About Spree

Aerospace Engineering

Hometown: Edison, New Jersey
Why I Chose Embry-Riddle: Embry-Riddle is a one-of-a-kind school bent on making dreams come true. Since I was young, I would look no where but up and ERAU is filled with like-minded people who literally reach for the stars every day.

October 22, 2007

Hi all my Journal readers! Just to let you know, it’s okay to email me and ask questions about whatever you’d like. I got my first email response from a reader who was concerned about my physical fitness after the whole kickboxing incident. It was great! It’s nice to know someone’s reading, other than my friends and mom. lol

These past two weeks have been great! …. and then not so great. I’ve had my share of tests and quizzes but got to see the coolest thing ever! On the 10th, there was a rocket launch and we got to see it….from the engineering building! How cool is that? Actually being able to see the rocket launch from campus! It started out as this tiny speck of orange light in the distance that blended in with the lamposts and turns into this quickly rising blob of orange light that you could see for almost 5 minutes. It was amazing, I’ve never been that close to a rocket launch. On the 23rd (tomorrow!) space shuttle Discovery is set to launch at 11:38AM and I’m going to be there!! A bunch of us are heading down there because it works out so well between classes to have just enough time. I’m so excited. I’ll be sure to take pictures so everyone can see!

The night of the rocket launch, there was a show put on by Mike Super, an illusionist. He was so cool; it was great. He made a girl levitate, a guy be affected by voodoo magic and did some cool card tricks too. I’ve taken pictures and posted them on my site. As engineers, we couldn’t accept levitation and “magic” as reality and throughout the show, we kept pointing out the quirks in his tricks that made them work and we figured out a majority of them too, just by being attentive. That too was a lot of fun.

Every week here passes fairly quickly, every test and quiz springs up on you if you’re not ready, so when you get here, start working day one, or it’ll be much harder to catch up. In some ways, college is easier for me than high school and in some ways, it’s much harder. Here, especially being away from home, causes so many more distractions. We could go out to lunch at the buffet downstairs and take two hours just eating and talking. I’ve learned to control that over the past two weeks and make sure I stay a max of 45 minutes, less if I have to get work done. It’s also not a wise idea to cram before a test because a lot more material is covered in one test. For example, in my physics course last year, we spent at least a month on Newton’s Laws and forces. Here, we’re done with the section in about two weeks and keep moving because the test doesn’t span just one chapter, it spans four. College, I’ve learned, is all about balancing your social life with your academics, while keeping in mind that you’re not here for the social as much as you are for the academics, especially at Embry-Riddle, a school with a far from partying atmosphere. I’m not saying we don’t have fun, there are people who like to party, play board games all night and those who like to watch movies late at night.

Last weekend, my dad came to visit! He was in North Carolina for business and flew in to Daytona before going back home to Jersey! It was great seeing a really familiar face again, because there’s no one more familiar than your parents. When he came last Friday night he took a bunch of my friends and me out to dinner. Nine of us crammed into a five-person sedan and piled out at an Italian restaurant, it was a sight to see. Dad was pretty impressed by my friends, yay. After dinner, I went back to my dorm to sleep so Dad and I could go shopping in the morning. We basically spent the day from 9-4 shopping, eating lunch and fixing some things in my dorm. We bought another full-size mirror (the first one broke :x) and dad fixed it in a way that it would be impossible for it to tip over, which is definitely a good thing. He left Saturday evening after a trip to Starbucks! I bought a new watch that weekend, because my old one was so rusted on the inside from the terrible rain a few weeks ago, that the battery practically exploded, it was gross.

This past week went by really quickly too. We were assigned a new project in my Intro to Engineering class and this one is to design a launch system mount. We learned about orbital heights and velocity first, then designed a satellite, are now designing the mounting system and rocket to put it in orbit and then going to design the plane that will transport the satellite in the near future. Exciting stuff isn’t it?

This weekend is Biketoberfest! Oh my, it’s scary outside. You can hear the bikers “vroom”-ing their bikes and there’s so many of them, too!  They’re everywhere, making a lot of noise. I heard bike-week in March is ten times worse than this and I’m not looking forward to that, I’m scared already. Speaking of scared, Halloween is coming up soon and I’m not excited. I don’t like Halloween, especially now because we can’t go trick or treating and eat a lot of candy.

