February 26

HELLO TO EVERYONE! I HOPE EVERYONE IS HAVING A TERRIFIC WEEK SO FAR! I KNOW I HAVE! UH-OH, I have been typing in all caps. My apologizes. Well, I am here at Riddle (obviously) and I am having a wonderful time! I have been very busy the past two weeks and I don’t think that I am going to be slowing down anytime soon! I’ll start with my classes and then let you in on all the details of life outside of Riddle here at Daytona!

TTh – Physics 104 – Nothing too exiting going on in physics. We’re learning some new stuff and we will have a test in a week or so, which means I’ll do some studying and hopefully get another good grade. That’s pretty much it for physics. Oh, there is one thing: An 8:15 class is very very early.

TTh – Basic Aeronautics II – We took our first test last week and it went pretty well. I ended up with a 90 and I’m not sure if there is going to be a curve or anything like that. But without a curve, a 90 is pretty good, especially in my aeronautics class. We have finished talking about everything I need to know for my private pilot’s license, and now we are moving on to the topic of multiengine systems. We covered all the basic stuff last semester and up till this point and now it is time for some multiengine knowledge.

MWF – Air Traffic Control I – The class average for the recent test we just took wasn’t the best, so our professor decided to give us a quiz on some of the stuff on the test and give us bonus points. I’m not sure how I did on the quiz, but I know I did pretty well so I should be getting some bonus points. That’s what I like about college, if a professor gives a test and a lot of people miss the same questions, they take it into consideration and give you opportunities to make up the points.

MWF – Intro to Psychology – I have to admit that psych is becoming one of my favorite classes. Not only do I enjoy the subject, but I honestly believe that I have one of the best professors to teach the course. I have Dr. Kring and he makes the class very fun. He is always cracking jokes and he has a very funny personality. He is also a huge fan of star wars and he knows anything you could imagine. He challenged our class to think of a star wars question that he would know, and if we could stump him, he would let us out 45 minutes early. Well a couple people had their laptops and began typing away furiously and we shot him 5 or 6 totally random questions. We didn’t think he would get any of them right, but sure enough every question was answered correctly and he even gave extra details about it. It was kind of scary to be honest, but I thought it was pretty funny. So if you are coming here next year and you like star wars, get in Dr. Kring’s class. Or even if you just want a fun class and a cool professor, choose Kring.

Flight – I have been progressing quite nicely in my flying and I am on my way to getting my private pilot’s license. In order to get your license as a private pilot, you need to complete 3 tests: A written test, an oral test, and a practical test. The written test consists of 60 questions chosen from a bank of over 700 which might sound really difficult, but you are given all 700 somethin’ questions and answers so you know what to study. I haven’t taken the written yet, but I took several practice tests already so I will be taking the actual one soon. The oral test is right before the practical test and that consists of talking to a certified instructor (not your instructor, a different one) and he/she will ask you questions covering every aspect of flying to make sure you know what you are doing. I am studying for this constantly; I have been studying pretty much since I started learning how to fly. It isn’t a test that you cram for the night before; rather, you need to study a lot over time. Finally, you take the practical test also referred to as the check ride. The check ride is flying with an FAA instructor and they test you on everything you know; anything from maneuvers to landings. This last test is to make sure that you are safe in the skies and you know how to handle an airplane. So, as of now I am going to take my written soon, I am studying for my oral, and I am still learning things that I will need to know for my check ride. One thing that I did a couple weeks ago was my first night flight. My instructor and I took off around 8:00pm and we flew around and did some night landings. Flying at night is similar to day flying in some aspects, but then in some ways it is completely different. For example, flying into the ocean in the day time is easier to do visually because you can see the horizon to base your wings off of, but at night it is all black and you can’t tell if your wings are level. Overall though, it is pretty fun because it is such a different experience. You can’t see all the details of the ground, but rather just a sea of lights. It’s pretty wild. Also, I went on my first cross-country flight this past week. A cross-country flight is a flight where you leave your home airport with a distance of more than 50 nautical miles. Normally, we just fly around in our practice areas and go no more than 40 and usually less than 30 nm away. So we flew to Gainesville which was about 130 nm round trip if I remember correctly. We took off in Daytona and flew over 2 airports on the way there. It was pretty fun because usually you just fly around in any direction, but now we have specific headings to follow and checkpoints to go through. You have to file a flight plan which lets the airport know when you are leaving and arriving and what path you will follow in case you don’t make it there on time. If they haven’t heard from you when you are suppose to land they will send out a search and rescue until you are found. So anyway, we filed a flight plan, got in the plane and flew to Gainesville. It was really fun, but challenging. There is so much going on at certain times, and then it is completely calm at other times, so you have to manage your time in a reasonable manner. I think that I did pretty well for my first cross-country and I am looking forward to doing some more. I am already planning my next cross-countries which I will fly to Melbourne (over by Cape Canaveral), an airport right out side of Jacksonville, and St. Petersburg (over by Tampa). I’ll let you know how those go as I do them. I’m scheduled for one later this week so wish me luck!

I have to admit, these past two weeks have been so busy, and school was only 20% of it! On the 19th, the Daytona 500 took place (and I was there), my grandparents came to see the Riddle campus, I saw Ron White in concert, I saw the Blue Man Group (again!!!), and I have been doing some wakeboarding and racquetball playing. So it has been pretty busy.

