January 13, 2009

Well, hello to everyone out there! It has only been a week since I wrote my last journal but I sure have quite a lot of new things to share. Classes here at Riddle are in full swing and the days seem to be flying by faster and faster. So far, I really enjoy going to my classes, which is more than I can say about any of my previous experiences with school. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I always went to class and tried my best in high school and last semester in college. But I can’t say that I truly taken pleasure in attending most of the courses I have been forced to take. Here at Riddle, it’s different somehow. Even though some of the classes I am taking are pretty generic and specialize upon some boring topic, the professors here are top-notch and really know how to make the course material relevant and practical. For example, my calculus professor is an Aeronautical Engineer, so somehow he always finds a way to relate what he is teaching to aviation. He knows the specific ways how vectors and derivatives and all those fancy terms are used in the real world, which is reassuring to see that the topics aren’t completely pointless. That factor to the education here at Riddle is something that has really stuck out and shown me how this college separates itself from other universities.

In my last journal, I gave you my list of classes but unfortunately, they have changed. At least some of them have. As it turns out, the math classes I took prior to coming to ERAU did not line up with courses in the outline for my major. This was a huge problem because I had already spent two semesters trying to knock out my required maths, but all the money and time I had invested in those classes was going to be overlooked. Luckily, I was able to take to Math Placement Exam which basically evaluates your overall math skills and places you into the correct math class. After taking it, I placed into the math I needed to be in and I got credit for the math I previously took. So in the end, it all worked out. Also, if you read my last journal you will remember me talking about the pains of registering as a transfer student. Because I couldn’t register for my classes until I got to campus, all of the ATC courses were full. But as it turns out, there were several other students in my same predicament. The director of Air Traffic here decided to open up another class of the entry-level ATC class, and I was able to jump into it. Unfortunately, that class was scheduled at the same time as my Aviation Safety class so I was forced to drop Safety this semester.

Here are my classes now:

  • MWF 8:00-9:00 – AT200 – Air Traffic Management I – This class is the basic, entry-level air traffic control class. The professor was a controller for thirty years or so at Washington Center so he definitely knows his stuff. So far, we have only learned about the history of air traffic control in the United States. The topics are a little dull for the time being, but I’m sure the material will liven up soon.
  • MWF 11:45-12:45 – WX301 – Aviation Weather – This is the second class in the Meteorology sequence. To be honest, weather is usually my least favorite subject in all of aviation and I absolutely dreaded WX201. But, so far this class has been pretty interesting. The professor used to be the local weatherman for the news here in Daytona, so that is really neat. Also, this class is held in very state-of-the-art classroom with computer stations at every desk. This allows the students to pull up the professor’s Power Point lectures up at their own desks, rather than having to stare at a huge screen at the front of the room.
  • MWF 4:45-5:45 – PS103 – Technical Physics I – First of all, this class is really easy so far. I took physics in high school so I feel that I have somewhat of a strong background on this subject and that might be why this class has been such a breeze. The professor is an engineer and he is a little off the wall, but a pretty good teacher nonetheless. I feel that I will be pretty successful in this class and I have always liked physics so I am looking forward to what else is to come. There is also a lab for this class that must be taken as a co-requisite that I have Wednesdays from 2:15-3:15.
  • TTH 9:45-11:00 – MA112 – College Math for Aviation II – This is the second mathematics course in a two-part series, obviously following College Math for Aviation I (MA111). It is a technical calculus class, and so far we have just been reviewing what was covered in MA111 for students who did have not taken it but rather have either tested into the class as I did, or transferred to Riddle from other schools and have taken a course equivalent. The professor (Jan Collins) is absolutely hilarious and I would recommend him to everyone who takes MA112. Anyhow, I usually enjoy math classes and this one seems like it should be fun.
  • TTH 11:15-12:30 – BA201 – Principles of Management – I like this class probably the least of all of the classes on my schedule. However, it is necessary so I am trying to stay interested and I keep telling myself that the material isn’t as boring as it seems. This class is just as its title entails, a course teaching the basic skills required to succeed as a manager in the business world. The professor talks non-stop for the entire hour and fifteen minutes and we just sit there and listen, jotting down the important points of her lectures. Hopefully this class will become more interesting as time progresses. There is a group project in this class, so that might bring a little spice to the party.

Campus life here in Daytona has been a blast so far. My dorm mates and I have been doing all kinds of fun stuff. Last week, my Resident Advisor called a meeting for our section of our floor in Doolittle. The point of the meeting was to introduce the new people, a.k.a. myself and one other guy, who introduced himself as, “King Louie,” or that’s what we thought he said at the time. It turns out his name is Kang Luiz, and he is from another country. It was a pretty funny conversation. Anyhow, the other point of the meeting was to sign up for sports to compete in “The Residence Hall Olympics.” This event is a chance for all of the residence halls to compete against each other in different sports. Soccer and basketball were Friday night and football and track were Saturday. I was on our flag football team, in which we took the bronze medal! I was pretty excited. Sunday was spent recovering from running, jumping, catching, and throwing all day Saturday. My roommate and I were both really sore so we both just rested in our room and watched TV.

I have probably eaten Chic-Fil-A everyday last week and this week for lunch. And dinner usually is spent at the buffet over in the Student Village. I bought some cereal and milk so I can have breakfast anytime, too. Overall, the food here is pretty good. Although, because I am so new here and all of my dorm mates are Engineering majors, many days I am stuck eating lunch in the Student Center by myself. I’m sure as time goes by, that will occur less and less. There was a basketball game tonight, so that was a blast! We played Florida Memorial University and we won, but the game was back and forth for its entirety. That made the game that much more exciting, especially when we pulled out a victory.

Well that’s all for now. My mom sent me a special pot for cooking soup in the microwave, so I think I am going to make some ramen noodles in it. It looks like it is getting ready to rain too so I might go sit in the study lounge and do some calculus homework. As I said in my last journal, if anyone out there has any questions about life here at Embry-Riddle, just send me an email and I’ll be sure to answer your questions as best as I can. Later!

Josh

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About Josh

Minor: Aviation Safety
Age: 19
Hometown: Fort Walton Beach, FL
Career Goals: To be an air traffic controller for the FAA, or a supervisor of personnel in the aviation industry.
Activities: Football, Video Games, Student Journal Writer
Why I chose Embry-Riddle: Because I wanted the best training possible for my field, and the caliber of Embry-Riddle is unmatched by any other school.

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