Does your home airport use a common or exclusive use gate system?

Last Thursday in my Airline-Airport Operations class, we had an interesting debate in whether or not we should favor common-use gates over exclusive leased space gates. There are many advantages and drawbacks in both cases that I will explain briefly below.

Exclusive Leased Space

In an exclusive leased space agreement, an airline will have the right to use the gate and ticket counters space in exchange it has agreed to pay a rent on the area used. For an airline that has only one scheduled flight to that airport, it might not be a plus because it will have to pay for the gate while it only uses it maybe an hour per day.

Large airlines in the United States such has Delta Air Lines might prefer the exclusive leased space even though it is more expensive. They can operate their own gates and not bother about another competitor using their gate. Airlines can also show their brand at the ticket counters, gate area, and inside the jet bridge since they basically “own” the space.

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Common Use Space

At a common-use airport, airlines do not have to pay rent on the space. The airport’s gate schedule coordinator will assign each gate to the airlines. It will collect a per-use fee from the air carriers using the space. Common use airports usually have TV monitors at check-in counters and at the boarding area instead of painted walls with the airline’s brand. They can change the image of an airline in a matter of a second.

Common-use airports can generate more revenue by negotiating contracts with companies who want to show their branding around the airport. The HSBC bank branding is present in various airports worldwide.

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Picture taken at around 5:30AM.

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Picture taken at about 6:45AM.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The picture above on the left was taken in the morning one day last summer when I worked as an intern at the Montreal Airport in Canada. The picture on the right was taken at the same place about an hour after the first one was taken. We can see that the airport operates with common-use space.

There were four United Express’ regional jets at the gates getting ready for their morning flights back to the airline’s hub. About an hour later on that same day, we can see that those planes are gone and replaced with new Air Canada jets.

For airline ground operations, airlines usually have to move their ground vehicles around the airport to the new assigned gate for the next flight. Airports often try assign the gates to the airlines next to each other so it makes it easier for airline operations.

That’s it for this week! In my next story, I will close the 2015-16 school year and share my summer plans.

Nicolas


Contact the author at berniern@my.erau.edu

Let the Final Stretch Begin

In less than three weeks all of my finals will be over, and I’ll have another semester under my belt. I am very excited for the summer to begin to take some time off and for my internship.

This summer, I will be working as an intern in Network Planning at Delta Air Lines in Atlanta, Georgia! I am very excited for this opportunity, and it has been a long time coming as I have been interviewing since the 2014 Industry/Career Expo.

In the meantime, school has been keeping me busy with lots of projects and papers, and things are starting to slow down. I just have to finish my technical report, study for one last test for the semester, and begin studying for final exams. Thankfully, I just have three this semester!

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to attend the Student Employee of the Year Nominee Dinner as the Career Services Department nominated me. It was very cool attending it and learning about what all of the other 22 student Assistants who attended the dinner did for their departments. Plus, it was crazy to learn that there are more than 1,000 student assistants who work on the Daytona Beach Campus!

SEOTY Nominees gather for a dinner to announce Embry-Riddle's Student Employee of the year

SEOTY Nominees gather for a dinner to announce Embry-Riddle’s Student Employee of the year

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

 

So Many Resumes…

Let me start off by saying I have never seen so many resumes before in my life!

This past week was Embry-Riddle’s Fall 2015 Career Expo! Everyone on campus was wearing their most professional attire, printing out their neat resumes, and carrying around leather-bound notepads. There were well-known engineering companies there, like NASA, Gulfstream, Rolls Royce, Rockwell Collins, and Boeing, along with plenty of airlines. In other words, it was a Riddle students dreamland.

This was my first time attending the Career Expo on campus, so it was definitely a new experience and I was a bit nervous. I tried to assemble my nicest outfit to give the impression that I was older than a sophomore in college and put as many engineering projects on my resume as I could. Let me also include that during this week I also caught the cold that was going around campus, so lucky me!

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Me and my Sigma sister, Frankie, at the Career Expo!

