Summer B & Summer Snacks

Happy July everyone! I am currently blogging from Norfolk, Virginia where I am enjoying my last few days on the East Coast until the in person Fall semester at Riddle starts again. I’ve had the great opportunity to see family and explore yoga and spin classes, frequent coffee shops, and visit the beach as much as possible in my hometown and I’m getting ready to start the second half of my summer classes (Summer B Term), and begin preparing for the semester of my final year at Riddle… before I graduate in Spring 2022!

I am so excited for my last year. I will be an RA in a different Residence Hall and am happy to get back to all my fun extracurriculars. My last year will include Air Force ROTC, being a Peer Mentor for University 101 classes, being an Associate Justice on the Student Government Association’s (SGA’s) Student Court, and of course being an Orientation Team Leader!

Although my summers are still busy with my summer classes for Arabic studies, they are significantly more relaxed than the hustle and bustle of the Fall and Spring semesters. That being said I have had the luxury as of lately to have the time to briefly relax in between my studies.

Post spin class coffee shop break with my sister!

Books I’ve been reading recently include When: the Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink and The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact by Chip and Dan Heath, both of which were recommended by the current Chief Master Sergeant of the Space Force (CMSSF Towberman) when he visited ERAU during the Spring 2021 semester and spoke to the Air Force ROTC cadets one morning.

My favorite quick snacks in between classes lately have been chips and salsa, hummus with cucumbers or carrots, unsalted mixed nuts, fresh cherries or watermelon, and frozen banana slices with almond butter, dark chocolate, and sea salt.

One of my favorite super easy, super delicious, refreshing summer snacks!

Frozen banana slices are one of my new favorite study break treats and can even be made in a dorm room! I started by slicing about 3 bananas that were about to go bad, melting chocolate (which can be done with chocolate chips in a microwave for about 15 second intervals, stirring in between), then laying my banana slices flat on tin foil before dolloping with almond butter (or your favorite nut or seed butter), melted chocolate, and sea salt! After all your slices are covered, lay them them flat in the freezer for about 30 minutes, and you will have a super tasty treat that can be transferred to a bag or Tupperware container in the freezer for whenever you need a study break!

Keep on keeping on folks, will report back soon!

Summer Classes & Downtime Recommendations

Happy June everyone! I am currently blogging from Norfolk, VA and I have some news! Life updates: since the Spring 2021 semester has concluded I got my second 4.0 GPA semester in the B.S. Aerospace Engineering program. This is my fourth out of five years at Riddle, and with only two semesters left… I am very excited!

Small life update: I recently bought a car from a friend who graduated and moved away! I recently drove from Florida back to Virginia, and will be spending my first month of online summer classes in Norfolk and Virginia Beach on Meknes time, before maybe traveling a bit in July and doing my online classes from some places I’ve never been before (stay tuned)! Thus, my May schedule has been filled with traveling back to my home state of Virginia, virtual Zoom meetings for Orientation Team and SGA Student Court, pre-program testing and orientations for my summer Arabic classes through Project GO, the University of Arizona, and the Arab American Language Institute in Meknes, Morocco, sunbathing and working out, and reading and finishing the book Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.

Love getting the chance to spend time more with family after the semester ends.

My recent transitional go-tos for staying fit this summer and focusing more on eating healthy and resting/recharging have been going to Hot Yoga in my hometown. Typically Yoga Studios, gyms, and other fitness establishments offer starting specials and since I’ll be back for a month it’s definitely fun to try new things! I’m looking into trying a Spin Class which is essentially a workout on a stationary bike that looks fun too. In addition to being able to venture into fitness studios, I’ve been doing yoga on my own outside in the mornings and I am looking forward to being able to get some sunrise surfing sessions in before June ends. Also, my Youtube fitness class faves are still Yoga With Adriene, Chloe Ting, and POPSUGAR Fitness.

I’ve actually had some down time lately before my summer classes start and plan to read Black, White, and the Grey by John O. Morisano and Mashama Bailey by the pool or at the beach. I have been listening to Leon Bridges, Russ, and am patiently waiting for Anderson .Paak and Bruno Mars’s new group Silk Sonic to release their new album on Spotify. Downtime things I’ve been interested in lately are Intuitive Eating, different podcasts on NPR’s Short Wave series (a usually 10-20 min episode on random science topics), catching up on the Handmaid’s Tales on Hulu, and getting excited for Disney+’s release of Raya and the Last Dragon.

Playing catch up on my life, I’ve been trying to do more things I don’t get to enjoy as frequently during the school year. I recently attended a Virtual Zumba Dance class taught by another O-Team member that was a ton of fun, and not something I would typically sign up for.

Homemade pizza in the pizza oven is a super fun perk of being home!

I’ve also been receiving the email newsletter that comes every Friday called Girls’ Night In and the daily (30 second read) newsletter called The Daily Good. Usually I get a ton of emails everyday and checking them can be stressful, so having a few fun reads with good recommendations makes looking at the official emails in my inbox more bearable.

Keep on keeping on folks! Will report back soon with virtual summer class and schedule updates!

