Holidays in the Sunshine State

When you think of the holiday season, you normally don’t think of Florida, although, the Sunshine State has a lot to offer during the holidays. It’s always hard to balance the excitement of the holidays with the stress of Finals Week, especially when you’re surrounded by so many holiday events.

Earlier this month I went to the Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando to see the ICE! display that they put on each year. The display is in their convention center and it is composed of tons of ice that has been carved by professional ice carvers. It was my first time going to the display, and I was excited because the theme was Charlie Brown Christmas.

Charlie Brown

Charlie Brown

Snoopy

Snoopy

Besides seeing the ice sculptures, one of the best parts of the display is that it is inside a nine degree freezer. They claim that nine degrees is the perfect viewing temperature for ice. Since I’ve been in Florida for three years, I was definitely not used to the cold. I brought my own winter jacket, even though they are also provided for you at the display. It was awesome to experience a winter temperature while still living in Florida.

David and I holding an apple made out of ice

David and I holding an apple made out of ice

It’s always nice to get away from the stress of Finals to get into the holiday spirit. Now I’m off to Disney World and New York City to see what else this holiday season has to offer!

Until next time,

Lindsey

Two Week Recap

These past two weeks have been pretty crazy around Embry-Riddle. Last week was Finals Week, which means all of us students were studying, not sleeping, and trying to pack up our belongings, all at the same time.

Finals run from Saturday through Wednesday (excluding Sunday). Luckily, I only had to take three exams, instead of five! I had Business Law, Marketing, and Business Quantitative Methods exams. None of them were on the same day, which was nice. Last year I had two exams on the same day, and that was not fun at all. I managed to earn all A’s on my final exams, which was such an awesome end to the semester!

Unlike last year, I also did not have to be out of my dorm room after my last exam, so I wasn’t rushing to pack my room, either. I chose to stay a bit longer in Daytona, which allowed me to pack up my room at my leisure. It also allowed me to focus on checking out my residents, for whom I am an Resident Assistant, or RA. It’s taken me about four days to get everything packed up and moved into storage. I really did not realize just how much stuff I had until I had to move it all. Word of advice: do not bring anything unnecessary to school with you!!

I stayed an extra week in Daytona so that I could help out with Summer A Orientation. It started today, and ends tomorrow. I am working with the O-Team to make sure the new students feel welcome at ERAU. I love working doing this because I get to be that first impression of ERAU for a student. I like to help other students, and the perfect way to do that is by greeting them at Orientation. Although Summer Orientation is nowhere near as crazy and hype as Fall Orientation, it is still a lot of fun getting to bond with everyone.

On my couple days off, I was working at my on-campus job, as well as taking in the last few days I had in Florida. I work at the University Development Office, so I was helping them get some projects finished up during the mornings. In the evenings, I went out to try restaurants I had always wanted to go to. I also spent one day at the beach, since I need to get some color on my skin before I go back to Washington for the summer! Of course, I also had to take in my last weekend at Disney for awhile. I spent Saturday and Sunday at Disney World. It was the perfect time to go, since there weren’t large crowds and it wasn’t too hot. It was nice to have one last mini vacation before I return home for the summer to work at my internship.

Enjoying a Dole Whip at Disney World

The next update will be from Washington, since I am leaving Florida tomorrow! I’ll keep you updated on how quickly I get acclimated to Washington, again. Let’s hope it’s not too chilly up there!

Until next time,

Lindsey

 

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!

MSN_6923_DeltaAir_A321_LandA_HR_05

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!

Nicolas


Contact the author at berniern@my.erau.edu

Finals Are Around The Corner

Less than a week remains of the Spring 2016 semester, and I am counting down the days, hours, and minutes until I get to go home for a week!

Classes:

All of my projects and papers have been turned in, including the dreaded Technical Report for my COM221 class (Technical Writing). The projects and papers were fun to work on, and it helped that most of the projects and papers required teams to work on them which makes them a little less work intensive.

All that all that’s left are three finals! Although two of my “finals” are just regular tests over the last bit of material we covered during the last month of classes, and only one is a cumulative final over all of the material we have covered this semester.

College finals may seem scary, but overall, they are not too bad. Our professors always try to give us some guidance, and in the end, most of the finals are just regular tests.

