Inspiration at the Museums

These past few weeks have been super exciting to say the least. As an aspiring artist, I decided to take a “study in art class” as my lower humanities course. Something super cool about this class is that we go on field trips to Daytona’s local museum. The Museum of Arts and Science (MOAS) is full of incredible Florida landscape art, a fantastic collection of Cuban art, and more. I have been there twice now, and I have learned a lot about history and unique culture. I was overwhelmed by the amount of art that is currently in the MOAS.

The Museum of Arts and Science in Daytona Beach, Florida

There are two buildings that make up the museum. The main building features exhibits such as the Cuban arts exhibit. I learned the collection was donated by Batista himself during the time he stayed in Daytona. This building features many more like the early Florida exhibit, where they even have fossils. The second building of this museum is called the Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum, named for the generous donors and featuring their massive collection of Florida landscapes and historic Florida art. My pictures don’t really do it justice. Physically going to a museum really does take your breath away, whether you’re interested in the art or not, because you will find that it’s more than a piece of artwork, it’s history, culture and more. I highly recommend that you go, and if you decide to, go with your Eagle Card because Riddle students have free entry.

Touching base on another museum here in Florida, I had the pleasure of going to the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Tampa. It’s about two and a half hours away, but it was worth the drive. Not only is St. Pete beautiful, but it is also full of life. On Saturdays they have this huge farmer’s market full of different foods and music. But the main show was definitely The Dali Museum, seeing the art work is so overwhelming that I almost cried. You really get to see the fantastic thing that Dali was able to achieve, from Paintings, to film, fashion designs, and more. They even have a Virtual Reality feature that allows you to go “inside” his paintings.

sidewalk eatery

If you ever get a chance to visit the Salvador Dali Museum, do it! They offer student discounts for entry. But don’t just go for the museum, go for St. Pete also. It’s a great place to visit!

Fun Weekend Getaway

Hi everyone!

One thing I love about Florida is how much there is to do. We have the beach minutes from our doorstep, Walt Disney World down the street, and beautiful springs in our backyard.

While there is an endless amount of things to do locally, it is always fun to sneak away! Many of my friends travel the WORLD over weekends, but I am on a budget, therefore you can find me local most of the time and jet-setting rarely. This past weekend I went to Savannah, Georgia with some friends.

I was beginning to feel bored and burnt out by all I had to do, so I decided to head out of town to refresh my mind.

Savannah is only 3.5 hours away from our campus, so the drive is not bad at all. I left after a test in my 2 o’clock class and then made it to our hotel at 6 pm. The hotel was very nice and once I dropped off my bags, my friends and I left to go downtown!

My friends, Lauren and Jorge, have been friends with me throughout college. They are always so much fun and make Chris and I laugh like crazy. They are also super easy going – like us – so traveling with them is never stressful.

Lauren and Jorge drove up separately, but the short drive wasn’t bad to make by myself. Chris drove 5 hours from Alabama, but he likes driving, so I wasn’t worried.

We tried lots of different restaurants, but they were all delicious! Our favorites were Treylor Park and Tequila’s Town.

We also went to the park where part of Forest Gump was filmed and took lots of pictures! We propped Chris’ phone up against the wall and were able to snap these shots, but people were definitely judging us – haha!

We also went to a the BEST ice cream shop I’ve ever been to – Leopold’s Ice Cream. If you are ever in Savannah, I highly recommend walking the cute downtown and grabbing an ice cream.

The trip was only two days, but it felt like the perfect amount of time. When I got back, I still had time to make it to my group meetings and get homework done. My freshman-self would’ve never imagined I could make the most of a weekend as much as I just did. We got so much done and I did leave feeling refreshed.

Sometimes we need a break. That can be a walk, a workout, a Starbucks break, or a weekend getaway. Take it. Take a break because I promise you it will do you well in the end.

