About Melanie


Aerospace Studies

**Age:** 18
**Hometown:** Military Brat - currently NJ
**Favorite Movies:** Office Space, Dogma, Boondock Saints
**Favorite Band:** Yellowcard - anything punk or emo
**Career Goal:** To fly in the Air Force - and to be President.

April 25, 2005

Hola, hope all finds you well. I got into some trouble with housing and campus safety this week and one of my best friends got kicked out of school, so I am most definitely anticipating the end of this semester. Most of this semester ran pretty smoothly, so I’m afraid I’m making up for lost time now, but as long as I can make it through to the end, I should be set.

I’m pleasantly surprised to find that many of my classes are ending early. All of the content has been covered prior to the last week of classes (and we get Friday off!), so many of my finals are this week as opposed to during “finals week” next week. I’ve also decided that 9:15 classes and 3:30 classes are equally bad. Same goes for anything before or after these time blocks..either I can’t wake up or I can’t sit still. Hopefully I’ll take advantage of this finding and plan my classes better in the future. You’ll figure out what works and doesn’t work for you pretty early on.

Daytona Beach has been crazy lately. Between speed week, bike week, perpetual spring break, cheerleading competitions, and BCR, this semester has been a giant tourist attraction. It can get pretty annoying when it takes 4x as long to drive anywhere, roads are conveniently blocked off, and waiting in line at your favorite ice cream store takes an hour. The beaches have been pretty packed, but we’ve all figured out less-traveled roads to get there in hopes of keeping our sanity.

I was talking with a friend today, it’s just really weird to sit back and think about how this year is really over. It still feels sort of unnatural to say that I’m a college student, and here I am 1/4 of the way finished. “College”, for me, has always involved living in Wood Hall, and that’s going to change soon. I won’t be able to run next door or upstairs to visit my friends at 2 in the morning, in fact, a few of them won’t be here at all :-(. I’m pretty settled into my routine now, and it’s going to be uprooted very shortly. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited for summer and taking it easy..but I’m having a good time here. It doesn’t help that everyone is going home for the summer and “home” is NJ, but my parents moved down here, so I’m stuck. I’m definitely heading up to visit my friends and catch some shows though. I’m going to see Finch in the city in May and check out Skate and Surf Fest and Warped Tour in Jersey. There’s a definite shortage of shows in FL and it’s killing me. Bowling for Soup did come to campus on Sat night (with MC Lars, Riddlin Kids, and American Hi-Fi)..was a really good time. It’s been months since I’ve crowd surfed, and it reminded me of old times. 🙂

Take care of yourselves, keep pushing through those awful last few weeks of the school year, and I’ll let you know how finals go. As always, any ?’s: pugh754@erau.edu


April 14, 2005

Hey guys, looks like it’s time for another one of these biweekly installments. I just realized that we only have two left, which means school is almost out for the year. It’s hard to believe…at times, the year has gone really slow, but it’s weird to think that I’ll be liberated in a few weeks with a year of college under my belt. I’m also looking forward to the extra month of summer vacation that comes along with not being in high school anymore.

The workload this last couple of weeks hasn’t been incredibly taxing, which has been helpful because it was an incredibly rough week otherwise. It’s really tempting to take off for the beach instead of going to class in this weather, but I’ve done pretty well thus far. I ended up dropping math..I didn’t want to risk failing because any failed class while on AFROTC scholarship results in a conditional..and 3 conditionals gets one disenrolled from the program entirely. I think I’m going to end up auditing the class because I’ll have to take it next semester anyhow, but it frees up my M/W/F schedule and allows me plenty of free time/nap time.

I just found out that my dad, who teaches AFJROTC over at DeLand HS is going to let people from S.O. come over and run their last PT session of the semester. As of now, their PT program is run on more or less of a voluntary basis, so we want to head over there and give them a bit of a wakeup call before they head off for summer, so if you go to DeLand HS…head’s up! 🙂

All of my classes are going fairly well..I lucked out this semester with my lack of papers to write, but I’m sure I’ll pay for it a few semesters down the line. I really enjoy PSY 220 (take Bradshaw), and I’m actually learning a lot in my NROTC class.. and for the record, because I keep getting asked, I have no intention of switching. I thought that I’d dive right into the ATC program with the first course, but it’s mostly history for now, so I guess I’ll have to wait until next fall to get to the fun stuff.

