September 30, 2004

Hey guys! My name is Melanie Pugh, and I’m a military brat that moved to DB from NJ. I’m a freshman majoring in Aerospace Studies and I’m on scholarship so I’m doing the whole Air Force ROTC thing. My brother attended Embry-Riddle and recently graduated and was commissioned into the Air Force. Let’s see… I want a pilot slot in ROTC [like everyone else], and if that doesn’t work out I hope to get OSI or JAG. I figure I’ll do that for awhile, find some political gig after that, and be President in 2036. I’m seeing Ann Coulter tomorrow, so maybe she can get a head start on helping me out with my campaign…

Coming to Daytona from NJ was a big transition for me. I’ve visited my brother here several times, which prompted me to choose Embry-Riddle, but it didn’t quite prepare me for living here. The humidity, along with the heat, here is killer..especially for afternoon runs. I went to a lot of punk/emo shows in NJ, but the scene here isn’t very big, but there is plenty to do. Move-in day was August 25th, and my mom and I drove down and stayed the night before. I checked into my dorm pretty early to avoid the rush and ended up in Wood Hall- very nice. The student village dorms are a bit of a walk from the main part of campus, but worth the hassle. All the frats, sororities, and athletes were outside with shopping carts to help, much thanks to them!

After that, all the check-in lines and paperwork were pretty lame but nonetheless organized. After a few days, everyone seemed to be settling in and meeting people on their floor so it was a good time. My roommate never showed up, so for now at least, I have a single. It can get a little lonely, but it definitely has its perks. All the welcome week stuff is definitely worth going to. The luau (including musical chairs..with the guys as the chairs) was probably the best- and a good place to meet people. I went to the beach with a bunch of people one day, and got a chance to get out on the town a couple times before classes started.

Classes started the 30th, and for the most part I like my professors an the class sizes were typically pretty small. The first day was pretty informal..we got a syllabus and left early..did icebreakers in some classes. All the AFROTC kids had lead lab at 0530 on the first day, so that was fun. We had been challenged to paint the ‘spirit rock’ on campus before our PT session that day, so a group of us woke up before lead lab and went painting at 3:30 AM. Of course, the rock had been repainted about 5 times by the time we met for our PT session, but it was Air Force, so all was good in the Land of Oz. The first week was supposed to be NSOP in ROTC, early morning yelling and marching, I guess to weed people out who didn’t want to be there. But nothing too bad at all..

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About Melanie

**Age:** 18 **Hometown:** Military Brat - currently NJ **Favorite Movies:** Office Space, Dogma, Boondock Saints **Favorite Band:** Yellowcard - anything punk or emo **Career Goal:** To fly in the Air Force - and to be President.

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