February 19

Busy, busy, busy. Basically that sums up my life. Life here in Daytona is getting crazy! With school, work, and living in a place where thousands and thousands of people travel to for various things, I am staying busy. With race week and the Daytona 500 winding down, I can’t help but think to the next couple of weeks with Bike Week and Spring Break. This is definitely a busy time of year for Daytona and its residents. I’ll tell you about some fun things that have been happening lately, but first we’ll go over some classes!

MWF 10:30am-11:30am – Air Traffic Management III – Well, we’ve just started our real labs, and it is pretty fun. I’m partners with my friend Aaron, so when one of us is the controller, the other person is the pilot. Both he and I have already been the controller and the pilot, and there were a lot of mistakes that we made. In the lab there are so many planes and it is at such a fast pace, so it can get overwhelming sometimes. We both have fun though, and we learn from each others mistakes, so it’s all good. I look forward to the labs we have coming up, because for the most part we all have a blast.

TTH 8:15am-9:30am – Aviation Legislation – Well this class has way more writing than is acceptable. The acceptable level is no writing, and this class exceeds that by a lot! I am in a group of 5 people and we are all writing a paper together, but on tests, there are essay questions! I haven’t had a test with essay questions since high school! Other than the whole writing part, the class is going pretty well though.
The subject is pretty interesting, so it’s not all bad.

TTH 9:45am-11:00am – Aerodynamics – I have a test coming up this Thursday and I’m not sure what to expect. We don’t have to memorize the formulas that we need to use, so that is good news. One thing that I like about this class is that the professor will relate the material to real-life applications as much as possible. Sometimes you’ll be in a class and you’ll wonder how this stuff relates to your job, but I don’t worry about that in this class.

TTH 11:15am-12:30pm – Commercial Pilot Ops. – So we just took our first test, and I got a 97! I did a lot better than I expected, and there was also some extra credit that boosted my grade. We were going over some aerodynamic stuff and our teacher said that if we made a paper airplane that could fly from one side of the room to the other, then we would get 5 points extra credit! A lot of people made planes that could, so she gave us extra credit for our test. Our next big subject is going to be weather and I think that weather is a weaker subject for me. We won’t be talking about the general weather like we did in our weather classes; rather, we’ll go into the different types of reports and maps that pilots use on a regular basis and how to decipher all the information that is on them. So I’m glad that we are going over some of that and hopefully I can learn more and understand it better.

TTH 3:45pm-5:00pm – Aircraft Engines – We took our first test in this class as well and I got an 89! The test was wicked hard but the questions that I didn’t know for sure, I just guessed and I guess I’m a good guesser! Haha. So now we are moving on to the next section and hopefully I can repeat these results for the next test, or get even better!

TTHS 7:45pm-12:00am – Flight – I have one more flight, then I am going up for a “pre-prog” sim and oral which means I go with another instructor and do the activities as if they were the final tests. Then that instructor tells me if I am ready for the actual test, and if I am, I sign up for a time to take it! I’m definitely getting more and more nervous as the time approaches, but I think that I am ready! One thing that I really love about Riddle is all the things that are offered to students to help them with their tests.
We have a flight tutor lab that is free of charge that allows students to go in and study any aspect of their course and practice with mini-sims. Also, since you are surrounded by people who are pilots, there is always someone at your current level or above so they can help you with anything you have questions about.
For example: My good friend Cris is a flight instructor and my roommate is multi-commercial rated so they can answer anything that I have questions about. Also, you can observe flights and orals to help you prepare. Just last week my roommate wanted to brush up on some instrument procedures so he hopped in the back of the plane when I had one of my flights.
And my other friend, Ken, is just a little bit ahead of me in the instrument course, so he is about to have his final oral exam and he said I could observe it to see what it is like. That means I could see an actual final oral exam that will be just like the one I will have soon. So basically, if I observe his and there is something I don’t understand or don’t know, the chances are they will ask me when I have my oral so I should go home and study that. That is huge! It’s like cheating almost, but it is encouraged and 100% allowed! I did that last year for my private and there was some stuff I didn’t know, so I went home and studied that and sure enough when it was my turn they asked the same thing! Every oral is different, but the material covered is usually pretty consistent. So definitely a big plus for going to Riddle!