I’ve also realized that I’ve got some really good friends here lately. I guess it takes tough times to bring out the best in everyone, but I hadn’t realized how close I’ve gotten to some of the people here in knowing them a relatively short amount of time. S.O. is like a family to me, as well as some incredible people I’ve met along the way. My best friend Katie from home also came to visit me this week which definitely put me in a much better mood. It was nice to introduce her to the people she’s heard so much about and have her experience my life at Riddle. It was also a well deserved break from monotony on both ends, and ended up keeping me sane when I ended up needing it most..thanks Kate!

Keep the questions coming, I know you incoming freshmen are getting anxious; you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.. Keep up the hard work and finish strong, don’t let senioritis get the best of you.


March 31, 2005

Hey all. Let me apologize in advance for being a little out of it..while spring break was amazing, it was definitely very draining. I think I need another spring break just to recover from this one, but Riddle isn’t very sympathetic to such things. I drove up to Jersey again with some friends and this trip was much more eventful than Thanksgiving or Christmas. We had a lot of fun, but we were always on the go so there was no time to kick back and take a breather. I did enjoy getting to experience some ‘real’ weather, eating a cheese steak, and heading back up to NYC again. All in all, very fun. Except for the drive home. To make a long story short, a drive that should have taken us about 14-16 hrs (which is quite long enough to begin with), took 26 hrs. We left at 7 pm and got in at 9 pm, just in time for me to drive to Orlando and back to pick up a friend at the airport. Anticlimactic endings suck. And here I am..running on empty.

I’m not very excited for classes to pick up again, but we only have a month left in the semester, which is a beautiful thing to think about. I got lucky in that I had absolutely no homework over break, but I’m paying for it now with a test nearly every day this week. I also still have a lot of catch up work to do in statistics, which is no fun at all. I just received a tentative schedule for my Summer B study abroad in London/Paris, so I’m getting excited about the trip. There are so many field trips that we spend very few days in actual class, but we often have class for 9 hours a day and we have a 20 page paper due at the end, so that accounts for all the fun we’ll be having on the other days.

I don’t think I ever mentioned it, but my old roomie transfered out last January and I got a new one a month or so ago. Her name is Libby and we get along pretty well, but neither of us are every really in the room. I always feel bad though because I have to wake up early for ROTC and such and usually end up making noise, so my advice is: if you’re in ROTC, room with another ROTC kid..and if not, avoid it at all costs.

Not much news, as I haven’t actually been on campus, but feel free to ask any questions or say hi!


March 17, 2005

Hey guys- I can count the days left until spring break on one hand, and that excites me to no end. It looks like I’m headed back to Jersey, once again. My best friend Katie and I are going to hang out a bit and hopefully get up to NYC for a few days since our trip didn’t work out over Christmas break. We hoped to go to California over break, but we procrastinated too much and we’ll just go over summer. I’ve been a little stressed lately and I’m in need of a few days off. I was sick all last week with the flu. I didn’t even get out of bed for a few days, so I get to play catch-up this week in all my classes which isn’t fun when I’m still feeling a bit under the weather. I’m not all that thrilled that my parents decided to move so close, but it was nice when my mom drove out here to bring me soup and medicine…

ROTC has been a little hectic lately. We had another beach run last Friday. They’re a little early but a nice change of pace to regular PT. Usually, SO goes into the water afterwards for some static PT, but I think we’re going to wait until the second one. That works for me because the water was freezing and I was sick anyway. Monday’s LLAB was what we call “big week”. It happens every year before spring break..all the sophomores find out who is going to field training and all the juniors find out who gets pilot/nav/abm slots. Congrats to all those who got good news! Freshmen were supposed ot find out about PDTs, which are various summer programs that we can get selected for. I applied for a couple different options and my class ranking is pretty good, so I’m hoping that works out. The catch is, that we don’t get to pick when or where we go..and if we get selected, we have to attend. I got in to the summer abroad program for summer B in London/Paris, so I’m hoping I find out about PDTs soon and hoping it doesn’t conflict with Europe. I also passed my PFT this morning and improved upon all my scores, which means I get to activate my scholarship in the fall 🙂 I was a little worried about it.. I passed last fall, but they changed the tests and it screwed me up a bit, but all is good now.

As for Special Operations, we have once again earned the right to be called “team”, and we went through a lot to get there so it feels pretty good to have it back. If there’s any kind of miracle to be had, I’ll make staff next semester and won’t ever have to do this again, but I’ve got to get my act together and work harder if I want to have any sort of chance at that.