Daily Life & Extraneous Happenings

Happy February everyone! I’m currently blogging from Daytona Beach, Florida and now that I’m back in the groove I would like to share with you a day in the life of an Aerospace Engineering student in Air Force ROTC who works as a Resident Advisor (RA), along with multiple other campus involvements! 

To begin, in AFROTC this semester we have one In-Person physical training (PT) a week, and one “virtual” at home workout PT, in addition to one In-Person Leadership Laboratory (LLAB). If I have either PT or LLAB, I typically wake up around 0500 via an alarm on my phone, sometimes multiple alarms especially if I was up late doing homework. I usually start my day extremely thirsty so when I first wake up I make water, coffee, tea, and a vitamin C drink from a powder I have (I know this might sound like a lot, but I love beverages). Then I do 10-15 minutes of yoga, eat some oatmeal and take my vitamins, and head to ROTC around 0620. After ROTC I typically return to my room between 0800 and 0900 and shower and make second breakfast, which is sometimes more oatmeal, coffee, and fruit if a have it (sometimes oatmeal is subbed with a muffin from the Cadet Lounge).

Then I prep for my day! On my busiest days I have in-person Airplane Stability and Control, Preparation for Active Duty Air Force class, online Aerospace Structures II, in-person SGA Student Court office hours, Space Mechanics, and my bi-weekly 1:1 with my RA supervisor (the Residence Life Coordinator of the residence hall I live in). This week my other obligations include my Returning RA Interview session, a 1:1 with my APAS (Assistant Professor of Aerospace Studies) to go over my academic course plan up to graduation, Student Court Hearing Sessions, RA staff meetings, RA duty, workouts, office hours with my professors to ask questions about homework assignments, and my first Community Hangout of the semester – I’m teaming up with my RA hall partner to do a virtual Paint night!

In my free time when I’m not working out I’m probably playing virtual chess with my friends, strategizing Blokus games, or sleeping!

My first 2-Person Blokus game!

My usual schedule typically includes homework, quiz prep, and studying for upcoming tests. Also, I recently joined ERAU’s Surf Club which I’m very excited about. I went surfing for the first time since I’ve been back in Florida over the weekend at Ponce Inlet and it was so much fun! Going to the beach recently was the first time I’ve worn a wetsuit because the water was cold and I had a blast.

The beach when I went surfing with Surf Club!

As I get back to doing homework, I look forward to blogging again soon, keep on keeping on folks, stay safe!

Hope & Half-Way

Happy October folks! I’m currently blogging from Daytona Beach, we’re about halfway through the semester, almost a month away from finals, and I’m so excited to visit Virginia again come Winter Break.

Mid-terms the past couple weeks were not easy. From my personal experience, college students are some of the most stressed out group of humans I have ever encountered. Maybe it’s because we’re all navigating excessive hours of homework, studying, class, and other university obligations, and there’s somehow only 24 hours in a day? I have found that I am currently coming out of the stressed wave from midterms and the only thing to do now is to keep cruising full speed ahead until the end of the semester. Stay on the grind of prepping for quizzes, doing homework, studying, and using the down time (can it really be considered down time?) between exams to mentally prepare for finals season.

Student Court’s group photo channeling Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry ie Harry Potter vibes.

I have been enjoying the little moments recently. This especially includes the few and far between coveted days I get the luxurious chance to sleep in. I also have been feeling very grateful for the little moments I get to catch up with old friends, girl gang brunches never get old especially when they haven’t happened in a few weeks.

This semester has been mentally exhausting, whether it’s from online classes, a global pandemic, general life stressors, or a cumulation of everything, everyone I’ve encountered seems a little off. Navigating “normal” life with so many abnormal aspects doesn’t feel right. Check on your friends! The world could use a little more compassion, understanding, and connection right about now. I am extremely hopeful for the end of the semester and SO excited to use Winter Break to catch up on sleep and mentally recharge.

I have surprisingly made some new friends this semester and even though our interactions are limited to Microsoft Teams calls studying or phone calls, the little bit of connection feels extremely comforting in the cold virtual aura that online classes have presented.

A visual representation of how the Student Court feels about being a little over half way through the Fall 2020 semester.

In other news, SGA Student Court has been going great! As the newest Associate Justice to the team I’m constantly learning and increasing my understanding of how the university functions and its rules, policies, and regulations. We meet virtually once a week to give updates, work on appeal cases, and do other courtly duties. I am so happy to be on such a great team with motivated, hard working, and dedicated individuals who strive to advocate for students. Generally I like to think the universe is for me, and so is everything else, but particularly in this case I can 100% say the Student Court is for you, and I am too.

Will report back soon. Keep on keeping on folks!

Announcements & Roles

Happy June everyone! I am currently blogging from Virginia Beach, VA and I found out I’m going to be a Peer Mentor for University 101 (UNIV 101) for the Fall 2020 semester! University 101 is a class exactly what it sounds like, essentially a “How-To” for the behind the scenes (ie paperwork) side of college navigation, a *sometimes* confusing yet necessary aspect of university life. Most engineering students take this course, while Aeronautical Science, Aviation, and Business students attend a slightly different version of the class catered towards their unique degree paths.

