Spooky Season

Today commences the beginning of spooky season. That time of year filled with ghouls, goblins, monsters, and impending due dates for assignments/ midterms. With all of these stress inducing things, many struggle trying to find a way to get by, but don’t you worry. I am here with simple solutions and actions I take to make the time run smoother.

Pro-Tip #1:

Going to the Beach

Living in Daytona Beach, we all take the second part of our city name for granted. The beach is clinically proven to wash away even the biggest problems, …don’t look that up.

Getting out of your dorm/housing and straight into nature provides an amazing chance to just breathe and appreciate all that’s around. You can watch the sunrise over the horizon, watch the sunset, bird watch, or even star gaze. The options are endless, but the end goal is to take a moment to breathe, regroup, and then approach studying or what not with a clear mind.

Pro Tip #2:

A Rewarding Snack

For some, a nice treat can make their day, and who are you to deprive yourself from treating YOURSELF. If you can’t go out, or bake in your home, you could always make a mug cake/brownie. Pinterest is full of amazing recipes that are friendly to anyone’s personal diet (or you could make a trip to Wal-mart for their mug cake). I also recommend Cow Licks next to the shore, off of S Atlantic Avenue. The price and flavor are totally worth the drive or Uber.

Pro Tip #3:

Relax the Best Way that Fits YOU

Regardless of what other people tell you, you know what works best for you. If leaving the dorm or room causes you even more stress, then allot some time to watch a show or a short YouTube clip as your breather. Or if physical activity helps you clear your mind, take a jog or go to the gym, which is open from 6 am to 11 pm on Mondays – Fridays and 10 am to 9 pm on Saturday – Sundays. As long as what you do to unwind is safe and healthy for you and those around you then by all means do it.

The semester may bring pressures but small moments of self care helps to move along those tough times and make them brighter!

And that’s the tea. Until next time!

Break & ChocoBananas

Happy March everyone! I’m currently blogging from Daytona Beach, Florida and spring break has finally come to an end. Over the break I flew out of MCO to IAD then to… El Salvador! It was truly a thrilling experience and I can honestly say I’d rather be on a beach in the sun than back into the swing of classes.

Over the break my sister, my mom, and I went to La Libertad, El Salvador and spent the week soaking up the sunshine and eating really great food. Cue the fresh smoothies and pupusas.

We surfed, we hiked waterfalls, mountains, volcanos, went to the beach, the pool, and I (of course) did a lot of yoga and napping. We stayed at a private villa called La Casa Bonita that had coconut, mango, and banana trees on the property, so naturally we woke up every morning to enjoy fresh fruit or fresh juice with breakfast. I also ate a lot of frozen bananas and mangoes covered in chocolate, also called ChocoBananas or ChocoMangos.

My sister and I on the second level of our villa overlooking the pool!

The beach in the town we stayed in was absolutely stunning, and there wasn’t even sand! The noise the tide made when it rushed out and all the water fled from the gray stones sounded almost like a stereotypical babbling brook mixed with the familiar swish of the tides. It was hands-down one of the most peaceful places I’ve been, and a definitely well deserved break from the hustle and bustle of classes and my normal routine. The noise alone was breathtaking, and that doesn’t even take into account the amazing view.

My mom and I next to the pool before we went out to dinner!

It’s always hard coming back from a totally different atmosphere and being expected to flip a switch and forget about all outside things because we’re back in “school” mode. A lot of students get sad or really miss home after long weekends or breaks. Sometimes letting yourself be consumed with all your responsibilities truly ostracizes you in your own little world and it can at times even feel a little lonely!

One thing that I definitely fall victim to at Riddle is being consumed with everything it has to offer. Most of the time I feel like Riddle is its own little island, and even leaving campus for a few minutes to go to the store or the beach is a rain check that realigns my perspective and reminds me that although being a student is a huge part of my life, it is not my entire life. I’m on year two, and still working on balancing everything and figuring out how to not be so consumed with all I’m involved in here. It’s so important to take breaks, and breathe. Relaxing and recuperating after a long week of work and school is extremely important.

My sister and I at the top of the Santa Ana Volcano, featuring a ChocoBanana on a stick.

