August 2012

Summer online classes are officially over for me! What does this mean? I have completed my degree at Embry-Riddle! Once all the paper work goes in and is completed I hope to receive my diploma in a few weeks! It’s hard to believe how fast these four years have gone by. Four years ago around this time I was loading up the truck about to head down to move into the dorm rooms for my freshman year. In fact many of the freshman that year remembers that move in! We got to experience a tropical storm first thing!

Well, since I have finally completed my degree I have been applying for various flying jobs in the Atlanta area. I currently do not have my CFI yet and if I don’t get selected for this Fall’s panel for Air Traffic Control I plan on getting my CFI so I can instruct. So basically now I am playing the waiting game that many Air Traffic Major/Minor graduates know about!

The end of July I took a road trip to Woodruff, SC, where the 2012 Youth Masters took place.

I competed in this event back in 2005 and 2006 and since then I have helped out supporting our youth in aviation. This year was one of our biggest years having close to 30 pilots show up! These kids knew how to fly R/C very well for their age. The youngest pilot was just 8 years old and he finished 2nd in the Advanced class that was offered. We had a great time and I even let the kids fly my own competition plane during the contest. We provide the planes and everyone flies the same plane per round. To see the smiles on the kids faces flying these aircraft are priceless! Several of the older kids came up to express their interest in Embry-Riddle and hope to one day go there. Luckily I still had a few more brochures about the University and I handed them out to the future students.

After the Youth Masters I went straight to the lake with my grandparents. We are apart of a boat club at Lake Jackson in Georgia where we can bring our motor home there and camp for as long as we want. We also have a ski boat we bring down and a jet ski. It was nice to relax for a week at the lake! It’s something I have not done in a long time!

This is about it for this month! I plan on going to a few more R/C competitions in my region the next few months but other than that it’s basically time for me to settle down and get a big boy job! Again if anyone has any questions feel free to email me!

BTW! I use to be the kicker for my high school football team and one of my former teammates is now playing for the Baltimore Ravens! The coolest thing about it is his first game is against the Atlanta Falcons. Good luck Bobby Rainey for this year’s season!

June 2012

What a busy few weeks it has been for me! To start out, right before I graduated from Embry-Riddle I participated in yet another IMAC competition. The competition took place in Jacksonville, Florida during the first weekend in May after finals! I had no practice going into this event mainly due to finals were the week before. I went to the contest just to have fun and ended up placing in second place! I was very surprise and happy with how well I ended up doing.

After returning back to Daytona after the competition I had to clean up and start packing up my apartment before graduation. My parents and family came down the Thursday before graduation to help me pack up. They ended up renting a U-Haul to take all of the furniture back to Georgia where I live. Graduation day was a very big day for me considering I am one of the first in my family to graduate with a college degree. My brother just finished his a few months ago. I had to end up doing degree complete considering I still have two more classes to take, but I am currently taking them at home through the Worldwide campus.

When graduation was over, we all finished packing up and hit the road. My family ended up driving back home while I went up to South Carolina for the whole week to attend the 30th Annual Joe Nall Fly-In. This fly-in is one of the biggest radio control air shows in the world. There are around 1,200 registered pilots with thousands of spectators. This event takes place in Woodruff, South Carolina, which is in the middle of nowhere! I had a blast for the whole week even though I ended up crashing three of my planes! One was my fault, but the other two had mechanical problems causing them to crash. Luckily, now I have replacements and have been busy building planes this past week!

Well now I am finally moved back home in Georgia with my parents. I plan on living with my parents until I can afford to build a house myself. We live on 76 acres and I plan to build my house next door to keep the land in the family. I am hoping to be picked up my FAA for Air Traffic Control in Atlanta this October. As for now I will be working on my CFI rating along with working at one of the local airports as a customer service rep. A few weeks ago I ended up meeting a few of my friends from Embry-Riddle at Stone Mountain, Georgia. It was very nice to see them again. We attended one of Stone Mountain’s Laser Shows. They will graduate this fall.

This month I have two competitions to attend with one being June 9-10 and the other on June 30 – July 1. Both are in Georgia and require just a two-hour drive to attend! So keep a look out for updates on how I do at these competitions! If all goes well I maybe attending the US Nationals Competition in Muncie, Indiana this July!

December 2008

For the past few weeks, I have sat watching the numbers peeled away from the graduation countdown in the UC. I have also found myself avoiding the UC on days when I am feeling nervous about entering the work force during a recession. Or on days when I remember that I am moving back out on my own, this time without monetary help from the parents. Or when I realize that I still haven’t mailed graduation announcements. But, today, I looked and felt a little sentimental. While I have enough countdowns in my life, this is more a count back.

