About Adriana

Aerospace Engineering, Honors

**Minor:** Space Studies / Astronomy
**Career Goals:** To work for NASA or a private company as an engineer.
**Why I chose Embry-Riddle:** Small school allows me to form close bonds with people, the students and staff are exceptional, plus the reputation is unbeatable!

February 28, 2011

So here we are, almost halfway through the semester. We will all be headed home for summer break in less than two months, although many of us are going home for spring break (which is less than 20 days away!!)

It seems like so much has happened over the past two weeks. From our astronauts making Riddle history to parents visiting, I have had some of the best days since I’ve been here at Riddle.

Last weekend, the Women’s Center—yes, once again—sponsored a trip to the Kennedy Space Center. The FIRST Mentor program was lucky enough to go on a backstage tour of the facilities. Since the tour bus was filled with future engineers/potential NASA employees, our tour guide made sure we had the best trip possible. And what better way then being able to get an up-close view of Discovery on the launch pad one week before it made its final trip into space? That’s right; we got to see the space shuttle a measly one mile from where it stood! That’s about the equivalent of the length of our campus! The trip was bittersweet however—knowing this was the end of an era (not to sound cheesy or anything), but also seeing as the second launch pad was being torn down by two giant red cranes. It really made me wonder what’s next for us. Riddle is already focusing on sending a satellite into orbit…what’s next, a major in “astronaut training”? That would be amazing…

Because it was a beautiful long weekend, and the weather finally heated up to a very hot 85 degrees, our friends decided to have an outdoor BBQ. We have a few pits right by McKay (a freshman dorm/”Paradise Hotel”), so we just all got together and had a great time eating and playing volleyball. Much to my dislike, they decided to take an impromptu trip to the beach. At first, I didn’t want to go, considering I had a paper due on Wednesday, but they convinced me to go. Thank goodness my skin is dark, because almost everybody had bad sunburns!!

That Monday was homework day, which was mostly dedicated to studying for the two tests I had that week (tech report writing and computer-aided drafting). I must say I did fairly well on those, along with math and physics [from the week prior]. After Wednesday, for the first time in a very long time, I had absolutely nothing due. I didn’t even know what to do with myself, so I started researching for a potential project with a few friends. We are planning on designing an attraction to submit to Disney’s ImagiNATIONS competition, even though we can’t enter until our junior year.

Thursday was the next big day! Right after class, my roommate and I started getting ready to drive down to Titusville to watch Discovery launch from Cape Canaveral. Many, many people I know skipped their last classes to drive down (and many, many professors cancelled classes/office hours for it). I mean, come on, you must support the 1/3 of the crew from Riddle! Plus the flight director?? I think we win. Anywho, we made our way down at around 3 o’clock (which we aptly nicknamed the “Great Riddle Migration”), and decided a viewing site that would let us have a clear view while avoiding the huge crowds that gather at Space Park. We decided to drive down Kennedy Parkway, and got a pretty nice spot less than 10 miles away from the pad. Everybody held their breaths as NASA announced a computer problem in Houston. With only a 10-minute launch window, we couldn’t believe they couldn’t fix it in time. T-5 minutes and counting. 16:48. Countdown resumed. T-1 minute. Get your cameras ready! 10…9…8…7…Go for main engine start. It’s now or never…5…4…3…*puff of smoke seen at a distance*, 2…1…silence. A distant light shoots across the sky. A few minutes later, the boosters separate. A roaring is finally heard approaching. Everybody can finally breathe. Truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It is so sad that we will only see two more…

And just like that, this past weekend arrived. Embry-Riddle hosted its annual Parent Weekend, where parents (of course) and family members can come visit us and take part in activities hosted by the University. My parents couldn’t come, but Jim’s parents and brother did, and we had an amazing weekend together. The highlight of the weekend was probably Saturday night, when we went to Disney Quest, a five-story arcade in the heart of Downtown Disney. Jim’s brother, David, is a video game designer, so he had a blast going through all the interactive areas. After that, we had dinner at Bongo’s Cuban Café, and came home at around 1 in the morning.

