Recharging & Responsibilities

Happy October folks! I’m classically blogging from Daytona Beach, currently camped out at the ROTC building on a Sunday afternoon doing homework. Fall break was this past week and it was definitely well needed. I stayed local for the break hitting up coffee shops, catching up on sleep, and doing large quantities of homework.

As midterm time is among us, I had most of my tests before fall break, but midterms also mean RA deadlines! This means new hall door decorations, new bulletin boards, and more biweekly hall traditions! This also means time for the Fitness Assessment in AFROTC which consists of one minute of push-ups, one minute of sit-ups, and a 1.5 mile run for time.

At a local coffee shop close to campus drinking lavender chamomile tea and doing incompressible aerodynamics homework.

Something surprising that I realized over the break was… that I miss my friends! I know, this may not seem like an out of ordinary thing, but I almost don’t realize how inter-connected my everyday life is with the people around me. Now, if we zoom out a bit and look at the big picture four days is not a lot of time, but when you consider that I see my friends multiple times a day in different settings it feels off when they’re not around.

To put it in perspective: I wake up early and go to PT or to Leadership Laboratory (LLAB) with my AFROTC family, go to class until about 2pm, usually find myself back at the ROTC building a few more times for various meetings, paperwork, or presentations, then I workout with my ROTC friends, typically have an RA duty shift in the evenings or a staff meeting, then I go to sleep and copy paste and repeat Monday-Friday. 

I tend to not view myself as a very social person, because of how much I value my alone time to rest and recharge by doing yoga, meditating, or sleeping, but in reality I spend the majority of my days being social. The main point I’m getting out of this, is that I’m pretty much an introverted extrovert. Once I’m recharged after a day or two I thrive in the busy hustle of everyday life hopping between my friends from AFROTC, O team, RA, classes, etc.

Before the break I had a math test, a compressible aerodynamics test, and an incompressible test, a technical report document due, in addition to arabic homework and other meetings, presentations, and responsibilities. When I study, unless I’m doing practice problems in a group, I typically prefer to be in my room or reserve a study room in the library.

But in particular, when studying for my compressible aerodynamics test recently I found myself outgrowing my desk with my spread of papers so I migrated to my floor to go over material. After a few hours when I finished I got up and realized that my creative learning process may be a little unconventional, but it works… 

My post studying floor space before my compressible aerodynamics test.

I hope everyone bounces back to find your post Fall Break groove and keep pushing until Thanksgiving Break and finals. Will report back soon. Keep on keeping on!

Fall Break & Breeze

Happy October everyone! October is my favorite month, and therefore it is appropriate to wish you all a Happy October. I’m currently blogging from Daytona Beach, Florida.

I spent my fall break on campus working duty day shifts for my RA position, doing physics, statics, and calculus homework, and running! Although the last part may not sound like the best part for some people, the running was actually my favorite part of every day. Also fear not, as per usual I drank lots of coffee and tea.

My fall break didn’t feel like much of a break, but I am extremely thankful that I got to sleep in, or in other words have the luxury of waking up when the sun has already woken up. I must say I do enjoy being awake as the sun rises, but when I don’t get back to my room until it’s dark outside as per a typical school day, by the time I do homework, study, and get ready for bed I’m absolutely exhausted.

Even on my days off I usually wake up with the sun.

Aside from all of my responsibilities, my plants are thriving and deserve to be highlighted this week. I highly encourage succulents or cacti for dorm plants because even if you don’t have enough time to water them (me), they still do great with a little sunlight and a lot of positive energy (also me).

Some of my dorm plants!

As it is still hot in Florida, even though it’s late October, we’ve had great weather that’s been perfect for early morning beach PTs with AFROTC, which is always nice. It’s becoming the time of year when the weather is almost perfect for working out. I gauge the prime temperature for running to be when the air is cool enough that you aren’t sweating before you start working out, but not too cold that it stings your lungs. If it is cold enough that you are able to see your breathe when you exhale, I would prefer the temperature to increase slightly. Thankfully, in Florida, the weather ranges between extremely hot, mildly hot, temperate, and cool, but the cool doesn’t happen until about mid-winter, so lately the fall breeze had been extremely lavish!

Post beach PT with some of my favorite wingmen!

