Organization Anyone?

Organization anyone? Being in the midst of midterms, clubs going crazy, and it almost being spring break life is pretty hectic. The way I combat the stress of life is by staying organized. I believe that everything has a place and that everything should be in its place. So I have a few helpful hints to keep the stress down and the productivity high.

  • Planners. Live by them. This can be in a physical planner or a phone calendar, either way they are great ways to keep track of meetings, tests, and due dates. Personally, I have a physical planner, a desk calendar for events, and a wall calendar for important things such as birthdays.20170222_123305
  • Keep a binder or folders for all past and current assignments. Your never know when you will need to look back on an assignment or pass it off to someone else. Avoid papers cluttering your desk, backpack, and keep them ordered by date and time.
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  • Color-coding. I am a firm believer in this. Every class, club, responsibility has a color and it is easy to see quickly what is coming and needs to be done.20170222_123247

 

These are a few things that work for me, and they might not work for everybody. If you can find a way to remove the excess clutter from your life you just might see a reduction of stress in your life.

Student Health or “Student Death”

Being sick sucks. Being sick is college might be even worse. The first time I got sick at college was last year with a cold. At home, my mom would make sure that I taken car of, comfortable, had medicine, and I also felt like I was in good hands. Then all of a sudden you’re at school and it’s just you. Instead of your mom checking in on you it’s your roommates, you call your parents to  be diagnosed over the phone (yes this has happened more than once, Thanks mom!), and then give money to friends to go pick you up medicine.

If you get really sick, or have been sick for a while there is the wellness center. My family had always joked and called the wellness center (the on campus doctors office) student death, because you only go in when you are really sick. This past week I had my first experience at the wellness center. I scheduled an appointment and went for it. When I arrived, the office was really nice, and the nurse who checked me in made me feel a really comfortable. I think the best part was that I was in the wellness center for maybe 15 minutes. I checked in, talked to the nurse, then the doctor, then was free to leave. It was easy and painless.

Being sick in college is an adjustment and it can feel very lonely. But you are not alone. There are resources around campus such as the wellness center, and the housing department that can help you both get better and talk to your professors to help give you time to heal. Also take advantage of your community. They will be there to grab you food or medicine, because they know you would return the favor. Although it’s not your comfy couch at home with your mom taking care of you, being sick at school is not as hard as you think it will be. Because let’s be honest, everyone gets sick.

3 day weekends= Freedom!

A three-day weekend to college students is the equivalent of Halloween for children! It is a beautiful time where school stress diminishes (until late the night before classes) and you are free to have fun and play. I don’t know about everyone else, but being at school with all my friends minus the actual study part is one of my favorite things. Don’t get me wrong classes are interesting, but the unique freedom that comes when it’s a three day weekend is one for the books. As usual, I fled town, with some of my favorite people. I drove up to Moab Utah with my friends to play at Arches and Canyonlands National Park for the weekend.

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The fifteen or more hours in the car for the weekend were well worth it. We played in the snow, had a bouncy castle in our hotel, and saw some breathe taking arches!

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Sunday we ventured up to Canyonlands, which happened to be in a cloud. We tried two view points and could not outrun the fog so head back to Arches National Park where we got to play some more.

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Being able to get in the car and drive to Utah on a weekend is one thing that I never thought was possible before college but now it is a common occurrence in my life. The National Parks and amazing opportunities that surround Prescott and Arizona as a whole are amazing and a great bonus to riddle. Now don’t worry, if driving 6 hours to Utah to look at some arches is not your thing that is okay, there are hundreds of others things to do on a three day weekend. Some binge watch Netflix (gotta catch up on the shows you don’t have time for during the week), some go to Phoenix, and others mess around on campus. No matter what you are doing three day weekends are always a memorable time and something college kids live for!

你好! Lets Talk Chinese!

你好!Hi everyone! Sorry it has been so long since I have posted but it has been crazy with finals, break, and the start of a new semester. A lot of what has made life crazy for me has been learning Chinese. As a Global Security and Intelligence (GSIS) student, I am required to take four semesters of a language. Riddle offers four different languages; Chinese, Arabic, Russian, and Spanish. I chose Mandarin, the reason for this is because I have always been interested in China and the US interest that are there so for me it was an easy choice!.

