Transitions & Post-Semester Plans

Happy May everyone! Back again blogging from Virginia Beach, a bit of a transition from Daytona Beach. While the beaches are still closed as Virginia is on a stay at home order until June 10, the beach is currently open for exercising, fishing, and surfing, so keep checking back as I will provide updates on my latest adventures. Today is 80 degrees and sunny, I went for a 4.5 mile walk on the boardwalk when I woke up, followed by ten minutes of core exercises, 20 minutes of yoga, a 1.5 mile run, and a divine post run smoothie (truly smoothies taste better after a run, is there a science behind that? Aerospace Engineering has yet to lead me to that answer). I also had the privilege to lay in the sun today in the backyard for about an hour which was SO nice. 

The rest of my day I plan to do some more exercises and yoga, ride bikes to the market to hopefully scavenge some fresh fruits and veggies (the grocery store has been looking BARE, but I prefer local fresh produce anyway), and I will be watching either A Bug’s Life or Monsters, Inc. I haven’t decided yet. Tomorrow I have a Zoom Interview for a Student Government Association position on the Student Court as the Associate Justice, and a virtual Orientation Team meeting over Zoom to discuss new online Orientation preparation and training to best assist the incoming class of 2024’s transition to college life, which is very exciting.

I concluded the last week and the Spring 2020 semester with a Jet Propulsion exam, and Solid Mechanics final exam on the last day of finals week lasting until 9pm. I recently started my summer endeavors by having an interview over Zoom for my Arabic Language Oral Proficiency Placement Level and by submitting an essay in Arabic. Additionally, I transitioned from Northern VA staying with my sister, to Southern VA, and my current May plans include a lot of working out, social distancing, sleeping, and brushing up on some old material (grammar rules, vocabulary, and spelling will definitely be on the list of things I go over) before my summer Arabic classes begin.

A perk of being at my mom’s house is that she loves gardening and being outside when the weather is nice.

Some new plant babies!

My summer study abroad plans have been transformed into summer study domestic via online class plans, but I will still be participating in the Project Global Officer program (Project GO), available for all branches of ROTC students to apply to in order to spend a summer domestically or internationally learning a foreign language critical to national security needs as a professional development opportunity to help you better support the needs of the Department of Defense upon graduating college and commissioning.

More greenery that I will be co-habitating with for the duration of the summer.

Keep on keeping on folks. Will report back soon!

Online Classes & COVID-19

Happy March everyone! I am currently blogging from Northern Virginia, and here’s how my schedule has changed since COVID-19 come in effect and I began taking online classes:

I still wakeup early and drink coffee and I still begin working from the very beginning of the day until the end of the day.

I spend more time working on class things now than before. This is partly because I had to spend two days packing and vacating from living on campus to moving back up north by myself. Usually move out occurs at the end of the semester, after finals, and I am able to have my friends/family help me pack. This time was extremely expedited, solo, and very stressful . . . on top of up in the air RA responsibilities and professors starting online classes and uploading lectures and assignments that I began to fall behind on. Moving out and going to a safe place where I was not at risk of becoming sick (from exposure to thousands of students returning from traveling over spring break) began taking precedence over me trying to stay on top of 60+ priority daily email notifications. 

So to say the least, my personal transition to online classes was very abrupt and sort of felt like I was running to keep up with a moving train. Quarantine preparation and move-out time were not originally factored into my Spring Break plan.

A selfie from the airport quickly traveling back from Daytona Beach to IAD, not pictured: a lot of hand sanitizer and a row to myself on the plane.
Flashback to waking up stress free and looking outside in Key West over Spring Break.

Once I traveled back home and transitioned to actually having time to spend on my online classes though here are a few things I’ve noticed:

Typical in-person classes in Aerospace Engineering are difficult, especially ones that are traditionally not offered as online courses (in the fall/spring as well as summer semesters) because they are too challenging. Now, take these courses with professors who are not the most technologically savvy, and force them to transition to teaching upper level engineering courses via a digital platform. In your head you might be thinking, that doesn’t sound like an idea that would flow very smoothly, and yes, I will tell you, indeed it does not.

