December 9, 2005

Hey, readers! I apologize, I missed my deadline for my journal last week because I was busy at home and then I was on a plane at the time that I usually do this, so I’m sorry this is pretty late. Anyway, so much stuff has happened since my last entry, it’s hard to know where to start! But I’ll start with the base visit.

The base visit was awesome. That’s really the long and short of it. After a really long bus ride up to South Carolina, we finally got to our… hotel, I guess. It feels kind of wrong calling it that, but that’s basically what it was. We didn’t get much sleep the whole time. But we did soooo much, like meet a general, PT with some active-duty airmen, fly in a C-17 to Wright-Patterson to see the Air Force Museum in Dayton, OH, and tour a bunch of different parts of the bases.

Coming from Florida, the temperatures in SC and OH were BRUTAL. It was like 20 degrees, and every time the wind blew I thought my whole body would freeze on the spot. When we got back to Daytona, I really appreciated the warmth, humidity and lack of wind. If you plan on doing on doing ROTC in the future, I definitely recommend going on a base visit at least once because it gives you a good feel of what the active duty lifestyle is for officers, plus it’s a free vacation!

Then, I went home to WA. It was weird being home for the first time since I came to Riddle in so many ways, but it’s hard to explain all of them. The most obvious is that you just change so much when you go to college, it’s inevitable. It was an unsettling feeling when it finally hit me that I don’t live there anymore. So really, “home” isn’t really home anymore (at least for me) and my new family is everyone I know at Riddle. I missed everyone here so so so much. As soon as I landed in Seattle, all I could think of was how much I already missed everyone. It’s actually pretty amazing how closely you become bonded a lot of the people you get to know at school.

This was my last week of school, being in maintenance, but most people have their finals for the rest of this following week. On Monday instead of LLab, we had Pass-in-Review for ROTC, where we stood at attention for a long time and marched around the field in Service Dress (i.e. all fancy). That was the end of ROTC for the semester, which is somewhat of an accomplishment, just to have stuck with it and realize how much we’ve all learned from it since the beginning of the year.

As usual, finals week was the most stressful thing ever. It seemed like all the bad stuff that could possibly go wrong all went wrong leading up to finals. For a while, I actually thought I was going to fail electricity and it was really stressful trying to figure out whether or not I was going to drop it when half the class was on the verge of failing also. I decided to stick with it though, and I’m really glad about it because I managed to get an A on the final so I pulled through with a C. Normally, I probably wouldn’t be too pleased with that, but a C is way better than repeating a course.

So from this whole experience, I learned two important things: don’t give up, even when your goal seems unattainable (believe me, a week ago, getting an A on my electricity final would have seemed unattainable) and maybe more importantly, STUDYING DOES NOT MEAN YOU’RE STUPID. It’s taken a while for me to get that through my head, but I’m realizing it’s true. Even the kid that acts like he’s a natural at everything probably studies more than anyone else, in secret of course. Don’t feel stupid opening your books, whatever school you’re at.

Since I’m going home on the 10th and am going to be off for more than a month, I have to admit that I’m almost nervous about leaving for so long. I know I’m going to miss all my friends like crazy, considering a week away from everyone made me homesick for Riddle. On the other hand, I’m also going to try to get the most out of being home that I can, because it might be the longest I’ll be there anymore, because I’ve decided to stay at school for the summer and continue working on my A&P. And next Christmas break, I’m thinking I might want to go to Europe and work on my language skills instead of going home. I’ll have to work on the financial plan for that one a little bit, but judging from the past, it seems that I have my ways of getting things to work out. And who know’s what’ll happen after that?

If you are one of the 5 million people that has e-mailed me in the past few weeks and hasn’t heard back from me, I’m getting to you. I’ve just been inundated with e-mails but when I get home I will be on an e-mail answering rampage, so expect to hear back within the next few days. And for those of you who have questions you want answered… kenyonj@erau.edu.

Later!

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Jez

About Jez

Age: 17
Hometown: Issaquah, WA
Favorite TV Series: Band of Brothers
Favorite Band: Bloodhound Gang
Career goal: To be an officer in the Air Force
Interests: Music, extreme sports, military, foreign languages

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