July 18, 2010

Greetings! A lot has happened since my last journal entry; so be prepared to listen or read rather… Let me start out by saying that even though I may not be at school, and am officially on summer break, my schedule has been the furthest thing from empty. My trip back to New Jersey was a fun one, and although I did not drive my car (had it put on a truck), I got to spend some great quality time with my parents. One thing to remember when you go to college is that although many of us move away from family to attend ERAU, it is always great to go back and visit. My last extended visit home to my parents was Christmas break, which shows how long over due I was to see them for some length of time. As planned, my Dad, my two Uncles, my Cousin, and I, all loaded up the car for our annual fishing trip to upstate New York. Every year “the boys” saddle up and take a weekend away, where we revert back to our more primitive origins. For everyone’s sake I don’t bring a camera, sorry no pictures. In reality though, our trip is a lot of fun and is especially great for me to spend time with my Dad!

We came home from the trip just in time for July 4th weekend. As you may have expected this weekend was extremely hectic as I went from party to party talking to everyone who hasn’t seen me since I was this tall (motioning with my hands towards the floor). For any of the incoming freshman, get ready to deal with family and friends who will always remember you as an 11 year old. I have yet to meet one friend who has not had to deal with this. The holiday weekend was great, but I felt like I really hadn’t rested yet.

The next big event was my birthday on July 6th. I turned 21, and if you have been reading my last posts and know a little about me, you know I am a very conservative guy. I did manage to order a beer though with my parents and friends at dinner, along with go out to a bar afterwards. All in all I had a great time with no regrets except I wished my girlfriend was there with me, unfortunately she had to stay in Daytona Beach L. As you may have expected, my birthday did not allow me to catch up on my sleep at all.

While at home it is great to catch up with old friends, and although you might think of them as different when you see them again, you must realize you are also different. The beauty of college is that it allows you to become the freethinking individual you were destined to be. I know for myself, Embry-Riddle has really allowed to me grow both mentally and emotionally into the person I am happy to be now. The atmosphere of the university compounded with the academics really allows students to morph into beautiful individuals. That being said, I visited one of my high school friends, who vacations on Long Beach Island, and had an absolute blast! After the two days were all said and done I was extremely happy to have been able to have the opportunity to visit him.

I didn’t get any rest though, as my Mom and I decided it would be a good idea to drive down and spend the night in Washington D.C. Living only 3 hours from D.C. the drive was short. My Mom and I stayed in a hotel a few blocks from the White House. I had never stayed over night in D.C. and really enjoyed it! Only problem was…the heat wave. The humidity compounded with the heat made sightseeing difficult, but my Mom and I were determined! We fared the weather and drove back the next day. Might I suggest to anyone out there who has never visited our nation’s capital to go and do it. Washington D.C. has such great attractions and history that it is a must for any American.

You may think that I would take the weekend off to rest for my internship, which started on Monday the 12th, but I didn’t. In fact, I drove back down to D.C. to visit my other friend from Virginia Tech. Oddly enough, he was going back down to VT to move into his new apartment and I enlisted to help. We had a great time down in Blacksburg and although we were moving furniture, clothes, books, etc. I still had a great time. So where does that end up on the timeline? Sunday I drove back from Virginia and attempted to get a full nights rest for the start of my internship the next morning!

I have to admit, after my experience at DEA, I figured that any other internship could not nearly match it. After my first day at Ocean County Prosecutors Office, I knew I couldn’t have been more wrong. Although I cannot divulge much information, I can tell you that the persons working in the Homeland Security Unit are the brightest, nicest group of individuals I have met to date. Thankfully everyone in the office is extremely respectful of me and willing to help me with any questions I can come up with. Only being two days into it, they have already signed me up for many great homeland security classes, which I am looking forward to attending this and next week. I will keep you all posted on the progress of the internship!

Well, that is about as accurate of a picture of my past two weeks as I can give you. Until next time!

Michael Kokes

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About Michael

**Minor:** Business, International Relations, Industrial Safety **Career Goals:** Law Enforcement **Why I chose Embry-Riddle:** Location, Teacher/Student Ratio, Size, Major

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