Thankfully, however, flexibility is the key to Air Power and AFROTC has smoothly transitioned to hosting online classes and digital assignments to compensate for not having in person Leadership Laboratories, Physical Training sessions, and Air Force classes. That being said, it is significantly easier for classes that frequently rely on digital assignments and communication over online platforms to quickly and easily make a transition to solely remote learning.

I’ve had my first Solid Mechanics test online since digital courses began and even though most of the material was taught before spring break, it was still significantly more stressful as the constant worry of technical issues, distractions, or everyday life problems that occur in a home setting were looming around me (think power outages, that yes, of course happened to me 20 minutes prior to starting my exam).

I have come to the realization that I spend more time on my coursework now with online classes than I did with in-person classes because even with power-points, notes, and recorded lectures being uploaded, I am pretty much teaching myself material in addition to completing homework, projects, and “in-class” assignments on my own.

Verdict: I prefer in person learning to online classes.

Will report back soon folks, keep on keeping on, stay safe and stay well!

Spring Break & Schedule Changes

Happy March everyone! I am currently blogging from Northern Virginia, in quarantine for the n-th day, and WOW at the current global situation with COVID-19 currently afflicting the world…but honestly we should’ve left this one in 2019.

BUT FIRST, let’s flash back to the beginning of March when college students were about to go on Spring Break, COVID-19 seemed like a distant tragedy, and life only seemed stressful at average levels.

Greetings from Key West! Our postcard decal.

I spent Spring break with one of my best friends in Key West, Florida and even though it was still Florida, being on *basically* an island for a week was absolutely well needed. In the current situation, confined from the great public domain with a strict and paranoid 6ft rule of distancing from strangers, I am feeling greatly nostalgic of a week ago when I was happily soaking up sunshine and basking in the glory of constantly being sun kissed and barefoot with salt water hair and always a little bit sandy, despite all the showers I took.

A short lived windy bike ride to the Southern Most Point in the USA.
Being one with nature (currently reminiscing from inside my house).
A potato head selfie from the plane.

Key West had an extremely casual, laid back, go with the flow atmosphere which is completely opposite of my usually very busy and structured life. During the last few days of Spring Break we got an official university communication email saying that Spring Break would be extended two days into the following week and online classes would be happening until early April. At first this sounded like a fantastic and fun idea, until reality set in when we returned. When we got back to Daytona Beach, stores were starting to run out of food, the media seemed to be spreading paranoia, and everyone was panicking. A few days later residence halls were vacating and I prepared to come back to Virginia as there was talk about canceling flights and limiting domestic travel across state lines.

Fast forward a week and I’m in a quarantined lifestyle with online classes until the end of the semester, metros shut down inside Washington DC, Uber and Lyft currently closed, and Amazon not delivering groceries anymore, yikes!

To be continued folks, will report back soon, COVID-19 updates are around the corner!

Half Way & Happenings

Happy February everyone! Back again blogging from Daytona Beach, Speed Week has calmed downed, and we’ve been having some particularly mild weather: a bit cold and rainy, but Florida tends to be wonky before getting to the consistent sunshine with afternoon showers (aka nap time).

Valentine’s Day recently passed and February is flying by! Things around the corner include *drum roll please* Mid-term exams, the Spring PT test… and also, Spring Break! We’re almost half way through Spring semester and I can barely believe it! 

My sister sent me a very positive card, a super cute scrunchie, and some Namaste socks for V-day! I love care packages.

Some notable things I get to do with my position this semester in ROTC as the Mission Support Group, Force Support Squadron, Deputy Commander, aside from assist the Squadron Commander, are plan Dining Out, a yearly event where all cadets and cadre wear Service Dress (the fancy blues), gather for a meal, celebrate notable accomplishments of the Cadet Wing, and announce new Wing Staff for the following semester. I also have the amazing opportunity to team up with an upperclassman cadet and organize an Air Force Retirement Ceremony for a Major in our cadre. I have the privilege of gaining insight to this exciting event at a very young point in my career, which makes this opportunity THAT much cooler.

Another super cool thing I do in my position that I’ve particularly had a lot of fun with in preparation for Dining Out, is collaborating with other Professional Officer Course (POC) cadets to design the logo that will be on the Dining Out gift. I’ve got to work with a particularly talented POC cadet who I also collaborated with to help design the Spring 2020 AFROTC Detachment 157 Semester Patch.