Currently we’re about half way through the fall semester and everyone around campus is extremely busy. Course loads are heavy, there’s lots of homework to be done, tests, quizzes, projects, presentations, and not a lot of time. In my personal experience I’m still on the journey to figuring out how to balance everything. I’ve heard so many times from professors that they encourage students to prioritize school work and really focus on their time management, and while this is true, I must counter this from the perspective of a college student- realistically there are not enough hours in a day. All we can do is try our best and hope for the best. Just keep swimming folks, will report back soon!

Why Riddle is More Lit than I Thought

I’ve been hearing about going to college my whole life – talk about freaking out my senior year in high school, everybody was freaking out. Will there be really hard classes and tons of homework? I hate trying to fit in when I don’t know anybody. I’ve been told this is what I’m supposed to do since elementary school. Really? And then, it is the end of August. I am so not ready for this.

Embry-Riddle is near my home and my dad works there. Ugggg! Guess where I am going… Everybody knows its rep as nerd school central. You know, pilots, engineers, science geeks and pocket protectors. Students all so laser-focused that they have already decided what they are doing after they graduate. Professors and Resident Assistants all uptight and straight-laced. Fun dies here, right?

Guess what? It is not like that at all! The people I have met know how to let loose and have fun. They are smart, funny, and interesting. Yes, you have to study, but it is not all cooped up in a dorm room and staring at a computer. It is way more Lit than I thought.

Orientation week eased all us nervous freshman into the process. O-Week was cool. No upperclassmen! This made the first few days of settling in, wandering around, meeting new people and finding the best places to eat much less scary. With the O-Team, everything felt like a judgment-free zone. Everybody started making friends right away.

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What a fantastic October it has been! Between my birthday, many Halloween movie marathons, Stetson’s Opera Showcase, fall break at Halloween Horror Nights, the Tri Sigma fashion show, Jessica Lynn speaking, Screamageddon, Kennedy Space Center and the biggest (and most spooktacular) party of the year! Now all that’s left is to decorate the house, carve some pumpkins and celebrate my favorite holiday!

O-Week evening events helped me meet even more people as everyone has to know each other. It started feeling like home, meeting people in your dorm–Doolittle Upper Shaft Rules!–and leaving your door open and playing music to let everyone know to come by and visit. All of a sudden, you have the chance to learn about so many different cultures and customs because everyone at Riddle is from somewhere else.

O-week was like summer camp–a familiar and fun place for any kid away from home for the first time. The week kept going–O-team meetings, pep rallies, information sessions and campus tours. At night, they had all sorts of fun stuff for us to do. We created memories with the people we had met that day. I made awesome friendships.

When O-Week is over and the upperclassmen start arriving, Embry-Riddle still worked hard to keep us entertained and occupied. The activities fair had so many different clubs and organizations. I signed up for SCUBA club, Touch N’ Go Productions, and P.R.I.D.E. Then Rush Week lets you check out Greek life. There are Thursday movie nights, intramural sports teams (I signed up for volleyball), comedy shows, pool parties, cookouts, paint rave, speakers series, and astronomy open houses. The Eagles men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball teams have games at night. These are all great ways to mingle and get to know new people. Do I have to go to class?
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Speaking of… classes are so different in college, everyone is much more engaged and the professors have a passion for what they are teaching that you never see in high school. My major is communications because I’ve always loved English and Psych, but I also might major in Meteorology. Homework is a lot less stressful than I expected, though studying for tests is way more important. However, you can study with a group of friends–which is so different from high school – and keep each other focused and help with questions.

Enough of that. I’m off to the Kennedy Space Center with friends this weekend. I was at Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios last week with a freshman friend I know from Portland, and nighttime on the beach with a full moon and new friends is… well, it’s all way more Lit than I thought.
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My Favorite Moments of October

The month of October is almost over and we are now beginning the last phase of the fall semester. Not counting the three days off for Thanksgiving, students have about a month left of actual classes. I will conclude my last blog of the month by saying why it is one of my favorite month of the year.

Industry Career/Expo
Even though the event did not occur due to reasons we all know, it has been in the past an event with great excitement. I like to go hunt for jobs and internships. I enjoy talking with employers about what they have to offer. The career fair is now reported to the spring semester on March 1, 2017 from 09:00 to 16:00 at the ICI Center. Check the Career Services website for updates on company information sessions and the list of employers.

