September & Fall 2021 Schedule

Happy September everyone! I’m currently blogging from Daytona Beach, FL. As Week 2 of the Fall 2021 semester at ERAU-DB is coming to a close, I can say that classes, activities, clubs, and events are back into full swing operations. Currently, masks are the expectation on campus and all my classes are in person and most of my obligations, sans for a few Zoom meetings and Group Projects. This semester I am taking AE 432 – Flight Dynamics and Control, AE 420- Aircraft Preliminary Design, AE 416 – Aerospace Structures and Instrumentation, along with AE 417 – Aerospace Structures and Instrumentation Lab, HS 325 – Terrorism Origins and Ideologies, as well as my normal Air Force ROTC mornings Physical Training and Leadership Laboratory sessions.

In addition to my course load I am also participating in a tutoring extension of the summer program I took part in with Project Global Officer (Project GO). I attend one hour Zoom tutoring sessions weekly, with a Masters Student studying at the University of Arizona (the host university I studied with over the summer, in collaboration with the AALIM Center in Meknes, Morocco). Project GO is a critical language learning initiative offered through the Department of Defense to ROTC students in all branches of service. Four years ago I couldn’t imagine that I would be able to read, write, and speak in Arabic, but here we are folks, my progress even amazes me!

Since the semester is back to its typical business, I’ve been trying to take time to prioritize my health this year, particularly by focusing on staying safe and healthy in light of the pandemic. I tried a Cycle class at the Fitness Center last week, and am looking forward to checking out more Group Fitness classes in addition to Cycle (I would highly recommend!), such as Yoga, BodyPump, and Boxing Conditioning!

Outside of class and working out, I spent last weekend getting some sunshine at the beach. I watched the sunrise then went surfing and got to catch up on some leisurely reading. This weekend, I have mandatory class sessions on Saturday and Sunday, totaling 4 extra hours for a class that typically is supposed to meet during the week for a total of 6 hours. (An additional 2/3 of our usual amount of class time… split into two Mandatory sessions on both Saturday AND Sunday!) Since my free time is and few in between lately, I am cherishing the time I got to enjoy last weekend.

Sunrise at the beach last weekend!

I spent the long Labor Day weekend also taking a self-care trip to Orlando about an hour away from campus with my friend to visit the local Trader Joes. At Trader Joes I got two very fun new drinks to try: one Maple Oat Milk to put in my coffee (pictured below left) and two – Chai Tea Concentrate to make chai tea lattes (pictured below right)! Chai tea lattes are the perfect afternoon pick-me-up, and I am very excited about both of my new finds!

New Trader Joes Maple Oat Milk and Spiced Chai Black Tea Concentrate!

As I currently blog in the midst of doing laundry and making coffee between my classes, I am especially grateful that we had the opportunity to make the trip over the weekend. The maple oat milk in coffee is so delicious! Keep on keeping on folks, stay safe!

Summer Endings & New Experiences

Happy July everyone! I’m currently blogging from Fairbanks, Alaska, savoring the last few weeks of summer and starting to prep for back to school life in the Fall 2021 semester at ERAU-DB.

For me, this means working out on a regular basis, my summer classes coming to an end in the upcoming weeks, and trying to fit in as many fun experiences as possible. With summer classes concluding, this also means more intense studying for finals and post Project GO Arabic language program testing. Some of the moments I’ve been enjoying lately include coffee shop stops, walking to get ice cream around the corner from my house (during particularly hot summer evenings), hiking, picking fresh berries, and cooking!

Fresh raspberries I picked with my family!

Dorm life doesn’t allow for many cooking opportunities, so I’m trying to fit in as many delicious comfort foods as possible before returning to campus. Since I am an avid breakfast (at all times of the day) lover, my favorite fun meal is pancakes for dinner! While in the dorm, microwave pancakes are a quick and fun option, but it’s hard to replace the experience of dancing around a kitchen, making real pancakes with the people you love.

Some dark chocolate (freshly picked) raspberry Kodiak cakes that I made, with almond butter and…maple syrup of course!

A typical school/work day includes balancing my mental/physical health by taking breaks after online classes to stretch/do yoga, workout, go for a walk, or listen to music. In the evenings my favorite activities to unwind are reading, cooking, listening to music/podcasts, or phone calls with family and friends. I am also a big fan of late afternoon naps!

Lately, I’ve had quite a few meetings to prep for upcoming work in Air Force ROTC, Student Court, and Orientation Team. Additionally, I have very much been enjoying a “9:00am-5:00pm” work philosophy. I am most productive during the “work day” then after 5:00pm I reserve time for relaxing and recharging. Since candles aren’t allowed in the dorms, I love enjoying them at home to signify the “end” of a long work day. While more restrictions are being lifted as we come to the end of the height of the pandemic and mask-free is the new normal once again, other countries/states/cities are still experiencing rises in COVID-19 cases… so I am preferring my social activities to take place mostly outdoors in wide open spaces when possible, and spending most of my other time at home.

A recent weekend hike of Summit Trail to Wickersham Dome exploring Alaska!

Over the past year, with quarantining, online courses, and overall lots more time spent at home, I’ve learned the importance of how the space around you can potentially effect you and your mental health more than you realize. Because of this I’ve started making my bed on a regular basis, and feeling more refreshed keeping my living space clean, diffusing essential oils, listening to peaceful music, and (when allowed) opening windows for fresh air, as well as lighting candles.

Keep on keeping on folks, will report back soon!