About Steven


Aerospace Engineering

**Age:** 20
**Hometown:** Arcadia, CA

October 30

Welcome back to Steven’s extreme collection of tremendous Riddle experiences. That’s right, you have returned to the one stop shop location for daily life encounters of an Aerospace Engineering major at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. I have definitely had my share of college life these past two weeks. Unfortunately, they have not all been fun experiences. This was mainly due to the compacting of many University events packed into one week. I’ll get to that a little later.

Let’s go back one week and I’ll walk you through the crazy happenings of Biketoberfest! First of all, you have to understand that I love this town. Daytona Beach is a small, quiet town where you can do just about anything you want 11 out of 12 months of the year. There are, however, two exceptions. One is during Spring Break Season when every college student in America floods Daytona Beach. The other is during Bike Week in October. If you like motorcycles, then this is the week for you. I have never seen so many motorcycles in one place in my entire life. It is the motorcycle gathering in America. I couldn’t go more then 50 fifty feet in any direction without seeing a motorcycle when I went out with friends. I personally am really into motorcycles and plan on getting one soon, so this was a great weekend. To my surprise I didn’t spend any time at the racetrack checking out the booths or dealers. However, a bunch of friends and I did head out to Oceanwalk on Saturday Night to see The Prestige, but we were too late. So, we went to Main Street instead and I am so glad we did. It is right off of AIA and it is packed with motorcycles. I am talking curb completely packed for 7 or 8 blocks on both sides. There were several concerts going on and people everywhere. I have never seen so many interestingly dressed people in my entire life. We stopped off at some small concert and listened to the band for a while and they were laying down some cool beats. After a while of walking around, we decided to head back to the dorms and call it a night by just hanging out with everybody else back on campus. Oh, by the way, parking at Oceanwalk that night was just retarded. We went to enter the structure like we always do from the North and we found that the entrance was blocked for Lord knows what reason. So we have to wait for all the cars behind us to back out and then we have to back out ourselves and try and find parking somewhere else. We end up circling around to the South side of the structure only to discover that it is open and there are plenty of spots. It was just a terrible situation and that should explain why we missed our movie.

This past week has been a living hell for me. This is where I describe all the events that made this week crazy. Let me start off with my personal schedule. I had three exams this past week. I had a programming exam on Wednesday and Dynamics and Differential Equations on Thursday. That equates to me having a whole lot of studying to do this past week. To top it off, the university planned Open House, Homecoming and the Career Expo all for the same week. Now, open house and homecoming were not a big deal for me, but the career expo was crucial. I am now a junior and that means that an internship is a very important thing to get involved in at this stage of college. The key to making that happen is at the career expo. Some tips, go to the expo very year and get to know how things work. Meet the recruiters and make yourself known. These things will make the really important years that much easier. So, how did I prepare for the expo? I bought a suit! To some of you that may seem stupid but this is the first suit I have ever owned so it was awesome for me. So a couple of days before the expo I went to the mall to visit a few different department stores and low and behold, JCPenney has the best selection. After some time there, and a little help from Cat, Cassie and the very nice lady at the store, I picked out a snazzy, pinstripe suit. I also got a new shirt and tie and I was ready to go.

The next step was preparing my resume to hand out to all the recruiters. Start working on your resumes now. Write down every little award you ever get, every bit of community service time you earn, and any job you ever work at. It will make the resume writing process much easier down the road. The Expo itself was a trip. There were so many companies there and so much to look at. To be honest, the Expo is really focused towards pilots and engineers but if you look really close there are other opportunities as well. I stopped at couple of different locations. By the way, Cat came with me and walked around the fair with me and it was extremely awesome for her to help me get around faster and more efficiently. You should all do yourself a favor and make a friend like Cat because besides the fact that she is totally awesome to hang out with, she is always there when I need her the most. She is especially awesome during the tough times. She’s like that Chevy commercial. “Like A Rock!” . . . . or something like that . . . you know what I mean. She is just an awesome friend. By the way, she is the journal writer that is right above me on the previous webpage and you should definitely check out her journal if you haven’t done so already. Anyway, my key stop at the Expo was with Boeing. After exchanging a couple of words with a nice lady, she invited me back the next day for another interview. Go back and read that again. I Got An Interview With Boeing!!! How sweet is that! I swear to you I was on cloud nine. I’m not going to speak much more about that other than tell you that my interview went really well. I don’t want to jinx myself though so I will keep you all updated as soon more develops.

