SECOND ENTRY IN 24 HOURS: It has been about one month since I left Los Angeles and the fall semester at the University of Florida is in full swing. Before I start my usual weekly updates (which hopefully will be posted on Sunday nights from now on) I thought I would take a look back at the past month and highlight some events that I think were important. I posted my typical weekly schedule earlier so that might explain anything you don’t understand. So looking at my planner…
August 23 – My fall classes started. I guess there isn’t much more to say about that, but every journey must have a first step!
August 25 – I found out which Integrated Project and Process Design (IPPD) group I was assigned to. This was a big deal because it dictates what kind of work I will be doing for the next eight months. My group is working Boeing/NASA venture down at the Kennedy Space Center (this is the project that almost all of the aerospace engineers wanted to do). We have dubbed our project the Modified Smart Quick Universal Autonomous Disconnect, or Mod SQUAD for short. Throughout the school year I will be explaining this project in greater detail because it will probably take over my life my April and that will be all I have to talk about!
August 26 – The last round of sorority Rush, Preferentials, took place and caused much anxiety. In a matter of an hour I went from not rushing to rushing, not rushing to rushing. Let’s just say that everything took place at the last minute. I rushed out of three different rooms for three different parties and for one of those I single-handedly ruined the whole party. (It’s a long story that involves some guilt on my side and some on the side of the Prefs chair.) Through tears of frustration my phrase of the evening was, “Can we please make this a little more stressful?” I think I redeemed myself by putting together a duet with Jess for the Prefs ceremony in about five minutes and pulling it off. It was wonderful to have everyone telling me how good we sounded and I was rather proud of the arrangement myself.
August 27 – This was Bid Day for the sororities, when we find out how Rush paid off. Alpha Chi Omega was fortunate enough to have 61 girls on our bid list and that was quota that Panhellenic decreed the night before. Two out of three of the girls that I rushed during Preferentials were on that list (and are still with us today).
September 2-4 – I went home for the Labor Day weekend to visit my family. I had only seen my mom for a little more than 24 hours when I was between LA and Gainesville. There was an outflow of my belongings to Tallahassee and a smaller inflow back to Gainesville. The inflow included my desktop computer, my mom’s old TV, and a new VCR. I guess I’m just a technology junkie.
September 5 – The Mod SQUAD and Dr. Fitz-Coy (our faculty coach and my astrodynamics professor from last spring) went down to the Kennedy Space Center to meet with out Boeing liaisons, Jake and Larry. We had a five-hour meeting where we outlined the customer needs for and various functions of our project and then took a brief tour of the facilities. It was raining so we just drove around the space center and were able to catch a glimpse of Shuttle Atlantis on the launch pad. Also we were fortunate enough to get our hands on a car pass for the September 8th launch.
September 6 – The first AIAA student chapter meeting took place. Stuart and I both volunteered to be the Engineering Fair (E-Fair) chair so we were given the position jointly.
September 8 – At 3 AM my alarm clock went off and I was crazy enough to get out of bed. At 4 AM a van pulled up outside my sorority house and I was crazy enough to get in. At 8:45 AM the Shuttle Atlantis lifted off the launch pad and it was a spectacular sight – not crazy at all. Yes, I sacrificed a good deal of sleep to be there on the NASA causeway with my camera in hand and three other Mod SQUADers by my side but it was worth it. I was afraid there would be a delay of the launch because of several storms in the area but nothing kept the main engines from firing on schedule. It was amazing to see the spark that started the ignition and feel the ground shake as the sound of the launch finally hit. I felt like a little kid. We got home at noon and it seemed like a whole day had already passed!
September 9 – As a favor to my sorority house I signed up to work concessions at the UF vs. Middle Tennessee Sate University (MTSU) football game. We were assigned to fill cups of Coke so that other people could carry around the stadium and sell. This might have been an OK way to spend six hours if not for the working environment. Our sorority is paired with Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) fraternity for the concessions and we don’t have a very good opinion of these boys. Mostly they were lazy and only talked about getting drunk. Every few minutes they asked us what we were doing after the game and if we wanted to go to a party with them. One of the guys, who was shorter than me, kept standing as close as he could to me and “accidentally” brushing his hand against my butt! He did this to the other girls too so that was just sleazy. I would consider working concessions again if not for the guys who will be there too.
September 13-14 – Again I have the joy of hunting for a summer internship. The Career and Internship Fair took place at the O’Connell Center and I spent much time talking to recruiters there. I gave out my resume to six companies: Lockheed Martin, United Technologies (Pratt-Whitney), Boeing KSC, NASA KSC, Raytheon, and United Space Alliance (USA). Not all of these are possibilities but a summer or summer/fall job but it can’t hurt to have contact with companies that might provided me a permanent position when I finally get out of school. I didn’t get any interviews but that was because most of the businesses are coming back in October or November for that purpose. This is an ongoing storyline so stay tuned for updates.
September 16 – Finally we have reached the present. My parents are on their way to Gainesville right now for the Alpha Chi Omega parent’s weekend. There will be another inflow/outflow of stuff to/from Gainesville this weekend. Maybe my room will finally be livable!
(Hey, this update only took me an hour and a half to write!)