Back to School and Mapping Mountains

Greetings!

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:

-Lynsey

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,
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

April 19

Finals are less than one week away! It feels like I was just flying back from Christmas break, and now I am about to pack up and head home for the summer. This has been the fastest four months of my life, and the past two weeks were no exception.

Last weekend was the Task Force One incentive dinner. We all met up and went to Sapporo Japanese Steakhouse. The food was very good, and we had a lot of fun spending time together off campus. I have met some really good friends through TFO this year and I am very glad I was part of the organization. I would recommend any first-year student to become a part of TFO as it is a great way to get involved on campus and meet a bunch of new friends. This week, TFO is having an unofficial meeting where we all bring food and hang out one last time as TFO-ers. I am looking forward to these last few hours our organization will spend as one.

On Easter, my BA201 group (MoKurity) decided to hang out and spend the holiday having fun. We went to lunch and spent time at the beach. I think it is so great that a random group of kids from BA201 have become such good friends. Even though our group project was completed a week ago, we still meet up and goof around. We genuinely have a great time when we are together, and I am sure we will continue hanging out even past this semester.

Delta Upsilon is continuing to grow and become more and more active. This past week we took part in a canned food drive put on by Theta Phi Alpha, one of the sororities on campus. DU brought in over 100 pounds of food and we placed second! Also on Saturday, we took part in the annual Oozeball (mud volleyball) tournament. Those of you who came to the Spring Preview probably noticed a bunch of crazy people rolling in the mud and water. I had so much fun playing, especially with my DU brothers. We won two games and lost two games, but we all got muddy and that’s what matters.

On Friday some of my friends and I went to support the AcaFellas at their end-of-year concert. The AcaFellas are the male a capella singing group here at Embry-Riddle. They do a very good job, and it seems like they have a lot of fun. Check out my video of one of their songs (Apologize) at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Zw4AjVqF0g. After the concert, we headed over to the Student Union where Touch-N-Go Productions had another comedian. This time it was Dat Phan, the original winner of Last Comic Standing. The show was extremely humorous and I laughed pretty hard. TNG does a great job bringing big names to our campus, and everyone should look forward to and take advantage of these opportunities.

Finals start on Saturday and continue through Wednesday. I somehow have four finals scheduled on Saturday and my last one is on Monday. I am already trying to study some for finals as well as finish the projects in COM221 and assignments and tests in WX201 and PS142. I know I have said this, but I have really liked my schedule and all of my teachers this semester. Every class has been very different, but all of them have been fun and productive. Last Monday I got to register for Fall 2009 classes and this is what I have:

  • Financial Accounting – BA210 – Ledgerwood – MWF 9:15-10:15
  • Air Traffic Management I – AT200 – McGuirk – MWF 10:30-11:30
  • International Studies – SS325 – Edson – MWF 1:00-2:00
  • Economic Survey – EC200 – Kornecki – TTH 9:45-11:00
  • Themes in Humanities – HU145 – Straubel – TTH 11:15-12:30

Along with my fall schedule I wanted to let everyone know that I will also be taking part in the European Aviation Appreciation Program this summer. I will be writing my journal online as I travel with ERAU to London, Paris, Munich, and other cool places. Check it out this summer! I have to go study study study, but check out the site for my post-final entry. Have a great few weeks and thanks for reading!!!

Until Next Time,
Mack

April 5

It’s finally spring, and I couldn’t be any more excited. There is so much going on around campus that I can’t even keep up. I will certainly do my best to tell you about everything! First of all, Task Force One (TFO) is finishing up our duties and trying to get set up for the new students next fall. On March 27, we took part in Embry-Riddle’s Relay for Life. We set up camp on the ERAU track and stayed up walking all night. Even when it began pouring down rain we didn’t quit, and the rain made it even more fun. The ceremony was very meaningful, and the activities all night were tons of fun. ERAU raised tens of thousands of dollars for cancer research, and the event was a huge success.