Work:

Things in Career Service have been quite busy the last few weeks. One cool thing is that students can earn college credit for going out on a Co-Op or internship! Since there are lots of students going out on internships and co-ops, the office is busy as there is a lot of paperwork that is done through our office.

In the Fall, I will continue working as a Student Assistant in Career Services, but I will also work as a Peer Mentor in University 101 for First Year Programs. I am really looking forward to this opportunity!

End of Class, Research Paper, Interviews, Exams

Next Sunday, during Spring Break, I will finish my first class of the spring semester. I am taking Organizational Behavior (MGMT 317) online. I have a lot of work to do before I can finally rest for a week.

First, for my online class, I have to write a final report of 15 pages on an aviation company and discuss the topics in the modules we saw over the nine-week course. I also have to complete a weekly discussion with my classmates. Finally, there is an open book final exam consisting of multiple choice, true or false, short answer, and essay questions. This is all due on Sunday at 11:59PM, yay!

I also have two interviews this week for internship positions for the summer. I hope to get answers back quickly so I can plan my summer accordingly. One of the companies that I applied to is based in Montreal, so I won’t need to find a place to live since I will live with my family at home. The other organization I am interviewing with is not located close to home so I will have to temporary housing for three months. Most of the companies proceed like this. They will help you to find housing close to the headquarters, but you are on your own to pay your living expenses.

Finally, I have to prepare for tests if I do not want to study a lot over the break. I have a Managerial Accounting and a Corporate Finance midterm on the week right after vacation.

A few weeks ago, my professor in my Airport Management class told us that we would not have an in class final exam. He does things differently then my other professors. We do take home assignments throughout the semester and will have a large final group project that will account for most of our grade. We will also have a take home final exam. I like to explore different ways to learn. In this class, we don’t have to memorize material to do well on the exams since there are none. Our assignments work with real life aviation examples. For the final project, we will play the role of the manager of San Diego International Airport (SAN). We will have to prepare a SWOT analysis to determine if we can keep the airport in its current location or take action to develop a brand new airport. I didn’t know that the airport operates with a single runway and welcomes more than 20 million passengers every year.

Well, I have to go back to work on my final report!

Until next time!

Nicolas


 

Contact the author at berniern@my.erau.edu

 

It’s a Wrap!

The 2015 Fall semester has just ended! After a stressful week and a half of studying and testing, you can now relax for more than a month until school starts again in mid-January! If you did not know, ERAU has added an extra week of break this year compared to the previous years.

My last final was on Tuesday and it had a speech. As I mentioned in a post in October, Speech is definitely not my easiest and favorite class since I am shy and dislike public speaking. My last final consisted of an impromptu speech. The professor makes you pick a few topics from a bag. You decide which topic you want to talk about and you have three minutes to prepare to present in front of the class. Trust me, it goes by very fast. The subject I selected was for communities to be more bicycles friendly. Can we find peace? I just had the time to write the few key points I wanted to talk about that it was already my turn to get up to the podium. About half way through my speech, I ran out of ideas and paused for about 25 seconds without knowing what to say. Then my professor suggested me that I could just sum up my speech. I felt so bad about my speech when I back to my seat. I got my grade a few days later and I did not do bad at all to my surprise! I was happy about it.

I was lucky to get to spend the rest of the week in warm Florida before heading back home in the cold for most of the break. Hey there is no snow yet at least! I will spend some time during Christmas Eve and Christmas to see my extended family, which I do not see often. A few days later, my family and I will board a plane bound to the Sunshine State to spend a week and a half in the West Palm Beach area. We rented a condo until March! I will definitely head there some time with my friends next semester. Just before the New Year, there is always a hockey game between the Montreal Canadiens and the Florida Panthers in Sunrise, FL. We bought ticket to watch the game. It is interesting to see that there are more fans cheering for Montreal than the local team. That is because many Canadians travel to Southern Florida to escape the cold winter.

After New Year, I have decided that I will go back to Canada for a few days since we will still have two weeks of vacation before school starts. When I come back to Daytona before classes start, I might go visit the Carolina Aviation Museum with my friend Jack. The Airbus A320 that safely landed in the Hudson River in January 2009 sits at the museum. Can’t wait to see it!

Sunset from above on my flight from Fort Lauderdale to Atlanta.

