Cotton swabs, phone calls and saving lives

Scott glances at his phone for incoming texts during class and sees an unfamiliar number calling him.

“A Florida area code?” he thinks to himself.

Ignoring the call but keeping his phone on his lap, a white blinking light catches his already curious eye. Before opening the e-mail, he sees “Important message from Gift…”

He feels his heart beating faster.

And faster.

Is he a match?

Can he save someone’s life?

He opens the e-mail and sees that he could be a potential bone marrow match for a man with lymphoma. (more…)

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Mackowski does more than just teach.

Pens contact paper throughout the room as the professor explains the next assignment, a personality profile.

Fine.

About the professor who will read and grade the story you write…

Oh.

Narcissist. This professor must really love himself to read 16 stories about him. (more…)

Brooke preps for her piano recital

Brooke Blazius hunches over from her backpack overstuffed with biology notebooks. She’s not headed to lab now, though. Instead, she darts towards a room with the only one piece of furniture—a piano. (more…)

Some students fantasize instead of study.

Scott adds dashes of rosemary, salt and red pepper flakes to his marinating chicken pieces for lunch. He stirs the ingredients in a pan on the hot electric coils of his stove, tossing some pasta into the mix.

The chef returns to his kitchen hours later, standing in front of the stove once again. His townhouse now filled with nine other men, they expect the best out of him as they all stare at their laptop screens.

The stove coils slowly heat up though never reaching a temperature hot enough to cook. However, the competitive fire in the room warms the area.

The timer counts down on the computers… 3, 2, 1.

This timer does not indicate a cooked meal, though. Instead, a voice echoes from the laptops. “Are you ready to get started? 2011 NFL draft is officially open.”

With his laptop roaring and battery continuing to warm his stovetop desk, Scott Wozer the chef becomes the manager of Laces Out.

The fantasy football draft begins. (more…)

Use active verbs.

Active verbs are not soccer players. Active verbs dribble the ball down the field, smack the dripping sweat away from his eyes, feel the rush of the approaching defender and sweep the ball backwards to his teammate.

Active verbs are not girls. Active verbs untwist the mascara brush, lean her stomach over the bathroom counter, close one eye and gently shake the brush in a horizontal fashion while moving towards the tips of her eyelashes.

Active verbs make a noun do something, according to Feature Writing: The Pursuit of Excellence by Friedlander and Lee. (more…)

My journalism class exercises my brain and legs. Does yours?

Freshman year, sophomore year, junior year. For three years, I have sat in Room 104’s rolling, spinning chairs—whizzing back and forth between the table and computer—frantically writing timed stories, researching writing topics, sneaking in Facebook before class.

Slumping over to withstand the textbook weight in my backpack, I head in once again hoping no one has claimed my normal seat.

Earlier in the day, I walked into a classroom and sat. Notebook and assignment pad in front of me, I took notes from a PowerPoint. Welcome to memorizing biology.

However, this rote process does not happen now—not in this class. As journalists, students, distracters, we walk. (more…)

Don’t hide it! Everyone’s obsessed with something.

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y.—Buzz. Buzz. The front screen of a ­­­red LG cell phone lights up, waking up its owner, Divya Kurian. She reaches for the noisy gadget. Her roommate across the room in her fourth-floor Devereux Hall dorm at St. Bonaventure University stays asleep.

She presses “View Now.” A text from a friend.

Kurian dreads waking up at 3 a.m. and adjusting to the bright background light of the phone. Halfhearted but determined, she says she reads the text message, throws her phone back on her dresser and goes back to sleep.

The sophomore biology major says she cannot leave an unopened text message on her phone. She needs to know who sent her a message and about what. (more…)

Bonaventure students know how to handle their sadness. Some tips to follow

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y.—Phone in her hand and dorm key on a wristband, Sinead Coleman runs toward the Allegheny

Sinead Coleman . photo taken by me . what Coleman uses to keep her grip: http://www.yaktrax.com/products.aspx

River Valley Trail on the west side of St. Bonaventure University by the tennis courts.

Bundled in a hoodie, yoga pants, ear warmers and gloves, her snow-treaded running sneakers grip the path.

No friend by her side, no headphones blasting music, Coleman, 19, says she listens to her breathing.

She uses a yoga technique—big breath in, very slow breath out—says the sophomore biology major.

One of Coleman’s best friends told her that she would move away from home soon.

With tears held up inside, Coleman runs.

(more…)

Housekeepers have yet to replace a soap dispenser on campus

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y.—Vineeth Sankoorikal walks around the white-walled corner to the bathroom closest to his dorm room in Devereux Hall at St. Bonaventure University. After doing his business, Sankoorikal, 20, says he turns the gold-colored knob of the green bathroom door and leaves without washing his hands.

Gross, some might think. (more…)

So why did you choose to be a physician?

Itchless, painless red rashes blanketed the seventh grader’s calves ready for spring in shorts. Long overstaying their welcome, the rashes concerned his mother. So they went to the doctor.

Now, a silver chain peaks out of the back of his shirt, a fashion statement perhaps. Yet the one-inch, hexagonal pendant hidden from the world reveals something more—von Willebrand disease.

Nicholas Arno’s blood disorder forces him to refrigerate a $500 tiny bottle of nasal spray that clots his blood if he cuts himself or gets a nosebleed, the sophomore biology major says.

Before his diagnosis, science had always been cool, Arno says, but now he knows he wants to be a physician.

Arno's necklace . photo taken by me

(more…)