A Week in the Life of Skye

Hello all! We’re almost done with this week! It has been a crazy busy week so far. Exams, quizzes, papers, and everything in between. My week so far has been far from quiet and calm. Monday was my 50 minute Calculus class and another 12 of homework and studying. Tuesday went the same way but I prepared for my presentation on Year in Space for the Society 4 S.P.A.C.E.’s weekly segment of “Space News with Skye.” Yesterday, now that was one of the most packed days I have had in a while. Having an exam and dealing with my presentation, moving, CATIA homework, MATLAB homework, and COM 122 homework. I managed to get through it, but I did wake up at 4:00a this morning to finish my CATIA homework.

My presentation yesterday went great! I spoke about Scott Kelly and how he recently broke the record for the longest cumulative days in space spent by an America, 383 days, which he hit on October 16th. I loved the PowerPoint I made! It even had an epic picture of Scott Kelly while playing a video of his journey so far. Yes, I fell in love with a PowerPoint! Haha

The fun part about being involved is that today the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization/SGA is having a Research showcase in the Lehman Building Atrium from 11:00a-2:00p. Clubs and organizations that are involved in research get to showcase what they are all about. I have to honor or representing MEERS and the Society 4 S.P.A.C.E. I printed out all the materials this morning and I am ready to go! If you have a chance, come stop by and say hi!

Speaking of involved, MEERS is going to be one of the featured Research projects on the ERAU Crowdsource website! We are filming/shooting the video and pictures today at 5:00p! There a few of us will be interviewed about MEERS and we get to showcase our project. Being involved on this project and seeing it now get featured is an honor. Thanks to our Project Manager Tim, and out Faculty Advisor Dr. Jason Kring this could not have been possible!

As for the rest of the week, today will be CEO/SGA presentation, classes, filming and packing the whole house. Moving day tomorrow-Sunday on top of a lot of homework and planning my schedule for the spring semester. I usually would have it planned out but since I added in my minor, I have to re-work my whole schedule. I also have a calculus test next week that I plan on studying for. Lots and lots to do! On top of all that I am excited because I will be planning the next segment of “Space News with Skye” as well as organizing and updating the Astro Skye website. Awesome fact: I met one of my fans in real life the other day! It was so awesome to meet a fan who enjoyed my work. It was definitely the highlight of my day!

With the work week almost done and a lot to do, it is going to be a busy weekend! Have a great day everyone!

Life @ Riddle & A Word or Two of Advice

Between family members, friends, and even some people looking into Ridde, they all ask me how I have been. Well here is the truth. I love ERAU. I love the classes, environment, and involvement. I’ve been a student here for 5 months now and I feel like I have been here for years! Being a dual major with a minor is a lot of work. I have had people doubt me and question why. Dual majoring is not for everyone. It takes a lot of work and there are a few late nights, but it is worth it!

ERAU has a lot of events and activities to get involved in. Recently, there was a farmers market here on campus. They come once a semester and there truly is something for everyone! Purses, honey, kettle corn, flowers, the list goes on. A few other activities include Rush Week, Touch-N-Go Thursday Night Movies, and Operation Bootstrap 2.0. Every Thursday, Touch N Go Productions hosts a movie night. It is free for students and a lot of fun. Some of the most recent films they showed was “Ted 2,” “Jurassic World,” “Tomorrowland,” and “Minions.” Whether you like all the movies or just a few, they usually have a great variety throughout the semester. One time, they even showed “Top Gun” in an aircraft hangar! That is the ultimate “Top Gun” movie experience right there! Operation Bootstrap 2.0 is happening this Friday. Our school embarked on the journey from Miami to Daytona Beach 50 years ago calling it Operation Bootstrap. Packing up 31 trucks, volunteers helped with the move back in April 1965. This Friday at 4:00 pm, students will be able to compete in challenges, take the largest ERAU group photo, and enjoy fireworks later on in the night! It is sure to be a fun event! ERAU makes sure you work hard but also play hard when necessary. Yesterday, we had our career expo. Nearly 100 companies came to the ICI Center (ERAU Fieldhouse) to talk to students about their companies. Some even offered interviews! Some companies that came included NASA, Boeing, The Spaceship Company, Delta, and a whole lot more! Everyone dressed up and it was a truly fun and engaging event.