Overall, it was great to see Chris and beautiful Savannah with friends! It is so easy to get bogged down with school and find yourself in your dorm cranking out homework. Since this is my last semester, I am challenging myself to go out and do more. As cheesy as it sounds, we should be making memories. I encourage all of you – whether you are already on campus, considering coming to ERAU, or already packing for next semester – to go out and make the most of your time here. I promise it flies (Riddle pun intended)!

Best ~ Maddie

How to Food @ ERAU

You’ve learned about the academics. You know about the Daytona Beach area. Maybe you’ve visited campus so you know all about our state-of-the-art labs and fleet. You’ve followed Embry-Riddle in the news and on your social media. But do you know all the ins and outs of eating on campus? Luckily – Lonnie has the low down. Watch as our newest blogger fills you in on How to Food at ERAU.

Balance & Blessings

Happy February everyone! This month is coming to an end and there’s a lot of exciting things in the works just around the corner. 

For AFROTC cadets in their AS200 year everyone seems to be holding their breath until Enrollment Allocations for Field Training this summer are released. Midterms are just around the corner, and preparation for projects and presentations are in full swing, with lots of quizzes and homework sprinkled in between. Am I stressed? Yes, but I am also extremely grateful to be in the situation I am in and I am genuinely enjoying the ride.

It is so easy to get caught up in the to-do lists and the responsibilities, but once you find a balance and ride the flow of everything, it’s almost beautiful how time management works. Now folks, you may be reading this and think I’ve cracked the code, but I’m still tired all the time, so its definitely a process. I would say the things that keep me the most sane are my friends, making time for myself to workout, do yoga, just breathe, getting packages from my family, phone calls with my grandma, facetiming my mom, texting my sister… not to mention a countdown to spring break, mini countdowns until the weekend each week, and keeping tea and an emergency stash of dark chocolate as my go-to when homework and studying keeps me up late at night.

Some of my friends and I after a sandbag beach PT!

I recently got news that I was rehired for my Resident Advisor position for the 2019-2020 school year and have the privilege of staying in my same building!

In other news, my flight from AFROTC had a bonfire on Friday night that was really great. You would be surprised that the people you see and interact with in training everyday are so multidimensional. Getting to know them on a personal level outside of only seeing each other in stressful situations is really an eye opening experience. You hear everyone talk about how getting to know your people is extremely important for a well functioning team, but until you actually make an effort to do so, it doesn’t resonate how truly important this is.

And now for a few facts to help you get to know me better:

I spent yesterday in the beautiful partly cloudy 85 degree February Florida weather volunteering with AFROTC at a Track Meet with some of best friends.

I love Kodiak cakes pancakes, and making pancakes, with fresh maple syrup and some sort of nut butter spread on them. Breakfast is my favorite meal hands down, and sometimes when I’m having a bad day I most certainly eat breakfast for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The freedom in college is nice like that.

My new “thing” is smiling at strangers in passing when walking to class, because although everyone complains, it’s truly a good life and we’re lucky to be here.

I usually end my days with yoga and a cup of tea before bed.

Sometimes when I’m stressed I look up pictures of Romanesco Broccoli, which actually isn’t a broccoli, it’s a cousin of the cauliflower, which follows an infinite Fibonacci Fractal sequence. I discovered this vegetable’s existence last year in Paris with my sister and have been fascinated ever since. Nature is so beautiful.

Romanesco Broccoli per an ad to purchase this “broccoli” on Amazon. It’s wild looking, right?!

Will report back soon. As always, I am writing to you on a Sunday morning with a cup of tea and pancakes, I have a meeting in an hour, along with some homework I need to tend to. Until next time, enjoy the journey friends!

Friends & February

Happy February folks! Recently I’ve had the amazing opportunity to take a weekend to travel to Savannah, Georgia, in between classes and training and working, and it was a well needed break.

