy some downtime.

Well, time to go study for Economics.

Blue skies,


Already Half of the Semester

I can’t believe we have already been through half of the fall semester. First, let’s go back to the beginning of the semester back in August.

About a week before the beginning of classes, I left Montreal, Canada and drove all the way south to Florida. The 1,400 miles drive takes 20 hours without traffic (I wish it took us 20 hours). Trust me, there is a lot of traffic between the New York area and Baltimore.

This year, I am living in an apartment with one of my friends. I spent a good amount of the week getting settled in the apartment which is 10 minute away from campus. I also spent many hours building IKEA furnitures. I built my bed, my dresser, the kitchen table, four chairs, and the sofa. Thanks to my mom for packing a small drill in my luggages.

I like living in an apartment off campus because I can have my own room and I am able to cook whenever I want. One thing I miss living on campus is the proximity. If I had a question on an assignment, I could just walk a few steps and knock on my friend’s door. The College of Business computer lab and the library were also a close reach.

For the fall semester, I have decided to take 18 credit hours. I am taking Speech, Western Humanities II (Renaissance to Postmodern), Airline Management, Business Law, Transportation Principles, and International Business.

Speech is definitely not my favorite class even though I know it will help me to develop skills to become a better public speaker. As of today, we have done four speeches.

The humanities class is also not in my top classes. Some of the material we are going over in class is the same than my history class from my sophomore year of high school. This class should be easy, but I already forgot the material from high school.

Airline Management is certainly my favorite class because it is an area I want to work for after I graduate from Embry-Riddle. So far, we learned about network structures (point-to-point and hub-and-spoke system), time banks, and important measures such as available seat-miles (ASMs) and revenue passenger-miles (RPMs). Now, we have just started talking about revenue management.

My longest class is Business Law with a duration of 3 hours, and we only have a break of five minute during the class. The good thing about this class is that we only meet once a week on every Monday.

In Transportation Principles, we have learned about the railroads and ports. I hope the aviation part comes soon because this is what I like the most.

My last class on my schedule is International Business. We are doing a project where we act as a U.S. based company selling a video game system trying to sell our product in foreign countries. I decided to pick Mexico since it borders the United States.

Well, this is all about my classes. I am enjoying my semester so far but I look forward to Fall Break so I can rest  for a few days.

Until next time!


The Future is Very Bright

With Winter Break behind us all, it’s time for us to continue what we started last semester. I was pleased, well moderately satisfied, with where I stood last semester but there was definitely room for improvement. This semester I’m attempting to push myself harder and, thanks to my schedule, I might make my goal a reality.

With only 4 classes this semester, I have plenty of time for school and the clubs I’m involved in. It’s nice not feeling constrained by your course load, but also it feels good to have something to do. Whether it’s doing my EGR120 homework (Graphical Communications) or a photography assignment for the Avion, I’m always doing something.

Aside from school and clubs, I’m starting to get back into photography and, more recently, RC planes. I just got a mini-quadcopter and I love it! Of course that was until after 2 minutes of me flying it for the first time, I got it stuck in a palm tree. With the enlisted help of 4-5 of my hall-mates, and the loss of my two flip flops,  we got it back and it still works! This basically means I need to practice in the simulator more and/or not fly by trees.

Since it’s only been 3 weeks into the semester, nothing much really has happened. I’m sure things will change in the next couple of days. So, until then, “Till all are one!”

I also would like to take the time to thank my friend Rachel Weeks for proof reading my posts since I have the grammar mechanics of a 5-year-old.

Back to School and Mapping Mountains


I’m going to actually write a relevant blog entry this time, I promise.