Sunday was a very bittersweet day, as we said our goodbyes. On the bright side, I bought my ticket home for summer break for really cheap through American Airlines! It was almost half as much as it would have been flying out of Daytona….so I say when you’re looking to come here, fly into Orlando and rent a car (these can be so cheap sometimes!)

Well, I suppose that’s it for me! Nothing too interesting coming up in these next few weeks, although I’m really looking forward to tomorrow! Touch N Go is announcing the lineup for the Big Show in April. I have my bets on Reel Big Fish and Less than Jake…so we’ll see if I’m right! Tonight, the honors program center is hosting a speaker, Michael Foy, who will speak on “the search for absolute silence”…should be interesting, I suppose. Also remember to sign up for the sneak preview coming up in April!

February 13, 2011

February already? Hard to believe that in less than one month, I’ll be heading home for Spring Break! I know I know…why go home when you are in spring break central, right? To be honest, the beach is not exactly my favorite thing. Plus I love San Francisco! The first exams of the semester are coming up this week. Math, physics, and two papers due on Friday. Goodness…sometimes I wish I wasn’t in the honors program (for the essays). Turns out I also have to take Calculus 3 honors next semester too! I suppose it will all pay off in the end (hopefully).

Last weekend, a few friends and I went to the Angell and Phelps Chocolate Factory down the road, right by the beach. They have some of the best chocolate I’ve ever tasted! After Ghirardelli, of course. They offer free tours 6 days a week of their facilities. It was quite interesting, but the best part of it all was the free samples at the end. If any of you ever go there, try out the chocolate covered potato chips. Sounds disgusting, but it is just amazing! I promise. That same day, ERAU hosted a Leadership conference for its students. It was hosted in the Instructional Center (where our auditorium is), and was filled with many workshops designed to help students reach their leadership potential. I couldn’t go, but my friends who did said it was very worthwhile (minus having to wake up at 8 in the morning).

Sunday was just my homework day, as was the rest of the week. I finished all the activities on my drafting workbook, much to my surprise. I think I have found a new love for drafting. It’s so much fun! We also started on the program CATIA, which allows us to make 3D representations of objects/concepts. For our class, we have another textbook which contains a series of tutorials for the program. I wonder how long until I finish that…

Speaking of CATIA, I decided to purchase a student license of the program to avoid having to go to the computer labs late at night to do homework. Because the program only runs on PCs (I have a Mac), I had to buy a new laptop. Yesterday (Saturday), I went to Best Buy to pick it up. The place is right down the road on International Speedway Blvd, just a few miles down. Emphasis on the SPEEDWAY—Yesterday also marked day one of speed weeks, with the Budweiser Shootout at the Race Track. I can officially say Daytona has been invaded by NASCARNation! I have never seen so many people gather around that road since I’ve been here. There’s never any traffic and suddenly, BOOM ! It took me a good 20 minutes to get to Best Buy! Oh, and did I mention parking around the area was well over the $40 mark? Thank goodness the shops offer shopper passes (good for two hours)…because goodness that is too much! I can’t possibly imagine how crowded it will be for the Daytona 500…at least Campus Safety does a very good job at keeping danger at bay! Still, better be safe than sorry—so you won’t see me out and about at night-time. What was really surprising, however, is that you can’t hear these races from campus, like for the Rolex24, which kept me up all night. Let’s just hope this keeps up for the rest of the month…

Just one final outlook on what’s coming these next few weeks until I update you again: another trip courtesy of the Women’s Center (hint: Discovery), and parent weekend!

Until next time, Adri.

January 31, 2011

Hello all! It has been an insanely busy (but interesting nevertheless) few weeks! The life of an engineer is really getting to some people. It is not easy to make it through it. I’ve already lost on hours and days of sleep, but it will all be worth it (I hope). So much has happened over these last two weeks it’s unbelievable to think that it’s only been one month since I was home!

On Tuesday the 18th, the Student Activities organization held the Activities Fair. If you recall from last semester, we had a similar one to the one in September. My picture was once again featured in the Avion (the school’s newspaper) once again! I decided to try out a few new clubs, like the Catholic Student’s Association, while still maintaining membership in old ones like SWE. I felt a little sad that the Hispanic Student’s Association wasn’t present…or at least I didn’t find it. I went to talk to my advisor, Mr. Stickney, who is in charge of the club. He told me it was dying out because of lack of participation. I’ll try contacting the current president and see how that goes…Wish me luck!