If you’re coming here in the fall [or summer], get on the discussion boards and meet some people before you get here. I felt a lot better coming here when I was able to put names and faces to “all the new people I’m going to meet”. You’ll also find out that everyone is in the same position as you and eager/anxious all at the same time.

Lunch time. Take it easy.


March 3, 2005

Hey guys! Thanks for all of the responses I’ve been getting; it’s nice to know someone actually reads these things 🙂 Keep the questions coming! Classes have been calming down again. I made it through the big test week, but I’m sure another one is just around the corner. Only 2 months of school left though…and a few weeks until spring break, so I think I’ll manage. This semester, I didn’t take any writing intensive courses so, while I have had plenty of homework, the lack of papers to write has been awesome.

I officially survived my first speed week. True to legend, it was impossible to go anywhere in Daytona for about 5 days. Some of the roads were converted into 1 way roads during certain hours, so even in trying to get away from the speedway, I couldn’t get to the beach. I worked parking on Saturday with S.O., just camped out on campus and waved cars in the right direction. This proved to be a much better option than working the actual races. For the 500 on Sunday, I worked with S.O. again, but this time at the track, handing papers out at the gate for Crown Royal. Being from the North and keeping a running count of mullets, drunks, bad pickup lines, and individuals of questionable gender made the time pass a little more easily. It was definitely an experience.

The deadline for housing contracts has come and gone and I got my apartment! It’ll be weird to not be able to run upstairs to visit friends, and while finding a parking spot in the AM is not on my list of favorite things to do, it should be worth it.

I applied to be an orientation team leader,which ended up not working out (maybe next year?), but the interview process was pretty intense. Each applicant had to run a mock orientation group with current team leaders acting as new students. We had to come up with ice breakers, take questions, and maintain some sense of control. It was a lot of fun but they gave me a hard time and came up with some pretty oddball questions. It’s a tough job, so all of you who will be attending orientation next fall, be nice to your orientation team leaders!

There has been a bit more to do lately to break up the monotony of sitting at a desk on campus. I went to Disney World last weekend with a couple of friends and had a good time. The park hopper pass (gives you access to all of the parks) is only $60 for FL residents, Riddle students included. It’s worth it if you go for the whole day. The weather (until a couple of days ago) has also been pretty nice so my friend John and I can get back into our routine of going to the beach, which I’d have to say is my favorite part about Daytona.

Duty calls. Enjoy your day. Melanie

February 17, 2005

Hey guys! It’s been a rough week, so you may not get a novel out of me today. Lots of tests, midterms are even fast approaching (WTF?! we just started) and I’ve been overbooking myself a lot lately between volunteering commitments, family and friends, rotc, clubs, etc. I don’t recommend it. I’m not doing as well as I would like in PSY 220 (intro to psych). I genuinely enjoy the class and the professor, but it’s not as easy as it seems. Still doing pretty decently though. I got an 82 on my first ATC test and scored well over the class average on the first Seapower (NROTC) test…not bad for the only Air Force cadet in the Navy class. So, it isn’t all bad news.

Housing contracts are coming around again, and due on 2/25, so everyone is in a frenzy to choose roomies, room sizes, find apartments, etc. More stress. I think I’ve decided on a nearby apartment with some friends from school.. A bunch of my friends live in the complex, so it should be a good time. I look forward to being off-campus and having my own room, but I’ll miss the convenience.

I’ve also realized lately that my circle of friends has changed a lot since last semester. No real fallouts or fights or anything..just conflicting schedules, meeting new people, and changing interests. There’s always that initial group you cling to when you get to orientation..your roommate, people from your hall… Eventually you meet people on other floors, in your classes/teams/clubs. I guess I got lucky on both ends, I’ve got some awesome friends now, but the group I hung out with last fall definitely eased the transition, and we do still talk. I just got to thinking about it the other day and found it sort of odd how things worked out..

Spec. Ops is now in full swing. I got the spade again because I won Cadet of the Month in AFROTC. (: Team took a trip to Patrick AFB to get uniforms for the newbies. Flashbacks of last semester with my priors helping me out; it feels good to be in that kind of position and take on some responsibility and leadership. At the same time, though, it’s a little daunting to now be the people to look up to, that should always have the right answers and lead the team in the right direction. I screwed up that aspect pretty badly lately, and realized just how much that group of people means to me. (So if you’re reading, I’m sorry) We got off to a pretty good start as a team and I’m confidant we’ll get right back on track, so I hope to see some of you incoming freshman coming out next semester. It’s most definitely worth everything you put into it (and get out of it).

