What your St. Bonaventure major means

I’ve seen a few lists like this in other publications, so I decided to make a version for St. Bonaventure University. Please take no offense, for it is all in good fun.


English: We’ve heard you bickering about the romantic poeticism of William Wordsworth vs. Alfred Tennyson. You write cryptic prose to see if anyone can figure out a deeper meaning, whether there is one or not. You’ve mastered Shakespeare, taken a few classes with Rick Simpson, analyzed sonnets – but what are you going to do after college?

Pre-med: You are the smartest people in school. You never leave the library, and if you have an ounce of a social life, we’re impressed. E gads, you could list all the amino acids in rapid fire. Even after the rest of us graduate, you have four years left. Keep going, dwellers of De La Roche Hall, you’ll be making twice our salaries in a few years.

Journalism: You have the second-biggest egos on campus. You like to quote your friends in stories and hope your professors don’t notice. And while the only news you have to break is about which website is currently down or the Bev Center’s collection of Four Loko, you act like it should be a national headline.

Education: You like to color with crayons, make flash cards and create mnemonic devices. You have the neatest handwriting anyone’s ever seen. But despite the signs that you may have the easiest major ever, you spend weekends making lesson plans, wake up at 5 a.m. to student teach and control grubby little kids all day. Kudos, ed majors.

Philosophy: While you enjoyed every bit of Schrödinger’s Cat in Intellectual Journey, the rest of us were yawning. You constantly question aspects of life that the public overlooks, and you’re dead certain on your stance to be indecisive. And you still have time to smoke a lot of weed.

Physical Education: You spend hours perusing Bonnies Bandwagon and watching your Fantasy Football stats. Your exams are based on your ability to do a split or run through an obstacle course. In class you learn to officiate handball, soccer and track. But don’t feel down on yourself, if we ever had to outrun a herd of wildebeests, you’d be the last ones remaining.

Business: You have the biggest egos on campus. Although you were the biggest math nerds in high school, you manage to be the hardest partiers in college. Strutting around Murphy in your ties and dry-cleaned slacks, you’ll soon grab your MBA and become successful alumni. An SBU building might be named for you someday – or at least an annex or a bathroom.

Physics: You’re Andrew Nicholson.

Who do you say hi to on the Ho Chi Minh?

Someone walking on the Ho Chi Minh Trail at St. Bonaventure UniversityI think it’s so strange to walk by someone you used to be friends with and not acknowledge them. Today, I walked  past a girl I used to hang out with a lot freshman year. I smiled at her, but she just kept looking forward!

We never had a falling out. We never even fought. We simply drifted.

It’s bizarre to know that I’ve had so many memories with this person, and they act like they don’t know you. This happens a lot at St. Bonaventure, and I wonder if it’s like that at other schools.

Since we’re a small college, it’s easy to know a majority of the people. Would it hurt to acknowledge them? I’m not asking for them to hang out with me, or even have a conversation. Just a smile or a nod would suffice.

Also, I think another rule should be: If you’re friends with them on Facebook, you should say hi. Do you guys follow this rule?

I love reading blogs

Bloglovin’ is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. It puts all my blogs in one place so I don’t have to go hunting them down. On the other hand, it’s a huge distraction, because it makes it so easy for me to read blog posts all day.

Now that I’m done with my capstone, I am browsing blogs, watching TV, reading, doing fun stuff, etc. What a way to relax.

It’s gets really girly from here on out.

I’ve been really into style/diy/fashion/home decor blogs lately. Check out some of my faves!

A Beautiful Mess Elsie Larson Holiday Cheer photo shoot

1. I loooove A Beautiful Mess. Elsie never runs out of ideas, ans she blogs at least twice a day. She runs a vintage shop with her sister Emma and blogs about everyday life, outfits, crafts and a lot more.

2. Emma’s blog, Food Coma, has a lot of yummy, original and borrowed recipes. She shows you how she makes the dishes and takes really pretty pictures of the food. She also writes outfit posts. Her writing style is hilarious, too.

3. Calivintage is a great blog for vintage fashion and street style. Erin’s confident and unique; that’s why I like her. She also posts a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff about designers and stores.

4. Erin also has a blog called Bikes + Babes. I love looking at the girls who love their bikes, just like me!

The Clothes Horse - The Storm Is Fast Descending

5. Rebecca from The Clothes Horse helps run Bikes + Babes. I love her daily outfit posts because her style is so cute and feminine. Plus, I like seeing the inspiration she posts.