All my life I have lived near Daytona and I have always been told be the people around me that come mid-February, I should stay far, far away from Daytona. I have always known that hundreds of thousands of race fans flock from any place you can imagine to Daytona to see the 500, and that’s why I have always stayed far away. Well, since this year I am living in Daytona, I decided that instead of fleeing and seeking shelter somewhere I should submerse myself in such a rich cultural environment. So, I went to the Daytona 500, and as it turns out, I had a blast! A week before the race you could already tell a major difference in the traffic and the amount of people, and it only got worse. If you have the choice to drive or not drive during race weekend, choose not to drive, unless you don’t mind getting to your destination in triple the time. But traffic aside, it is pretty wild just to see hundreds of thousands of people walking around all of Daytona. There are people everywhere, and they’re all just walking around; some this way and others that way. It gets pretty hectic but it definitely is a fun experience. Three of my friends bought tickets and their dads came down to watch the race, but they ended up having 2 extra tickets, so my roommate and I said why not. Our seats weren’t the best, but it still was incredible. We were 13 rows back or something like that so we were pretty close to the track and just hearing the loudness of all the cars was amazing. There were some pretty big wrecks, but nothing to crazy happened in front of us. We were right in the middle on the backside so we saw one wreck but nothing real remarkable. Overall, it was a lot of fun and I’m glad that I did it, but I’m still debating on whether or not I should go again next year. Well at least I have some time to make up my mind. Make sure to check out the videos and pictures website for some great shots of the 500 along with other things.

This past Thursday I went with my girlfriend and her mom and step-dad to see the Blue Man Group once again! I have to admit that even though I saw them just a couple of months ago, and the show wasn’t very different from then, it was still utterly mind-blowing! The show that those guys put on is astounding and it doesn’t get old. I would definitely go see them again if they were playing next week. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get any pictures or videos of them playing, but just take my word when I say that they put on an awesome show!

I’m not sure if there are any Ron White fans out there, but he is one of my favorite comedians. I remember listening to him years and years ago and then he got his big break with the blue collar comedy tour. His comedy isn’t for everyone, and he can definitely be on the edge with a lot of his material, but I laughed so hard at Tater Salad and all of his other jokes. If you haven’t heard his stuff before, you should check it out, as long as you aren’t easily offended and have an open mind. Because if you don’t, you probably shouldn’t listen!

This past weekend was parent’s weekend here at Riddle and I’m not sure what happened exactly, but I did see lots of parents around. I guess parents were invited to come see their kids and go to class with them and stuff like that, but I’m not really sure. By coincidence, my grandparents were in town to visit my dad so they came down to Daytona to check out Riddle. I took them on a tour of campus and showed them a whole bunch of stuff like our flight line, some flight simulators, my dorm, food facilities, some classrooms, and things of that nature. It was nice to get to see them and show them where I have been for the past 6 months.

One thing I like about being a student at Riddle is all the stuff that is happening outside of class, such as flying (well obviously), skydiving, wakeboarding, racquetballing (not really a word), golfing, and many other things. These are just some things that I do, but there is so much to offer here at Riddle. Anything from a swing dance club to writing for our school newspaper the Avion, a full list can be found here http://www.erau.edu/db/studentlife/clubs.html. I personally have been doing a lot of wakeboarding lately, well kind of. I got a wakeboard for my birthday 3 or 4 years ago, right when my dad sold his boat. So I haven’t really gotten a chance to take it out, but now that has changed. I joined the water sports club and we have a boat that we take out to a lake about 30 minutes away and wakeboard, ski, and anything that anyone wants to do. I know you are asking yourself right now, “Hey, wait a second, it is February and freezing, how can you be wakeboarding?” Well, it is cold in a lot of places, but Florida isn’t one of them right now. As I type this it is 80 degrees outside. Yes, 80. As much as that pains me to type 80, it is a good temperature for water sports. The only bad thing is that the water is a nice cool 65. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. So hopefully the water temperature will rise soon, but until then I guess I am going to be wakeboarding and freezing at the same time. Also, my roommate has a jet ski that we take out and we go wakeboarding behind that. I have only been about 3 times now, but I have managed to get up and go in and out of the wake, but once I try to jump, I fall, hard. So I’m no where near good at wakeboarding, but someday, maybe I won’t fall all the time. So anyway, the point is, Riddle has so many things to offer to many different types of students so get excited about that!

Racquetball has become quite fun for me in the past couple days because I have started winning games! I am use to playing some of my friends and losing, which doesn’t bother me because I wasn’t that good, but I am getting better. I played doubles with my friend against our other friend and our RA and we won 3 of 4 games or something like that, so that’s always fun. I found that it generally doesn’t matter if I win or lose as long as I’m sweating and out of breath at the end of the game, then I’ll be happy. But just for the record, winning is fun and more preferable than losing.

So I guess that pretty much wraps up my journal for this week. Over the next two weeks, I should be doing some more cross-countries, taking 3 tests, seeing G. Love and Pepper in two different concerts, work on my wakeboarding skills, hopefully play some golf and racquetball (not at the same time, I already tried that, very difficult), and loads of other things! Such as not hitting bikers on the road because of bike week! Yes, life is getting crazy around here, and I love it! If life is getting pretty dull for you readers out there and you want it to be more exciting, try emailing me with some questions and I will respond as quick as I can and make your life very exciting with my humor and knowledge!!!!!!! Or you could just go rent a movie (such as The Departed which is a very good movie and has won some Oscars and things). Anyways, the point is go out and enjoy life and make the best of it. Also, if you have a dollar, put it in an envelope and mail it to someone you know. They will be very happy to receive a one dollar bill in an envelope from you!!!! I know I would!!!! See ya next time!!!!! Sorry for all the exclamation points!!!!!

P.S. Check out all the cool videos and pictures that I have posted! Also, if you want to request any pictures or videos of something, just let me know!

-Blake
email: wasteofsoap@yahoo.com
aim: wasteofsoap
videos: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=blakeguiles

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Blake

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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