Blake

About Blake

Aeronautical Science

Hometown: DeBary, Florida
Why I chose Embry-Riddle: Ever since I was little I knew that I wanted to fly, and ever since I knew about Embry-Riddle I wanted to go here.

November 6

Well two weeks have past and I know you all have been anxiously waiting for journal number five. Well lucky you, because today is your lucky day! I have a pretty good past two weeks and I know the fun will continue for the next couple weeks. By next journal, I will have gone to a concert with Slightly Stoopid (my favorite band) and seen Dane Cook (my favorite comedian). So I am definitely looking forward to that! This past week I got the chance to visit my sister at her college, which is actually in New York City! So that was a blast. I’ll tell you all about that right after I give you the 411 on my classes.

TTH 8:15am-9:30am – Aviation Weather – We took test two the other day and I got a 94! After I finished I wasn’t feeling too good because there were a lot of questions that I wasn’t sure about, but as it turns out, I got most of them right! Our teacher gave us a study guide and I didn’t start working on it until the night before. He gave it to us on Friday, but I was in New York from Friday to late late Monday night, and the test was Tuesday. So I was up till about 5:00am finishing the guide and studying, then I got a good two hours of sleep and took the test. It ended up working out pretty good, but next time I’ll try to manage my time a little better so I can actually get some sleep.

TTH 9:45am-11:00am – Business Communications – Well, my group and I are finally making progress for our huge writing assignment. We had to turn in a summary the other day, and so we had to organize how we would structure the report. So I feel much better because at least we have a general direction we’re going in now. But there is a lot of work that still needs to be done. It gets kind of scary just thinking about all of it. Oh well, welcome to college.

TTH 12:45pm-2:00pm – Intermediate Aeronautics – We finished up talking about all the approach, departure, arrival, and holding procedures and then we took the test. I ended up getting a 90, which I’m happy with. I studied a lot, and I’m glad I did because it was a pretty tough test. For the next couple of weeks we’ll be talking about cross-countries (flying to airports far away) and weather.

TTH 2:15pm-3:30pm – Air Traffic Management II – We took our third test and this time I only got an 87%. I’m not complaining about an 87, but there is a little competition brewing with my friend Aaron. He’s an AT major and we have the same class together and we always compete. The first test we took, I got a 98 and he got a 100. The second test, he got a 98 and I got a 94. Now he took the third test and he got a 96 and I got an 87. So now I’m determined to beat him at least once. We have two tests coming up, so I gotta get on my game. We’ll see how it goes.

TTHS 5:30pm-8:30pm – Flight – Well as I was saying before, the way it has been going lately is that I learn something in my Intermediate Aeronautical class and then I practice it with my instructor. This is still true because now we are practicing approaches and let me tell you what, there are a 1000 things going on at once. When you are going for your private pilot’s license, you think there is so much going on at once. Well once you start your instrument training, there is everything that you learned in your private course plus three times more. I have only just started with the approaches and I have to admit, it’s already very difficult. I have gotten overwhelmed numerous times and have forgotten basic things that I never forget. I am trying to practice as much as I can on my own so I can try to get use to the high work load. I think I’ll be doing better in a couple of weeks when I get some more practice.

Well, that’s the classes. In other news, the BAMFs are officially practicing for next season, partly due to losing two more games and being eliminated from the playoffs. I have to admit, this year we should have won several games and when we did lose, it was only by two or three points. So that means next year we will win a lot. So get ready for that.

Well as I mentioned above, I got the chance to go to New York City the other weekend. I left on Friday morning and got back late Monday night. My sister goes to the Fashion Institute of Technology and that is located right in Manhattan. I flew into Newark on Friday and took a cab into the city. Currently, I’m 19 and I have done a lot traveling by myself, but I have never traveled into New York City all alone. It was pretty intense. I rode in the cab for 45 silent minutes, and got dropped off at 27th and 7th. I got out and met my sister and put all my bags in her room, but then she had to go to class. So I just started walking around randomly. I ended up walking around for three hours aimlessly until my sister was done with her class. When she got back we met up with her friends and went to a nice little Cuban restaurant and had dinner. On Saturday we woke up and took the Subway downtown and walked around for a while. We saw the Statue of Liberty (from a distance) and then walked over to Ground Zero where the Twin Towers use to be. I can remember seeing the twin towers years and years ago with my dad when I was little, and it was pretty intense seeing the huge site with nothing there now. After that, we walked over to Wall Street and then down to Canal Street (China Town). We walked around China Town for a while and let me tell you what, that is an interesting place. I definitely have a couple stories that I could tell, but it might be best if I just keep those to myself.

After walking around some more, my sister and I met up with my uncle who lives in the City, and we went out to dinner. We went to this awesome place, but I can’t remember the name. Basically, you sit down and you have a coaster with a red side and a green side. If the red side is up, you just sit there, but as soon as you flip it over to green, there are 50 people walking around with various foods that seemed to be on Samurai swords. They walk over to your seat and tell you what they have, and you say yes or no. They had anything you could imagine and they keep bringing it until you flip the coaster to red. I will tell you this, if you are on a diet, you should stay far away from this place. You could sit there for hours if you wanted. After dinner, we walked over to Times Square and were tourists for a little while and took pictures. The next day we took the subway to a bus stop, hopped on the bus and went to Staten Island. I didn’t tell my sister the real reason we were going because I wanted to surprise her. I’m not sure if any of you are familiar with a place called Moe’s, but if you aren’t I suggest you do so immediately. Moe’s is a Mexican-type restaurant that makes delicious food fast. Check them out here: http://www.moes.com/ Anyway, my mom got my sister and I addicted to Moe’s. There is a Moe’s about 5 minutes from my apartment, so I can get it anytime I want. However, my sister isn’t so lucky. She thought that there wasn’t a Moe’s anywhere near her, so I found the closest one and we went there. I told her that I wanted to go to Staten Island and go look around and she just went with it. When we got off the bus, I made her close her eyes and we walked into Moe’s. One more thing about Moe’s, when ever you walk in, they yell “WELCOME TO MOE’S!!!” so when we walked in that’s the first thing she heard and opened her eyes and was so surprised. It was a lot of fun. After Moe’s, we went back to the City and then went over to the Empire State Building. We went up to the 87th floor and looked out on the city, and I have to say that it was incredible. You could walk around to get a 360 view of the city, and I couldn’t believe how windy it was. It literally felt like I was skydiving. People were constantly losing their balance and everyone’s hair was in disarray. We went up at the perfect time too. The sun was just about to set, so we got some good sunset pictures. After that, we grabbed some dinner and went to bed. Then on Monday I flew back to Florida. All in all I had a blast and I can’t wait until I can go back up. It was very nice to see my sister and I look forward to seeing her again at Thanksgiving.

Well that was the highlight of my week, and not too much else happened. I did see a good movie though. American Gangster just came out with Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe and I thought it was an awesome movie. It is definitely intense, and long, but very good.

Well I guess that’ll wrap it up for this journal. I will be posting the pictures from New York on the web within the next few days, so stay tuned for those. I am definitely looking forward to the next couple of weeks! School is going well, my flying is coming along nicely, and I am finding entertaining things to do, so life I going well! If anyone has any ?s or comments, feel free to shoot me an email! Until next time . . .

-Blake
email: wasteofsoap@yahoo.com
pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wasteofsoap/
videos: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=blakeguiles

October 23

It’s that time again! Here we are with number 4 of the journal series written by me, Blake Guiles. Life is going good right now and I have no complaints, well . . . maybe a few but overall it’s good. I’ve been staying busy with school and just life in general. I went to Halloween Horror Nights last week, I celebrated my girlfriend’s birthday, and I did a whole lot of school work. I’ll give some more detail later, but now it’s time for my wonderful, always exciting classes!

TTH 8:15am-9:30am – Aviation Weather – Since I have this class two days a week, it is broken up so that I have the lecture portion on Thursday and the lab portion on Tuesday. On Thursdays we discuss a certain topic and on Tuesdays we have a lab on what we covered last Thursday. For example: We just had a lecture on turbulence this past Thursday, so this coming Tuesday we will have a lab that involves turbulence. The lab will most likely consist of finding different reports of turbulence and analyzing our findings. Once again, it’s nice to learn something that directly relates to what my career will be. Finding turbulence and staying away from it is important!

TTH 9:45am-11:00am – Business Communications – We’ll, I have finished 3 projects so far and I’ve gotten Bs on all of them. I’m pretty happy about that, but my happiness quickly vanishes when my professor assigns our final project which is a mega-huge-enormous paper that will most likely be the death of me. I have been able to do all the other projects, but this last one is going to be something else. I have 2 partners and we are doing a paper that compares the Airbus 380, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and the new Boeing 747-8. It’s exciting to do all the research regarding all 3 of these awesome planes, but we have to organize all this information into a 20-24 page report . . . and we have no idea where to begin. I know as time goes on I will lose a little bit of stress because we will know what we have to do and how to organize it, but then my stress level will increase when we are approaching the deadline. I’ll keep you updated.