I started off the Career Expo by attending as many info sessions as my schedule would permit. I talked to some people at Gulfstream’s Mix & Mingle, and then attended GE Aviation’s info session later that night. This was a great idea because I learned more about these companies and what they wanted from their internship and co-op candidates!

The next day was the real thing! This was when the companies gathered in the ICI Center and set up their booths. For some companies there were lines all the way down to the door! My friend Matt and I both walked around the Expo together, telling each other about the companies we wanted to talk to and giving each other moral support. I talked to GE Aviation, RocaTech Solutions, Textron, and The Spaceship Company. This was a great experience for me because I got to work on my people skills, talking to complete strangers about my engineering experience and where I wanted to go in the industry.

At the end of the Career Expo, I came out (somewhat) victorious! I received a call later that night from GE Aviation and they told me that they wanted to interview me the next day. I almost freaked out at just the chance of being interviewed by such an amazing aviation company! During my interview with them, we talked about Orientation Team and icebreakers, and also about my experience in Haiti and what mangoes were. My interviewer had me describe what a mango was because he said he was a “Doritos” kind of guy. Overall, I think the interview went extremely well! In about a week or so, I will know whether or not I will be GE Aviation’s newest intern!

Fingers crossed!!

Summer Internship – Last Part

Last week, my internship at Aéroports de Montréal ended. I started my first day back in the beginning of May right when I got back from Daytona Beach. I am grateful I got the opportunity to get an internship only at the end of my first year of college, especially since it was in an aviation related job.

I learned so many new things I did not know before I started to work there. I can now understand much more on how an airport operates daily.  I learned new terms like SMA messages which can look like a text message at the first glance. It is a shot abbreviated message sent by email between an airline and an airport mentioning flight schedules modifications. It includes the flight numbers, the date(s) of the modification, the type of aircraft, the seat capacity, and the origin of the flight and its arrival time, as well as the scheduled departure time and the destination. I also got to memorize a lot of the airlines’ IATA code (2-letter) and ICAO code (3-letter) and the aircrafts’ IATA code (3-letter) and ICAO code (4-letter). I know this can seem to be confusing but gets easy to master with time. I will take Air Canada and the Bombardier CRJ900 as an example: Air Canada (AC and ACA), and Bombardier CRJ900 (CR9 and CRJ9).

Aboard a CRJ900 in Montreal at gate C88 bound to Atlanta.

Aboard a CRJ900 in Montreal at gate C88 bound to Atlanta.

My brother and I both got out of work at the same time last week and my family and I took our annual trip down to Kennebunkport, Maine for a few days. It is about a 4h30 drive from our house in Quebec. We rent a small cottage and we have a good time at the beach and enjoy the sun. We usually go with our friends from home that have the same age as us. I remember when we were younger, we used to build sand castles and garages and play with plastic soldiers figures and tanks. We do not do that anymore… now we play frisbee and football.

Mai

Now that I have experienced a job in an airport, I would like to go work at an airline in the near future. We’ll see what happens next! I’m heading back home for the weekend but then I am flying north of Florida next week to go play golf in Georgia!

Until Next Time!

Nicolas

An Aviation Summer

These past few weeks have been nothing but busy. Between my internship at the Port of Seattle, working evenings and weekends at Nike, sleep, and trying to have a social life, I have become exhausted!

Since work consumes most of my summer, I’ll update you on how it is going. This past week at the Port of Seattle I have had the opportunity to do some pretty awesome things! The center runway at Sea-Tac (16C/34C) is being replaced this summer. One day we took a bus out on the airfield to observe the construction. It amazed me how deep the concrete has to be to support all of the stress that is put on a runway. It’s about 4 feet thick of concrete! After the tour, we stopped and got out of the bus to watch planes land and take off. We ended up watching for about 10 minutes. It’s amazing to be standing only 10 feet from a runway on which a A330 is taking off!

Southwest ready to take off on 16L

Southwest ready to take off on 16L

View from the Penthouse of the Airport Office Building. Looking over the South Satellite and a Delta A330.

View from the Penthouse of the Airport Office Building. Looking over the South Satellite and a Delta A330.

