Tuesday Thursday Classes

Today my classes are about 15 minutes longer than my Monday, Wednesday, Friday classes, which can sometimes take a toll on my attention span.
At noon I have Intro to Geography with Dr. Vuk. It is a lecture style class where he often shows videos, powerpoints and different applicable websites. So far we have covered a lot, and the first test is coming up sooner than I expected. I have a lot of tests approaching over the next few weeks, and they always seem to come in groups.
Right after Geography, I go straight to Business Communications with Dr. Theis. His class is very discussion oriented, and he is always encouraging us to talk about our answers, our thoughts and insights within the class. The class always seems to go by much quicker than the rest of my classes. We have 3 portfolio projects due, and while they aren’t extremely difficult, they involve new types of writing such as writing a “bad news” letter or a donations request.
This semester is definitely going to get stressful as it progresses. I already have three professors asking for some intense papers. By the end of the semester I will have written at least100 pages worth of work, which is a huge step up for me.
Film club is going well and the Video Yeark book is going to be great. I am considering running for office in SGA, but I am trying to figure out my schedule for next year before I commit. I anticipate that my classes will only get harder as I go, so I need to take that into account.
I have a lot of homework to finish before classes start today!

2nd semester

This semester has been keeping me busy. That is one of the main reason I am blogging after a month of this 2nd semester. Nonetheless, it has been amazing and much more fun than the 1st. I love the Conceptual Design class taught by Prof. Helbling. It goes into the details about how and why is lift created and how it should be maintained. All the topics in the classes are the ones that make Aeronautical Engineering the way it is; amazing.
The first assignment was to build a paint can holder. As a team of 6, we made a design that can hold 1 gallon paint can by attaching the holder to a ladder, or holding it using the handle. A complete report was written by the team describing each step of the design process: Problem Identification, Preliminary Ideas, Refinement, Analysis, Final Decision and, Conclusion and Recommendations. I think our team wrote the best report in the class. After this assignment, we started off with CATIA. It is a really easy soft ware and interesting too. Since it is build around the Windows design and format, the learning curve is steep. One can grasp the concepts really fast and easy.
Statics has been the next amazing class in this semester. Prof. Ashworth surely keeps everyone entertained. Even though the topics are familiar, there are still minute differences which matters a lot. Tech Report Writing is the only non-engineering class that I am taking this semester and it doesn’t seems to be bad at all. This class is a lot of help when it comes to writing the reports and official documents.
I have started off my research on airfoils with Dr. Traub. After reading the journals, I have been looking for an inverse airfoil design program. I did try AeroFoil but the stupid Vista 64-bit doesn’t allow me to use it on my laptop. I believe it is going to be a fun and informative research, if I am able to carry it forward. As for the Jet Dragster Project, we are stuck at a dead end. The team is supposed to build the whole Chassis Jig in CATIA or Solidworks. However, no one knows how to use the tubing discipline and make welds in CATIA. Welds and tubes can be made in SolidWorks. However, it can be done only in one plane. If anyone has got any suggestions about any such program, please leave a comment.
I am excited for March 14th! I am going back to India for the Spring Break. I would be coming back on March 23rd. So, I get to stay for a complete week in my home. It is going to be a real good Spring Break!
Alright, I need to get a lot of homework done, study for 2 exams and keep looking for the programs.
Have fun!

Classes so Far

This semester has already been challenging, and we are only three weeks in! My classes are much more enjoyable, but there is so much more to learn. Many of them are upper-level classes, so this semester is going to a lot harder than last.
on Monday, Wednesday and Friday I have: Islam Origins, with Dr. Jones, Social Psychology with Lohn, And Microeconomics with Dr. Carreras.
Dr. Jones’ class is mainly a lecture class. We have had one small paper due so far, and I racked my brain over it. It was only three pages, which I should have been able to do no problem, but for some reason I had way too much trouble (maybe i’m a little rusty?)
The class is very interesting, and it definitely gives me a new point of view on another religion and culture.
I knew I would enjoy Social Psych because I have always found psychology interesting. The class is a mix of discussion and lecture, but either way I find myself interested the entire time. we have already done one observational study on the public, and it really is amazing the ways in which people behave.
I only have Microeconomics on Mondays and Wednesdays. So far, it is one of my favorite classes. I have always been warned about how hard Dr. Carreras’ class is, and while it may be fast paced, I love it. His classes are lecture-style, and he constantly asks questions and includes students throughout. While the subject is not the most entertaining, Dr. Carreras has a way of making the class go by quickly, getting the information across in an understandable way and keeping the whole class laughing.
This semester I am presidet of the Film Maker’s Club. We produce the video yearbook each year, and I’m scared I won’t do a very good job, but I’m trying my hardest. We have a lot of fun and try not to take ourselves to seriously.
The Superbowl is this weekend, and I’ll be going down to Scottsdale with one of the roommates to go shopping on Saturday, have a nice dinner and stay overnight to watch the Superbowl on a friend’s Big screen TV on Sunday. It’s going to be a fun weekend!