The other congested part of this week that I mentioned was homecoming and open house. I was not personally involved with these events but the company I work for was catering all the events this week. So I was working ridiculous hours on top of having to study. It just piled on and this week became a sleepless nightmare. I barely slept at all and it was really a bad experience for me. There is a lesson coming up here so pay attention. You should know that this job was not making me very happy at all. The environment was not always a positive one and the demands of the job as far as hours go were not worth it. The other down side was that I was told that I would get the opportunity to meet high officials from the university and I actually ended up missing three opportunities. To top it off, the hours of the job on top of coursework was definitely taking its toll on me and making it very hard for me to perform in classes. What I am getting at here is that I unfortunately ended up quitting my job. After two years of college, I know my limits and I know that I must maintain an equal balance between work and education. However, education always comes first. So, I made a decision to keep my education my priority and the focus of my goals. On the happier side, my exams did go very well and I currently have two job opportunities on the line that require less of my time while still allowing me to accumulate enough hours to make some money.

After that hectic week, I finally got a chance to relax. This weekend was tons of fun and I think I earned it. First of all, Friday was a University Day and all classes were cancelled. So other than my interview, I had the whole day to sleep in, relax and enjoy some quality time with my friends. That evening we actually did something that I haven’t done in a long time. We went roller-skating. I am really good at roller blading and it was a lot of fun for me to get moving again. Some people in our group weren’t as good and spent of lot of their time hugging the wall but I am pretty sure they had fun too. We were planning on sticking around later in the evening for the dance part of the night, but soon realized that was a bad idea when everyone around us was still in middle school. So we headed out for the night and chilled back at the dorms. The next day we slept in and then left for Orlando. We had bought tickets for Halloween Haunt at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. The roller coasters were slamming and the haunt fest was a lot of fun too. The haunted houses were a bit lame but walking through the streets was creepy and exhilarating. Other than the fact that we were freezing our rear ends off, it was really an awesome night with friends. If you want, you can check out pictures on my Facebook.

We crashed that night in a hotel in Orlando and drove back the next morning. A little more relaxation and then we were off to watch the Steelers game at a place called Steel City Pizza. The people there had one thing in common with my friend Matt: They were obsessed with the Steelers. Don’t ask me why because I don’t know. So, to be troublesome, myself and Dustin from 4th floor Wood decided to root for the Raiders. To our surprise, the Raiders beat the Steelers. Kind of sad for the Steelers to lose to one of the worst teams in the NFL but that’s how it goes sometimes in the RAIDER NATION!!!

Anyhow, that’s all for now. Time for bed. I hope everyone had a good past two weeks and I wish you all the best in the next two. Be sure to check back for more updates and use the message boards. All the journal writers are there to help you.

Until next time, You stay classy Planet Earth!

October 16

Hello again readers. I’m back to keep you updated on the jive down here in Daytona Beach. Let me tell you. This semester is really starting to roll. September is long gone and Halloween is fast approaching. My second set of exams are coming up toward the end of this month, which means the semester is just about half over. There has not been much going on in my life except for a few big events so I will talk about the general week and then talk about those events.

The past two weeks have been pretty ordinary as far as school goes. The weeks become really routine after a while and you kind of get set on autopilot. I have to remind myself to stay focused all the time just so that I won’t slack off. That doesn’t mean the classes are boring because I really like all my classes. Repetition can just get boring sometimes. I have not been working as much lately either. It has been a nice break from having to go from work to class, back to work and then class one final time. I actually get to have a rest period between classes where I can sleep or get some homework done. The other nice thing about not having work everyday means I have time go to the beach before or between classes which, believe me, is the coolest thing ever.