February is a very busy month at Embry Riddle, most organizations are doing a lot of volunteer work, there are a lot of car races happening at the Daytona International Speedway, a lot of people are touring the campus, and tons of people are visiting Daytona Beach as the weather warms up, so things can get a little hectic. The atmosphere is a definitely busy, and everyone seems exhausted and highly caffeinated. So, naturally I figured it would be a great time to take some me time and get away to clear my head and reset before diving back into reality.

Thankfully, before the chaos of all this began I had a great opportunity to travel north! I took a Greyhound bus Friday night up to Savannah, Georgia and arrived early Saturday morning, before returning on Sunday. I got the chance to stay overnight with my best friend, tour the downtown historic district a little, go by the river, do some yoga, and stop by my newly acquired favorite shops and restaurants from my visit to the city with my family over Thanksgiving break.

First on my list of things to experience was of course The Coffee Fox coffee shop, where I escaped the cold 50 degree weather and wind to indulge in some coffee and cozy up in a corner doing my Differential Equations homework. To my dismay, although it’s fun to travel, I can never seem to escape the homework.

Next I ducked out of the cold and grabbed breakfast at the Maple Street Biscuit Company where I ordered a dish called the Iron Goat, consisting of a homemade biscuit with sautéed spinach and goat cheese, along with a side of fried green tomatoes, which were absolutely delicious. One of my favorite parts about going to new places and different cities is the food. I don’t have the opportunity to get good homemade cooked food a lot at school, because I’m usually very busy, which made every bite of fresh breakfast all the more satisfying. 

Breakfast from one of the most amazing biscuit places in Savannah, Georgia!

This semester has been extremely stressful and sometimes it’s hard to de-stress living at school, where I study, work, go to class, sleep, workout, and then repeat. I’ve been extremely fortunate to have the opportunities that I have earned and, along with that, some of the few people who keep me sane through the chaos and are my friends. Most of my friends at Embry Riddle are in AFROTC, because we naturally spend A LOT of time together, in and out of training, but another one of my good friends is a resident advisor in the same hall that I live in, and one of my best friends I got to meet up with over the weekend while I visited Georgia!

Will report back soon. I have some Aerospace Flight Vehicles homework I need to tend to. Spring break is around the corner. Keep on keeping on!

ERAU Family Weekend!

This past weekend was Family Weekend here in Daytona Beach. My mom and brother came to visit, but Chris also came to surprise me! When I pulled up at the airport to pick up my mom and brother, Chris was there!

We stayed at the Hampton Inn in Ormond Beach (we got a great deal) and first began the morning by grabbing breakfast. I sent Logan (my brother) off with a friend to an engineering class since that is his interest. Chris and my mom came to meet my Professor, but instead of sitting in on the class, they went to go “officially” check-in for the weekend.

Of course my mom went to the bookstore and got all the goodies. She also met up with a friend from Castle Rock (our hometown) since her son also is a student! This is a picture of Logan and I. Can you believe he is as tall as me? I can’t!

When my family came to Family Weekend my freshman year, they were sad Logan couldn’t come too. Now that he was able to come, we were all very happy. It is huge for him to be able to see the school he hopes to attend, but also hopefully makes his first couple days at college a lot less scary, especially since he was able to sit in on a class.

After my first class, I took my family to meet some friends and faculty that I love. The folks I work with in Admissions even gave him a t-shirt!

Coolest 13 year-old I know!
Logan really wanted an energy drink and I really wanted to show him our cool deck… So here we are!

We also toured the school and then went to lunch. My mom went to my dorm and napped while Chris and Logan came to my last class of the day with me. My Professor was very sweet to them and they both really enjoyed the class. Logan now loves Aviation Business since my class was very fun and his morning Engineering class was more serious. I feel bad for tarnishing his view but… I’m also not too mad about it, haha!

There were many options for us on Friday and Saturday (like trivia night), but I just really wanted my family to see the campus and for Logan to sit in on a class with me. We decided to go to Disney since most of Saturday’s activities would not be super fun for Logan and because my mom had already been to most of the activities my freshman year. Plus… I mean it’s Disney!

