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The main advice I have for incoming GSIS students is that you got to brush up on your history and current events. Start reading and writing more, so you can begin to enjoy it. And do NOT procrastinate, it could cost you your grade. This major is a lot of fun, and there is a little something for everyone. Personally, I love psychology the most.

Life Changing Decisions

When life throws you lemons…sometimes you don’t have enough time to make lemonade, but you should definitely make the best of it! This semester has thrown many curve balls my way, and somehow I am still getting through it all. The most important thing to remember is to weigh all your options when you have to make life changing decisions.

When my grandmother passed away in January, I was very close to breaking down and dropping out of school, but I knew that was not the right choice. Even though life would have been easier if I moved back with my family in California, I would not grow and be ready to start my own life by peddling backwards. I needed to continue to go to school so I can get my degree. I have already come this far, and I am more than half way through it.

I also got a newer car since my older car was having a lot of mechanical problems. Having a new car payment made it very difficult to pay all my bills and eventually I had to find a full time job. Unfortunately, there were no openings in Prescott, so I had to land a managerial job down in the valley, near Phoenix. This means I had to either drive back and forth to work, but be closer to school or I would have to move down to the valley and drive up to school. I figured, living in the valley would give me a lot more options, especially once I am out of school, so I decided to move down to the valley. Once summer hits, I won’t have to commute to school, so it will be highly worth the move. And next semester I only have Tues & Thurs classes, so it won’t be too difficult to keep up with going to classes.

Even though I have been very stressed out this semester and I have wanted to quit, I keep reminding myself that it will all be worth it in the end and everything happens for a reason. Losing my grandma has been the hardest trial in my life, but I know there is a bigger reason as to why this was her time to go. Unfortunately, I also lost my uncle recently and my spouse in now Brazil, taking care of his ill mother and spending time with family. He will be gone all summer, so I guess taking on this full time job had been my life saver. The best way to get over loneliness and a death in the family is to keep busy. Having a full time job and going to school full time has helped me to stay busy and has kept my mind straight.

I know some people would have done things differently than I, but I feel this was the best option for me. My advice to anyone going through life changing decisions and/or problems is to try to stop for a second and think about your future. Where do you want to be in your near future and how about further down the road? I realized that if I dropped out of school I would be very disappointed in myself further down the road. I also feel that the move has given me a change of scenery and there is a lot more to do down here in the valley.

Never give up on your dreams and always think through your decisions.

Overcoming Unforeseen Obstacles

Sometimes life is full of surprises, whether they are good or bad, we are not always ready for them. Fortunately, we have the ability to choose whether these obstacles change our lives for the better or for the worse.

This school year has been very difficult for me due to a major obstacle in my life. My grandmother, the woman who raised me, passed away in the middle of January, right when the Spring semester began. She became very ill at the end of the Fall semester in November and slowly her health began to decline.

This has made schooling very difficult because my mind has not been on school work, but more so on family. I have spent a lot of time going to California to spend time with my grandmother during her last weeks And then I had to help my family plan the memorial and we had to find a time where we could all meet.

We had a huge family reunion on behalf of my lovely grandmother and got a chance to spend time together and reminiscence of all the good times we had with her. It’s been difficult to go on with my life without her, but honestly I have received help from my friends and I decided to see the school’s psychologist at Embry-Riddle. He was very helpful and insightful and gave me great advice. I never thought I could ever ask for help, but when I started realizing that I wasn’t feeling up to par, I knew I needed help. Embry-Riddle has such helpful staff and understanding professors. I just told my professors about my loss and they have helped me to get through this semester. I am very lucky to be at this school, because I do feel like they care about me.

My advice for anyone who has to go through a stuff life-changing situation such as mine, is to try to see a professional and lean on your friends and family, it will help. And if you are in school, make sure you communicate with your professors, they will listen and they will understand and try to help you as much as possible. Although it takes a while, life does continue on. Just keep swimming, and soon your life will be back on track to where you want it to be.

Prescott Valley Police Department

As promised before, I want to share my experiences with my new internship at the Prescott Valley Police Department. Unfortunately, I have not found too much free time to head over there too often, but the time I do set aside has been well worth it! I had the chance to go on a patrol ride with another Volunteer. He is actually attending graduate school at Riddle. (small world!) He is a really nice guy and he helped me to learn a lot more about law enforcement. Unfortunately, there was not too much excitement the day we went out for a ride. One guy ran out of gas at an intersection, so we got to direct traffic. There was also a car accident with a school bus (no one was harmed). Looked like the lady driving the car was not paying attention and rear-ended the bus driver. We stayed on the scene until officials came and took over. We wrote a few parking tickets, and did some house-watch requests. It was pretty fun!