As far as the evenings go, I have found my little group of friends that I really connect with and we hang out all the time. We are now all big fans of LOST (Watch it, I swear you wont regret it), and we watch Heroes, which is turning out to be an awesome show. Other nights we rent movies and watch those together. We also go out to dinner all the time and that is always fun because it is not Sodexho food. We have our home base at Outback Steakhouse, but we have been branching out to Mexican food at El Azteca and Italian food at Buca di Beppo. Oh yea, and Touch N’ Go productions put on the movie Thank You For Smoking which was an awesome movie.

Now for the bigger and not so ordinary events. The first, and the one that I thought was the most fun, was the Eagles hockey game. The game I went to was versus Tulane. To start out, the game seemed slightly awkward because we had at least 4 lines on the ice and the other team barely had 2. They were a little out numbered which eventually would lead to their defeat. However, we learned later that part of their team was injured in a car accident during their trip down to the match. Hopefully they are okay and I wish them the very best. Going back to the game, when you get here you have to go to sporting events. In high school, sports are fun and entertaining, but in college it is just insane. There is constant cheering and yelling and everybody is united in the fight for your team to win the game. You will see that everyone participates and there are cheers for every different event that happens at the hockey games. To top it off, I was so proud at the beginning of the game. I was not expecting what happened at the start of the match. Usually you go to a professional game and some random celebrity gets up and sings the National Anthem. At our small college games, we can’t get the celebrities for the obvious reasons. So, we make it work ourselves. The pep band starts playing the anthem and EVERY SINGLE PERSON sings. A big percentage of students attending Riddle are ROTC students and it shows when everybody shows their pride for country during the anthem. It really solidified to me that I am definitely at the right school. To top off the night, we won the game and were greeted outside with a terrible, yet terrific surprise. It was pouring rain outside. Big deal you may say. Who cares because you are driving home, not walking? Well my friends, we arrived at the game with something like 7 people riding in the bed of a truck. After contemplating what to do we said to hell with it and a couple of us ran to the truck to bring it back to pick up the others. That was the most fun I have had in a long time. We got soaking wet and everybody was laughing the entire way. A couple of lessons for you future Riddle students: First, wet cigarettes don’t light at high speeds as my friend Carl found out. Second, small rain drops moving past your head and hands at high speeds are going to feel like needles against your skin. That was definitely a great night.

We also went to the range with my rifle this past week. I took one guy that had come with me before and three guys who had never fired with me before. It was a lot of fun even though one guy almost jammed up my rifle by loading too many rounds in the chamber. We had a great time together and it really relieves a lot of stress to just squeeze off a few rounds. We made the trip to the range a little more interesting by placing a wager on the last rounds. Each person took one shot at the same target to see who could get closer to center from 50 yards out. The person who was closest to the center received dinner for free and the person who was farthest from the target had to pay for that free dinner. I went last and made a stupid choice. The range master blew his whistle and called for a cold line. I hesitated and then rushed to take my shot anyway. I was way off to say the least and ended up losing the wager. I would just like to add I was the only one the whole day that had any bullseyes and should have won that game.

Anyway, the last main event of the past week happened just this past weekend. As you may or may not know, I am a member of ERRSA, the student governing board of the Residence Halls. We went on a retreat this past weekend and it was a blast. I had so much fun and learned a lot about all my fellow members. We spent the first night doing a team builder by exploring and sharing with everybody a little bit about ourselves. It was awesome to see that I shared a lot of morals and qualities with everybody in the room. Following the team builders we broke down into some fun. We played mafia, which is one of the most fun mind games to play with a group. If you want to know how to play then e-mail me. The night ended with the majority of people just hanging out and talking to get to know each other. The next day was filled with tons of team building and games. It was more fun than I initially thought it would be and I have come out with a lot more friends that I’m glad I got to know.