Additionally, being an RA has been even more fun lately because I helped to organize a Tye-Dye event that will be happening shortly. I’ve attached the flyer I designed below, but essentially it’s an Area Initiative as a community builder for the residence hall I live in where we invite residents to come de-stress and get creative, and colorful!

Additionally, I recently solidified my summer plans, which was a huge stress relief and also an opportunity I anticipate to be extremely challenging and fun. I will be participating in Project GO Study Abroad in Morocco working on Arabic Year 4. More details to come on that, and I am very excited to give some future updates on my Arabic learning experience. Keep on keeping on folks. Will report back soon!

How to Food @ ERAU

You’ve learned about the academics. You know about the Daytona Beach area. Maybe you’ve visited campus so you know all about our state-of-the-art labs and fleet. You’ve followed Embry-Riddle in the news and on your social media. But do you know all the ins and outs of eating on campus? Luckily – Lonnie has the low down. Watch as our newest blogger fills you in on How to Food at ERAU.

Friends & February

Happy February folks! Recently I’ve had the amazing opportunity to take a weekend to travel to Savannah, Georgia, in between classes and training and working, and it was a well needed break.

February is a very busy month at Embry Riddle, most organizations are doing a lot of volunteer work, there are a lot of car races happening at the Daytona International Speedway, a lot of people are touring the campus, and tons of people are visiting Daytona Beach as the weather warms up, so things can get a little hectic. The atmosphere is a definitely busy, and everyone seems exhausted and highly caffeinated. So, naturally I figured it would be a great time to take some me time and get away to clear my head and reset before diving back into reality.

Thankfully, before the chaos of all this began I had a great opportunity to travel north! I took a Greyhound bus Friday night up to Savannah, Georgia and arrived early Saturday morning, before returning on Sunday. I got the chance to stay overnight with my best friend, tour the downtown historic district a little, go by the river, do some yoga, and stop by my newly acquired favorite shops and restaurants from my visit to the city with my family over Thanksgiving break.

First on my list of things to experience was of course The Coffee Fox coffee shop, where I escaped the cold 50 degree weather and wind to indulge in some coffee and cozy up in a corner doing my Differential Equations homework. To my dismay, although it’s fun to travel, I can never seem to escape the homework.

Next I ducked out of the cold and grabbed breakfast at the Maple Street Biscuit Company where I ordered a dish called the Iron Goat, consisting of a homemade biscuit with sautéed spinach and goat cheese, along with a side of fried green tomatoes, which were absolutely delicious. One of my favorite parts about going to new places and different cities is the food. I don’t have the opportunity to get good homemade cooked food a lot at school, because I’m usually very busy, which made every bite of fresh breakfast all the more satisfying. 

Breakfast from one of the most amazing biscuit places in Savannah, Georgia!

This semester has been extremely stressful and sometimes it’s hard to de-stress living at school, where I study, work, go to class, sleep, workout, and then repeat. I’ve been extremely fortunate to have the opportunities that I have earned and, along with that, some of the few people who keep me sane through the chaos and are my friends. Most of my friends at Embry Riddle are in AFROTC, because we naturally spend A LOT of time together, in and out of training, but another one of my good friends is a resident advisor in the same hall that I live in, and one of my best friends I got to meet up with over the weekend while I visited Georgia!

Will report back soon. I have some Aerospace Flight Vehicles homework I need to tend to. Spring break is around the corner. Keep on keeping on!

A Week in the West

A couple of weeks ago I had the ability to travel on my last Admissions trip. I traveled to Denver, Seattle, and Los Angeles with the ERAU Admissions team. I was excited to be able to go to Seattle again, since it is where I’m from. These trips are always something I look forward to because we have a lot of fun, while working, of course!

Our first stop was Denver, Colorado. We actually headed out there a day early to take some vacation time in the Centennial State. I had been there once before, but only for about half a day. We were able to spend some time sightseeing in downtown Denver, trying some of the best restaurants, and driving up the mountainside to a lookout. I think we all really appreciated the scenic mountain views, and enjoyed being in a cooler climate for a few days.