After spending an arm and a leg, we went to Epcot. We decided to go to this park since we have not been in a long time. Logan is 13 (almost 14) now, so he has grown to like it a lot more than he did when he was way younger. The weather was great and the longest line we waited in was only 30 minutes!

Please enjoy some pictures from the weekend!

My adorable mom and I!
Just hanging out with my boys!
I was so happy Chris came to surprise me!
Epcot’s yummy and surprisingly affordable food!
Left: chocolate tasting Right: beef wellington

Sunday was the day scheduled by the school as “free time”, but my family left Sunday afternoon. So, instead we went to Orlando (since they were leaving out of MCO) and went to the outlet mall there!

I was sad to see everyone go, but I was also glad they came. It was honestly one of the greatest weekends of my life! When I am at school I greatly miss my family. Seeing them gives me the motivation and strength to continue to work hard on my studies!

Some restaurants we ate at (and that I highly recommend):

  • Tia Cori’s Tacos
  • Oklahoma Joe’s
  • Giuseppe’s Steel Pizza City
  • Neighbors Ice Cream Parlor
  • Blaze Pizza
  • Chicken Salad Chick

You go through life wondering what is all about but at the end of the day it’s all about family.

Rod Stewart

Until next time! ~ Maddie

Clubs, Greek Life & More!

I couldn’t get a lot of pictures the past few weeks due to classes. I’ve been wracking my brain to think of something to write about for this entry, and was almost ready to throw in the towel, but I had sudden inspiration to talk about clubs and extracurricular activities and how fun and important they can be.

Fall Activity Fair

Since I started at Embry-Riddle, I have been told that joining clubs and being involved is key to college life. Many professors, and even former Embry-Riddle students themselves, say that being involved can help with job interviews internships by providing leadership experience and other skills. The faculty in my major, Communication, hosted an event where Riddle graduates came to speak with us. All of them told us about how most of their internships helped lead to a job, or that landed their job because of extra-curricular activities that they participated in during college. One of them said that their interview consisted of just talking about what she did in her engineering club and another about her study abroad trip. It all goes to show that the grades and your GPA will only take you half way when it comes to the real world. Employers seem to be looking for active well-rounded people for the most part.

Embry-Riddle has a vast number of extracurricular opportunities, from cooking, to creative writing, music, engineering, all the way to clubs about cultures. Even if you somehow can’t find an interest, you can create your own club with enough people and support from the school. Also, Riddle has a ton of different sororities and fraternities. Embry-Riddle’s Greek Life isn’t like other schools where it’s bikini car washes and frat parties all night long. Here, most don’t have “houses” but live in the dorms and function more like what seems a club, and they’re a lot more professional.

So many clubs! Cars, airplanes, academics, culture, skydiving, sailing – the list goes on and on!

I’ve been searching for something I truly like. I’ve gone to the school newspaper meeting, the aviation photography club meetings and they just didn’t click well for me. Recently I met someone in the same major as me (which is rare for a communications major), and she invited me to an event to meet a sorority. At first, I was reluctant because I’m socially awkward and was nervous. But I went to give it a try, and because I was looking to get involved and push myself anyway. I was absolutely delighted and mesmerized these fantastic women. Each one had their own special role and their own beautiful personality. They supported and loved one another like family and made me feel like family as well. Being a woman at Embry-Riddle can be overwhelming. I’ve had many classes where I was the only girl and I’m only in my second semester, so seeing all these empowering, friendly, and sweet girls was amazing! I’m sure from what I heard that joining a fraternity is a similar experience.

There’s something out there for everyone and I truly with all my heart encourage you to join a club, study abroad, or check out Greek life. Not only will you have a great time, make friends, and create memories, but you’re also setting yourself up for success when you try it out. I hope this small entry will inspire some to get involved and see how it can help you on your path of awesomeness.

