Finals Time

Hey guys,
It’s been awhile since I’ve had the opportunity to write. Well things here have been going on as normal. Classes are finishing up; we have about 1 ½ weeks before the school year is officially over. All of my classes are preparing to take finals. I am definitely ready for a break from school work.
In Chinese I have been involved in a speech contest based out of UCLA. We had to translate an English essay into Chinese, memorize the entire script and then recite it while being videotaped. I feel like so far we have done a pretty good job. Our topic is solid; we are talking about our experience in China when the earthquake hit Sichuan in May 2008. Luckily we were in the plane when it actually hit so we weren’t hurt but we were able to experience how the Chinese reacted to a major disaster. Anyways, hopefully we will win the competition and receive a free trip to China!
Well I’m excited about studying abroad this summer. Once again, I’ll be heading out to China. I arrive in Beijing early in June. Since I already took the classes last year, I will spend my time going around Beijing and just witnessing life and culture. From there I’ll take a 3 day train to Lhasa, Tibet. In Dr. Jones Intelligence Writing, Briefing and Analysis class we are all assigned a portion of the world to cover. My portion is Tibet so I’m excited to go actually experience what I have spent so much time reporting on. In addition, I am looking forward to using my Chinese language skills and improving as a foreign speaker.
Outside of school I have been busy with the Yavapai County Big Brothers Big Sisters Program. Last month I was matched with a kid from a local elementary school. My roommate Alex was matched with my “little brother’s” twin brother. So once a week Alex and I head down to the elementary school and hang out with our “littles”. We do everything from homework to basketball. It’s very rewarding to directly help younger children succeed by simply being a good example. So if you’re interested in a community service program you could get involved in, I’d definitely recommend the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.
Well on to my biggest news, I recently was chosen to participate in an internship program with a government agency. As a GSIS major this is a major opportunity to get hands on experience in your field without having a degree. Luckily for anyone interested in GSIS, if you do decide to become an intern, you receive experience credits for the work you do. So I will be moving to the east coast for the second part of the summer and then back to Prescott for the fall semester.
Ok well I’ve got to get back to the books, the last couple weeks of school are definitely the most demanding on time. Even though it’s difficult, it is rewarding to see all your work throughout the semester starting to pay off at the end. Everyone cross your fingers for me for my finals alright? Well I’ll write again before I leave for the summer. Until then,

Spring Break 2009 Part 1

So for the first time in my history of being at Embry-Riddle, I FINALLY left campus for spring break, and yes, it was glorious. I’ve always worked on campus during spring break, and I decided that this was going to be the last opportunity for me to enjoy spring break without working about school or my job…haha, yea right. The teachers love to pile on the homework right before you get onto spring break. Sounds pretty evil, eh? Well, spring break wasn’t all break, but I enjoyed every second that I had.
The big question: Where did I go for spring break? Like my other blogs, which I’m sure you’re are tired of hearing, I flew back down to Daytona, FL to spend time with my boyfriend and to check out a few possible grad schools. We had a lot of events that we had to go to in a whirlwind, and so here I go:
I was able to meet with the ERAU Crew club and watched two of their boats compete. I’ve only been to a paddling meet back home. I have never a crew meet, so this was definitely an interesting experience to see what they do and how they prepare. As a team they take-off and put back on the trailer their boats, which was carefully driven behind their coach’s truck. They have to screw on the riggers to the side of the boats and then make sure that its level so that the oars will go straight while they race. The teams are split into different weight groups for racing to ensure fairness, kind of like wrestling. The steers make sure that they know what time their race is so that the team can bring out their boats and row out to the starting line. When the race starts, most of us will go near to the finishing line and start cheering for the team to stroke harder and row faster while the steer yells at them in the boat. Both teams did fairly well. My boyfriend didn’t get to row because he had hurt his back earlier that season, however his teammates and coach look up to him a great deal for support and help on the boats.
We had to hurry back to the boathouse in Daytona to put the boats and equipment away, and go home to shower and get ready for one of the main events and highlights of my trip: Þorrablót . Yes, this is a strange word for all of us to learn, but I had to learn how to pronounce it in Icelandic. This is kind of like their end-of-winter festival celebration, where back in the day, they would eat up all the rest of the food that they hadn’t eaten during winter…so from the examples the I had gotten from a few Icelandic buddies of mine, sheep balls are really good, stay away from the scrambled brains and shark that has been underground for three months. Well, when we got to Orlando to celebrate Þorrablót, of course everyone was speaking Icelandic. I had no idea what was going on…all I know is that everyone had a drink in hand. I guessed what was going on throughout most of the program: the host introduced himself, gave a background on the event, said some jokes, and called up the tables one-by-one to eat. There was a very long table full of food: squash, a type of bread with two different types of spreads, bits of shark, dried fish (which is very yummy!), lamb’s head, some chopped up lamb parts, and some amazing and soft lamb! The food was delicious
The rest of the night was learning some folk songs, some really random songs, folk dancing and waltz dancing. I had a really awesome time, and definitely thanked my boyfriend for an amazing evening of food, fun, and culture. The rest of the night, we chatted with people from Iceland, and mind you there were about 200 people there, chatted with people who married Icelanders, and those who have traveled to that country. This was definitely one of the best ways to interact and gain knowledge of another culture.

