Hello everyone. I hope all of you guys are having an awesome fall semester. I can’t believe how quick this semester is going by. It’s like when you are so tired and you fall asleep at 10 pm and then suddenly it is 8 am already in the morning.
This fall semester has been really challenging for me, but yet it’s been really fun. I have said that I was a little scared when I started my classes. I began learning English 1 year and 8 months ago and even though the ERLI Program (English course) helped me to improve my English I feel that I have still a lot of things to learn. I would like to share my experience as an international Freshman in this first 2 months I’ve been in classes.
I clearly remember the first day I attended my morning class in math (MA120). Everyone was standing outside the classroom waiting for the time to get in. I felt an awkward atmosphere; nobody talking because nobody knew anybody. It was almost a complete silence. Professor John Jenkins got there before any other professor. As soon as he opened the door everyone started walking toward the classroom. Then, we took a look around to see who else was placed in the same class.
Professor Jenkins greeted us with a “Good morning everyone!!!This is going to be an awesome semester,” yet nobody talked. As soon as the class started, he handed us a syllabus with a follow explanation about what was the purpose of the class, what he was expecting from us, how he was going to grade us, etc. He gave us a specific and very detailed working plan for the fall semester. Also, the other three professors I have right now did the same thing the first day of classes. It was awesome.
The first month was the most challenging for me. Even though every professor went over the syllabus the first day, it is still hard to get use to the lifestyle of a college student. I did not read the syllabus closely and I truly regretted it. If I had read it when I was supposed to, it would have saved me two weeks of struggles. Finally, after those two long unnecessary weeks of troubles (It was all my fault) I made everything fall into place; material for classes, homework, schedules, time to rest, social life, and training.
For all of those who attended the “Open House” and have decided already to come to Embry-Riddle next spring or next fall, I want to tell you “Please, check the syllabus as soon as the professors post them on canvas (online class system) before the classes start.” This will save you a lot of time and will keep you out of many troubles.
Certainly, I knew long before college started that it wasn’t going to be easy. This not because of the classes but because English is not my first language. All classes in Embry-Riddle have a high degree vocabulary (I could not expect less) which is great, but it was a big challenge to adapt the daily base-English to a sophisticated-English used in every single class. The hardest class was Basics of Aeronautics. It is funny, before I came to Embry-Riddle, the biggest thing I’ve ever driven was a Geo Metro three cylinder, and now I have a class where basically it is all about things that fly and they are bigger than a three cylinder car! Also, what makes it harder is that there are some parts of airplanes, names, terminology that do not even have a translation to Spanish. You can imagine how hard it was for me try to relate and understand the terminology when the closest I have ever been to a real airplane was when I bought a toy plane a long time ago.
The same thing happened in Basics of Management. There is terminology that does not even exist in Spanish and some others where the translation is not even close. I was so frustrated. I thought, “Oh my god, that’s too difficult,” but then I remembered, “What are you doing? You are not here alone!” so I started seeking help.
It didn’t take a lot of time; roommates, friends and of course, professors and staff were more than happy to help me get through. Now, after almost two months, I understand almost any word my professors say and if I don’t understand a term they always encourage me to ask. One of them said to our class “The dumbest question is the one not asked.”
I am so glad that I chose this college out of all my options. Everybody on campus is willing to help plus they love it. Professors own already all my respect as excellent professors as well as great people. The only thing I can say about my professors is that they are more than qualified to teach. It is really amazing how professors don’t need a book to teach; they just stand up in front of the class and spit out whichever is the topic. I noticed since the first week in class that professors at Embry-Riddle are not there just because they have the knowledge to teach, they are there because they were actually doing what they teach. In class when William O’Hara (my professor of Basics of Aeronautics) is talking about airplanes, I get a feeling that he can disarm an airplane and put it back together while eating a donut and drinking coffee in his free time. Simply amazing!
Embry-Riddle has been my best decision so far.
Thanks for the time you took to read this blog, I appreciate it.