Fall Semester Comes to a Close

Greetings, everyone!

It’s official: Fall 2013 has ended and winter break is upon us. Although here in Daytona Beach it certainly doesn’t feel like it, with temperatures continuing to hover around the low-80s. Everybody back home loathes me this time of year, when they’re starting to get the big snow falls and I’m just wishing I could wear a sweatshirt. I suppose nobody is really ever happy with the weather they have. I got this photo from my aunt, taken outside her window:

and responded with this one, taken outside mine:

Usually my Facebook posts about the weather aren’t well-recieved. But it’s just so much fun. ;)

My last post was right before Thanksgiving break, so I suppose I can start there. I had a good time spending a few days back home, even though I spent a lot of the time working on homework and final projects. The end of the semester was poorly timed this year, because the week after the break was the last one, so everything is due. I don’t know what the general opinion is, but I think that the last week of classes is way more stressful than finals week. Finals week is actually pretty chill – you only have to go to school for finals, and have a lot of free time. Which is, of course, deceiving, because you really *should* be studying, and not staying up until 5 am playing Pokemon Y or anything along those lines. But I digress. Nonetheless, it was nice to see my family and friends back home, even though I’ve adapted to Florida and spent the whole three and a half days perpetually cold. It’s only funny to make fun of them for the weather when I’m not there, I suppose.

This is what was happening in my simulations for my Spaceflight project – the blue is the orbit of the Earth and the green is the orbit of the moon. Which isn’t so much an orbit, but a beeline straight out of the solar system.

I got back to Daytona early on Saturday, and had a massive homework assignment due at 11:59 PM that night. So much for having a break. I think I turned it in at like 11:58:43 or something like that – oops. Then it was final projects, papers, and exams for the next week and a half. My biggest project was probably the one for my Spaceflight Dynamics class, which involved simulating a three-body orbital problem in MATLAB. It was going well until I made some calculation error and was flinging the moon straight out of the solar system. But I ended up fixing that, woo! Aside from that and the ten page paper on black holes that I had to crank out in one night, everything else wasn’t too bad. I had finals in thermodynamics and astronomy that I thought were pieces of cake (not that I didn’t study, mind you.) The only thing that gave me real trouble was my EP 501 final exam – I only needed a 62 on the final to get an A in the class, thanks to my midterm exam and homework successes, and I was legitimately worried I didn’t even get that. But I managed to pull off a 78 (don’t even know how I scored that high, to be honest) and thus managed to secure my 4.0 Master’s GPA for another semester. Still waiting on grades for my undergrad classes, but from my calculations I am looking at straight A’s! Not to brag :)

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch as seen from campus!

Another cool feature of last week was SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch, which scrubbed on the first two launch dates but went off the third time. And I got to see it from campus! It was super cool; we went up to the top of the AMS building where there is an observation deck for watching planes go in and out of the airport, and got a really great view. Even saw the stage separations of the rocket!

Stage separations of the rocket as it went up into space!

This week I’ll spend some time helping pack up the labs to move over to the new College of Arts and Sciences building, and then I’m homebound on Wednesday for about a week and a half. It’s crazy how quickly this semester went; I feel like it just started yesterday. But that’s life I guess!

That’s all I have to talk about in this entry. Haven’t gotten word if I will be writing again next semester, but I hope to be able to continue to share my stories with you! Feel free to always email me questions, or just to say hey, and I wish you all a happy holiday season and a successful rest of the school year!

Also before I close out, I’d like to dedicate this entry to my dog, Skip, who passed away last Friday. We got Skip as a rescue in April of 2001, when he was thought to be 2-4 years old, so he had a long life, and was always very happy and full of energy. He was a really great dog, and we all miss him very much.

My brother and I with Skip, 2004

 

 

December 2011

It is now crunch time for the Fall Semester. Finals are coming up and my free time is fading away! Luckily I only have two finals this year. After my last final on Tuesday December 13th I am hitting the road north to Georgia to spend some quality time with my family for Christmas. We finally moved into our new home over the Thanksgiving break. The house is looking great and I am very thankful for everything the Lord has done to help my family and I get through these rough times. Homes can be replaced, but a family can’t.

Lately I have not had much time to do any R/C Flying due to the lack of time I have these days. School and work is keeping me extremely busy. The first week of November we went to Jacksonville for the 2011 Regionals Competition. As I mentioned before this is the last contest of the year and the top ten pilots from each class was invited to the contest. I ended up finishing in 2nd place for the Advanced Class and 1st place in the Freestyle Class. I had some minor plane issues throughout the contest, but ended up finishing very well. The 2012 season is quickly approaching and the first competition is January 14-15. In Port St. Lucie, FL. I will be competing in the Unlimited class, which is the highest of the 5 classes offered.