In lieu of nostalgia from spring break, while I try to navigate the balance between work mode and rest, I leave you from a spot at my desk on a Sunday afternoon about to work on some Aerospace Flight Vehicles homework, and I hope you all take five minutes to yourselves to breathe, whether its in the middle of the day, or you schedule your evenings as time to put away your phones and laptops and decompress, you deserve it. Work hard, and rest harder. Until next time folks!

‘Tis the Season & Twenty

Happy November everyone! I’m currently blogging from Daytona Beach, as per usual. October absolutely flew by, and the semester is almost over, only about a month and a half to go. Final stretch!

I have a feeling November will fly by too, Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and the atmosphere is changing. Theres so much energy flowing around campus right now. Everyone is tired but very busy. We’re all rushing around in our own little worlds consumed with the list of things we need to get done before the end of the semester. At this point our routine is (for the most part) pretty well established, and we flow from this routine into the winding down portion, right before intense late-night study sessions and cramming for finals. Midterms are about over with, but there are still a lot of projects and presentations happening. The weather is dropping a couple degrees, it’s finally starting to feel like fall, or maybe just Florida’s version of winter? Did I hear winter PT gear anyone?!

Along with the cold weather, ‘tis the season for beach PTs, pumpkins, cornucopias, and you guessed it- it’s always coffee season!

Beach PT with the Bravo Bandits!

Some of my favorite parts about the end of the semester are Late Night Breakfast hosted ERSA, which is the Embry Riddle Student Association, Pass in Review (PIR) for AFROTC, and of course shout out to the teaching assistants (TAs) and all the professors hosting supplemental instruction (SI) sessions. Also, at this point, every college student knows your professor’s office hours and the tutoring center will become your best friend.

Since studying and homework take up so much time at this point in the year, my favorite study music and backtracks to doing homework to are FKJ, Masego, the Chillhop Music station on YouTube because they have (literally) hours of relaxing songs, and any beats with Alan Watts inducing knowledge and creativity into my thought process while I crank through Calculus.

It’s important to note that although the semester is getting intense, you should still try to take time for yourself at least once a week. This past week I took five minutes to watch the new animated movie trailer for The Grinch. I must say I am starting to get into the winter mood, and also I very much want to see this movie, although it probably won’t happen until winter break, but it is a great incentive to push out until the end of the semester.

Side note: I turned 20! My birthday was filled with coffee, classes, studying for tests, homework, and my physics lab (so it was pretty much an average day). Fortunately, I did manage to squeeze a few minutes to go to a pumpkin patch and carve pumpkins. It’s the little things folks.

Despite the flannel, it was about 80 degrees when we visited the pumpkin patch.

Birthday/Halloween pumpkins. Guess which one’s mine!

Will report back soon yall. Until then keep on keeping on, and in the words of Ellen DeGeneres, “be kind to one another”.

Throwing it back…

Today I am home in Castle Rock, Colorado for spring break. While I’m cruising through these old, familiar streets, I have been quite nostalgic of the times leading up to college. I remember being so excited after being accepted since Embry-Riddle was my first pick. I know many of you are going through similar experiences now, so I thought I would tell you a little bit about the last bit of time before college.

I have said this before, but if you are torn on which college to choose, go visit! Each college has its own personality and you’ll get a feeling once you’re standing there on whether or not you can see yourself there. I understand traveling can be expensive so take the online virtual tours and read blogs like these to understand student life! If you’ve visited both schools and are still unsure, do more research!

This time of year for seniors is pretty calm. Most know where they will be attending or at the very least, where they are accepted. The pressure of applications is off and all that is left to worry about is graduation and possibly some AP exams. The good news is… it only gets better from here!

Most colleges have an orientation or preview day. We have both here at Riddle! Preview Day is April 7th so be sure to RSVP for that! It is only for accepted students. Orientation is in fall before classes begin. At our Preview Day, you can sit in on classes, make tuition and housing deposits, take tours of the campus and dorms, get your eagle ID, and register for classes. You can also talk to financial aid if you have any questions or problems! I know many people who made friends and even found roommates during this day! Many campus organizations will be out and talking about their clubs so accepted students can get to know more about them. Girls can meet with their woman ambassador too – I know I am meeting with some of mine! I’m adding some very cheesy photos from my Preview Day in 2016 (I feel old) *cringe*!