I also spent some time trying to perfect my recovery of fingerprints on objects such as glasses and windows. It is a LOT harder than it looks. But it was a great learning experience and the head of the forensics department told me that my lifted prints looked better than some of the officers’. (shhh…we do not want to hurt their feelings. ha ha)

Just recently, I had the opportunity to go to Flagstaff to the big forensics/evidence lab. We took evidence from 5 different police stations around here (Prescott, Prescott Valley, Sheriff’s Department, Chino, and the Indian Reservation) and put them in the evidence van and took it all to the lab in Flagstaff. It was a nice drive. I learned a lot more about the chain of custody and how important it is to log everything that is done with the evidence because it will be used later in court. It is really interesting!

If you are interested and intrigued with security, forensics, and/or working for the government or law enforcement, I would really suggest volunteering for your local police department. They are all very helpful individuals and they are very willing to teach you as much as they know and once you have worked with them, I bet you any one of them would be willing to write you a nice letter of recommendation which will come handy once you are looking into a future career in the government. It is a lot of fun and educational!

Online Courses Vs. Campus courses

I apologize for not writing a blog in such a long time! I have been so busy this year with all of my classes and work. I also got an internship in town, which I will discuss more in my next blog. This semester I took 2 online courses and 3 courses on campus. My class schedule include Environmental Science and Statistics (online) and Geography, Environmental Economics, and Spanish I (Prescott Campus). I have enjoyed my classes, but I definitely like campus classes more than online courses. When you are deciding whether or not you should take an online course, you have to weigh your options. I would suggest only taking online courses if it is a class you need for your degree, but won’t use a lot after you graduate. This means do not take upper level courses online, it will be very difficult for you in the long run. Even taking stats and Environmental Science online had a toll on me because I did not have a professor in front of me, helping me out. I did not have lectures and I had to be completely self-disciplined. It was difficult, but it did give me more time to work and save some money. Also, I got to finish my 2 online courses early, which gave me a great opportunity to work on my huge papers and projects for my campus classes. I also found an awesome internship at the police department which has been a great blessing. I have enjoyed it a lot! I have already learned so much and I continue to learn every time I go. Next blog I’ll share a little more about what I have been learning and which department I have been working in.

I wanted to share my experiences with my online courses to give others an insight to them, because I know it can be a hard decision to make. Sometimes we have no option when we have to hold down a job or take care of family, but if you are fortunate enough to only take campus classes, I would definitely recommend it. Online courses are nice because you can get them over with and have the freedom to study when you want, but there are still due dates every week. You have to be self-motivated and I suggest trying not to procrastinate as long as possible. I wish everyone the best of luck with the upcoming final exams in December. I know there are a lot of projects and term papers due! I hope we all stay focused and do a good job. Don’t forget to register for Spring classes soon. Just remember to choose classes that you need, but also work best for your schedule!


How to Overcome the Summer Blues…

June 14 2011-

So, I sincerely thought summer was going to be a lot of fun until I realized all my friends left to go back home for the entire vacation. Fortunately, my boyfriend stayed, but I sometimes crave my girl-time with my friends. I am also getting cabin fever from not having enough things to do over the summer. Sure, I have a few church activities her and there, and I have 4 days per week of 8-hour work days, but there is still so much time I feel like I am wasting.

It is ironic how we cannot wait until summer vacation hits and then once it is here, we are not even sure how to spend it. The more time we waste, the less satisfying the summer becomes. This is why once it gets closer to the school year, we begin to think our summer was so short and it went by too fast. We have nothing to show off about from our summer.

I suggest trying to make a planner. List down all the things you would like to do and get done before the summer ends and before school hits you again. Otherwise, once school is back in session, there will not be anytime to accomplish those goals.

I also suggest trying to take on another job. It may seem a bit difficult to find one at first, but once you start applying to jobs daily, your chances increase that you will be hired for a new job.

