Hugh

About Hugh

Junior

Aviation Business Administration

Age: 20
Hometown: N. Ireland
Favorite Movie: The Goonies
Favorite Band: Red Hot Chili Peppers
Career Goal: Win a national soccer championship and get my degree.

November 11, 2004

Hello, I would like to start off this week by congratulating the Women’s Soccer team of ERAU for winning the Regional final. I missed the game itself because we were traveling back from our own game, but by all accounts it was a great performance. All being well we can replicate their achievement next week in our own Regional finals here at Riddle. We finished off the conference with a 2-0 win over Savannah, with a less than convincing performance.

Going off sport for a bit, I hope everyone had a good Halloween. After our game the majority of the team got dressed in costume and went to the frat party, me and one of the lads went as Scooby Doo and Shaggy, (we got them last minute and they were the only ones left). Usually I am not very keen on Fancy Dress but by the time it came around to putting it on I already had a few drinks, so I didn’t really care what I looked like. It turned out to be another good night, some great costumes. Although I did spend most of the night taking care of someone who had a few too many, and I wouldn’t like to mention any names but if you see anyone walking around campus with no eyebrows at all you will know who I am talking about. I regretted it a lot on Sunday morning when I had to hand out candy to kids all day for the events put on by the college, in the student village and around Doolittle.

I went to my first basketball game on Friday when Riddle won their season opener against Linden State pretty convincingly. I’m not sure about the standards of basketball here but it looked a bit easy for them, although after talking to one of the lads off the team last night, he said it will get a lot harder than Friday’s game. The Pre-game entertainment and the player’s introductions before the game were pretty good, not to mention the big crowd. It’s pretty obvious to see that soccer hasn’t really taken off in the U.S. yet and may never be able to compete with the likes of American Football, Baseball, and Basketball. This is plain to see if you have gone to a game of soccer and a game of basketball at Embry Riddle. Women’s soccer is an exception of course, but I think there is an ulterior motive behind a lot of the crowd that attend the women’s soccer games considering that this is a predominantly male college.

I picked my classes for next semester on Friday and I will be glad not to have to start at 8 and 8:15 every day after Christmas. I put the majority of my classes on Tuesday/Thursday to give myself a long weekend. I’m looking forward to next semester, not as much training as our spring season is less hectic, and more time to do a few different things, like kick boxing or something.

Anyway apart from that everything else is quiet so will speak to you all again in 2 weeks, hopefully as a Regional champion. I hope that a few of you can make it. Take care.

October 28, 2004

Where to start? The week has started off very poorly, especially compared to the week I had last week. It all started on Sunday night with a computer project. I am completely illiterate when it comes to computers, because they have never been something that I have been all that interested in. I had an Excel project that was due for today at 9.00am and I strolled in with it at about 11.30. Immediately losing marks that I couldn’t afford to lose, as the project was horrible already. I’m not going to say that it wasn’t my fault but I do feel a bit hard done by, losing those marks after the work I put in to it. I mean for the sake of an hour or two. The day sort of snowballed from there. After missing that class I went on to missing the community hours that I was due to do for our soccer program and then I managed to forget Math homework for my next class, that I had spent 2 hours doing the night before. The only good thing that came from the day was training and hopefully getting to bed before 00.00 tonight. I’m not sure if this is as bad as I am making it out to be or I am just being a woman about the whole thing. I suppose it was always going to be hard to match the week I had last week.

Embry-Riddle men’s soccer won the Florida Sun Conference on Saturday night. I am sure that many of you do not know this as the Avion (the student newspaper) always seems to forget to give us any sort of decent write up, or even a back page spot. We won the conference with three games to spare and a 7 and 0 record, not a word said. I imagine if it were Basketball, there would be a bigger deal made. Don’t get me wrong, I would be happy for them if they did and I hope they do. I just think a bit more recognition for the team and management would not be OTT. Anyway I’m getting off the point. The game on Saturday was also one of the team’s best performances this season. If everything goes as planned we can keep improving and win regionals and maybe even nationals. We might even get the back page.

After this, and still on a high from the game, we all set off for Coyote’s down near the beach. It was a great night. It being bike week, we thought we would have trouble finding a bar not full of bikers but as it turned out when we got there the place was practically empty accept for the crowd that came with us. So the banter started and it was easily one of the best nights I’ve had in America. It’s up there with Texas, where I went for the hurricanes.

To go back on myself a bit, last Thursday I went to Yoga for the first time in the fountain room at the student village. We had a game on Wednesday night and we got the day off from training, so I thought I would go and check it out. I thought it would be relaxing and it would be a lot of stretching and so on. It wasn’t quite what I expected, more about auras and that sort of stuff. I’m not knocking it, it’s not really my cup of tea but I can see why people like it all the same. I wouldn’t mind checking out some of the clubs in college, like the sky diving club and many others, if I had more time.

I couldn’t end this entry without saying something about the elections. I’m not exactly an expert; it is a bit similar to computers with me. But tonight I had an informal debate set up by our group learning committee. We discussed topics like economy, education, and health care, etc. plus the views of each candidate. It was very informative and I would feel confident enough to at least hold a decent conversation about it. It was a good thing to take part in and to see how passionate some of the students are about politics. I honestly couldn’t say who I would vote for if I could vote, but I think it would be a waste for someone to just make an uneducated decision or not even vote at all. There is so much you have to take into consideration and we only reached the tip of the iceberg tonight. I think that people probably only take into account the topics which most effect their lives and base their decisions on this. Anyway that is all I really have to say and about all I know, so I’ll leave it here. Cheers.

