T-minus one month and counting until the end of the semester. This means December 14th marks the end of examinations (at least for me), and I get to go home. This last month is one of the busiest so far. Studying for finals, a project for computing, a glider to build—and all while maintaining a life outside of the classroom! Time passes so quickly and yet so slow at times. It seems like just yesterday that we held open house for the prospective freshmen (Look out for one in the spring, too!), and just last week that I took my first college exams!
I have accomplished a lot these past few weeks. I got to register early for spring semester classes thanks to the Honors Program—even before seniors! The reality that I’m not in high school anymore is really kicking in (I know, it took me a while…). I see kids out and about in Daytona Beach and think to myself: “Wow, I’m probably a lot older than these kids!” What really brought me back to reality was the fact that I got an almost unexpected visit from my Dad last weekend. The fact that I hadn’t seen him in well over 2 months made me very emotional. I was lucky to have him here for the weekend!
On Saturday of last week (the 6th), my father, my best friends and I went to Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral. It was truly an adventure getting there…we got lost at least twice. I must admit it was mostly my fault, but that’s beside the point…
See, the space shuttle Discovery, on its STS-133 mission, was supposed to launch the 1st. Every day, I would check to see on the status, since it kept getting delayed due to either weather or problems with the fuel tanks. Riddle was a madhouse waiting for news from NASA. Two of our graduates (that’s a whole third of the crew) are going on that flight. Teachers were even willing to cancel classes so that we would be able to appreciate one of the last flights of the Space Shuttle. We at Riddle take our aviation seriously—that includes space travel, too! Sadly enough, (though at the same time gladly, for safety concerns) the launch date was pushed back until the end of the month.
When we went to the Space Center on Saturday, we were able to see Discovery still at the launch pad while touring the facilities. It was a great sight, even though we were so far away…
This week, the Women’s Center decided to take us engineering girls on a little trip to a place we like to call Islands of Adventure. We were taken on a behind-the-scenes tour of the park, where we got to see some pretty neat stuff. For example, did you know that the Adventures of Spiderman cars cost $2 million each? They are a real engineering marvel with two on-board computers, both completely autonomous.
Homecoming was also last week, and, although I missed the big events, it was a lot of fun. We had country singer Josh Thompson, comedian Stephen Lynch, and a big tailgate party that weekend. Touch-N-Go Productions does an amazing job of entertaining the students. There is always something to do around campus.
Remember that EGR-101 project I mentioned last time? I’m so glad it’s finished. 60 pages of designs and explanations. I can now brag about how the team designed a rocket at only 18! We’re now moving on to gliders. The objective: design and build a working glider plane out of balsa wood using different equations. It should be a lot of fun, especially since we don’t have to write a technical report for it!
Well, I must get back to studying (a math test and MATLAB test next week…fun fun!). Please, please contact me if you have any questions. I was in your place last year, I know they’re out there!