Delta Upsilon is keeping me very busy as well. We have colony meetings every Monday where we have been getting a lot of things done to establish DU at Embry-Riddle. As an officer, I also have meetings on Sunday to get ready for the next meeting and upcoming week. Recently, Delta Upsilon took part in Collegiate Kindness Day, where we painted and worked all day. Although it was an early weekend morning, we had a good time and got a lot done to help the ArtHaus improve their facilities. We are also planning on participating in more activities this semester including Oozeball (mud volleyball), which I am very excited for. This past weekend, Touch-N-Go Productions put on their big spring concert. This year they brought the band Sugarcult to ERAU, and they were very good! You may know Sugarcult from their songs Memory or Bouncing off the Walls. They were pretty good live, and the lead singer was a really funny guy. TNG also brought two opening bands, Luna Halo and The Sleeping. Both did a good job, however Luna Halo was more my type of genre. The crowd got a little crazy and crowd surfing was common, but it was a fun experience!

I thought I might give you updates on classes as we are getting to the final stretch of the semester. MA112- We took our final midterm last week and I feel like I did very well. Collins knows how to teach Math and still have fun – a skill more Math professors need to attain. He knows his stuff and knows how to teach it to the students. This is definitely the best Math course I have taken in my life.

BA201- We are about to present our semester-long project this week in Business. We have been working hard to perfect our product and set up our mock companies. My company’s name is MoKurity, and we specialize in home security. The ten of us in the group have a lot of fun and have become good friends over the semester. This past Friday we painted the spirit rock in MoKurity colors and had a great time goofing off together.

PS142- Environmental Science is a great class. Professor Cabiac is passionate about science and has some great stories to tell. Some of his many stories over the semester have included chasing a squirrel into asbestos and a person smoking 12 packs of cigarettes and 5 cigars every day. He also has some great ideas about shipping nuclear waste into space, but feels the aliens might not appreciate it. However, he feels it’s “a risk we might have to take.” But all jokes aside, the class is never boring and I have certainly learned a lot about environmental science and the Northern Spotted Owl.

COM221- This class is A LOT of work. I have not had a class yet in college that requires this much writing, organizing, and researching. However, I am learning a lot and can sure produce a great technical document.

WX201- I am still doing well in this class and it is becoming much more interesting as we talk about predicting the weather and things such as tornados, hurricanes, and storm systems. I have learned a lot, and feel like I could give a decent forecast by looking at a few weather maps.

As this semester winds down I will be running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get everything done. However, being very involved and busy is great, and I love every minute of being in Florida. If you are coming down for Spring Preview day, you might find me hanging around the Oozeball courts or by the TFO information booth. If you see me, feel free to say hello. As always, if you have any questions send me an email and I will do my best to help you with anything!

Until Next Time,
Mack

February 22

Hello everyone! I hope February finds you all well. Although I must say this all the time, my semester has been getting busier and busier. About two weeks ago, I was presented an opportunity to become a founding father for Delta Upsilon at Embry-Riddle. Delta Upsilon (DU) seemed to match my values and priorities, and I had to take advantage of this unique experience. The last two weeks have been packed with DU information sessions, recruitment events, and even a retreat. I have already made many new friends and learned a lot about what it means to be DU. This week, a slew of activities are planned, including the official colonization ceremony. I am excited to be a founding member of something I know will be great at ERAU.

Last weekend I had to make a trip back to Missouri. Although I had much to do back home, I did get to have some fun. I got to see my high school friends and also had some quality family time. Another thing I did was join in the excitement of Missouri Tiger basketball. All Mizzou fans are excited beyond belief (including me), as the team has broke into the top ten in the nation!!! Unfortunately, the one thing I didn’t have in Missouri was my luggage. Somehow, Southwest Airlines found a way to lose my luggage on a direct flight. Conveniently (sarcasm), it arrived one hour before I had to go back to the airport to fly to Florida. It was very annoying, but luckily I was able to make do with what I had left at my house. When I first decided on ERAU I was worried about the distance and not being able to go home often. I have quickly learned this is not the case, and I got to have a productive and fun trip.

Task Force One has been discussing and planning many things in our meetings. On Tuesday, we voted on an incentive activity as a reward for our hard work throughout the academic year. We have decided to go to a Japanese Steakhouse, followed by bowling, which I am really looking forward to. Also we have registered for the Relay for Life in late March. These activities will be here before I know it.