That same weekend, the Indian Student’s Association held their annual kite-flying event/picnic. Because my roommate is part of the club, she invited me to tag along. I must admit I’m not a big fan of Indian food, but I made some great new friends while still bonding with old ones. It really put our aerodynamics lessons to work! I learned the hard way. After having punched a hole through my kite, I ended up attacking people with my new weapon—it kept spinning in circles out of control!!

This past Thursday (I believe…), we held our welcome back dinner for the FIRST mentor program (Female Initiative Reaching Success Together), hosted by the Women’s center. The program pairs up upperclassmen with freshman students. It’s especially great, since our mentors can advise us who not to take as a professor (but shh….nobody needs to know that). Cindy Oakley-Paulik, the director of the Diversity Center, filled us into this semester’s activities, which includes a trip to the Space Center for an up-close tour of the facilities! Oh, and did I mention that the person who attends the most events and has the highest GPA gets a $1,200 scholarship…?

The end of this last week was kind of bad, though…living in Daytona certainly has its downs during this time of year. Yes, yes, racing season is just rolling into town. The speedway hosted its first big event—the Rolex 24. For us students living on campus: a 24-hour, nonstop, LOUD race that will drive you crazy. For those racing fans: well you might just be in heaven. Although I didn’t go, I did hear a lot of good things from people who did. Racing fans, of course—so I attached a pictured of that for you to see.

However, things did end on a high note! Girl’s weekend on Sunday! My roommate, and 3 of my other friends (Sam, Mary and Jess) went shopping in Orlando. We even saw a Justin Bieber look-alike (we think), and got lost on the way to the mall because we were trying to follow him. A lot of silly fun, but it’s what we do best! It was a very nice change from the constant testosterone overdose we receive at Riddle…

Well, that about does it for me today! I’m off to do a million and one pages of drafting homework, math problems…and well you get the idea. Until next time! Watch Alex’s videos!

January 16, 2011

Hello, hello everyone! Hope you had amazing break and are ready to—for most of you—end your senior year. I’m assuming you heard of the snow storm that pounded on most of the East…well let’s just say it had a much larger impact for us Riddlers, so I suppose that’s where I should start. Most of the student body was scheduled to come back either Monday or Tuesday of this week. Needless to say, because of the storm, everyone ended up rescheduling their flights—or just coming in very late into the week! See, only two airlines fly into Daytona (U.S Airways and Delta), and these airplanes only fly into two places (Atlanta and Charlotte). Of course, they just happened to be right in the middle of one of the worst snowstorms ever! My roommate and I, for example, ended up having to fly into MCO (Orlando) after having been diverted countless times. I was one of the lucky few who actually got back to campus on time, however, after having to fly San Francisco-Philadelphia-Orlando! My room mate had to spend the night in Charlotte! It’s insanity at its worst, people. I believe some people are still stuck somewhere…

On the bright side, that news is the worst I can report about my break. Although I didn’t get to see my high school friends like most of the people here, I did get to relax (yes that’s a word us Engineers seldom use…but well deserved indeed!) I knocked down another Disney park off my list—Disneyland in southern California! After a 6-hour drive, I got to experience the original park for a good 2 days before having to head back home (boo!) It was great, to say the least. The holiday decorations were amazing. I’m really starting to consider an internship with them…thoughts? Only the ones in Asia to go!

Besides all that, not much happened. I finally got to see my new house! We bought it way back in June, but because it was still under construction, the construction company gave us the keys in September, when I was already here. My parents did a great job of decorating the whole house! I just wish I could say better about the gloomy/rainy/foggy/COLD weather I experienced in December. On the bright side, I did drive to San Francisco quite a lot! Met some family members there, too. Oh, and I found a new obsession—erasers from Chinatown!

