Already Half of the Semester

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time!


Home At Last (or am I?)

It is crazy to me that I am sitting in my house in Washington, writing a blog post right now. Where did freshman year go?! Although it is nice to be back in Washington, it feels like something is missing. I’ve realized that something is Florida.

What people don’t tell you about attending college out-of-state is that you will no longer have just one place to call home. Home for me now means the house I grew up in in Lake Tapps, Washington, as well as my cozy room in McKay Hall back in Daytona Beach, Florida. My life for the next three years consists of moving back and forth from home to home. I now know that no matter which home I am in, I will never feel “at home” again. Each place holds a part of me that the other one cannot. Now, I’m beginning to realize that it’s okay. Lake Tapps feels like home because of my family, the lake, the mountains, refreshing air, and the Evergreen trees. Daytona Beach feels like home because of school, friends, the warmth, and the beach. Each location is unique in its own way and each holds special memories.

The view of Mt. Rainier over (empty) Lake Tapps

The view of Mt. Rainier over (empty) Lake Tapps

Sunset over Daytona International Speedway

Sunset over Daytona International Speedway

It is so refreshing to be able to switch from location to location and still feel comfortable. I feel so blessed to attend a school which became my second home. The people I met and the experiences I had, at ERAU during my first year, were amazing. I never would have imagined that I would be missing school after only a week of summer vacation! However, somehow I am.

For now, I will continue to look for a summer job, pray for some warm weather in Washington, and enjoy being in the presence of my family. I wish all of you a wonderful summer and I will keep you updated on my summer adventures to come!

Until next time,


New Location, New Experiences

“Be willing to be uncomfortable. Be comfortable being uncomfortable. It may get tough, but it’s a small price to pay for living a dream” -Peter McWilliams

This quote has been my motto ever since my senior year of high school, when I decided I wanted to go to school in Florida… 3, 140 miles away from my home in Lake Tapps, WA. Most of my friends were choosing to attend colleges either in the state of Washington or in the surrounding states. Everyone thought I was crazy for wanting to go to school all the way across the country, but this quote is what gave me the faith to pursue my dreams and move to Daytona Beach.

Throughout my first four months of college, I can tell you that I have been uncomfortable many times. But being uncomfortable in this case does not have to have a negative connotation. I believe that being uncomfortable can also mean living outside of our comfort zone, and I am a strong believer that stepping out of our comfort zone is what helps us to truly experience growth as a person.

Making the decision to attend ERAU in Daytona Beach has been the biggest and most difficult decision of my life so far, but I am positive that I made the right decision by coming here. I am able to pursue my major, which is Aviation Business Administration, and also network with so many people who are high-up in the aviation industry. Embry-Riddle provides so many opportunities for students to meet with industry professionals and the Career Expo is just one of them. Had I not come to ERAU, I am certain I would not be holding conversations with professionals who are high up in the aviation industry, especially as a first semester freshman!

My suite mates and I at the Career Expo on campus.

My suite mates and I at the Career Expo on campus.

Not only do I love my school and all the academic opportunities that are available here, but I also love to experience new things. By coming to ERAU, I have been able to do so many things that I never would have been able to do if I went to any other university. These are just a few examples…

The Florida coastline from 3000 ft above.

The Florida coastline from 3000 ft above.

Here at ERAU, flying is in our DNA. Even though I am not a pilot, I still have a passion for aviation. There is something so freeing about being thousands of feet above, looking down and seeing the buildings get smaller and smaller, and then looking to your left and to your right and watching the clouds float past your window.

I want to give you a peek at some of my experiences I have had throughout my first semester…

Me standing on the Daytona International Speedway finish line.

Me standing on the Daytona International Speedway finish line.

The USAF Thunderbirds flying over the beach for the Wings and Waves Air Show.

The USAF Thunderbirds flying over the beach for the Wings and Waves Air Show.


I got to stand in front of a C-17 at the NAS JAX Air Show.

Me standing in front of a C-17 at the NAS JAX Air Show.

I went boogie boarding at Ponce Inlet.

I went boogie boarding at Ponce Inlet.


I got to tour the observatory at ERAU and see the telescope on top of the COAS building.

I was able to see the ERAU telescope on top of the COAS building.

The original ERAU Waco.

The original ERAU Waco.

I got to spend a day at the "Happiest Place on Earth".

I got to spend a day at the “Happiest Place on Earth”.

I am so glad that I decided to step outside of my comfort zone and attend ERAU. Peter McWilliams’ quote has held true for me throughout my first semester. Taking the risk of moving across the country, starting a new life, and beginning university is a daunting task for anyone, but it has definitely been worth all of the experiences I have already had, and will continue to have here in Florida. I am completely in love with my new life here at Embry-Riddle and I know that even though I am continuing to push myself to live outside my comfort zone, “it’s a small price to pay for living a dream”.