Got my eagle ID!

Here I am getting help registering for classes. They provide a sheet of recommendations.

I met up with a girl from my town who was a senior at Riddle. Our mom’s worked together.

Meeting with my woman ambassador, Jackie! We still talk even though she has graduated.

Taking a housing tour and making friends! I still say hi to these guys when I see them on campus!

In the days leading up to graduation, cherish the moments. Don’t get too caught up in all the unimportant details like what shoes to wear or planning the perfect party. Enjoy your family who came to celebrate with you, thank your teachers for their support, and spend time with your friends before everyone goes to either side of the country! Get pictures before the graduation so you have better chances of getting non-crowded, and your first pick of backgrounds.

After graduation, enjoy your summer because the next ones will be filled with internships, flights, or summer classes. I worked the whole summer before coming to college and I am thankful I did. When the family plans a vacation, join them! (note: I have an older sister who is always super busy during the summer, so my parents learned from her that we need vacations now)!

You will also begin packing and preparing for school now! Soon I will be posting a thorough packing list. Until then, start getting necessities like bedding (for an XL twin bed) and other obvious items. (Note: I recommend Target, Macy’s, or PB Teen for bedding!)

One more thing about Preview Day, you get to tour Daytona when you have free time. While there is a lot to do, there is no strict schedule. My mom and I went to the flea market, beach, and Disney!

At Daytona Beach!

At the flea market!

Disney World with my mom!

Your Embry-Riddle gear gets you into cockpits! I was welcomed up on my flight back home!

Please leave a comment if you have any questions! I’d be happy to help!

– Maddie Dietrich

Feelin’ Hot, Hot, Hot

No, but seriously… is Daytona ALWAYS been this hot in May? The moment I drove over the Georgia-Florida state line I could feel the change in heat. Aside from fighting the curly hair struggle in humidity, I’m excited to be back!

Local restaurants and coffee shops like Tia Cori’s and Sweet Marlays’ coffee shop have been calling my name. I can’t forget Bethune Grill – home to the best wings in Daytona. It’s a must-have!

Five minutes beyond the mom-and-pop shops is the “Most Famous Beach in the World.” I’ve already pulled my beach blankets from storage and prepared an emergency beach bag equipped with sun screen, shades, a good book, and a Bluetooth speaker. I’ll always be ready for a spontaneous trip to the beach.

Even better, I have a few friends staying in town for Summer courses so we’ll be getting into the habit of $6 movies on Tuesdays. Wonder Woman, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Cars 3 are just a few of the movies on my list.

I’m a year from graduation, so this could very well be my last Summer in Daytona – home to enjoy a lot of local pleasures. I’ve already begun checking things off the list, but for every item I cross out I add three more. I’m not sure if this will ever happen, but I’ve just added Skydiving and Swimming with Manatees.

When Life Hands You Lemons.. Ignore Them and Make Fried Chicken

This week began with a rough start. While I stopped at a store, my bicycle was stolen. I was actually getting a new pair of sneakers so I could be more comfortable on my ride in to work. What a happy coincidence! I contacted everyone I could, asked around the neighborhood, and filed a report. So, with my fingers crossed, I will keep on keeping on. On the bright side, I work with some incredibly kind and giving people. My roommate, Sharelle, and a co-worker, Christian, have offered to give me a ride whenever I need. I  have been treated so kindly by everyone that I work with, and although I was not feeling the best about having my primary mode of transportation taken away, I was awfully happy and appreciative of everyone around me for their help. I never thought I would get a chance to work with such kind people!

Although I may have started the week in the wrong gear, I certainly wasn’t going to continue on without changing it up. So the next morning I went on a 2-hour cruise with my roommate and our friends. Working for the military has its perks, and apparently one of them is getting on boat tours for $7. It was fun going around the bay and main island. There were all kinds of military ships at dock and fighter jets skipping along the main island’s airport. After that, we got delicious fish tacos and walked around the beach area. California has pretty beaches, but the water is not as clean or warm as it is in Daytona. So, I’m Embry-Riddle homesick, but I’m sure I will be missing San Diego when I head home in 10 weeks.

On the boat tour of San Diego

An actual ship from the Pirates of the Caribbean Film

Want this job!

USS Midway

What a Life!