Fall Break
During the four days break including the weekend, I usually go back home to Canada to see my family and friends. I like to see the leaves in the trees change colors. It’s just beautiful! This is something that does not happen in Florida.

algonquin-park-autumnNHL Start of the Season (Hockey)
The 2016-17 hockey season started during the first week of the month. During fall break, I had the chance to attend the second home game of the Montreal Canadiens. We defeated the Arizona Coyotes 5-2. Last year, we did not clinched for the playoffs but hopefully this year we will go far. I look forward to this new season!

MLS Playoffs (Soccer)
The end of the month of October marks the end of the MLS regular season, which means that the playoffs start! My team (Montreal Impact) finished 5th place of the Eastern Conference during the 2016 season. They are playing a knockout round against D.C. United tomorrow (10/27). Hockey has always been the most popular sport in Montreal, but  soccer is catching up slowly beating football.

Until next time!

Nicolas

One Last Push

keep-calm-it-s-almost-fall-break-3Next week marks the median of the semester, but I feel like we just came back to ERAU from summer. I know you guys have to go through midterms, tests, quizzes, assignments, homework and/or projects next week. Keep up the good work because Fall Break is around the corner!

Due to Hurricane Matthew, a total of three days of classes were cancelled. During that time, many of the students and faculty did not have power. It was a bit of a challenge to work on some assignments during the hurricane and professors know it. Many of my professors adapted the course schedule since we missed a few days of classes. My Supply Chain Management midterm that was supposed to be this week is pushed to next week. My professor in Technical Report Writing delayed the due date of our assignments by close to two weeks. Instead of rescheduling the quiz in The Joy of Science, the professor just decided to cancel it to the joy of the students. No pun intended.

Professors are here to help, so if you feel you didn’t have time to work on something or you were simply unable to work due to the power outage, just ask your professor. They might give you more days to complete your assignment. I’m taking an online class and I definitely need my computer to work. I emailed my professor to ask if I could get an extension on my homework because of Hurricane Matthew. The instructor totally understood the circumstances and gave me an additional week to turn in the work.

Enjoy your weekend!

Nicolas

A Quick Update and Some Study Tips

I cannot believe that in just a few days it’ll be November; time sure flies when you’re having fun. Yes despite two tests last week and two this week as well as a speech due, it is still possible to have fun!

It’s time for a (very quick) update:

Two weeks ago, I was on Fall Break; it was nice to enjoy some R&R in Daytona. I had another interview and used the time to get caught up on some homework and projects that were coming up; apparently, I really enjoying being a week ahead or so when it comes to school work. 🙂 Better ahead than behind, I guess.

Since the Industry/Career Expo, it seems like everything is a lot calmer at the moment. I aced both of my tests last week and have two more tests to go this week. I remember the thought of having to take tests and write essays in college scared me as I thought they would be extremely difficult. Although, I was quite surprised that it can be the opposite since I followed the tips below that I got from other students before classes started.

  • Try not to get behind, but if you do, be sure that you communicate with your professor and work hard to catch up.
  • Don’t procrastinate!
  • Try to complete homework as soon as its assigned.
  • Don’t start studying for a test the night before.
  • Lastly, don’t stress too much! Make sure that you enjoy some downtime.

Well, time to go study for Economics.

Blue skies,

Jack

Autumn Break – Part 2

As I stated in Part 1, I spent Fall Break home in Canada. The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of fall are the tree leaves changing colors. I spent many hours outside raking leaves on the grass and walking my dog even though it was very cold outside. To my surprise, it snowed a few times during my stay!

King George Park - Westmount, QC

King George Park – Westmount, QC

First snow of the fall and it's only in mid-October!

First snow of the fall and it was only  mid-October!

For the first day of my break, I went to my friend’s house to watch the first home hockey game of the Montreal Canadiens. In Daytona Beach, I don’t have many friends who are big fans of hockey, so it was great to watch a hockey game with friends back home. It is even better when your team wins! We won the game 3-0 that night for a streak of five wins. The last time the Canadiens won five straight wins at the beginning of the season was in 1977.