20 going FL200


San Diego, CA

So, it’s official… 20 going 20,000. Or FL200. I’ll let you take your pick.

It’s Christmas break now, my birthday was on the 16th, sorry I didn’t post earlier! I am now back from Embry-Riddle in beautiful Southern California where I was greeted off the airplane with an English bulldog puppy and an email stating I made the Honor Roll. (Go Eagles) It feels awesome to be finished with another great semester!

The year is almost over and I cannot fathom to this day, even, the beauty of where life has been taking me throughout college. Over-enthusiastic? Perhaps. Overly-passionate? Maybe.  But whatever it is that is strolling me along for this roller coaster of a journey- I am sure keeping all hands, feet, and arms inside at all times. I definitely don’t want to get off this ride.

Like 19 going 1,900 feet, I thought 20 going 2,000 would be too mediocre. FL200 was the perfect altitude, increasing from 1900 this past year because I think this past year I have grown more as a human than I have in all my 20 years. I’ve been blessed, lucky, fortuitous, whatever in the thesaurus compares.

This past year, everything has come on a tiptoe, silently working and becoming the colossal changes of my whole life. I had always known of what it meant to follow a dream, but I didn’t realize how narrow minded I had become in order to follow it- I thought I had to follow it by the path. And once I realized there was no strict, simple path (the Type A personality in me could not grasp) I stopped and let my heart talk back to me. This was when I truly knew what I wanted. I finally found the meaning of PASSION. It’s not an easy thing to face, nor it is truly an appealing phenomenon. Why? It’s hard work. It’s actually the most overused and the most under-served word today. But if you allow your passion to grow you, mold you, and surround you – your options are boundless.

Since the new year is coming up, consider your interests and an open mind in letting your passion do its thing. Passion and satisfaction go hand in hand. You won’t see results until you start working. Passion is the prerogative of the brave because the path that is worth treading is the path where the fewest have trekked. Hence why the word is so under-served. Find comfort in the uncomfortable. It may take a few seconds of bravery, but those miniscule moments will play a big role in your limits. Soon you’ll find it’s hard to reach a top speed.

Here’s to 20 going FL200 and to 2014.

Blue Skies (and White Skies for those who find themselves in colder temperatures)

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



Machin’ through Maximum Operating Altitude.

Modeling for sponsor Scheyden Precision Eyewear
Ayrton Senna said it perfectly: “On a given day, a given circumstance, you think you have a limit. And you then go for this limit and you touch this limit, and you think, ‘Okay, this is the limit’. And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high.”

What a few weeks it’s been! Classes have been the usual, various club meetings taking place, and I am progressing through my Commercial over at ATP. This past weekend was Fall Break and my mom came to Orlando to visit. It was nice to have San Diego come to me for a few days. :) This upcoming week is Homecoming and you know what that means! The Annual Sigma Sigma Sigma Halloween Fashion Show! This Wednesday, Oct 30 at 8pm in the Student Center. Be sure to get your ticket early!

First off, what is Maximum Operating Altitude? It’s the highest altitude an airplane can reach for structural or pressurization reasons. An airplane could go higher toward ‘absolute altitude,’ however, the equipment will not allow it. After hearing this quote from Senna this past week, I was reminded of the limitations I even continue to place on myself. We all have these ‘maximum operating altitudes’ we place on ourselves and most of us don’t even know it. And those limits are present in our everyday thoughts: “That’s too hard.” “I’m too lazy.” “I can’t do this.” “I can’t do that.” But, once you put yourself in a constant pattern of limitation, you place yourself in a fixed state of being. You can’t grow. Limits are these evil things that we all fear because we are too afraid, too lazy, too comfortable to break them. The reality of it is the fact that these limits are self-imposed. The only limits you have are the ones you set yourself. No one else has the power to give you limits- but you. You choose them. You have the ability to make a choice and say, “this is my maximum operating altitude, I’m done” OR you can equip yourself with the determination to go a little further.

  Courtesy of Scheyden Precision Eyewear
Most of us think we have reached our limit when we fail to realize a simple extra push is all it takes to break that barrier. An airplane has to be equipped properly or else it physically cannot push through its maximum operating altitude. You have the potential to break through your limits if you allow yourself to be equipped with determination, passion, perseverance and most importantly: belief. A limit is not a limit until you give it the power to be one. You can let your maximum operating altitude defeat you, or you can choose to overcome it. Your heart is free. Have the courage to follow it. What’s keeping your throttle at idle?
And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high.
And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high.