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View of downtown Denver from our hotel room

 

Famous bear peaking into the Convention Center

Famous bear peaking into the Convention Center

View from Lookout-overlooking Golden, CO

View from Lookout-overlooking Golden, CO

Little Man Ice Cream (SO good!)

Little Man Ice Cream (SO good!)

After our event in Denver, we headed out to my home state, Washington. We were grateful to have two days in Seattle to explore. I was also able to visit with my parents for a bit, which was really nice.

Our group loves coffee, so we went to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room in Capitol Hill. It is one of the places in Seattle I had never been before, so it was fun to have a new experience in my home city. After tasting a flight of different coffees, I was ready to get back to my favorite order at Starbucks, an Iced Vanilla Latte. Although, it was pretty cool to learn a lot more about the coffee roasting process.

Seattle, WA

Seattle, WA

Starbucks Roastery

Starbucks Roastery and Tasting Room

The next day, we were lucky and we got to see some sunshine in Seattle, which is rare in the winter! We took advantage of the nice weather after our event and went out to Olympic Park, which is about 30 minutes outside of Seattle. It’s a beautiful park with tons of evergreen trees, mountain views, and Puget Sound beachfront. We also went to Kerry Park, which boasts the best views of the Seattle skyline, in my opinion.

Kerry Park in Seattle

Kerry Park in Seattle

We took an evening flight out of Seattle and arrived in Los Angeles around 11pm. Once we arrived in LA, we ended up taking an Uber to our hotel downtown. Let me tell you, there is never a dull moment with the Admissions team… We had some issues getting an Uber driver, and ended up laughing about the whole fiasco the rest of the trip.

We had a short time in LA, so we woke up and hosted the lunch event at a steakhouse downtown. As always, it was a great event! After the event, we quickly changed and headed out to Venice Beach. It is definitely a different vibe in Venice Beach versus Daytona Beach, but we walked around the eclectic beach town and all along the beach during sunset. We ended up going back to the hotel a few hours before our red-eye flight, and watched the planes land and takeoff at LAX while eating some appetizers in the lounge. We had a competition of who could name the type of aircraft the fastest, just like typical Riddle students.

Pablo and I presenting in Los Angeles

Pablo and I presenting in Los Angeles

Pablo and I on bikes in Venice Beach

Pablo and I on bikes in Venice Beach

At last, my final Admissions trip had come to an end. These trips were one of my favorite parts of being a Riddle student because I was able to interact with prospective students, and share my passion for ERAU with them and their families. I will definitely look back on these trips with great memories.

Until next time,

Lindsey

Spring Break Road Trip

For my last Spring Break, I decided to go somewhere I’d never been before. My sister, boyfriend, and I drove to Charleston, South Carolina for a few days. On the way up to Charleston, we stopped in Savannah, Georgia and Hilton Head Island, Georgia. It was an amazing trip despite the cold weather that swept across the East Coast.

On our first segment of the trip, we stopped at St. Simons Island, Georgia, which is home to some of the best BBQ in the United States. We normally fly up to St. Simons whenever we go, so it was cool to drive around the island and see all that it had to offer. There were gorgeous houses and buildings scattered all around.

We arrived in Savannah in the evening-just in time to grab some dinner. We were there a few days before St. Patrick’s Day, so there were decorations everywhere and people were dressed in green (Savannah has one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the nation). We ended up getting dinner down by the river and were surprised by the huge cargo ships going in and out of the port. The next day, we walked around the historic squares in Savannah, which are supposedly haunted. We even got to sit in the spot where Tom Hanks spoke those famous words, “Life is like a box of chocolates”.

Sitting where Forrest Gump was filmed in Chippewa Square

Sitting where Forrest Gump was filmed in Chippewa Square

Jones Street, Savannah, GA

Jones Street, Savannah, GA

After exploring Savannah, we hit the road and arrived in Hilton Head Island a couple of hours later. It was raining and gloomy, but I can definitely imagine how beautiful the island would be in the summer. We went out to the famous Salty Dog Cafe, and walked around some souvenir stores. There were tons of resorts and golf courses that would make anyone dream of coming to Hilton Head.

