Hello Blogosphere, I know I went a while between posts there! I got so swamped that I had to take some time off. I have to admit that this was a very, very busy semester for me. I didn’t really get a chance to sit back and think about everything that I had done. Looking back on the semester, I realize that I accomplished a lot! Since I last wrote, I made it through checkride season and finally got my Private Pilot Certificate for Rotorcraft! Yay! I also got the opportunity to go to HAI’s Heli-Expo in Las Vegas which was mind-blowing. My picture even made it into the rotorcraft pro magazine, woo! Another one of Embry-Riddle’s students Celeste Hadley also had a picture of her accepting a scholarship from MD helicopters which is awesome! I also turned 21 during finals week, and still managed to get an A on the final I took the next day. In fact, I got A’s on all my finals! I’m pretty proud of myself.
My course load this semester was made up of RS 300: Observing Asian Cultures, SIS 328: Intelligence, Analysis, Writing, and Briefing, and LCH 102: Mandarin Chinese II. It was the highest workload I’ve had from 9 credits, ever. On top of that, I was doing Private II ground and flight, which kept me really busy as I studied for the three stage checks/checkride I had this semester. Intelligence, Analysis, Writing, and Briefing (or IWB, as we call it) is basically an advanced Intelligence Writing course, which I’ve touched on before. Basically, we learned about methods by which to condense and present data in a concise manner. We also continued to write intelligence briefs about a country of our choosing, to keep our writing skills sharp. Mandarin Chinese was also a continuation upon the course from the fall semester. We learned at a faster pace this semester, and practiced putting together more complex sentences.
RS 300 was my most difficult course. There were 5 female students in the course, including myself. That’s some girl power!! During the course we would have focus weeks on different countries or regions within Asia. Every class period, each student would give a 15 minute presentation on a specific topic about the culture of the region we were focusing on that week. Our presentations were on topics such as religion, folklore and myths, cooking and eating practices, history, war and revolutions, popular culture, and global business interaction. Writing two fifteen-minute presentations every week was a ton of work. On top of that, we were also assigned reading from our textbook and some multiple choice questions to answer from that. But I’ve mastered the art of going from nothing to ten slides with notecards and talking points in about 3 hours, which I predict is going to be a valuable life skill for me (At least I hope so). But whoever coined the saying that whatever you put into an activity is what you get out was absolutely right. Not only did I learn a ton of information from this class, I also learned to appreciate the fact that we have a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips. All of the information that I learned was a direct result of our own research, and it made me realize that I don’t need to get a PhD to become educated on a subject matter.