July 12, 2011-

It has been a while since I finished this blog. I thought it would make sense to separate the dates since my updated news fits in to the older part of this blog. I finally found another job. Two new jobs, to be exact. I work early in the morning at a warehouse called Fastenal. It distributes fasteners (screws, bolts, nuts, etc.) to other companies in order for them to have operable machinery. It is also like an ace hardware store, where people can come in and shop for what they want. It is a lot of fun and I am learning a lot of new things. In the afternoon, I work at the school still as a scanner. I scan confidential files and index them into their electronic files. At nights and on Saturdays, I work at Papa John’s Pizza. It is a lot of fun. I have learned a lot about the company and about their ingredients. I have learned about everything that is involved in pizza making, from forming the dough all the way up to giving it to the customers.

It is a lot of fun to be so busy and to be able to actually save a little bit of money for the summer. I want to be able to pay off some of my debt and also have some spending money once school comes around. It also helps to keep me busy. As I said before, if you are struggling to find a job, just apply to as many job as you qualify for. It is better to be offered multiple jobs and having to decline a few than only offered one job that you may not even enjoy.

Once school starts, I will see whether or not I can hold 3 jobs or if I may have to let 1 or 2 go. I hope I can, but I guess we will see.

I truly hope everyone is having a safe, fun, and productive summer!!!

Goodbye Sophomore Year and HELLO SUMMER!

I recently realized that I am half way through my college years, how exciting! Time flew by so fast, it is incredible to know that I only have two years to go. I have been very blessed with good classes and a job here on campus. I have had a lot of fun with my friends and professors. I learned quite a bit and I am happy that I switched my major from Aviation Business to Global Security and Intelligence.

Finals went well. Every one was extra stressed for the week of finals, including me. I feel like I was a little more relaxed about finals than most, but I was still a little nervous. I knew what my grades were going to be even before I took my finals though. I ended up getting A’s in Social Psychology, Observing Asian Cultures, and History of Terrorism. I got B’s in Foreign Policy and International Relations. A few months into these classes, I knew which grades I would probably end up with. I will give my advice and evaluations on these classes. I think it may help prospective GSIS students.

I knew I was going to get a B in this class as soon as I got my first essay grade back. I messed up a lot on this essay. I did not give myself enough time to proof-read it. After that essay, my grades in my exams and later essays kept increasing, but I knew it was too late to get an A. So, I tried my hardest to make sure I could get a B. Professor Trombley was an amazing teacher, but she is leaving Embry-Riddle. But I still advise incoming students to try not to procrastinate. Write the essay a few days before and get someone to proof-read it.

In international relations I had Dr. Jones, GSIS Chair. He is an awesome guy and a good professor, but his assignment due dates continue to change. He would tell us the original assignments and due dates, but later it would be something else. He is very lenient and helpful though. He is very understanding and super knowledgeable. It was a good class overall. I would suggest skimming over ALL the chapters, otherwise you will not do well on the exams.

Social Psychology was so much fun. I learned a lot in Professor Lohn’s class. This was my third class with her, and I enjoyed it even more than her other classes. She is very understanding and enjoyable. She tries hard to make her class more interesting by adding experiments and videos. She also gives out a lot of extra credit. If you are ever struggling, just talk to her and she will help you to succeed!

Observing Asian Culture was very interesting, but it was so difficult to be in that class for 2.5 hours. It started at 6:30 and ended at 9PM. This class made me realize that I do NOT want any more night classes. I thought I disliked early classes, but I would rather get my classes over with instead of having to go back to campus to take a class. If you enjoy Asian culture and if you can handle a late and long class, this is an awesome class. Our finals consisted of a presentation and a 5-10 page essay. It was a lot of fun, but it was a challenge every Thursday night to get the energy to go to the class. (Never missed a class, even though sometimes I wanted to. ha ha.)

And the last class was History of Terrorism. This class was very interesting. We learned a lot about how terrorists operate and I feel more knowledgeable about current events, especially when terrorists are involved. Dr. Vuk was my professor and he is very intelligent, however; he is retiring. He is a nice man, but sometimes he would talk in gibberish, it was hard understanding what he was teaching at times. But it was still fun.

The main advice I have for incoming GSIS students is that you got to brush up on your history and current events. Start reading and writing more, so you can begin to enjoy it. And do NOT procrastinate, it could cost you your grade. This major is a lot of fun, and there is a little something for everyone. Personally, I love psychology the most, while others love to learn more about different U.S. policies and tactics. Just give it some time, you will come to realize what you love.