A Peer Mentor for UNIV 101 is a leadership position available to graduate and undergraduate students as a learning coach, student advocate, trusted peer, and source of information about the University and its offerings/resources. I like to see it as an extension of being on Orientation Team as an O Team Ambassador. In this position I will be in the UNIV 101 class sessions (sort of like a Teacher’s Assistant) and help students become familiar with university resources such as ERNIE, Canvas, and Campus Solutions. I will be an additional resource for answering questions like locating advisor information, finding the course catalog, online registration, navigating placement evaluations, and Academic Study Plans!

In Air Force ROTC we make academic study plans mapping out our classes for each semester up until graduation, which is very helpful in ensuring you meet all of your course requirements for a timely graduation and something that the UNIV 101 course immensely facilitates and provides resources to help you plan and communicate with your Academic Advisor.

Recently reflecting, I realized I hold a lot of leadership positions on campus.

I am a Student Blogger (of course),

a Resident Advisor (RA),

an Orientation Team Ambassador (O Team Ambassador),

a Student Government Association (SGA) Student Court Associate Justice where I am the acting Clerk (essentially a spokesperson),

in Air Force ROTC with the leadership position I am assigned as a Professional Officer Course (POC) Cadet for the semester,

and now a Peer Mentor for University 101 as well…. In addition to getting a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering and a Minor in Arabic Studies, and miraculously I still find time to workout!

My current progress!

If anyone has questions on time management or any of the positions/organizations I’m a part of, feel free to reach out on this platform or if you see me around campus! Additionally if I specifically am not a part of a group that you want to join, there is a high chance that I know someone who is and I can put you in contact with them!

My summer classes have officially kicked off and we’re almost halfway through summer which is mind boggling to me. As my third summer participating in Project Global Officer learning Arabic I can say that I definitely prefer in-person learning as compared to online courses. Learning a new language in itself is difficult, but sitting at a computer for 8 hours a day is almost more difficult to me.

I will report back soon on how my language learning is progressing over Zoom, and more information about my current summer class schedule and how my on campus leadership positions impact my time management during the fall. Stay safe everyone!

Staying Busy & SGA

Happy May everyone! I am currently blogging from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Despite mostly having warm and sunny weather, this week we are experiencing Tropical Storm Arthur which means windy, rainy, and cold temperatures… therefore I will not be running outside.

I’ve been spending most of my time post-Spring semester, before summer classes begin, by enjoying this break throughout the month of May with lots of rest and a slower pace of living than I’m used to during the school year. My fitness favorites (rain or shine) have been via Youtube’s Yoga With Adriene and Popsugar Fitness channels, as well as Demi Bagby’s ab workouts and high intensity interval training (HIIT) videos. I have made it a point to do Popsugar Fitness’s 4 min arms video everyday thus far in May and I definitely think its working.

In other news I’ve been missing frequent visits to coffee shops and good vibe study spots, but I’ve managed to make do with creating a chill atmosphere at home with a combination of diffusing essential oils, bird watching (see below) and reading. I have been staying busy by getting outside when I can, but enjoying nature from inside when I’m unable to go outside too. My latests reading endeavors have been the Bhagavad Gita translated by Eknath Easwaran and House to House: An Epic Memoir of War by David Bellavia, quite a contrast but I do feel the balance of the two describe my interests well. 

New May adventures include an addition of a bird feeder where I can make coffee while observing visitors having breakfast.
Planted some herbs! Pictured here are lavender, sweet basil, thyme, and spearmint in the Herb planter bag (with a drainage hole for watering in case anyone was wondering)!

Additionally around the time of final exams I applied for a position on the Student Government Association (SGA). After an interview process, I am officially now an Associate Justice on the Student Court with the job of Clerk, meaning I’m responsible for communication to students regarding hearings and ticket appeal cases. I am very excited and grateful to hold this position and to have an additional platform be able to continue to serve the student body and the positive atmosphere at ERAU!

I have also hopped on the quarantine baking trend! I cheffed it up with some dark chocolate peanut butter brownies and a veggie quiche the other day!

Brownies!
Veggie Quiche!

Keep on keeping on folks, stay safe, wash your hands, cover your faces, and I will report back soon!

We’re 93% There!

With less than two weeks left in this semester, you have to stop and wonder where the past four months went. I still remember my train ride back to Florida very vividly, despite it happening late August.

But, since it’s near the end of the semester, there’s no time to reminisce: Not yet. Group projects and tests make their final appearances while final exams and course evaluations follow shortly after. But in the midst of organized chaos come some periods of down time.

Chancellor Brady recently held an art exhibit which showcased artwork for students and faculty. Ferrari’s formula one racing team brought an F-1 car to campus. Also, the Student Government Association held a town hall to answer some hot-button topics on the minds of students.

It fascinates me how diverse Riddle is because there’s always something for someone. I guess we have our diverse student body to thank for that. Anyway, I’ll probably make one last post before finals so stay tuned!