A piece that I wrote for Odyssey the day after the 2016 Presidential Election
This is an article I wrote for Odyssey about my coming out. The story received multiple positive reviews and many shares on Facebook and Twitter
How does one stay healthy while away at school? I asked students at Buffalo State College about what they do to stay healthy while balancing their education.
The toughest decision for any high school senior is to decide whether or not to go away to school. Leaving home is a crucial moment in life as we, as young adults, have spent most of our childhood days always coming home to see our parents and pets and whatnot.
When we go away to school, however, we have to make another tough decision while at school. Do we eat healthily? Or do we let the freshmen, or whatever year you are in, 15 take over our bodies?
Let’s face it, campus food isn’t the healthiest of things to eat when living on campus. You practically eat the same things almost every day. Pizza, burgers, chicken tenders, etc., it’s not the best thing to eat every day. And while yes there are healthier choices like salads and fruits and vegetables, they always seem to be dried out.
And there is always the choice of going off-campus, but most of us college students are broke and can’t afford a nice meal outside of our school. Once in a while, it’s nice, but every day is too much.
And when you walk around any college campus, you see many students who have run out of money or swipes to even feed themselves. And as for exercise, well most students don’t have the time.
“I have class every day, Monday to Friday,” says Buffalo State Senior Sarah Fuchs, “After classes, I go to work at the bookstore. So I really don’t have the time to go to the gym at all. Once my day is over, I go back to my room and try and stay up doing my homework while not trying to fall asleep”.
“Because of my work and school schedule, I have to wake up early in the morning if I want to go the gym” senior Eryn Hopkins states “And by early, I mean 6:00 in the morning.”
And that’s just going trying to get a good workout in. The Houston Gym at Buffalo State was renovated and completed in July of 2014. It comes complete with a fitness center, basketball court, and a swimming pool that is open to the school community. However, the pool is only open Monday through Friday from 11am to 1pm.
Felecia Malcolm, a senior, says that swimming is her best workout. “I’m not into the machines and running. I feel like I’m melting when on the treadmill. With swimming, I feel more refreshed”.
When checking out the fitness center, it seems that more students tend to go during the afternoon and evening hours rather than the morning, as most students are done with classes. The fitness center stays open from six in the morning to almost eleven at night from Monday to Thursday. On Fridays and Saturdays, it remains open until nearly 8 in the evening. On Sundays, the gym opens at ten in the morning until four in the afternoon.
But its not just about working out, its about eating the right stuff as well. SUNY uses Chartwells as it food provider. And for many students, it’s not the best option.
In one of Buffalo State’s dining halls, the Residential dining hall, it offers a buffet-style meal that brings all three courses to the students: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The breakfast is the favorite of the students, the lunch and dinner, on the other hand, could use a bit more work.
One student proclaimed that the pizza is either drowned in grease or sagging low to the floor. Another declared that the meat tastes a bit funny. Are these the kinds of meals that we want our students to be eating?
And what about Buffalo State’s retail dining hall? Sure it has better options like Subway and Salsarita’s, but the problem that we face here is that a) you have the same options to eat every single day and b) students are offered a certain amount of dining dollars to use in that dining area until it runs out.
“As a vegetarian, I can’t live my life on Subway,” Eryn Hopkins says “And the salad place here is disgusting. The salad is dry, and the tofu there taste funny”.
Now come on? A salad is supposed to be healthy? It’s not supposed to taste funny! What kind of business are we running here Buffalo State?
Now those who don’t eat what’s on campus choose to buy groceries from Wegman’s or Tops and make their own food.
“It’s the better option in my opinion,” says Felecia Malcolm “You may lose some money, but you can buy enough food that will last you for weeks. It’s much better than what is being served on campus.”
“I practically make my own pasta dishes at my place,” Eryn Hopkins says “I make my own salad with it, have a little bit of wine and bread, and my meal is complete.”
So if students can find better options off campus, why can’t they find anything on campus that is healthy for them? Is it because the school is too cheap to find healthier choices for their students? What can we do to fix this?
Staying healthy while living on campus is a struggle in its self. We’d like to think that we are healthy, but in reality, we’re just eating some of the most unhealthy food choices around. Judging by the public, it seems to be a better choice to just buy your own food and make it. Hopefully, we have some students who are master chefs here.
So don’t fret upcoming college students. You can always find ways to make healthier choices while you are away at school. Then once your home on your breaks, you’ll appreciate your parents home cooking.
