Because I’m An Eagle

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Over the past year or so, I’ve found it challenging to consistently write blog posts. I mean, it’s not like blogging is my livelihood or anything. My actual, real, non-virtual life takes priority at times.

Ok, most of the time.

But blogging is a hobby I enjoy doing whenever I have time for it. But that’s been the challenge. I haven’t been prioritizing blogging because I’ve been devoting my time to other things.

Since spring of 2015, I’ve been traveling rather extensively. Primarily Japan. Why? I seem to be part of a team at my company that directly supports our international partners, and I’ve been assigned to support Japan, and for a long while, that involved in-country support. In summary, I traveled to Japan for a week or two at time on a near-monthly basis from April 2015 to August 2016. Really. Kind. Of. Crazy.

Even after ending travel to Japan in August of 2016, I traveled to Italy and Australia along with several domestic travel locations to all three coasts.

Now, all this crazy travel is a factor as to why I haven’t been able to blog consistently. It’s not THE ONLY factor, however.

You see, there’s something else that’s occupied a lot of my time. Yes, besides all the work, the work travel, and all my volunteering in various ministries.

I’m an eagle.

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Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Eagles! -insert gesture here, if exists-

I take great pride in being a Fightin’ Texas Aggie where I majored as an aerospace engineer. After several years working in the aerospace industry, I decided that I should pursue a Masters degree to broaden my skills. And my company is willing to pay for it. No brainer, really, for me to decide to pursue a Masters.

At the end of 2014, I applied to and got accepted to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to pursue a Masters of Systems Engineering.

Online.

ERAU’s main campus is in Florida, but they offer a good handful of online programs which is great for me so I can continue living in the great state of Texas. Due to other reasons, I didn’t actually start grad school until March 2015.

Then I quit. Lasted one week.

Having been out of school for 5 years, I seemed to have lost the art of time management involving school. I was off to a fantastic start when I absolutely screwed up in not managing my time well during my first week doing a prerequisite Statistics class. At 9PM on Sunday night at the end of that first week, I realized that I had multiple assignments due at 11PM that I had not yet started. At 10PM, I emailed my advisor to withdraw from class without penalty.

Whoops.

I re-enrolled for a May 2015 term for the same Stats class to try again with much better success.

But…

That’s also when I started going to Japan.

Praise God for online grad school! With my classes being online, I’m able to work on my Masters no matter where I am in the world.

The most extreme example I have is a class that I started in August 2016 and ended in October 2016.

I started it in Japan while on my last business trip.

I worked on some major homework assignments in Italy when I went to Mother Teresa’s canonization.

And I took my finals and did final assignments in Australia while visiting family.

What! So. Crazy.

Whenever I traveled to Japan, it was also difficult in finding free weekends to explore the country because of homework and such. In fact, the times that I was able to visit Osaka and Kyoto, I was not currently enrolled in a class.

Needless to say, with weekly assignments, group projects, discussion boards, and other tasks for classes, it’s really hard to find time for blogging. Combined with travel for work and travel for fun as well as maintaining a decent level of involvement as a volunteer, free time (or even time devoted to blog) is a luxury for me.

As of today, I’m halfway done to completing my Masters with a 4.0 GPA. I’ve had to take several semesters off here and there knowing I’d have some big events in ministry that would make it super challenging to work on homework. Like running retreats on weekends. Or going to Europe  for two weeks for World Youth Day.

So there you have it. Finding time to blog is a challenge for me these days. I’m in grad school. Still traveling. Still working. Still volunteering. I take semesters off here and there.

Oh, and I initially wrote this blog post between hours 8 and 9 on a 16 hour flight to Hong Kong. Because I’m not currently taking a class. Go figure.

-JD

Eagle // All About Birds
ERAU Campus // Glassdoor