Mack

About Mack

Senior

Aerospace Studies

Minor: Air Traffic Control, Business Administration, International Relations
Activities: Intramural Sports, Task Force One, Student Journal Writer, Delta Upsilon, European Aviation Appreciation, Study Abroad
Career Goals: To work as an air traffic controller or manager at a large airport.
Why I chose Embry-Riddle: To achieve my lifelong dream of working in the aviation industry.

February 22

Hello everyone! I hope February finds you all well. Although I must say this all the time, my semester has been getting busier and busier. About two weeks ago, I was presented an opportunity to become a founding father for Delta Upsilon at Embry-Riddle. Delta Upsilon (DU) seemed to match my values and priorities, and I had to take advantage of this unique experience. The last two weeks have been packed with DU information sessions, recruitment events, and even a retreat. I have already made many new friends and learned a lot about what it means to be DU. This week, a slew of activities are planned, including the official colonization ceremony. I am excited to be a founding member of something I know will be great at ERAU.

Last weekend I had to make a trip back to Missouri. Although I had much to do back home, I did get to have some fun. I got to see my high school friends and also had some quality family time. Another thing I did was join in the excitement of Missouri Tiger basketball. All Mizzou fans are excited beyond belief (including me), as the team has broke into the top ten in the nation!!! Unfortunately, the one thing I didn’t have in Missouri was my luggage. Somehow, Southwest Airlines found a way to lose my luggage on a direct flight. Conveniently (sarcasm), it arrived one hour before I had to go back to the airport to fly to Florida. It was very annoying, but luckily I was able to make do with what I had left at my house. When I first decided on ERAU I was worried about the distance and not being able to go home often. I have quickly learned this is not the case, and I got to have a productive and fun trip.

Task Force One has been discussing and planning many things in our meetings. On Tuesday, we voted on an incentive activity as a reward for our hard work throughout the academic year. We have decided to go to a Japanese Steakhouse, followed by bowling, which I am really looking forward to. Also we have registered for the Relay for Life in late March. These activities will be here before I know it.

My classes are still going well. This afternoon I met with my company in BA201, and we went around town to interview people about our fictional product. We got some pretty funny footage, and had a lot of fun together. I think we will have a great presentation at the end of the semester, and I know I will have a lot of fun working with my group members in the coming days. In PS142 and WX201, I have more tests this week, which I am going to study hard for. And in COM221, I have begun researching for my big project, and I have already learned so much. Thanks for reading my journal, and please let me know if you have any questions!

Until Next Time,
Mack

February 8

January is over, even though it feels like it just began. My first round of midterms is about over, as I have already taken big tests the past week in PS142, MA112, and WX201. I have gotten the scores back for two of the three, and I am pleased with the outcome. This week I will be continuing the round of tests as I take my first BA201 exam. I also received my semester-long assignment in COM221 last week: a 15-20 page research paper. Luckily, we have a group of 4 people who work together to complete the assignment, so I will not be doing it alone. I am still enjoying my classes and professors this semester, which is a good sign.

Last weekend was the Task Force One Super Bowl party in the Student Center. We teamed up with ERRSA to offer free food and drinks for anyone on campus, and Touch-N-Go provided their projector to view the game on the big screen. The event turned out to be extremely successful. We went through 40 pizzas in less than 20 minutes and had to order 38 more which arrived at halftime. The food was good, the crowd was large, and the game was very exciting. Although the Cardinals lost, I still had a lot of fun with my fellow TFO-ers at this event.

Last time I wrote, I spoke about the process in which I was partaking to earn a seat on the Student Representative Board. After making the final three I was invited to go to an SRB meeting and give a short bio on myself. Unfortunately, I did not do my best in the final stage, and I was not surprised to learn I did not get the open spot on the board. Although I was disappointed, I felt it was an honor to make it that far, and I learned quite a bit from the experience. The girl who received the position was very deserving of the award, and I support their decision in choosing the other candidate. With that said, I will still be involved with SGA and will hopefully get the position in the future.