Fall semester is in full swing with first midterm exams coming up soon and lots of late-night homework assignments in the rear-view. Actually, I take that back; I really haven’t had a late night. Which is odd for me… I think I’m finally learning time management skills. I’ve been really good about not starting to work at 8 pm the night before the assignment is due – a valuable lesson to say the least. I’m bracing myself for when the semester is going to hit me, but for the time being it’s been pretty manageable. *knock on wood*

I promised I’d tell you guys about the awesome classes I’m taking this semester, so I’m going to do that now. My first class of the week, bright and early at 1 pm Monday morning (I know you’re jealous) is Thermodynamics. A lot of what we’re doing so far has been review (thanks to my awesome Physics II professor for hitting thermo hard), and the concepts are pretty interesting. Exams in this class are open everything, meaning textbooks, notes, and even computers/iPads/etc! Of course with the assumption you’re not going to text your friend and ask them for the answer. I think it’s a really cool system because it’s a lot like the real world (though in the real world you actually can call your friend and ask them the answer, but that’s beside the point.) Thermo is the last class I have to get out of the way as far as Engineering Sciences, which are kind of the physical fundamental classes you have to take before they throw you in a room and expect you to design a spaceship. That being said, it’s not my favorite, but I don’t hate it either.

Monday evenings I’m taking a Master’s level software engineering class as an elective, because I’m also doing a computer science minor. It’s really neat – one of those 3 hour, once a week night classes like what your parents would take if they go back to school. Which means I am literally about 5-10 years younger than everybody else in that class. Between that and not being a software engineering major (or a grad student, for that matter), it’s a bit intimidating, but I’m not afraid of the class. It seems pretty straight forward and I’m getting to write some pretty cool programs. I’m also taking a second grad class called Numerical Methods, which is kind of a cross between MATLAB and error analysis. I’m not really sure to expect from that one, but it’s cool nonetheless, and luckily I’m not the only undergrad, as there are a few other students in the accelerated program (which is why I’m taking grad classes, if you aren’t up to speed on my other blog entries. It basically means I’m getting my BS and MS at the same time, and will graduate with both after 5 years.)

The coolest classes I’m taking this semester are Spaceflight Dynamics and Astronomy – I finally get to start learning space stuff, which is what I came here to do! And they’re really interesting. In Spaceflight we’re basically learning everything you ever wanted to know about orbits, and in astronomy it’s everything you ever wanted to know about space – we’ve already talked about the solar system, constellations, and learned phases of the moon, along with a little bit of history of astronomy. By the end of the semester I’ll know about everything from stars to black holes!

Topographical map of the Andes Mountains generated by MATLAB’s mapping toolkit.

I’m back to actually doing some cool things in SPRL, after a few weeks of reading and playing with MATLAB tools. We are working on creating topographical (elevation) maps for mountain regions – the Andes mountains at the moment – and hoping to use this elevation data to model some real-world mountain waves. More physicists just use a smoothed gaussian hill to research mountain waves, so we’re taking it one step ahead by using actual topographic data. There’s a lot of complicated math and MATLAB programming ahead, but I’m definitely looking forward to what will come of it!

With the school year back on and in full force I don’t have a lot of free time, although to be honest that’s the way I like it. Nonetheless my weekends have been pretty free (since I’m keeping ahead on my homework like a good student), so I’ve had some time to start watching Breaking Bad and frequent Red Lobster’s Endless Shrimp (coconut shrimp… mmm….) I also went ice skating last Saturday, but we were both scared so after making two laps around holding onto the edges we gave up and went to see a movie. Plus ice skating in Florida just seems wrong. In other news, I got this candle at Bath and Bodyworks  called “Pumpkin Pecan Waffles” and now my apartment smells ah-ma-zing.

That’s all I have for now. Tune in next week for my random ramblings about ERAU, Research, and the mysteries of life!

There weren’t very many pictures in this post, so here’s a picture I took of a moo cow from the State Fair:


October 2009

Since I last wrote, I’ve made much advancement as far as my flight training is concerned. I am pushing the 100-hour mark, but nevertheless I believe that it is all for a good cause. Since my failed check-ride last August, I’ve been able to perfect many maneuvers. Some maneuvers themselves may have been to the Practical Test Standards (PTS), however I realized: why would you ever want to be ‘flirting’ with the tolerances? By perfecting all of my maneuvers and flight activities, I have a better chance at achieving my goal of Private Pilot. I am not saying I am a perfect pilot, because let me get that straight; nothing in this world is perfect. What I am saying is that I am currently a much better pilot than I was before I came here (ERAU).

The flight department, and most importantly my instructor, has been helping me a great deal along the way. I’m glad to see that all my studies and practices are finally paying off. There still is a lot more coursework ahead of me and I do not see this as an opportunity to close the book. Like others have said before me, “a good pilot is always learning.” With that in mind, it is always good to re-read many topics in your text to maintain knowledge and possibly re-learn topics you may have forgotten.