Blog 1/29/09
It’s getting a couple weeks into the semester now and classes are great. I’m really enjoying Dr. Henner’s Global Crime and International Justice Class. I’m actually getting ready to take part in a new program opening up here at Embry-Riddle. Starting next semester the GSIS degree program will be adding Pre-Law as an area of concentration for students who are interested in Law School. Once I graduate with this area of concentration I will be applying to Columbia and Stanford Law School to get my masters in International Law. For some prospective students, this program could be a selling point.
So what else is going on here on campus? Today we had a campus bon fire. The school puts together a big event with food, a huge fire and even a DJ. All of us students had a great time hanging out with our friends while freezing in the 28 degree weather. Spring break is coming up soon; everyone has all sorts of plans. Some of the GSIS students are heading out to Washington D.C. with Professor Baker. They have all sorts of tours and presentations available from agencies like the CIA, DIA and the Dept of State. I have applied for a scholarship to take part in this program. If selected I know we will all have a great time.
Well, I’m not going to lie; classes are becoming more and more difficult. I’m enrolled in all Junior and senior classes this semester. I can count on anywhere between 3-4 hours of homework a night, but the positive side is that all the homework is specialized and very specific to my interests. So if you’re thinking about the GSIS program, don’t worry, even know there a lot of homework, the time goes by quickly and painlessly. Well I’m getting ready to take off to CA to hit the surf for the weekend. Untill next time!
Brett Watts

The First Week Back from Christmas Break

Well, even though the break was very short, I missed hanging out with all my friends. Strange but funny how I longed to go back to school just to hang out with them again while on my break in Hawaii. But once I got back to school, reality set in because that meant going back into the classroom to learn, which I was actually pretty excited about. The beginning of this spring semester signifies that I have less than one year left before I graduate and get out into the real world. How exciting, yet I still think it’s very scary because I’m not completely ready. This spring also signifies that I have completed all of my volleyball obligations, and I do not have to attend practices anymore. This allows me to concentrate more on my studies and allow me to work a job for a longer amount of time

Beginning of Spring Semester

The semester has gone well. All classes are fun, I really like my instructors. Classes though are hard. I’m taking Air Traffic Control, Flight Physiology, Aerodynamics, Commercial Ground school, and Turbine Engines. These are a lot more challenging especially Aerodynamics.

The newspaper was off to a great start as we just had production this past weekend and the outcome looked really nice. We are getting better and better every issue. Newspaper conference is coming up and we are selecting the lucky few that will get to go with us. It will be a great learning experience and maybe we’ll win an award this year for our continued improvement.

I’m finishing Precision approaches and soon will be getting into cross-country flying. Little nerve racking as soon I’ll be up for my checkride. Alright, time to go finish studying, talk to you all later.