Titanic has forever ruined the view of ship captains

Monday morning, I got to work and immediately started working on my project to create Human Factors professional classes and workshops. My mentor will be in charge of presenting and organizing these events for other professionals at our company. The goal is to teach professionals in other fields the proper user and usability test methods. I also worked on making a final report about the research I did last week on visually impaired people using a company-wide website. I am so incredibly sleepy from writing the 11 pages it took for me to get my points across to the designers and programmers. But boy do I love bossing around engineers and telling them that they’re wrong! I had it finished just in time for the weekly meeting. My boss said that I have good time management skills. That poor lady knows nothing about me, either that or I am very talented at making things seem more incredible than they really are.

I stepped up for another project at work. This time, I will be working on designing a website for a training group. I will be doing something called wire-framing. This is a process of sketching out design ideas and continually changing them until you reach the final design which will be coded by the programmers. You start this process by drawing out the design using a pen and paper (or towel or toilet paper). You will need a more high fidelity wire-frame to accurately test with people. This can be designed on PowerPoint or other design software. For now I am taking the list of activities someone can do using this website and grouping them into a logical pattern. In user-centered design, people call that designing the information architecture.

At my workplace there’s something called the New Professional Program that allows newly graduated students to try different projects going on with the different branches at our company. It’s a great program because it allows the student going through it to explore the options in order to find work that they enjoy doing. This week I was assigned writing up the projects at my branch to make us sound, “young, hip, and cool.” Which would be a somewhat accurate feel for my branch, aside from the whole young part. Most of the people I work with are 50 years old and up, so a majority of time they are worrying about their hips going out or complaining that they are too cold. No, I’m just kidding. But not really because they are very old. That gives me an advantage, though. If I can take in all of their advice and experiences, it will help me greatly in my career one day. Always take hand-me-down wisdom!

On Thursday, I learned how to shoot a gun… or 6. Since this week was only 4 days long for me, I went out with a few friends to a shooting range for my first time shooting a gun. I am not a huge fan, but I had to try it once just to say I tried it. It was very cool, but I had horrible aim and have the arm strength of a fetus. So, the shooting range was an unsuccessful success… if that makes any sense. And I realized it’s about time I start working out. So keeping to this thought, I went out with those same friends and ate half a pizza. The next few days were used catching up on a few Riddle-based projects.. and by Riddle-based projects, what I really mean is sleep. Sleep was greatly needed.

I think I look cool!

I ended this week at the Corvette Diner, a 50’s themed restaurant. I had a root beer milkshake with fried chicken (oh I miss the South) and watched the waitresses shamefully dance with their co-workers. I was appalled and felt slightly uncomfortable as our waitress came up to our table and started spinning my hair around in a twist. I began to growl at her little when she started putting straws in my hair to keep the twist in place. Thankfully, my roommate, Sharelle, who had joined me said that was part of the “act” at that restaurant. I ignored Sharelle the first few times she said it was ok, but she got my attention when she sprayed water in my face and yelled, “Bad Carolyn!” My hair did look pretty lovely. I will definitely be coming back so that she can style my hair with straws for my wedding.

Milkshakes

A bow-tie out of straws!

Keep coming by!

From Spring to Summer

Wow am I tardy on writing! Sorry about that – I promise I’ll keep up this summer, especially because I’ll have plenty to write about.

Spring semester went out with a bang. The Semester of Death has been vanquished, and not a moment too soon! I had four final projects to do, four final exams to take, and my senior thesis proposal to write. Combine that with moving to a new apartment and putting on a musical and you get one stressed out future-rocket scientist. But as I am writing this from the end, I’ll skip ahead and tell you that it all works out okay.

I figured I’d tell you guys a little bit about some of the cool final projects I worked on in my junior year at ERAU. For Optics we designed a satellite-based camera that can take pictures of Mars rovers from orbit around Mars. This was done using some math and some CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software, and the end result turned out excellent. In my Microcomputers class we had to design, build, and program a sun sensor with a ton of other features. That one didn’t turn out amazingly – you know how it goes, it works great for you and then you present it for the professor and it just decides not to work for no reason – but it was definitely a very cool project. I also wrote and submitted the proposal for my undergraduate thesis, which you can read here if you’re interested.