On Saturday I drove a friend to the Orlando Airport, and since I was already there, I made a day out of it. Two friends and I hung around the airport, and got a few good pictures of the traffic coming in and out of MCO. After we left the airport, we headed to the Cheesecake Factory (my favorite restaurant) where we had an amazing lunch. The Mall at Millennia was our last stop before we headed back to Daytona. It was a great to spend a day away from campus and out of Daytona, and Orlando is the perfect place to do it.

These next few weeks will be quite hectic, but I am looking forward to having a lot of fun. The crowds are starting to pick up as we are only one week away from the Daytona 500. Also, I have expressed some interest in the new fraternity being brought to ERAU (Delta Upsilon), and I am excited to take the next step towards learning more about the organization and being involved with Greek Life. Among all of this craziness, I will also be taking a few days to fly back to Missouri, as I have a few duties at home. Remember if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Thanks for reading.

Until Next Time,
Mack

January 26

I hope everyone is surviving the long winter months. Around Daytona, it has, unfortunately, been very cold. Last week we had lows in the twenties and highs in the fifties (even one day in the forties!!!). Some of the citrus farmers are very concerned about their crops around this area as the overnight lows dipped well below freezing. Although the past two weeks were very chilly, the weather made a turn for the better yesterday and today, and it looks as though we will be in the seventies and eighties this week. As I am sure you know by now, the warm weather if more to my liking.

With the better weather came more opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. My friends and I made it to the beach to play at our favorite volleyball court again. Every time I go I can’t help but take a ton of pictures, as it is the most beautiful location to play one of my favorite sports. I have also found time to play a lot of tennis recently. Between the warmer weather and the Australian Open on television, I have found myself in the tennis mood. Along with volleyball and tennis, my friends and I also found time to go bowling. We took the drive to Ormond Beach, and had a night of fun. Not only did we enjoy the atmosphere, but I set a personal best score of 174!

Throughout the past two weeks I have been applying for a vacancy on the Student Representative Board of the SGA. I turned in my application and received a call informing me I had earned an interview. Although it was only the first step, I was very excited about earning a chance to promote myself for the position. Yesterday, I completed the interview and felt very positive. Sure enough, last night I got a phone call saying I was one of three finalists. The next step comes Tuesday, when I plead my case to the current SRB and they will decide who to pick. I would really love to get the position, but if it doesn’t pan out, I am honored to make it this far.

I am still feeling very positive about all of my courses. We have taken two quizzes in PS142, and I did well on both of them. The quizzes are not extremely difficult, but do require somewhat of a knowledge of the chapter and discussions. Between my PS142 and WX201 courses, I get to hear both sides of the environmental crisis argument. Professor Eicher (WX201) is very much a doomsayer while Professor Cabiac (PS142) is very much a doom slayer. It is very intriguing to hear the facts on both sides of an issue, and I know their information will not only further my knowledge but increase my awareness on the issue (or non-issue) of global warming.

To end my journal for the week, I wanted to remember to share my first experience at the Daytona Speedway. This Saturday-Sunday was the Rolex 24-hour race here in Daytona Beach. It was so fun to see the die-hard race fans with their amazing traveling RV set-ups. Not only were there bon-fires and flat screen TVs outside the RV’s, but even couches on the roofs. Aside from the crazy (and sometimes quite intoxicated) fans, the race was exciting, and Riddle students got a special price of $15. I included a few pictures, but my pictures can’t even begin to tell the whole story. Please enjoy the pictures and have a great end to the month of January. PLEASE send me an email ( meansm@erau.edu ) or even shoot me a message on facebook. I would love to hear from you and answer any questions. Thanks for reading!

