Faith Marie Willis

Faith Marie Willis has written 25 posts for The Digital Bullpen

All the news that’s fit for Bulls – March 8 edition

Unless you’ve sworn off all forms of internet and social media for the past few days, you’ve probably seen #kony2012 or #stopkony in your feed. Still not sure what it’s all about? We’ve got you covered. That story and more in today’s roundup:

Internet campaign aims to bring Ugandan warlord’s crimes to light.

The new iPad (yep, they stopped the numbering) is pretty much what everyone expected.

Scientists aren’t so sure the color pink exists. My Little Pony fanatics, however, are.

Everyone roll down your windows and shake your fist at the moon tonight because IT sunk the Titanic.

Why the gym won’t make you thin.

What is it about Chuck E. Cheese that makes it the perfect breeding ground for an all out family brawl? A Chuck E. Cheese expert weighs in.

Five American things the Brits secretly envy. Strangely, teeth is not among them.

Haters are hating at record numbers, new report says.

If you didn’t have enough reasons to be glad you’re out of grade school, add this one to the list: Government buying 7 million pounds of “pink slime” for school lunches.

Oh, a massive solar storm is on it’s way.

All the news that’s fit for Bulls – March 7 edition

Airports are not having a good week. Last week a man drove his Jeep onto the tarmac, today a blogger posted a video showing how to get anything through the TSA scanners undetected. That story and more in today’s roundup:

Blogger exposes vulnerability in TSA body scanners.

Mitt takes Ohio but fails to shake off Santorum. Meanwhile, a Georgia win keeps Newt in the race.

Woman suing her school after being stuck with roommate who has too much sex.

Beards get respect, but not ladies.

An unusual school shooting: Jacksonville teacher shoots principal, then self.

The new Apple ipad is set to launch today. Here’s what you should expect.

Are you a slut? This flowchart can help you find out.

Why you should make sure you aren’t friends with someone before taking a picture and insulting them on Facebook.

Looking for new music? Some of the most anticipated new music albums.

Netflix: Coming to a cable box near you?

All the news that’s fit for Bulls – March 6 edition

Well, it’s Super Tuesday. So, what better excuse to take a look at some crazy-accurate doppelgängers for the big names in this years election. That and more in today’s roundup:

Casting the 2012 election. You thought Tina Fey’s impersonation was good? Check these out.

Much to Joe Biden’s chagrin, Latin America may be well on its way to legalizing Marijuana.

A high-end madam is busted for running a brothel out of an upper East side apartment building. The kicker? She’s a suburban mom with four children.

We only wish this was a joke: Tim Tebow is being courted to star in “The Bachelor.”

Wait a minute, you can sue for that? Michigan man sues AMC over high popcorn prices.

#Soda or #pop? Twitter helps analyze regional language quirks.

The upside to being hacked.

Egyptian lawmaker forced to resign after claiming he was badly beaten by masked gunmen. Really, he just wanted a nose job.

Why journalists should stop hating and embrace Instagram.

He can rock a pair of orthopedic shoes like no other, but is Ron Paul a style maven?

An afternoon in the courtyard

Photo: Faith Willis

With her feet slipped out of her black ballet flats Danielle Kurant stretches her legs out on the bars below the green picnic table. Her long brown hair is swept to the side and her nails are adorned with intricate designs of apples and pears. This, she later tells me, is actually a study tactic. Once her nails are painted, she has no choice but to do nothing but sit still for at least an hour to let the paint dry. Reading from her notes and textbooks is about the only thing she can do.

Kurant is a second year medical student at the University of South Florida. This short break in the courtyard of the medical building will be the only downtime she gets all day. Yet for someone on a time crunch, Kurant seems largely unconcerned with finishing the homemade chicken noodle soup she brought.

Across from Kurant sits Clay Evans. Evans, also in his second year of medical school, has already finished his lunch and now takes small sips out of his red aluminum water bottle. He is tall with broad shoulders. His dark hair is slightly mussed and cut short. The red t-shirt and black basketball shorts he wears give the impression that he dresses for comfort, anticipating the hours of class time that lie ahead.