Those are just a few of the many blogs I follow. I’m adding more all the time!

Radio show

I’m going to be on WSBU from 5:15 p.m. to 7 p.m. today. My friend Meaghan and I have a show at this time every Monday on The Buzz, our college radio station.  We like playing a bunch of female singer/songwriters and mixing in old favorites and new digs.

Here’s how you listen: Click this, and then press play when the new window opens. It’s as easy as that.

And while you’re at it, “like” our Facebook page too. Thanks for tuning in!

Music that makes me feel

I’ve been listening to music in headphones when I walk to class lately, and what a difference! I feel so much more involved with the music.

The whole practice of walking with music isn’t new to me, but I haven’t been using my iPod because I wanted to be aware of my surroundings. With my headphones in, I’m still aware, watching my surroundings pass, but it’s like a have a soundtrack, and it’s very cool.

Here are some songs I’ve been listening to that make me want to swirl around, walk in step and sway back and forth. If only there weren’t other people around me. This music makes me love life.

We’re the campus media. We’re students.

This is an editorial I wrote last month, intending to publish it in The BV. I never submitted it because I didn’t want to cause trouble with the unnamed professor, my adviser. However, I still feel the same way, so I decided to publish this for a smaller audience — my blog readers.

Sure, at The Bona Venture, we make fun of other campus media.

We say that no one watches SBU-TV. We say The Intrepid is just a Tumblr account. We say that The Laurel editors are a bunch of hippies. We say that WSBU-FM The Buzz is an elitist group of music snobs. And The Bonadieu… do they still exist?

It’s all in good fun. The Laurel calls us grammar and spelling nerds.  The Buzz says we suck at organized sports. The Intrepid says we can’t tweet.

We realize that each organization is different in what they do. Many of us are involved in several media, like Managing Editor Tyler Diedrich, who reports for SBU-TV, or opinion writers Deirdre Spilman and Sara Ward, who have a radio show together on WSBU.

Naturally, competition exists, but it’s nothing that should make us turn against each other.

I was hurt when I heard a journalism professor obtained and planned to spill the contents of an FCC letter regarding the recent $7,000 fine against WSBU before the station even knew of its existence.

I listened as the professor waltzed around Murphy 202, spreading the horrible news with glee.  He was sitting on a story, and he said he wanted to break it before The BV.

He said he requested the FCC public documents last year in order to follow up on WSBU’s license-renewal story.

The professor proceeded to tell the Dean about the regulation-breaking WSBU was committing.

Never once did he suggest to her that the journalism school should help the station. He stated no concern for the students – some of which he advises.

It makes me angry to know that some of our own faculty wouldn’t support our campus media for the sake of breaking a story.

What saddened me even further: this professor commented on WSBU’s status on Facebook.

“We’re in the RC today selling our 2011 #1 in the nation T-shirts!” the status read.

“It might help pay the fine,” the professor wrote.

Although I’m a proponent of connecting with journalism professors on Facebook, I thought this was a little out of line. I sat in WSBU’s board room as the directors discussed the comment, stating that in was unprofessional. They were disappointed too.

Whether you’re an un-watched reporter, a blogger, a hippie or a grammar nerd, we’re all students. We’re all at St. Bonaventure to learn.

Real life is fast approaching

I was talking to a few friends, alumni and coworkers at a journalism luncheon yesterday when the topic of life after college came up.

“Life after college” would always be my answer when someone asked me my greatest fear.

But when I was listing off the publications at which I was applying for internships, I was strangely confident.

“Yeah, I want to write and report, so I’m hoping to apply at a magazine like Time Out New York… or a newspaper like The Wall Street Journal,” I said, matter-of-factly.

They smirked at me from across the table and paused.

“Oh cool.”

I could tell they thought I was aiming too high. Why would somebody at The Wall Street Journal hire me? Why would anyone hire me right out of college?

Have I learned anything in college? What experience do I have for reporting?

Thinking back to yesterday’s lunch, I’m sort of freaking out. My mantra has always been “Aim high.” Should I lower my standards?

I’m still going to apply… everywhere. But it just saddens me that there is a little bit of doubt lingering.

Five reasons why I actually miss Olean, N.Y.

statue of liberty nyc new york city lady liberty

This is my first view of the Statue of Liberty. You can't see in the picture, but to the right are a bunch of tall buildings, making her look pretty small.