Until Next Time,
Mack

January 11

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a good holiday season. Mine was particularly busy, but I had a lot of fun. Right when I got back to Missouri, my friend and I decided to go to a St. Louis Blues versus Calgary hockey game. Although my beloved Blues lost, there was a lot of fighting and the two teams combined to score 9 goals. This excitement and intensity made the experience a lot of fun. A few days later I was lucky enough to also go to a Mizzou Tigers basketball game. Throughout the rest of my days in Missouri I was working, hanging out with friends, or spending time in St. Louis or Kansas City.

The day after Christmas, my mom and I went to see family near New Orleans, Louisiana. After a few days on the bayou, we went to their beach house in Pensacola. It was nice seeing my family and friends, and I never stop appreciating the nice weather in the South. Shortly after New Years, I found myself back in the Saint Louis airport on my flight back to Orlando. It all happened so fast and I had a lot of fun, but it’s good to be back.

The first three days of classes went very well. I think I am going to enjoy my professors and the material this semester. The only change to the schedule I had previously posted was a professor switch in Meteorology 201. I learned the first day of class that Barry was assigned to other duties and my new professor is Eicher. Here are some of my first impressions of my courses:

BA201- Hinebaugh is always energetic and a lot of fun. She has funny class rules, including singing “I’m a Little Teapot” if you are more than 5 minutes late. On Friday we were assigned to our companies (groups) and I am overall pleased with the members of the group.

PS142- I didn’t know what to expect from this class but so far it has been quite entertaining. Cabiac is loud and obnoxious, which makes the 8:15 course much more enjoyable. Although most people are taking Physics, I think I made the right choice by following more of my interests by taking Environmental Science.

I already had a lot to do this first weekend back. I took part in Volleyball during the dorm Olympics. My team lost in the first round but it was very close. I also got to attend another ERAU hockey game and basketball game. The hockey team BEAT the Florida Gators 6-5!!! It was an awesome game. I also made it out to the beach and swam in the chilly Atlantic. I have a few reading assignments to do to finish my weekend, but that is the extent of my homework. Thanks for reading, and let me know if I can help you with anything.

Until Next Time,
Mack

December 14, 2008

Holy Cow! The semester is already over. It seems like I just arrived on campus, yet I have already earned 26 credits. My involvement on campus, my new friends, and my interesting courses have helped make these four months the best of my life. When I decided on Embry-Riddle at the end of last year, I was very concerned about the distance from home. However, since I arrived in August, the thought has hardly crossed my mind. I am always busy, but I have truly enjoyed every minute.

On Tuesday, December 2, I was invited to the incentive dinner for Touch-N-Go Productions. Because I gave substantial time to the organization over the semester, I got to eat dinner at P.F. Chang’s in Orlando. I had never been to a P.F. Chang’s, and they didn’t let me down. I got to eat Kung Pao chicken, Buddha’s feast, and a small cheesecake desert. It all tasted SO great, and it was nice eat somewhere other than campus. Best of all, TNG covered the tab! I finished taking my finals Wednesday morning, and I am pleased with my results. I spent a lot of time studying, and it paid off. In SS120 I did so well I became the first student in three or four years to get a perfect score on an American History exam! A 100% was a great way to end the semester in my favorite class. If anyone has the chance, enroll in Dr. Dorn’s courses. I would almost guarantee you would enjoy any class he is in charge of. His exciting and amusing style of teaching has allowed me to view history in a whole new (and more exciting) way.

The weather the last few days in Daytona was just amazing. The day I left, it was in the mid-eighties and sunny. One day I got to go down to the beach and spend some time relaxing. Being from the Midwest, I can’t get over how beautiful the weather can be in December. When it’s that nice I walk out the door and can’t help but smile. The great weather definitely symbolized the end of a great semester. I just hope when I come back in January it will be just as nice, so it can thaw me out from the cold winter back home!

I am flying back to Missouri for the next three and a half weeks, and I will be working and hanging out with old friends and family. It is nice to catch up with people back home, and I am also excited about earning some extra cash. Between Christmas and New Years, I will be going down to New Orleans to spend time with my family there. I know in January I will be ready to return to my new life at ERAU in Daytona Beach!

