Hi everyone! I hope you all are doing well. It turns out I will end up writing for you one more time prior to the end of the semester, however I don’t have that much to say! Why, you may ask? Well, because the majority of the last two weeks have been spent studying for finals.
Perhaps the most significant thing that has happened since I wrote last is me receiving my instrument rating. After about 4 months of work and a good deal of studying, I passed my checkride and am now certificated to fly in the clouds, shooting approaches down to minimums. Would I do that right away? Absolutely not. Training does not always constitute experience and to push your privileges to their maximum with little to no actual experience is foolish. By working your way down (in terms of the weather) to minimums and building experience is truly the only way to do it.
Finals have come and gone, thankfully. I actually really lucked out this semester in that I had no cumulative final exams. Either because no exams were given by the professors or because I had a high enough grade going into the exam where I could bypass it with no effect on my grade, I was able to get away without a tedious week of studying. What I did have, though, in terms of finals were a practice FAA Commercial Pilot Written Exam, a normal class exam in lieu of a final exam, and the real Commercial Written exam.
For any pilots who are reading this, I will clarify a bit about the finals/written exams for your flight ratings. Essentially, at the end of any ground school class for a rating at Riddle, you take a “practice” written exam for the respective real written exam that you would take for the rating. You must pass this practice written with an 80% or higher to receive the endorsement from your professor to take the real written exam. Additionally, if you pass this practice exam with an 80% or higher, 10 points are added to your final grade for that class. This may make the whole situation sound stressful, but if you study (and memorize) the Gleim studybook, you are essentially certain to pass.
Tomorrow night, I head home for just under a month before returning to Riddle for the Spring 2011 semester. The end of a semester always has an exciting feeling to it. Unfortunately, if you live on campus, there is a lot of cleaning that must be done before you leave to ensure that all perishable food items are disposed of and the room is left clean. Of course, you must also pack your things up, which can be challenging especially at the end of the second semester. But, don’t worry, I will discuss that when the time comes!
One misconception you might have about Florida is that it is hot ALL the time. This, unfortunately, is not the case as when a cold front moves through the temperatures can drop into the 30’s and even 20’s. As I write this now, it is only 30 degrees Fahrenheit outside. It can be helpful if you are trying to get into the Christmas Spirit though, as you can see in the picture above of Santa, Mrs. Claus, and even the reindeer driving down a road. One good thing, for me, that comes with cold weather is that usually it means that the airport switches to a runway 34 operation, resulting in airplanes landing right in front of my window as you can see. Crazy!
Sorry guys, but that is really all I have for you this time. I wish you and your families a happy and healthy holiday season and New Year. Talk to you in 2011!