Anywho, back to Riddle. Once all of my friends made it back, we made a few (a lot) of Walmart runs to buy food, since we had to throw it away at the end of last semester. Wednesday was our first day of classes. I’m really liking my new schedule! I don’t start classes until 10:30. For a night owl like me, it’s great. Gives me the whole morning to do homework…erm…I mean review for my tests…

I’m also very glad to only have 5 classes—tech report, which in all honesty I think it’s the class that is going to kill me, physics, math, honors, and a class on CATIA (a graphical communications program). I’m also starting to look into new clubs, or maybe even start one of my own! Disney runs a contest where students create/design a ride, restaurant, etc…The finalists are sent to Disney for 10 days, with a possibility of an internship at Walt Disney Imagineering. It’s called ImagiNations (http://disney.go.com/disneycareers/imaginations/). We’ll see where this takes me.

The very last thing I must mention is my fellow blogger/friend’s new video series, where he will be answering your questions on youtube. Look out for that on his blog! You can also always ask me specific questions too, especially all you females out there! Contact me on my e-mail (adrianaosegueda@hotmail.com or Osegueda@my.erau.edu) or facebook, where you will find all my vacation pictures (facebook.com/itsadri). Look forward to hearing from all of you as you reach the end of your high school years and start deciding on colleges! Best of luck.

December 12, 2010

It’s over! I have officially survived my first semester in college. Overall not so bad. I must warn you this week’s blog won’t be too long, since not much has happened besides studying for finals…

I wish I could say these past two weeks have been amazing. I wish I could say I’m loving this freezing cold weather. Coming from a tropical climate doesn’t make things too easy. And they said Florida was supposed to be warm…Tonight’s low: 29 degrees. Monday night—25. The only thing that is missing is some snow!

I am grateful that I only have three finals, however. Some people have five! I already survived my EGR-115 test. It went great, I suppose. 91% for a few hours’ work isn’t too shabby. Next up: MA-241 and PS-150 (that’s Calc I and physics I for all of you out there). I can’t say I’m ready for physics, though. There is just something about kinematics and I that just doesn’t work together. Manageable, but annoying.

The highlight of my week, though, was going to Downtown Disney (yes, yet again…have I mentioned my love for it? Well…you will hear a lot about Disney). It was such a great way to relax before hell week. Dinner at Paradiso 37. Yummy Salvadoran food with Ghirardelli ice cream after. SO good! Makes me so excited to go back to San Francisco and visit Ghirardelli Square again!

And I bought a Mickey snuggie for myself. I must say that is pretty neat stuff (at least for me).

So that’s it for me! I better get to packing up my things to go home! Well, and study too…Happy holidays to everyone out there, and hope you get your applications to Riddle in soon, future Eagles! Good luck to those of you graduating this December, and for those that will make it by May—same for you (you’re almost there!).

November 28, 2010

Food, food galore! These past few weeks have been filled with stress and work, but as always, lots of fun. This time: Disney, a glider, and, of course, a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with my family.The highlight of these past few weeks has been a trip to Disney, organized by the First Generation program. Although I myself am not, anyone is allowed to attend the meetings and trips. However, anyone who is a first generation student competes for scholarships (and come on, who doesn’t want money for college!). For $25 each, my roommate, my boyfriend and I went to the most amazing place in the world.

If you didn’t know from my earlier entries, I am the biggest Disney fanatic out there. Seriously, I know anything and everything there is to know about the parks (just ask my friends!). Of course, I was more than thrilled to go when I found out about it. Can you believe I hadn’t been there for 2 years? That’s a new record for me for sure.

Anyhow, we left at around 8 in the morning to go. I couldn’t sleep the night before! We spent our entire day in the park. I was the tour guide for my group of friends, of course. The beautiful holiday decorations Disney is known for were up around the place. The park was fairly empty because of the season, which meant smaller waiting times. Although we had to leave early (6 pm!), Jim and I still managed to buy ourselves some Mickey ears from the hat shop down Main Street. My collection is now up to about 10…

Speaking of numbers, almost half of my classes are now over! We ended our EGR-101 class (introduction to engineering) with a glider project. This has to be by far one of the easiest things we’ve had to do in this class! Over 100 pages worth of technical reports and one balsa wood glider later, I am kind of glad this was over….This week was Thanksgiving. Not only did I have the thrill of having found out that my first class is now at 10:30—which means I get to sleep in–,but I also got to spend most of the week down in Miami. Because I live so far away, I couldn’t fly home. A friend of mine lives down there, so she was kind enough to give me a ride back to my old home.