My opposite door neighbor and a few of his friends were going to a Garba in Tampa on Saturday and tried so hard to convince me to go too. But…not only did I not have Indian clothes with me, but Tampa is two hours away and we wouldn’t be back before 5 in the morning. For those of you that don’t know, Garba is an Indian dance that comes around this time of the year and lasts a few weeks. It’s usually a lot of fun, but the ones back home are only 5 minutes away. That night I got some work done and watched a movie with some friends, it’s was low-key, I’d say.

Alex and I rearranged our room like crazy to make a big open space in the middle. I put pictures on my website. There’s plans to buy a mini trampoline ($15 on e-bay), to put in the open space, so we can workout and jump on it to let out frustration and have fun. I’ll let you know how that works out.

My plans for today include studying for my physics exam next week, writing a paper and completing my part in that Launch mount system project I mentioned earlier. Sounds like it’s going to be a long night.

P.S – I’ve added new pic’s on my website. Some of the rocket launch, the Mike Super show, our newly rearranged room and, when I get them, pictures of the shuttle launch.

Until next time!


October 8, 2007

Hi everyone!

The journals were finally posted this week, yay!

These past two weeks have been chill. I’ve been working harder than I think I ever have in high school but also have more time to do everything. I’ve officially joined the clubs I want to and here’s the final list… Task Force One, the Society of Women Engineers and the Honors Student Association. All three together offer me a good balance between some leadership, fun, academics, and career opportunities. Both TFO and SWE are planning a homecoming float, the theme this year is something from a TV show. I’ve never been to a homecoming, or seen a homecoming parade (other than on TV) because I went to a small school, where our pep rally’s lasted all of 30 minutes (it’s okay though, we loved it). Homecomings during the end of November, so I’m excited!

I finally booked my ticket to Jersey for Thanksgiving! Yayy, I’m excited to have a break and see some extra familiar faces, like my parents for example!

Last weekend, a bunch of us saw the movie, ‘The Gameplan’. It was pretty good. Later that day, we walked outside and could barely stand up straight because the wind was blowing so furiously. I held on to my friend, hoping that both she and I together won’t fly away; it was crazy. The best part was that the wind wasn’t cold. If it ever gets windy in New Jersey, you’ll feel your nose stuff up and turn into an icicle. Here, it was windy as anything, but you didn’t even need a jacket to survive it. This past weekend, I went bowling with the Society of Women Engineers and had fun. By the end of the night, it felt like my fingers were going to fall off but I didn’t come in last in a few of the games. Yay!

I realized I never mention anything about my classes and I should, because they’re cool this semester and you’ll definitely want to know which teachers to take to make sure your freshman year isn’t harder than it has to be.

Here’s a list of what I take:

EGR 101-Honors Intro to Engineering w/Mrs.Lisa Davids

–          This is one my favorite classes. We always do extensive projects and the people in my class make it so much better too.

EGR 120 Graphical Communication w/Ms. Elaine Weavel

–          This class is a drafting class. We use Catia here and it’s similar to AutoCAD, if you’ve used that before. Drawing by hand is a bit challenging for me, but on the computer, I love it!

HON 150 Honors Seminar w/Dr. Barbie

–          You won’t be able to take this class unless you’re an Honors student but it’s awesome! It’s a class about analyzing different forms of rhetoric, oratorical, media and print. It’s great.

MA 241 Calc 1 w/Dr. Mancas

–          This professor is great. He makes sure you understand everything and will do absolutely everything he can to make sure you get the grade you deserve (and want).

PS 150 Physics w/Dr.Barjatya

–          This class is possibly my most challenging class, only because we go at a really quick pace. The professor is new, but I like the class because it keeps me on my toes at all times.

That’s all the classes I’m taking my first semester. It’s a total of 15 credits. FYI, if you can (as I did), ask to see if you can get out of University 101. It’s a one credit course that meets twice a week and can be not worth all the effort, or so I’ve heard. I’ve gotten my first paper this past week and it’s for the Honors Seminar. It’s a rhetorical analysis of any historical speech I want to do and I’ve chosen to analyze the President’s address to the nation on 9/11. It should be interesting; it’s one heck of a speech.