TTH 12:45pm-2:00pm – Intermediate Aeronautics – The past couple of weeks we have been talking about approach, departure, arrival, and holding procedures. All these procedures are usually encountered on every flight and it is pretty important to understand how to use them. My professor has been good at teaching the material and making sure that everyone understands it. He assigned several worksheets and there were a couple of questions that I had so I went to see him in his office and he was very helpful. He stopped right in the middle of what he was doing and made sure that I understood the material on the worksheet. Most professors will do this and I’m glad they do otherwise I would still be confused!

TTH 2:15pm-3:30pm – Air Traffic Management II – If you are an Aeronautical Science major, I highly recommend having an Air Traffic minor. Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers have to have a lot of the same knowledge, so part of this class is a review while the other half is stuff that I will learn soon. For example: We are learning about enroute charts for smaller aircraft and next week I will be covering that in my intermediate aeronautical class. So, once again, an Air Traffic minor is definitely a good idea!

TTHS 5:30pm-8:30pm – Flight – Well last week I did some holding patterns and they went perfectly! I was getting nervous about them because there is so much going on at once, but when I got up there I stayed calm and did a very good job. I was on my way to the holding pattern and I was trying to do some things inside the airplane, and then the Air Traffic Controller came on the radios. He was supposed to say, “Riddle 1-2-3, advise when ready to copy holding instructions.” When he says this, the pilot has a chance to get caught up on things before he has to copy a whole bunch of stuff. Well, instead ATC told me, “Riddle 1-2-3, turn to a heading of three one zero, fly to Ormond Beach VOR track outbound on the three four two Radial from the station, maintain right turns at two thousand feet, expect further clearance at twenty-two thirty.” At which point I said, “Uhhhh, could you repeat that for Riddle 1-2-3.” Then he did and I frantically scratched on a piece of paper, “R-342 / R / 2000 / EFC 22:30.” So that caught me off guard, but instead of getting flustered, like I normally do, I just calmly began the proper procedures and decided I needed to do a teardrop entry. I entered the pattern and established a wind correction angle and flew the pattern a dozen times or so. It went pretty smoothly and I was pleasantly shocked! Next on the agenda is how to navigate in clouds without your primary flight instruments . . . that should definitely be interesting! If you want to learn more about holding patterns, check out this link: http://www.pilotlist.org/zahar/howto.htm

Well, that’s how the classes are going. If you are a loyal journal reader (which I’m sure all of you are) then you know about the BAMFs and their volleyball season. Well we played in the first week, and then didn’t play weeks 2-5, and now it’s week 6 and we are scheduled for games on both Monday and Wednesday. Something happened with the list of teams and since there was a weird number, certain teams couldn’t play every week, but for some reason we weren’t scheduled at all so they are trying to make up for it now. After our next two games the playoffs begin. Woohoo.

I mentioned last week about going to Halloween Horror Nights with some friends. We ended up going on a Thursday and we had a blast. My friend John and I took our girlfriends and it was so funny to watch them get scared every 10 feet. They have people dressed in all sorts of costumes jumping out at you and trying to scare you. Every now and then they would try to scare me or John, but 95% of the time they tried to scare the girls, and 95% of the time they succeeded! We went through a couple different haunted houses and saw a couple of shows. Overall it was fun to walk around and see these creepy looking goblins chasing after screaming girls. I plan on going next year as well!

I’d like to say sorry to all you Cleveland fans and congratulations to all you Boston fans. I’m not a major fan of baseball but, eh, I try.

Well, once again I have managed to survive one of Daytona’s world-renowned activities . . . I, of course, am talking about Biketoberfest! For those of you who don’t know about Biketoberfest, please learn more about it here: http://www.biketoberfest.org/ Well last year I did go down to Main Street and check out the bikes, but this year I decided to stay far away from all the festivities. I think I’ll wait until March when Bike Week rolls around. That’s the good thing about living in an apartment. I live in Port Orange (just south of Daytona) so I’m still 5 minutes from school but I manage to dodge all the heavy traffic of bikes. If I choose to, though, I can take a quick drive and immerse myself in the culture!

Well, I usually don’t watch too much TV (except Family Guy, the Simpsons, and Southpark) but there is a relatively new show on CBS called Kid Nation. In a nutshell, it is a show that puts 40 kids, ages 8-15, in a small town with no “grown-ups” and they are expected to . . . survive I guess. If you haven’t seen the show yet, I recommend watching at least one episode just to see it for yourself. You can watch past episodes on-line here: http://www.cbs.com/primetime/kid_nation/ Just watch one episode and tell me what you think: Anger? Sadness? Laughter? Maybe all of these combined?

I know last journal I talked about The Heartbreak Kid staring Ben Stiller, but this past week I saw a movie with George Clooney titled Michael Clayton. I have to admit, I am a fan of George in just about anything, but this movie was something else. I don’t think there was one aspect of it that I didn’t like. It was well written, all the actors were very convincing and I never saw the ending coming. I will definitely be buying this when it comes out on DVD.

Well I think that will end it for this journal. Sorry to be plugging so many things. I swear that my intent for writing these journals was to give you a look into a sophomore’s life at Embry-Riddle and not to advertise movies and TV shows. Oh well, you should check ’em out anyway. I hope you all are doing well and stay tuned for the next journal when I advertise other TV shows and movies! It should be fun! As always, any ?s feel free to e-mail me anytime! See ya!

-Blake

email: wasteofsoap@yahoo.com

pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wasteofsoap/

videos: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=blakeguiles

October 9

Well hello to everyone!!! Hope your day is going favorably and that you are enjoying the wonderful World Wide Web! That’s what the www stands for in the internet tool bar up there ^. Anyway, I’m enjoying life down here in wonderful Daytona Beach. I would like to tell you about all the fun things that I have done this past two weeks, but to be honest, I haven’t really done anything exciting. BUT, I do have some fun things planned! So I’ll tell you about those things instead of what I have done. But first . . . classes . . .

TTH 8:15am-9:30am – Aviation Weather – So far so good . . . I got a 90 on the first test that we took, which isn’t too bad. I still think 8:15 classes are pretty early, but I’m glad that I’m getting out of bed and being active. As much as I enjoy just sitting and doing nothing, it’s good to get up and feel productive. Otherwise the class is going good. We’re learning about some turbulence and then some thunderstorms, so it should be interesting.

TTH 9:45am-11:00am – Business Communications – So this class is my hardest class this semester, partly because I don’t enjoy writing. We finished our first project and when we turned it in, my professor immediately assigned the next project. And half way through that project he assigned our third project! So I have been doing a lot of writing and so far I have made Bs on my papers. My professor says average work gets a C, good work gets a B, and excellent work gets an A, so I’m surprised that I got a B. But I’m still pushin for an A, so we’ll have to wait and see how that goes.

TTH 12:45pm-2:00pm – Intermediate Aeronautics – My professor once again lightens up the class and generates a good mood from all my classmates. We’re starting to learn the specifics regarding all the technical aspects of instrument flying. We are going over departure procedures, arrival procedures, holding patterns, and tracking navigational aides. All in all it’s pretty exciting learning about all these procedures that thousands of airline pilots use on a daily basis!

TTH 2:15pm-3:30pm – Air Traffic Management II – We took our second test and I got a 94, so I’m pretty happy about that. This class is sometimes a bit dull (because a lot of the information overlaps with my other classes) but my professor does a good job of lightening up the atmosphere. We were just learning about aircraft recognition and what distinguishes similar looking aircraft. We talked about an airplane called a Cessna Skymaster and our professor told us a pretty funny story. When he was a controller he saw an airplane coming in that was far away, but he thought it looked like a Cessna Skymaster so he talked to the pilot and asked him, but the pilot wasn’t in a Cessna Skymaster and he didn’t know what a Skymaster was either. So he asked: “Cessna 213 are you a Skymaster?” And then there was a long pause then the pilot responded: “No, I’m a student pilot.” HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH I don’t know if you’re laughing, but I am!

TTHS 5:30pm-8:30pm – Flight – My instrument rating is coming along nicely, but it gets tricky at times. I thought there was a lot going when I was a private pilot, but it gets a lot busier when you go for your instrument. There is a thousand things going on at once and it gets pretty stressful. That’s why I’m glad I have my instructor with me because this is a walk in the park for him. I can’t wait until I get to that level and I don’t have panic attacks! My instructor and I are getting along well and we are always laughing and having fun. This week I will be flying some holding patterns which should be fun. I just have to remember how to enter the pattern, which direction to go, and for how long and I’ll be fine!