I started Mandarin this past fall on the regular track; the regular track is four semester of one class each semester at 3 credits. We have a fast track, which are 6 credits of language a semester then other Chinese classes on top of that. I opted for the regular track because as a freshman, I was not willing to commit my life to Chinese, it felt kind of like a marriage, and I was not ready for it. The regular Mandarin tracks Professor is Professor Chen, she is absolutely wonderful. She makes tackling this difficult language manageable and fun. Just this past week at our first class of the semester she said she had three questions we needed to answer, she said the questions in Chinese and waited for a response. For a particularly uncomfortable five minutes, my ten-person class just looked at each other and at her. She finally broke the silence with a laugh, said, “it has been a long break I see”, and helped us dissect what she had said. Although those five minutes (honestly it was most likely way shorter than that is just felt like five minutes) were uncomfortable she still made the class fun and helped us to feel more comfortable and able to make mistakes.

For me a typical day in Mandarin includes…

  • Going through chapter dialogue
  • Listening practice (work book or the chapter dialogue)
  • Speaking practice (vocab, workbook, really anything)
  • Sometimes writing practice

 

This is one of the most interactive classes I have ever been part of. The environment fostered in the classroom makes it okay to make mistakes and learn from others. We do a lot of speaking and listening in class to work on pronunciation, while the writing and character work is done mostly at home and turned in as homework. We learn around 50 words every three weeks with around a quiz a week and daily homework, but it helps. This is one of those classes that will teach you how to study but I can almost guarantee it will make you a better student, it surely has for me. Although the workload can sometimes feel like a lot, I have learned so much in just a semester and am looking forward to continuing. So if you are a GSIS student (or soon to be) don’t shy away from Mandarin, it is hard but the work is worth it.

The End to an Incredible Chapter

4 and a half years ago I took my first steps onto the campus of Embry-Riddle as a confused, excited, optimistic, and scared freshman. How would I fit in here? How am I going to survive without my parents? What would I do during my free time? What would I do without my high school friends? There were so many thoughts racing through my head that day. This was a huge first step for me. I left New Orleans, LA to follow my dreams of becoming an airline pilot one day. Fast forward to today (December 19, 2016) and boy have things changed since that exciting first day on August 20, 2012. I am now at the very end of my journey here. Another chapter in the story has been completed. Looking at myself in the mirror now I can’t even see that 18-year old freshman anymore. I was just a kid when I started here. I am now at the very early stages of my adulthood and I see things completely different at this stage of my life compared to then. It’s crazy to see just how much I’ve grown in the last 4 and a half years.

People always tell you that college is going to be one of the best times of your life. I didn’t quite believe that statement. Why you ask? Well to me I couldn’t imagine how all-nighters, stress-infused days worrying about grades, assignments, work, and bills would be one of the best times of my life. However, now as I look back at the journey that I have had at Riddle I can definitely say without a doubt that my time here has been not “one of” but “the” best time of my life. Prescott, Arizona has truly become my home and the friends that I have met here are no longer just friends; they are truly my family. Riddle has a great way of molding you into the person you were destined to become through the many challenges the curriculum places on you while you try to navigate through adulthood. If I had a dollar for every time I said I was ready to quit I would be on Forbes top billionaires list. As I begin walking back down memory lane, images of a solo flight direct from KPRC (Prescott) to Kingman and Lake Havasu and back to Prescott, experiencing the state of Arizona from a vantage point of about 10,000’ or more; taking in breath taking views of the red rocks of Sedona, the majestic snow covered San Francisco Peaks in Flagstaff, the city lights of Phoenix as they open up in the distance as we go from Arizona’s high country to the valley, traveling to 7 different beautiful life changing countries through study abroad programs, working in Embry-Riddles admissions department, administering tours as a campus ambassador to prospective students and their families just to name a few. With every great memory comes amazing people to share them with. My time here at riddle has also provided me with the great pleasure of meeting my “squad!” The most memorable experience that I’ve had here is having the opportunity to meet some of the most amazing people known to mankind. Ok, that may be a bit dramatic but honestly this experience wouldn’t be nothing without the people that have been by my side from the very beginning. They have been the ones to take me to the ER at crazy hours of the night when I got sick. They are the ones that stayed up with me for hours helping me with an assignment that I chose to procrastinate on and waited the night before to finish. These are the people who put up with my craziness when even I lost patience with myself. They are the ones I’ve spent every long, drawn out, hot, and boring Prescott summers with and made it some of my most memorable summer breaks. They are the ones who invited me to their homes all across the United States for holiday breaks when it was too expensive for me to travel back home. They are the ones who most importantly have been there to hold me during some of life’s most challenging moments. They are the ones who have been their to wipe away my tears and help me back to my feet through some very challenging breakups. Embry-Riddle for me has been so much more than an Aeronautical University that has served as a pillar for my academic and professional success but it has become the foundation to my adulthood that has provided me a journey that I will forever remember.

