Jez

About Jez

Senior

Aviation Maintenance Science

Age: 17
Hometown: Issaquah, WA
Favorite TV Series: Band of Brothers
Favorite Band: Bloodhound Gang
Career goal: To be an officer in the Air Force
Interests: Music, extreme sports, military, foreign languages

April 24, 2006

It’s the last journal entry already! I can’t believe it. The beginning of the school year seems like just yesterday, with moving in, orientation week, meeting everyone for the first time, NSOP for ROTC and all that. I remember before I got here, I was worried that ROTC was going to be too intense or something, primarily because I second-guess myself a lot, but I totally got into the swing of things, academically and in ROTC. Even though it seems like this year went by so quickly, I still look back and realize that I’ve changed a lot since then. I’ve learned so much, and experienced so many changes, and grown up a lot and become more responsible. I also got used to college stress, which I find to be a lot different than anything you experience at home or in high school. I wouldn’t necessarily say that anyone is worse than the other, but they are different and I think you have to learn how to handle them in different ways.

For my last two weeks at school I moved out of McKay into Doolittle with one of my friends. I just wasn’t getting along with one of my roommates and I realized my efforts to make it work were futile, so I think I made the best decision in moving. Instead of making it an issue of faults, I decided it was best for me to be the one to leave because I had people willing to take me. This also made me learn a few lessons I thought I would share because I’m sure many of you will go through the same thing. Most people are worth the effort of making friends with them, but when there are those that don’t appreciate you or don’t value everyone as a human being like they are, those people are not worth your time, effort, or worries. Also remember, you are in college, away from your parents because you are expected to act like an adult, so act like one. Be responsible for your actions and decisions. Lastly, if someone doesn’t treat you with the respect you deserve, don’t sink to their level and do the same. You will end up feeling a lot better knowing you did the right thing. Getting the last word in isn’t always the most important thing, because in the end it will be obvious who did the right thing, and that is the best part.

ROTC ended for the semester on Friday the 21st with PIR for spring. It felt good knowing I don’t have any more ROTC stuff to think about for the next couple months. I’m also looking forward to the challenges of being a 200 and doing FTP (field training preparation).

On Thursday (April 27th), I’m going to be going home for two weeks between Spring and Summer A. My flight leaves just a couple hours after my last final. As soon as I go home, I just want to lay down on the couch and not get up and just enjoy the solitude for a while. Then I’m going to go hang out with some old friends so we can catch up and maybe go to some shows in Seattle.

It’s so hard to believe that a year of college is already behind me. I just can’t get over that. With all the rough stuff that comes with the first year of college, I really appreciate this first year I had. No matter where you end up going to school, college is definitely worth going to. Well I’ve really enjoyed writing for all of you this year, and I hope everyone has a great summer, and I’ll see some of you either over the summer or next fall! Be sure to say hi to me when you see me! And of course, you can still get in touch with me anytime at kenyonj@erau.edu! Thanks so much for reading everyone!

March 23, 2006

Hey everyone! Here it is: Spring Break. And I’m in Daytona. I’m really glad I stayed here, even though almost everyone else went home. I went to the beach yesterday, which was fun. Windy, but fun. I’m also trying to make the most out of having my room to myself. Both my roommates went out of town, so this week I have everything to myself. It’s great. There’s been a fair amount of getting in trouble for people down here, probably partly due to the increase in cops, and also the novelty of a week with no school and nice weather. I’ve been trying to steer clear of trouble as best as I can though 😉

A couple weeks ago, one of the “super-seniors” here, who was also in AFROTC, was killed in a motorcycle accident. That Friday we had a memorial service, which was really sad, but also very beautiful in a way. I didn’t know him very well other than that he was my ROTC mentor in September. Condolences to the Brooks family.

Oddly enough, I don’t really have a whole lot else to report. I’m looking forward to the semester ending so I can go back home again. It’ll only be about two or so weeks that I’m home, but there’s a lot I want to do when I finally get back, so I’m excited about that. The trip home in itself is always somewhat of an adventure as well. That’s all for now. Any questions? kenyonj@erau.edu and post them on the discussion board. Later, kids!

March 6, 2006

Hey everybody! Hope you all are doing well. I can’t believe my freshman year of college is already 75% behind me! And I still haven’t even turned 18 yet! I had loads and loads of stress building up these past few weeks, what with finals coming up and a lot of bad things seemed to fall in as well. On Wednesday of this last week, I had my finals so all my classes I’ve been having are done with. FOREVER. Luckily I passed everything so I don’t have to retake any courses.