So my classes and flying are going along nicely. Other than that, it has been an uneventful two weeks. I have been working a lot to get some money, which doesn’t grow on trees as I just found out. But other than work and school, there’s not a whole lot goin’ on. I would tell you about the success of my intramural volleyball team cleverly titled the “BAMFs” but unfortunately we haven’t played in three weeks. Not sure what’s happening with that, but apparently they just haven’t scheduled us for games so we haven’t got the chance to play. Oh well, it would have been unfair if we got to play because no other teams would even have a chance! (Sarcasm)

So now I’ll talk about the future instead of the past. Coming up on this Thursday I will be attending Halloween Horror Nights which is at Universal Studios in Orlando. It’s basically a big scare fest with creepy goblins and ghosts that walk around scaring people. I’ve been in the past and had a great time so I’m looking forward to it this year. I’ll be sure to tell you all about it next journal. If you want, you can check it out here http://www.halloweenhorrornights.com/orlando/index.html

Ohh! Switch back to the past. I saw the movie Heartbreak Kid with Ben Stiller and I thought it was pretty funny. It’s definitely an “adult” movie, but I haven’t seen a movie where I laughed that hard in a while. Okay, back to the future.

So coming up in November I am going with some friends to a comedy show in Orlando. It’s in an arena that holds 17,000 people, there’s only one comedian, and his name is . . . well I just had it. I keep forgetting . . . Let me just flip through my calendar . . . Oh yes! That’s his name. You might have heard of him before, but I doubt it . . . his name sounds like Cane Dook. Yes, its DANE COOK!!!!!!!!!!!! (Sorry for the stupid lead up, I knew who it was the whole time) So Mr. DC is a hero of mine (despite his recent movies) and I have seen him live twice in my life and now I am going to make it a 3rd time. He is going on a 25 city tour (Rough Around the Edges Tour) that starts in November and goes to mid-December. I suggest that if you are a fan of Mr. Cook that you go to his website (DaneCook.com) and buy tickets immediately! Or if you aren’t a fan, don’t go because that wouldn’t be a smart thing to do really. He’s coming to Orlando on November 14th and I am psyched! I will definitely be counting the days off until he arrives. So be sure to stay tuned to my journal because I will definitely be writing about that and posting some pictures on the website.

Well, I guess that’s about it. I’ll try to have a more exciting week or two so I have something to write about. Maybe I’ll win the lottery or get chosen to represent America in an egg throwing contest! (Kind of random, I apologize). Anyway, hope everyone is doing well and I will be back in no time. Ah, and don’t forget to check out some videos and pictures that I have posted, and not to mention the other student journals. I was reading them, they got some good stuff! Until next time!

-Blake

email: wasteofsoap@yahoo.com

pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wasteofsoap/

videos: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=blakeguiles

September 24

Well, well, well . . . it is time for journal number two. Overall life is going good down here in the wonderful sunshine state (although it has been raining all the time). Last journal I talked about my summer adventures and I now have those pictures up on my website and hopefully I will soon have the videos. I also posted some pictures of my recent trip to Colorado and the simulators here at Riddle. I will explain about both of those later, but for now I’ll clue you in on my classes and my amazing schedule!

I’m guessing a majority of you readers are in high school. When I was in high school, I had class Monday-Friday from roughly 7:00am – 3:00pm. I’m assuming that most high schools have a similar schedule, and my first year of college was somewhat like that. On Monday Wednesday Friday, I had a flight block from 8-12 and two classes from 1:00-3:15pm, and on Tuesday Thursday I had four classes from 8:15-3:30 with a lunch break in between. This means I basically had class from 8-3:30ish five days a week. Well that was fun to do for my first year, but now that I’m a sophomore, I feel that I needed a lighter schedule. Don’t ask me how I pulled this schedule off, but I only have classes Tuesday Thursday from 8:15am-3:30pm with a flight block that starts at 5:30pm. So this translates into me having a 4 day weekend! You heard right, one day of class, then a day break, then one more day of class, then a 4 day weekend. So far I am really enjoying this schedule. I originally had one class on MWF, but I took a test and got credit for the entire class. I’ll explain that in a little bit as well. So four classes + only two days a week = a very good schedule.

TTH 8:15am-9:30am – Aviation Weather – This class is very different than my previous weather class. My first weather class was very generic and didn’t directly relate to aviation; however, aviation weather deals a lot with aviation (kinda obvious, I know). There are nine separate sections of aviation weather, which means nine different classes that are all going over the same material, and my professor is the one who creates the PowerPoint slides for all the classes. So instead of someone just reading something from a slide, my professor actually created it so he knows what he is talking about. I can already tell that I am learning a lot more than my previous class. My professor seems really cool and I think I’m going to enjoy the rest of the year.

TTH 9:45am-11:00am – Business Communications – I’m not going to lie, I was not looking forward to taking this class, in fact I thought about pushing it off until my second semester as a senior. This class is basically a bunch of writing, and writing in class is my least favorite thing ever. I enjoy writing these journals and things like that because it brings me enjoyment, unlike writing in class where I get no enjoyment what so ever. So I was definitely a little afraid of taking this class, but I think it will turn out alright. The kind of writing we have to do is stuff like writing memos and letters so they aren’t 10 page papers, which is a big relief. We have already turned in our first project which consisted of 4 memos that were about 300 words long and a summary of about 750 words, so nothing too crazy yet.

TTH 11:00am-12:45pm – Lunch – This is where I eat food. Sometimes cheese burgers, while other times chicken wraps. I’ll go into detail about Embry-Riddle’s delicious foods in another journal.

TTH 12:45pm-2:00pm – Intermediate Aeronautics – This class once again is the class that is most vital in my career. We are discussing every aspect of instrument flying and that is the number one thing airline pilots need to know. I think its pretty cool to think that what I am learning in this class right know is what I will do in a plane in a few weeks, and what airline pilots do on a daily basis. My professor that teaches the class has got to be one of the nicest teachers I have ever had. He is so funny and easy to learn from, and I know that I will enjoy this class.

TTH 2:15pm-3:30pm – Air Traffic Management II – I enjoy this class for several reasons: 1. My good friends Aaron and Zach are in there 2. I really enjoy the professor and 3. A majority of the information covered is a review. Since I am a pilot, I have already needed to learn things like airspace and radio calls, but in this class, not everyone is a pilot so they don’t know about it yet. Therefore, while I am still learning things, I am also getting a review of the stuff that I already know and that I will need to know for a long time. We just took our first test the other day and I got a 98 so that always makes me happy.

Overall, I couldn’t be happier about my schedule. The 4 day weekend is a major plus, but the fact is that I really enjoy all my professors. They all know what they are talking about, they are very nice and approachable, and they all enjoy their jobs. They make class fun and they actually make me want to go! Imagine that.

TTHS 5:30pm-8:30pm – Flight – And now the good stuff! I have just recently started my flight activities and I am so excited! So far I have had one oral, two sims, and one flight. It feels great to get back into the airplane and go flying. I flew a couple times over the summer break with friends and family but I am definitely ready to start flying a lot more. The only down side of flying now is that I am training for my instrument rating which means that I don’t get to do anything visual. Basically, I fly around with things called foggles, which limit my vision to only my flight instruments. So I can’t look outside or enjoy the scenery like I was able to do for my Private pilot’s license. It’s all good though, because I get to learn about flying only by my instruments so I can fly in bad weather. My instructor is pretty cool and I think that he is going to make the next year go by pretty fast. He is a new instructor and I was actually his first student, which I though that was pretty exciting. He is always trying to make it fun and shake things up, for example, we had a sim the other day (sim=video game with the exact controls that are in the airplane but you are safely on the ground), and we got done a little earlier than expected so he had an idea of how to use the last 5 minutes. Apparently who ever designed the software for the simulator had some spare time because out in the middle of the ocean there is an aircraft carrier and I landed on it! I put some pictures on the picture website so be sure to check those out. It was fun to do that because I got the chance to practice a short field landing and now I can say I landed on an aircraft carrier, kind of.

So that is what is happening in my school life. I have to prepare for some tests that I have coming up next week and I also have homework here and there. I mentioned earlier that I had a class scheduled for MWF but then I didn’t have to take it. The class was IT 109 which is a basic computer class that all freshmen have to take. Well I didn’t know that I needed to take it when I was a freshman, but fortunately you can take a test and get credit for the class without taking the class, which is what I did. I’m pretty happy about that because now I have a 4 day weekend, which means I get to do fun things like fly to Colorado. That’s what I did last weekend because my friend, Alex, was celebrating his 20th birthday with his brother and I flew out to Boulder, CO to surprise him. He had no idea I was coming and I just showed up on his porch. We went hiking on a mountain that is right next to his school and we also went to a football game. The game was the Colorado Buffalos against Florida State and unfortunately Colorado lost. I usually don’t get into football too much, but being there in the crowd with thousands of people was pretty cool. I have some pictures from Colorado posted on the picture site, so those are there to be viewed.