My classes are still going well. This afternoon I met with my company in BA201, and we went around town to interview people about our fictional product. We got some pretty funny footage, and had a lot of fun together. I think we will have a great presentation at the end of the semester, and I know I will have a lot of fun working with my group members in the coming days. In PS142 and WX201, I have more tests this week, which I am going to study hard for. And in COM221, I have begun researching for my big project, and I have already learned so much. Thanks for reading my journal, and please let me know if you have any questions!

Until Next Time,
Mack

February 8

January is over, even though it feels like it just began. My first round of midterms is about over, as I have already taken big tests the past week in PS142, MA112, and WX201. I have gotten the scores back for two of the three, and I am pleased with the outcome. This week I will be continuing the round of tests as I take my first BA201 exam. I also received my semester-long assignment in COM221 last week: a 15-20 page research paper. Luckily, we have a group of 4 people who work together to complete the assignment, so I will not be doing it alone. I am still enjoying my classes and professors this semester, which is a good sign.

Last weekend was the Task Force One Super Bowl party in the Student Center. We teamed up with ERRSA to offer free food and drinks for anyone on campus, and Touch-N-Go provided their projector to view the game on the big screen. The event turned out to be extremely successful. We went through 40 pizzas in less than 20 minutes and had to order 38 more which arrived at halftime. The food was good, the crowd was large, and the game was very exciting. Although the Cardinals lost, I still had a lot of fun with my fellow TFO-ers at this event.

Last time I wrote, I spoke about the process in which I was partaking to earn a seat on the Student Representative Board. After making the final three I was invited to go to an SRB meeting and give a short bio on myself. Unfortunately, I did not do my best in the final stage, and I was not surprised to learn I did not get the open spot on the board. Although I was disappointed, I felt it was an honor to make it that far, and I learned quite a bit from the experience. The girl who received the position was very deserving of the award, and I support their decision in choosing the other candidate. With that said, I will still be involved with SGA and will hopefully get the position in the future.

On Saturday I drove a friend to the Orlando Airport, and since I was already there, I made a day out of it. Two friends and I hung around the airport, and got a few good pictures of the traffic coming in and out of MCO. After we left the airport, we headed to the Cheesecake Factory (my favorite restaurant) where we had an amazing lunch. The Mall at Millennia was our last stop before we headed back to Daytona. It was a great to spend a day away from campus and out of Daytona, and Orlando is the perfect place to do it.

These next few weeks will be quite hectic, but I am looking forward to having a lot of fun. The crowds are starting to pick up as we are only one week away from the Daytona 500. Also, I have expressed some interest in the new fraternity being brought to ERAU (Delta Upsilon), and I am excited to take the next step towards learning more about the organization and being involved with Greek Life. Among all of this craziness, I will also be taking a few days to fly back to Missouri, as I have a few duties at home. Remember if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Thanks for reading.

Until Next Time,
Mack

February 8th

Hello again to all you readers out there! Let me just start this journal by saying thank you to all of the people who have sent emails with questions, and friends and family who are always chomping at the bit, waiting for me to post another journal. Things here in Daytona have been flying, and I couldn’t be happier with this semester’s turnout so far. Classes are still going fairly well and I am beginning to feel a little more at ease with the workload and overall expectations of what’s to come. I had two tests this last week, in Calculus and Physics, which I felt thoroughly prepared for and my performance was reflected in that. I scored very well on both tests and it was very pleasing to see the work I’d put in so far pay off. It has been freezing cold all this last week, but the good news is that it is supposed to be in the seventies during this entire upcoming week. I can definitely dig that! Walking to classes in the cold, especially at eight in the morning, is a real bummer – particularly when you are late so running through it is your only option. Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to warmer weather.

As far as student activities are concerned, I just have one thing to say about last week. Rush Week was a blast! All of the events were planned and organized very well, so it was nice to just be able to attend, have a great time, and get to know all of the brothers in Pike. I was able to attend all of the rush events, which included an “Invitation Only” dinner on Friday night, which was essentially for all of the men who received a bid to join Pike. We had a blast, and I am very happy with my decision to rush Pike. Besides Rush Week, there have been quite a few things going on in Daytona. We had the Rolex 24 race last weekend, then yesterday was the Budweiser Shootout, and all this coming up week is the Daytona 500 celebration leading up to the race on Sunday. It should be a lot of fun, but it will certainly be crowded. I headed across the street to the Volusia Mall yesterday, and was informed that I was being charged forty dollars for parking. I told the woman I just simply wanted to go to the mall, and she waived the fee. That seems like the start of a crowded and overwhelming week. I’ll try to stay on campus to avoid it all.

