January 11, 2009

2008 is now gone and 2009 is here! It’s a new year and a new semester. It’s a perfect opportunity to start fresh in the world of academia and learn new things. Christmas break was awesome. Seeing family and friends again was really good. It was cold and it snowed quite a bit but I enjoyed it a whole lot. But as we all know, all good things come to an end, and as soon as January 5th came, I had to come back to Daytona to start the spring semester. This semester feels a lot different than last semester, I know my way around campus, I know people on campus and it’s almost like my second home.

While home, I visited my old high school, hung out with my friends and went to a track meet to watch my old high school’s track team run. I also went shopping a lot! It was a blast being back home. Even though it was just 3 weeks, it seemed a lot longer because I was having so much fun.

I am so pumped for this semester. Now that everyone knows everyone, it makes finding something to do a lot easier. Since I’ve been back we went to a hockey game, basketball game, and watched the Embrear’s that US Airways has brought in to service to Daytona. As for the classes, this semester I have all female professors… woot woot! I feel positive about this semester as my professors are very experienced in their fields of study and have a lot to teach. This semester I am taking:

AS 221-Insrument Pilot Operations
BA 201-Principles of Management
WX 201-Survey of Meteorology
PSY 101-Introduction to Psychology
MA 112-Technical Calculus

I am so excited to take these courses. I am currently taking a break from flying to focus on taking my Private Pilot Written Exam and also to give me some time to straighten out my loans. In the mean time, I am doing some observer flights with my friend Derrick so I can keep up to speed.

So far, I have been focused on getting settled in for this semester. Thanks to all of you guys that emailed me and responded to my posts last semester. I look forward to your emails this semester. And to the rest of you guys, if you have any questions, please free to ask, I will be happy to answer your questions.

Until next time.

December 19, 2008

I’m finally home!!! Finally, after an entire semester, I’m back home in NYC where it’s freezing cold! It feels so good to be able to be with family and friends. It was a really short semester but we had to get a lot done within that time. I accomplished a lot over the past 6 months and got involved with a few clubs on campus and earned 27 credits so far.

Finals went well. I passed my finals and got some really good grades in my classes. However, with flight, I am still not done with course. When I get back I only have a few flights then my checkride! I can’t wait. But I am concerned that not flying for a few weeks will affect my performance when I get back. I am sure it will all work out, but sometimes being away on break is not completely good.

Before we left campus, First Generation had a little Christmas dinner in the Doolittle Annex. It was fun as we all ate together and shared funny stories about what we encountered during the semester. It was the final meeting for the club this semester. The Avion also had a banquet, which unfortunately I could not attend. But from what I heard it was a really fun event.

I’m back in New York. My mom moved from the Queens to Freeport Long Island. I left the wonderful warm weather in Daytona, and now I have to wear layers of clothes and a coat when I go outside. I missed the cold so much while back on campus, but now that I’m in the cold I want to go back to the warmth. Since I have been here it snowed, and it should be a lot of wintry weather for the next few days. It’s not too friendly with the weather in New York, but being with friends and family makes it a lot better. Most of my friends aren’t done with their semester yet, so I have to wait a while till they get back. Last week, a friend of mine from back on campus came to NYC to visit me. He lives in Rhode Island and it was his first time in the city. We had so much fun that day, it snowed and we almost froze to death!

I also went to visit my old high school. It’s a surprise what the school has become. I got to see my friends that are juniors and seniors and my old track team, teachers, principal and peer group leader. It was a nice feeling going back and seeing the people that help me become the person I am today.

I must thank you guys for reading my journals for the past semester. It has been my pleasure. Thanks to all the people that sent me emails, I appreciate them a lot and hope I answered your questions to your satisfaction. Please don’t be a stranger, if you have any questions about Riddle and classes, etc. shoot me an email and I will gladly answer your questions.

Happy Holidays and have a wonderful New Year!