I stayed over at my great aunt Ceres’s and spent a night with my high school friends. Speaking of, I finally got my IB diploma!!! IB is an international association that allows students to receive an international diploma on top of their regular high school diploma. After having worked 2 years for it, I am so glad it is now in my hand.

When visiting high school, I also got to see some of my old teachers. Needless to say I had to speak to the class, and, well, let’s just say the girls were happy with the “Riddle Ratio”. Kudos to all you “Reefers” reading this!

What is the best part about this holiday? Why, the food, of course! My Cuban side was overjoyed when my family prepared some delicacies traditional to the island. Pan con lechon, natilla, churrasco….all really bad things for your health, but oh so good at the same time! We had American classics as well, of course, like turkey, mashed potatoes, etc…All with a Latino kick.Needless to say, next few weeks will be crazy! Computing final project due on Wednesday, finals in 2 weeks…but on the bright side, I’ll be home in 2 and a half weeks!! Wish me luck!

November 14, 2010

T-minus one month and counting until the end of the semester. This means December 14th marks the end of examinations (at least for me), and I get to go home. This last month is one of the busiest so far. Studying for finals, a project for computing, a glider to build—and all while maintaining a life outside of the classroom! Time passes so quickly and yet so slow at times. It seems like just yesterday that we held open house for the prospective freshmen (Look out for one in the spring, too!), and just last week that I took my first college exams!

I have accomplished a lot these past few weeks. I got to register early for spring semester classes thanks to the Honors Program—even before seniors! The reality that I’m not in high school anymore is really kicking in (I know, it took me a while…). I see kids out and about in Daytona Beach and think to myself: “Wow, I’m probably a lot older than these kids!” What really brought me back to reality was the fact that I got an almost unexpected visit from my Dad last weekend. The fact that I hadn’t seen him in well over 2 months made me very emotional. I was lucky to have him here for the weekend!

On Saturday of last week (the 6th), my father, my best friends and I went to Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral. It was truly an adventure getting there…we got lost at least twice. I must admit it was mostly my fault, but that’s beside the point…

See, the space shuttle Discovery, on its STS-133 mission, was supposed to launch the 1st. Every day, I would check to see on the status, since it kept getting delayed due to either weather or problems with the fuel tanks. Riddle was a madhouse waiting for news from NASA. Two of our graduates (that’s a whole third of the crew) are going on that flight. Teachers were even willing to cancel classes so that we would be able to appreciate one of the last flights of the Space Shuttle. We at Riddle take our aviation seriously—that includes space travel, too! Sadly enough, (though at the same time gladly, for safety concerns) the launch date was pushed back until the end of the month.

When we went to the Space Center on Saturday, we were able to see Discovery still at the launch pad while touring the facilities. It was a great sight, even though we were so far away…

This week, the Women’s Center decided to take us engineering girls on a little trip to a place we like to call Islands of Adventure. We were taken on a behind-the-scenes tour of the park, where we got to see some pretty neat stuff. For example, did you know that the Adventures of Spiderman cars cost $2 million each? They are a real engineering marvel with two on-board computers, both completely autonomous.

Homecoming was also last week, and, although I missed the big events, it was a lot of fun. We had country singer Josh Thompson, comedian Stephen Lynch, and a big tailgate party that weekend. Touch-N-Go Productions does an amazing job of entertaining the students. There is always something to do around campus.

Remember that EGR-101 project I mentioned last time? I’m so glad it’s finished. 60 pages of designs and explanations. I can now brag about how the team designed a rocket at only 18! We’re now moving on to gliders. The objective: design and build a working glider plane out of balsa wood using different equations. It should be a lot of fun, especially since we don’t have to write a technical report for it!

Well, I must get back to studying (a math test and MATLAB test next week…fun fun!). Please, please contact me if you have any questions. I was in your place last year, I know they’re out there!