The Week Before Spring Break

So, as most of you know, Spring Break is almost here and I can’t wait to get out of here and take a break from school! Unfortunately, I have to drag through this last week of school before I can reach that heavenly vacation I’ve been needing all semester. The teachers, of course, have assigned big projects, papers, or exams right before you can thing or smell spring break. Each day goes by ever so slowly, and the evenings of homework drag out even longer. I had 2 big projects and homework that were due before I left, and trust me when I say that I had not gotten any sleep that week.
My roommate and I stayed up to nights straight to finish and turn in our Macroeconomics assignment early, since she had to leave early to give a presentation in Maryland for her McNair research project. We also had a group project that we worked on for our Emergency Management course, which again left me with another sleepless night. Yes, I will have to admit to a bit of procrastination on the last project, however most of the information for our project we already had but didn’t start putting together in a power point…oops! We gave our presentation on Thursday, and mind you I was already dead to the world, so I had to drink a red bull to keep myself away during my part of the presentation.
Oh, does it feel good to have gotten those big projects done…but here’s the side effect of knowing that spring break is coming: teachers also like to give really big exams the week after spring break, and assign a bunch of homework for us to do during our vacation. Isn’t that lame? Well, that’s the reality of the life of a college student. I in fact have 2 big papers that I need to finish by mid-April. I would rather get them done and out of the way during break, but my mind will only thing of vacation and not of reading books.

Becoming Greek

As I was going up, I have always been told by people around me that when I go to college, I should never join a sorority. I’ve been told that they’re crazy, they haze, and they party really hard. But, is this really true of Greek life?
This past summer, I got to taste a bit of not only what it means to be Greek, but most importantly, what it means to be apart of a sorority. I had the opportunity, while on my trip to China, to hang out with three Alpha Xi Deltas from the Embry-Riddle Florida campus for about a month. Granted that I also have hung out with a lot of the Alpha Xi Deltas here from the Prescott campus and am friends with most of them, I got a whole different view of how much they stick together and support each other away from the comforts of home and school. Like many of the Greek organizations we see around campus, these Alpha Xi Deltas displayed their pride for their sorority by wearing their jerseys and letters around China, including on their hike on the Great Wall of China.
There were two other representatives from two other Greek organizations: Sigma Alpha Epsilon & Sigma Chi. They also wore their letters to show their pride. The Greeks stuck together for a lot of the trip, much like a close family that they relied on while they were away from home. Now you must be asking yourself: why am I telling you this story? Well, hold on a bit…you’ll soon get your answer.
I’ve been here at Riddle for almost four years, and have been apart of the Women’s Volleyball team, which I had considered as my sorority. I told myself and the people around me that I would never join an official Greek organization. Now that I am officially done with my eligibility for volleyball, I really don’t see or hang out with many of the girls. I’ve been concentrating on school, work, and the other organizations that I am apart of. However, thanks to my experiences in China, I have decided to finally go Greek. Better late then never, eh?
I must say, however, that there are a lot of misconceptions about the Greek system in general and I have learned a lot in the past month and a half about the sorority that I am a New Member of, along with what Greeks really do. I’ve learned that all the Greek organizations on this campus have their own Philanthropy programs, which basically where a lot of the Greeks do volunteer work and raise money for charitable causes, such as Big Brothers Big Sisters or the Huntsman Cancer Institute. I believe that this is one quality that Greeks has always been overlooked by everyone who looks down on them.
I have also observed, especially in girls here in Alpha Xi Delta, a lot of them hold leadership positions and are very much involved with other aspects of school besides just doing school work. There is a strong bond between all of them, and even if they bicker over something, they always come back together because they are family. One could go all over the United States, and find another Alpha Xi Delta sister and instantly create a bond because of the bond they already share through their sisterhood. They Alpha Xi Deltas here are very helpful to each other, open, and supportive of what ever they do.
I have learned a lot in a short amount of time about what Alpha Xi Delta is about and how it can help me to grow and find my potential in whatever I want to be in, and so this is why I am now a New Member. All I ask from my readers is that you keep an open mind about the Greek organizations…what you may hear or see them as portrayed on television isn’t what is real.