December 1, 2008

It’s the last week of the semester, and you know what that means…FINAL EXAMS! Thanksgiving break was not so much a break; it was a huge homework and study session. While most of my friends went back home for Thanksgiving dinner, I stayed here on campus. It wasn’t too bad, just a little quieter than I needed it to be. I really missed family and friends from back home, and it made completing my assignments harder than they were. I also got a chance to take advantage of flying here while everyone else is gone. That way I get to fly with fewer restrictions on time, and also have more airplanes available so I could pretty much fly whenever I wanted to. But today we all came back from the break and had to wake up early for classes…YAY. Including today, we’ve only got 4 more days of classes, Study day, then finals start on Saturday. And as we all know, the end of the semester means term papers are also due and the last assignments of the year are due. This is the make or break period of the semester, and if you slip up, that’s it. So far it’s going pretty smooth.

I am also happy to say that I may be done with my private by Christmas! I am so excited. It took a lot of work and dedication to get to where I am now. It wasn’t easy balancing flight with my academic courses, especially seeing that I doubled flight activities almost every day this semester. However, I was able to through it all and still do well. I completed my dual cross countries and am going to take my solo check ride this week so I can do all my solos all at one time. My instructor is so proud of the progress I have made so far, and I am too. It feels good to go up and fly and each day I learn new things. It’s an awesome experience.

Clubs right now are basically done. This is the last week of the semester and most clubs had their last meetings last week. There may be a few clubs that meetings this week but I doubt it. For First Gen, two weeks ago we got the chance to go to the President of the University’s house for dinner. It was an awesome experience. We got to meet a few of the board members of our school along with the president and his wife and a few of the faculty and staff at ERAU. It was a chilly night but it was worth going. TFO had a BBQ that same week and I wasn’t able to attend because I had my night cross country. From what I heard it was a huge success.

Everything here is pretty much wrapping up now and coming to a close for the semester. The biggest thing right now is getting ready for finals and FAA written and practical exams to take place in the upcoming week. Basically… campus is dead! I can’t wait to go home for Christmas so I can see my family and friends.

Thanks for reading my posts for this semester and I really appreciate those that have sent me emails. I hope that I answered all your questions. If any of you guys have questions, don’t be afraid to ask me, I’ll be more than happy to answer. I will be writing posts over the break so I’ll keep you guys posted. Until next time!

November 17, 2008

It’s almost Thanksgiving! Finally we get to go home for some good home-style cooking. That’s one thing you miss out on when you are in college. The food is good here, but there is nothing better than a nice home-cooked meal on Thanksgiving Day. A lot of people have already made plans for their travel back home. As for me, I’m still not sure as yet. I had decided to stay here on campus to catch up on some flight training, but at the last minute, there seems to be a chance that I can go home for that weekend. It’s not a sure thing but I do hope I get to fly back home! In the meantime, it’s almost finals and we have a lot of work that is due in the next few weeks. I have been working long and hard on a few papers and projects and I am in the final stages of them. We start registering for next semester this week and finals are coming up in the first week of December. Looking back on this experience so far, it all went by quickly. There are a few days when it seemed really slow, but the weeks just flew right by.

A few weeks ago, we had our Homecoming weekend celebrations. Homecoming at ERAU is so much fun. We had a parade, comedy show, tailgate party, concert, sports games and also an air show! We got lots of free stuff and partied a lot. There is a lot of school spirit during Homecoming and everyone is just really cheery and excited! It was a very fun experience and I am looking forward to next year’s Homecoming.

Flight is just a blast right now. I am amazed at the things that I am learning right now. Every day is a new experience and I learn to adapt to the changes with the help of my instructor. As each day goes by, I become more and more independent in my training, as I am putting to action what my instructor has taught me. I have my first cross country tomorrow and I will be flying to Jacksonville and back. After that I will be doing a night flight and then back to cross countries. I am really excited about where I am so far in my training and I can’t wait to learn more!