If you have any questions or want to learn more about classes, people, or life at Riddle, feel free to shoot me an e-mail. Thanks for reading and have a great Holiday! Until Next Time, Mack

November 16, 2008

Hello everyone! I hope November is treating everyone well. November has been fun around ERAU. Last weekend was homecoming on campus, and there was so much going on. On Friday Touch-N-Go held the tailgate party before the basketball game. Luke Bryan held a concert right on our parking lot and food from Bubba Gump’s and WingZone was served. After the tailgate, we went inside and watched our Eagles beat up on the opponent. Saturday, we had a comedy show on campus featuring Greg Giraldo. It was tons of fun and I laughed A LOT. Also that weekend, I attended the parade and the air show put on by the Student Activities office on campus. By the end of the weekend I was worn out, and I thoroughly enjoyed the extra day off on Tuesday (Veterans Days)! Earlier this week Wood Hall had some fire alarm issues. The alarms and sprinkler systems went off on the fifth floor and water went everywhere. About 8 hours later, the same thing happened on the third floor, and water came creeping into my room on the second floor. Currently my carpet is still damp and my room smells a bit moldy, but maintenance is promising to fix all the problems. Although this incident was difficult to deal with, we all were laughing and got a break from our homework and studying. No one on my floor lost anything to the water, so we could all relax and try to embrace the situation. Let’s just hope it doesn’t happen again…

I got to go to Titusville this weekend and experience a space shuttle launch first-hand. I have always wanted to do this, and I had a good time. It only took about an hour to get there, and the weather was perfect for the launch. We found a place on one of the causeways where we had a great view of the launch pad. At exactly 7:55, the shuttle took off and lit up the whole town. I was so relieved to see everything go off without a problem. I got to shoot a video of the launch, and I took a few pictures. None of them turned out perfect, but I’ll try to get the video posted for you. The whole experience was unique and I think everyone should experience this at least once in their lifetime. My friends and I went to the beach yesterday and got to play volleyball on my favorite court. We enjoyed what may be our last day on the beach for a while, as it is only supposed to be in the sixties this week. I know that may not sound bad to some Northerners, but that’s rough for us. As usual when we were playing volleyball, we found some other Riddle kids and they joined our game. There are so many people to meet and I have found some really good friends here. It is so much fun to be able to hang out with a group of friends who come from all walks of life. My close friends are from Georgia, Wisconsin, Iowa, Germany, New Jersey, New York, and everywhere in between. That is one great thing about ERAU: you meet people from everywhere. Having such a variety of friends has opened my mind and I enjoy being around all of them. These next two weeks are going to be a blast for me. I get to go back to MISSOURI thanksgiving week!!! I never thought I would be so excited to say that. It is funny how you react when you move away from home. I really miss my friends and my mom’s cooking, but I may very well miss my dog the most and I can’t wait to cuddle with my 150 lb Bloodhound again! I am going to be so cold, but I am sure I will enjoy my 5 days back home. When I return to campus, I have 4 days of class and then finals. This semester is almost over and it seems like it just began. Wow! I hope everyone has a GREAT Thanksgiving! I know I will!

Until Next Time,
Mack

November 2nd, 2008

It is already November. That is unbelievable. Classes have been very demanding recently, as projects, homework, and tests are piling up. Last week I took a test over Microsoft Excel in IT109 and a test over the Depression (1929)-Martin Luther King (1960’s) in SS120. I studied hard and pulled an A on BOTH tests. I was very excited that my hard work paid off, and these scores will certainly help my overall grades! However, those small victories are short-lived as I have 2 major papers and 2 major tests this coming week. I am studying and writing my butt off, but hopefully I will be able to get it all done and do well.

Along with this work load, I have another major event this week: Homecoming. Touch N Go (TNG) is sponsoring many events, including a movie, concert, and comedy show. We have already started preparing for these events and this week will be crazy as we finish our set-up. Task Force One (TFO) is also doing a lot of work for homecoming. We are taking part in the Air Jam contest, sidewalk art contest, and the homecoming parade. I am going to be so busy this week, but I am thrilled for the opportunity to take part in all of the excitement.