So for first time in the 3.5 years that I have been here at Embry-Riddle, we got a SNOW DAY!!! It was probably the best day ever…just because I was able to get all of my laundry done and one the hardest homeworks I had to get done: Macroeconomics. My best friend and I have never experienced a snow day, and so the first thing we did was run all around in the parking lot like chickens without a head. We started taking a ton of pictures of ourselves posing with trees that had snow in it, messages that we had written in the snow, the very long ice lake that was behind of our apartment, and the snow angels that we created. A few friends came over a few nights later to run, slip ‘n slide, and fall on the long ice lake.
The rest of the week, Prescott looked gorgeous with everything covered in snow 🙂 It was definitely a site to see; a friend of mine was jealous at the site because he loves snow but isn’t able to get any where he goes to school. We had maybe a couple of days where the snow melted on the road and the roads where a little icy, especially on steep hills. When we jumped in the snow later that week, it was all very crunchy and sometimes I would slip on some ice that was below it.
As far as Marcoeconomics was concerned, the homework took a fairly long time to complete and to type up. Its probably one of the best classes that I have taken that is not really related to my major. I have learned definitely learned a lot about our own economy and how much that effects me right now and in my future, along with the people around me and my school. I didn’t sign up to learn about business, but I’d suggest that it would be a good idea for everyone to actually take a microeconomics or macroeconomic course sometime while they are here at Riddle, just so that you will then have a better out look on your future 🙂

A Frozen Arizona

A frozen Arizona-
Hey, so it’s been a week now and things around Prescott have definitely changed. There is snow everywhere, the sidewalks are frozen, the wind is bitter and the nights are just short of unbearable. This last week we got somewhere around 1 foot of snow, which led to many other activities. People who enjoy skiing and snowboarding hit either the slopes in flagstaff or the soccer field on campus. Other people made snowmen and had snowball fights. I come from Southern California, I can’t handle this weather, but I’m trying to make the best of it. Here was the coolest thing; we actually had a full blown, don’t come to school, snow day! I moved to Arizona, I did not expect to have a snow day. But hey, it turned out to be pretty cool.
Other than the snow, classes are resuming as normal. Dr. Jones’ class on Intelligence writing and briefing is becoming a little intense as we start to get in depth with our “account country

Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s day is this weekend, and for a little fun and preparation, the “Date Doctor” David Coleman came onto campus a few weeks ago. The movie “Hitch” was based on this guy, and he really knew what he was talking about. Everyone was laughing the whole time, and it was my favorite campus activity so far this year.
This past week we had our first snowday! Everyone think Arizona is all desert and saguaro Cacti, but there is definitely more to it than that. Prescott is located higher up in the mountains than Phoenix, and yes, we do get all four seasons. It usually only snows a lot once or twice a year, so the town shuts down when the snow starts to build up.
The entire campus went crazy when the snow started to stick the night before, and everyone ran out of their dorms to play in the snow. it wasn’t long before the parking lots got too icy to drive, but everyone was perfectly fine havign fun on campus.
When there is a snow day, the school has an extension for students to call to find out about any cancellations. It’s really helpful when I’m trying to decide whether to wake up or not!
Classes are going well, I just had my first psychology test on media, persuasion, mass communication and conformity. I did really well. I am working on the first assignment for Microeconomics, and it’s going slow but I understand everything so far. I have a midterm in my Islam: Origins class next week, and my first test in geography. Wish me luck!
I leave for Vegas tomorrow and I have a lot to do before then! I’ll write about how it was when i get back!

The Economy & Some Random Thoughts

As everyone knows, the economy is sucking not only the money from our pocket books, but the fun out of our lives and hopes of acquiring our dream job after graduation. The job market isn’t as demanding as it once was, and people are losing their jobs left and right. Students are very worried because for some, they rely on their parent’s income to go to school. For others, graduation is right around the corner and not many businesses are hiring new employee’s fresh out of college. It’s also depressing to see that the gas prices are once again rising, and students do need their vehicles to go shopping or to travel to various places that are miles away. What is a student to do?
I’ve found that working multiple on-campus jobs is probably the easiest way to make some extra dough to get through the year. Most on-campus employers are very flexible to one’s class schedule, which allows the student to attend class and to have homework time if they need to take off of work. This is less stressful than trying to find a job outside of campus, and having to deal with the what-if’s about homework, the weather, your car, and other factors. On-campus jobs are more convenient anyhow for students who do not have vehicles, and they would save a lot of money.
On a lighter note, its finally started to get cold again in Prescott. It’s been really warm all week long, and supposedly it is suppose to snow this weekend. I’m very excited for cold weather. It’s been a warm 50-60 degrees for most of winter, and I really want to see snow. So hopefully some snow will hit Prescott for Valentine’s Day evening

Blog 02/05/09

Life here is normal and classes are beginning to test what we’ve learned to far. In Intelligence Writing and Briefing we have been assigned an account country to write and brief on a normal occasion. I was assigned the region of Tibet and Xinjiang Province. So every week in class we come with a briefing of what has been happening in the area throughout the past week. Dr. Jones reads our briefs out loud, corrects them and then sends them off to the “Eagle Eye