An essay on the 1987 thriller Fatal Attraction
They say that there is nothing worse than a woman scorned. But what happens when two women are the ones to get hurt by just one man? This is mostly what happens in the 1987 thriller film Fatal Attraction. The film revolves around Dan Gallagher, played by Michael Douglas, having an affair with Alex Forrest, played by Glenn Close, that comes back to haunt him. It not only involves Alex getting back at Dan, but his wife Beth, played by Anne Archer, getting into the mix of things as well. This film is instrumental in being a psychological thriller, as Glenn Close’s portrayal of Alex is sure to send chills down any man’s spine.
What makes Fatal Attraction work as a thriller is by the many elements that go into this film. It goes more beyond the plot, but with the characters involved. The most important of these characters is Alex Forrest. She and Dan meet at a party and the relationship between the two blossom when Dan’s wife and daughter are away. Thinking it’s just a “one night stand,” Dan good back to is regular life, but in the words of Alex “I don’t like being ignored.” Her threats become more persistent, and as much as Dan tries to get rid of her, Alex will not let this die. She even goes as far as saying that Dan got her pregnant. The icing on the cake is when Dan’s wife finds out, threatening their marriage. The family is now under Alex’s wrath, with their pet bunny being boiled to death.
Alex is portrayed as the femme fatale in Fatal Attraction. This means that she is the woman who seduces the main male lead that usually leads to the demise of our lead character, and the femme fatale coming out on top in the end. When you compare Alex to Kathleen Turner’s character Matty in the 1981 film Body Heat, you see a vast difference in outcomes. While both characters use their charming good looks to lure the male lead to their doom, Matty comes out on top in the end while Alex is defeated. Alex is killed by Beth after attacking her from behind and then getting into a fight with Dan in a struggle to kill him. While Matty gets away with her crimes in Body Heat, it is likely that Alex would’ve been found guilty for the number of crimes she has done against Dan and his family.
What also makes Fatal Attraction such a great thriller is its theme, and what was occurring during the time of the film’s release. The theme of this film revolves around sex and having fun. The affair between Dan and Alex seems to lack any sort of protection, which is why Alex accused Dan of knocking her up. While the accidental pregnancy is sure to rile any person up, it is far better than what was actually happening during the time of Fatal Attraction release.
Released in September of 1987, Fatal Attraction was brought to audiences during the height of the AIDS crisis. At the time, AIDS was seen as this incurable disease that leads to a death sentence. Relevant to the LGBT community, it soon became a worldwide phenomenon that impacted everyone. As a thriller, Fatal Attraction uses the sexual affair between Dan and Alex as a form of consequence. Like AIDS, a sexual relationship can lead to deadly consequences. This can also be seen in the 1992 thriller Basic Instinct where Michael Douglas again plays a character where pleasure brings a form of fatal consequences in the end.
Also, HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, doesn’t go away once it is in your system. It becomes a part of your everyday life, and you live with it until the virus takes over and eventually kills you. The same could be said with Alex becoming a part of Dan’s everyday life and never leaving until he becomes Alex’s one and only woman.
Fatal Attraction also uses the theme of adultery in the film to tie in with the theme of sexual desire. Most religions see infidelity as a form of sin and discriminate those who have committed such a crime. Marriage is recognized as an unbreakable bond between two people who are committed to being together for the rest of their lives. Dan puts himself in a situation where he puts his marriage with Beth at risk by having an affair with Alex. In reality, many women would leave their male counterparts for cheating on them. And many men would do the same if their female partner cheated on them. But Beth and Dan have a good thing going as they still stick together for the sake of their daughter.
What makes a good thriller is how well you make your climax. The climax is the height of the story that usually involves a dramatic moment, such as a huge fight scene or a shootout or the discovery of a villain. Fatal Attraction uses its climax correctly by keeping the audience on the edge of their seats for the longest time and then throwing it all in their faces during the climax. Tensions are built with Beth’s discovery of Dan cheating on her with Alex, and finding the family pet rabbit boiled in a pot by Alex as an act of revenge. The tip of the iceberg when their daughter is abducted and showing that Alex is just as dangerous as the audience thought she could be.
The climax of Fatal Attraction begins with Beth drawing a bath when Alex shows up and attacks Beth with a knife. The fight gets Dan’s attention as his tea comes to a boil (a symbol of the tensions boiling over and beginning out climax). Running up to the bathroom to see his wife in danger, Dan goes right after Alex to put an end to this horrible nightmare. Dan is stronger than Alex and is able to fight her off and push her into the bathtub and drown her.
Thinking that the damage is done, Alex jumps right back and attacks Dan with the knife that she used on his wife. Alex has gone from a woman who wouldn’t leave until she got what she desired, to a woman who would kill anyone to attempted to stop her even going as far as killing Dan for the damage he has caused her. The climax ends with Beth taking a gun hidden in the house and shooting Alex right through her heart, eventually killing her. Dan and Beth go on to live their lives as a married couple in love, while Alex is killed for the actions of a married man who never loved her, to begin with.