As far as clubs, I am still active in TFO and First Generation. We’ve participated in a lot of fun activities so far this semester. Coming up this Wednesday, I will be attending a dinner at the President of the Universities house. I am so excited to attend because it’s a really big opportunity. I am going with First Gen and I have no doubt that we are going to have a blast. TFO is currently planning a BBQ, which should take place in a week or two. It is still in the planning phase, but things are coming together really well. I have put off working on the Avion for a while, because I have been very busy with school work and flight. They hate me for not being there but understand that I have to do my school work. I will be back on production once I have completed all my papers.

As the semester is coming to a close and we prepare for the spring, things are getting pretty serious on campus. Finals are coming up and the final papers are due soon. Now is the time to make a good grade or fail. As freshmen, it’s a wakeup call if you haven’t been working hard, but if you have, it’s just a little motivation to keep you going.

Thanks for all the emails, don’t be afraid to ask me questions. I’ll try my best to get them answered.
Until next time!

November 3rd, 2008

BRR… I hate to say this but Florida is actually getting chilly! The past two weeks has been really chilly, not the average temperature you would expect for Florida. But it seems to be warming up again, but boy was that a surprise. I miss the beach so much and I can’t wait for it to get back to the 90’s.

Along with dealing with the crazy weather, it’s now Homecoming week…YAY! There are a lot of activities planned and I am so excited to experience them. We have a school spirit competition going, also the Alumni fly-in, and the parade on Friday. For the past couple of weeks, we have had a few events on campus that if you attend, you get Bonus Bucks. Bonus Bucks are used in the “Silent Auction” at the end of Homecoming.

I am so happy to say that in two more flights, I’ll have my solo check ride! YAY, I am so excited and I can’t wait to solo. My instructor has been helping a lot over the past couple of weeks and now that my check ride is right around the corner, we are putting emphasis on making sure my maneuvers are up to standard and that I won’t have any problems on my check ride. Wish me luck guys! In my other classes, I am doing great. The semester is coming to an end soon and in just a few weeks we are going to be taking final exams. It’s getting a little hectic now, trying to get our major papers done and making sure we stay on top of assignments and doing all that we can to get the grade that rewards our efforts. On Thursday I have a test in Private Pilot Operations, and I have two papers due on Wednesday for my English Composition and Literature class. I also have a big research paper due next Monday for my Intro to Computers class. At this point in the semester, if you haven’t structured yourself with good time management, it’s going to be a real task getting things done. Procrastination is not a good thing, because before you know it, everything is all piled up and you have no time to get it all done.

I am still active on TFO and First Generation, but as for the Avion, I took off for a while because production takes a lot out of me and I had a few big papers to work on. I go back to production this coming Sunday and I can’t wait to get back and edit the Campus page! For First Generation, we participated in an event called Making Strides which was a 3 mile walk for Breast Cancer awareness. We had so much fun walking around Daytona, and at the end of the 3 miles, we felt like we did something positive for our community.

HALLOWEEN passed last Friday and it was a lot of fun. Our campus had kids from the community come on campus and had several events to keep them entertained. In my dorm we had trick-or-treating, and me and my roommate gladly signed up and participated. It was so much fun to see the kids in their costumes and the excitement on their faces when we gave them candy. Sadly, the Doolittle Haunted House didn’t go on for an unknown reason. Hopefully it will be up and running next year! That night, my cousin from Jacksonville came down to visit me. I haven’t seen her in a few years and it was so good seeing her.

My roommate took his solo check ride last Friday and HE PASSED! I am so proud of him and all of his hard work paid off. He is scheduled to have his actual solo hopefully this Wednesday, and I wish him luck!

Well, Thanksgiving is coming up soon, and as some of my friends go back home for Thanksgiving dinner, I will be here on campus doing some flight lessons. I miss my family so much and I can’t wait to see them again this Christmas.

*In my last post I said that there was a jetBlue A340 on the ramp on the airport, it was an A320, I made a little error and apologize for this mistake.

For those of you guys that have contacted me, thanks for talking to me and I hope that I was of help to you. The rest of you guys, don’t be a stranger. Until next time!