This article I wrote was previously published in The Times Herald a few weeks ago. Enjoy!

The Statue of Liberty is small.

In fact, while sitting in the passenger seat of my friend’s Mercury Gran Marquis, driving into Manhattan, I felt like I could reach out and pinch her with my index and thumb.

     As we crossed the Brooklyn Bridge, we descended into the city. Sky scrapers rose around us, and we soon became in the thick of it. Cabs honked, people yelled and the sirens… oh the sirens. And was that a faint hint of pizza I smelled?
     From the beginning, I learned a few things: Everything you could ever need is within walking distance; if someone holding a pamphlet tries to get your attention, pretend you don’t see them; and walking when the sign tells you not to is just as common as taxis running red lights.
     Everything seemed packed in. In square miles, Manhattan is actually smaller than my hometown of Holland, N.Y., but instead of having 3,600 people, it has 1.6 million.
     Although Lady Liberty towers 300 feet above me, we share something — an inkling of insignificance. Among all the people in New York City, amid the stories-high buildings, we were small.
     I imagine what it would be like if the Statue of Liberty were placed in the middle of Olean — in Lincoln Park perhaps. Certainly, her height would put Park Centre Tower to shame. Lady Liberty would get a lot more attention and affection in the town, instead of being pushed to the outskirts of New York City, diminished by all the bigger buildings sneering at her.
    You might realize that Lady Liberty could be a metaphor for me — a lost copy-editing intern spending my summer in the city. My 11 weeks there have been exciting and overwhelming, but there’s still something about the greater Olean area that I’m anxious to get back to.
   That’s why I’ve compiled a list of five reasons I miss Olean — things that the big city doesn’t have.
   1) Fresh air: When a fellow Bonnie told me I’d notice a difference in the air, I was skeptical. “You’ll be able to breathe better when you go back to school,” she said. Since I hadn’t recognized a difference in the air when I first moved there, I had doubts.
     Then, it was garbage day. Or maybe I should say “days.” It feels like every day is garbage day in New York City. There’s nothing like the putrid, rotting smell filling your nostrils to leave you longing for the leaves-and-soil aroma of the Enchanted Mountains in autumn.
NYC MTA subway New York City ignoring people

People ignoring each other on the subway. I was a tad creepy when taking this photo.

2) Acknowledgement: At a subway stop on the way to my internship, three men stepped aboard our train. They looked mischievous because they were smiling — a rarity for commuters going to work. Within seconds, they took a deep breath and started belting “This Little Light of Mine.” Their harmonies were so strong and their melodies so soulful that I couldn’t help but beam back at them. But as I looked around at fellow subway-riders, no one was paying attention. Half of them had headphones on and the other half had their eyes closed. The trio started my day with joy but no one else noticed. When the men went around collecting money, no one gave.

    Only once throughout the summer did someone approach me without the intention for money. A man named Ricky talked to me while I was reading in the park.
     “You know, there are so many people in New York, but we all ignore each other,” Ricky said. That’s why he made a point to meet strangers. “Sometimes you just need someone to talk to.” I had to agree; I enjoyed his company.
      In Olean and surrounding areas, I know people wherever I go — whether I’m thrift shopping at St. Vincent de Paul, picking up groceries at Park ‘N Shop or just heading to class at St. Bonaventure. There’s a satisfaction in hearing your own name when a friend greets you or waving to a neighbor across the street.
   3) The Allegheny River: The East River and Hudson River have nothing on the Allegheny. Sure, these large rivers surrounding Manhattan may support barges and freighters, but you can’t swim across them.
     The waterfront in NYC is more stressful than it is relaxing. There are hordes of sweaty sunbathers on small patches of grass, joggers and roller-bladers weaving through tourists and once, a homeless man took my friend’s umbrella from his hands and threw it into the water.
     Back in Cattaraugus County, the trees form an arch over me as I bike on the river trail, waving to the occasional passerby. My friends and I jump into the river via a slightly unsafe rope hanging from a tree. I’ve even raced across the river.
     And although strangely haunting, you can hear every aspect of wildlife when you sit along the trail in the dark of night.
allegheny allegany river trail st. bonaventure aimee lindner

My sister took these photos of the Allegheny River while visiting me at St. Bonaventure.