Lists & Looking Forward

Happy January everyone! I’m currently blogging from Daytona Beach, back into the swing of things and fully thriving, if that includes stress, lack of sleep, and tired muscles, but nonetheless I am still keeping the lovely positive mental attitude. 

A few updates as of lately: I am currently typing this from my desk with a view outside of the 100% forecast of rain and thunderstorms and the construction of the newest residence hall building, it’s a Sunday morning, I’m still in my pajamas, I have a cup of tea, and my laundry is currently in the dryer, its a good life folks. 

This past week, although it only consisted of four days due to no school on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, was absolutely exhausting. Four day weeks still mean four days of classes, inclusive of homework to compensate for a day off, tests, quizzes, and 3 days of AFROTC Field Training Preparation training days with less time to recover. On Friday we had PT in the morning, I had classes and meetings all day, then I went to the gym to do abs, shoulders, and upper back, it’s Sunday and I’m still sore.

Following that excitement, I woke up at 0200 on Saturday morning to meet with a group of cadets from AFROTC and head over to the Daytona International Speedway to volunteer for the Rolex 24 race. My volunteering shift was filled with lots of standing and the weather was very windy and cold, it ended at 4:30pm and once I got back to my dorm I showered, ate, and went to sleep. 

Naturally, I’d assume you all can infer what that means: Sunday is the day of homework. I’ll rest next weekend… hopefully?! I am a person that very much values self care time, although I frequently have very little time for it between the thousand other things I do. That being said, a great remedy for me to organize my days and perhaps schedule some time for me to do a little yoga or squeeze in a face mask are by listing out everything I need to accomplish that day. In listing things out, not only do I get a sense of accomplishment when I get to cross things off, I have a definitive timeline of my progress on little goals that put me one step closer to being able to take a shower, get ready for bed, and relax (aka sleep)!

Typically I write daily lists either via sticky notes, which are then stuck to the back of my phone for the duration of the day, or if I don’t have sticky notes around I compose these to do lists via digital notes in the Notes app on my phone.

Today on the list, aside from laundry and blogging, is my weekly Resident Advisor report that I do every Sunday, uploading a few other digital forms for my RA position, composing a handwritten memorandum for my AFROTC Training Officers, preparing my clothes and gear for AFROTC training in the morning, and homework for Differential Equations, Aerospace Flight Vehicles, and Dynamics, plus studying!

Here is another picture of my mom and I from a hike over winter break that makes me very happy.

I’ve been pretty busy lately to say the least, but spring break is around the corner, and one of my friends that I haven’t seen in over a year may be visiting me sometime in February! Despite the stress and fatigue of this semester, there are always things to look forward to.

Will report back soon. Keep on keeping on!

Is College Hard?

Hi everyone!

We have only been back for about two weeks and I already feel that we are in full swing. What ever happened to syllabus week? Personally, I prefer not to waste time. I love to hit the ground running, especially this semester, because it means we are that much closer to the finish line!

It’s that time of year where I like to try extra hard to fill my blogs with good, hearty, helpful content. While I hope you get the feel of college life at ERAU by reading my blogs, I also want to leave you with something after you finish. Hopefully you can take at least one thing away from this long blog post!

This week, I wanted to answer a question I get asked a lot by incoming freshman/transfer students. It’s a question I had myself coming into college. First things first, I want to specify that ERAU is very different than any other college (or so I hear). Many of my friends who went to state schools have a very different experience than I do. This isn’t necessarily bad, but I want to make the specification that every college experience is different, especially between a private/public university and even more so at such a specialized college.

The question is: Is college hard?

As a forewarning: I am not trying to brag about anything. I work very hard and it took awhile to find the balance I have in college. That being said, I am still not perfect. Sometimes I have to take days off work to study and I don’t get an A on every assignment. I want to be real and help someone out and that is why I am sharing this information!