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Alaska Airlines ready to take off on 16L

 

China Airlines Cargo 747 being loaded with cherries to take to China

China Airlines Cargo 747 being loaded with cherries to take to China

Later this week we were able to go tour the FAA Air Traffic Control Tower at Sea-Tac. The experience was one that not many people get to have, since the towers are highly secured. From the tower we could see downtown Seattle, Mt. Rainier, and the Olympic Mountains. We also got to walk on the balcony outside of the tower to take some pictures of aircraft and the airport. It was interesting to watch Air Traffic Controllers in action, instead of just hearing them over the radios.

Southbound view of Sea-Tac from the ATCT

Southbound view of Sea-Tac from the ATCT

My other job, at Nike, is a part-time seasonal job that I picked up for the summer. I have enjoyed working there more than I ever thought I would. The atmosphere and the people at Nike are amazing. I have had the chance to work in all different sections of the store, however Women’s and Kid’s Apparel is my favorite section. The only negative to working at Nike is that most of my paycheck goes back to the company, because I buy Nike shoes and apparel all the time now!!!

When I’m not at work, I try to do something that I haven’t done before. One day David and I took a trip up to Paine Field to go to the Boeing Factory Tour. It was incredible to see how big the building is!! I loved getting to see 777’s, 787’s, and 767’s being built and painted.

Standing at Paine Field with the Boeing Factory and flight line in the background.

Standing at Paine Field with the Boeing Factory and flight line in the background.

I am so happy that I have the opportunity to fill my summer with aviation. At the start of my freshman year at Riddle, I never would’ve imagined myself working at an airport, let alone the fastest growing airport in North America! It has been truly a blessing and I am looking forward to what else this summer will bring!

Until next time,

Lindsey

Life At The Airport

Hello there!

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer so far! I am new on the blog team so I will start by introducing myself. My name is Nicolas Bernier and I just completed my first year at Embry-Riddle. I am studying in Aviation Business Administration and I fly as a minor to obtain my instrument rating. I live in Montreal, Canada, the Great White North!

For my first blog, I will talk about my new summer job. I am happy because it is in a field that I am currently studying at ERAU. About two weeks ago, I started to work in the Finance Department at Montréal-Trudeau Intl. Airport (YUL).

Aéroports de Montréal logo.

Aéroports de Montréal logo.

My supervisor makes me do a lot of different things and I love it! During the first few days, I gathered all the flight schedules of all the carriers flying in and out of the airport for the next winter season. For example, Qatar Airways plans to operate three weekly flights to Doha on a 77W aircraft, commonly known as the Boeing 777-300ER. From the Excel table I have, I can determine if a carrier reduced or increased its number of flights to the airport for this winter compared to last winter. I am also able to see new routes or if a service to a destination got cancelled.

Aéroports de Montréal, the company I work for, manages both the international airport and the Montréal-Mirabel Intl. Airport (YMX), the latter one only being use for cargo flights. Last week, I compiled the number of kilograms of the inbound and outbound cargo of each air carrier for both airports. I made the calculation per month for 2014 and for the first quarter of 2015.

I am happy to have taken the Advanced Computer Based Systems class last semester because knowing how to use Excel and Access helps me a lot and saves time. But if I do not remember how to do everything, I can just ask for help and the people I work with will be glad to help me. Most of the times I ask Google though.

One of the thing I like the most about my job is that I am surrounded by airplanes taking off and landing and also by people who love aviation, just like at Embry-Riddle. Aéroports de Montréal’s administrative office is located on the last floor of a 10-story Marriott hotel facing the US bound concourse. During break, I often like to go eat lunch somewhere in the terminal. I am only limited to the stores and restaurants in the public area; I do not have the pass which would give me access to the boarding area on the other side of the security.

The last two floors of the Marriott hotel are used as administrative offices for Aéroports de Montréal.

The last two floors of the Marriott hotel are used as administrative offices for Aéroports de Montréal.

View of the Transborder Concourse from the 10th floor.

View of the Transborder Concourse from the 10th floor.

This wraps up my first post. I am really excited about this job and cannot wait to discover and learn new stuff. On my next blog, I will share more experiences about my job. Stay tuned!