Starting Monday I’m going to have all new classes. Supposedly, they should be easier than the ones I just finished taking, so I guess that’s good news. I have to prepare a briefing for my Air Force class on Thursday, and even though I don’t really mind public speaking, I’m honestly not too stoked about it. I’m doing current Air Force-related events, but other possible topics were aviation history and Air Force aircraft.

Since I had my finals on Wednesday, that means I get to have a 4-day weekend this weekend. Yesterday I did some shopping with my friend, which was extremely relaxing. I’m not a shopaholic or anything, but it definitely made it seem like everything had returned to normal. Somewhat anyway. Now that I’m making a little more money than before doing the Annual Fund, I can relax a little bit more, but I still have to keep in mind that I’m trying to save my money so I can get a car in the next few months which I really need. I should be living on campus next fall, so it isn’t completely vital, but it would really help me out in a lot of ways.

In other news, the motorcycles are pouring in by the hundreds for Bike Week and everything is getting pretty loud. Daytona also seems twice as crowded everywhere, with people coming in from all over. It’s starting to warm up too, which is exciting. I love warm weather, and I’ve definitely gotten adjusted to the Florida climate. Whenever it drops below like 65 here I get pretty unhappy, whereas at home that would mean that summer was coming (or that it already was summer). I know when it is summer and I’m in my classes, lab time is going to suck. It gets so hot here in summer and the labs have no A/C, just one fan that’s supposed to cool the entire class off.

Anyway, I gotta be off to prepare my briefing and maybe take a little nap. Any questions you can post on the discussion board. Later!

February 24, 2006

Hey, everyone! Hope everything is going well. We’re almost at the end of the term, so my classes are wrapping up. I’m pretty glad about it because I honestly just want to move on for now. The winglet I’ve been building for sheet metal is starting to come along a little further, and some of my hall mates have taken some interest in it. Just on a side note, if you’ve been considering engineering as a major but would rather make stuff than do paperwork, it’s possible you’ve been looking at the wrong major. Maybe you would be more interested in maintenance.

In other Riddle-related news, this week is the Daytona 500. Walking between classes, you can hear the cars on the track, and traffic in this area has been getting pretty bad at times, which is one of the very few things that makes me glad I don’t drive anywhere. I’m really starting to feel the burn of not having a car.

The only consolation I can really offer myself in the way of lacking a car is that since I’m working now, I’m slowly building up my funds. I’m working at the Phone Center as a caller. What I do basically is sit at a desk and call alumni of the school and ask for donations to the Annual Fund, which gives the school money for scholarships and the like. It’s a frustrating job, because you get a lot of refusals, and even when they have a really good reason, like they just got laid off or something, it makes you feel really inadequate because you feel like you can’t do your job right. It’s okay though, because I really need the money. Plus, I don’t have to work on Sunday or Monday this week because of the 500 and President’s day, so it’s cool.

Adding this to my schedule doesn’t help much with a lot of other things though like school work. I already have to make time in my schedule that I don’t have to do ROTC, and now I have a job to fit in there somewhere too.

I’m like 90% sure I’m going to be staying in Daytona for spring break. One, a plane ticket is expensive, two, why go to WA for spring break when you could be in Florida? and, three, I might have other plans anyway, but I’ll elaborate later. I don’t know when I’ll be home next, maybe sometime in between the end of Spring B and Summer A, but I’ll focus on that more when I get there. Right now I need to focus on food cause I’m starving, so post any questions on the discussion board and I’ll get back to you. Later!

February 9, 2006

Hey again, readers! Hope everyone is doing well. This past week has been pretty frustrating for me. I’ve had a lot of financial annoyances and difficulties getting my schedule to work out. If any of you reading this plan to do both AFROTC and AMS, be prepared to have to take a lot of matters into your own hands. Also, do your academics first. If you want to do any of the other branches, I’m just gonna say forget it. There’s absolutely no way you’ll be able to get that to work with your schedule. Because of all this I’m going to have to ‘skip’ LeadLab on Monday to do my class work. Basically, anyway you look at it, I got really screwed over, and it wasn’t my fault. I think it’s been a pretty stressful week for everyone and we’re all kind of taking it out on each other.

Last week was the Rolex 24 at the Speedway. I’m honestly in no way interested in Nascar, but it was a lot of fun.