Sorry, but I have no pictures this time. I haven’t had the time to upload my most recent photos from my camera. Hopefully I will be able to get those on for my next journal. Also, stay tuned for a possible housing change. I received a letter that I might be moved from one location to another due to a ìdetripleî process. Unfortunately, I do not want to be moved from my current location. I love my hall mates and my room. I am going to try and work something out with housing. If you have any questions or want to know anything particular about my daily life or schedule, feel free to e-mail me at vonkr497@erau.edu. I really enjoy reading and responding to your e-mail and appreciate that people are actually reading my journals.

Until next time, may the force be with you and Godspeed . . . Sorry, the SciFi dork in my had to come out eventually.

October 2

Greetings again from beautiful Daytona Beach. My Lord, has this past week been insane. This past week was my first full week of exams. I had four exams spread out over four days: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. My first exam was not too difficult because it was on Shakespeare’s Hamlet and I have read the play about six or seven times. However, my Dynamics, Fluid Mechanics and Differential Equations/Matrices exams were much more difficult. I probably studied more hours then I can count and slept less hours then I care to think about. I don’t mean to scare anybody but I did put in a tremendous amount of work for this week. However, I feel I performed extremely well. So, a little bit of advice to all of you prospective students out there, work hard and give it all you’ve got. And just when you think you have nothing left, give a little bit more. I swear on my life, it will pay off. That’s two years of college of experience telling you how to get through exams.

Well, enough of that scary exam talk. The other half of being successful in college is enjoying the experience. The last two weeks have also been filled with good fun times that include going to class (yes I love to learn), going to work (yes I love earning money), and hanging out with all my great friends. To start out with, my classes are awesome. They may sound intimidating but you learn some crazy concepts and fundamentals that have so many real world applications. At first they are complicated, but the more you use them, the more you understand and trust me when I tell you that there is no greater feeling then when you finally fully grasp a subject. There have been a couple of times that I have felt totally accomplished and it just made my day. I have also been working a lot lately for the catering company on campus. I actually had three years of catering experience that made this job relatively easy. We set up for special events around campus such as banquets or executive meetings. I mostly work in between classes putting as many hours as I can. It’s a nice balance between work and school. This way I still have the evenings and weekends to get school work done.

The best part of this past weekend is being able to enjoy time with my friends. We have managed to find time to hang out, even if only for an hour, almost every night. It has made getting through homework much easier by breaking up our work time. Usually we all come back from classes and get the necessary homework done and then we watch one of our favorite shows. Last week, we finished getting everybody caught up on one of the best shows on the tele: Lost. I will probably plug this show a lot and there is a reason. If you haven’t watched, you need to start right now. The third season starts on October 4th at 8PM. Buy the first and second season and watch them. I swear you will be hooked and desperately awaiting the start of the new season. On the weekends, we try and go out to the city. Last weekend, we went down to Oceanwalk, which is the entertainment district or nightlife area. We basically walked around just as a nice break from the week. This past weekend we went back to Oceanwalk and saw the movie Accepted which is hilarious. It’s a great movie for college or prospective college students. Then we went to a party hosted by the Pi Kappa Alpha (PIKE) fraternity at Cancun Lagoon. It was great time with dancing and friends. We also try to eat out every once in a while during the week. The food here at Riddle is just fine and the meal plan system is great, but sometimes it’s nice to get out and enjoy a treat at one of the local restaurants. Other than that, we try and go to the movies shown on campus by Touch N’ Go Productions. Those guys are awesome. They put on tons of events around campus. Last week we saw “X-Men III” and this week they were showing “Pirates of Caribbean II.” Next week they are showing “Thank You For Smoking” and I can’t wait because that movie is awesome.

This campus is definitely an amazing place to be. The lifestyle is definitely a slower pace, which I love compared to the rush of the Los Angeles, CA lifestyle. I will be honest; the obvious small population of women on campus can get to me sometimes. But, a lot of the time I am focused on class work or having fun with my friends. The academic workload is definitely there, but once I got into the flow of the week I was able to balance my daily life and I have never had more fun. I also keep in contact with my family through the wonders of the Internet and the telephone and I recommend everyone do the same. My family is a cornerstone in the foundation of my life. They bring love and support that no other source can match.