Gulfstream Grandeur.

POSTION: Embry-Riddle

For those of you who don’t know, a Gulfstream III was recently donated to Embry-Riddle’s Aviation Maintenance Science Program! And if you didn’t know, a Gulfstream is my favorite type of (modern day) aircraft. We got the amazing opportunity to check it out today. Needless to say, I was a kid in a candy store!

Near the Embry-Riddle Maintenance Hangar, GIII

Getting my Gulfstream loving!


I was in a state of pure happiness. It’s moments like this that make all the hard work pay off – especially after having three tests! Sometimes it’s important to cherish the little things in life; details can be the most important things. The details that make you see how intricate life truly is. It’s important to realize how blessed we are in the midst of living a busy life. I ran out of the College of Aviation this afternoon completely stressing out over an upcoming test and saw this beautiful Gulfstream staring me in the face. Then it hit me.

GIII cockpit

 We all get caught up in the ‘doing’ of life that we forget the importance of ‘being.’ This causes us to get caught up in the ugly part of life and forget the beauty. We worry, we stress, we overanalyze, we overwork ourselves because we feel we have to live up to this “status quo,” yet we don’t realize that we are forgetting to actually live. It’s not that a Gulfstream taught me this, the concept has been there all along. But the Gulfstream was definitely a reminder for me to stop and smell the flowers. Sometimes if we stop for a moment in the midst of all our rushing, we see the things that bring us those rays of sunshine we often miss. Yes, I was worried about a test, but I was discreetly reminded of why I am doing what I do in the first place. Fear defeated by pure faith. Those are the moments you don’t want to miss.

Me and Sojung under the GIII wing!

On a side note: October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month!

The following weeks are broken down as listed below:

  • Oct. 1-6, General online safety. Raises safety awareness among Americans.
  • Oct. 7-13, Mobile online safety & security. Focuses on the need to protect our safety regardless of when and where we access the internet.
  • Oct. 14-20, Cyber education. Gears toward the advances and opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education.
  • Oct. 21-27, Cybercrime. Works to display how people can protect themselves from internet crimes.
  • Oct. 28-31, Cybersecurity and critical infrastructure. Fixates on the necessity to protect our critical infrastructure.

In the Homeland Security Student Association (HSSA), we have been discussing the upcoming weeks and how to spread the news about the importance of Cyber Security. If you didn’t know, hundreds of thousands of cyber attacks happen in just one hour every day in many different countries! It’s extremely important to know how you are protecting what you do on the internet.

  Life is such a gorgeous thing and in this case, it was complemented by a gorgeous airplane. Next time you find yourself anxious, worried, or unsure- just know that from those situations stem the greatest circumstances. Stop and smell the flowers every once in awhile.
It’s a beautiful life. Do it justice.
Blue Skies 

Sunny Standard Rate.

POSITION: Embry-Riddle

I took this photo the other day by the flight line and I had to add some insight.

Finally all settled down! Yes, after a couple weeks, I am back into the swing of things. It feels amazing to be back! I’ve been busy with classes, my sorority (Sigma Sigma Sigma), club meetings and I actually just got back from flying with a couple of friends. A thunderstorm rolled in and we just missed it as we turned on final. It’s never a dull day here in Florida!

Recruitment week is finished and Sigma Sigma Sigma recruited 15 new wonderful Purple Violets!

This past week we had a guest speaker; Dr. Bloom from the Prescott campus came to talk to us here in Daytona Beach. He gave us a lecture on the topic of ‘Deception.’ Embry-Riddle is trying to intertwine the programs at the Prescott campus here with us. Needless to say, it was a really neat experience!

In my Homeland Security class, aside from all the important stuff, we have been learning about all the different sectors within the field. Most people think of the TSA or Coast Guard when they think of Homeland Security, but actually, there are so many more branches such as intelligence, environmental security, defense, etc. The opportunities here are endless.

 This has been my view these past couple weeks.

In addition, October marks Cyber Security Month, so we will have some pretty interesting topics arising in class and in the Homeland Security Student Association! I am currently on the Public Relations Committee, so expect some cool information on Cyber Security Month when I post next week. I’ve been REALLY busy with switching majors and whatnot, so bear with me. Expect some flying pictures soon 😉

Blue Skies

Control Lock Removed.

POSITION: Embry-Riddle

Back for another year! It’s taken a little for me to get back into the swing of things, but I’m enjoying the excitement of it all. I am so excited to let you all in on what I am doing this year. I switched my major to Homeland Security with a minor in International Relations and Terrorism Studies. Yes, I will of course still be flying! However, I am now taking a different approach toward my studies and I am so excited to be able to fuel a bigger passion that I have had all my life. Stay tuned! This week is going to be the busiest out of the whole year, so I will fill everyone in next week on what has been going on. So many amazing things are on the horizon!