Another thing that I have been up to lately is playing some volleyball, the BAMFs are back! For those of you new to my journals, last year I played on an intramural volleyball team titled “The BAMFs”. The name came from a Dane Cook joke and we are being led by Aaron who is a friend of mine that was the captain of his varsity team in high school. Unfortunately, we didn’t win a single game last year, and this year we already started with 0-1. But we have fun and we actually are getting a lot better. Who knows, maybe we’ll win a couple games this year!

Well that about sums it up. Life is going pretty good right now and hopefully it will stay that way for a while. I’m enjoying all my classes and life in general, so nothing to complain about. I guess I’ll try to find something to complain about for next journal, so wish me luck with that. As always, good luck to everyone out there reading. Hope your school/job/sitting at home is going well. If there are any questions/comments/concerns/facts/knowledge/food that you would like to share with me, just shoot me an email! Until next time . . .

-Blake

email: wasteofsoap@yahoo.com

pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wasteofsoap/

videos: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=blakeguiles

September 12

I’m back!!! Yes, I loved writing the journals so much that I decided that one year was not enough. I needed to do it at least one more year. For those of you who aren’t familiar with these student journals, my name is Blake Guiles and I’m a sophomore here at Riddle with a major in Aeronautical Science (I want to be an airline pilot). I wrote these journals last year along with several other journal writers and I think that these journals are an excellent resource for future students. You get the rare opportunity to look into the lives of current students and see what college life is all about. I’m not sure if my previous journals will continue to be posted online, but if they are I suggest you go check those out to learn a lot about me. If you’re to lazy to go read those past journals I’ll tell you a little bit about myself. As you know, my name is Blake and I grew up in a little town called Debary which is only about a half hour away from Daytona Beach. I have a girlfriend (Rebecca) who goes to Stetson (a college close by) who I have been dating for a little over two and a half years. I am currently rated as a private pilot, I am certified to skydive, and I like to root for the Tampa Bay Lightning in hockey. I’m here at Embry-Riddle because I want to be a pilot and I think that this is the place to be if you want to fly. Ever since I was little I knew that I wanted to fly, and ever since I knew about Embry-Riddle I wanted to go here. Now I’m in my second year and I have my Private Pilot’s License, and it is surreal when I stop to think about it. It seems like just yesterday I was sitting in high school day-dreaming about coming here to Riddle and now I am here and I am already a licensed pilot! I’ll go into more depth as time goes on, but that’s good for now.

One thing that I started last year was an online photo album where I posted pictures of anything and everything. I also had a YouTube account where I put some videos on. I think that some of my fellow journal writers are going to put pictures online this year, but I will definitely be posting them online. If you read last year’s journals, there is a change for the pictures website. I originally had them posted with yahoo photos, but now they are transferred over to my Flickr account. That website is http://www.flickr.com/photos/wasteofsoap/ . Also, while that website is there, my YouTube site is still the same: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=blakeguiles . Since I’m giving you all these addresses, I might as well give you my email which is wasteofsoap@yahoo.com . So throughout this year, make sure you check out some pictures and videos that I post, and feel free to shoot me an email with any questions/comments/concerns.

With all that said, let me tell you about my summer. I worked most of it, unfortunately; but I did go on many adventures. I guess I’ll start with the beginning of the summer. My girlfriend and I drove down to Key West for a couple days and it was amazing. I’ve lived in Florida my whole life, but have never been to the Keys. While we were down there we went parasailing and snorkeling, both of which were amazing. We didn’t see any sharks, which I was kind of glad about to be honest. Overall it was a nice way to begin the summer/end the school year. It was very relaxing and I recommend checking it out if you come to Daytona.

After the trip to the Keys I went up to Pennsylvania to see some friends. One of the cool things about going to a school like Embry-Riddle is that there are people from all over that come here. It’s not like, for example, the University of Central Florida; I know a lot of people that go there, but that is because I live in Central Florida. The students that attend Embry-Riddle are from all across the world, not just a local area. So I made some friends that live in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and North Carolina and we all went to PA to visit each other. We had a blast and did a whole bunch of fun things. One of which was drove to Six Flags over in New Jersey. I have been to Disney and Universal Studios here in Florida, but I haven’t got the chance to go to other theme parks until now. We spent the whole day there and had so much fun. We went on a wooden rollercoaster called El Toro which was the best wooden rollercoaster I have ever seen in my life. It has the steepest drop at 76 degrees of any wooden coaster in the United States and is the second fastest and tallest wooden coaster in the entire world. But surprisingly, that wasn’t the highlight of the trip to Six Flags. No, it wasn’t until I went on Kingda Ka that I experienced the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world. You start on level ground and get accelerated to 128 miles and hour in 3.5 seconds and then shoot straight up (90 degrees) to 456 feet (45 stories) and then plunge back to earth. It was insane! Me and my friend Cris rode it 7 times, 3 of which were back to back to back. We rode it 3 times in a span of something like 8 minutes and my body was definitely taking a beating. You can check out more info on the coaster here: http://www.sixflags.com/greatAdventure/rides/Kingdaka.aspx . All in all it was an amazing experience. We also did some fun things while in PA like ride my friends 4 wheeler. I will definitely post pictures and videos up on the websites so be sure to check those out.

In July, I went with my family up to Maine to visit my grandparents, which was really fun. I got to see one of my cousins, Jeremy, and I was excited about that because I don’t get to see him that much. We had a lot of fun and I can’t wait until next summer to go up again. Other than those things, I was more or less just hanging in Florida over summer. I got a couple chances to take friends and family flying which was definitely a highlight of my summer. I took some pictures and videos of that, so be sure to keep your eyes out for those.

Well I think that I will keep this journal short, and next time I’ll go into all my classes and my living arrangement. I strongly urge you to read the other student journals even if you aren’t interested in their major. Likewise, if you want to be an engineer, you should still check out my journals because I’m sure you will find some useful information here and there. All you prospective students especially need to read the freshmen journals because they will be giving you their views/opinions as freshmen while I have already been there and done that so my views will be different. This year I won’t pay as much attention to living in the dorms (live in an apartment now) or the meal plans (I don’t have them anymore) but I will be telling you about life in Daytona Beach, the upper level classes you will take, and I will offer a unique prospective on life at Riddle as a second year student. I hope everyone’s year is starting off nicely and I hope that you will check in from time to time to see how I’m doing here in Florida, going to the school of my dreams. Feel free to send me an email if you are so inclined and I will see you in about two weeks!!!

-Blake
email: wasteofsoap@yahoo.com
pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wasteofsoap/
videos: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=blakeguiles

April 23

Isn’t it amazing how time could move so slowly when you don’t want it to and so fast when you are having fun? Well, this whole year has flown by and I’m still in shock. I can still remember sitting in my dorm several months ago not knowing what college was like and what I should expect, or how I was going to do. Well, here it is a couple of months later and I am writing the final journal! I guess we’ll treat this last journal like all other journals and start with my classes.

TTh – Physics 104 – We have our fourth exam this Thursday and then our final is scheduled for next week. Overall this class hasn’t been too bad; the class is fairly easy if you study but the timing is horrible. Class at 8:15am is not the best choice, but it’s not completely horrible. You feel productive when you get up early; it really feels like you get things done!

TTh – Basic Aeronautics II – Our fourth exam is this Tuesday and then we have a final next week. I am kind of nervous about this class because I need to do really really really good on the next two tests in order to get an A. I think I will probably end up with a B, but I will try to go for the A. This class has been pretty cool because all the stuff you learn in class, you will use in the airplane. So as opposed to physics where you memorize formulas, use them on a test, and then never use them again, in Basic Aeronautics what you learn, you will always use. I like that.

MWF – Air Traffic Control I – Our fourth exam is scheduled for this Wednesday, and we don’t have a final. That is a relief because right now I have so much going on. I’m glad that I chose to do ATC as my minor because I think that it will really help me. A lot of the stuff we are going over, I already know because I fly. So that way, not only do I get some extra review on some important things, when we do have a test, I don’t have to study as much as other students because I already know some key elements. So, in my opinion, ATC is definitely a good choice for a minor if you are a pilot.

MWF – Intro to Psychology – Just like my ATC class, we have a fourth exam coming up and we have no final exam. I think that this has been my favorite class so far for a couple reasons. For one, I have found most of what we talked about pretty interesting. Even though you might not use some of the information that you learn in class while you are in an airplane, it is still some interesting stuff. Also, my professor (Dr. Kring) is by far one of the best professors I have encountered while I am here at Riddle. He does everything he can to try and make the class fun. He always tells jokes and tries to brighten up some of the duller topics. His class has been very enjoyable and I am already trying to see what other classes he teaches so I can try to have him as a professor again. As freshmen, you don’t get to pick your fall classes, but you do get to pick when the spring semester starts so I would recommend that you try to get Dr. Kring for your PSY 101 class. If you do get him and end up not liking his class, don’t complain to me because you are most likely wrong! Well, I guess you are entitled to your own opinion . . .