October 20, 2008

Wow! It’s not much of an introduction, but these past few weeks have been FILLED with emotions and excitement. I can’t believe the amount of fun I’m having here at ERAU! My flight training is going really well and my classes are absolutely amazing. When I’m not in class I’m either at the Avion, at a TFO meeting, hanging out with friends or at an important meeting or maybe just at one of the fun events we have on campus. There is so much to do around here; I really do feel like I’m at college!

Flight, so far, has been AMAZING! I love getting up in the mornings on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays to fly. My instructor is so amazing; he makes my flights both fun and informational. I have learned so much from him so far and I can’t wait to learn more about flying as the weeks go by. In my ground school, I have been excelling. I passed the last test that I wrote about in my previous post and had a test today. I also have a Pre-Calculus tomorrow. And as for papers, I have a 7 page paper due next week in my Intro to Computers and Applications class. I am researching Artificial Intelligence and so far I am having a lot of fun writing this paper.

In TFO, I am currently an active member of all three active committees and I am in charge of doing research on a few things. As you guys know, I ran for the position of Secretary but lost by 1 point. Even though I am not in office, I still want to make a difference on campus in any way possible. As for First Generation, we have a few events planned for the rest of the semester and we are now paired up with mentors/mentees in our mentor/mentee program. The Avion is crazier than ever! I love going there on Sundays to layout the Campus page. We have so much fun just goofing around. And the food is a BIG plus!

Outside of classes and clubs, I and my friends just keep coming up with tons of things to do to have a good time. We go to the beach every Saturday and play volleyball, and then at night we go out to eat somewhere around town. During the week, we basically try to get our class work done.

A few weeks ago we had a tornado warning issued on campus. The wall cloud literally moved right over campus! It was so scary and exciting at the same time. People were so excited and had a blast watching it go over. It was an experience like no other.

That weekend, we spotted a jetBlue A340 over at the ramp on the airport. No one knows exactly why it was there but it was really good eye candy for the pilots that were able to taxi past it for takeoff or after landing. It was very inspirational and encouraging for me because I hope to fly for jetBlue at some point in my career.

Halloween is approaching very fast and I need to come up with some ideas of what to do for that day. There are a few stuff planned on campus that I plan to take part of. For example, my dorm would be having some children from the community come to our dorm and trick-or-treat. I and my roommate are so excited to be a part of this. We got some candy and decorations and today I went costume shopping. There are a few more activities planned, for example, Doolittle Hall will be hosting a haunted house. Then after, I am planning on going to a Halloween party latter on that night!

Even though college is a blast, I still miss home. It’s not as bad as when I just moved in, but I think about home a lot. I think that apart from my mom, I miss my little brother a lot. We are very close and I miss not being able to hang out with him as I used to. I am getting used to the fact that my family is not here and that I have to do this on my own bearing in mind that they are behind me 100%.

For those of you guys that have contacted me, thanks for talking to me and I hope that I was of help to you. The rest of you guys, don’t be a stranger. Until next time!

October 6, 2008

What an experience this has been. I think it’s just starting to sink in that I am in college now! I finally get to live my dream of becoming a pilot. The past couple of weeks were just simply amazing. As I said in my last post, I have started my flight training and it has been the best experience of my life. I am learning so much from my instructor and I have a blast during my lessons. Now I can’t take my mind of flying, I am so addicted. In my other classes, however, we are starting to get into the core of the course and the real heavy-duty work is starting to emerge. I already have a few big papers due and I am pretty nervous. I have to do a 7 page paper for my IT 109 (Introduction to Computers and Applications) class. I also have a 2 page paper due for my COM 122 (English Composition and Literature) class. I also took a few tests. Last Thursday, October 2, I took my first test in Pre-Calculus and today I had my second test in Private Pilot Operations. I have no doubt that I passed them!