27 days left ‘til graduation

26 left to find a dress

25 people left to invite

24 invitations yet to be addressed

23x I have sat and reflected

How 22 years has already gone by

How I waited 21 for my best b-day

Or how at 20 I fell in love for the first time

At 19 when I figured out what I wanted to be

Or 18 when I thought everything in life came free

Except for those 17 ball gowns on which I overspent

For the 16 Greek formals which I attended

The gas for 15 miles to school each day

My 14 gallon tank, thank God, Daddy would pay!

Now, 13 applications into jobs out of state

I’ll send out 12 more and then just wait

11 possibilities for my graduate degree

I’ll cross my 10 fingers and hope for a guarantee

Just 9 more papers left to write this Fall

Just a few more 8 a.m. wakeup calls

7 years ago I moved to Daytona’s shores

After living in 6 other states before

I spent 5 weeks China learning tai chi

And 4 years as a sister in Alpha Xi

3 years as sweetheart to the best Fraternity

Went 2x to the ER for broken bones

All for 1 B.S. in Communications degree

And $0 taken out in student loans

It’s 3 a.m. and I have to get up at 8:00. If my math is correct, that will be 2 China Green Teas from Starbucks and 1 Prop’s chicken and rice to keep me awake. After all, the days are ticking away and I don’t want to miss a thing.

September 15, 2008

I love the first day of class. First, there is the excitement of school supply shopping, printing off new schedules that you quickly misplaced after registering and spending the evening before picking out that envious outfit. After that, there is placing the decal on the window of your not always reliable car from high school graduation and planning your mid-morning attack on the negative five parking spots intended to accommodate the growing student population. And then you encounter the plastered smiles and inevitable questioning on the first day. “How are you?” “When did you get that tattoo?” “When did you two start dating?” But, “How was your summer vacation” is always the go-to question from your best friends, sorority sisters, lab partners, and people you didn’t even remember from freshman year. No one really listens. They just wait their turn to outdo your vacation.

Since most people already know my summer of mini-vacations from China to Canada, I won’t reiterate. Besides, I beat anyone on summer vacation fun. But, the question I got most was, “Weren’t you supposed to graduate.”

Sure, I was supposed to, but what fun is that? I was off climbing the Great Wall. I was off climbing the Grand Canyon. I was off climbing back up the GPA ladder. I admit it. I am around for one more semester to salvage my freshman year grades. Between Alpha Xi Delta, cheerleading and all my after-hour festivities, I bombed. I had no trajectory, no realization of the outside world. I found a responsibility freshman year that I did not know how to handle.

But, I found my responsibility midway through my junior year. I found a career goal. I found a life goal. I found a new way to enjoy college. While all this is dandy, don’t get me wrong. Academics should always come first. However, I had a killer time in college, one I am paying for right now. But, let me give you a few tips for having loads of fun, while still keeping that GPA afloat.

So, let me welcome you to College. No parents. No curfew. So many opportunities. At 22 years old, I am not fully qualified for Social Security or have the right to give you a “back in my day” snooze fest, though walking through the Oozeball pit to the church parking lot every day does technically count as walking uphill both ways to school. I just want to lend some advice I have acquired during my four (ok, four and a half) years at Riddle. I am sure you have heard the collegiate spiel from Admissions, Records and Registration, Financial Aid and even Safety (it scared me my first time girls, so don’t worry). But, my freshman year no one stopped to tell me other important tidbits of information. I had lived in Port Orange for two years before I came to Riddle, so I knew the best restaurants, hair salons and locals-only beaches. But, I didn’t really know the campus that well.

So here are my Freshman 15 Do’s and Don’ts of Riddle because everyone has to gain it and it might as well be advice than extra poundage.

