February 13

Happy Valentines Day!!!!!

Here it is half way through February and it is getting pretty crazy around Daytona Beach! The races are coming up, Bike week is right around the corner, and Spring Break is not too far behind that. At Embry-Riddle things are getting hectic as well because we had our first set of tests this past week. I called last week test week because everybody I know has had a test in more than 75% of there classes. I personally have had 3 tests one on each day, Wednesday Thursday and Friday. Overall I think it went quite well, but I am still waiting for my grades on one more test. I guess now would be a good time to start with my classes:

TTh – Physics 104 – Since it was test week, I took my first physics 104 test. I already went over how I didn’t get the professor I wanted and I am stuck with a class at 8:15am every Tuesday Thursday, so I wasn’t too excited about having a test. I think that the reason I did so well last semester was due to the professor. I really enjoyed that professor and the way he presented the material. This semester, I can’t really relate to my professor’s teaching style. I find that I have to take notes, try not to listen, and then review the notes on my own time and understand the material. My professor is nice, but she just gets side tracked real easy and it’s hard to focus on multiple things at 8:15 in the morning, especially when she doesn’t take attendance. When you have a professor who doesn’t take attendance, you are tempted with sleeping in other options rather than attending class, so you really have to want to be there. Anyways, back to the test . . . I studied quite a bit and I thought that I was prepared, and I was. The test had 5 points extra credit and I ended up getting a 105. So . . . I like physics.

TTh – Basic Aeronautics II – This class still proves to be challenging. We are assigned to read a chapter for every class and we have a quiz on the chapter at the beginning of every class. So far I have been doing alright. I’m not acing (Ace-ing) every quiz, but I’m not failing them either. We are scheduled for our first test coming up this week, so I’ll let you know how that goes.

TTh – Intro to Safety – Well, as it turns out, I wasn’t that interested in safety. I went to class the first two weeks, but then I dropped the course. Even though I had more classes last semester, I was getting overwhelmed this semester, even in the first two weeks. Also, I don’t need a safety course for my major or minor so I decided that it wasn’t a good idea to over stress myself just for the heck of it.

MWF – Air Traffic Control I – We took our first test and I got a 92% on it. The class is a little dry at times, but the professor knows what he is talking about so it’s not too bad. Right now, I am just learning all the basics, so I won’t get to go into a simulator until my junior year-ish. Once I learn all the basics I will be able to go into a simulator and get first hand experience on what it is like to be in a tower and direct traffic. I can’t wait for that.

MWF – Intro to Psychology – I also took my first test in Psych this past week and I have to admit that I am a little scared. He still hasn’t posted the test scores and I am getting pretty anxious. I studied so much for this test, much more than for some of my other classes, and I’m not sure how I did. Right before the test I felt very confident and I thought that I was ready, but then he handed out the tests. I looked it over rather quickly and my confidence slowly disintegrated. Some of the stuff I knew right off the bat, but for a lot of questions I narrowed it down to 2 choices. So I could have done well, or I might not be very happy with the score. I guess we’ll see. ***Special note, I found out that I got a 92 after the curve!!!

As you know if you read my last journal (which I’m sure all of you have) it was my birthday a couple weeks ago and I received golf clubs as one of my presents. I used to golf a little bit back in the day with my dad. We live on a golf course, so I would hit around a ball every now and then, but my favorite part was driving the golf cart. So many moons later, I decided it would be a good idea to learn how to golf. I have heard from many people that golfing can be a good way to get to know someone such as coworkers and or a new/potential boss. I also have heard that golfing is much more fun if you know what you are doing rather than smacking the crap out of it. So I decided that I needed to get lessons rather than develop bad habits. As it turns out, my friend Cris has been golfing for quite some time so I got a whole bunch of pointers from him. I could already tell my improvement from swinging the club once with no idea what I was doing compared to after his tips. I think that with some practice it will be a fun thing to do on the weekends.

This past weekend I did a single skydive, except this one wasn’t like the others. Usually you jump out of the side of the aircraft and begin your freefall, but I did a jump out of the SkyVan this past weekend. The SkyVan looks like a giant, boxy van with wings. I’m not sure how it produces lift, but it does somehow. The cool thing about the SkyVan is that instead of jumping out the side, you jump out the back. This allows you to get a running start and jump rather than a standing jump. I was about 4ft away from the back and I did a running start and jumped out with my arms and legs straight (like a giant X) and then pushed my head back so I did a back flip. It was the coolest exit that I have ever done, even though I have only done 19. I hope they use the SkyVan more often because it is by far my aircraft of choice for jumping out of. Also, this past jump is the first time that I beat the plane to the ground. Usually, I’ll jump out and then pull my chute at a fairly high altitude (5,000ft) and slowly float down. Well this time I pulled at a lower altitude and had a smaller parachute so I floated down quicker and managed to beat the SkyVan. After all the skydivers exit, the plane dives back toward the ground at a very fast rate so I usually watch it land while I’m still 2,000ft in the air. But not this time though.

Two weekends ago I made a trip up to Gainesville to the University of Florida to see some friends. I went with my two friends Aaron and Adam and my girlfriend Becca. We had a blast and we already have some memories that we won’t forget anytime soon. We are already planning our next trip up there, so hopefully we can do that soon. That’s what I like about Embry-Riddle, we are pretty close to a lot of different universities all around Florida. Like UF, FSU, UNF, USF, and a whole bunch of others.

This past weekend I celebrated my two year anniversary with my girlfriend Becca. We started dating in our junior year of high school and here it is two years later and I can’t believe how quick time went by! I’ll spare all the mushy stuff, but she goes to Stetson which is right up the road and I love her to death. If she’s reading this . . . Hi Becca!!!!

I found this story recently and I thought that I would share it with all of you guys. The story is about a recent graduate of Riddle and how he is one of the project manager for a company based in Hong Kong. He created a remote control dragonfly that flies by flapping wings. You can read about the story here http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/08/technology/08toys.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin and there is also a video on youtube.com. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pz0XNGJ-ep8

I thought that it was pretty cool that a graduate from Riddle went on to become the project manager of a company and design something completely different than traditional remote control aircrafts.

So all in all life is going pretty good down here in Florida and I am looking forward to the next couple of weeks. Hopefully everybody is having a good start in 2007 and staying warm. I know it’s been pretty cold around other parts of the U.S. but it is still very warm in Florida. I’m not trying to rub it in because I love the cold and I am mad that Florida is always so hot. I don’t like it when I skate to class in mid-February and start sweating. I view the warmth as a curse rather than a blessing. But if you don’t like the cold and you like to sweat 11.9 months out of the year, Florida is the place for you! It’s not too bad, just sometimes I wish it would snow, just for a day.

If anyone has any questions or comments feel free to drop me a line and I’ll do my best to answer anyone’s questions. Also, if you want me to cover a certain subject in my journal, just let me know. I am here for you!!!!! Later.


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About Blake

**Hometown:** DeBary, Florida **Why I chose Embry-Riddle:** Ever since I was little I knew that I wanted to fly, and ever since I knew about Embry-Riddle I wanted to go here.

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