The next day, we celebrated my Dad’s aunt’s birthday. She turned 90 years old so it was a big event. More than 20 of my extended family members came to our house for dinner. There were people present that I haven’t seen in over 10 years, so it was great to catch up with everyone.

On Saturday, I attended the Montreal Canadiens against the Detroit Redwings at the Bell Centre in Montreal. It was my first time going this season. I am excited every time I go because I love the atmosphere over there. The fans are the best in the league and we have the largest arena in terms of seat capacity. We ended up winning the game 4-1, which improved the team’s record to six consecutive wins (as of today we have 9 straight wins!).

Face-off after the Montreal Canadiens scored their second of the game in the third period.

Face-off after the Montreal Canadiens scored their second of the game in the third period.

The weekend of the break marked the median of the fall semester, but it also marked the end of another legacy airline. On Saturday, October 17, 2015, the last branded US Airways flight landed at Philadelphia International Airport. Click here if you are interested on the full report of flight US1939. From now on, all future flights will be branded as American Airlines. For those who did not know, US Airways merged with American Airlines in December 2013 to form the largest air carrier in the world. As time goes, we will no longer see the US Airways livery as the airplanes are being repainted in the new American livery.

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After I landed in Montreal, I made a detour to the departure levels and took a picture of one of the US Airways check-in kiosk. When check-in at the airport on my way back to Florida, the US Airways brand had already disappeared!

This wraps up my Fall Break. Next weekend, I will be heading to a destination in the Northeast of the United States. Check back in a week to see which destination it is!

Nicolas

 

 

 

Life @ Riddle – The First Half of Fall

Hello Riddle Kids! Hope your week is going good! Before you know it, it will be the end of the week! Regarding the fall semester, we are halfway through it! A lot has happened and it has flown by! With midterms coming up, it really is good timing!

So let’s talk school. What has happened in this half of the semester? New professors, new classes, and new adventures. Currently I am taking EGR 120 Graphical Communications, EGR 115 Intro to Computing for Engineers, COM 122 English Composition, PSY 310 Sensation and Perception, and MA 241 Calculus and Analytical Geometry I. For those engineers out there, yes they don’t advise you to take EGR 115 & 120 at the same time, but I had no choice. Being dual major means you are jam packed for your career here at Riddle. Classes have been going well and homework stacks up. Staying ahead has been a plus. It has allotted me free time. Being involved in all the clubs and organizations has also kept me busy. We have broken ground and made a lot of progress. All the hard work has definitely paid off!

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Space Shuttle Toy taken apart

Fall has been jam packed with exams, projects, and homework. I would have to say I am really excited about my EGR 120 final project. I get to take apart and build (in CATIA) a Space Shuttle Pullback Toy! I will admit I am a total space nerd so yes, I am really excited! Today, I got to take it apart and inventory all the different parts. It was really interesting to see how everything fit together. There were actually more parts then I believed to be, but hey, more work! As an engineering student a Riddle, I always thought that it was going to be impossible to understand the material, but it has been coming to me easier than I thought. Not all the material comes to me right away but it takes practice and dedication. You certainty will not get everything on the first try that is for sure!

Being an engineering student gives me and all you other students the opportunity to grow and create the next big thing. We are the next generation to shape and build the future. How cool is that?! The fact that Riddle has such a great engineering program, assures me that I can shape the future. I do love that feeling.

For the full part: in between school I have traveled a little bit. I’ve gone to Orlando, St. Augustine, New Smyrna Beach, Coral Springs, FL and Savannah, GA. It was a lot of fun traveling and seeing parts of Florida and Georgia that I haven’t seen in quite a while. In St. Augustine, I had the chance to see a luau! It was my second luau I have ever seen and it was totally an amazing experience! I know they have one more luau on October 24th so if you have time to drive to St. Augustine, it is a lot of fun! Escaping from Daytona was a nice break.

Although it is almlost over, I will still be hitting the books and watching the stars. With 3 exams this week and upcoming projects there is no time to waste! Have a great rest of the fall semester everyone!

 

Autumn Break – Part 1

The Embry-Riddle autumn break marks the median of the fall semester. Some students use this time to go back home with their family that they haven’t seen since the end of August. Students sometimes spend the long weekend and try to catch up with the workload or even to get a little bit ahead. I always tell myself that I will catch up on everything during Fall Break and Thanksgiving but it never happens. I do get some work done, but not as much as I want!