October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween everyone! We are now just over the halfway mark. October is [almost] now long-gone, and November is just creeping up on us. Schoolwork has been ramped up, and professors are giving tests like there’s no tomorrow. Despite all the madness (not to mention the long days of studying), I have still managed to make time for fun! Last weekend was fall break. It was a bittersweet time, considering half the population on campus went home. Since I live so far away, it was impossible for my to fly across the country and back in the span of a few days. A couple of my closest friends, among them my roommate and Jim, stayed behind. Because nothing was going on around campus, we all decided to spend the weekend in Orlando.

On Thursday night, some of McKay’s RAs planned a trip for residents to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios in Orlando. A favorite among teens and young adults, HHN hosts a plethora of haunting creepy thrills, with scare zones scattered throughout the park, and, of course, haunted houses. The RAs drove us to Orlando on the university’s housing shuttles at around 6 pm. I have to be honest. I am what you would call a wimp when it comes to scary things. Especially mummies. I hate mummies. A lot. It’s probably one of the few things that really creep me out. My great friends, seeing as how much they love me, decided to go on the Revenge of the Mummy ride a few times. As a method of redemption, though, Jim and I went to see the Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure show, which was a hilarious spoof of 2010’s pop culture icons and mishaps.

The next day, bright and early in the morning (much to my dislike, since we did not get back from HHN until 3 in the morning), my friends and I drove back to Orlando to spend a few days in the parks. Friday was dedicated to Islands of Adventure. Although I have an annual pass, I had never been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Trust me, it is as amazing as the media makes it sound. In fact, it was so realistic that it was almost scary!! Even the waiting line is great. I’m not big Harry Potter fan (my roommate is, though), but I was truly awestruck by the work that was put into designing the ride. The butter beer was great, too!

Saturday, we went to Universal Studios. Throughout the day, we went on as many rides as we could, along with a very interesting magic show! In the afternoon, we decided to go to Disaster!, a ride/show in which the audience is “cast” to be extras in a film director’s newest disaster movie, aptly called “Mutha Nature”. At the beginning of the show, the assistant casts some audience members to play some important roles. I was picked to be in the cast, and, although I didn’t know what I was supposed to do, I agreed, along with my friend Mary, who was cast as “an evil oil executive”. Turns out, I had to scream my lungs out while drowning in a tub full of balls….

That night, we all decided to go to Downtown Disney. Now, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I am a huge Disney freak. I have probably been to the parks over 50 times (and I am not kidding). We perused the stores all night, and I, being the nerd that I am, went around looking for Hidden Mickeys. These are Mickey Mouse figures that the Imagineers (the ones responsible for designing the rides, stores, and attractions at the Resorts) hide throughout Walt Disney World. We stopped by the T-Rex restaurant, much like the Rainforest Café but with dinosaurs. I had been there before, but my roommate stopped dead in her tracks when she saw the place. We couldn’t eat there, however, since it was way too packed. Therefore, we decided on Bongo’s, a Cuban restaurant. I miss my Cuban food from Miami…I was a very happy camper when we decided on eating there!!

As the weekend came to an end, the reality of going back to class hit me. This week, I had a Physics exam, a computing test, and a while launch system project to finish. Not to mention a 6-page essay due. It all went well, nonetheless. Friday night, Touch N Go productions, which are the ones in charge of organizing the entertainment around campus, hosted Rocktober. Riddle hosted 3 rock bands from Orlando, who each played 45-minute sets. Bharvi, Jim and I were lucky enough to help set up and work security. Really a very fun experience!!

Speaking of, this week also marked a milestone for me. I finally got to fly!! Well, I didn’t pilot the plane, but I went on an observer flight. It surprises me I have been at this school so long without going up in the air!!

As always, feel free to contact me! I love talking to future eagles. Facebook is probably the best way to get a hold of me, but e-mail works as well.

October 17, 2010

Time really does fly by at Riddle (insert cheesy laugh here). Within the past two weeks, the school has given the students an amazing weekend and a speaker with a very famous historical background—but I’ll get into that a little later.