Well, that is about it for this month. School and work has been keeping me very busy, and it feels like I never stop! I go from 8 AM in the morning till 10 o ‘ clock at night every day! Hopefully once the Fall Semester ends things will slow down for me and I can enjoy flying R/C Aircraft and manned aircraft. I hope over the winter break to complete my CFI training so I can begin working as a Flight Instructor for Spring Semester of college.

December 19, 2008

I’m finally home!!! Finally, after an entire semester, I’m back home in NYC where it’s freezing cold! It feels so good to be able to be with family and friends. It was a really short semester but we had to get a lot done within that time. I accomplished a lot over the past 6 months and got involved with a few clubs on campus and earned 27 credits so far.

Finals went well. I passed my finals and got some really good grades in my classes. However, with flight, I am still not done with course. When I get back I only have a few flights then my checkride! I can’t wait. But I am concerned that not flying for a few weeks will affect my performance when I get back. I am sure it will all work out, but sometimes being away on break is not completely good.

Before we left campus, First Generation had a little Christmas dinner in the Doolittle Annex. It was fun as we all ate together and shared funny stories about what we encountered during the semester. It was the final meeting for the club this semester. The Avion also had a banquet, which unfortunately I could not attend. But from what I heard it was a really fun event.

I’m back in New York. My mom moved from the Queens to Freeport Long Island. I left the wonderful warm weather in Daytona, and now I have to wear layers of clothes and a coat when I go outside. I missed the cold so much while back on campus, but now that I’m in the cold I want to go back to the warmth. Since I have been here it snowed, and it should be a lot of wintry weather for the next few days. It’s not too friendly with the weather in New York, but being with friends and family makes it a lot better. Most of my friends aren’t done with their semester yet, so I have to wait a while till they get back. Last week, a friend of mine from back on campus came to NYC to visit me. He lives in Rhode Island and it was his first time in the city. We had so much fun that day, it snowed and we almost froze to death!

I also went to visit my old high school. It’s a surprise what the school has become. I got to see my friends that are juniors and seniors and my old track team, teachers, principal and peer group leader. It was a nice feeling going back and seeing the people that help me become the person I am today.

I must thank you guys for reading my journals for the past semester. It has been my pleasure. Thanks to all the people that sent me emails, I appreciate them a lot and hope I answered your questions to your satisfaction. Please don’t be a stranger, if you have any questions about Riddle and classes, etc. shoot me an email and I will gladly answer your questions.

Happy Holidays and have a wonderful New Year!

December 1, 2008

It’s the last week of the semester, and you know what that means…FINAL EXAMS! Thanksgiving break was not so much a break; it was a huge homework and study session. While most of my friends went back home for Thanksgiving dinner, I stayed here on campus. It wasn’t too bad, just a little quieter than I needed it to be. I really missed family and friends from back home, and it made completing my assignments harder than they were. I also got a chance to take advantage of flying here while everyone else is gone. That way I get to fly with fewer restrictions on time, and also have more airplanes available so I could pretty much fly whenever I wanted to. But today we all came back from the break and had to wake up early for classes…YAY. Including today, we’ve only got 4 more days of classes, Study day, then finals start on Saturday. And as we all know, the end of the semester means term papers are also due and the last assignments of the year are due. This is the make or break period of the semester, and if you slip up, that’s it. So far it’s going pretty smooth.

I am also happy to say that I may be done with my private by Christmas! I am so excited. It took a lot of work and dedication to get to where I am now. It wasn’t easy balancing flight with my academic courses, especially seeing that I doubled flight activities almost every day this semester. However, I was able to through it all and still do well. I completed my dual cross countries and am going to take my solo check ride this week so I can do all my solos all at one time. My instructor is so proud of the progress I have made so far, and I am too. It feels good to go up and fly and each day I learn new things. It’s an awesome experience.

Clubs right now are basically done. This is the last week of the semester and most clubs had their last meetings last week. There may be a few clubs that meetings this week but I doubt it. For First Gen, two weeks ago we got the chance to go to the President of the University’s house for dinner. It was an awesome experience. We got to meet a few of the board members of our school along with the president and his wife and a few of the faculty and staff at ERAU. It was a chilly night but it was worth going. TFO had a BBQ that same week and I wasn’t able to attend because I had my night cross country. From what I heard it was a huge success.

Everything here is pretty much wrapping up now and coming to a close for the semester. The biggest thing right now is getting ready for finals and FAA written and practical exams to take place in the upcoming week. Basically… campus is dead! I can’t wait to go home for Christmas so I can see my family and friends.

Thanks for reading my posts for this semester and I really appreciate those that have sent me emails. I hope that I answered all your questions. If any of you guys have questions, don’t be afraid to ask me, I’ll be more than happy to answer. I will be writing posts over the break so I’ll keep you guys posted. Until next time!