I was filled with fear that college would knock me off my feet. I graduated high school with above a 4.0 and I STILL was worried I’d fail out of college. Yet, here I am – thriving!

I am in my last semester, have a 4.0, work four jobs, and have leadership positions in multiple clubs/organizations. AND, I am able to have free time for myself pretty much every single night and every weekend. I travel, watch Netflix way too much, and go hang out with friends. You can have it all, I promise. Of course, this may vary by major. My engineering friends seem to have more homework, but I have more group meetings. It all really depends.

It takes time to learn your jam. My first semester of college was slow. I didn’t work and I only took 13 credits. If you plan on moving into your dorm and having life figured out after orientation, I would calm down a bit. We expect so much from ourselves and that can be unhealthy. Give yourself time to grow and adjust because many others are as well. I do this thing where I panic in the beginning of the semester thinking my classes are so hard, but by the third week I have learned they’re very manageable and it just seemed hard. I would recommend waiting to get a job until your second semester on campus, but join many organizations your first semester and weed out ones you feel are less valuable to you as the semester goes on. This ensure by spring that you will have only things you enjoy and find beneficial on your schedule.

Don’t compare yourself to others. Remind yourself that your friend in business is working 20 hours a week after class because their classes are different than yours. Or that your friend in engineering is not working or as involved as much because they have more homework than you. You are not the same person – your circumstances are completely different. College can be hard if you try to fit in and be this “perfect” person. Be yourself. Do things you are passionate about and it won’t feel overwhelming. You must make time for things that make you happy.

Choose what you want. If you want lots of spending money, get a job. If you want straight A’s, focus on that. If you want to be super social, join clubs. If you want to add to your resume, join a project. We forget that we get to choose what we do in college. It really helps to experiment and find what mix of the above get you what you want. If you know you take longer to complete assignments or study, maybe consider working only a few hours at an on-campus job that allows you to do homework. I had to quit clubs I liked because I knew they were taking too much of my studying times. I only work a couple hours at each job in order to have time to take on leadership positions in my clubs.

Go to class. Some people don’t and I know some schools allow this. Embry-Riddle does not. Almost every single one of my professors in college has taken attendance. You can’t even be tardy. My personal opinion is if you pay to come to school, you should actually go. Every class is fast-paced and beneficial. There is never just busy work. Missing a day at ERAU is not like “oh well” but rather you will find yourself in office hours trying to catch up. Please just go to class. Please.

There is not a class that is impossible to pass. There are so many resources available to students to not just pass, but get A’s. Go to every office hour if you must. Email your professor. Hang out in the tutoring center to do your homework and study. Some classes are harder than others, so you may have to adjust your extracurricular and work schedule according to your classes. If you have a hard physics class, allot time for you to get the help you need. Maybe cut your number of work hours in half or go on a semester-leave for a club. You are a student first. I truly believe if you try hard enough, you will succeed.

TIP: I don’t take notes on my laptop anymore because I found myself getting distracted. I would jump from notes to sending and email to notes to filling out some paperwork I needed to do. Learn from me – it’s easier to pay attention in class and learn than it is to try to teach yourself with the PowerPoints posted online (yeah, college professors usually post their slides online – it’s super nice). This will help when you go to study because you will have already learned it once. I think I realized this when I was learning so much in my one class that didn’t allow laptops out.

I hope this helps whoever is worried out there. I promise it’ll all be good. You can do this! ~ Maddie

Lazy Sunday – Porsche Cayman

Lately, the weather has been amazing here in Florida so I have been taking every opportunity to go out and film! I’ve never written a script for a film before this one and I like how it turned out. Filming off of a script made me feel a little less creative in the field with my shots but, in my opinion, turned out better. I didn’t go home with any shots I felt that I had missed and it was an amazing feeling. It was definitely worth the extra effort of working out and revising what I was going to film before I did it. In this film I attempted to capture the feeling of a lazy Sunday for a Porsche owner.

Thank you for watching!!