Jill Meridith, who makes these handy journals available to you, gave me awesome news the other day. She asked me to be the student representative speaker during the prospective student orientation! I get to get up on stage, introduce myself, tell everyone something about myself, and then am available for the rest of the day for questions etc. The orientation is on Oct. 27, if you’re attending, be sure to look out for me and wave hi. You are also always welcome to ask any questions you may and expect an honest answer. I’m really excited; it should be a lot of fun.

These next two weeks should be fairly normal. Dad might come visit next weekend, so that should be cool. The 22nd, is the first day of Priority Registration for the Spring Semester, so I’m hoping to have an outline of all the classes I want to take that semester by that weekend at the very least.

That’s all guys. I’m ready to open my calc book up and get my homework done, still aware of the fact that it’s a Saturday night. Btw, don’t forget to watch Grey’s Anatomy on Thursday nights, the new season so far is awesome.

Until next time,



September 24, 2007

Ouch. These past two weeks, have hurt. My arms have felt like jelly, my legs felt like they wouldn’t be able to move, my head was about to explode and my eyes have been unable to keep themselves up but I’ll tell you that story a bit later.

Let’s see, since September 10th, I’ve been club surfing, working really hard and having fun! I’ve learned to seize every opportunity I can to get free food, because at the end of the week, if meal plans are left over, I can stock up my fridge, so I don’t have to wake up early to get breakfast in the morning. Life has definitely fallen into a good routine. Last weekend was the Honors Picnic and it was a lot of fun! We all just hung out and got to meet the others Honors kids. I definitely want to be an active member of the Honors Student Association. Their goals are to balance scholarship with service and social. They’re organizing different tours of airplane manufacturing facilities and planning a trip to Universal, see? A balance of everything interesting. Oh yeah, and I want an officer position later because that’s what I like to do.

Now, back to the ouch. College is all about knowing your limits, whether it’s socially or academically. Let me just say, I should’ve known better when I showed up to my first Kickboxing class with my makeup done, while I complained about how the recent rain has been ruining my hair. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Embry-Riddle has about a million different clubs you can join, a million! For possibly anything and everything you could ever want to do. I wanted to kick box! We used to use Billy Blanks’ Tae-Bo videos in high school and they were so much fun, I guess I hadn’t realized that kickboxing, unlike those Tae-Bo video’s, actually consisted of physical contact and one heck of a workout. My first day and my last day of Kickboxing with Riddle’s premier Kickboxing team was on Monday the 17th and it was intense! We had to kick 200 times (100 of which I wimped out of) for each leg into this really hard cushion and also hold while our partner kicked. Hence, my arms and legs both wobbled the next day. I just wanted to do a cheesy video and be done with it; it was excessively competitive for me. There were marines and really buff guys and I almost considered sticking with it, just to get in shape, but then I realized that the reality is that I’ll never be able to flip over 150 pound person in my life, so I might as well find something else more my style.

That night, I went to my first Task Force One meeting. Task Force One is like the Freshman Government Council, so freshmen get more accustomed to the school. It’s almost completely run by freshmen. I wanted to be an officer really badly, because I like doing that kind of stuff, but I wasn’t informed of the first two meetings, so I missed them, thus not letting me run for an officer’s position. It’s okay for now though, I really want to be a part of the Student Government Association (SGA) it’s exclusive and you get a lot of responsibility when you’re a part of them, but you can’t be until I think spring semester. One of the speakers at graduation, Nate Clapper, the president of SGA is like my idol right now. His speech during convocation was so down to earth and boy would I love to steal his spot one day. FYI, something you definitely don’t want to miss is the free, that’s right, free, espresso in the SGA; it’s awesome. I get a few cups every day, because I love my cappuccinos that much and every now and then, I throw a couple bucks into the donation box. Yep =] There’s always so many things going on, on campus that it’s really hard to keep everything straight. There’s a heart walk scheduled for the end of September which supposedly 1000 kids show up! That should be a lot of fun.

