If you’re reading this blog, you’re reading an outdated source of information for this person’s seemingly uneventful life.  Hehe.

Seeing as I won’t be able to call myself a Boilermaker anymore in a few months due to transferring out of this place, I’ve moved over to Tumblr.  I like its ease and its informalities.  If you’re still interested in keeping tabs on me, you can find the new blog here.

🙂

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Money.

No matter what the topic of discussion is, money is always an important factor.  Especially when talking about a college education.

An email was sent to me last week asking for my opinion on my experience at Purdue this year.  I have had final exams with less questions than this nuisance, and I had nothing but negative things to say.  Whoever came up with the “Comments” section at the end should’ve known what they were getting themselves into.  I basically wrote that the only thing that is worth my time and money here is the aviation technology program and that the price to call myself a Boilermaker should not be in excess of $50,000.

I sent an email to my adviser yesterday explaining that I had been doing some soul-searching over the past few weeks and have decided that I can’t even afford to pursue my associate’s degree here because it’s too expensive.  I also told her that I’ve figured I can earn my pilot ratings/certificates on my own time somewhere else.

The new Cirrus fleet is also one of my reasons for wanting to pack my bags and get out of Dodge.  I know from personal experience (transition to a DA-20 Katana) that when both student and instructor are learning a new airplane, progress is made at an alarmingly sluggish rate.  When both people are expected to finish a certain flight course in 15 weeks, the pressure is even greater.  I disagreed with the idea of replacing our Piper Warrior III fleet with Cirrus SR-20s from the beginning, but I am just a student who has absolutely no say in how the university spends $10 million dollars.  I do, however, have a say in how I spend my own money.  This is why I’m seeking somewhere else for an education.

What can I say – this is all part of growing up.

I copied my latest blog post from my personal blog over to here in the interest of being lazy.  Hehe.

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“I don’t remember the last time I wrote in here.”

It seems a fair amount of my blog posts begin with that sentence.  Often times I wonder why I stop writing in here.  There’s always something on my mind and writing is one of my strongest abilities.  Then again, there are other times when I start writing in here because I have nothing to do.

My other blog for my temporary time here at Purdue is completely stale. I could probably write in it until my fingers fell off.  However, if I’m not getting any readership whatsoever, it makes the process a little less fun.

Things are going a little weirdly here in Indiana.  I’ve been doing a lot of thinking (always a problem for me :P) and have settled on the fact that I will not be able to afford a full four year service here at Purdue.  If I try to do so I’ll leave here with well over $150,000 in debt.  There are numerous factors besides money that are also leading me to consider dashing out of here with my associate’s degree and numerous pilot ratings and endorsements.

Brady and I have been talking about this to no end.  There isn’t a day that goes by where the subject doesn’t come up, even if only for a few minutes.  He wants to do ATC on the east coast, preferably in the Northeast.  Why?  He loves it back there and he wants me to be near my family.  If there’s a specific part of the U.S. where the vast majority of my family is located, it’s in New England.  Smart boy.  Hehe.

New Hampshire is the state of choice for both of us.  He likes the idea of trying to work for either Manchester Airport or Boston’s Logan Intl.  The possibilities for a job with air traffic control are endless, but the main trick is finding a place that’s actually looking to hire someone.  My reason for liking NH is the fact that it has both mountains AND the ocean, and I have a lot of opportunities myself for either finishing up my schooling or diving right into the aviation world full-time.  All of my connections are back that way and I’m sure I’d have no problem finding a job.

I guess the reason why this idea is coming up is solely based on money (and the limitations of it thereof).  Growing up means making big decisions for yourself, and my biggest one so far was leaving New York behind to come out here.  The next big one might be leaving here and walking down a new road with an inevitable fork in it.  Either way I know I’ve got the support of a ton of people, and that’s what matters the most.

Strange blog posting session aside, I’m going to wrap this up and get back to reading.  Thinking about writing another post sometime later this week on religious tolerance as a result of an experience I had earlier in the week.  Leave it to some people here at Purdue to shove a bible in someone’s face….

Till then,

Me.

