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.

October 28, 2004

Hola! I hope all of you are doing well…and at least getting started on your ERAU applications (if that applies to you). Today (10/24) is my birthday…woot!…which means only 2 more years to go 😉 Things around ERAU have been pretty busy lately, and I’m proud to say we’ve been hurricane free for about a month now. Homecoming weekend is coming up November 5-7, there will be a lot of airplane static displays and all that fun stuff, so if anyone is looking at making a campus visit, now’s a good time + the weather is cooling down a bit and is perfect. Look for me in the color-guard. Hooah Special Operations!

This week is Biketoberfest…it’s impossible to get around Daytona. My friends and I left the dorms yesterday around 1:30 in a futile attempt to go to the beach. It took over an hour to make what should have been a 10 minute drive down International Speedway, then we drove around trying to find a parking spot that wasn’t filled with bikes, rather unsuccessfully. We gave up around 4 and made our way through the traffic again. Maybe next weekend. Seeing all of these bikes makes me want to get one of my own..better start saving now if I want to get one before Bike Week.

There is certainly always something to do around here. Ocean Deck is my current favorite. I’m not really a fan of clubbing all that much, so Ocean Deck is a nice relaxed atmosphere right on the beach with lots of live music. We went to Pleasure Island (part of Downtown Disney in Orlando), which was fun, but half the clubs are limited to over 21.

Classes are good. Remembering to go/waking up on time is another story, but I’m doing pretty well. I had my first speech in COM219, and I was completely unprepared for it. I walked in late because Lead Lab ran late..and walked in just as the person before me was finishing up. Not fun. But mid-terms are over (they were easy, no worries), so everything is a lot more relaxed now, and I really feel like I’m getting to know my professors. Same goes for my advisor, we’ve met quite a few times and she’s awesome. **Ask for Mary Theokas** I’m trying to work in a semester of study abroad, while still keeping my ROTC scholarship and she’s been very helpful in finding the right people for me to talk to and get this thing done. Working in Career Services is also proving to be pretty helpful. I’ve gotten to know all the program managers, so when it comes time for my Senior Co-op/internship, I think I’ll be pretty set! The people here are absolutely amazing. I was really hesitant about coming here. I had planned to attend The George Washington University in DC and changed my mind…the decision became even harder when my best friend decided on UMD, and I didn’t want to give that up, but I have met some awesome people down here. We’re all in the same boat and I consider myself lucky to call them my friends. It’s a little awkward at first, but living with these people 24/7 certainly helps break through those barriers..

Special Operations is still intense. I think I talked my neighbor into trying out in the spring. We divided up into rifle team and colorguard.. and I’m part of the latter so between homecoming and Veteran’s Day coming up… we should be pretty busy. I definitely feel like I’m improving on the team, and it has made me so much more prepared for everyday ROTC in terms of uniform wear, core knowledge, drill, and confidence. We did a Group Leadership Project (GLP) the other night. It was so much fun..we had to get from 1 point in the woods..pick up a package…and drop it off at another point…without getting captured by the ‘enemy’. It was all about escape and evasion so we had to memorize the code of conduct for POW’s. I was the last to get caught and put up a pretty good fight, but if you want to know what really goes on, you’ll just have to come out for the team at some point.

President Bush came to town last weekend. I got to go through the College Republicans and hear him speak, which was awesome. We’re going next weekend to rally support throughout Volusia County. Those of you that are old enough to vote, you know what you need to do..

As always, melcg2004 on AIM, pugh754@erau.edu, Have a lovely day.

October 14, 2004

Hello again. Things seem to be settling down from all of this hurricane business. I’m kinda sick of them, so hopefully Daytona has met the quota for the next four years.