Sunset from above on my flight from Fort Lauderdale to Atlanta.

Well I’m about to board my next flight to Montreal. Now, I would like you to sit back, relax, and enjoy this month of deserved vacation. Come back well rested to Daytona Beach in January and be ready to start the next semester!

Until next time!

Nicolas

Finals Week Recap

Finals week has officially come to an end for me, although many other students are still living off of Starbucks and Red Bull in the Library! I am so relieved to be finished with my most stressful semester to date.

After hours of studying, I am officially free for the rest of this year! This finals week has been the easiest for me so far. In an effort to be nice, three of my professors moved their final exams to the last day of class, so my finals week started early! The last week of classes was therefore a stressful one, however, I got to finish my finals earlier than most students. I had one test for BA320 on Saturday, which went surprisingly well. Then, yesterday I had a presentation for my BA215 class. Although, we just had to show up, since our presentation was a prerecorded podcast. I am happy to say that I earned A’s in all of my classes! I honesty don’t know how I pulled that off.

Most students leave hours after their finals are over, however I am staying until December 17th to work for my RA job. So, I am faced with a week and a half of free time! I can’t think of the last time I had this much time on my hands. I have been able to sleep in everyday, watch movies, and catch up on scholarship applications. I am also getting an early start on packing!

I have been struggling to keep myself entertained, however. It is a very weird feeling for me, since I am usually always on the go. Tonight I am going to go to St. Augustine to look at the lights they put up around the city. I have heard that it is one of the best displays in the country! Tomorrow, I will probably spend the day cleaning my room, and getting ahead on things for next semester. I’m hoping that this weekend I can go down to Fort Myers for a mini vacation before I leave for Winter Break. I’m crossing my fingers.

Looking back, I have no idea where this semester went. It honestly flew by! It seems like every semester seems to go faster than the last one. Soon enough I will be graduating, or at least it seems like it!

Well, that’s all I have for now. For those of you just finishing finals, there is light at the end of the tunnel!

Happy studying,

Lindsey

 

Thanksgiving Break

For some, the American Thanksgiving is a time of the year where families and loved ones reunite at a table and have a big meal. For me, it is totally different since my family is not American!

I still go back home for the break which is nice, but we do not celebrate any type of festivities. Our Thanksgiving (Canadian) is actually on the second Monday of October and we only have that Monday as a holiday. For us, Thanksgiving is not as big as in the United States. Our biggest holiday is Christmas and this is the time when we eat turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, pie, and all the good stuff.

During this break I mostly spend time with my family and see my friends from home. I also have free time to do school work since the finals are approaching very quickly. When I come back from the break, I will only have four days of classes left. Then the finals are the following week. I will be busy during the last week of classes. I will have three presentations to deliver and a group project to submit along with other assignments. I was supposed to have three back to back finals but I was lucky that one of my professors changed the schedule and put the exam during regular class time.

After I take my last final, I will fly back home for the long winter break. This year, the holiday will be longer than last year. Embry-Riddle added a week of vacation in January! This is awesome for students but it also mean that we will end the spring semester a week later in May.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Nicolas

 

 

From Spring to Summer

Wow am I tardy on writing! Sorry about that – I promise I’ll keep up this summer, especially because I’ll have plenty to write about.

Spring semester went out with a bang. The Semester of Death has been vanquished, and not a moment too soon! I had four final projects to do, four final exams to take, and my senior thesis proposal to write. Combine that with moving to a new apartment and putting on a musical and you get one stressed out future-rocket scientist. But as I am writing this from the end, I’ll skip ahead and tell you that it all works out okay.

I figured I’d tell you guys a little bit about some of the cool final projects I worked on in my junior year at ERAU. For Optics we designed a satellite-based camera that can take pictures of Mars rovers from orbit around Mars. This was done using some math and some CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software, and the end result turned out excellent. In my Microcomputers class we had to design, build, and program a sun sensor with a ton of other features. That one didn’t turn out amazingly – you know how it goes, it works great for you and then you present it for the professor and it just decides not to work for no reason – but it was definitely a very cool project. I also wrote and submitted the proposal for my undergraduate thesis, which you can read here if you’re interested.

I was also inducted into Sigma Pi Sigma – the national physics honors society – this semester! So… yay!