Before flight, us pilots have to remove the control lock from the yoke in order to actually turn the yoke. When the airplane is not being operated, the control lock basically locks the ailerons in place so that the wings are stable when rough winds are present. It’s crucial during large storms because this can be damaging to the aircraft’s wings.

As I was preparing for a flight the other day, I stared at the control lock and thought, “what would happen if I didn’t put the control lock in place after flight? What if I, figuratively, let the plane go through a storm without a control lock?” Bear with me. For example, when stormy events happen in our lives, we tend to run away. It’s only human nature. We throw on our control locks, become detached and abandon our aircraft. Most of the time, we fail to see what incredible growth such storms can create. I obviously don’t mean this literally, but what would you do if you could hold the reins in a certain situation?

 See, we all have this control lock that makes us feel safe. We feel as if it will protect us from any danger, when in reality, sometimes it’s crucial we throw our control locks out the window. We can’t grow if we are constantly locking our ‘steering wheel’ throughout life. It’s easy to stay in a comfortable situation because it appears safe, however it’s probably more dangerous to assume that you will still grow as a person if you stay in the same place. This couldn’t be more wrong. It locks your steering wheel.

I’m telling you to forget about those thoughts of staying comfortable because it’s “safe.” Explore your limits, set your standards, and allow yourself to grow. Sure, control locks are great when you are faced with stormy, or unsafe, situations – but you will never know how to steer your yoke if it is constantly locked. You can’t move from Point A expecting to get to Point B when you have no control over your momentum. But here’s the thing: you are completely capable of taking the steering wheel of your own life, and moving the yoke in any direction you please. The only thing that’s stopping you, is the illusion that the control lock is what’s going to make you stay in a safe place. To stay safe is to move. When will you remove it?

Blue Skies and broken control locks



 LOCATION: San Diego, CA

Summer is over! My internship is done, bags are packed (kinda) and in less than 48 hours, I will be hopping on a plane back for another semester at the college of my dreams. Overall, my summer was pretty amazing. Flying, modeling and working at King Flight School has been nothing short of a blessing. As a side note, I’ll be the first to say, although I didn’t use King Flight Schools’ courses for my Private and Instrument training, I am currently using their program for my Commercial practical test (oral and flight). In all the years I have been flight training, I have never experienced a more interactive and engaging educational atmosphere aside from being in a classroom at Embry-Riddle. The material is very straight forward and easy to comprehend. I would suggest to any prospective student pilot to browse through the King Flight Schools material in order to grasp a foundational knowledge of flying. It is guaranteed to make you a better pilot!

This last week in San Diego has been way too bittersweet, but it’s actually been eye opening. From one coast to another, I’m forced with choices that promote and bring about change. Is it weird that I actually LOVE it? Every day, we are given the opportunity to live up to our fullest potential. Some people say “why?” Some people say “why not?” It could go like this: I could go to Florida, get off the plane and drag my suitcases to the nearest taxi with complete detachment from everything around me sulking into another semester. But, that’s not me. Why? Because being pushed out of my comfort zone has been the most rewarding process I could ever experience. And if I had abided by the walls, the resistance, the voice inside my head that tells me “stop!” before I’m about to do something great- I wouldn’t be where I am.

So instead of seeing your fear as a stop sign, see it as a green light. You are far more capable than you imagine yourself to be. If you are afraid, maybe you are doing something right. Don’t set self-imposed limits upon yourself. Why not? Because truly, they don’t exist. Yes, disregarding fear might preserve a perfect, failure-free life. But perfection can never be as respected as a steadfast attempt at doing something remarkable. So if you don’t steer your own ship, you risk staying in port. Which is even more dangerous because you aren’t allowing yourself to live up to your fullest potential.

Entangled in the cancerous discipline of security, I flung my life beneath the wheels of routine and before I knew it my life was gone.  I always wanted to sail the seven seas but I couldn’t afford it.  What I really couldn’t afford was not to go.” – Unknown

 Whatever you are doing: going off to college, traveling the world, even exploring your own neighborhood – it is the way you sail that will bring you to the current you want to be in. There are far more ships on our horizons than meets the eye. And there are reasons as to why we can’t see past such horizons – simply because there is more meant to be discovered. That reason fuels my ship alone.

I’m so excited for a great semester with new roommates, enticing new class work, awesome events and unforgettable moments with my Sigma sisters. What else will it bring?

See you on the flip side. Embry-Riddle bound.