Flight – Flying has been pretty slow lately; I seem to have some bad luck when it comes to scheduling because it always seems something comes up and my flight gets rescheduled or canceled. Fortunately though, I flew just the other day with another instructor and I’m a couple flights away from my check ride!!! I am definitely getting nervous, but I know I’ll do well as long as I stay focused. I have really been enjoying flying lately and not too long ago I went on my long cross-country to an airport called Cecil and over to St. Augustine. The flight went pretty well and it was a solo so it was only me up in the plane, which is always fun. Now that I have all my solo requirements met, I am one step closer to being done. In the next couple of weeks I’ll have my oral and I have been studying a lot lately. One good way to study is to actually go to someone else’s oral. Here at Riddle, you are allowed to observe someone else’s oral so you know what to expect. I think that is a major advantage, so that way there are no surprises. I feel a lot more at ease after being able to watch an oral and see what it is like when the spotlight isn’t on you.

Other than flying and classes, I’ve been doing some pretty cool things! For one, jumping out of airplanes is always at the top of the list. Since it is the last journal, I might as well make one last plug for SkyDive DeLand . . . so go to www.skydivedeland.com and just check it out, whether you know you want to do it or even if you are afraid of heights, just go to the site, find out some information, and see what happens. It is definitely something that is pretty extreme and exciting, but if you want to try something a little ‘safer’ go check out SkyVenture ( http://skyventureorlando.com )when you are down in Daytona.

Well, as many of you are loyal journal readers, I got into a car wreck a couple months back and totaled my car. Well, I was driving around a temporary car for a while but now I have a permanent car . . . and I love it. I just purchased a 2004 Mazda RX8 from a friend who works at a dealership. With the insurance money I got for my totaled car and the great deal on the RX8, I couldn’t pass it by. I am so excited about having a car that I can call my own again, and I’m even more excited that it is an RX8! I’ll be sure to post some pictures of it online.

So, obviously I have been looking for any reason to drive around, and last Sunday I got the chance to drive to Tampa. Once again, if you are a loyal journal reader you know why I would drive all the way to Tampa (aside from any reason to drive the RX8). I, of course, went to go see the Tampa Bay Lightning game, which unfortunately, was their last game. They were in the quarter-finals of the playoffs against New Jersey, but now New Jersey is moving on to play Buffalo while the Lightning are going to take a break for a couple of months. (In case you couldn’t tell, Tampa lost and New Jersey won). Anyways, I love going to the games because it is much more intense than watching it on T.V. So, at least I have something to look forward to next year.

I went to the game on Sunday with my girlfriend and afterwards, we drove back through Orlando and decided to go to Islands of Adventure (IOA). If you haven’t heard of IOA, it is a theme park and it is next to Universal Studios. Both my girlfriend and I have season passes so we can go whenever we feel like it, and on the way back from Tampa, we felt like it. We went and road the Hulk, Spiderman, and Dueling Dragons; we definitely have gotten our money’s worth over the past year, and we have a 2 year pass so we will continue to get our money’s worth! After IOA, we went to Macaroni Grill ( www.macaronigrill.com ) and had dinner. I want to recommend Macaroni Grill to anyone who wants to enjoy a delicious meal, and I would suggest to ‘Create your own pasta’ and select asiago cheese as the sauce, bowtie as the noodle, and add slices of grilled chicken and you will be in heaven. This meal that I just described is so so so so so so so delicious! Just thinking about it makes me want to go and apply for a job there so I can learn how they make it and go home and drop out of school and cook that delicious meal all day. Or maybe I’ll just go to Macaroni Grill and order it. Yeah, I’ll probably do that second choice.

Other than that I haven’t been up to a lot lately. I have played racquetball a couple times and I made it through 18 holes in golf last weekend. I was above par; actually, I was close to doubling par. Oh well, my friend Cris went with me and we had a good time so it’s all good. Aside from hitting balls with clubs and rackets, I have been paying a lot of attention to school work to try to end the year on a good note. One thing I enjoy about college is the fact that the last day of classes is April 26th and then we have finals to May 2nd. So all you high schoolers hang in there because next year you will be done by April!!!

Well here we are at the end of the last journal at the end of the year. Looking back, if I had to offer advice to any freshies coming into school, it would be that college is whatever you make of it. If you think that it is nothing but work and stress, then you won’t have a good time; likewise, if you think that it is all fun and games and partying, your grades will suffer from it. You have to find a middle ground where you do well in school, but still enjoy your college experience. Show up in August with a smile on your face, your mind open to different things, and go meet people. Don’t be shy and hide away, you have plenty of time to do that later in the year! I think that it is real important to be social and meet new people and make friends, because they are going to be in the same boat as you. Everyone is in a new place with new freedoms and it’s good to make friends so you can keep each other in check. Remember, most everyone is new at the whole college thing, so don’t think that everyone knows what’s going on because there are probably a whole bunch of people who don’t have a clue. Before you know it, college will seem normal and you will have trouble remembering what it was like before hand. When I started writing these journals, I had no idea what was going on and I was just trying to figure everything out. Now here it is April and I can’t remember what that feeling was like! So if it gets tough at times, no need to worry because you will have people right along side of you that are going through the same thing; and by the end of the year, you’ll be a pro . . . like me!

I can still remember back to 12th grade when I would go online and see when the next set of student journals were published. I was so excited about going to Embry-Riddle and I had so many questions and thoughts, but I never asked anyone or talked to the student journal writers. And when I got here, I began to learn things on my own and I tried to share them with all of you. Well now that I know everything (well most of everything!) I find it difficult to put myself in your shoes. I forgot what it was like to not know anything and be completely new to the world of college. That’s why I hope these journals helped paint a picture of what college at Embry-Riddle is like and I hope that you have enjoyed reading them. I strongly urge anyone who is interested to think about writing these journals next year. When you come to Riddle, there will be some sort of announcement that describes how you can become a journal writer, and I hope that you would consider it. When I read last year’s journals, there was a lot of useful information and it was entertaining, but there was still so much that I was curious about. So when this year began, I started writing these journals and I tried to go above and beyond and make them something special. I didn’t want these journals to be boring or lacking entertainment or information, so I tried to make them as best I could; I think that I did a pretty good job. I posted some good pictures, a couple of videos, and hopefully you learned a lot about life here at Riddle. So now, at the end, I offer a challenge to the next set of students to come to Riddle. I want someone to go above and beyond what I have done. If there is anyone out there who has more questions, or if something was made unclear when I explained it (or didn’t explain it at all), I want you to write these journals and include anything that I missed. If there is anyone out there that reads these journals as religiously as I did, you know that it isn’t just text on a computer screen. I read the journals and soaked up everything that I laid my eyes on, these journals were the only connection between my dreams about going to Riddle and actually going there. So just think about it; if you enjoyed these journals as much as I did, take the time to write them next year and share your experiences and wisdom with the next set of students. Try to come up with more things to offer, try to give more information, try to be funnier (probably won’t be though). I honestly hope that these journals have meant something to you guys out there and I’ll try not to get too teary-eyed *sniffle* but I really did enjoy writing these. Also, thanks to everyone who wrote emails and I hope that I answered any and all questions that were asked. If I didn’t reply to anyone, please let me know because things have been pretty crazy lately. If there is anything that anyone needs to know or if you just want to congratulate me on writing these awesome journals, you know my email. Feel free to write me over the summer or look me up once you get on campus! I hope that everyone’s year ends well and that you are looking forward to coming to the best school around! I guess that’s it! I think I have said all I needed to say . . . so until next time we meet . . . don’t forget that the big signs on the side of the road with numbers that say ‘speed limit’ aren’t recommendations. It’s probably best that you don’t exceed those numbers because there are a lot of people who get upset when you do that. Hmmmm, yeah. That’s how we’ll end it.

-Blake
email: wasteofsoap@yahoo.com
aim: wasteofsoap
pictures: http://new.photos.yahoo.com/wasteofsoap/
videos: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=blakeguiles

April 10

One word . . . wow. I can’t believe there is only 3 weeks left of school. This semester has flown by and I can hardly even remember the fall semester. I know one thing is for sure, I’ve never been so busy doing so many different things. All my professors have decided it would be a good idea to have exams at the same time so I have been studying like a mad man for all of those, and finally they are over! But I have another set coming up in 3 weeks then I have finals! I don’t think I am going to have the chance to rest until the end of the year! I am super busy but I am still having a great time, especially with my classes . . . (how’s that for a segway!)