As I begin flight planning for the next chapter in my life, I look back at ERAU in the rearview of my car. As I drive to Phoenix Sky Harbor to board a flight to Berlin, Germany I see all the memories flash through my head. It is a bittersweet feeling leaving behind the place that helped raise me into the person that looks back at me when I look in the mirror. Prescott, Arizona will always hold a special place in my heart because it has shown me the time of my life. Tears fill my eyes as riddle fades further and further into the distance, and I see the impeccably beautiful Arizona sunset fall beneath Granite Mountain as the city of Prescott begins to slowly quiet down reminding me exactly how and why

4 and a half years ago I walked onto the campus of Embry-Riddle a confused, excited, optimistic, and scared freshman. How would I fit in here? How am I going to survive without my parents? What would I do during my free time? What would I do without my high school friends? There were so many thoughts racing through my head that day. This was a huge first step for me. I left New Orleans, LA to follow my dreams of becoming an airline pilot one day. Fast forward to today (December 19, 2016) and boy have things changed since that exciting first day on August 20, 2012. I am now at the very end of my journey here. Another chapter in the story has been completed. Looking at myself in the mirror now I can’t even see that 18-year old freshman. I was just a kid when I started here. I am now at the very early stages of my adulthood now and I see things completely different now. It’s crazy to see just how much I’ve grown in the last 4 and a half years.

People always tell you that college is one of the best times of your life. I didn’t quite believe that statement. Why you ask? Well to me I couldn’t imagine how all-nighters, stress-infused days worrying about grades, assignments, work, and bills would be one of the best times of my life. However, now as I look back at the journey that I have had at Riddle I can definitely say without a doubt that my time here has been not “one of” but “the” best time of my life. Prescott, Arizona has truly become my home and the friends that I have met here are no longer just friends; they are truly my family. Riddle has a great way of molding you into the person you were destined to become through the many challenges the curriculum places on you while you try to navigate through adulthood. If I had a dollar for every time I said I was ready to quit I would be on Forbes top billionaires list. As I begin walking back down memory lane, images of a solo flight direct from KPRC (Prescott) to Kingman and Lake Havasu and back to Prescott, experiencing the state of Arizona from a vantage point of about 10,000’ or more; taking in breath taking views of the red rocks of Sedona, the majestic snow covered San Francisco Peaks in Flagstaff, the city lights of Phoenix as they open up in the distance as we go from Arizona’s high country to the valley, traveling to 7 different beautiful life changing countries through study abroad programs, working in Embry-Riddles admissions department, administering tours as a campus ambassador to prospective students and their families just to name a few. With every great memory comes amazing people to share them with. My time here at riddle has also provided me with the great pleasure of meeting my “squad!” The most memorable experience that I’ve had here is having the opportunity to meet some of the most amazing people known to mankind. Ok, that may be a bit dramatic but honestly this experience wouldn’t be nothing without the people that have been by my side from the very beginning. They have been the ones to take me to the ER at crazy hours of the night when I got sick. They are the ones that stayed up with me for hours helping me with an assignment that I chose to procrastinate on and waited the night before to finish. These are the people who put up with my craziness when even I lost patience with myself. They are the ones I’ve spent every long, drawn out, hot, and boring Prescott summers with and made it some of my most memorable summer breaks. They are the ones who invited me to their homes all across the United States for holiday breaks when it was too expensive for me to travel back home. They are the ones who most importantly have been there to hold me during some of life’s most challenging moments. They are the ones who have been their wipe away my tears and help me back to my feet for very challenging breakups. Embry-Riddle for me has been so much more than an Aeronautical University that has served as a pillar for my academic and professional success but it has become the foundation to my adulthood that has provided me a journey that I will forever remember.

As I begin flight planning for the next chapter in my life, I look back at ERAU in the rearview of my car. As I drive to Phoenix Sky Harbor to board a flight to Berlin, Germany I see all the memories flash through my head. It is a bittersweet feeling leaving behind the place that helped raise me into the person that looks back at me when I look in the mirror. Prescott, Arizona will always hold a special place in my heart because it has shown me the time of my life. Tears fill my eyes as riddle fades further and further into the distance, and I see the impeccably beautiful Arizona sunset fall beneath Granite Mountain as the city of Prescott  begins to slowly quiet down reminding me exactly how and why I fell in love with this place. This is not the end, only the beginning of my life’s journey. Forever an Eagle! The rest is still unwritten.