If there’s one take-away from Evans and Kurant, it’s that upon entering medical school, you will need to adjust. Be prepared for your free time to decrease dramatically. It is a full-on lifestyle change.


Being outside during the school day is a rare treat for these two. When they do get a break they retreat to the courtyard. The majority of their time is spent inside a classroom. Literally one classroom, Evans says.

“The same classroom, the same seat,” Danielle says. “It’s really insane. I go crazy by the end of the day.”

“Different professors come to speak with us, you get like 10 minutes in between,” he says. “All of the second years are in the same class together at all times. We’ll have lectures some days that last eight hours.”

That explains why the college of medicine can seem like such a ghost town. It’s a clear day in the middle of the afternoon, yet aside from the seldom passerby dashing hurriedly away, Clay and Danielle are the only people in sight.


The Morsani College of Medicine building and the Health Laboratories enclose the courtyard. Long narrow windows from the adjacent fitness center reveal a couple women running on treadmills.  Besides the fitness center is the USF Health Sciences Bookstore and Café, where students can buy snacks such as yogurt parfaits, wraps, fruit salads, various sodas and of course, what the cashier says is the biggest seller, coffee.

Large green steps lead down into the courtyard. The floor is made up of oversized green and burnt orange concrete tiles. Seven circular picnic tables with umbrellas are scattered throughout the area. Most of the time they stay empty.


Evans and Kurant are just two out of 504 graduate level students at the Morsani College of Medicine. Danielle completed her undergraduate degree at USF. Clay completed his bachelors at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. A native of Florida, he decided to return to complete medical school.

For students striving to become doctors, free time is regarded as something you generally don’t get.

“If I have free time,” Kurant says, emphasizing the ‘if’, “I like to hang-out with my friends I don’t see while I’m studying for med school. I like Kaleisia, the tea lounge, quite a lot.”

Being that the same students are together all day, classmates commonly end up joining each other off-campus.

“Often we’ll just be at each other’s homes,” Kurant says. If we hang out it it’s usually like we’re in here, working together, and we’ll go out to dinner.


An hour or so goes by until another student passes through the courtyard at a casual pace.

Justina Matthew is a master student in Medical Sciences. Following the one-year program she is currently in she would like to enter medical school. Though she insists she does have time to hang out and spend with friends when asked where specifically she likes to frequent, without hesitation she replies the library and Starbucks, two places whose very names practically denote studying.

For Matthew, the lack of free time doesn’t really seem like a sacrifice. She knows where she would like to end up and has the backing of her family to guide her.  Her dark brown eyes seem to widen as she talks about them.

“They’re very supportive. They’re pretty excited about me going to medical school so they really want me to succeed in that,” she says.

Evans has already started a family of his own. Naturally, the vast amount of time he spends in class and studying equates to less time at home. Regretfully, Clay says, that is the one thing he would change; he would spend more time with his new wife.

It may seem like a struggle now, Clay tells me, but he knows that at the end of this chapter he will be living his dream.

He will be a doctor.

All the news that’s fit for Bulls – March 5 edition

All in all, Lindsay Lohans fourth time hosting SNL was pretty terrible. But it did give us this gem: The Real Housewives of Disney. Check out the clip and more in today’s roundup:

Super-respectful and well mannered Don Imus castigates Rush Limbaugh for his “vile, personal attack” on Sarah Fluke.

Who said it: Mr. Burns or Mitt Romney? Differentiating between the cartoon villan and the presidential hopeful is harder than you think.

Woman detained at JFK Airport for being pregnant… with $20,000 worth of heroin.

Man makes off with Girl Scout’s cookie money. Girl punches man in the face.

Beyonce breastfeeds her baby in public; pandemonium ensues.

Too soon? Whitney Houston’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina, to break silence on, what else, Oprah’s show.

Newt Gingrich says Romney is “rich enough,” tries to make us forget he is also ridiculously wealthy.

Experts expect to fill zoo’s with extinct animals. Uh, did they not see Jurassic Park?

The Rays throw USF a little support.