When it is time for business, ERAU has all the resources you could ever ask for; and they are free! A^2 is a free tutoring center with tutoring labs. The subjects covered include Math, Physical Sciences, and Writing. However, that is not the only place you can get tutoring. You can ask your professors, peer mentors, or classmates! ERAU even has Supplemental Instruction for certain classes as well. There are a bunch of resources you can use! Don’t be afraid to use them!

Want to learn a language? No problem, clubs and classes are offered so you can learn Russian, Japanese, and even Spanish! There are a lot of activities and organizations available to you on campus. You can even check out ERAU Connection for all the 130+ clubs and organizations on campus. You will find something that interests you. Myself, I found 5.

There are a lot of things that you can get involved with and learn at Riddle. So much so you might not even want to leave. Personally, I love learning. When I first came to Riddle, I could not decide what minor I wanted to do. There were so many available. I settled on Space Studies because I want to be an astronaut. But there are so many others to choose from; and I am indecisive! Going to college is a journey. One that you will remember for the rest of your life. Take your time and enjoy it. No, you will not enjoy every moment and you will not like every single class you take, but that is college. Work hard but have fun. Find the balance. #GoERAU

Getting Involved 101

The biggest piece of advice that people tell you when you get to college is “get involved.” Anyone can tell you to get involved, but the real questions are ‘why?’ and ‘how?’ When you go out to get a job, any job at all, they will look at your education and what your skills are, but one question every company wants to know is “What did you do outside of class/school?” If you have nothing to demonstrate, you are less likely to get hired. Reason being is that there may be hundreds of people applying for that same position. Some will have more qualifications then the next person, but those qualifications will set them apart from you. “What makes you unique?” Getting involved and being able to say that you worked on ‘this’ and did ‘that’ sets you apart from everyone else.

How do you get involved? Here at Embry-Riddle, we have more than 130 clubs and organizations that will help you do just that. Even professors and students can help you get involved in research and final senior design projects. It sounds that simple and it is that simple. The only thing standing in your way is you. If you say every day that you want to get involved and you are going to get involved, but then you don’t, you are the one not letting yourself get involved. ERAU just had its Student Activities Fair where all the clubs and organizations lined up all the way from the library and down Legacy walk to show what they were all about. Students were able to learn about the club/organization and join if they pleased.

As a freshman coming in the Summer A term, I was already involved on the NASA NEEMO project and the MEERS project before I became an official ‘student’; but there was more I wanted to get involved in. Talking to some of the professors and graduate students on both the HF and ME side, I found out about some interesting research projects. Just by putting myself out there and showing that I am interested, a hard worker, and willing to work, they welcomed me in with open arms. Now I am in multiple clubs, organizations, and research projects…Human Factors & Ergonomics Society, Human Performance in Extreme Environments, Society 4 S.P.A.C.E, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and more!

Getting involved is great! You get to learn and experience new things as well as meet new people. It is great to put your involvement on your resume. However, a couple mistakes that people are likely to make are getting too involved, and getting involved just to get involved. Although college is known to be the best time of your life, you still have to focus in academics. Getting involved too much can cause you to pay less attention to academics and put them on the back burner. Academics come first. Also, when you get involved in something, make sure that you want to get involved. Don’t just get involved because you think it will look good on your résumé, get involved because you are truly passionate about it. There are plenty of things to get involved with on campus.

People ask me all the time, “how do you do it?” “How do you balance, academics, involvement, and socialization?” Honestly, academics come first. Whenever I get a homework assignment, I don’t procrastinate; I get it done. Every day I lay out what I need to do. Homework and studying comes first. Then I move on the clubs and organizations and then finally everything involving “Astro Skye.” It is all about balance. Some people have a higher tolerance than others, it depends on the person. So whether you are at ERAU now, or are a future student, get involved!