Now it is summer, that means it is time to relax and get ready for the last few years of college. I am staying here in Prescott to work at the campus in admissions office. I enjoy being here with good company and great friends.

I wish everyone a wonderful summer and I cannot wait to meet the new students and to greet the returning students in the fall. Take care and be safe!

Embry-Riddle Prescott~ Preview Day

I cannot believe Preview Day has already passed by. I remember how stressed everyone was for the weeks leading up to this big day. All the staff members were working their tails off to get work done and to get things setup for Preview day. The students were working hard to get pamphlets put together and name tags organized. The school even bought us all pizza so we would not leave at lunch time. Everyone put in time to help make preview day run smoothly.

For me, it all started at 6am in the morning. I arrived on campus and went into the visitor’s center. I saw that Stacy needed help with breakfast, so I cut fruit and bagels and tried my best to help prepare the meal for the rest of the students and staff. We did not have any napkins or paper towels so I drove over to Fry’s, in the Embry-Riddle¬† Subaru, and picked up the few items. When I got back, there were SOOOO many employees in the conference room eating breakfast. I finally grabbed a plate and had to eat it quickly in order to make it to my morning shift.

I got to blow up balloons with a handful of people. I was super happy because one of my closest friends was with me, Liesl. And I also enjoyed our supervisors, Bobbie and Gini, since I work with them daily. The helium tank was fun, but tying the balloons was painful! My fingers got sore real quick. After we filled up a lot of balloons, we had to go throughout the campus and tie balloons up in special spots. Liesl and I were balloon buddies and got to work together. It was a blast. Most fun I had on a mandatory Riddle work day hands down. We tied balloons up everywhere!

Afterward, we helped set-up tables and more balloons in the Student Union, where all the clubs were going to be. This was also fun since I ended up starting my first trend ever this day! ERAU has these awesome airplane paper clips, and I got everyone to wear one either on their color or name tag. It was awesome! We all had a blast.

Then it was time for my afternoon shift. I was a driver. Unfortunately, I only got to drive a handful of times. It was pretty quite this semester when it came to tours. (We actually had almost 200 students and 500+ people attend Preview Day) After it hit 3PM Jason and I ran around and popped balloons and cut them down. We had some fun at the end of a long work day.

All in all, it was really long and hectic, but Preview Day was still worth it. We had fun and enjoyed ourselves, and we got to help new students feel welcomed. I would definitely do it again. :]

Financial Aid: What a Blessing!

Although I have found Embry-Riddle to be quite expensive, I have been blessed with scholarships and Financial Aid. I realized working hard and searching diligently for opportunities, has really paid off (literally). I was even fortunate enough to attend a luncheon last week with Brian Hoefig, the “focal” representative between Boeing and Embry-Riddle, because I was a recipient of a Boeing scholarship.

We got to learn about some of the new projects Boeing is working on and we also got to share our own dreams and aspirations. Mr. Hoefig also talked about internship opportunities and told me that I could talk to him during the career fair and possibly get a position there. It was a great opportunity to thank him for the scholarship and to get my foot in the door with a big company. Although business and flying are not my fortes anymore, he mentioned that there are international positions as well.

I have come to realize that nothing is impossible once you set your mind to getting enough tuition money. I have seen many prospective students give up their dreams to come to Embry-Riddle, when all you really need to do is work hard. You do not have to be the smartest and the best, (although it may be favored) you really just need to show determination and preservation. DO NOT GIVE UP! If Embry-Riddle is where you want to go, then all you need to do is put your heart into it. There are many scholarship and grant opportunities out there, you just need to search for them. There are military options, there are local scholarships, scholastic scholarships, and federal grants/scholarships and even loans if necessary. I, myself, do have to take out a few loans, but in all honesty, I feel that it is worth it. I love this school and the education I am getting. I know this is where I belong, and I will be able to pay back those loans soon after I graduate. If, for whatever reason, you cannot get enough aid, always consider different loan options, it may be worth it in the long run.

I was blessed with scholastic scholarships and local scholarships. I also got a lot of aid from FAFSA and only a little bit of loans. I worked really hard to get here, and it truly was worth every effort. I suggest putting a few hours of research aside every month to find scholarships, and sometimes you may be lucky enough to get a renewable scholarship, which makes everything much easier. Also, keep in mind once you finish a year of college, more scholarships are open to you because businesses are more willing to aid students who are truly serious about their education. There is also an Embry-Riddle application you can fill out once you start attending the school, this helps out a lot!