The activities fair was a couple weeks ago, definitely check it out when you come here. All of the organizations have been getting in full swing. I joined the Special Operations drill team, which has turned out to be pretty challenging. Three nights a week of some hard-core physical training is tough, but we also get to spin rifles and drill. The guys on the team and staff are fun though, so it should be a good time. AFROTC has been time consuming, to say the least. It’s a good program, and I’m enjoying it, but it should definitely be worth more than one credit. I also signed up to be one of the drum majors for the cadet band. The cadet in charge is starting it from scratch and not getting much support, so if you’re in DB and AFROTC next fall, I better see you with your instrument in tow.

After all the interruptions, classes are just now getting into quizzes and presentations and such. There’s a definite switch from high school..there is a lot of reading to be done outside of class, and you’re responsible for knowing it whether it’s covered by your professor or not. All my teachers seem to be pretty laid-back though, and I haven’t had to do any intense writing or anything as of yet.

Going to the beach at night is a new favorite past time for the people on my floor. We usually just check out Ocean Walk or the pier but it’s nice to just walk along the water. Makes for a cheap date too! 🙂 We also checked out the clubs on Seabreeze. Razzles was pretty lame, Fuel gets good reviews, and the guys are big fans of Molly Brown’s. It’s always fun when you run into nameless professors downtown at 2:00 in the morning, who are partying just as hard (or harder) as you. I’m having a lot more fun than I was at the time of my last post…I’ve made some really good friends and there is always something fun going on, especially at 3 AM when I have PT for ROTC at 6:30…

I got a job on campus, and I definitely recommend it. Very simple stuff, a convenient location, and a relaxed atmosphere make it worthwhile. I work in career services, but I wouldn’t really call it work. If you like the movie Office Space, you can definitely handle an on-campus job.

You know where to find me. Later on.

September 30, 2004

Hey guys! My name is Melanie Pugh, and I’m a military brat that moved to DB from NJ. I’m a freshman majoring in Aerospace Studies and I’m on scholarship so I’m doing the whole Air Force ROTC thing. My brother attended Embry-Riddle and recently graduated and was commissioned into the Air Force. Let’s see… I want a pilot slot in ROTC [like everyone else], and if that doesn’t work out I hope to get OSI or JAG. I figure I’ll do that for awhile, find some political gig after that, and be President in 2036. I’m seeing Ann Coulter tomorrow, so maybe she can get a head start on helping me out with my campaign…

Coming to Daytona from NJ was a big transition for me. I’ve visited my brother here several times, which prompted me to choose Embry-Riddle, but it didn’t quite prepare me for living here. The humidity, along with the heat, here is killer..especially for afternoon runs. I went to a lot of punk/emo shows in NJ, but the scene here isn’t very big, but there is plenty to do. Move-in day was August 25th, and my mom and I drove down and stayed the night before. I checked into my dorm pretty early to avoid the rush and ended up in Wood Hall- very nice. The student village dorms are a bit of a walk from the main part of campus, but worth the hassle. All the frats, sororities, and athletes were outside with shopping carts to help, much thanks to them!

After that, all the check-in lines and paperwork were pretty lame but nonetheless organized. After a few days, everyone seemed to be settling in and meeting people on their floor so it was a good time. My roommate never showed up, so for now at least, I have a single. It can get a little lonely, but it definitely has its perks. All the welcome week stuff is definitely worth going to. The luau (including musical chairs..with the guys as the chairs) was probably the best- and a good place to meet people. I went to the beach with a bunch of people one day, and got a chance to get out on the town a couple times before classes started.

Classes started the 30th, and for the most part I like my professors an the class sizes were typically pretty small. The first day was pretty informal..we got a syllabus and left early..did icebreakers in some classes. All the AFROTC kids had lead lab at 0530 on the first day, so that was fun. We had been challenged to paint the ‘spirit rock’ on campus before our PT session that day, so a group of us woke up before lead lab and went painting at 3:30 AM. Of course, the rock had been repainted about 5 times by the time we met for our PT session, but it was Air Force, so all was good in the Land of Oz. The first week was supposed to be NSOP in ROTC, early morning yelling and marching, I guess to weed people out who didn’t want to be there. But nothing too bad at all..