One last thing I want to mention is get involved. It totally makes the experience that much better. I represent Wood Hall in ERRSA, which is the Embry-Riddle Resident Student Association. I have made so many new friends and connections in that organization and I am really having an impact on the path of the university. I am a member of the Skydiving club and plan to go get certified in skydiving before the end of the semester. That is really going to fulfill one of my greatest dreams. Also make sure that you participate in all your Hall events. I have the greatest RA. She is one of the nicest and hardest-working people I have ever met. She does everything she can to be of assistance to all of us on the hall. She plans events for the hall with an extremely limited budget and makes living with everybody so much fun.

Well, for now that’s all. The next time I write will be interesting because I will have taken a couple of weekend trips. This up coming weekend a few of the guys from the hall are going to Miami to stay with the family of one of the guys going. I’ve never been to the southern tip of Florida and I can’t wait. The weekend after that I am going to a retreat for ERRSA and that is supposed to be a blast. Until then, I leave you Cool Cats with some pictures and best wishes in all your endeavors. Thanks for stopping by and reading. Peace out.

September 28

Welcome and greetings from Daytona Beach, Florida. Thank you for visiting the University website and my journal. Over the next year, I will be documenting my experiences here at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and together we will experience the life of a student at one of the top universities in the country. I’m glad you’ve decided to spend some time reading my first journal and I hope that at the end of the encounter you are intrigued to return throughout the year. I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences with prospective students and their parents and hope that this journal, and all those that follow, are as informative and enjoyable for you as they will be for me.

Before I begin, I believe I should explain how my personal and educational situation might shine light on the university experience from a different angle. My name is Steve von Kriegenbergh and I am a 20-year old transfer student from California. It is my understanding that the majority of the journals being written are by first year college students. As a transfer student, I have completed two years of college level credits towards my major. I have also had the experience of living on my own while attending classes and working. My hope is that my experience will provide three advantages. The first is that it will allow all prospective students to see what life is like for a first year Riddle student. The second is that it will allow future freshman to see what college is like after securing a year or two of good grades under your belt. The last view, and most unique, will allow possible transfer students an opportunity to see what it’s like to be a new student all over again. My plan is to share lots of stories from present and past and to compare the two time periods to give a holistic and realistic view of college life. With that in mind, it’s off to the races and to the actual journal.

As you already know, I am a transfer student from California. Before transferring to Embry-Riddle, I attended the California State University, Long Beach where I began my college career as an aeronautical engineering major. Before college, I grew up in Arcadia, California and attended Arcadia High School. While in high school I focused on my drum line activities and very little on my academic work. This next story is the first in an ongoing list of life lessons that you should consider taking to heart.

When it comes to something as important as your education, never settle for less than your very best effort. I didn’t try very hard in my classes in high school. I barely got into college right after I graduated. It was not even the school I wanted to attend. I learned from my mistakes and worked hard during my first two years of college and earned the grades I needed to transfer to Embry-Riddle. When it comes to your education, push yourself until you have nothing left to give, and then give a little more.

So, I decided to attend Embry-Riddle after working two years at another University. Let me tell you, the excitement and anticipation of applying for this university was something I missed the first time around. I worked hard and was more than qualified for acceptance, but waiting for the response was still driving me nuts. The day I got accepted was one of the happiest days of my life. I didn’t get anything done at work that day. It was the achievement of a life goal for me. There was, however, one aspect of the whole situation that anchored down my excitement. A cloud of nervousness was sitting on the tail end of my acceptance. Call me crazy, but there was something about moving 2,600 miles across the country to a new life that made me think twice. I assume a lot of students that move away to college experience this whether they are going 3 miles or 3,000 miles. I have some advice for those of you who are thinking or might eventually think twice about your decision to start a new life at college. Do It! If this is something you have thought about for a long time then you need to go through with it. I was nervous about leaving my old life behind and going from one ocean to the other. I have been here at Riddle for three and a half weeks and not once have I regret my decision to attend. These past weeks have been filled with some of the greatest memories of my entire life. Do what it takes to get here. I made lots of sacrifices to be here but it is completely worth it.