October 3, 2010

A month has gone by already? It’s so unbelievable to think that just over 40 days ago, I was back home in California. I loved my life back home, don’t get me wrong, but it feels like this is where I belong. Last blog, I just introduced myself, so let me say a little about what’s been going on since I got here.

Move-in day was August 25th. Knowing how hectic things can be during this time, settling in was relatively a breeze! Anywho—I live in Adams Hall, 5th floor (i.e the penthouse). Honors program got me here. See, if you apply early enough (by the beginning of the Spring), you might get an invitation from Dr. Kain, the honors program coordinator, asking you to apply for the honors program. Not everyone gets it, but if you have enough AP/IB credits and a good SAT score, all you have to do is send in an essay and your resume, and hope for the best! For those of you who think that it’s more work (and therefore a waste of time), don’t fret!! Actually, we get many credits waived just for taking honors courses. For example, since I already had most of my general education credits out of the way from high school courses, the honors seminar replaced my Speech credit! Such a great feeling, especially since I’m not a very good public speaker. Did I mention the material perks too? Well, this year we all got free iPads. We thought it was a joke, too, until we opened our gift bags at the Honors Banquet the eve of move-in day. We also get priority registration for next semester, which is a great perk, considering freshmen are usually the last to pick.

Next big event was Orientation week. It was definitely a lot more pumped up than I would have thought. The highlight of the week was the O-team, who is in charge of easing us through all the activities and to-dos of the week. Saturday morning, I was sitting quietly in my room when I hear a mob of screaming maniacs coming down the hall. I open the door slowly to see who is outside, and a hand reaches in and drags me outside. We are paraded down to the elevators where packs of people are stuffed inside, and the O-team starts screaming ‘O, O, O, O’, which is their motto. Although I was a tad taken back at first, they took us to the ‘Food Dude’, who is a former “The Next Food Network Star” contestant, who taught us how to stay healthy while in college. Trust me it is a lot better than it sounds. We also had a quite humorous skit by our RAs (Residence Advisors) about safety, then a nice re-make of Deal or No Deal—aptly named Beat the Banker for copyright purposes. When it came time to say goodbye to my parents, I was glad I had a few friends with me.

The second week of school, the University Diversity Office set up a scavenger hunt for women only, where we had to run around the school for a good hour looking for clues. It was so tiring, but I got to meet my mentors. The program is called FIRST (Female Initiatives: Reaching Success Together), where Freshman girls in Engineering, Space Physics and Engineering Physics are set up with older girls, who will act as their mentors throughout the year.

Speaking of clubs, the Student Activities office organized an Activities Fair on Legacy Walk (between the school buildings), which showcased all of the possible ways to get involved around campus. As I walked down the path, I couldn’t believe how many things to do there are! I found clubs anywhere from Airsoft to several different cultural groups, to a club for gamers to even a Civil Air Patrol! I guess it does make up for our lack of a football team…. Come on, how many schools can say they have their own air acrobatics team?? Or a skydiving club?? Like many would say around here, ‘Only at Riddle’.

I joined a few clubs (a few too many some would say). Right now, I’m sticking with only a few: Touch N Go Productions (they’re amazing. They are in charge of organizing all the activities. Check them out @touch-n-go.org), the women’s Baja team (which is the only all-women’s mini-Baja team in the world!), and, of course, the FIRST program.

Two weeks ago, when I wrote my first journal, was my birthday. I was feeling very down, since I wouldn’t get to spend my 18th birthday with my family. However, at exactly midnight, my roommate Bharvi and the rest of my good friends threw me a surprise birthday party in my room. I can honestly say that I’ve never been more grateful to someone before. Later that day, we went to my friend’s grandmother’s vacation home, where they baked me a cake and had a Pixar movie night just for me (I absolutely love anything Disney and Pixar). A great tip, which came up on the Facebook c/o 2015 page, was to meet people before you get to college. Embry-Riddle has two open houses in October and April. This is a fantastic way to meet up with the people who will potentially be your best friends in college.