All the news that’s fit for Bulls – March 2 edition

You can’t bring shampoo on a plane, so how in the world did a man get his Jeep on the airport tarmac? And what does a little girl torturing a goldfish have to do with the economy? According to Herman Cain, (remember him?) everything:

Herman Cain’s super PAC releases most morbid political ad yet. And that’s saying something.

You wouldn’t understand; it’s a Jeep thing.

Mo money, mo problems: Biggie was right all along. World is getting happier albeit more poor.

Tired of having to hear his fellow bus riders business, man jams cell phone lines.

District judge who sent an unbelievably racist email to Obama asks for a review.

Stripping to pay for med school is a real thing.

Lindsay Lohan: Working at the morgue was “amazing.”

Florida high school valedictorian to receive early graduation present from the state: deportation.

Science confirms what we already knew: Mac users more stylish than PC users.

The question on everyone’s mind: Is Taylor dating Tebow?

All the news that’s fit for Bulls – March 1 edition

What do pandas, Ronald McDonald, Teletubbies and Hello Kitty have in common? Not much, except if you visit Thailand you may find they all bear a resemblance to Hitler. And it’s being widely reported that Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi is pregnant. What does a Jersey Shore pregnancy look like? All of those stories and more in today’s roundup:

Thai teens embrace “Hitler chic” trend, surprisingly, some find this offensive.

How to be a friggin’ mom: Snooki’s guide to motherhood.

Dust your Schwinn off, gas prices could spike to $5 a gallon.

Andrew Breitbart, who helped create the Drudge Report and the Huffington Post, dead at 43.

Those damn hipsters are everywhere – even in the White House.

Disney promptly closes new attraction after realizing it mocks most of it’s visitors.

How much does Google really know about you?

Obama gets intel on everything – even rising basketball stars: President knew about Lin “before you did.”

The 12 least impressive boasts in rap lyrics.

Arguably the most famous Monkee, Davy Jones, dies in Florida at 66.

All the news that’s fit for Bulls – Feb. 29 edition.

Chances are you probably haven’t even gotten around to getting your iPad 2 yet but Apple is likely to unveil the iPad 3 next week. And how did an ordinary Facebook user become an accidental lube spokesperson? All of those stories and more in your leap-day edition of the roundup:

Be careful what you link to.

IPad 3 causes a frenzy on Twitter.

Romney, Gingrich and Santorum action figures hit the market.

Terrible identity theft of the day: Man uses Jack Nicholson’s identity to open bank account.

Mitt takes Michigan.

Why do we have leap year?

For sale: Your old tweets.

Video: Chilling tweets from Ohio’s school shooting.

Yoga campaigning to become an Olympic sport.

If the Costa Concordia accident wasn’t enough for you, here’s seven reasons never to go on a cruise.

All the news that’s fit for Bulls – Feb. 28 edition.

We barely even have our heads out of the water from the current financial crisis, and so why are some worried that we’re already planting the seeds for the next recession? All of that and more in today’s roundup:

The new financial crisis?

“Welcome to life“: Arizona state rep defends tuition bill to students.

Can all iPhone users sue AT&T?

Banned: 10 apps you won’t be using anytime soon.

How to get more followers: Nascar driver tweets from car.

The male “pill” ready for testing. But will he take it?

Too manly for Chardonnay? New wine is for strictly for men.

Kobe Bryant suffers broken nose and concussion during All-Star game.

Study: No one uses Google+.

All the news that’s fit for Bulls – Feb. 27 edition

In case you didn’t have a spare four hours last night to watch the Oscars, the roundup has got you covered. The best moments of the night and more:

In case you missed it: Best moments from the 2012 Oscars.

Best and worst dressed of the Oscars.

Student Government elections begin today.

Four wounded in Ohio school shooting.

Slovakia strongly considering naming a bridge after Chuck Norris. Yep, really.

Where is student loan debt the worst? Hint: We aren’t faring too well, USF.

Would we be better off without cash?

“I have friends who own Nascar teams” and other ways Romney is just like us.

Are we ignoring Syria?

Jolie’s leg spawns Twitter account.

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