Until next time!

Nicolas

That’s a wrap, folks!

1470133_10152371397308719_2856600370498912047_nSo tomorrow is the penultimate (that means second to last in fancy talk) day of my internship at SETI.

It’s crazy how fast the time here went, and at the same time I managed to pack so many amazing things into ten short weeks. I’m pretty sure that I can say this has been the greatest experience of my life. But I’m getting ahead of myself a bit, I still have a couple weeks of adventures to write about!

Since my last entry there has been less fun stuff and much more work – not that we skimped on the fun stuff at all. Shortly after I last wrote, I had to give what’s called a Journal Club talk, where we were each assigned a published research paper and then expected to give a fifteen minute presentation to the other interns and a handful of scientists that found the time to attend. This allows for skill-building both in reading scientific journal articles and in presenting scientific work. The paper that I was assigned was titled “Time Evolution of Viscous Circumstellar Disks due to Photoevaporation by Far-Ultraviolet, Extreme-Ultraviolet, and X-ray Radiation from the Central Star”, and was written by my mentor. It provided a really good foundation for understanding my own project, because I was using a lot of the same methods/modeling techniques. All-in-all I would say it was a successful experience.

The dome of the Lick Observatory Great Refractor telescope at sunset.

The dome of the Lick Observatory Great Refractor telescope at sunset.

The next big event for us was a trip up to Lick Observatory for a tour and star party, which was way cool. We got to see the 3 meter telescope – and stood outside the dome at sunset as it rotated around… what a view! While waiting for the sun to set completely, we were given a really cool history lesson about James Lick and the observatory. He’s definitely a really fascinating dude, look him up sometime. Then once it was finally dark we went inside the dome of the Great Refractor, the original telescope built in the late nineteenth century, and each got a chance to look at a few really cool celestial objects through it. And telescope or not, the sky up there was gorgeous – we could see the Milky Way once the moon set!

Five of us were asked to participate in an interview for a documentary called Madame Mars.

Five of us were asked to participate in an interview for a documentary called Madame Mars.

After the Lick trip the rest of the week was spent by some of us frantically working to get abstracts written and submitted to AGU (The American Geophysical Union), in order to attend the Fall Meeting in December – which is one of, if not the, biggest conferences in the country. I am one of the two or three SETI interns that submitted an abstract, which is titled “An Investigation of the Streamline Geometry of Photoevaporative Winds from Planet-Forming Disks” and can be read here by anybody who is interested! Another cool thing that happened that week was that I got interviewed for a documentary called Madame Mars, which is about women scientists studying Mars… more about that project here.

Whoever thought to put an amusement park on the beach had the right idea!

Whoever thought to put an amusement park on the beach had the right idea!

A lot of work always gets done as the deadline approaches, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t find time to have fun. For our penultimate Saturday a few of us took the train/bus journey down to Santa Cruz to check out the campus of UCSC, which is gorgeous by the way. Most of us are getting to the point where we need to start picking grad schools, so it was definitely a good trip to take. Then we spent the evening at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, which – get this – is an amusement park… on the beach! We had a blast. Sunday I slept until noon and didn’t change out of my pajamas all day – which was much needed as I hadn’t had a single day without something planned since arriving.

Taking a very expensive selfie with my fancy new camera!

Taking a very expensive selfie with my fancy new camera!

My next big piece of news is about my big purchase – I’ve acquired a Canon 60D DSLR camera that is totally awesome and with which I am in love. I wanted to treat myself to a big purchase with some of my internship money (I mean, paying off my credit card debt was fun, but who wants to just pay bills all summer? I needed a new toy!) and after throwing a few different ideas around I think I definitely made the right choice. The thing I’m most excited about is astrophotography. I’m sure you all heard about the “super moon” last week, well I got an awesome picture of it. Just from my camera on the ground, no telescope or anything. I also got a cool photo of the big dipper – you might need to click on it and view the full size photo in order to really see it.

My photo of the super moon. Gorgeous, ain't it?

My photo of the super moon. Gorgeous, ain’t it?

My first try at long-exposure astrophotography - the Big Dipper!