3D

3D CAD drawing of the telescope lenses used in our camera design for Optics.

A picture of our sun sensor. It may not be pretty, but you can see how complicated and totally awesome it is.

A picture of our sun sensor. It may not be pretty, but you can see how complicated and totally awesome it is.

Hitting the books for finals! This was the stack on my desk for a couple weeks.

Hitting the books for finals! This was the stack on my desk for a couple weeks.

 

Back behind my saxophone to put on a production of Jekyll & Hyde!

Back behind my saxophone to put on a production of Jekyll & Hyde!

Oh, I mentioned I played in a musical. The Riddle Players Theatre Company put on the first musical in like 9 years or something along those lines…. Jekyll & Hyde! The story of the aspiring scientist who splits into two personalities: one good and one evil. It’s a great show; I’ve been addicted to the soundtrack ever since. I got to play my saxophone in the pit, and it was a ton of work but a ton of fun. We put on a fantastic production, and I loved having the opportunity to get back into playing some music, which really doesn’t come too often at ERAU, unfortunately. It was also cool to see a bunch of engineers/scientists/pilots/left-brain people put on a musical, and do such a great job of it – we really have a lot of undiscovered talent hidden within all of this math and science.

I’m not going to write a ton of words in this entry. I’ll just throw a bunch of pictures at you to show some of the cool things I’ve been up to….

 

I moved out of my own apartment and into a two-bedroom with a friend of mine. It's cheaper, and she makes me breakfast sometimes. So no complaints there. It's also much nicer - same complex but new appliances, cabinets, and I have a giant bathroom and closet.

I moved out of my own apartment and into a two-bedroom with a friend of mine. It’s cheaper, and she makes me breakfast sometimes. So no complaints there. It’s also much nicer – same complex but new appliances, cabinets, and I have a giant bathroom and closet.

Sally the Space Hamster is still doing well. She likes to watch me do homework and climb all over my books and notes.

Sally the Space Hamster is still doing well. She likes to watch me do homework and climb all over my books and notes.

 

These are the kind of problems we did in Classical Mechanics. Quite whimsical, but they lose their fun once you start to work through the math!

These are the kind of problems we did in Classical Mechanics. Quite whimsical, but they lose their fun once you start to work through the math!

With school being done, May is a fantastic time of year to hit the beach in Daytona!

With school being done, May is a fantastic time of year to hit the beach in Daytona!

 

My roommate and I made a Pi Pie after finding rhubarb at the Daytona farmer's market. Strawberry rhubarb - it was yummy!

My roommate and I made a Pi Pie after finding rhubarb at the Daytona farmer’s market. Strawberry rhubarb – it was yummy!

I drove my boyfriend up to Savannah, GA for his internship with Gulfstream and stayed up there for a couple days. It's a neat place. But I think he's going to write a blog so I'll let him talk about that!

I drove my boyfriend up to Savannah, GA for his internship with Gulfstream and stayed up there for a couple days. It’s a neat place. But I think he’s going to write a blog so I’ll let him talk about that!

 

Back home in Minneapolis for a couple weeks. The longer you spend away from home the more you appreciate it, even if growing up you thought it was the worst place ever and wondered how anybody could ever live in such a frozen tundra. But now I'm like "hey, the summers aren't death, and the city is shiny and pretty."

Back home in Minneapolis for a couple weeks. The longer you spend away from home the more you appreciate it, even if growing up you thought it was the worst place ever and wondered how anybody could ever live in such a frozen tundra. But now I’m like “hey, the summers aren’t death like Florida, and the city is shiny and pretty.”

My little brother graduated from high school this weekend! I guess he's not so little anymore. I tried to recruit him to ERAU, but he wasn't interested - darn!

My little brother graduated from high school this weekend! I guess he’s not so little anymore. I tried to recruit him to ERAU, but he wasn’t interested – darn!

 

I head out to Mountain View, California on Sunday to start my summer at SETI, so you’d better believe I’ll be writing about that. I just wanted to pop in and give a quick update on all the things I’ve been doing since my last entry. As always, feel free to shoot me an email or comment on this post if you want to ask questions or just chat with an awesome Riddle student.

Until next time!
-Lynsey
10360686_836087949745551_7923553601583597970_n

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