October 17, 2010

Time really does fly by at Riddle (insert cheesy laugh here). Within the past two weeks, the school has given the students an amazing weekend and a speaker with a very famous historical background—but I’ll get into that a little later.

Our team for EGR-101 (that’s the introduction to engineering class) finished the satellite project. With a humorous introduction, we presented our projects to our teacher, Ms. Davids, who was very impressed with our creativity. When we received our grades, she surprised us…with another assignment. Next up: designing a launch system to send our satellite into orbit. Thank goodness this is only an introductory class! We don’t have to do our design too detailed. All the calculations are really what would give Aerospace Engineering its nickname!

Round two of examinations are also coming up. Last week, my math exam was taken care of (106% woohoo!). The week after next is physics…not my forte if you ask me. My teacher is hilarious, though, so the class is fairly entertaining.

Speaking of fun times, Biketoberfest is here! Bikers everywhere! Campus security does a very good job of taking care of the students, however. Student Village (which is where I live) is on lockdown, and you need your Eagle Card (student ID) to access the building. I honestly thought it would be a lot crazier than it is. Most of the people coming to visit town this weekend are not the druggies or alcoholics you would imagine. The only horrible and annoying thing, though, is the noise of the bikes at 7 in the morning on a Saturday and the exponentially growing traffic. They’re all gone tomorrow…what a relief!

Last week also marked the first of our Honors Program distinguished speakers series. We had the honors of hosting Dr. Arun Gandhi, grandson of the famed Mohandas Gandhi, who led an anti-violence movement for the independence of India from England early in the century. The lecture was titled “Lessons from Grandfather”. Dr. Ghandi told stories of how his grandfather disciplined him in the ways of non-violence. All of us honors kids also got the chance to have a one-on-one Q&A session with him. The auditorium was packed at night, so we were very lucky to ask our questions in a more private manner!

Now for the highlight of the week: Wings and Waves Air Show! Sponsored mainly by Embry-Riddle (of course), Daytona was graced by the acrobatics of many famous pilots and airplanes. We had everything—from Vipers to F-22 fighter pilots and the Geico Skytypers to 62-year-old air acrobatics guru Julie Clark!Adriana This was truly a weekend when campus was completely empty. Everyone made their way to the beaches for 2 days, from 11 am to 3 in the afternoon, just to show viewers how great the school is. Come on, we may not have a football team, but what other college can say they had an air show?!

Sadly, I was not there for the entire show. My friends and I made our way to the beaches early in the morning. By noontime, the Florida heat was pouncing on us, and one of our friends had an incident (drink lots of water!!). She is fine now, but it was a very scary situation. However, at one o’clock, once we had that situation settled, my friend Jim and I drove to SheltAir (where the air show pilots had their planes). My father had contacted Julie Clark a week earlier and arranged for us to meet up with her.

As we made our way to the hangar, we were greeted by a 5’3 Julie, who was all smiles throughout the day. She showed us around to see the other planes, and we even got to see her airplane in detail! Her T-34 Mentor is indeed a very beautiful airplane. She bought it in the 1970s for only $18,000! Today, Chevron Global Aviation sponsors her, and so her aircraft is painted in blue and silver, while keeping a very a-la-Air Force One style that was original in her design. Her engine is even gold-plated! At the end of the day, we even got to meet the Geico Skytypers. They were a very curious set of individuals, but very kind to us as well. From a distance, we appreciated the Heritage Flight leave Daytona Airport at the end of the day. Next week, we have Fall Break! It’s nice to be free from class for a weekend. Since home is so far away, a couple of friends and I are planning on going to Orlando for a few days—but that is a story to be told next time!

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