TTh – Physics 104 – Well, with last semester and this semester combined, I took 7 tests and a final, and so far I have gotten A’s on all of them. I guess I like physics. I have always been good at math and things that only have one answer. Anything like English or writing papers I am horrible at. I always seem to be wrong, but with physics there is only one answer and I know the answer. So it all works out. We’ve got one more test then our final so hopefully I’ll keep up the A’s.

TTh – Basic Aeronautics II – We took our third test in this class as well and I did pretty darn good! I ended up with a 90 which should bring up my test average because I got an A on my first test but a C on my second. So hopefully I’ll take our fourth and final test and bring up my average. Other than that, we are just cramming a whole bunch of material before classes are over. In the beginning of the semester, we had all this free time, but now we are cruisin’ through stuff and we won’t stop until the very last day!

MWF – Air Traffic Control I – We took our third test in here as well and I still don’t know what I got. I think I did pretty well but I’ll find out for sure by next class. Aside from that, not to much new here!

MWF – Intro to Psychology – Since our professors like to give tests all at the same time, I also had my third psych test and once again I think I did pretty well but I won’t find out until next class. However, we did have a pretty heated debate the other day. For some reason we were talking about plagiarism and we started talking about students who wrote a paper for one class and then later on down the road, they turned in their same paper in a different class. My professor said that that was unethical and nobody agreed with him. Everyone said since you wrote the paper, you should be able to turn it in however many times you want. After 20 minutes of a heated debate I raised my hand and said I agreed with the professor to a certain extent and everyone was saying ‘come on! what?!?!?!’ because literally everyone else disagreed with him. Then the professor said ‘oh come on . . . you might want to leave the class early so you don’t have to be confronted by the mob.’ It was all a joke but it was pretty funny. Anyways, psych still seems to be one of my favorite subjects so I would definitely recommend Dr. Kring as a professor to all you future students out there!

Flight – Well it has been pretty rocky the past couple weeks because the weather has been pretty bad. I haven’t got to fly a lot, but I did do a solo cross-country to Gainesville. I’m not sure if there are any Gator fans out there, but I flew over Gainesville last Monday when they played Ohio State in basketball. So I thought that was a pretty cool time to fly over Gainesville. The flight itself went pretty well and I had a lot of fun. It is definitely pretty wild to be flying all alone up there. I just had a friend who did a solo cross-country down to Key West and I’m looking forward to when I get to do that some time next year. But as more time goes by I get closer and closer to finishing up my course and taking my check ride. So I have to start getting ready for everything because it is just around the corner!

This past two weeks I haven’t got the chance to do too many things besides study but I did find time to do some fun things; like ride a horse! My girlfriend has a horse that she has had for quite some time and I just recently went for a ride. I didn’t go real fast because frankly, I was kinda scared. I have no problem flying planes or jumping out of them, but when you ride a horse you are trying to control something that has a mind of its own. My parachute doesn’t have a mind of its own, I tell it what to do and then it does it. So riding a horse was pretty entertaining. I had fun and I was riding for a little while and then I decided that I wanted to go faster, and then I almost fell off. I’ve decided that horse riding isn’t for me. I’ll stick with jumping out of planes. Speaking of which, I just made my 22nd jump and I’m lovin’ it. I’d recommend that everyone drive over to DeLand (20 minutes west) and at least check it out while you are down here. It’s quite a rush!

Other than risking my life on horses and jumping out of planes, I went to another concert with my girlfriend. I don’t know if anyone has heard of Stephen Lynch, but he is a comedian song-writer with a bit of a mature approach. It definitely wasn’t the cleanest show, but it was pretty funny. Coming up in two weeks, I am going with some friends down to Tampa to watch a Tampa Bay Lightning playoff game. It should be pretty fun and I hope they win!!!

Also, Easter was this past Sunday and I got the chance to see some of my family which was nice. We went to my Uncle’s house and did the whole lunch then Easter egg hunt. I use to be the one who would look for the eggs, but by the age of 15 my mom wouldn’t let me do it anymore. I’m not sure why, because I was really good. Anyways, now I hide the eggs and I am a pretty good hider. I am also pretty tall and I could get eggs in places where no one could reach. Which isn’t really the point, but it’s fun for me anyway. So Easter was a success this year.

Other than that, I have just been busy busy busy studying and all that good stuff. Life here at Riddle is going pretty well. I’m coming up to the end of the semester and I’ve got to make sure I finish the year strong! I’d love to write more, but I’m not sure what to write! I’m staying busy, I’m having fun, and life is good!!!! Now it is time for me to try to get some rest while I can! It’s gonna get crazy here again in a week so I need to rest while I can! I love exclamation points! I’ll see ya later!

-Blake
email: wasteofsoap@yahoo.com
aim: wasteofsoap
videos: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=blakeguiles

March 27

Spring Break is over, and I’m pretty bummed. I definitely had an amazing spring break, but now it is time to go back to the real world. The end of the year is right around the corner and there is still a lot that I need to do. So, time to get back to work and start getting things done! Since last week was spring break, there hasn’t been much going on in my classes, but I’ll see what I can remember.

TTh – Physics 104 – I know we have a test coming up in a week or two, so I know I’ll be studying some time soon. But other than that, not to much to write about.

TTh – Basic Aeronautics II – We took our second test before spring break, and I didn’t do as well as I wanted. When I took the first test, I felt prepared and I knew that I knew the material. This past test wasn’t exactly like that; it was more of a surprise. I ended up with a C, so I didn’t fail it or anything, but now I’m going to have to work on bringing up my average.

MWF – Air Traffic Control I – Once again, not to much to write about in here. We are getting ready for our next test which should be in about 2 weeks or so. Other than that, yep.

MWF – Intro to Psychology – Since spring break was last week, there is once again nothing new to write. So use your imagination to come up with an interesting story that sounds like something I would write!

Flight – Well, there are some new things going on with my flying. First off, I had my first local solo and it was amazing! I already soloed in December, but that was when I flew to an airport, dropped off my instructor, and flew in the traffic pattern. Now, for my local solo I never saw my instructor and I was 100% alone! I left Daytona and did some maneuvers around the area then flew to Ormond Beach and did a couple landings. It was pretty incredible to think that just a couple months ago I had never flown a plane and now I’m the pilot, the only pilot! My next activity is a solo cross-country, so I will probably fly to Gainesville all alone. I’ll be sure to let you know how that goes.

Well, for spring break I got to see a lot of my friends from high school and we had way too much fun. I started off the break by driving with 6 of my friends to North Carolina to stay in one of my friend’s cabin. The drive alone was an adventure, but then we all went snowboarding. I have been snowboarding for about 2 years along with my other friend, then 2 of my friends have only been once, and then the other 3 friends have never been before. So we definitely had some fun. There are so many stories that I could tell, but that would take way too long. Some of the highlights: My friend Freddy being towed behind the ski patrol down the mountain, the random freeze blasts, and learning first hand that driving fast in the snow and on ice is probably not a good idea unless you want to see the side of the road up close. We drove up to NC on Thursday, snowboarded on Friday and Saturday, and then drove back on Sunday. It was a short trip, but it was a blast. Hopefully, we will do it again next year.

After I got back on Sunday, I went home and then on Monday I flew out to Colorado to see my friend Alex. I went to high school with Alex and he is now attending the University of Colorado at Boulder. So I flew out to see him and do some serious snowboarding. I was out there for a week and it was amazing. I have lived in Florida all my life, and I am very grateful when I get the opportunity to go some place cold and snowboard. We went over to Copper and Winter Park and we had a blast. I’m used to snowboarding on the east coast, which means there isn’t a lot of powder but there is ice. Well in Colorado, it snowed one night and even before that there was tons of powder. It was so crazy to be snowboarding and then all of a sudden look down at your knees and you can’t see anything below them. I got stuck on more than one occasion, more like 100 occasions. It was such a different experience than I am use too, and I loved it! We did a lot of riding all over; we were in the trees, goin’ over moguls, in the terrain parks, everywhere! I’m already planning my next trip out there some time next year. It should be a blast!

While I was in Colorado, we did a bunch of other stuff as well. We went to a place called Boondocks which is the best place ever! They had go-karts, mini-golf, a huge arcade, and laser tag. We went and spent hours there and had so much fun. They had a strict rule about bumping for the go-karts, but that didn’t stop me from wiping out anyone that got near me. We went with one of Alex’s friends and I tried at every opportunity to wreck them. We also played laser tag, and my teammate was this 10 year-old who had been playing all day. Let’s just say that we crushed them and our score was very very good. Then we played some arcade games and some other games that you play and get tickets. The ticket games are a rip off because you barely get any tickets and all the good prizes are worth 10,000 tickets, so we didn’t play too many ticket games. But there was this one game, it was broken and wouldn’t stop spewing out tickets. Instead of telling anyone, we just got them to put more tickets in the machine after it spewed all them out. I’m not sure why it kept spilling tickets, but it did so we just kept collecting them. When we decided that we had enough tickets, we told someone else and they started to collect tickets. We ended up with around 1800 tickets and we split them up into 3 sets of 600 and gave them to different kids. So, maybe it was wrong to just keep getting tickets out of an obviously broken machine without telling anyone it was broken, but in the end we made 3 kids real happy. So I don’t have a guilty conscious.