A lot of freshmen have been looking for a new place to live for either this summer or for next fall. I don’t know if I mentioned this already, but I know I should probably be doing this too. Initially I was thinking about being an RA, because you get to live on-campus for free and you get paid. Not that you don’t do a lot of work too, but it seemed like a good thing at the time. As it turns out though, since I’m doing the summer here, it’s way too much of a time commitment that I just can’t make. You have to do some ‘training’ and things like that over the summer and I know I just really wouldn’t have the time to do it. But for people who do well, you get a place to live for free. And no roommate ? Even though it would be really helpful for me to live on-campus next fall, it’s hit me that I should plan for the event that I don’t get a room. But I’m still only 17! It’s weird thinking about getting an apartment already, but I guess I might start looking into it as a back-up.

That’s all for now; I have a lot of work to do. Post your questions on the discussion board, or e-mail any questions to kenyonj@erau.edu. Later!

January 26, 2006

Hey, everyone! I just want to start out this entry congratulating everybody who has gotten their acceptance letters already, and to all of you that will. So congratulations!

Now that it is second semester, and luckily I passed the General section of AMS, I’ve gotten into the Airframe section. I like it better, because I find it more interesting and relevant to ‘the real world’ but there are some new things to adjust to. Eight hours of class can be tiring, especially after getting two hours of sleep, but I’m managing just fine so far. Also, it’s going to be harder to keep up once you fall behind since the pace is a little bit faster. The worst part of it for me, so far, is that I have to miss two hours of class a week to do Lead Lab since the schedule for AFROTC got changed up. Since I end up missing a whole day’s work on my sheet metal projects, that puts me behind a lot, so I know already I’m going to end up pretty screwed. I kind of feel like ROTC looked over us cadets that have schedules that can’t fit around theirs, but I guess that’s life and looking on the bright side, this will help me in working out not-so-perfect situations.

With the new developments in my daily schedule comes the need to rework my time management plan. This semester I need to find my own time to do a lot of things, rather than have them already fit into my schedule. Right now there seem to be so many things I have to do, and not enough time to do it, my sleep and free time have been pretty compromised. Even though today’s Saturday, I’m still exhausted.

In other news, I recently made a very good investment I thought you all should know about. A water filter. While it cost about $40, it ends up paying for itself. Florida water tastes like crap. I also have trouble believing it can be that good for you if you drink it for a prolonged amount of time. Buying a bunch of water bottles doesn’t really work for me, and this thing I’ve got works really well, so just a thought.

Well, that’s about it for now. As usual, any questions are welcome- kenyonj@erau.edu or post them on the discussion board. Later, kids!

January 5, 2006

Hey, everybody! Well, here I am late again on my deadline for this entry. I got back to Daytona this morning and it’s actually pretty good to be back. I got pretty used to being home for a whole month, so it feels like somewhat of an adjustment being back now, but it’s a beautiful day today. I’m totally exhausted, but let’s see what I can come up with.

Break was really nice. Mostly I just watched TV and read a couple books and went to hang out with my old friends. I didn’t really think of this much before, but living far from home really does change you in some way. When I was hanging out with my friends that are going to school in WA, at first I thought there was something about them that was really different. Then I realized they hadn’t really changed at all, and it was me that was different. There were also a lot of things I felt they couldn’t relate to because they had basically spent the past few months at home. I don’t think that one is necessarily better than the other, going to school far away or at home, but I think you should be aware that some sort of change will take place. Personally, I know I made the right decision in going to school far from home, but I also know that what’s right for one person isn’t necessarily right for another. A lot of you have been wondering how I feel about going to school so far from home, but if you don’t feel right about it, don’t do it just because I said it was a great decision for me.

A first-time thing for me: I saw a person catch fire, in person. No one got hurt, everything was cool, it was just totally hilarious. If you are standing with your back to a candle and your back starts to feel really hot all of a sudden, move away, because you are probably on fire. So somebody had to learn that the hard way, but at least that mistake probably won’t be repeated any time soon.