Start of Spring 09′

Blog 01.12.09
So it is now the beginning of the spring 2009 semester and I am now officially a sophomore in the GSIS program. The weather out here is definitely not what I’ve been used to growing up in southern California. Over Christmas break I spent nearly the entire time in the surfing the CA coast. I came back to a frozen and bitterly cold Prescott. I can’t really complain though, the weather is actually nice and when it occasionally snows it keeps the scenery interesting.
With the new semester come new classes, professors and experiences. My classes this semester consist of Chinese 4, Global Crime and International Justice, Islam: Origins and History, Intelligence Writing and Briefing, and Social Psychology. All of these classes are part of the GSIS core studies and general education. As stated before, the positive thing about ERAU is the courses that are offered for your specific major. The classes are so specific that once a person graduates they will have all the nessacary tools to compete in the work field.
I’ll give a brief description of some of the curriculum my classes entail. Chinese (as you know if you’ve read my previous blogs) mostly consists of writing and speaking practice. Each day we cover a new dialogue in the textbook and converse on everyday topics with our professor. Global Crime and International Justice is taught by Dr. Henner. This class is interesting to say the least. We mostly talk about laws and the criminal justice system’s flaws and imperfections. We also spend a lot of time talking about why some laws are in effect and the positive outcome they possess. In Islam: Origins and History, Dr. Jones teaches us about the prophet Mohammed and his part in the Islam religion. Social Psychology is very interesting in that we do actual experiments to test how people react socially. For example, we are assigned to litter in a parking lot, then sit back and observe how many people will bend down and pick up the trash and throw it away. The results always vary depending on the type of people who walk by (Military personnel, Professors, Etc.)
In my previous blogs I wrote about my experiences in China. I had such a positive impression that I am heading back at the end of April to once again participate in the Study Abroad program. Due to the extensive language training I’ve had, this time I will be acting somewhat as a teacher’s aide. When other students are taking beginner Chinese, I will be around Beijing making arrangements for our activities. This year we are going to Beijing, Xi’an, Suzhou, Hangzhou, and Shanghai. After the initial program Dr. Jones is offering to take a group of students to Tibet. I will definitely be making that excursion with him to the city of Lhasa.
Extra Curricular activities continue here as normal. An example would be the Chinese New Year celebration in Phoenix. A group of students from my Chinese class will be heading down there to take part in the festivities. Another example is the Buckcherry, Avenged Sevenfold concert coming to Phoenix at the end of the month. These are just examples of activities Embry-Riddle students do to unwind from the stresses of college life. Well speaking of college life, I better get to studying. Until next time…

Christmas Break

Final are finally over and now I’m a home back in Denver. I have only two days left before I have to go back to school. Sucks becasue I don’t want to work at all but I’m ready to see my friends from school again. Even though break is practically over, I did a lot of fun stuff. Some of these were going snowboarding 4 times, my birthday, see old friends (one I haven’t seen in six years), and getting to know more people all while relaxing and having a good time.

New York

So the break is almost over, I move back into the dorms tomorrow, and I have way too much laundry.I have barely been home to just relax this entire break, so I’m letting today be my lazy day: I am still in my pajamas and not ashamed!
I’ve done alot of traveling over the holidays. Immediately after finals I flew to Seattle with my mom, and not even a week later I found myself on a plane to Rochester, NY.
My Dad’s entire family lives in Rochester in upstate New York, and it’s always fun to go visit, but I have never visited in the winter time or during Christmas. It was FREEEEEZZING!!!! The weather in AZ is usually so mild, the coldest it gets on most winter days isn’t usually much below 30. It snowed like crazy, the most snow I have ever seen and I had my first “white Christmas!”
We spent night after night visitng family, having huge Christmas dinners and reunion parties with my dad’s childhood friends. For a vacation, we didn’t get much of a rest.
The sunday after Chistmas we rented a car and drove up to Toronto in Ontario, Canada. Toronto is probably my favorite city. It is relatively safe, clean with tons of stuff to do. I am even thinking I might want to move there one day, though it is extremely cold.
In Toronto we met up with one of my dad’s friends (also an ERAU alumni who now flies for US Airways) and saw a comedy show. It was hilarious, and we didn’t stop laughing the whole time.
Afterwards we walked over to the CN tower, and took an elevator all the way to the top. The building had a glass floor so you could see all the way down to the ground below, it was a little shocking how high up we were.
The next day we drove back south to Niagra Falls. I have been a few tiems before, but everytime I see it I am reminded of how incredibly awe-inspriring the falls really are. The view from our hotel room was gorgeous, thirty florrs up looking right onto the falls.
After going back to Rochester, My dad took a few of us to see the Trans Siberian Orchestra, an awesome rock/orchestra/laser light show. I loved it, but my aunt didn’t appreciate the rock music aspect of it quite as much as the rest of us did.
We spent New Years eve at my Grandma’s house, watching the news and going to bed early. wooooooooo!
But I am finally home, getting a chance to do absolutely nothing. I bought myself a longboard the other day (Merry Christmas to me!) and now I am trying to learn how to ride it, so we’ll see how that goes.
Classes start soon, and I can’t wait for this semester! I miss my roommates and I’m glad they are all coming home within the next two days. I’ll let you know how the semester goes!


I just got home yesterday from a trip to Seattle, Washington. I had a blast!
I flew out on the thirteenth, right after everyone was finished with finals. My mom picked me up from the airport and we went straight to our old hotel in the middle of downtown Seattle. While it wasn’t the fanciest hotel, it was very “interesting