Fatal Attraction works as the perfect thriller to give any person in any kind of relationship a scare. It makes you never want to be in a relationship again. In my opinion, all of the events in Fatal Attraction could’ve been avoided if Dan had just kept it in his pants and had been a faithful husband to Beth. Instead, he found out how far a woman can go to get what she wants, and he found that in Alex. I believe that Fatal Attraction is a great thriller because of the elements it brings into its story, as well as how Alex is portrayed as this monster of a woman. The story keeps everyone wanting more and wanting to know what Alex’s next move is going to be. But why is Fatal Attraction such a great thriller?
The film ends on such a sour note with Dan killing his own child. He had to kill a woman who would not leave him alone, which in all retrospect he brought on to himself. But what makes Fatal Attraction a great thriller is the terror that brings with the offensive performance that Glenn Close brings.
But we wonder who deserved their actions in this story. Did Dan deserve to have his life ruined by a woman who threatened to take everything away from him? No. Was Alex taken back by all of this? Well, she did know ahead of time that Dan was only looking for a one-night stand. So she shouldn’t be surprised that Dan wanted anything to do with her after the one night together. But what is clear is that Dan is at fault for putting not only himself but his family in danger of Alex’s wrath. Alex did get what she deserved in the end, but she didn’t deserve to be such a broken woman over one man.
Fatal Attraction works as a thriller as it brings up the consequences of what can happen when one person is unfaithful in a relationship. It shows that being unfaithful can hurt many people in the end, so there is no need to cheat on the person you love. If you do cheat, you never liked that person, to begin with. In the end, we are left with one man’s wrong decision that effectively changed his life and the lives of others around him for the worse.
Well, it has been awhile since I have written on this blog, hasn’t it?
I’ve been pretty busy for some time and haven’t gotten the chance to do all the writing that I planned on for my blog. However, I have been doing what I love to do as part of my daily schedule.
For starters, I’ve been interning at Cinema Bandit since April where I have writing about different aspects of film as well as different aspects of the film industry. It’s really cool getting to write about something that I’ve always loved. It’s helped me feel more comfortable with myself as a writer.
I also just landed a position with WBLZ Media where I can expand on writing not just film reviews, but reviews on television and music as well! I can even talk about wrestling if I wanted to!
Of course, I’m still working my two part-time jobs to save up my funds, but I’m just happy that I’m doing something more with my writing. Hopefully, it leads to a full-time job in the future! (fingers crossed)
I’ll try and share some of my work from the writing gigs in this personal blog, as well as some of my personal work here as well.
It’s a gloomy and rainy day here on Long Island, but my cat Harvey looked very photogenic laying on the window sill. We’ve had him for 10 years and is the most handsome Maine Coon I’ve seen!
My brother and I found him when we were about 12 and 13 respectively at a neighbors house. His mother abandoned him, and we heard him meowing from a cinderblock. He had to be about a week old, ears folded in and eyes that were a deep blue. We ran him to our mom, who is also a big cat lover, and Harvey proceeded to pee in my mother’s lap! From that point on he was ours!
His name comes from two different points of view. My brother named him after the tv character Harvey Birdman from the show Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law. I named him after Harvey Milk, after the late politician himself, and coincidentally because when bottle feeding the young kitten, Harvey would hold his milk bottle like a little baby clutching his two front paws on the bottle.
Harvey is the perfect companion and is great for cuddling! He is also very photogenic! I hope other cat lovers who see this can show some love to this handsome Maine Coon!
After celebrating a great Thanksgiving with my family and having a wonderful 22nd birthday (my birthday fell on Thanksgiving this year), I felt that I had a lot to get off of my chest. Now, this could just be the wine putting this all out there as I am writing this the night before I post this, but this has been eating up for a while.
I try to distance myself from family conversations at get-togethers because of the typical questions of “How is your job going”? or “How’s life handling you”? Because let’s be honest, I feel like my life is not in order. And I know I just turned 22 I’m too young to be worrying about this. But the constant anxiety of it all has me thinking that my life will always and forever be shit.
I’m grateful that I have a job in radio. I don’t care that it’s part-time, it’s my foot in the door to more opportunities. My other job, I’ll be honest, it’s shit. I work at an escape room and feel like I’m not being respected. I want to just walk out, but I know that I’ll be losing another paycheck that puts money in my account. Hopefully, I find something better soon.
Not trying to end things here on a sad note, so I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and is starting to get there Christmas shopping done on Black Friday. I will be working most of the day!