Well, those are my classes. In other news, things with AOA (the Aeronautical Honor Society) have been going well. We have some fun things planned for the upcoming weeks and we’ve had an eventful past two weeks. We had a new member social where all the new members meet with the old members and try to get to know one another. We went bowling and everyone had a blast. I love to bowl, but I haven’t gone in such a long time. I’m by no means “good”, but I definitely have fun whenever I go.

Also, last week we had a date auction for charity. Basically, there were people being auctioned off for dates and all the money that was raised went to charity. We had an AOA member there to be auctioned off and when he came on stage he did this little dance thing and Snoop Dog was playing in the background. It was pretty funny. He ended up raising something like 60 bucks which was pretty good because some people barely got 10! So all in all, it was a success. After the date auction, I met up with some guys in AOA and we hung out at one of their apartments. Later on we went to an Embry-Riddle hockey game. I sometimes forget that we have a hockey team, which sucks because I really like hockey! It was the last game of the season, so the place was packed. It was so much fun yelling and chanting various chants. We played Florida State and, at one point, a fight broke out between a guy from each team. The refs broke it up and the guy from Riddle started skating back to the bench with no gloves or helmet on. The Florida State guy was skating behind him and tried to take a cheap shot when the Riddle guy wasn’t looking, but before he could the Ref tackled him! Just flat laid him out!
I’ve seen Refs stop fights and even prevent them to a certain extent, but I have never seen a ref rough tackle someone! It was hilarious. We had to leave early, so there was still 15 minutes left of the game, but the score was 10 to 2, Riddle winning. So needless to say, we won.

On Mondays, my friends and I have decided that it is dinner night. Basically, every Monday me, my roommate, or one of our other friends will cook dinner. My mom came over again and cooked for us and she made some delicious stuffed shells. Next week it is my friend Aaron’s turn. I wonder what he is gonna cook!

So as I mentioned last journal, I got the chance to go see my sister in New York, and I had a blast! I left on Friday and I was supposed to get back on Monday (I’ll explain later). Last time I went we did all the touristy stuff like roam around Times Square and go to the top of the Empire State Building, but this time we had a much more laid back, relaxing time. My cousin happened to be in town so we ended up hanging out with her a lot. I also saw my Uncle Cliff which was cool because I don’t get to see him that much. Other than that, we just did some exploring, ate some delicious New York pizza, and enjoyed the cold weather! I had so much fun and I was real glad I got to see my little sis.

I decided to go over this weekend because we had President’s day off, so I could have the most time there. Unfortunately I missed the Daytona 500 though. I’m not a real big NASCAR fan, but I definitely had a blast last year. But honestly, I was kind of glad to get out of Daytona. As much fun as it is, Daytona becomes a zoo with thousands and thousands of people.
So just being able to escape was nice.

Unfortunately, while the trip was fun, the traveling wasn’t! I was supposed to leave on Monday afternoon, but they canceled my flight. After two hours of trying to get in contact with anyone who worked for the airline, I finally managed to book a flight that left the next morning. So I had to travel back to the city, got to see my sister again, and then got in a cab at 4:30 in the morning. I ended up back in Daytona today (Tuesday) at 11:30 and got picked up by my friends then ran to my class. I missed two and a half classes, but I emailed my professors so I got all the make-up work that I needed. After that class, I had a meeting with my Aviation Legislation professor and my group, then I ran home, showered and went back to school for my last class. Then I had a flight followed by an AOA meeting which was followed by another meeting! So needless to say, I’m pretty wiped out. I had an energy drink earlier, but now that is wearing off. I predict that sleep is in the near forecast.

Well I think that’ll wrap it up for this edition of the BLAKE GUILES JOURNAL EXPERIENCE!!!!!! I’ve never called it that before, but it has a nice ring to it.
Anyway, I mentioned that I was excited about my upcoming plans for spring break. I think I’m going to tell you next journal though. I want your mind to be wondering “What is Blake doing for spring break?!?!?!”
Not that you really care or anything, but I’ll give you a hint: If you know anything about me, you know that this thing that I will be doing is one of my favorite things to do, but I can’t do it all the time.
Mainly because of stupid Florida. Anyway, by the time of next journal Bike Week will be just about to start!
Exciting! So stay tuned for that and other fun antidotes! Bye Bye!

-Blake
email: wasteofsoap@yahoo.com
pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/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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