October 14, 2004

Hello, I’m glad to say that I just booked a flight home for Christmas. I can‚t wait to get back to Ireland to see the family, my girlfriend and a bit of rain no doubt.  That‚s after only two full weeks of college.

It‚s 6:00 pm on Sunday evening and this is due in by 12:00 am, it‚s not that I have left this to the last minute; it‚s because of all the work that I have to do for college. It seems that I don‚t have a minute to do anything apart from college work. I don‚t know if it is the same for the majority of the student population or it is because I have to train every day after college, as well as having to work for spending money. I could probably quit my job as I don‚t have the time to spend it. As well as that, the hurricanes didn‚t do us any favors, all those days off that were so great at the time, I am starting to regret. History exams, English papers etc., when I‚ve finished one and think I‚ve got some time for myself, along comes another one. Thank God the semester is not that long. On a better note, the Eagles (men‚s soccer) are lying on top of the conference after a win against second-placed Northwood, we are undefeated in the Conference thus far this season. The best game I have played in this season is undoubtedly the 3-0 win over Flagler last week, on their home turf no less. It was the best atmosphere I have played in since I got here. We did take some abuse all the same, but thanks to two  goals from Ian Thomson, we soon silenced the crowd. I will be expecting a good crowd for the return home game on November 2nd to return the favor. I didn‚t realize that college soccer and sport in general was taken so seriously over here. The rivalry I’ve seen against Flagler was great and it was even better to play in.

Got my first taste of a fraternity party last weekend, it was not exactly how it looked on American Pie, but it was not bad all the same. I‚m not sure how many of you were there, but it was pretty packed. By the way, I am talking about the one in the field, I got eaten alive by mosquitoes, and it did stink of horse manure but over all it was good craic (Irish for a good time).

Anyway, apart from a lot of college work and the odd night out on a weekend, everything has been pretty quiet. So I am going to go back to the village for a bite to eat before I hit the sack, not sure what I‚m going to have yet. Maybe I‚ll have pizza or even some pizza. I‚m sure if you‚ve eaten in college canteens you will know they lack a bit of variety and they don‚t provide salt to complement the food, but instead to give it a bit of taste. Thanks for tuning in.

September 30, 2004

Born in Newry, County Down, Northern Ireland on 3-31-84, were I lived for the first 16 years of my life. The best years I’ve had thus far. Brought up in a family of eight, I always had plenty of company, a lot of mates and probably more importantly to me, a soccer field very close by. Before finishing high school, I got an opportunity to pursue a football career across the Irish sea in England. After 2 years of this, I decided it wasn’t for me and so I up and left for the Republic of Ireland to University College Dublin to continue playin football, but not full time. I also attended college.

When I finished my 2 year course, I decided that there was a lot more of the world to be seen and a degree to be earned, so I went on the hunt for another move and, in my mind, there was only one place to see next. The land of the free. And so six weeks on from my move and still with a girlfriend back at home, here I am.

Why Embry-Riddle? After my two years in England, I had a decision to make about my next move, and it was between going to college in America, Atlanta to be exact or to go to college back nearer to home in the Republic of Ireland. When the Atlanta college thing fell through last minute it made my decision a hell of a lot easier and so off to University College Dublin (UCD) I went.

Now, after those two years are finished I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I met some great people in Dublin, not least my girlfriend, my team mates and I also had a lot of great times. When i had finished my two year part time course in Dublin, I wasn’t ready for the real world yet and I felt underqualified as well, so I started to look at my options all over again. And still after two years America still appealed to me and so I started to look. It is amazing how sometimes you meet people and you think that it is almost impossible that you will ever see them again. This is how I felt about a lot of friends I had made when I left England. But as it turns out, I met some of them a lot sooner than I thought I would. When I went looking for a college in America that might be interested in somebody with my credentials, I remembered a fella who left England just 6 months before me and that he had went to a college in Florida. So after a few phone calls, I was able to get in touch with him and ask him for some help and advice as to what I should do next to get to America. As fate would have it, I phoned at just the right time and they had some vacant spots on the team and it just so happens that one of them was the position that I play. So one thing led to another and after I had checked out my available courses and made sure that I could do a course that suited me, and obviously that I had what Embry-Riddle wanted, both academically and athletically, I was on my way. Not knowing exactly what to expect I set off for America, but this was not a decision that I came to with ease, I had a lot going for me back at home, like a girlfriend and another college course as well as some good friends I had made, but in the end I felt that it was the best option.

Now, after 7 weeks in Florida and I’ve lost count of however many hurricanes, I still think I’ve made the right decision. It’s tuff sometimes to be so far away from home, because unlike England you can’t just jump on a plane and fly for an hour and your home. I miss a lot of things about home but as there are so many Europeans on the soccer team, they are all on the same boat and they understand exactly where I’m coming from. They are all “great craic” and they’ve looked after me a lot since I’ve been here.

On that note I’m going to leave this entry as it is because I’m sure like many of the rest of you, I have a lot of work to catch up on after all of the school missed due to the hurricanes. Thanks, Hugh.