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OB and

The Noise Issue | Spring 2014

OB Staff and

The Noise Issue

Editors-in-Chief Dana Burke, Karina Cuevas, Kelsey Meany Art Directors Alexandria Ugarte, Mary Elysee Velasco Executive Editor Sarah Loftus Executive Editor of Multimedia Tova Miller Managing Editor Brock Seng Social Media Editor Chelsea Perry Multimedia Director Mike Llerena Photo Director Amanda Cohen Senior Editors Phillip Heilman, Mallory Schindler Photographer Meaghan Cloherty Writers Ben Paikowsky, Georgia Warren Copy Editors Maureen Mariano, Emily Stanton Design Ashira Morris


Thanks To our adviser Ted Spiker, Diane McFarlin, Spiro Kiousis, Wayne Wanta, Helga Williams, Matt Sheehan, Tim Sorel, Hal Herman, Kyle Lyons, the Summer Journalism Institute and Drummond Press. To contributing photographers Lauren Adhav, Ciera Battleson, Marley Boerema, Ashley Crane, Ryan Jones and Amy Stuart. Other special thanks to Lindsey Buz, Taylor Cremo, Lise DeGreef, Steven Katona, Talia Medina and Niko Pifferetti. Orange & Blue Magazine is published semi-annually by UF College of Journalism and Communications students in the applied magazine course. This issue was printed by Drummond Press, Jacksonville, Fla. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means without written permission. Orange & Blue is protected through trademark registration in the United States. Send letters to Box 118400, College of Journalism and Communications, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611.

Contents Spring 2014


Quick Reads 03 03 04 04 05 05 06 07 08 09

#haveyouheard? Swamp Tales Shut the F*** Up! IQ Tunes Obnoxious Eaters Campus’ Quietest Study Place Stage 7 Singer Famous Last Words American Dog Language Center Stage


09 11 13 15 17

For Pete’s Sake

A bluegrass singer finds his voice after battling esophageal cancer

Where the Wild Things Are Animals from around the world find a home in Gainesville

Live! From Gainesville

A guide to becoming a professional musician

The Decision

A student’s empowering story of her choice between fight or flight during an attack

Strung Out

The search for Gainesville’s Violin Boy


18 22 26



A look into the lives of three people diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder

Honey, I’m Home

The busy life of Florida’s most interesting beekeeper

Call Me, Maybe?

Two writers’ Midtown adventure to test out crazy, ridiculous pick-up lines

Back Cover




Street Style

Three trendy students bring the catwalk to campus

O&B Quick Reads



Karina Cuevas


hile you can’t seem to avoid some organizations — they’re practically sticking fliers down your pants — there’s relief in knowing the noisiest are ones you’ve probably never even heard.

The Dancers

GATOR SALSA CLUB Before it turned into a desolate pile of debris, the Reitz Union Colonnade was home to the Gator Salsa Club, a group of almost 80 students who get together to learn the quick eight-count rhythmic dance. Now, you can find pairs of dancers and the sound of Latin tunes coming from the Reitz Breezeway (yep, right on the way to the Redbox).

The Wizards

STUDENT MAGIC CLUB Talented student magicians get together to cast spells over the Gator Nation — tricking professors into eliminating minus grades, hypnotizing bus drivers into waiting for

students running to the stop and rigging football games to make every home game a win. OK, maybe that’s a stretch, but the Students Magic Club is responsible for the biggest smiles on campus. It works closely with UF Health Shands Hospital and volunteers its time to perform entertaining magic tricks for patients, like card tricks we all grew up loving.

The Divers

GATOR SCUBA CLUB This group of swift divers promotes diving safety, plans scuba excursions and helps members get certified to swim with the big fish. Members of the Gator Scuba Club dive in local springs surrounding Gainesville once a month and organize an end-of-the-semester trip to the Keys, an exhilarating way to re-energize after the burnout from classes. The divers also find time for fun events during the semester, like their underwater pumpkin-carving contest every fall. PHOTOGRAPHED BY MEAGHAN CLOHERTY

Swamp Tales


Mike Llerena

Gator Band Trumpet Player

ALEXIS STRICKLAND On the Friday practice before the Arkansas game, Gator Band’s 365 members were going through their normal preparations when they were informed that they would have a guest conductor for their performance the next day. His name was Geoffrey Porter. Geoffrey, 8, is a Leukemia survivor. After receiving support from Children’s Miracle Network, Geoffrey now attends Dance Marathon events to encourage dancers raising money for other sick children. Geoffrey would conduct the band’s halftime performance of “Orange and Blue.” Alexis Strickland is a UF animal science sophomore who plays trumpet in the Gator Band. Strickland, 19, was compelled by Geoffrey’s involvement with Gator Band.



“We were all silent listening to this little boy’s story,” Strickland said. “Right after they did that we were supposed to play ‘Orange and Blue.’ I honestly think that there were very few people who were actually able to play after we heard his story, specifically me. It brought tears to my eyes. Obviously, you have the big, tough guys that don’t cry. But as far as everybody else, there wasn’t a dry eye in Gator Band.” Strickland said the experience of having Geoffrey conduct gave her some perspective. “One of the most memorable things was to have a chance to see this little boy who’s been through so much,” she said. “It just reminded us of how blessed we all are.”