As I said before, my classes are at their stage where tests are beginning to start flying at me from all angles. I had two tests last week, and I have three tests this week. I feel fairly confident, but it is a little much all at once. Regardless, I’ll keep you updated as to how I perform. I am also looking into doing an internship in West Palm Beach working at the ATC Tower and TRACON (Terminal Radar Approach Control – basically the guys who handle all the departures after takeoff and arrivals before landing) facilities. I have completed all of the paperwork and have met all of the requirements to apply for the position, but I am required to wait until the first of March to go any further. However, I am excited about the opportunity nonetheless.

I hope you all enjoyed the Super Bowl. I am a Jacksonville Jaguars fan, so I really didn’t care who won the game. The Pikes had a get-together at one of the brother’s houses, so some of my pledge-brothers and I went and hung out. It was a great time, and an excellent opportunity for me to continue to meet more of the fraternity. Anyway, that’s all for now. I have an Air Traffic Management test tomorrow at eight o’clock in the morning. What was I thinking taking a class that early? At any rate, shoot me an email if any questions arise about Riddle or college in general. You can also find me on Facebook.

See ya!

January 25, 2009

The Rolex 24 was this weekend and the good news is I didn’t have to work it! I got some homework done and hung out with some friends. It would have been nice to go to the beach, but the weather has been way too cold. Last Friday, I checked the temperature when I woke up and it was two degrees warmer back home in Illinois. I couldn’t believe it! One of the reasons I came to Florida was for the warm weather, so I hope that it warms up soon! People have been getting sick lately due to the weather and I hope I don’t catch it because I don’t really have time to get sick right now.

This past weekend we kicked off Relay for Life week with an Oozeball (mud volleyball) tournament on Sunday. I got to decorate the sidewalk with sidewalk chalk! I hadn’t done that since I was a little kid and I forgot how much fun it was! I even posted some pictures of my handiwork. We decided to do a Relay for Life week in order to get more teams signed up and get people excited about the event in March. There are activities planned for several days this week and it all wraps up at the basketball game on Friday night. I’m really looking forward to the actual event!

Last Wednesday, the officers of Silver Wings and Arnold Air got together to plan some joint activities and hopefully get the organizations together on some service activities. So far, we planned a social at the park one weekend, a trash clean-up on the highway, a joint meeting, and a beach bonfire are all in the works. The Activities Fair was on Thursday and I think Silver Wings will have a good turnout. I’m looking forward to NATCON (the National Conclave for Silver Wings and Arnold Air) which is where all the chapters and squadrons in a region come together. In fact, some exciting news is that I think I’m going to run with some people from our chapter for National Staff.

Classes are going well and my first tests will be next week. This semester has really made me realize the importance of time management. I’m trying to get as much done as possible each day so I don’t procrastinate and have to spend all weekend working on homework. I have decided on a topic for my Business Law paper—the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. I chose this topic because I was actually reading about it in my Corporate Finance book and I thought it sounded interesting. Basically, the act was created after the Enron scandal and attempts to make sure the firm’s financial reports accurately represent its financial condition. I thought it would be a good topic because there is plenty of information out there about it. I’m hoping to have the paper done before Spring Break because I don’t want to work on it over break! I’ll keep you updated on my progress and let you know how the tests go.

Field Training Preparation has been keeping me busy and with all that we do it’s almost like another three credit-hour class! It seems like every week there are two or three additional meetings, but I love being busy like this because it makes the week go so much faster. I have held two jobs within the flight already—deputy flight commander and deputy flight physical fitness officer. For the deputy flight commander job, I had to keep track of the attendance and for the other one I was in charge of Physical Training one day because the cadet who was supposed to do it was sick. I’m learning so much and it’s keeping me on my toes.

This coming weekend is the Super Bowl and I’m pretty excited because some of my friends have a 42’’ TV and we are going to make some homemade pizza and watch the game! I forgot to mention that I went to the Daytona Beach flea market on Saturday and found a charm with my name on it, spelled correctly, for my charm bracelet—it’s the first time I have ever found my name with the exact spelling on anything!

Until next time,
Kaleigh