My first try at long-exposure astrophotography – the Big Dipper!

My dad sent me a hand-me-down telephoto lens, and it is awesome. I totally feel like a paparazzi.

My dad sent me a hand-me-down telephoto lens, and it is awesome. I totally feel like a paparazzi.

Project-wise, I spent a lot of time during my final few weeks just de-bugging my model. That thing did NOT want to cooperate. Luckily, I finally got it working last night at about 11 pm, just in time to get some results for this morning’s presentation. But I’ll talk about that later.

Took a selfie with Echosmith!

Took a selfie with Echosmith!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last weekend was the last one before I fly back out to Florida in a few days, so I sought to make it epic. First off, there was no way I was going a whole summer without a concert – and by a stroke of luck, Echosmith was playing a free show in San Jose last Saturday! How cool is that? The best part about a free show is that I could actually take photos with my camera – concert venues tend not to allow DSLRs, which is a bummer, because I love photographing concerts. Then Sunday I spent all day at the San Francisco Zoo! I love the zoo. And I love taking pictures of animals, which is exactly what I did. My final photo count for the day was 1063 RAW photos, at about 22 MB each – needless to say my memory card was plenty full. I got some AMAZING shots, which you can feel free to peruse here. I’m still working on processing most of them, but I have a good number of great shots done and online already, and I’ll be adding more to that album as I get around to it. And for those of you too lazy to click the link, here are a few below…

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A few of us at our last Indian Lunch Buffet outing... :'(

A few of us at our last Indian Lunch Buffet outing… :'(

As the weeks started to wind down there have been a lot of “lasts”. We had our last lunch outing to the awesome Indian lunch buffet that is five minutes from the Institute. Tonight I went to my last yoga class of the summer (oh yeah, I’ve been doing yoga. It’s neat.) And Friday is our last day. It’s very surreal, and also very bittersweet. This week the work is (in theory) done, and it’s been mostly presentations every day. Yesterday we had to do what are called “Lightning Talks”, in which each student has 3 minutes and 3 slides to get up and talk about their project. These talks were open to the public as part of SETI’s colloquium series, and also filmed and put on their YouTube channel here. Mine starts around 7:35, if you’re interested in watching.

Suited up and ready to give a talk!

Suited up and ready to give a talk!

In addition to the lightning talks, we each have to give a fifteen minute presentation of our project in much more detail. I gave mine this morning and I think it went pretty well, but I don’t have a video of that one for you (darn, right?) Giving talks like that is nerve-wracking, but there’s something I do enjoy about getting all dressed up in my snazzy suit and talking about smart sciencey junk.

I’m not going to talk much about the details of my project right now, I’ll save that for when I have it all done and ready to show at AGU – and I’ll have a poster to link as well! But to give a basic overview (this information is all in the lightning talk video linked above), I worked on modeling circumstellar disks, which are the regions around young stars that planets form. Basically, the gas in these disks gets heated by the star and blows outward due to pressure changes from the temperature increase – fluid mechanics knowledge came in handy. This causes the disk to disperse after a few million years, which is why you don’t hear about new planets forming in our solar system nowadays: the disk is gone. My project specifically dealt with modeling the flow of these winds and generating a lot of plots using different cases, in order to determine how the geometry of the wind affects the disk. Simple, right? 😉

Selfie with the one and only Dr. Jill Tarter, who is both an amazing scientist and an amazing person, and I'm so fortunate to have gotten to meet her.

Selfie with the one and only Dr. Jill Tarter, who I’m so fortunate to have gotten to meet.

All in all, I’d just like to wrap up this entry by saying again what an amazing summer I’ve had interning at the SETI Institute, and I’d give my left kidney if I could participate in the program a second time. I’ve learned so much about my field and my interests, I’ve gotten career guidance, seen some amazing sights, lived in a part of a country that’s as close to paradise as I’ve ever seen (I really hope to move back here one day!) and, most importantly, I’ve met some really awesome people, both in the scientists at SETI and the other students. So I just want to say, for anyone relevant who may be reading this, how truly grateful I am to have had this opportunity to have done everything I’ve done, learned everything I’ve learned, and met everyone I’ve met.