   4) Quiet… and maybe a little peace: While sitting on the trail, you can hear crickets chirping, beavers wading, raccoons foraging and even the cows in the valley. But one thing you won’t hear is the booming bass from a night club.
   5) Sky: Over my 21 years, I’ve made a habit of looking up at the stars and searching for the Big Dipper whenever I get the chance. I tried this a few times in the city, only to find myself squinting with my neck craned back. If anything, I can get others to look up as well. They don’t know what I’m looking at, and to be honest, I don’t either.
     The dome covering New York is rarely speckled with constellations. There are too many lights blocking the view. When it is overcast, it is pretty to see the lights reflected on the clouds, but on clear nights, the absence of the Big Dipper has me jonesing for the country.
    But I will miss the city. I’ll miss going shopping at 11 p.m. I’ll miss watching street artists in Washington Square Park. I’ll miss the food trucks on every corner. I’ll miss my internship mentor feeding me candy, rewarding me whenever I finished a story. I know I’ll be back.
    So if I learned anything after 11 weeks being 360 miles from home, it’s this: Appreciate your small town. Embrace your friends, neighbors and family. If you’re ever questioning why you live in New York’s southern tier as opposed to the Big Apple, remember Lady Liberty and her relativity. On the Hudson (she’s actually located in Jersey), she’s isolated from society, shrunken in the presence of skyscrapers, with only visitors coming and going. But what she really needs is to be surrounded by friends. Maybe she should be relocated to the Allegheny.

A weekend with Meaghan

     Meaghan rode in during my lunch break Thursday, the beginning of a great weekend.

     She explored Times Square quite extensively and tempted herself with American Eagle while I finished my workday. Then, we jetted back to Brittany Hall on the subway, grabbed pizza at the dining hall and power walked down to Bleecker Street.

We had a little Bona’s reunion with Victoria at Le Poisson Rouge for a benefit concert featuring Best Coast, a band we love. Bethany Cosentino was actually a better performer than I thought she would be, and the atmosphere was perfect. After running around all day, Meaghan and I were glad the venue wasn’t hot and sweaty like we predicted. Read my concert review here.

Cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery followed. The pink frosting on my vanilla confection was swirled on top, making a little compression in the middle. The cake was moist but too heavy on the butter. Meg decided we should try Crumbs to decide which establishment has better cupcakes — a New York debate.

On Friday, Meaghan met me for lunch at Famiglia’s in Time Square, just as Donald Trump and Sarah Palin had done recently. Despite what Jon Stewart says, I liked my slice.

As horrible as it sounds, I left Meaghan in the heavy downpour and hail while I finished up my shift. Apparently, she had found refuge, because when I found her at 6 p.m., she was dry. However, her fashionable wedges were sad looking.

We visited the vegan station at the dining hall and returned to my room to hang out with my roommates. We then visited The Strand, took the Staten Island Ferry, checked on the World Trade Center memorial construction and spent time with some DJNF friends, making it a late night.

Taking the Q over the East River the next day, we trekked to the Brooklyn Flea to browse its vintage clothing, antique finds and original art. The sun beat down on us, and as much as we wanted to stay, we had to seek shade. (The number of our freckles increased this week, not to mention some sun burn.)

Prospect Park

It was about a 30 minute walk to Prospect Park from the flea, but it was well worth it. Meaghan sipped on some ice-cold apple cider while we lay in the grass. We had a hard time finding our way out of the park, but we saw our extra time with nature as a way of taking a break from the city.

For dinner, we went to Kate’s Joint, a restaurant that makes vegetarian versions of comfort food. I had the “un-turkey club,” and Meaghan had the Philly cheesesteak. The best part was the “fakin,” which tasted a lot like real bacon.

On our way back, we wandered through community gardens in the East Village, planning our own secret garden to plant when we get back to Bonaventure.

Victoria and my DJNF friends arrived at my dorm near 11 p.m. I loved having my school friends, my intern friends, my roommates and other guests in the room at the same time, all getting along. We ventured to Washington Square Park and then to the mac’n cheese place on MacDougal Street. Yum!

The same group (plus and minus some people) took the long train ride to Coney Island on Sunday, where we sat on the beach, played Frisbee (“flying disc” in AP style) and swam. We stopped playing Frisbee because we hit too many little kids.

We went to the Upright Citizens Brigade to watch Amy Poehler and friends do improv. It was even funnier than last week. We finished the night off with frozen yogurt and laying in the middle of Washington Square fountain, hoping it wouldn’t go off.

Meaghan left Monday morning to head back to Jefferson County. I had a lot of fun!