I hope all is going well with everyone! I am doing well, just working to finish up the semester. It is about time for finals and the due dates for semester projects have come and gone. In nearly every aspect of my academic life, things are starting to wind down. Just a final push and I will have a nice month off to relax! Several things have happened since I last wrote. For one thing, Thanksgiving was last week. It is hard to believe that it is already that time of year. This year, my family decided to try something new for Thanksgiving, so instead of me going home as usual (which often didn’t make sense because I would fly home and back just to fly home two weeks later), my family came to Florida and we spent Thanksgiving at Walt Disney World.
If you’ve read my other entries, you already know how crazy I am about Disney World. Next to flying and aviation, Disney World is truly my other passion in life, from going there for fun to its technical workings and operations. In any case, it was truly a great time. We stayed at my favorite Disney resort on the property, Disney’s Boardwalk Inn. This resort recreates Atlantic City, New Jersey around the turn of the century complete with a full wooden boardwalk and vendors to boot. It is quite something. It is also within walking distance of both Disney’s Hollywood Studios (formerly Disney’s MGM Studios) and the EPCOT theme parks.
My grandparents came on Thanksgiving morning and we enjoyed a day together at Hollywood Studios where we later had a great dinner at the Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant in the park. It was actually one of the best Thanksgiving meals I can remember and I for the first time understood the full-to-capacity feeling that people get after Thanksgiving meals. Being my grandparent’s first visit to Disney World in many years, it was fun showing them all over the parks. One of the greatest parts about Disney World at this time of year is the decorations for Christmas. All of the resorts and parks are decorated for the holidays. Perhaps the most impressive of these decorations is at Disney’s Hollywood Studios where the “Streets of America” facade is decorated with 5 million LED lights amongst other decorations in the style of the Osborne family’s house in Little Rock, Arkansas. It is truly amazing, particularly when they have the lights dance to Christmas songs.
Other than Thanksgiving, my focus this week has been on my Instrument rating checkride, which I have this Saturday. I am very nervous but I know I am prepared for it. Checkrides are something that take a lot of effort and energy and cause a lot of stress, but it is important to remain calm and remember what you know. Nonetheless, I will be glad when it is over. For any future pilots wondering what is involved for this rating, essentially you must learn to fly solely by reference to the flight instruments due to you now having the ability to fly in clouds. This includes learning approaches to airports without being able to see the runway until you are a few hundred feet above it. Wish me luck!
Now that the majority of the semester projects themselves have been completed, it is time for the associated PowerPoint presentations that must be presented to the class. This is usually the easy part of the project and somewhat enjoyable, and once this is completed, I am totally done with the associated classes.
I sort of lucked out this semester in that I only have 1 final exam, and that exam is not cumulative. In addition to that test, I have to take the Commercial Pilot Written exam which is required after completing AS321, or Commercial Pilot Operations (the ground school for the commercial rating). After that, I head home December 15!
I am not sure that I will talk to you all again before then, but even if I am not writing, please do not hesitate to e-mail me your questions. I love hearing from you. If I don’t talk to you, Happy Holidays and talk to you next year!