Later guys- pt, work, and meteorology test tomorrow.

February 3, 2005

Hope you all are all doing well. Seems like January has flown by, granted we were only in school for half of it. Classes are getting harder and the weather has been cold, but we just have to make it through the spring break..and I think we’ve got another 3 day weekend coming up in February, wooh! I don’t think we’ll be lucky enough to get another hurricane break this semester.

I had a bit of fun over Christmas break…went to visit my friends in Jersey and then took a cruise to the Bahamas with my friend Katie. I had an awesome time but my debit card isn’t very pleased with me. So it seems I’ll be stuck with school food for awhile. ): I’m glad to be back though..I’m settling into a routine again, which always helps. Some people decided to transfer this semester. I knew the drop-out/transfer rate was part of the whole college scene, but I didn’t really have any major problems first semester so it’s a little baffling. Guess it’s all subjective..

I had Special Ops tryouts again Jan 30th. You have to try out every semester to be on team and be on for at least 2 semesters before you can apply to be on staff. Going from 8:45 AM to 5:30 PM covered in water, sand, and mud definitely motivated me to try and step it up a notch this semester so I can make staff and never have to go through it again. ‘Twas definitely an experience though.. I thought the watered-down tryouts last semester were hard but this time around, tryouts kicked my ass! Definitely the most physically demanding thing I have ever done in my life. I woke up the next day all bruised, scraped, and unable to move, so I just laid in bed for half the day. The only things I could reach without having to get up or roll over were my cell phone and my water bottle so I just made phone calls all day and whined a bit. And this is what ROTC kids call fun…?! Hrmm.. But it’s so worth it.

I started work again..taking on a few more hours this semester (still in the Career Services office). I fixed my Tues/Thurs schedule so that my first class isn’t until 2:15. This works nicely, because I can roll out of bed late, go to work at 11…and take it easy before heading off to class in the afternoon. I guess it’s a personal preference but using trial and error, I’ve found that anything before 10:30 and anything after 3:30 just doesn’t work well for me. Lucky for me I’ve got a 9:15-10:15 and a 3:30-4:30 on M/W/F and I go til 5 on Tues/Thurs. Freshmen register last so hopefully I’ll get some of my first choices next semester. I’m also hoping to do summer abroad for the 2nd half of the summer in Paris/London. If that works out, I’ll get 6 credits for the price of 3..not to mention knocking out some Physical Science credits and getting to travel Europe. If all goes well, I’ll have 48 credits when I start my sophomore year (between classes, AP credits, and study abroad). Then I’ll be able to take a light schedule next spring when I’m going through field training prep (FTP) for AFROTC.

Later guys..any questions, you know the drill. Melanie

January 20, 2005

Hope everyone had a nice break and all that fun stuff…I’m sorry it’s been so long, but now it seems it’s time to get back to business. I’m taking a pretty light schedule this semester with plenty of nap breaks, so it shouldn’t be too bad at all. I’ve got 16 credits, which is more than last semester, but I think I’m taking ‘Intro to’ everything..and I’m thinking of taking a Navy ROTC course to mix things up a little. We’ve only had a few days of classes back, but I’m already much more impressed with this round of professors than the last. Ratemyprofessors.com is your friend.

ROTC started up again on day 1..I have a really cool flight commander and a bunch of good people so should be a good semester in that regard, too. We had our first PT session back from break on Friday, and I worked out quite a bit over break, but it was a wakeup call nonetheless. Since S.O. hasn’t started for the spring yet, I’ve been hitting the gym at least a couple of times a week. It’s really been helping out, so I think I’m going to have to keep that in the routine.

I found out my last final is going to be May 4, 2005, so with spring break in there somewhere in the middle, hopefully it’ll come soon enough. Getting through all the distractions is going to be interesting though.. races, bike week, and perpetual spring break here in Daytona.

I decided not to go for a fall 05 RA spot.. the candidate meetings are going to be on Wednesdays which conflict with S.O., so there goes that. Maybe later? But I’m seriously considering moving off campus next fall anyhow. Hoping to get a house or an apartment with a few friends from school. The dorms have been fun and good for the transition and such, but they’re getting a bit old. Too many rules… But I will miss the convenience factor.