I want to close out this entry by directing you to Dr. Tarter’s TEDtalk here. I hope you all understand how awesome and important SETI really is as a scientific endeavor, and that it’s not a bunch of crazy people with foil hats looking for aliens. :)

P.S. No, we didn’t find any aliens during my internship. :(

#SDCC

Taco Tuesday was my favorite day this week. Although I normally hate Tuesdays, on this particular one I happened to find the best fish tacos in all of San Diego. I was delighted to eat lunch with my coworkers and network with some fascinating people before I leave for Florida. But anybody who really knows me, knows that my brain orders everything in a hierarchy. At the top of the list is food, next comes sleep, after that is Foo Fighters, which is followed by maintaining healthy social interactions with the people around me. If you’ve read any of my other posts, you’ve probably noticed that a large portion of them are dedicated to what I ate that week. So instead of talking to these incredibly intelligent co-workers at this lunch, I ignored them and stuffed my face with tacos and hot sauce.

I would like to mention another important accomplishment this week. I paid for my last semester of classes! Yes, I saved up some money from my internship and used it to pay off classes for the upcoming semester this fall. I am expecting to graduate this December, a whole semester early because taking this internship knocked off 6 credits I would normally have to take. I feel like an adult! I actually refrained from blowing all of my money, and used it toward something productive. Coming from me that is a huge deal. This also means I will not have to take out loans to cover what my scholarships and grants did not. That means lower payments in my future. I will use that money to buy a Corgi.

This week also had an exciting event from my internship. In order to keep the interns coming back, the people running the program arranged for all interns to get a ship tour. Since there are about 100 students interning this summer, we signed up to go on different days. I was supposed to go with my friends last week, but I had another meeting to attend at that time. So, I essentially knew nobody on this tour, but made friends with another intern who was a San Diego local! So not only was I not bored the entire time, but he told me all the best places to go in the area. Even if I had no one to talk to, the tour would have been just as enjoyable.

The ship we toured was called the USS Harpers Ferry and has an amphibious transport dock. This means that the back half of the ship can sink below the ocean surface, as the water moves to the back of the ship it picks up the vehicles or packages in the lower deck of the ship As the ship proceeds forward, the payload is carried out by the water. It was fascinating to see how it all worked. We went on the deck where they were doing some kind of test along the side and were told we needed to back up. We saw the room they use for planning missions, the equipment they work with, and where the crew eats. So we walked around all of the main areas of the ship and even up to the bridge. It was amazing to see how many people can work there to operate this ship. As the tour guide talked about all of the equipment and procedures, my only friend who happened to be a gear head asked if he could take us to the engine room. Normally, he would not run everyone to this part of the ship, but we were a lucky bunch of people.

I remember climbing through at least 8 portholes to get all the way down to the engine room. It was beautiful! I wish I had been able to take pictures of this giant engine. I know my fellow Riddle gear heads and I could stare at it for hours. This engine had 16 giant cylinders and was two stories high! One of the guys working down there opened up the cover so we could see inside the 4 stroke cylinder. AND THEY HAD 4 OF THEM!! The engines were not in use, but the room was still hot and so loud we had to wear ear plugs. I was so excited to see this ship, but was even more excited that I was on the same military base used to test the new Orion capsule. If I wasn’t on a bus with all of the other interns I would have stayed behind to see it. The good news is, I can get on the base using my cards from work, I just need to find a ride there!

Although I had a very exciting week, the weekend was the best part. On Friday my roommate, Sharelle, invited her friends over for a game night. We stayed up until 2 in the morning playing card games. The best part was the food we had out… of course. I tried a famous Hawaiian dish called musubis. Sharelle is a born and raised Hawaiian, so she is obsessed with Spam. I know, right? Spam? I had no idea people loved it so much. Well they basically cut Spam into slices, put it on a seaweed wrap, top with rice, seasoning, and soy sauce. And when you wrap it all together it’s like heaven in your tummy. Try it, you’re welcome.