  1. Do learn Riddle’s jargon. Whether you are a pilot, engineer, or part of my minute Communications department, a few more acronyms can’t hurt. Though the University is called Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, no one wants to say all that in one sentence. Chances are your audience won’t know what you just said anyway. But, in shorting the name, don’t call it Embry. We get confused with Emory. Instead, refer to the University as Riddle. As for when you are away from Riddle, International Speedway Boulevard is simply ISB. Try to avoid it at all costs. Ponce refers to Ponce Inlet. As a local I don’t want to tell you about the white sand and lowly populated jetty. As a fellow classmate, this is the cleanest you will get of Daytona-area beaches.
  2. Don’t wear uncomfortable shoes the day you need to get something done on campus. Once you have become acquainted with Riddle acronyms, it is time for another Riddle pastime. Following the Christmas tornado, offices were moved all over campus and to odd places. Even the veteran Riddlers need maps to find the ever-changing offices. But, then even when you do find the offices, chances are you have stumbled into the wrong office and the one you want is across campus. When you do find the right office, there are always thousands of signatures, first born children and blood samples needed just to drop a class. This is a phenomenon known to fellow Riddle students as the Riddle Runaround. While the staff does not do this intentionally, just expect it. Be courteous though I know you want to call home and cry or throw your expensive textbooks.
  3. Do buy your books online. Speaking of textbooks, they don’t have to always be expensive. I usually have to buy multiple books for one class and understand how quickly $500 disappears. Instead, look on sites like Campus Books which can save you a lot of money. That extra money could go towards tuition, housing or all those “necessary” Mocha Cappucinos before Math class.
  4. Don’t go to class in your beachwear or sleepwear. I know it is so tough to go to an 11:00 a.m. class when you went to bed at 4:00 a.m., but PJs or bikinis are not classroom wear.
  5. Don’t forget your umbrella. We go to an open air campus and Florida weather is fickle. Heck it was Christmas day and we had a tornado. Typically, it rains at about 2 p.m. everyday until mid-winter. If you can’t tell if it is winter yet, refer to a calendar.
  6. Do get to know your faculty. They are your lifeline to the industry, so make a good impression. Turn in assignments on time. Show up prepared. Don’t sleep in class. It is a really REALLY expensive nap. This is college and if you want to be treated like the adult you think you are, act that way. Professors expect adults. When you are done impressing the professors this semester, use Rate My Professors to help pick out classes for spring.
  7. Do expand your eating, not your waistline. Speaking of Freshman 15, go off campus. I know the lights of Chik-Fil-A call you like bugs, but don’t eat that day in and day out. Same goes for the all-you-can-eat buffet. It may be called that, but doctors don’t recommend it. There are healthy choices for students in the cafeteria, but they are not ready-to-eat and I understand the rush to get to class. So instead, take your time, make a salad or order a wrap. Your waistline will thank you.
  8. Do get involved. The experiences I had as a cheerleader, a sister in Alpha Xi Delta, sweetheart of Sigma Chi and on study abroad have filled my scrapbook and my resume. Whether you enjoy skydiving, Anime, flag-football, German or Greek life, join others who share your same likes. Head out to the Activities Fair. Scroll through the clubs at Clubs and Organizations. You won’t regret it.
  9. Don’t miss free food at the Athletics BBQ. We have amazing sports so go support them. A list of activities can be found on The games usually have great giveaways while playing great rivalries. If for nothing else, pick up a free t-shirt.
  10. Don’t do over 35 mph on A1A and watch the speed trap on Richard Petty. Despite popular belief, Riddle students are not God’s gift to Daytona Beach and the police are more than happy to pull over a green or yellow decal. Remember that tuition is already steep. You don’t want to explain a ticket to your loan company.
  11. Do visit Florida’s many attractions. Ponce Inlet is 15 minutes east. Miami is 4 hours south. Orlando is an hour west. Jacksonville is an hour north. No matter which direction you go, there is something to do. Fill up your car with friends. I will give a few reviews on places to go later in my journal.
  12. Do buy a year-round pass for the beaches. If you don’t have the gas money to get to Orlando or Miami, take the ISB Bridge to our beaches. This pass allows you to park on the beach and visit the local state parks for a full year. It saves you money and from dragging all your beach stuff. I choose to drive the beach because I am lazy. Take full advantage of the World’s Most Famous Beach.
  13. Do sign up for study abroad. As a freshman, you likely won’t get an internship, so instead of going home to your parents for the summer or spending your time developing skin cancer on Daytona’s beaches, head to Italy, Japan or France. I went to China this summer for five weeks and it was the best excuse for me to not graduate. If nothing else, it half price tuition. Get more information on Study Abroad .
  14. Don’t go out during BikeWeek, Biketoberfest, or Race Weeks. Spring Break may only be a week for us, but for Daytona it lasts a little over four weeks during March. During this time, use Beville and not ISB.
  15. Don’t put questionable photos on Facebook. It is not the place to paste photos of you gallivanting during that weekend’s festivities. Remember those security checks we will all get in our field of work? All of those photos will make us wish we had forgotten.

On a final note, DO have fun. Don’t let upper classmen tell you there is nothing to do here. Embry-Riddle has so much to offer. Daytona Beach has so much to offer. Take all the opportunities with all the responsibility.