Category Archives: General

First Week as a Flight Student

[The following was written by a current student at the Parkland College Institute of Aviation at the University of Illinois.]

The first week was all about the paperwork and making sure that we, the new students, knew what was going to happen during the semester in case there were any last-minute doubts or questions. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) became much stricter about who can learn to fly in the United States since 9/11. This is the reason for a fair amount of the paperwork that I had to fill out.

After the paperwork came the online reading about the maneuvers we would learn throughout the semester and how to properly execute those. I am still working my way through the reading a second time as I get to each item in my flight time.

The first flight was learning basic hand-foot-eye coordination and figuring out which instruments to watch and how to use them properly. The coordination part was mostly figuring out what straight and level flight looks like on both the actual and artificial horizon. Once I got that part down, or at least I thought I had (turns out I wasn’t quite at the right speed so now I seem to always climb just a bit), I moved on to making climbs, descents, and turns. This part was simple and will be the building block for the rest of my training.

Flying has always been fun for me even though I still occasionally get motion sickness, and it is even more fun now that I am at the controls. Takeoff and landing are starting to become fluent, although the landings are still a bit flat, and I think I’m getting pretty good about hitting my mark. The radios are simple now that I have learned what to expect and how to reply properly dependent on the situation; eventually, the controllers won’t even know it’s a newbie talking to them.

Hopefully, soon, I will stop considering myself a newbie too, even though I know someone with about 12,000 hours. I have 14.

She’s doing it. So can you.

deannaFear and its BFF, Doubt, are the two main reasons adult learners cite when asked about returning to school to seek a college education.

Meet Deanna Cannon, a first-semester student at Parkland who has had to overcome many doubts and fears along the way to becoming a college student. Deanna graciously agreed to take a moment to answer some of my questions about her early experiences here.

**********
Tony:  What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a returning student?
Deanna:  Time management–I’ve had to learn how to balance school and work.

Tony:  What’s been most surprising about returning to school?
Deanna: That I’ve done as well as I have, to be honest. I think that as an adult learner, I don’t have any test anxiety. I’m more self-confident. Life experience has taught me how I learn best.

Tony: Tell me what you see as an advantage of being an adult learner.
Deanna: As an adult learner, I don’t worry about the social aspects of school. I’m focusing on the books, not the party!

Tony: What advice would you give to other adults as they’re beginning?
Deanna: Don’t discount yourself because of your age. I don’t have one particular thing that I’m focused on. Don’t limit yourself to possibilities. You don’t HAVE to finish a two-year program in two years, and this opens up other potential pathways.

Tony: Is there anything else that you would like to add in closing?
Deanna: As an adult, I’m not afraid to use resources that are available. I’m no longer worried about being labeled ‘stupid’ if I ask for help. I know that I don’t have to do this by myself.
**********

You don’t have to go it alone, either. Parkland’s Adult Re-entry Center can help you find the courage and resources you need to take a powerful step in your career and life journey. Call or e-mail me to discuss your options: 217/351-2462  or  finishyourdegree@parkland.edu. Or just stop by U233 and say hi.

How Clubs, Orgs AMP Up Your Student XP

paigesm

Hey guys! I’m Paige and I am majoring in communication here at Parkland. Have you ever thought about joining an organization or club at Parkland? Starting college, I never thought I would join any club or organization, but here I am.

I saw ads for “AMP” hanging all over Parkland, I but never thought about joining until it was brought up in one of my classes. Then all of a sudden, AMP sparked my interest.

AMP is a student-driven public relations firm, where we work as a team to do promotional work for clients. One thing that really made me want to pursue AMP was that I get to work with graphic designers, advertisers, and general education students. Knowing that I get to work with a wide variety of people with all different majors made me apply for AMP with full force. It is like working in a real-world firm.

Once I applied and got a position at AMP, the coordinators worked with my schedule and now I’m there two days a week working on projects for clients. I have already taken so much from this experience. I have learned about some do’s and don’ts of graphic design (something I knew nothing about before), learned how to compose a strategic plan, and right now I’m in the midst of learning to make a website.

All of these things will help me in my career once I am done at Parkland.

So, I guess what I’m trying to get at here is to give organizations and clubs a chance at Parkland. Don’t just pass by those signs in the hallway;  take the time to look at them and actually consider joining one of them!

Welcome to the MOOC

As many of you know, MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are becoming quite popular as a new way for people to learn. We thought we might try a smaller version of some MOOCs here at Parkland College, but in a shorter, more quickly digested form. We also thought it would be a good idea to call these Mini-MOOCs. Not surprisingly, someone else thought that too and already took that catchy little name. So, for the sake of not stealing from others, we will call ours…I don’t know, Micro-MOOCs, Microscopic-MOOCs?

How about you just call it what you want for now.

In our first edition, we get an intelligent and entertaining look at a scene from the classic Alfred Hitchcock movie, North by Northwest. If you have seen the movie, this is an awesome companion piece. If you haven’t seen the movie, this short lecture will probably make you want to watch it. Either way, it’s some fascinating insight into filmmaking.

This particular scene involves a conversation, a shooting, and a child who’s tired of hearing gun shots all the darned time. We’ll let Parkland College instructor Matt Hurt explain the rest.

Introduction to Aviation

No, don’t worry; this isn’t a post filled with technical jargon on aviation. Since Parkland has taken over the Institute of Aviation at the University of Illinois, and now launched this blog, I thought I might bring the world of pilot training a little closer to home for the Average Joe–or Jane. I’ll start with a bit of my background.

Sybil Phillips, Director and Chief Pilot of the Parkland College Institute of Aviation at the University of Illinois
Sybil Phillips, Director and Chief Pilot of the Parkland College Institute of Aviation at the University of Illinois

Why did I become a pilot? As a kid, I remember walking through the pasture on the farm where I grew up and when I heard an airplane fly overhead, I wondered about two things. What does the world look like from the pilot’s perspective? Where is that airplane going?

I thought that learning to be a pilot would require skills that were beyond my ability and would remain a dream. But then my sister took an aviation class and I thought, “if she can do it, so can I.”

Fast forward to college when I enrolled in Aviation 101 at the University of Illinois. I was hooked. I get to see the world from the pilot’s perspective now and it is really cool. I love the challenge of flying an airplane with precision and finesse because there’s always room for improvement.

I’ve learned lessons that not only apply to the flight environment but also translate to everyday life. Pilots develop self-confidence as a result of exercising judgment and making decisions in an environment which is sometimes tense. We learn to set priorities and communicate clearly under pressure. Aviators are disciplined and eager to assume responsibility. Deep down, we are all control freaks. But we have to be in order to operate safely.

Where did flying take me? I became a flight instructor and eventually became the Chief Pilot and every day I get to help others realize their dream of becoming a pilot. I work with great people and have gotten to know hundreds of pilots who fly all over the world. As corny as it sounds, I am living the dream.

What about you? Is aviation part of your dream? Visit our web page to learn more about our programs, and/or leave a comment below with questions you have about becoming a pilot.