The past few flights have been troublesome for me.  Cross countries were never a problem back home because I knew the terrain.  I knew which mountains were higher and which cities/towns were where and stuff like that.  Out here it’s like flying over a pancake.

Well, not a pancake.  More like an English muffin.

Everyone knows which nook is what and what cranny is where.  Why?  Because no one in their right mind would come to this school who is out-of-state.  The tuition is rising every year and with the new Cirrus fleet arriving toward the end of this year and peppered throughout the next, it’s going to get even higher.

Anyway, as I was saying, cross countries out here are more difficult for me.  My instructor isn’t helping at all.  Actually, he’s hindering my ability to function competently as a pilot because all he does is shake his head and make remarks like “This is really basic stuff”.   I had two cross-country flights on the same day, which was Tuesday of this week.  The first was from KLAF to KCMI (Champaign, IL) to KIKK (Kankakee, IL) and back to KLAF.  Radios have never been my friend, but I managed.  I’ve grown accustomed to imagining he’s not there, mainly because I don’t want him to be.  The slightest slip up renders some sort of snide comment that makes me feel like an idiot.  My anger toward him stemmed from a flight I was supposed to go on during my Saturday slot.  The winds here were horrendous and they were even worse at our destination airports.  Turbulence and wind shear really aren’t fun in an airplane.  Especially when you hit them on your first solo cross-country.

That was back in December, which was incidentally the last time I flew before coming here.  Winds in the Berkshire and Bennington mountains can be terrifying AND dangerous.  I’m surprised that little C152 didn’t fall apart up there.  The Continental pilots at Albany were surprised, too.   But anyway, I decided that I didn’t like the weather and that the flight was not going to be a fun one.  I discussed this with Brady to no end and even he was concerned.  He said it was flyable but if I was his student and I said I didn’t want to go, then we wouldn’t go.

My instructor is a bit more difficult than Brady.

I expressed my concerns and he barely budged a bit. In my head I knew I wasn’t going up in the air, but I guess he had other plans.  This is the problem with having a flight instructor who is nothing but a time builder.  Eventually he said that we didn’t have to go, but inserted the remark “You know, you make it sound like you have a lot of experience.  Believe it or not, 60 hours is really nothing.”

….And I didn’t know this?

He wasn’t telling me something new about 60 hours being equivalent to the size of a fly’s butt in the world of flying.  But to say it in a manner than makes the last six years of my flight training back home is going a step too far.  He added further insult to injury by trying to add on an extra slot so we could still get some flight time in.  By this time I was so tired of fighting with him that I told him no.  I had a headache and I wanted to get out of there.  He snaps “Well, it’s your money.”

….And I didn’t know this one, either?

I didn’t come to Purdue’s flight program looking for a financial adviser.  I came to Purdue to continue my flight training.  I’m sorry that I didn’t add another line to your logbook, Mister Flight Instructor.  There’s no need to snap at me because of it.

All of the tension ceased once Brady and I realized that it was Halloween and we were not spending it at the airport.  However, the fun started again on Tuesday… which brings us back to our main point.

Tuesday’s day cross-country trip was alright, though I couldn’t wait for it to be over.  Tuesday’s night cross-country was quite the opposite.  I still wanted it to be over, but far more than the day trip.  The outbound part was alright, but it was the second half of the flight coming home that tipped the boiling kettle over. It started off with “So do you know what you’re going to do in aviation?” I promptly responded “No.”  It’s the solid truth, too.  I don’t have a clue as to what I’ll do with my wings.  Maybe I’ll fly for Continental.  Maybe I’ll be a barnstormer with a Stearman.  I’m not shutting the door on any opportunities, no matter what they might be.   I did say that I wanted to avoid the airlines, which rendered a scoff from the right seat and the question “Then why are you doing this flight program?  It’s geared toward going into the airlines.  If you’re not going into the airlines, you should do a different major, like management.”

I felt like saying “No, you should do a different major, like how to not be a jerk.”

Anyway, that’s how it goes for now.  We’ll see what the new few flights bring with them.

Till then…..

What day is today?  Monday!!!

Otherwise known as “Why did I choose to seek a higher education when it means having to get up at 7 am on Monday again like I’ve done for the last 13 years” day!