Famous "Fly Delta Jets" sign at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Int. Airport.

Famous “Fly Delta Jets” sign at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Int. Airport.

My break started on the afternoon of the last day of classes. My journey started at  Daytona Beach International (Regional) Airport and was scheduled to end when I land in Montreal, my final destination. It was my first time using the TSA PreCheck lane at the Daytona airport (it was inaugurated at the end of September). It allows trusted travelers flying in the U.S. with expedited security screening. Passengers enrolled in the program do not need to remove shoes, laptops, liquids, belt, and light jackets. Something I like in small airports such as Daytona is that it only takes a few minutes to get seated at the gate from the time passengers enter the terminal.

My first leg to Atlanta was uneventful with the exception of a few bumps while approaching ATL. I think it was my first time connecting in Atlanta without having to take the Plane Train to get to my next flight in a different concourse. This time, my next flight was only five gates away! My next stop was New York LaGuardia, an outdated airport where the average taxi time before takeoff is about 45 minute. Thanks to the $4 billion plan, announced in July, to replace the airport completely. Although the airport has many negative aspects, I like the variety of restaurants they have for a domestic airport. They also have a small supermarket and a food court in concourse D offering many dining options for connecting passengers. The flight from LaGuardia to Montreal was only a short 52 minutes from wheels up to touchdown. As we approached the end of the flight, the captain made an announcement to the cabin: “Good evening from the flight deck ladies and gentlemen, we have started our initial descent in the Montreal area. The visibility in Montreal is great with gusty winds and a temperature of 4 degrees Celsius (39 degrees Fahrenheit).” I was only wearing jeans and a t-shirt and did not have a coat. I felt the cold right when I got out of the aircraft!

Flying over Brooklyn a few moments before touching down on runway 31 at LGA.

Flying over Brooklyn a few moments before touching down on runway 31 at LaGuardia.

The reason I flew three legs instead of two is that I want to get more segments and miles to get Silver Medallion® status on Delta Air Lines. In Part 2, I will tell you a little bit about the exciting things I did back home.

Nicolas

Countdown to Fall Break & Rainbows and Rain

Let the Countdown for Fall Break begin! T-6 days and counting!

Hello hello! It’s Friday! Finally! Last day of the school week and it has been a crazy one! This week was “career week.” With companies coming and doing presentations every day, career services checking resumes, and the career expo, ERAU has never looked so good!

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Today Operation Bootstrap 2.0 takes place at 4:00p. Lucky for you if you have classes past 3:00p, you don’t have them today! After 3:00p, the focus turns to Operation Bootstrap 2.0. (In my case, this is when you wish you had classes after 3:00p. All of mine and at 1:50p.) When I was walking on campus this morning, its was all hustle and bustle even at 8:00a. Tents are being put up, entertainment is being put out, and everyone is hard at work! There is even a white picket fense in the front ‘yard’ of COAS. That is something you don’t see everyday! 😛

Between classes and activities, this is our last full week before fall break, and yes I am excited! It is about time for a break from straight school! From our last break (Labor Day) to Fall Break is the longest time span with no days off; and let me tell you it has gone fast! Next week, the last day of classes is Wednesday. I cannot wait! I think it’s about time for us kiddos to have a break. Within the past few weeks it seems like everyone is giving exams, papers, and final projects. It has been non-stop. A break will surely be nice!

If you are looking for things to do during fall break, there is a lot you can do! Here on campus you can buy discounted tickets to Disney, Universal, Daytona Lagoon, and my personal favorite, Kennedy Space Center! Thanks Riddle! Be safe this break, but have fun!


Rainbows and Rain

Rainbow1The weather has been super nice this past week! Cooler weather and somewhat clear skies. It has rained practically every other day. If you haven’t seen the rainbows yet, you are missing out! There have been at least two rainbows alone this week! I have seen then from the 4th floor of the COAS and even snapped some pictures.

There is supposed to be another coldRainbow2 front coming in this weekend so more cool weather hitting campus soon! I will be sure to snap pictures if any other rainbows decide to show their face!

For you Riddle kids: make sure you have your umbrellas handy at all times! Prepare for wet shoes and cool weather to follow! Have fun at Operation Bootstrap 2.0 today!