Classes start on January 11th. I don’t know if I’m really ready to go back yet. Another couple weeks of watching TV and waking up at 2 would be totally fine with me. I would have no complaints whatsoever. But it’s time and I’m going to go with it. I’m kind of having trouble being optimistic about paying to my laundry now. Oh yeah, that reminds me, for those of you getting ready to go off to college, make sure you know how to do your own laundry. I can’t tell you how many freshman boys I’ve seen staring blankly and maybe even daunted, at the laundry machines for 10 minutes before they ask me how to use it, or what cycle such-and-such goes on. I have no doubt there are also girls out there whose mothers have always done their laundry for them, so don’t get offended, guys. But so far all the girls I’ve met here have known what they’re doing. If you can engineer spacecraft or fly an airplane, you can definitely handle a washing-machine, I promise! So if you can’t do laundry, well, you’re gonna have to learn sometime.

That’s about it for now. I should probably finish up unpacking all my stuff – of which there was a lot. I don’t really know how all that happened because I didn’t leave with that much, but somehow I ended up coming back with a 56 pound suitcase (but I didn’t have to pay the $25 surcharge. Thanks, airport lady!) plus a box full of all the other stuff I’m going to need which my mom is shipping to me- and that one must weigh like 70 pounds. So yeah, I’ve got some stuff to do, but feel free to email me with questions- kenyonj@erau.edu or post them on the discussion board http://messageboard.chatuniversity.com/erau_ug/default.asp

Later!

December 16, 2005

Hey readers! Well, this one I’m writing from home. It’s kind of nice to be back but it’s cold! There’s ice everywhere so I can’t go running outside and that kind of sucks. When I was in Florida, I forgot that cold weather has its effects. Like how you have to go slow on turns when there’s ice on the ground (one of my neighbors almost got their living room taken out this morning). So anyway, I’m mostly grounded to indoor activities at the moment.

I visited my high school today and yesterday. The seniors right now are my class, and it was a reality check seeing everyone from my class last year still being in high school, and realizing that just a couple months set us really far apart. High school and college are very different places in many ways, and it struck me how much I’ve matured since I was back there. Everyone was pretty happy to see me and I was happy to see them and it was fun telling everyone what I’ve been up to and seeing how the school had changed without me. I’m really glad that I took the step to go to college early because I’m completely satisfied with where I am right now. I like being mostly self-sufficient.

Anyway, now that I’m home, I’m basically just working out a lot to get ready for my next PFT, reading, watching movies, visiting friends and enjoying non-campus food. It’s also nice to sleep in when I feel like it. Well, I better be on my way, I have to enjoy this month home while it lasts! Keep the questions coming to kenyonj@erau.edu or on the discussion board http://messageboard.chatuniversity.com/erau_ug/default.asp
Later everyone!

December 9, 2005

Hey, readers! I apologize, I missed my deadline for my journal last week because I was busy at home and then I was on a plane at the time that I usually do this, so I’m sorry this is pretty late. Anyway, so much stuff has happened since my last entry, it’s hard to know where to start! But I’ll start with the base visit.

The base visit was awesome. That’s really the long and short of it. After a really long bus ride up to South Carolina, we finally got to our… hotel, I guess. It feels kind of wrong calling it that, but that’s basically what it was. We didn’t get much sleep the whole time. But we did soooo much, like meet a general, PT with some active-duty airmen, fly in a C-17 to Wright-Patterson to see the Air Force Museum in Dayton, OH, and tour a bunch of different parts of the bases.

Coming from Florida, the temperatures in SC and OH were BRUTAL. It was like 20 degrees, and every time the wind blew I thought my whole body would freeze on the spot. When we got back to Daytona, I really appreciated the warmth, humidity and lack of wind. If you plan on doing on doing ROTC in the future, I definitely recommend going on a base visit at least once because it gives you a good feel of what the active duty lifestyle is for officers, plus it’s a free vacation!

Then, I went home to WA. It was weird being home for the first time since I came to Riddle in so many ways, but it’s hard to explain all of them. The most obvious is that you just change so much when you go to college, it’s inevitable. It was an unsettling feeling when it finally hit me that I don’t live there anymore. So really, “home” isn’t really home anymore (at least for me) and my new family is everyone I know at Riddle. I missed everyone here so so so much. As soon as I landed in Seattle, all I could think of was how much I already missed everyone. It’s actually pretty amazing how closely you become bonded a lot of the people you get to know at school.

This was my last week of school, being in maintenance, but most people have their finals for the rest of this following week. On Monday instead of LLab, we had Pass-in-Review for ROTC, where we stood at attention for a long time and marched around the field in Service Dress (i.e. all fancy). That was the end of ROTC for the semester, which is somewhat of an accomplishment, just to have stuck with it and realize how much we’ve all learned from it since the beginning of the year.