Our team for EGR-101 (that’s the introduction to engineering class) finished the satellite project. With a humorous introduction, we presented our projects to our teacher, Ms. Davids, who was very impressed with our creativity. When we received our grades, she surprised us…with another assignment. Next up: designing a launch system to send our satellite into orbit. Thank goodness this is only an introductory class! We don’t have to do our design too detailed. All the calculations are really what would give Aerospace Engineering its nickname!

Round two of examinations are also coming up. Last week, my math exam was taken care of (106% woohoo!). The week after next is physics…not my forte if you ask me. My teacher is hilarious, though, so the class is fairly entertaining.

Speaking of fun times, Biketoberfest is here! Bikers everywhere! Campus security does a very good job of taking care of the students, however. Student Village (which is where I live) is on lockdown, and you need your Eagle Card (student ID) to access the building. I honestly thought it would be a lot crazier than it is. Most of the people coming to visit town this weekend are not the druggies or alcoholics you would imagine. The only horrible and annoying thing, though, is the noise of the bikes at 7 in the morning on a Saturday and the exponentially growing traffic. They’re all gone tomorrow…what a relief!

Last week also marked the first of our Honors Program distinguished speakers series. We had the honors of hosting Dr. Arun Gandhi, grandson of the famed Mohandas Gandhi, who led an anti-violence movement for the independence of India from England early in the century. The lecture was titled “Lessons from Grandfather”. Dr. Ghandi told stories of how his grandfather disciplined him in the ways of non-violence. All of us honors kids also got the chance to have a one-on-one Q&A session with him. The auditorium was packed at night, so we were very lucky to ask our questions in a more private manner!

Now for the highlight of the week: Wings and Waves Air Show! Sponsored mainly by Embry-Riddle (of course), Daytona was graced by the acrobatics of many famous pilots and airplanes. We had everything—from Vipers to F-22 fighter pilots and the Geico Skytypers to 62-year-old air acrobatics guru Julie Clark!Adriana This was truly a weekend when campus was completely empty. Everyone made their way to the beaches for 2 days, from 11 am to 3 in the afternoon, just to show viewers how great the school is. Come on, we may not have a football team, but what other college can say they had an air show?!

Sadly, I was not there for the entire show. My friends and I made our way to the beaches early in the morning. By noontime, the Florida heat was pouncing on us, and one of our friends had an incident (drink lots of water!!). She is fine now, but it was a very scary situation. However, at one o’clock, once we had that situation settled, my friend Jim and I drove to SheltAir (where the air show pilots had their planes). My father had contacted Julie Clark a week earlier and arranged for us to meet up with her.

As we made our way to the hangar, we were greeted by a 5’3 Julie, who was all smiles throughout the day. She showed us around to see the other planes, and we even got to see her airplane in detail! Her T-34 Mentor is indeed a very beautiful airplane. She bought it in the 1970s for only $18,000! Today, Chevron Global Aviation sponsors her, and so her aircraft is painted in blue and silver, while keeping a very a-la-Air Force One style that was original in her design. Her engine is even gold-plated! At the end of the day, we even got to meet the Geico Skytypers. They were a very curious set of individuals, but very kind to us as well. From a distance, we appreciated the Heritage Flight leave Daytona Airport at the end of the day. Next week, we have Fall Break! It’s nice to be free from class for a weekend. Since home is so far away, a couple of friends and I are planning on going to Orlando for a few days—but that is a story to be told next time!

October 3, 2010

A month has gone by already? It’s so unbelievable to think that just over 40 days ago, I was back home in California. I loved my life back home, don’t get me wrong, but it feels like this is where I belong. Last blog, I just introduced myself, so let me say a little about what’s been going on since I got here.