In order to combat the Mondays, I’ll recap on the events from the weekend.

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Brady and King Air 300PU landed back at KLAF around 8:40.  Seeing as he was nice enough to provide me with the spare key to the Camry in case of whatever, I utilized the car by sitting in it – out of the pouring rain and howling wind.  Lovely flying weather!  …if you’re a King Air.

We hauled off and had dinner at Steak n’ Shake, which is a landmark fast food chain here in the Midwest.  They, along with Culver’s, are known for “butter burgers”.  Basically it’s glorified cubed steak.  Don’t tell them that the New Englander said that.  These flatlanders value their butter burgers like it’s no one’s business.  But I will attest that the banana shakes at S n’ S are second to none.  I’m a banana nut, anyway.  Must be the 99% monkey DNA correlation.  Shhh…. don’t tell the Vatican I said that.

Moving on!

Saturday night ended early.  Sunday morning started earlier.  I was supposed to go on a cross-country flight at 11:30 am.  I got up for a brief trip to the fridge at 2:30 am and saw that there was a missed call from my flight instructor.  Knowing that he only calls at the very last minute to make drastic changes to my schedule, I headed for the milk carton and let the phone be.

At 9:30 am I finally decided that I should probably check my phone.  Sure enough, it was my flight instructor calling to tell me that he figured it would be better for me to get the rest of my solo time out of the way instead of jumping into the cross country.  Therefore, my Sunday slot was cancelled.  Brady laughed, saying that I’ll never get another Sunday slot because they penalize people who cancel them.  And it wasn’t even my fault.  Go figure.

Now that the day was free, we decided to go golfing.  Brady booked a tee time for 1:10 at the Kampen course.  We had breakfast/lunch and headed out the door.  Little did we know that there was a surprise waiting for us at the bottom of the stairs on the second floor of the apartment complex….

I kept hearing a thunking sound.  The only time I’ve heard it is when one of my baby birds is anxious to get out of the box and fly around.  I was carrying Brady’s golf shoes, the golf balls, and the keys… he had everything else.  I walked down the stairs ahead of him and saw a gray object near the big window in the corner.  It was a bird!  But it was on the outside.  I thought “That’s awful stupid… no one is that eager to get in here.  Wait a minute…”

Brady was slightly upset that I dropped his golf balls and Nike golf shoes.  That was until he saw me running to an exhausted sparrow that was trapped inside.  My mother bird instincts could once again be put to use!  This hasn’t happened since I took care of Lucy the robin over 1 year ago.  This poor thing was going insane, and I tried to calm it down right off the bat.  I grabbed the hand towel from Brady’s golf bag and put it over the bird to calm it down for five seconds, then threw the towel off and caught it.  It’s an old Lucy trick that worked every time.

Poor Brady just stood there without a clue as to what to do (typical guy).  He then got the idea to run ahead and open the door downstairs.  The little sparrow calmed down right off the bat once I had her cupped in my hands and next to my chest… another Lucy trick.  Once we got outside and the bird saw her friends in the tree, she tried to push her way out of my hands.  I counted to three and off she went.  My one good deed for the day!

We retrieved the golf stuff that was scattered about the second floor hallway and proceeded to the course.  It was very breezy until the 8th hole when the sun finally decided to show up for the party.  Good thing I wore my black sport jacket.  I don’t like talking too much about golf… I have a slight resentment toward it seeing as the only clubs that exist for a person like me must be custom ordered for over $1000 bucks.  Sometimes it sucks being an oddball.

The one funny thing (not to Brady) was that his driver broke clean off during a perfect swing.  It takes a lot for him to get angry.  Apparently a barely-used kaput driver does the trick.  But he calmed down.  Damn “Type A” personality.

Once we were done with golfing, we proceeded back to the apartment and Brady cooked steak on the grill.  I don’t know what it is with guys and the grill.  It’s almost like a tattoo – for some reason it elevates their self-esteem like nothing else.  Hey, if it means food, I’m not complaining.

The only bugger was that I was doing the dishes and the faucet decided to convert into a water fountain.  Believe it or not, it is exactly like the movies.  You turn the water on and water spurts from the base of the faucet into your face.  I don’t know who was laughing harder, me or Brady.  Nevertheless, a call was made to the landlord and he has yet to see the results.