As usual, finals week was the most stressful thing ever. It seemed like all the bad stuff that could possibly go wrong all went wrong leading up to finals. For a while, I actually thought I was going to fail electricity and it was really stressful trying to figure out whether or not I was going to drop it when half the class was on the verge of failing also. I decided to stick with it though, and I’m really glad about it because I managed to get an A on the final so I pulled through with a C. Normally, I probably wouldn’t be too pleased with that, but a C is way better than repeating a course.

So from this whole experience, I learned two important things: don’t give up, even when your goal seems unattainable (believe me, a week ago, getting an A on my electricity final would have seemed unattainable) and maybe more importantly, STUDYING DOES NOT MEAN YOU’RE STUPID. It’s taken a while for me to get that through my head, but I’m realizing it’s true. Even the kid that acts like he’s a natural at everything probably studies more than anyone else, in secret of course. Don’t feel stupid opening your books, whatever school you’re at.

Since I’m going home on the 10th and am going to be off for more than a month, I have to admit that I’m almost nervous about leaving for so long. I know I’m going to miss all my friends like crazy, considering a week away from everyone made me homesick for Riddle. On the other hand, I’m also going to try to get the most out of being home that I can, because it might be the longest I’ll be there anymore, because I’ve decided to stay at school for the summer and continue working on my A&P. And next Christmas break, I’m thinking I might want to go to Europe and work on my language skills instead of going home. I’ll have to work on the financial plan for that one a little bit, but judging from the past, it seems that I have my ways of getting things to work out. And who know’s what’ll happen after that?

If you are one of the 5 million people that has e-mailed me in the past few weeks and hasn’t heard back from me, I’m getting to you. I’ve just been inundated with e-mails but when I get home I will be on an e-mail answering rampage, so expect to hear back within the next few days. And for those of you who have questions you want answered… kenyonj@erau.edu.

Later!

November 17, 2005

Hey again, readers! I’ve gotta admit all I can think about right now is going home for Thanksgiving. I was originally going to be staying here until we got out for Christmas break, but now I get to leave as early as the 20th, so a week from today I’ll be back on the West Coast. Yay! Since I’m leaving early I’m going to be missing three days of school, which is kind of going to screw me over, but I’ll just have to study hard when I get back. One of those three days that I’m missing is going to be for the base visit, which I decided to do. I’ll update on that more after it actually happens, but that should be fun. I think that’ll probably be the most traveling I’ve ever done in one weekend: Daytona to Charleston/Shaw to Dayton, OH to Charleston/Shaw to Daytona, THEN to Orlando (and briefly Atlanta) then Seattle. So I’ll say I’m just pretty stoked in general. Sadly, I think I’m probably more excited about flying and transferringplanes and stuff in the airport than I am about actually being home. It’s going to be fun though, I’m excited to see some of my old friends and go to familiar places.

When I was getting ready to come here, I remember thinking it would be kind of a relief not having a lot of girls around because guys are generally a lot easier to get along with. Now, that I’m here though, there’s a lot of stuff that I really miss doing with girls, like getting pedicures and getting your hair done and all that. Guys suck at gossiping, too, sorry. NICE gossip, though 😉 Girls can be pretty mean to each other, so that makes it a little intimidating to try to strike up a friendship with a girl you’ve never seen before.

In other news, classes are about the same as usual. I’m not doin’ too great or anything, but I usually manage to pull everything up before the end of the semester. The weird thing is, this last week, I felt like I totally got electricity, and ended up doing pretty bad on that test. Then in my regs class (FAA regulations and all that good stuff) I hadn’t been paying any attention at all and had basically given up even passing that class ’cause I just thought there was absolutely no way I could flat out memorize everything right before class when I’d been basically sleeping with my eyes open throughout the period since we started that unit. Well by the grace of God, I didn’t do that bad at all. In fact, I did a lot better than some people who thought they knew everything way better than me. So I think I witnessed a miracle this week.

ROTC’s pretty great as usual. A lot of times I wish it was more intense, but whatever, I’m not complaining. Tomorrow morning all cadets, whether or not you’re usually morning or afternoon lead lab, have it at 5:30 AM. We’re supposedly doing some parade thing, but no one I’ve talked to really seems to get why, since only the crazy people will be up that early.

That’s all for now, email me if you have any questions (kenyonj@erau.edu) , and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Alright, peace out, guys!