Other than snowboarding and Boondocks, I got to meet a bunch of Alex’s friends, eat out at a bunch of delicious local restaurants, and did some hiking on some mountains. Overall the whole trip was a blast. Well, I’d hate to have another short journal, but I have to make sure I get back into the rhythm of school. I have so much I need to do in the next couple of weeks, and I can hardly believe there is only 5 weeks left! So I’m going to go get some stuff done, and next journal I will write and write and write until everyone is tired of reading! Yay! Also, I will put up some videos on the web soon, so be sure to check themsoon. See ya!

-Blake
email: wasteofsoap@yahoo.com
aim: wasteofsoap
videos: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=blakeguiles

March 12

Well, it has been pretty crazy around here in Daytona, and it’s not slowing down any time soon. I have been keeping myself pretty busy with concerts, Bike Week, classes, and flying. As usual, I’ll start with the classes and then tell you about experiencing Bike Week first hand! Hooray!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TTh – Physics 104 – Well, two tests down, two to go! I managed to get another A so I am pretty happy with that. Other than that, not to much going on in physics. It’s still very early in the morning and it is difficult to convince myself that I need to go. But somehow, I manage to get up and I haven’t missed a class yet. One thing that I have noticed is that a class can be very different depending on the professor. For example, last semester my physics teacher would assign homework very frequently, but this year I haven’t had a single homework assignment. So depending on who your professor is, your experience will be very different.

TTh – Basic Aeronautics II – Well I just got done with my last test in this class, and it’s already time for Round 2. We have been discussing multi-engine systems and we are going to have our first test covering multi stuff on this coming Thursday. On the last test, I had to study for quite a bit of time which is kind of unusual for me. Whenever I have a test coming up, I will study, just not for hours on end. Well, for my aeronautics test, that’s just what I did. I studied and studied and studied, so that means I’m going to have to do that again for this upcoming test. I’m looking forward to that.

MWF – Air Traffic Control I – We took our 2nd test in this class as well, and he still hasn’t posted the grades on-line yet. I’m not sure how I did, and to be honest I can barely remember taking the test. We took it a week ago so I have no idea how I did. Other than that, nothing too exciting going on in here.

MWF – Intro to Psychology – I also had a test in my psych class last week and I did pretty well. The test went over states of consciousness, learning, and memory. Psychology still seems to be one of my favorite classes and almost everything I learn I find very fascinating. Not to knock on my other classes, but the ideal gas law that we went over in Physics isn’t as exciting as learning about learning. So I’m still pretty happy with my psych class and I’ve been thinking about taking other psych classes over the next couple of years.

Flight – As much as I enjoy some of my other classes (such as psychology) I still think flying is hands down the best part of Riddle! If you read last journal, I talked about the three tests that you must pass in order to get your private pilot’s license: written, oral, and practical test. I took my written test last week and I passed with an 83%. I took tons and tons and tons and tons of practice tests and on average I got a 93%, but when it was time to take the actual test, the pressure is on and the environment is completely different. In order to pass the test, you need a 70%, so I’m in the clear with an 83%! Since I have finished my written, I am now studying for my oral test. I have also been doing some cross-country flights; I have done a total of 4 cross-countries, one of which was at night. Now, my next activity is a local solo which is like a normal flight, but I never see my instructor. Before when I soloed I was with my instructor and we flew to an airport, my instructor hopped out, I did some solo take-offs and landings and picked her back up and flew back to Daytona. Now I am 100% alone and on my own! I am pretty excited and I’ll be sure to let everyone know how it goes.

Well, Bike Week 2007 was a success! This past week bikers from all over the world came to Daytona to celebrate bikes. Surprisingly, I have never been to Bike Week in the past because traffic is usually horrible and there are way too many people. Well, this year I have been trying new things so my friends and I decided to go check it out. But we didn’t want to just drive over there and walk around like everyone else; we wanted to submerge ourselves in the culture. . . . So we rented scooters. We went to a local place right near the beach and paid $30 for two hours on these pretty nice scooters. I went with my friends Zach and Aaron and we had a blast. We were riding right next to the bikers and we kept up for the most part. Over by the beach, the speed limit never goes beyond 40mph and the scooters topped out at around 45mph, so we weren’t blocking traffic too bad. We were just cruising down A1A right next to the beach and just drove around for 2 hours. We ended up going down Main Street which is where the street is 100% lined up with bikes all along the sides and where everyone goes to check out all the cool bikes. You could walk down Main Street and see live music, choppers, all sorts of custom bikes, and three college kids on scooters. We drove right down Main Street and we definitely got some funny looks! It was fun to see bike week from a biker’s perspective . . . well almost.

Other than cruising around the beach on scooters, I went to a couple of concerts as well. I went and saw G. Love and Special Sauce and then I saw Pepper. If you are a fan of good music, I recommend checking out these two bands. A band called Redeye opened for G. Love and the Suppervillans and Mad Caddy opened for Pepper. Overall, every band I saw at both concerts put on one heck of a show. I hope that I will be able to check these guys out next time they make it to Orlando.

Well, Spring Break is right around the corner and I still have so much I need to do before it starts, so I am signing out! I don’t want to give anything away for my spring break, but I will tell you that I will be snowboarding . . . a lot of snowboarding. So I am pretty excited about that. Well, as always be sure to check out the pictures and videos website to see all the crazy antics of life down here in Daytona! I’ll be putting up some pictures of Bike Week and of the Scooter Boys (that’s what we heard someone yell as we went down Main Street and they also asked us to ‘pop a wheelie,’ but I would have fallen, so I didn’t). So be sure to check that out. I hope everyone is having a good year so far and continues to do so and I will see ya in 2 weeks! Adios!

-Blake
email: wasteofsoap@yahoo.com
aim: wasteofsoap
videos: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=blakeguiles

February 26

HELLO TO EVERYONE! I HOPE EVERYONE IS HAVING A TERRIFIC WEEK SO FAR! I KNOW I HAVE! UH-OH, I have been typing in all caps. My apologizes. Well, I am here at Riddle (obviously) and I am having a wonderful time! I have been very busy the past two weeks and I don’t think that I am going to be slowing down anytime soon! I’ll start with my classes and then let you in on all the details of life outside of Riddle here at Daytona!

TTh – Physics 104 – Nothing too exiting going on in physics. We’re learning some new stuff and we will have a test in a week or so, which means I’ll do some studying and hopefully get another good grade. That’s pretty much it for physics. Oh, there is one thing: An 8:15 class is very very early.

TTh – Basic Aeronautics II – We took our first test last week and it went pretty well. I ended up with a 90 and I’m not sure if there is going to be a curve or anything like that. But without a curve, a 90 is pretty good, especially in my aeronautics class. We have finished talking about everything I need to know for my private pilot’s license, and now we are moving on to the topic of multiengine systems. We covered all the basic stuff last semester and up till this point and now it is time for some multiengine knowledge.

MWF – Air Traffic Control I – The class average for the recent test we just took wasn’t the best, so our professor decided to give us a quiz on some of the stuff on the test and give us bonus points. I’m not sure how I did on the quiz, but I know I did pretty well so I should be getting some bonus points. That’s what I like about college, if a professor gives a test and a lot of people miss the same questions, they take it into consideration and give you opportunities to make up the points.

MWF – Intro to Psychology – I have to admit that psych is becoming one of my favorite classes. Not only do I enjoy the subject, but I honestly believe that I have one of the best professors to teach the course. I have Dr. Kring and he makes the class very fun. He is always cracking jokes and he has a very funny personality. He is also a huge fan of star wars and he knows anything you could imagine. He challenged our class to think of a star wars question that he would know, and if we could stump him, he would let us out 45 minutes early. Well a couple people had their laptops and began typing away furiously and we shot him 5 or 6 totally random questions. We didn’t think he would get any of them right, but sure enough every question was answered correctly and he even gave extra details about it. It was kind of scary to be honest, but I thought it was pretty funny. So if you are coming here next year and you like star wars, get in Dr. Kring’s class. Or even if you just want a fun class and a cool professor, choose Kring.