And that was the weekend.

————————————————

Today hasn’t been that exciting… just a few classes here and there.  Really nothing special to write about – the weekend was much more fun.

Have to wrap this up… more important things to do.  As always.

It’s getting darker outside and I’m getting colder.  I heard turbines out back so I checked FlightAware mighty fast to see if that was N300PU.  That King Air is carrying precious cargo – my meal ticket.

According to FA, N300PU hasn’t even left O’Hare yet.  It’s going to be a long hour.

—————————————————

It’s a cold day here in West Lafayette.  Well, it was… it’s pretty much night now.  The blustery winds made our motivation to journey out to the homecoming football game basically nonexistent.  However, like good Boilermakers, we headed across the river 15 minutes before kickoff and parked the car at the airport.  There are two landmarks on this campus that mark the edges on the north and south sides – the airport and the stadium.  So what did we do?

We biked.

Back home, I knew when it was too cold to ride my bike.  54° is too damn cold to be riding a bike, especially with a wind chill in the 40’s.  So what would I do?  I’d stay inside like any other sensible kid.

I didn’t have that choice today.  Brady had his mind made up that we were biking to the stadium.  I always knew that kid was crazy.

The ride up wasn’t so bad.  Most of the people were already in the stadium (duh… it was 12:20 by the time we finally got there) so we didn’t have to worry about running people over… for the most part.  We found our usual seats up at the very tippy top of the student section where the wind blows the hardest.

If I had a choice between a football game where I was begging for a drink because it was so damn hot and a football game where I couldn’t get warm, I’d pick the first.

It was the most miserable three hours of football I’ve been through.  Plus it started raining lightly in the third quarter.  AND we lost because we pretty much suck apparently.  All in all, miserable game.  Completely skipping the details.

The bike ride back to the airport was much more treacherous than the ride up.  Why?  When a stadium of 20,000 people empties, they all have to go somewhere.  Unfortunately, there are only two ways they can go – either side of the stadium.  Some people think it’s funny to try and trip you while you’re on your bike by sticking their feet in your spokes.  When I’m cold and rushed, I don’t find it very funny.  And if I wasn’t cold and rushed, I would’ve told them so.

Anyway, we made it back to the airport in spite of stupid people and wind.  Our first stop was at the terminal building for some munchies… paying $5 for a hotdog is a bit excessive.  No stadium food for us.

After we warmed up, we dragged our feet down to Hangar 5 so Brady could change into cleaner and more professional clothes for his King Air trip.  It took us about an hour to plan the whole thing.  I shouldn’t say “us”… he did all of it.  I was just there for moral support, really…. and to get stuff out of the car.  Once that was out of the way, we headed over to the other side of the hangar where the professor’s office is and I sent Brady off.  To the terminal building I traversed!

They took off around 5:50 pm and landed at O’Hare around 6:37 pm.  Looking at FlightAware, their scheduled departure time from Chicago was 7:14 pm.  Based on the fact that they just took off, they’re going to be here at 8:14 instead of 7:47.  I’m sure Brady will have an interesting story to tell about this one, but I’ll love to hear it in a heated vehicle while we’re on the way to forage for dinner.

On that note, I probably should wrap things up.  One good thing about that King Air is that it’s fast.  Now I know I won’t be waiting very long if they’re on their way.  Works for me!

Until whenever I’m bored and have the time,

Me.

😀

The weather has been icky since Sunday.  The clouds have broken only once or twice (for moments at a time).  The temperature is around 80º and it seems awful muggy.  Again, I’m baffled with the warm climate this late in the season.  Guess it just shows that I really am in a different part of the country.

I was supposed to go flying today in Purdue 7.  The sky broke the second I latched my bike to the rack outside Hangar 6, but the winds couldn’t make their minds up as to which way they were blowing.  My instructor called ASOS on his phone right when I was getting ready to preflight and called it off, saying he didn’t like the winds and that we were going to go fly the FRASCA sim instead.

I have previous experience with the sim.  When I was here in February for a week with Brady he had sim students.  Being a patient observer, I watched his students fight with it and cry and walk away in complete despair and disappointment.  All the while I was thinking “They’re overreacting… this can’t be that hard..”