Outside of school work, there is so much to do on and off campus. I am still involved with the newspaper, TFO and First Generation. First Generation had its first trip to the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral this past Saturday October 4. I was unable to go but a few of my friends did and they enjoyed it! TFO is starting to get a few things started on campus. We are currently looking at ways we can gain more members and also ways in which we can fundraise. And as for the newspaper, The Avion, things are getting crazy! We are usually in the newspaper every Sunday from 1 till whenever, slaving to produce the newspaper for which our staff has won so many awards. Even though it consumes so much of my time, it’s a very rewarding experience and it makes you feel proud when you see your name in print. Apart from clubs, I and my friends have been to the beach a lot! We play volleyball, play on the sand and do some reading or just for fun, dig a hole and bury someone in it! Sometimes when we are bored in our rooms, we either play flight simulator or play musical instruments.

As for my roommate, he was trying out for the flight team. However his efforts did not earn him a spot on the team, but he does have the ability to go to practices if he wants. He is a little disappointed that he didn’t make the team but he now has time to get more work done and have a flexible schedule.

Even though I am having so much fun on campus, I still think about home a lot. I am starting to accept that I am away from family, and I realize it’s not a bad experience. Being far from home is teaching me a lot about being a responsible person and being able to take care of myself. I call home a lot and everyone there is so proud of me, and that motivates me every day to get up and get my work done.

I hope you guys are being successful in your college search. Don’t be a stranger, shoot me an email or an instant message and I will be more than happy to answer any questions you have.

Until next time!

September 22, 2008

It’s amazing the difference two weeks can make. Since my last entry, so much has changed. Classes started becoming more intense, the work load became greater, but at the same time there was enough time to relax and have fun around campus. It suddenly went from hey, we’re at college to work, clubs, a job and finding time to relax. It isn’t bad, the work is still manageable and exciting but there is still a lot expected from you so there is no time for slacking off. I have already taken 3 major tests in 3 of my classes and I got a B on all 3. Each teacher has a different method of teaching and that was what made studying a little challenging. I am a flight student so I have begun my flight training on Thursday, September 18th. Students usually start flying the first day of their scheduled flight block, but my TSA clearance took longer than expected and put me back a little in my training. I really like my flight instructor. He has been in the industry for a long time and is giving me a lot of advice on the best way to be successful in the aviation industry and is training me in a way that would help me become a very successful airline pilot.

There is so much to do here on campus. So far, I am involved with the campus newspaper as the Campus Editor, I am also on TFO (which is a student government group for freshmen and transfer students), and I am also in First Generation, which is a club for students who are the first of their family to attend college. All of the clubs offer a chance to express one’s self, and become an active member of the campus population. Being on the newspaper staff allows you to be a part of the process of informing campus students with information that affects them. Our campus has an excellent readership and the staff has, in the past years, received multiple awards for the hard work that they have done. TFO, which stands for Task Force One, is a student government group for freshmen and transfer students, allows you to become involved with student government and be a part of many activities that builds leadership skills. First Generation is also a great opportunity to get involved on campus. They provide many trips, workshops, and meetings in which you can earn points that counts towards a scholarship program. I also tried out for the track and field team. Even though I tried my best I didn’t make the team because I had an injury, and my plans to play intramural volleyball didn’t come through either because it would become very demanding in my schedule. But even though those plans didn’t work out, there are still a lot of ways that I can keep up with my fitness.

My roommate is also involved on campus. He is currently trying out for the flight team. Things are going well and he is very excited and working hard to get on the team.

Even though I am having so much fun on and off campus, there are times where I still feel a little homesick. It takes a while getting used to being away from home, but I am slowly but surely getting used to it, and being involved on campus helps you to make a new home here. There are a lot of programs here on campus that is geared to making your transition to college life a success.

Well its now my 5th week here at Riddle and it’s a blast, I’m trying to keep my head in the books as well as have a little fun. I’m glad I chose ERAU!