We spent a few hours in Hilton Head, and then drove the last stretch to Charleston, South Carolina. I had wanted to go to Charleston for a long time, and I was so excited to be able to finally go! It was so much more than I imagined. I fell in love with the historic homes and the southern charm.

The Pink Door, Charleston, SC

The Pink Door, Charleston, SC

Some of the best food I’ve ever eaten was in Charleston… seriously! My inner foodie was so happy, but my wallet definitely was not. Of course, in addition to eating well, we spent a lot of time exploring.

We walked around the Battery, walked down Rainbow Row, and went to tour the USS Yorktowne. On our last day in town, we went to Boone Hall Plantation, which is the plantation that was used in the popular movie, The Notebook. The architecture and the grounds were incredible, and I really appreciated all the work they are doing to keep it looking beautiful.

Rainbow Row

Rainbow Row

The entry into Boone Hall Plantation

The entry into Boone Hall Plantation

Boone Hall Plantation Home

Boone Hall Plantation Home

Charleston is definitely a city that I want to go back to again and again. I’m glad I was able to spend my last Spring Break exploring one of the gems of the South.

Until next time,

Lindsey

The Wings Club Gala in NYC

This September, I found out some of the most exciting news of my life, so far. At the beginning of the month, I applied for The Wings Club Scholarship through the ERAU Financial Aid office. A few days after I applied, I received an email saying I was chosen as the recipient of the scholarship. When I read the email, I was grinning from ear to ear. The Wings Club Scholarship is a $30,000 scholarship, and I could not believe that I was the one who had been chosen to receive it!

In addition to the scholarship funds, The Wings Club pays for their winners to attend the Annual Awards Gala in New York City. For those of you who may not be familiar with The Wings Club, I encourage you to check out their website to find more information about the club. It is made up of a large group of aviation executives and professionals from all over the world. When I heard that I was going to be receiving my scholarship in front of 1,200 aviation executives, I was slightly intimidated! Although I was intimidated at first, it quickly turned into excitement. After ordering my dress, booking flights, and researching the event, I could not wait to get to New York!

Luckily, the Gala fell during ERAU’s Fall Break, which allowed me to extend my stay in New York a few extra days. I was able to bring a guest with me, and we had a lot of fun exploring New York City both before and after the Gala.

The Gala was on Friday night, and was at the famous Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in downtown Manhattan. Another student from the Prescott campus also won a scholarship, so we both attended the Gala together. Before the event, we all walked over to the hotel for a pre-Gala silent auction. Once we got to the hotel, we ended up walking into the invite-only Boeing Pre-Party. Everyone was dressed to the nines, and was having a great time. It was incredible to be in the room with the executives of Boeing, all the major airlines, leasing companies, aviation insurance companies, suppliers, and maintenance companies. Needless to say, I was in awe.

After we realized we weren’t really supposed to be at the Pre-Party, we took a look at the silent auction. While we were mingling, I had the chance to meet several ERAU Alumni, who are now major players in the aviation finance industry. I was amazed at how relatable they were, their passion for ERAU, and their success within the industry.

Eventually, we were all escorted into the main ballroom, where we took our seats. I had the pleasure of sitting with other scholarship winners during the event. CNN Aviation Correspondent, Richard Quest, was the MC for the evening. He was hilarious, and welcomed the scholarship winners up on stage early during the event. I was pretty nervous to walk on stage to receive my scholarship, but it was an incredible feeling of accomplishment once I was on stage with the award in my hand.

Lorenzo (Prescott) and I before the event

Lorenzo (Prescott) and I before the event

View of the floor from our seats

View of the floor from our seats

After the scholarships were given out, the Beach Boys surprised everyone with a half an hour concert! It was awesome. It was also cool to see a room full of aviation leaders dancing and singing to the Beach Boys. Once the excitement from the Beach Boys was over, it was time for the main event of the night. Each year The Wings Club chooses someone to receive their Distinguished Achievement Award. This year, retired Boeing President and CEO, Jim McNerney, was the recipient. I loved watching the video about McNerney, as well as hearing about all of his accomplishments. It was an honor to be in the same room with him, and shake his hand after the event was over.