I was also inducted into Sigma Pi Sigma – the national physics honors society – this semester! So… yay!

3D

3D CAD drawing of the telescope lenses used in our camera design for Optics.

A picture of our sun sensor. It may not be pretty, but you can see how complicated and totally awesome it is.

A picture of our sun sensor. It may not be pretty, but you can see how complicated and totally awesome it is.

Hitting the books for finals! This was the stack on my desk for a couple weeks.

Hitting the books for finals! This was the stack on my desk for a couple weeks.

 

Back behind my saxophone to put on a production of Jekyll & Hyde!

Back behind my saxophone to put on a production of Jekyll & Hyde!

Oh, I mentioned I played in a musical. The Riddle Players Theatre Company put on the first musical in like 9 years or something along those lines…. Jekyll & Hyde! The story of the aspiring scientist who splits into two personalities: one good and one evil. It’s a great show; I’ve been addicted to the soundtrack ever since. I got to play my saxophone in the pit, and it was a ton of work but a ton of fun. We put on a fantastic production, and I loved having the opportunity to get back into playing some music, which really doesn’t come too often at ERAU, unfortunately. It was also cool to see a bunch of engineers/scientists/pilots/left-brain people put on a musical, and do such a great job of it – we really have a lot of undiscovered talent hidden within all of this math and science.

I’m not going to write a ton of words in this entry. I’ll just throw a bunch of pictures at you to show some of the cool things I’ve been up to….

 

I moved out of my own apartment and into a two-bedroom with a friend of mine. It's cheaper, and she makes me breakfast sometimes. So no complaints there. It's also much nicer - same complex but new appliances, cabinets, and I have a giant bathroom and closet.

I moved out of my own apartment and into a two-bedroom with a friend of mine. It’s cheaper, and she makes me breakfast sometimes. So no complaints there. It’s also much nicer – same complex but new appliances, cabinets, and I have a giant bathroom and closet.

Sally the Space Hamster is still doing well. She likes to watch me do homework and climb all over my books and notes.

Sally the Space Hamster is still doing well. She likes to watch me do homework and climb all over my books and notes.

 

These are the kind of problems we did in Classical Mechanics. Quite whimsical, but they lose their fun once you start to work through the math!

These are the kind of problems we did in Classical Mechanics. Quite whimsical, but they lose their fun once you start to work through the math!

With school being done, May is a fantastic time of year to hit the beach in Daytona!

With school being done, May is a fantastic time of year to hit the beach in Daytona!

 

My roommate and I made a Pi Pie after finding rhubarb at the Daytona farmer's market. Strawberry rhubarb - it was yummy!

My roommate and I made a Pi Pie after finding rhubarb at the Daytona farmer’s market. Strawberry rhubarb – it was yummy!

I drove my boyfriend up to Savannah, GA for his internship with Gulfstream and stayed up there for a couple days. It's a neat place. But I think he's going to write a blog so I'll let him talk about that!

I drove my boyfriend up to Savannah, GA for his internship with Gulfstream and stayed up there for a couple days. It’s a neat place. But I think he’s going to write a blog so I’ll let him talk about that!

 

Back home in Minneapolis for a couple weeks. The longer you spend away from home the more you appreciate it, even if growing up you thought it was the worst place ever and wondered how anybody could ever live in such a frozen tundra. But now I'm like "hey, the summers aren't death, and the city is shiny and pretty."

Back home in Minneapolis for a couple weeks. The longer you spend away from home the more you appreciate it, even if growing up you thought it was the worst place ever and wondered how anybody could ever live in such a frozen tundra. But now I’m like “hey, the summers aren’t death like Florida, and the city is shiny and pretty.”

My little brother graduated from high school this weekend! I guess he's not so little anymore. I tried to recruit him to ERAU, but he wasn't interested - darn!

My little brother graduated from high school this weekend! I guess he’s not so little anymore. I tried to recruit him to ERAU, but he wasn’t interested – darn!

 

I head out to Mountain View, California on Sunday to start my summer at SETI, so you’d better believe I’ll be writing about that. I just wanted to pop in and give a quick update on all the things I’ve been doing since my last entry. As always, feel free to shoot me an email or comment on this post if you want to ask questions or just chat with an awesome Riddle student.

Until next time!
-Lynsey
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