September 8, 2008

I never thought that I would be in college so soon. Even though in high school I was dying to get out and experience college life, here I am at Embry-Riddle, the best school for aviation in the world, and I am in such awe. I didn’t think I would like it, going away from home for the first time and being on my own, I thought I would hate it but I was wrong. The day I met my roommate was the day I knew that I would be able to let go of the people that I knew in high school and build new friendships and memories. It started with a few messages on facebook and grew to a group of 15 guys, who I can now call my college buddies. Things are really beginning to fall into place. Hi, my name is Andre’ McIntosh and I am a freshman here at Embry-Riddle majoring in Aeronautical Science.

My life has been filled with changes; growing up with my dad in the army, losing my grandfather, moving to America at the age of 14 from Jamaica W.I. to New York City, and finally, graduating high school and attending college. But the transition wasn’t what I expected. I thought I was going to cry my eyes out and beg not to get on the plane to Daytona, but I didn’t. I was calm and collected and was excited to leave New York, but in the back of my mind I was still a little scared to come to ERAU. But as soon as I stepped on campus, I immediately knew that I was going to have fun, the school has so much to offer and there are so many opportunities to get involved.

My first week here at ERAU has been the most exciting week of my life. Me and my new friends hung out a lot and had so much fun and we also experienced our first college classes. Classes here at ERAU are so much fun, the professors aren’t too strict but they are very friendly and easy to talk to. The work load isn’t too much, it’s bearable and they don’t assign 10 page papers on the first day! As each day went by I learned so much stuff, met a lot of people and most of all, began to get used to being away from home.

My second week here at Embry-Riddle I started looking at ways that I can become involved and I was really surprised at the many clubs and organizations that Embry-Riddle has to offer its student population. From skydiving to student government, you name it we have it! There are also a lot of sports teams that you can get involved with. Even though there are a lot of things you can do, you can only do a few and the decision process is a hard, especially if you want to try a lot of things. I decided that I was going to get involved with student government, and Embry-Riddle has a special club called Task Force One, which is a club run by freshmen students and is a liaison with the Student Government Association. I am also getting involved with the newspaper, as I was on both the newspaper staff and yearbook staff in high school. There is also track and field try-outs coming up this week which I am going to attend and I am also signing up to do intramural volleyball. As I am beginning my third week here I am keeping my mind open and staying focused on my studies. I love Embry-Riddle so far!

July 28th

Hello again. Hope everyone is enjoying what is left of this summer. I don’t know about everyone else but mine has been flying by. No pun intended, sorry. Things are starting to pick up around the hangar. We’ve been flying a bit more but the big thing for me is a trip up to Oshkosh, WI for the EAA fly-in.

One of the pilots is a partner in a 1965 Beech Bonanza. I went flying with him a couple weeks ago up into Oklahoma so I could become familiar with the aircraft. Even though the aircraft is 43 years old, the thing can cover some ground. We left out of Addison Airport (KADS) and landed on a little grass strip in southern Oklahoma about 15 minutes after takeoff. With its 300 hp engine we were cruising at 165 kts without even pushing the engine. This is the aircraft we are going to be flying all the way from Addison, just outside of Dallas, to Oshkosh, WI. The trip should take a little over 4 hours but the trick isn’t the flying all the way across the country, the challenge begins when we get about 70 nautical miles outside of Oshkosh. The EAA fly-in is the largest fly-in in the world and there are special, very specific instructions for the approach into the field. For example, the NOTAM states that aircraft approaching from the south will pass over a town called Fisk, and there will be controllers on the ground at that location to identify aircraft and give them the runway assignment. The only thing is, you tune in to listen, no talking back to the controller. They identify you by the type and color of your aircraft and then to acknowledge that you received the info you are to “rock your wings” Oshkosh will have three active runways with three aircraft landing on each runway at a time. There are three different colored dots painted on the runway and ATC will assign an aircraft one of the dots to land on. You can imagine that someone with minimal hours should not fly in there by him or herself. The pilot that I am traveling with has flown in there a multiple times so I’m pretty confident it’ll be an interesting trip.