David and I

David and I

Scholarship recipients on stage

Scholarship recipients on stage

Once the event officially ended, we walked around the room and talked with more ERAU Alumni. I was able to talk with several CEOs, an NTSB Board Member, Executive Chairmen, and many more. I was so inspired by their success, but also by their great knowledge of the industry. I was proud to tell them that I attend Embry-Riddle, as it is an institution that is highly regarded in the industry. After we finished mingling around the ballroom, we attended the Airbus After Party. It was fun to see people who are fierce competitors in the aviation world, all having a good time together after the event.

ERAU scholarship recipients with our checks

ERAU scholarship recipients with our checks

Lorenzo and I

Lorenzo and I

I am so grateful for the opportunity to attend the Gala, and am honored to have been chosen as The Wings Club scholarship recipient this year. I am more inspired than ever before, and am excited to enter into a career in aviation.

I encourage you to apply for scholarships through Embry-Riddle, as well as from external donors. You never know what experiences you will be able to have, and how the scholarship will impact your life!

Until next time,

Lindsey

First Trip of the Semester

Two weekends ago, I traveled to Washington D.C. and New York City with the Admissions team. We were hosting presentations for prospective students in both cities. These events are what I look forward to the most during the semester. They’re an opportunity to speak to students and families that are interested in Embry-Riddle, which is something that I love to do. The Prescott, Arizona Admissions team travels with us, as well in the spring. It’s always nice to spend time with our counterparts across the country!

Our first stop of the weekend was Washington D.C., which is probably my favorite city. I love the history, old buildings, and hustle and bustle of the city. It’s crazy to think about all the major decisions that have been made in that city. We spent our first day touring around D.C. I had never seen the Constitution, Bill of Rights, or Declaration of Independence before, so we went to see those first. I was blown away by the documents, and how much history that lies within them. Next, we walked through the National Mall to the Capitol Building. We walked around inside and saw both the House and the Senate, although they were not in session. Lastly, we went to the Air and Space Museum. Another thing that’s great about D.C. is that all the museums are free.

The United States Capitol building

The United States Capitol building

Saturday, we hosted our event for the prospective students. It was very successful, and I got to speak with a lot of students who were very excited about what ERAU had to offer. After our event, we took the train to New York. It was a gorgeous train ride up the East Coast. We finally arrived in New York around 9pm, and headed to dinner at a famous pizza place. The pizza was probably the best I’d ever had. All of us ate our own 12 inch pizza!

After dinner, we headed out to do some sight-seeing. We went to Times Square to look at all the billboards, and go into the huge H&M store. After we had shopped for a while, we headed back towards our hotel, and stopped by Rockefeller Plaza to see the ice rink. While we were watching the skaters, a magician came up behind us and started doing magic tricks. We ended up getting roped into watching him perform for half an hour. By the time he was finished, it was almost 1AM!

We woke up early the next morning to take a walk through Central Park. None of us had ever been there before, so it was a new experience for all of us. I didn’t realize just how big Central Park is. We walked for at least an hour, and only made it halfway. Our mission for the morning was to make it to this famous bakery to get “the best chocolate chip cookie in New York City”. Trust me, it was one of the best cookies I have ever eaten! Once we were finished devouring our cookies, we realized it was probably time to go to our presentation. We rushed back to get ready and get setup for the event.

The Plaza Hotel from Central Park

The Plaza Hotel from Central Park

Once again, the event went well, and we had a lot of families who came to hear all about ERAU. After the event, we grabbed a quick lunch and went out to do some more sightseeing. It would’ve been a long walk, so we decided to take the subway, which was an experience. It took us awhile to figure out which train to get on. We went to the 9/11 Memorial, which was an amazing sight. I think it is something that everyone should see at least once. Next we headed to Battery Park to watch the sunset over the Statue of Liberty. After our adventure on the subway, we were very hungry, so we went to Little Italy to grab a nice dinner. I had an amazing Gnocchi Pesto dish, that I would eat for dinner every day if I could. With that, our weekend was over.

9/11 Memorial Pool

9/11 Memorial Pool

I am so grateful that I get to travel with Admissions to these events. I enjoy speaking with students, and telling them why ERAU is such a great University. If you are a prospective student, I encourage you to come visit campus, or check out any Admissions events in your area!

Until next time,

Lindsey