When it comes to the academics, college is much simpler than I would have thought. Most teachers make us have a schedule to manage our time and so far, it’s worked like a charm. I got through 3 tests for far, and right now, my team and I are working on a satellite for EGR-101 (which is an introduction to engineering). What amazes me the most is that at this school is that most teachers use airplanes or rockets when explaining concepts. In physics, for example, half of our problems deal with an alien and a rocket ship. Again, only at Riddle.

Before closing for now, I would like to send out sincere congratulations to the Navy Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) freshmen on their graduation this week. They are now midshipmen, and a step closer to becoming officers! They work very hard (Physical training 5 days/week, 10 hours tutoring mandatory/week) and deserve our thank you for serving our country.

I’m all done for this week! Remember you can always e-mail/contact me on facebook if you have any questions.

January 25, 2009

The spring semester got off to a great start! I couldn’t ask for better. Things have been working very well and I feel a lot more confident in myself. So far classes are going great, and I love all my professors. This semester I have all female professors…woot woot! It’s a new refreshed feeling compared to last semester where I had 2 female professors. I feel like I’m learning a lot now and love the learning opportunity. I have my first exam of the semester next Monday in WX 201. So far, in that class, we covered the atmosphere, solar radiation, and seasons. The professor is very low key but fun and knows a lot about weather and geometry and tries her best to make sure we understand the facts and concepts.

With my flight training, I’m currently on financial hold [yes the economy is hitting hard on my pockets], but while I sort out my financial situation, I am doing observer flights with my best friend and now third roommate Derrick, and will be doing landing clinics on Saturdays at 8:00 a.m. to keep up to speed. I am also preparing to take my Private Pilot Written exam by late next week. A few of my good friends, Darryl and Kayla, just started working on their private pilot license and are having a blast so far. I am so proud of them and wish them all the best. They have been really good friends to me so far and I know they are going to succeed in their endeavors.

As for clubs, I am still involved with First Gen and TFO. I will return to the Avion this coming Sunday in hopes that I can still have the same editor position I had last semester. Also, my third roommate Derrick and I joined ERRSA last Wednesday. ERRSA stands for the Embry-Riddle Resident Student Association. It’s basically a way for students to represent their halls and try to fix some of the problems we have in the dorms such as infrastructure, Internet etc. It’s a very good association to be a part of, and a great way to be involved on campus and for community service hours, and just for the individual that wants to make an impact. Just this weekend, ERRSA had a retreat and went to a vacation house in Orlando. Sadly I and Derrick were not able to attend because of the time that we joined and budgeting issues. However, they all had fun and enjoyed the weekend away from campus.

This weekend, we had the Rolex 24 at the Daytona Speedway! It was very loud and you could hear the crowd cheering. It was a cool experience. We got to see the private jets parked up on the ramp and even saw a few take off Sunday afternoon. Saturday night there were fireworks! I am looking forward to the Daytona 500, which lasts an entire week and is a bigger event.

So far, I haven’t really missed family as much as I did the beginning of last semester. I still talk to my mom a lot and every once in a while a cousin or aunt. I have become a lot more responsible and even though I have the cushion of student loans and work and parents helping me out, I am learning to appreciate what I have and to live within my means. Not because the resources are available does not mean one should go out and be impulsive.

Even though it’s really early, I and my friends are planning a cruise to the Bahamas for spring break. It’s still in the planning stages, it looks like a go and I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I’ll keep you guys posted.

[For those of you guys that didn’t know… Barak Obama is now President… WHOOO HOOO]

My friends Kayla and Hemali got their cartilages pierced last Thursday, while last Friday, Derrick and I got our ear lobes pierced! It still hurts but not bad. Today, Kayla got her hair stuck in the earring. Derrick and I sat her down and took it out, it was a painful experience for her but she appreciated our help.

One last thing, on Sunday, my girlfriend and I celebrated 8 months of being together. Even though she is still in New York City and I’m here in Daytona, we still have our relationship going.

Remember, if you guys have any questions or comments, I appreciate them a lot. Thanks to you guys that emailed me. I wish you guys all the best, and until next time, be safe!

Andre’ McIntosh