We’ve started having tests and it’s only the third week of school! College is faster paced than high school ever was for me. There’s always a project to complete, always a paper to start and always math problems up to your neck. I love being here and all, but seeing my family and friends back home, would definitely perk up my spirits. You quickly learn that your hall mates, especially you roommate, will become your family away from home. When you don’t get how to do your math problem, you can’t ask your sister any more or when you accidentally get punched in the face during kick boxing, mom can’t give you something to make the swelling go away. A plane ticket back home to Jersey, if booked way in advance is about $200, so if I ever do get incredibly homesick, I’m always welcome home for the weekend.

The weekends here for me, are filled with watching movies, doing my nails, and chillin with the people around me. Last weekend I dyed my hair for the first time! Mom never let me dye it when I was in Jersey, but when I asked her, she didn’t care. I’ve attached a picture =] Us Wood 5 kids are a pretty crazy, we started a uh, type of club that I can’t mention, cuz it’s a secret. Basically, we like cookies and pies, a lot. The picture on my door of the last supper, isn’t the last supper, it’s pie, cuz we like pie.  There is a building here on campus, Spruance Hall which used to be the administration building and they’re breaking it down this week. I attached a few pics of that too. The best thing to happen these past two weeks is me getting my laptop! It’s PINK!!! I was so excited.. I got a matching mouse and bag too =]

As an ending note, don’t expect the Florida weather to be gorgeous every day. Just so you know, there’s a phenomenon called the “four o’clock rain” and you can practically set your watch to that timed rain.

Don’t forget to either post on the message board or email me at shankars@erau.edu if you have questions about anything!

Later guys!

September 10, 2007

If there’s one word to sum up these past two and a half weeks, it would undoubtedly be WOW. Just 15 days ago, I was furiously packing up all my clothes and stuff into the biggest suitcases I could find hoping to not forget important things like my multi-colored lamp or enough shampoo to last me three months. I was undoubtedly in panic mode and had only a few short hours to get everything done in time for my early morning flight the next day. Looking back, it seemed as though that day, August 20th, unexpectedly crept up to me. I had just graduated, just thrown a party to celebrate it and all if a sudden I was leaving New Jersey, and all the familiar things surrounding me to venture into uncharted territory at Embry Riddle. Okay, so it wasn’t uncharted, but it was still new to me, which definitely counts for something.

Let me backtrack and introduce my self. I’m Srinisha Shankar but you can call me  Spree. I’m 18 years old and am a freshman majoring in Aerospace Engineering at Riddle. I’m the first from my family to leave New Jersey, since my older sister (who just turned 21), decided to stay at a state college. I live with my Mama, Papa and Sis and every six months Grandma comes from India to stay with us for 6 months. I came from a school in New Jersey that was focused on Math and engineering so being in a school with an outstanding majority of guys is no news to me. It was a tiny little magnet school called the Middlesex County Academy for Science, Mathematics and Engineering Technologies and our graduating class consisted of 32 kids. It was awesome coming from a small school so Riddle’s size is a completely new experience for me. I’ll save the extra background info for later, now let’s fast forward to Monday, August 20.

We arrived at the really tiny Daytona Beach International Airport and I immediately felt at home. The sun was shining brightly through the windows, I wore my sunglass inside, and not one person gave me a dirty look. I could so get used to this, I thought. Making things better was a phone call I made to sis back home, “It’s thunder storming here and it’s so cold”, she said and I smiled, knowing I’d almost never have to deal with that terrible Jersey weather again.

Once in Daytona, Mom, Grandma and I checked into our hotel and spent the rest of the day shopping in the nearby Volusia Mall and exploring the university by car. The next day was the first unofficial day of the orientation ceremonies. Tuesday night was the honors banquet and it was held and it was held a local Yacht Club. Here all the Honors Students and their families were invited to have dinner with the Honors staff and get presents. This year our present was the ASUS GPS pocket PC. It’s so much fun especially because there’s this one game on there, called Bubble Breaker and it’s the perfect thing to keep your fingers occupied with when you’re waiting for a teacher or just really bored. That night I got to meet my roomie for the first time and we hit it off quite well. You’re always skeptical about what your roommate’s going to be like and I was so glad that mine was normal instead of some girl who was afraid of people.