On Sunday, October 26, I was lucky enough to attend the NAS Jacksonville Air Show. The event and parking were free, and the displays were amazing. I got to see the Blue Angels for the first time, and they lived up to every expectation! Some of their maneuvers are simply jaw-dropping. There were also many other military planes, along with a bunch of aerobatic planes and pilots. They even did an air combat simulation with explosions and all! Because I love commercial aviation, I really liked some of the static displays on hand, including a Craig Air BE1900 and a FedEx Boeing 727. It was in the seventies and sunny, with hardly any wind: the most beautiful day anyone could ask for. It is so nice being close to Jacksonville, Orlando, and the Space Center, because there is ALWAYS something going on, and Riddle students can enjoy the best of each city.

Recently I have shown my school spirit at many Riddle sporting events. The club hockey team has played home games against FAU and Georgia Tech that I have attended. These games are one of the greatest things to do on the weekend, and hundreds of students go to each one. The crowd is obnoxious, and some of our chants are hilarious! I truly believe the other team must get annoyed, because our fans are ridiculous (which makes it a lot of fun). Yesterday I also went to a Volleyball and Soccer game on campus. Both teams played against SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) and won. The volleyball game went to the 5th set and ERAU won by 2 points. It was intense!

I hope everyone had a great Halloween, and I look forward to these next few weeks. If there are any questions you have or if there is something else you need, let me know. I will be happy to talk to prospective students, and I would like to help in any way I can. My e-mail is meansm@erau.edu and I check it daily. Have a great one!

Until Next Time,
Mack

October 5, 2008

It is already October. I am amazed at how fast this semester is flying by (no pun intended). Classes continue to progress, and it is sometimes hard to keep up. However, I have done enough studying and I haven’t missed a single class, so I am pleased with my grades. One of my classes continues to give me more troubles than the others, but I am working very hard to fix the problem.

Task Force One is really kicking into high gear. In our last two meetings we have discussed all sorts of things. One thing we are preparing for is homecoming, where we will be competing against other clubs in chalk-art and float building contests. Each club on campus has chosen a board game (the theme of this fall’s homecoming) and has to use that theme for their creations. Also, we have proposed t-shirt designs and discussed our first campus and community service activities.

My mother and sister came to visit this past weekend from Missouri. They visited campus and my dorm room and met a few of my new friends. Although I am not homesick, it was very nice to see some familiar faces again. We had a lot of fun, and they enjoyed their tour I gave them of Daytona Beach. Also, I finally had someone to cheer with me for the Mizzou Tigers football game!

My intramural volleyball team has played two games so far this fall. Although we have lost both games, one of them was very close. We continue to improve, and one of these weeks I am hoping for a victory. Intramural sports are a great way to get involved and have fun. I have met a lot of people by playing volleyball, and it is great to be active during the week. It is amusing to watch some of the volleyball matches because there are teams with differing amounts of skill. Some teams have obviously played competitively, while others are pretty much terrible. However, everyone has a good time.

I thought I would give another update on our toilet situation. After writing my last journal, the toilet proceeded to break down the next day. After A LOT of laughs, we sent in our maintenance request and the toilet was fixed the next day. Two days later, and the toilet goes out of service AGAIN. At this point we know the maintenance workers and they know exactly what has happened when they see our room number. Once again it was promptly fixed the next morning. Since then, our toilet has been running for almost 10 days! How great! The positives of this situation: we know exactly how to fill out a maintenance request and we are in close contact with our Resident Assistant.

Although I didn’t mention it, my friends and I went spotting in Orlando a few weeks ago and I thought I would include a few pictures for the airplane lovers (like myself) to enjoy. The weather is still great in Daytona and I am still very happy at Embry-Riddle. Let me know if there are any questions I can answer.