During my free time, I write articles for our school newspaper, The Avion. So far I’ve completed three assignments and am currently working on two for this week. Although I dread the thought of writing, I find that once I get going, it’s hard for me to stop. I do enjoy writing; it’s just the motivation part gets me once and a while. I know, how ironic, right?

One weekend, a bunch of friends, including myself, took a trip to St. Augustine, Florida. What a really great day it was too, perfect flying weather! We rented three aircraft and flew from KDAB to KSGJ. There got a ride into the town, where the spent the day sightseeing. While there, we visited the Castillo de San Marcos, the Old Slave Market and the statue of Juan Ponce de Leon, the discoverer of Florida. The trip itself was relatively inexpensive, due to the fact that we all split the aircraft bill. Driving of course would have been cheaper, but when you go to a flight school and have your pilot’s license, you tend to fly a whole lot more.

This month our school was one of the few to offer its students a fall break. I spent this time back up north with my family, and had a blast. It had been awhile since I’ve seen my parents and what NY actually looked like during fall. Fall itself is nice, until you actually have to rake up the leaves and clean away all the acorns. Glad I don’t have to worry about any of that down here in Florida.

After relocating to a new location and new place to sleep, you feel awkward approaching your old bedroom. Until of course, you fall asleep, then everything is back to normal. Not having to worry about going to school, I felt as though it was summer time again, only colder.

While back home I also got a chance to visit the neighborhood, as well as some friends, and even took a trip back to my high school and saw some of my former teachers. I then realized that I was glad to finally be in college. The freedom itself is most enjoyable, but at times can be your worst enemy if not used properly.

Well, off to my studies and, of course laundry, because those both just never seem to go away.

Over and Out.

October 4, 2009

Happy October! I can’t believe how fast this semester is going! We are a third of the way into classes and I’ve had a test in each one. All of them are going well and I’m learning a lot of information that is very relative to the real world. In fact, my favorite class this semester is probably my Insurance class. The professor is really nice and he does a good job of teaching so everyone can understand. On the first day of class, I was afraid that I would find it so boring; however, that has not been the case at all. Another class, Professional Selling, is starting to become exciting as we began our selling role-plays. I think practicing my public speaking skills is always a good thing and this class will help me realize what I need to work on. Overall, I think this semester’s classes are turning out to be alright.

Last weekend, I was able to attend a dinner hosted by the Air Force Association and Arnold Air Society. The purpose of the dinner was to give us a chance to interact with the older Air Force Association members. I was happy to have a reason to get all dressed up! The picture is of me with my next door dorm neighbors from last year. I became really good friends with both of them and part of that is because we lived next to one another. The best part about living in the dorms is that making friends is easy and you know that people are around willing to help you. Anyways, the dinner was a lot of fun and it was an opportunity to socialize with friends that I hadn’t seen in a while.

Silver Wings got down and dirty over the weekend while helping out the community. The service project was helping to create a garden for low-income families in the Daytona Beach area. We dug up a patch of grass and turned it into a plot for some vegetables to be planted. Some of us planted broccoli, while others spread mulch around the various garden sections to make a pathway. It was hard work but we had fun and are looking forward to going back next month. I thought that it was fun to work hard and rewarding knowing that we were helping families get fresh vegetables. Community service is something that I enjoy doing and our campus is always advertising ways for students to get involved and help out.

Another first that I can now cross off my list of things to do is CAMPING. I had never been camping before this weekend and by that I mean sleeping in a tent out in the wilderness. My friends convinced me to go with them on a camping trip to Ginnie Springs. I decided to go and I had a pretty good time; however, I don’t know if I can say that I will ever do it again! The mosquitoes were pretty bad and I forgot my bug spray, so now I’m itching like crazy. I did set up a tent for the first time and it wasn’t as complicated as I thought it would be. The pictures are of me holding the tent and then the tent all setup and ready to be slept in. We floated down a river on inner tubes and that was my favorite part of the trip!

My life is busy, but that’s the way I like it. Everything is possible with good time management!

Until next time,

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,