After turning the old 1984 computer on, my flight instructor told me to climb into the sim and treat it as a machine, not an airplane.  The closest I’ve ever been to a “sim” is in the comfort of my desk chair on my Dell.  This thing is everything you could want in an airplane (except the view of outside).  Here I was faced with the same thing I witnessed 7 months ago.  Now I know what it really feels like to sit in the “hot seat”.

He told me to perform a normal startup and takeoff.  I laughed.

“We’re going to grow wings and the ceiling’s going to open above us, right?”

Guess he didn’t find that funny.

So I performed as normal a takeoff as I could in this airplane machine type thing.  We did maneuvers by instruments (that’s all I had) and whatnot.  I got the hang of it rather quickly and even became bored with it.  45 minutes went by super fast.  I can’t say “flew” by… because we really weren’t flying at all.

I earned a 4.9 on the lesson.  Brady has never given out higher than a 4.8 (I think) and I’m not sure what my instructor’s personal limit is.  Either way, I was one tenth of a point away from perfect.  That made me happy.

What did I do to celebrate?  I came back to the dorm, fixed my RA’s laptop, and brewed myself a cup of chai tea.  Ever since Mom sent out my teas from home I’ve been a happy camper.  Along with the teas, she sent a jar of homemade honey from a guy just a few minutes down the road.  I really do miss the comforts of home… but at least they can make me feel comfortable here.

Brady has a late night tonight, as do I.  He has bells until 7, I have a meeting at 6:30, followed by another meeting with my roommate and RA.  I’m planning on making the rest of tonight easy… I’m just in one of those moods…..

Hail Purdue… and natural tea!

…I would’ve told them they were crazy.

But stranger things have happened in Indiana, I suppose.

Being a non-native newly-titled Midwestern Flatlander has led me to look at the thermometer and not believe what I’m reading.  The temperature says 85º.  It’s September 15th.  Where is the logic here??

The main reason why I’m completely befuddled with this concept is because I hail from Canaan, NY.  If you visit the Wiki page link, you’ll see my point.  Up in the Northeast we don’t have Septembers like this.  I mean… the leaves here haven’t even fallen off the trees yet.  Nor have they really started turning colors.  If I was back home they’d be long on the ground by now.  Just goes to show how far away I really am, I guess.

Anyway, I’m headed down to the airport for my 5:30 pm flight slot.  I might end up soloing the Warrior… depends on the traffic and the winds.  We’ll see!

“Sounds like someone has a case of the Mondays!!”

If you’ve ever seen the movie “Office Space”, you’ll know exactly how I’m feeling while citing that quote.  I guess this is what happens when you’re lacking in sleep and dreading the week ahead.  Again, welcome to college.

Had an extremely interesting math class today.  Here’s a hint – at one point I was tempted to call out “Who’s teaching who?”  To me, there’s nothing more frustrating than a teacher who can NOT explain what they are doing.   I can understand if the teacher is simply a TA, but by no means should they be teaching a class that requires extensive explanations.  I was extremely irked when one student kept at the TA about something she did wrong and she simply said “whatever” and laughed.  I’m paying $30,000 to have a teacher stand there and tell someone off?  I don’t think so.

Anyway, I don’t know.  I’ve partly decided to take it upon myself to learn math.  If it wasn’t for the 10 point quiz at the end of every class (I have yet to get higher than 6) I’d skip the damn class altogether.  *Sigh*

Anway, it’s time to call this post quits.  Until I find something else to talk about, later!

The idea for this blog was conceived in my MA 153 class about an hour ago.  I was listening to my asian lady TA attempting to show us how to do a math problem, and I was extremely frustrated (as I always am in that class) because she never explains what she’s doing.  I wanted to create a blog long ago that would focus on my time here at Purdue and I guess I finally got around to it.

I would absolutely love to keep writing in this, but I have to head down to the airport for the next four hours.  Two flight slots back-to-back is going to make for a long evening, especially seeing as I’ve been up since 5:30.

Until then, welcome to the new blog!

Go back in time!

What I’m currently up to..

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