Until next time,
Mack

September 22, 2008

Things are really starting to pick up around here! It seems like I have no spare time. It’s funny how involved you can become so quickly. I am a member of Task Force One (TFO), and this week we elected our new officers. TFO is a group of first year students who work with Student Government to help get the younger voices on campus heard. We also plan social events and do group community service projects. I have a lot of confidence in the new officers, and I am excited to begin planning some of these activities.

My roommate is a member of the Embry-Riddle club Rugby team, and today a group of us went to see one of the games. I don’t know much about rugby, but it is a lot of fun to watch. The girls played first against South Florida and then the guys played Florida State. Although both teams lost, they played really hard and it was VERY intense. My roommate hit an FSU player so hard his left contact fell out! I now understand why my roommate comes back from the matches so sore!!!

Classes have become a lot more demanding recently. The work load is becoming larger and larger, and I have begun taking some pretty important exams. I had a large exam in HU140 this week, and I have exams scheduled in the next few days in SS120, IT109, and MA111. It is very difficult to study for the first test in each class, because each professor has their own format. With all this required studying, time management is becoming crucial, and I am starting to appreciate the weekends a lot more!

Throughout this first month, I have certainly found many pros and cons about campus. The thing I love about Riddle is how relaxed it is. Although we do a lot of work, it is still a great place to chill and hang with friends. Whether you’re reading by the pool, joining a random volleyball game, or hanging out in one of the student lounges, it is always nice to kick back for a few minutes and take a break. The main annoyance I have found thus far is just a personal issue. The toilet in our room has broken down three times in two weeks and has left myself and my suite mates without bathroom facilities for more than 90 hours. However as I always say, there are two ways to look at every situation, and the broken toilet has brought many laughs and a lot of priceless memories. (And our next door neighbors have been very gracious about allowing us to use their facilities!!)

I hope in these next days I do well on my exams and allow myself ample time to study. I am optimistic that our toilet is fixed for good (although I am not convinced) and this week goes by with few distractions.

Until next time,
Mack

September 8, 2008

Wow! What a transition this has been! I never thought college would become part of my life so soon. It seems like just yesterday I was walking the halls of my small Missouri high school as a new freshman. And now I am a college student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. It seems so unreal, but I am very excited about my new life.

Living in the dorms on campus is a lot of fun. I am in Wood Hall (the BEST freshman dorm) in the Student Village, and there is always something happening. I have kept myself busy with the Comedy Show (hilarious), a Task Force One Meeting, the Orientation Luau, a few tennis matches, and a countless number of sand volleyball showdowns. When I can’t be found on campus, I am usually down at the beach. I use every minute of every day.

When I am not busy socializing and playing games, I am in class or doing homework. This semester I am in Principles of Aeronautical Science (AS120), College Math for Aviation I (MA111), American History (SS120), Intro Computers & Apps (IT109), Western Humanities I: Antiquities –Middle Ages (HU140), and College Success (UNIV101). I am in a wide variety of classes, but I am generally enjoying the class work. Let me tell you about a few in detail.

AS120- This class is a general class for students not majoring in AS. I have only been in this class for 4 days, but I have already learned so much. We’ve talked about the history of aviation, the Daytona Beach Airport, parts of the airplane, and different types of aircraft and licenses. This is very interesting to me, and I have never had the opportunity to enroll in a class like this. The class work and my Professor’s deep love for aviation make this one of my favorite classes.

SS120- I never knew American History could be so interesting. My Professor gives such great lectures; I find it almost hard to take notes. The way he presents history is almost like an action movie: full of suspense, twist and turns, and hair-raising scenes. Who knew the Pullman Strike could be so fun? Attending the class is always an adventure, but I am very nervous about the first test. We have already learned SO much.

I look forward to continuing my classes and meeting new people. I am sure these next four years will be the best of my life, and I am excited to share my story. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask (meansm@erau.edu). I would love to hear from prospective students, and I am willing to answer ANY questions you need answered.

Until next time,
Mack