My advice is to never give up on your dreams and aspirations. Keep fighting and looking for the funds. It will all be worth it in the end, I promise! ūüôā

A Much-Needed Break

This semester has been very hectic and busy, but it has been a lot of fun. I have come to realize that changing my major to Global Security and Intelligence has been the best choice I have made! I enjoy all my classes. I especially enjoy going to my Monday, Wednesday, Friday classes- U.S. Foreign Policy and Social Psychology. I have been learning a lot in my Foreign Policy class about how history has shaped our policies overtime. It is very fascinating and Dr. Trombley makes the class energetic and fun. In psychology, we are performing social experiments. My group did an experiment on conformity where we used a generalized horoscope (printed 12 of them out and put the different horoscope signs on the top of each) and handed them out to students and staff members. We asked how much the profile pertained to them from a scale of 1 to 5. It was very interesting to see how many people felt that their horoscope was completely dead on! More students gave higher ratings than adults, proving that students are more conforming. They are taking the generalized statements and molding them into their own beliefs. It was a lot of fun.

Although I am having a lot of fun at school, I am very thankful and excited for Spring Break! I will be going to California to see my family. I’ll be going to Six Flags, Disneyland, and to San Diego for the beautiful temple and beach over there. It should be a great week. I am going with Jeff, my boyfriend. We have to come back Thursday night though, in order to finish all our assignments and projects before that upcoming Monday. It will be a great time though, and I am just so great that Embry Riddle gives us some time off. The classes are fun and the teachers are informative, but if I learn any more this week or if I have to do another exam or homework assignment, I think my head may explode!

I am also excited for next semester because I have my new schedule! I will be taking Intelligence writing and Intelligence studies, Studies of Middle Eastern Cultures, Environmental Economics, and Arabic I. I am extremely excited to¬† take the economics class! Dr. Carreras has his Doctorate in Environmental Economics, so this class should be extra fun and informative. I also cannot wait to start a new language! I almost chose Chinese, but I realized that more countries recognize Arabic. I will let you guys know how Arabic goes. Dr. Jones says there will be a new professor, so I will see if that ends up being a good or bad thing. I hope everyone has a safe and great vacation this week. (Or whenever your spring break is) Just remember to relax over your break, so you won’t be too overwhelmed coming back. :]

2011: Already one of my best years!

This semester has been a blast, so far! Not only do I enjoy my classes, professors, and fellow classmates, I am spending quality time with friends and loved ones during my free time. Even though, I am given homework and books to read, I am learning to prioritize my time and I am also learning to appreciate the reading material and assignments. You are probably wondering how one can actually try to “enjoy” homework, but once you look at it in a different perspective, it is quite simple.

For example, in social psychology we had to conduct an experiment which would analyze human behaviors and beliefs on certain topics. I chose happiness. I researched other experiments and found out that happiness could easily be created within one’s attitude and thoughts. A new, favorite quote of mine is from Shakespeare, “Nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so”. As I pondered on this statement, I realized the truth behind it. Once an event happens, we can either see the good side or the bad side of it. And if we cannot change what is happening, why not look at the good side? That is what I am trying to do with my classes and homework assignments.

These classes are necessary to enhance my education, the assignments are there to aide me in the class; why not embrace what I am given and learn all that I can? I am paying good money for a desired education, instead of complaining and/or stressing about the work load, I should appreciate the opportunity I am given. Not everyone has the ability to further their education, so I should take full advantage of it and enjoy all the experiences and knowledge I gain along the way.

In other news, I was introduced to an awesome group on campus. They are called Eagle Eye Intel. The students in this club research current events and post them into our campus newspaper. Eagle Eye Intel also has its own website and posts the same articles up there as well. It consists of a group of highly-intellectual students, who are not only well-educated on daily news, but also a lot of fun to hang around and to discuss politics with. I feel that this club will be an advantage to anyone if they enjoy reading, learning, and writing about the daily news. It will also be a huge asset to have on your resume once you are finished at Embry Riddle. I encourage any GSIS student who enjoys writing to look into this fun club. 

Now get out there with a positive attitude, and take full advantage of your educational opportunities which Embry Riddle supplies to you!