This get-together was really meant to plan the big event this weekend. San Diego Comic Con is biggest event of the year! It is the most famous Comic Convention, and is held just 10 minutes down the road. It is incredibly hard to get tickets to go to the actual event itself (if you watch Big Bang Theory you know what I’m talking about), but there are plenty of things going on downtown. So I essentially spent all day, everyday in downtown San Diego people-watching. There were so many detailed, realistic costumes. People work on what they will wear all year long, and this work pays off! #SDCC

The crowds waiting to cross the street

The crowds waiting to cross the street

Assassin's Creed course, similar to Ninja Warrior

Assassin’s Creed course, similar to Ninja Warrior

The "playground" of Comic Con

The “playground” of Comic Con

Found him!

Found him!

Aside from the 100,000+ people visiting for the convention, there is a lot going on around town. There was an Assassin’s Creed obstacle course, free laser tag, and zombie displays all around town. There was even a section for food trucks, panels, and carnival rides. The entire city was a playground. There were people outside of hotels with pens and paper waiting for cast members to come out. When I was walking along the sidewalk in front of the convention center, I did notice a face I thought looked familiar. So, as soon as I realized who it was I ran back to find him. It was Jamie Hyneman from Mythbusters. Nobody else was noticing him, I guess because he wasn’t wearing a beret. I asked if I could take a picture, and he kindly said “of course!” It was so cool to meet someone I learned so much from as a kid. I told him, “Thank you for all you did. You taught me the scientific method. I’m a huge scientist now!” Jeez, what a doof I am! Oh well, I was happy to see him, and was even more happy to be in a great city at the perfect time of year! Stay tuned for more goofy stories next week!

Maleficent

Maleficent

I got them to pose with me!

I got them to pose with me!

Close enough

Close enough

Transformers.. They didn't want to take pictures with me because I made them look short.

Transformers.. They didn’t want to take pictures with me because I made them look short.

JAMIE HYNEMAN!!

JAMIE HYNEMAN!!

So Long, Sayonara!

Last week (almost sadly) was my last week working in the Special Olympics office. It was a bittersweet moment but I was happy not having to get up at 7:30 a.m. 3 days out of the week and being there from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. I got a lot of experience interning for SOKS and also got to learn a lot about myself. I definitely did something I would have never gotten to do otherwise and very much appreciate those experiences.

Right now, I’m still working on a few SOKS assignments from home, in addition to the final paper I’ll submit about my internship. It feels so much better to work on my own schedule, one of the very things I’ll miss in the real world.

As time is nearing until the fall semester starts, I’m also working a seasonal job at Under Armour Factory Store in Kansas City, KS. It’s a great job and I’m enjoying it so much. I think I love it more because I work evening shifts and I can sleep all day. Plus I get a really awesome employee discount! I’m pretty sure I’ll come back to school with as much Under Armour as I have Tri Sigma shirts. Also, Under Armour may be signing Kevin Durant (OKC) for a $30 million/year deal. Apparently his contract with Nike expired last week and he missed the meeting to renew.

Under Armour’s new UA Women campaign is something I’m really hyped about. They’ve teamed up with Misty Copeland, Lindsay Vonn, Sloane Stephens and a few other women and come up with the “I Will What I Want” campaign. I love it. It’s empowering women to break beyond the standards and the stereotypes. I personally love Misty Copeland because I wanted to be a ballerina when I was younger. Copeland surpassed all odds and was even rejected at a ballet school. She was told her body, posture, and feet were wrong and not up to par. Now she is a soloist for the American Ballet Theatre. In 2007 she became the first black female soloist for the American Ballet Theatre.

Go to YouTube and search for “I Will What I Want” video starring Copeland. I’ve watched it maybe half a million times and I follow her on Instagram.

With this being my last week in Kansas City, I’m doing quite a bit but just enough to keep me interested. I’ll be flying to Columbia, South Carolina next week to stay with my dad before school starts. That, I’m SUPER excited about!! And then… FALL SEMESTER STARTS!!!! I’m soo beyond excited to start my SENIOR year and see all my friends and classmates again. August 25th can’t come fast enough!!