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“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that an airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” -Henry Ford

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Thanksgiving 1,354 miles from home

Happy Holidays! Since Thanksgiving just past, and more holidays are quickly approaching, I thought I would talk about spending my second Thanksgiving 1,354 miles from home. Let me start-off by saying it is not as bad as you might think. Some people go home, some go to friends houses, and other stay out with friends, but a lot of people decide to stay in town because the break is short.

Last year for Thanksgiving, some of my friends who stayed in Prescott and I went to my grandparents in Tucson. This year my friends who stayed in town and I had a Friendsgiving. At Friendsgiving, we made dinner, played some games, laid on the floor, and fought like siblings. Just like any normal Thanksgiving. Eight of my closest friends gathered into a house and tried our hands at a family Thanksgiving (secret… it is harder than you think; thank your parents…ALOT!).

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The day started with people in the kitchen while others watched the parade, then progressed into games around the appetizers, then dinner which made everyone so full they laid on the floor in a food coma, then we did dishes and had dessert.

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Although it was not like Thanksgiving at home, it was one for the books. Our first Thanksgiving dinner made by ourselves, surrounded by people who love you, is one of the biggest blessings. So, if you are considering moving far away from home and know you won’t be able to go home for Thanksgiving, or other holidays, just know that you will not be alone. Other people will be in your boat and you will have friends to celebrate with. It makes a classic family holiday new again with a new family to celebrate with, many blessings to be thankful for, and possibly a new tradition formed.

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College is what you make it, so make the most of it

College looks different for everyone. Some people are at big schools others are at small, some are engineers while others are GSIS students, but we are all trying to optimize the time that we have in college. Whether we like it or not our undergraduate career is generally eight semesters, sometimes ten, but that is it, it basically boils down to 4-5 years. On the outside looking in, it seems like a long time, a lot of tests, and studying, and it is, but it is also so much more. College is a time to be yourself, grow, find out what you want to do with your life, and make it your own. School will always come first but college is much more than the lessons you learn in a fifty-minute class or on a homework assignment. It’s about the roommate conflicts, the late night coffee runs, and the spontaneous adventures to the dells at one in the morning. The long talks with new friends and letting go of old ones, learning to do your own laundry and time management, and everything in-between. But that is the beauty of it.

For me college is…

Friends who will always study with me

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School spirit

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Giving back

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Adventure

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Late night Walmart adventures

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Early morning coffee runs

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Longing to see friends back home while creating lifelong relationships hereimg2097055872-1

Exploring the glorious world, we live in

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And finding out what truly makes me happy

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… What does college mean to you? And how are you/ will you make the most out of the short time you have here?

Internship at Garmin

ryan-airplaneby guest blogger Ryan Bishop, Senior in Engineering

“Hardware eventually breaks. Software eventually works.”

Many analogies can be drawn from the above quote, but I would like to describe what it means to me. I have spent seven out of the last thirteen years trying to improve my software before the hardware broke. A blue-collar worker sells his physical body a little at a time, while a white-collar engineer sells his knowledge. Having knowledge and experience in both fields now, I have a new respect for engineers and a new drive for my future. I have learned that engineering is much more about how you think than anything learned in the classroom.
ryan-equipmentryan-desk       As of the beginning of this internship at Garmin, it was my objective to understand the certification process, and the internal processes and programs used at Garmin AT. While the process to certify a product for aviation use is rather simple, the act of gaining the data to support certification claims is a complex process that necessitates a department of 40+ engineers to gain and maintain certification. This is an internal process up to the point of FAA demonstration that requires many tools to remain organized. To track the revision of documents, I had to learn and utilize StarTeam, then do the same with Requiem, as Garmin changed programs during my stay. ryan-cable Issues found during testing were logged in Aviation JIRA, a network-based program that allows for categorization, assignment, and tracking of workflow. In an effort to share the tribal knowledge among its employees, Garmin uses a wiki page, Confluence. Meetings occur on a regular basis to discuss, categorize, and assign tasks, at both high and low levels.
ryan-garmin        The culture and community is unlike any company I’ve worked for. It is very apparent that Garmin values its employees for much more than just their productivity. Office life is very lax, but also considerate and respectful. There is little daily oversight or feedback, but rather a quiet expectation to accomplish tasks efficiently and in harmony with those you work with for a given project. Although I was an hourly employee, ryan-awesomemy schedule was up to me. I was not expected to work any number of hours, as long as my work was completed on time. I did have bi-weekly meetings with my mentor to monitor progress and ensure that I was getting the most of my internship.
Beyond the technical knowledge and skills I gained at Garmin, I also learned many things about myself and my place in the engineering workplace. As an aircraft mechanic, I was not very involved in avionics and I never became a pilot. I felt so very out of place working at an avionics giant. Although we all love airplanes, we speak in different terms. From this I’ve learned that specialization is key. We also speak at much different volumes. I am loud, in more ways than one and I know this. From this I’ve learned that if you’re going to be loud, try to do so outside of the visual and audible spectrum, or at least make it of pleasant tone and color. It was a very valuable experience for me and I have a direction for my future.