It took lots of paperwork, hard work, and two separate plane tickets, but I got here and the first weeks at the University are everything I hoped for. I’ll admit I was slightly confused and disoriented at first because everything was new to me. Traveling to a new city by yourself with no personal transportation is not an easy thing to do, but it made for a few good chances to get to know city. I arrived a few days early and spent the day before residence hall move-in and orientation check-in exploring the city. I walked from my hotel near the racetrack, to the campus and then all the way to the beach and back. I saw a lot of the city and my feet were definitely tired at the end of the day. I personally felt the best part of the day was looking out over the Atlantic Ocean. For the first time in my life, the Ocean would be associated with a sunrise and not a sunset. I also got a chance to adjust to the time difference that day and I would highly recommend showing up at least a few days before check-in.

After a night of uninterruptible sleep, I woke up and made my way to the campus with all my luggage. A little bit of advice, show up to move-in early. I got there about 45 minutes after they opened the doors and I had quite a nice line to stand in. Fortunately, the residence hall staff was very friendly and thanks to the lovely ladies of soccer team, the move-in process went smoothly. During check-in you receive your keys for your room, mailbox and after a quick trip over to the ICI center, your Eagle card to open security key doors. All of the orientation teams and residence hall staff are extremely nice people. They are going to do everything they can to help you get settled in as best possible. The majority of the day is filled with just getting moved-in and then a Convocation ceremony, which is a nice gathering to attend to open the school year. But the best part of living in the residence hall was yet to come.

The number one reason to attend college is what I am about to tell you. Your hall mates are going to become one of the key aspects of your entertainment and success in college. You will spend a lot of your day socializing and studying with them. They become not only your friends but also your family and believe me, you are going to see them a lot. I am not exaggerating this at all. After being on the hall for only 5 days, I felt like I had been living with my new friends for weeks. You can even read about it through my new friend and next-door neighbor Cat (also a student journalist). We have all become extremely close friends. The other great thing about the residence halls is that typically people with similar majors are placed on the same hall and it makes for an ideal networking, socializing, and studying environment.

I got through orientation that was filled with all kinds of activities and meetings including orientation events, department meetings, a Hawaiian Luau, and performances by a magician and hypnotist. The 5 days went by extremely fast and it ended too soon but I’m glad I was able to enjoy it while it lasted. The next episode to endure would be the transition into a regular class schedule packed with lectures, homework, exams and all night study sessions. So far, I have enjoyed my classes. I know they are going to be difficult, but the professors are great teachers and as long as I stay focused, I’m sure I will succeed. I plan to stay busy with classes while getting involved with lots of activities and hanging out with friends. Remember, if all you do is go to class, you aren’t really experiencing college. I have joined the skydiving club because it is something I have always wanted to do and I have found lots in common with my hall mates. Apparently, we all love to relax at the beach, which we try to do at least once a week. We even spent a very cold night on the beach together staring at the stars and then waiting for the sun to rise the next morning. I even found a few shooting buddies to go with me to the range every once in a while (By the way, I in no way promote storing a weapon on campus and I abide by all rules pertaining to the ownership or possession of a weapon as set forth in the student handbook.) I was also just elected to the Embry-Riddle Resident Student Association general board to represent Wood Hall (Wood 5 Baby!). Just remember to keep up with your studies and get involved around campus. I know I am looking forward to every new week.

Well it is getting late and I have an exam in Computer Programming tomorrow. This first journal was just an introduction into my background and the first days in the university. As I keep writing, I will go into many more details about everyday life. Meanwhile, if you ever have any questions about anything I write about or just want to ask about any aspect of life between journal entries you can look me up in a variety of ways. For those of you with access to Facebook or Myspace, I can be easily looked up on there. You can also e-mail me at vonkr497@erau.edu. In the future, all the journalist will also be watching the message boards and you can converse with us there. Until then, I bid you adieu and send all the best wishes with your current endeavors. Come back and check for updates and I hope to meet you all very soon…Steve