Anyways, Tuesday was only the beginning of all the activities Riddle had planned for the incoming class. If I could give you the most important piece of advice to follow during Orientation week, it would definitely be to get there early. A half hour early is probably perfect if you don’t want to park a mile away and walk. We luckily did get there just as the doors were opening and almost sprinted to the people holding the “S” posters. Here we received the all-important orientation packet outlining all the activities we’d be participating in these next few days and for the weekend.  Today was possibly my favorite day because the morning started with Housing Check In! I, because I’m an honors student, received the privilege of living in Wood 5! I was so happy when I found out my residence hall was Wood over the summer and even more ecstatic when I found out I was in the top floor.

Grandma, Mom and I then hurried upstairs with suitcases in hand to see the room I was going to be spending the majority of my year in. Opening the door, I let out a sigh, relieved that the space wasn’t cramped but instead pretty spacious and the bathroom was actually clean. It certainly wasn’t home quite yet, but I knew I could get used to it. Having someone share my room was a bit of a new concept to me, but today, about two weeks later, I almost can’t imagine not having someone to talk to in the middle of the night, or have an automatic buddy, for when you don’t feel like walking by yourself. Having a roommate definitely has its perks. After mom made my bed and we did some more last minute shopping, we attended the over crowded convocation ceremony. It was certainly our fault that we came only 15 minutes before the ceremony started and had to park across the street in order to attend. Convocation is a tradition I’m assuming for every university to welcome all the incoming students, it was mildly fun. Then, at 8 I got to meet the rest of Wood 5 for the first time. We are one heck of a group here, and undoubtedly the self-proclaimed tightest hall and best buddies on campus. There are 8 girls (two others of whom are also Journal Writers) and the rest are guys. The majority of us are Honors AE students, so we have a lot of classes in common. Orientation week was starting to look real good, but wasn’t anywhere close to being done.

Some people slept in their dorm that night, but I decided to still stay with Mom and Grandma at the hotel. Thursday was a fairly busy day for Mom and Grandma but I had plenty of time to set my room up and hang out with people from my floor. It was the first time I had lunched with them and now it’s a daily ritual to go to lunch in a group of no less than 10. Like I said, we’ve come to be one big family here at Wood 5 and it’s pretty awesome. Thursday there was only one meeting for me and it was about how to get around campus and who to contact for different things. Mom and Grandma left on Thursday and it didn’t hit me that they’d be leaving until that night when I actually slept in my new own bed. Kind of scary and kind of really really exciting to know that you can finally have that independence you’ve been craving for.

Friday I woke up late and again our entire hall went to lunch together and then I attended this “For Women Only” Program. Incase you haven’t heard already, the guy to girl ratio at Riddle is about 1 to 8, so the girl community here is pretty tight, since you know the chances of seeing another girl soon is pretty slim. That night, there was a luau on the lawn and it was basically just to get to know your hall better. We made our mascot and competed in different cheesy games like the banana and spatula race or the one we started ourselves, the wheelbarrow! It was a ton of fun, but most of us retired early to our dorms so we could watch a movie and play cards in our hallway, both just as fun as playing limbo like we did during the Luau.

This weekend was filled with different activities we could participate in like the “Sundaes on Saturday” sponsored by the Embry-Riddle Resident Student Association (ERRSA) , barbeques sponsored by the Fraternities and Sororities and the hilarious comedic duo Alex McHale and Vic Henley. The best activity was undoubtedly the Hypnotist Tom Deluca. He was so insanely good it left you wondering if he paid the people to do the crazy things they did. One of the guys from our hall was chosen and he was made to believe that he was the savior of fruits and wasn’t allowed to let people touch his apples or pears. I would definitely not miss the show if I were you. That happened Monday night also known as…. The first day of classes!

My schedule this semester is almost amazing. I have an 8 A.M class every morning, but I end all my classes before 1oclock. Good and the bad I guess. The first two weeks of classes haven’t been too stressful even though thinking about my first Physics quiz tomorrow is stressing me out a bit. So this first entry is basically just an intro to my life at Embry-Riddle. I know you all are dying to know more about what I’m about and all the good and bad things that happen here, but this entry has gotten to be much longer than I had expected.

Here’s my contact info, feel free to email me whenever you’d like and I’d be more than happy to answer all those questions you’re too afraid to post on the discussion board.

Catch ya later!