AdrianaMove-in day was August 25th. Knowing how hectic things can be during this time, settling in was relatively a breeze! Anywho—I live in Adams Hall, 5th floor (i.e the penthouse). Honors program got me here. See, if you apply early enough (by the beginning of the Spring), you might get an invitation from Dr. Kain, the honors program coordinator, asking you to apply for the honors program. Not everyone gets it, but if you have enough AP/IB credits and a good SAT score, all you have to do is send in an essay and your resume, and hope for the best! For those of you who think that it’s more work (and therefore a waste of time), don’t fret!! Actually, we get many credits waived just for taking honors courses. For example, since I already had most of my general education credits out of the way from high school courses, the honors seminar replaced my Speech credit! Such a great feeling, especially since I’m not a very good public speaker. Did I mention the material perks too? Well, this year we all got free iPads. We thought it was a joke, too, until we opened our gift bags at the Honors Banquet the eve of move-in day. We also get priority registration for next semester, which is a great perk, considering freshmen are usually the last to pick.

Next big event was Orientation week. It was definitely a lot more pumped up than I would have thought. The highlight of the week was the O-team, who is in charge of easing us through all the activities and to-dos of the week. Saturday morning, I was sitting quietly in my room when I hear a mob of screaming maniacs coming down the hall. I open the door slowly to see who is outside, and a hand reaches in and drags me outside. We are paraded down to the elevators where packs of people are stuffed inside, and the O-team starts screaming ‘O, O, O, O’, which is their motto. Although I was a tad taken back at first, they took us to the ‘Food Dude’, who is a former “The Next Food Network Star” contestant, who taught us how to stay healthy while in college. Trust me it is a lot better than it sounds. We also had a quite humorous skit by our RAs (Residence Advisors) about safety, then a nice re-make of Deal or No Deal—aptly named Beat the Banker for copyright purposes. When it came time to say goodbye to my parents, I was glad I had a few friends with me.

The second week of school, the University Diversity Office set up a scavenger hunt for women only, where we had to run around the school for a good hour looking for clues. It was so tiring, but I got to meet my mentors. The program is called FIRST (Female Initiatives: Reaching Success Together), where Freshman girls in Engineering, Space Physics and Engineering Physics are set up with older girls, who will act as their mentors throughout the year.

AdrianaSpeaking of clubs, the Student Activities office organized an Activities Fair on Legacy Walk (between the school buildings), which showcased all of the possible ways to get involved around campus. As I walked down the path, I couldn’t believe how many things to do there are! I found clubs anywhere from Airsoft to several different cultural groups, to a club for gamers to even a Civil Air Patrol! I guess it does make up for our lack of a football team…. Come on, how many schools can say they have their own air acrobatics team?? Or a skydiving club?? Like many would say around here, ‘Only at Riddle’.

I joined a few clubs (a few too many some would say). Right now, I’m sticking with only a few: Touch N Go Productions (they’re amazing. They are in charge of organizing all the activities. Check them out @touch-n-go.org), the women’s Baja team (which is the only all-women’s mini-Baja team in the world!), and, of course, the FIRST program.

Two weeks ago, when I wrote my first journal, was my birthday. I was feeling very down, since I wouldn’t get to spend my 18th birthday with my family. However, at exactly midnight, my roommate Bharvi and the rest of my good friends threw me a surprise birthday party in my room. I can honestly say that I’ve never been more grateful to someone before. Later that day, we went to my friend’s grandmother’s vacation home, where they baked me a cake and had a Pixar movie night just for me (I absolutely love anything Disney and Pixar). A great tip, which came up on the Facebook c/o 2015 page, was to meet people before you get to college. Embry-Riddle has two open houses in October and April. This is a fantastic way to meet up with the people who will potentially be your best friends in college.

AdrianaWhen it comes to the academics, college is much simpler than I would have thought. Most teachers make us have a schedule to manage our time and so far, it’s worked like a charm. I got through 3 tests for far, and right now, my team and I are working on a satellite for EGR-101 (which is an introduction to engineering). What amazes me the most is that at this school is that most teachers use airplanes or rockets when explaining concepts. In physics, for example, half of our problems deal with an alien and a rocket ship. Again, only at Riddle.

Before closing for now, I would like to send out sincere congratulations to the Navy Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) freshmen on their graduation this week. They are now midshipmen, and a step closer to becoming officers! They work very hard (Physical training 5 days/week, 10 hours tutoring mandatory/week) and deserve our thank you for serving our country.

I’m all done for this week! Remember you can always e-mail/contact me on facebook if you have any questions.