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The Rare Phenomenon known as Thunder Snow

I was visiting a friend in Flagstaff, AZ this weekend at NAU (Northern Arizona University) (Flagstaff is an hour and a half north of Prescott) and we were working on homework Sunday night when all of a sudden we heard a loud BOOM! For a second we were both incredibly confused seeing that there wasn’t any chance of a Thunderstorm in the forecast for Northern Arizona and it wasn’t even raining outside in fact it was snowing!Image result for NAU snow

We ran to the door of the apartment to peak outside to see other NAU students anxiously looking out into the dark cold cloudy skies of Northern Arizona wondering if we weren’t all losing our minds. A few seconds later that’s when I realized what was actually taking place. I noticed off in the distance a series of lightning strikes flashing around the San Francisco Peaks followed by a mild rumble of steady thunder filling the silence of a quiet cold windy Sunday night — Thunder Snow!.

I have a passion for weather. Being a pilot, it’s something I’ve learned to check periodically throughout my day so being able to witness the very rare phenomenon known as Thunder Snow had to probably be one of the most rewarding experience I have been able to witness while living here in Northern Arizona!635898787435863929-lightning-strike2-ThinkstockPhotos-469850273

The definition of Thunder Snow is an unusual kind of thunderstorm with snow falling as the primary precipitation instead of rain and occurs in regions where a strong upward motion is present within the cold sector of an extratropical cyclone (Wikipedia). This is one of the many reasons I adore the state of Arizona because you have a front row seat to some of the most amazing and most unique weather events that you may not have the luxury of experiencing in any other states in the United States. All you have to do is step outside and look up!

Top 4 Reasons Why I Love Being a Student and You Will Too!

We are back, campus is bustling, and classes are in session. Over break, I was able to enjoy time with my friends and family while enjoying the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. But there was always a little part of me that wanted to come back to Northern Arizona and school. For at least the next four years, my job is to be a student and I rather enjoy it. Don’t get me wrong school is hard and stressful, but it is filled with opportunities and lessons that apply to my future.

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Because of this, I am listing my top four reasons I love being a college student:
1. This is the only time in your life you are able to be selfish with your time. You get to decide what you want to do and when you want to do it. I do not have to focus on paying bills, working full time, or many other things. My one priority is school, and I put the distractions in my life there not somebody else.
2. Everything you learn will help you in your future. High school seemed like it was filled with busy work and lessons that would not apply in the future. But now I get to study what I like. My US legal systems teacher is formatting the class to the student’s interests and careers that they would like when they graduate. He is doing this to ensure success and that we are prepared for our future careers and the real world. That’s cool!
3. There are so many opportunities. Whether it is on campus or off campus there are many things to do. Between clubs, organizations, and jobs your days can be as busy as you would like them to be. I have had many opportunities at Embry-Riddle that I never expected, like making great friends, going shooting for the first time, cliff jumping, and experiencing what a life will be like with a career in the Global Security and Intelligence realm.
4. You get used to getting out of your comfort zone. By this, I mean you will have to do things that you do not want to do. For me it is public speaking and putting myself in positions where there is possibility for failure, for others it could be not being accepted in a club they are joining, or any other numerous thing. Everything that takes you outside of your comfort zone is a time where you are learning about not only yourself now but also who you wanted to be in the future. Learning to feel comfortable outside of your comfort zone is a large part of what college teaches you that will help prepare you do the future.

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Although school is a lot of work, stressful, and overwhelming, I love being a student. The challenges I face and the people I meet are helping me become a better person and are helping prepare me for the world outside of academia. I am learning to enjoy every step of my college journey, from late nights to early mornings, frustrating teachers to the best teachers, and all the little things in between. Being a college student is a time to challenge yourself, a time to focus on yourself and your future, and a time to help you leave your comfort zone. I have decided to embrace the challenges and try to enjoy every minute of being a college student I can.