Flight – I have been progressing quite nicely in my flying and I am on my way to getting my private pilot’s license. In order to get your license as a private pilot, you need to complete 3 tests: A written test, an oral test, and a practical test. The written test consists of 60 questions chosen from a bank of over 700 which might sound really difficult, but you are given all 700 somethin’ questions and answers so you know what to study. I haven’t taken the written yet, but I took several practice tests already so I will be taking the actual one soon. The oral test is right before the practical test and that consists of talking to a certified instructor (not your instructor, a different one) and he/she will ask you questions covering every aspect of flying to make sure you know what you are doing. I am studying for this constantly; I have been studying pretty much since I started learning how to fly. It isn’t a test that you cram for the night before; rather, you need to study a lot over time. Finally, you take the practical test also referred to as the check ride. The check ride is flying with an FAA instructor and they test you on everything you know; anything from maneuvers to landings. This last test is to make sure that you are safe in the skies and you know how to handle an airplane. So, as of now I am going to take my written soon, I am studying for my oral, and I am still learning things that I will need to know for my check ride. One thing that I did a couple weeks ago was my first night flight. My instructor and I took off around 8:00pm and we flew around and did some night landings. Flying at night is similar to day flying in some aspects, but then in some ways it is completely different. For example, flying into the ocean in the day time is easier to do visually because you can see the horizon to base your wings off of, but at night it is all black and you can’t tell if your wings are level. Overall though, it is pretty fun because it is such a different experience. You can’t see all the details of the ground, but rather just a sea of lights. It’s pretty wild. Also, I went on my first cross-country flight this past week. A cross-country flight is a flight where you leave your home airport with a distance of more than 50 nautical miles. Normally, we just fly around in our practice areas and go no more than 40 and usually less than 30 nm away. So we flew to Gainesville which was about 130 nm round trip if I remember correctly. We took off in Daytona and flew over 2 airports on the way there. It was pretty fun because usually you just fly around in any direction, but now we have specific headings to follow and checkpoints to go through. You have to file a flight plan which lets the airport know when you are leaving and arriving and what path you will follow in case you don’t make it there on time. If they haven’t heard from you when you are suppose to land they will send out a search and rescue until you are found. So anyway, we filed a flight plan, got in the plane and flew to Gainesville. It was really fun, but challenging. There is so much going on at certain times, and then it is completely calm at other times, so you have to manage your time in a reasonable manner. I think that I did pretty well for my first cross-country and I am looking forward to doing some more. I am already planning my next cross-countries which I will fly to Melbourne (over by Cape Canaveral), an airport right out side of Jacksonville, and St. Petersburg (over by Tampa). I’ll let you know how those go as I do them. I’m scheduled for one later this week so wish me luck!

I have to admit, these past two weeks have been so busy, and school was only 20% of it! On the 19th, the Daytona 500 took place (and I was there), my grandparents came to see the Riddle campus, I saw Ron White in concert, I saw the Blue Man Group (again!!!), and I have been doing some wakeboarding and racquetball playing. So it has been pretty busy.

All my life I have lived near Daytona and I have always been told be the people around me that come mid-February, I should stay far, far away from Daytona. I have always known that hundreds of thousands of race fans flock from any place you can imagine to Daytona to see the 500, and that’s why I have always stayed far away. Well, since this year I am living in Daytona, I decided that instead of fleeing and seeking shelter somewhere I should submerse myself in such a rich cultural environment. So, I went to the Daytona 500, and as it turns out, I had a blast! A week before the race you could already tell a major difference in the traffic and the amount of people, and it only got worse. If you have the choice to drive or not drive during race weekend, choose not to drive, unless you don’t mind getting to your destination in triple the time. But traffic aside, it is pretty wild just to see hundreds of thousands of people walking around all of Daytona. There are people everywhere, and they’re all just walking around; some this way and others that way. It gets pretty hectic but it definitely is a fun experience. Three of my friends bought tickets and their dads came down to watch the race, but they ended up having 2 extra tickets, so my roommate and I said why not. Our seats weren’t the best, but it still was incredible. We were 13 rows back or something like that so we were pretty close to the track and just hearing the loudness of all the cars was amazing. There were some pretty big wrecks, but nothing to crazy happened in front of us. We were right in the middle on the backside so we saw one wreck but nothing real remarkable. Overall, it was a lot of fun and I’m glad that I did it, but I’m still debating on whether or not I should go again next year. Well at least I have some time to make up my mind. Make sure to check out the videos and pictures website for some great shots of the 500 along with other things.

This past Thursday I went with my girlfriend and her mom and step-dad to see the Blue Man Group once again! I have to admit that even though I saw them just a couple of months ago, and the show wasn’t very different from then, it was still utterly mind-blowing! The show that those guys put on is astounding and it doesn’t get old. I would definitely go see them again if they were playing next week. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get any pictures or videos of them playing, but just take my word when I say that they put on an awesome show!

I’m not sure if there are any Ron White fans out there, but he is one of my favorite comedians. I remember listening to him years and years ago and then he got his big break with the blue collar comedy tour. His comedy isn’t for everyone, and he can definitely be on the edge with a lot of his material, but I laughed so hard at Tater Salad and all of his other jokes. If you haven’t heard his stuff before, you should check it out, as long as you aren’t easily offended and have an open mind. Because if you don’t, you probably shouldn’t listen!

This past weekend was parent’s weekend here at Riddle and I’m not sure what happened exactly, but I did see lots of parents around. I guess parents were invited to come see their kids and go to class with them and stuff like that, but I’m not really sure. By coincidence, my grandparents were in town to visit my dad so they came down to Daytona to check out Riddle. I took them on a tour of campus and showed them a whole bunch of stuff like our flight line, some flight simulators, my dorm, food facilities, some classrooms, and things of that nature. It was nice to get to see them and show them where I have been for the past 6 months.

One thing I like about being a student at Riddle is all the stuff that is happening outside of class, such as flying (well obviously), skydiving, wakeboarding, racquetballing (not really a word), golfing, and many other things. These are just some things that I do, but there is so much to offer here at Riddle. Anything from a swing dance club to writing for our school newspaper the Avion, a full list can be found here http://www.erau.edu/db/studentlife/clubs.html. I personally have been doing a lot of wakeboarding lately, well kind of. I got a wakeboard for my birthday 3 or 4 years ago, right when my dad sold his boat. So I haven’t really gotten a chance to take it out, but now that has changed. I joined the water sports club and we have a boat that we take out to a lake about 30 minutes away and wakeboard, ski, and anything that anyone wants to do. I know you are asking yourself right now, “Hey, wait a second, it is February and freezing, how can you be wakeboarding?” Well, it is cold in a lot of places, but Florida isn’t one of them right now. As I type this it is 80 degrees outside. Yes, 80. As much as that pains me to type 80, it is a good temperature for water sports. The only bad thing is that the water is a nice cool 65. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. So hopefully the water temperature will rise soon, but until then I guess I am going to be wakeboarding and freezing at the same time. Also, my roommate has a jet ski that we take out and we go wakeboarding behind that. I have only been about 3 times now, but I have managed to get up and go in and out of the wake, but once I try to jump, I fall, hard. So I’m no where near good at wakeboarding, but someday, maybe I won’t fall all the time. So anyway, the point is, Riddle has so many things to offer to many different types of students so get excited about that!

Racquetball has become quite fun for me in the past couple days because I have started winning games! I am use to playing some of my friends and losing, which doesn’t bother me because I wasn’t that good, but I am getting better. I played doubles with my friend against our other friend and our RA and we won 3 of 4 games or something like that, so that’s always fun. I found that it generally doesn’t matter if I win or lose as long as I’m sweating and out of breath at the end of the game, then I’ll be happy. But just for the record, winning is fun and more preferable than losing.

So I guess that pretty much wraps up my journal for this week. Over the next two weeks, I should be doing some more cross-countries, taking 3 tests, seeing G. Love and Pepper in two different concerts, work on my wakeboarding skills, hopefully play some golf and racquetball (not at the same time, I already tried that, very difficult), and loads of other things! Such as not hitting bikers on the road because of bike week! Yes, life is getting crazy around here, and I love it! If life is getting pretty dull for you readers out there and you want it to be more exciting, try emailing me with some questions and I will respond as quick as I can and make your life very exciting with my humor and knowledge!!!!!!! Or you could just go rent a movie (such as The Departed which is a very good movie and has won some Oscars and things). Anyways, the point is go out and enjoy life and make the best of it. Also, if you have a dollar, put it in an envelope and mail it to someone you know. They will be very happy to receive a one dollar bill in an envelope from you!!!! I know I would!!!! See ya next time!!!!! Sorry for all the exclamation points!!!!!

P.S. Check out all the cool videos and pictures that I have posted! Also, if you want to request any pictures or videos of something, just let me know!

-Blake
email: wasteofsoap@yahoo.com
aim: wasteofsoap
videos: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=blakeguiles