I know acceptance letters are going out now so if you got in, congrats and I’ll see you next fall, if I don’t party myself stupid between now and then. (:

December 9, 2004

Thanksgiving break is over :-(…but Christmas break is almost here. I drove back to Jersey with some of my friends from here (Thanks, Joe!) and it was a very long trip. What should have taken about 14 hours ended up taking about 20 after traffic and stops. We drove all through the night and I ended up only sleeping for about two hours– we were supposed to take turns keeping the driver awake but everyone else passed out a few hours into it. So that was interesting… It was the first time I’d been back since school started and it was really good to see my friends. I was kinda worried that everything would change and it would be a little awkward but that wasn’t the case. Hopefully, I’ll get to spend a little time there over break.. Senses Fail and my Chemical Romance both have shows..

Finals start next week. The work load hasn’t really lightened and I’ve been running on empty and no sleep for a week or so. My UNIV101 class ended and I just gave my last speech in COM219 so that’s been winding down, but my other classes are definitely making up for it. Going straight through from 6:30 AM to 4:30 PM on M/W/F has been killing me but at least on Tues/Thurs I get to sleep in a little bit and take it easy. I partied especially hard this weekend for the new S.O. commander’s 21st birthday, and I’ve been sick, so the past few days have been a little rough, and now we have PIR and finals review. We don’t have PT this week though, so that makes it a bit better.

We have our last practice of the semester for Special Ops on Weds. Sounds like it’s going to be a fun one. Then we have a couple of colorguards and camp-out left. It kinda sucks though, because we have to start all over again next semester, which looks like it’ll be a lot harder. Two semesters on team though and we’re eligible for staff, so we’re half-way through. We did color-guard on ice last weekend at the hockey game. It was interesting to say the least, but it went pretty well all things considered.

The guys in my hall woke me up in the middle of the night right before break after they broke the sprinkler system in the hallway, which ended up making a huge mess and flooding all the rooms in the area, so I wouldn’t recommend testing out the validity of your RA’s warnings about it next year. I’m going through the process to try to become an RA for next year, so if all goes well, maybe some of you will get lucky enough to be one of my residents.

It’s time now for me to go find a 30 min block in which to take a nap today between ROTC, class, and ROTC..and then some more ROTC.

November 11, 2004

This has been a fast couple of weeks…hectic to say the least! The work load has been piling up and it seems like I can never take just a few minutes to relax. After my last entry, I had Cord Night for S.O. It was one crazy night, can’t say much about it, but you should check it out for yourself. It was probably the toughest thing I’ve ever been through but it was well worth it, and the end result made up for the rest. But I did eventually earn my white shoulder cord (and later the privilege to wear it..don’t get me started…), and it definitely gives me a sense of feeling and looking Sierra Hotel ( ask a ROTC kid)! We had a couple of parades and presented the colors at the homecoming game, with many more to do coming up, including Colin Powell possibly…huzzah!

My President Won..My President Won…just had to throw that in here somewhere.

I had my second speech in COM219 today…which was, hopefully, better than the last. Cross your fingers for me. I think I have about 3,521,635 papers due this week, so I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving. All Freshmen have to take a College Success class their first semester, which is nice because it lightens the load and ends a few weeks early…so when I come back from Thanksgiving, I’ll only have one class Tues/Thurs. I’m thinking of going home to NJ..I haven’t been back yet and I really miss it. I want to take a road trip with my friends from here, but when I get there, it looks like a lot of my friends won’t be home so I haven’t decided yet.

I spent the weekend of Halloween volunteering for the Bush campaign. I got paid to walk around and hand out Republican voter guides, so that was pretty cool. I ended up getting roped into volunteering outside the polls on 11/2, but at least I finished out my ROTC volunteer hours. I also worked the Career Expo and the new student Open House this week. Then we had homecoming and a 3-day weekend with an awesome comedy show by some of the Whose Line is it Anyway? guys. A lot of alumni and parents showed up, along with a big group of prospective students, so it was kinda odd to have all these extra people around while everyone here was trying to get their party on. I hope they didn’t get the wrong impression.. I had a lot of fun Thursday and Friday night, but then I ended up falling off a roof, so I took it easy Saturday night. As you can see, Riddle has been a pretty busy little slice of Florida.

The weather is getting a bit cooler, which means it’s almost time for spring registration, and I’ll actually get to start on my ATM minor. I hope to start flying soon, but I haven’t found the time..so maybe over Christmas?

My friend Aztrand down the hall reads this, and he brought me some macaroni and cheese, so he is currently my hero, and I’d like to tell him hello.