Shut the F*** Up!




IQ Tunes

Alexandria Ugarte

The newest Miley Cyrus tune blaring next door, raucous walking (read: angry gorillastomping), drunken wails, awkward sex sounds and the never-ending screeches of a fire alarm at 4 a.m. set off by amateur attempts to reheat Ramen noodles. Sound way too ordinary and familiar? If so, you’re probably a victim of student living.


“It was around 5 or 6 in the morning. I woke up to someone screaming nonsense outside. There was one of our neighbors, chilling in his boxers, swinging in the air to fight off some ‘spiders’ that were trying to attack him. I tried to yell back to see if he was OK. He started yelling back about blood being everywhere. He also kept running around yelling ‘Acid, acid!’ Eventually cops arrived, and he tried to out-maneuver them with no success.” - Robby Rassel, UF College of Business 2012 graduate


“One time my neighbors made such a stomping yard out of their apartment that they shattered the light bulbs on our ceiling and made a lamp fall off the wall. Finally, we went upstairs to figure it out. They were literally bowling beer cans — with actual bowling balls.” - Alexandra Warrington, UF business senior


3. “Firework” by Katy Perry 4. “Beauty and A Beat” by Justin Bieber 5. “Halo” by Beyoncé

“One night I got home at about 3 a.m. from work to find a guy on our front porch listening to music on his phone, clawing at our door and wearing only his boxers. At first, I freaked out, but then I got out of the car and tried to shoo him away. He was so drunk he couldn’t speak. I picked up his phone and saw that, for some reason, his house was the screensaver — it was actually the house across the street. I started pointing at it, telling him to go home, and, eventually, he just ran off. I don’t think he had realized he was at the wrong house.” - Ashley Cook, UF communication and leadership development senior

1. “Love the Way You Lie” by Eminem ft. Rihanna 2. “We Can’t Stop” by Miley Cyrus

“The people who live above me must soak their shoes in concrete, and they don’t believe in sleep. I’ve seen these girls in person, and they are tiny. How they make so much noise is beyond me.” - Austin Williams, UF finance junior


Geert Hagmann, a German international student at the University of Florida, says he listens to classical music while he studies to avoid “Ohrwürmer.” (Ohrwürmer, the German word for earworms, is when songs get stuck in your head.) Earlier this year, Spotify’s hired clinical psychologist Emma Gray found that music with 60 to 70 beats per minute (BPM) helps students maintain focus longer and retain more material – those are songs with catchy lyrics that could easily get stuck in your head. She also found music with 50 to 80 BPM calms the mind. Here’s Spotify’s list that meets the criteria:

6. “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” by The Rolling Stones 7. “Mirrors” by Justin Timberlake 8. “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses 9. “Chasing Pavements” by Adele 10. “Winter Winds” by Mumford & Sons




With teeth chomping and lips smacking, a grotesque creature is spotted mid-snack, satisfied with his latest kill — and he’s not shy. Among the silence, he rips into his prey, catching the attention of the neighboring mammals. As they stare, ready to pounce, his 28 teeth continue to devour the victim. Every bite seems to be his last until the next audible gulp. Nom. Nom. Nom. “Mmm…” Smack. Smack. Slurppppp. This species is often spotted in his natural habitat: classrooms, libraries and study halls.

Dana Burke

As you’re focused on your notes, he’s inconsiderately focused on his food. He’s the obnoxious eater, and his loud chewing could drive anyone insane. Don’t want this to be you? First, chew with your mouth closed. Then, listen up. The food you choose factors into your noise level just as much as the munching and crunching. Unless you want your peers to hate you, avoid these 10 noisy foods and actions at all costs during silent study sessions.





Heated political discussions in the living room, Insanity workouts on the floor above you — as a University of Florida student, peace and quiet doesn’t come often. Chances are you share a dorm with someone who blasts EDM, live in an apartment with paper-thin walls or frequent a sorority where you’re subject to your sisters’ drunken blubbering. To top it off, The Princeton Review has consistently dubbed UF a “party school.” Library West is even known as “Club West.” But, have no fear — we’ve uncovered some secret spots where you can hit the books.

Chelsea Perry

If you’re a nature lover: Wilmot Gardens


This “place where nature helps heal the body and mind” is ideal if you love being surrounded by picturesque scenery. Located on five acres just north of the Shands Medical Plaza, Wilmot Gardens provides the complete serenity you need to focus. The City of Gainesville recently gave it the Beautification Award, so it’s also a great place to daydream between classes. Be sure to bring some sort of blanket though, as the seating isn’t as ample as the azaleas and gardenias.

Want more options? Read more about these hot spots in O&B’s digital issue by visiting




O&B Quick Reads


Maureen Mariano



Private room karaoke includes all the fun of belting Mariah Carey or Kanye West but without the judgment of strangers in the crowd. PHOTOGRAPHED BY CIERA BATTLESON


ressed in light blue scrubs after a long day of patient visits and dental procedures, Ellie Wang, 25, and a friend, Denise Ngo, sit under the stars — the glow-in-the-dark kind — plastered on the ceiling of a cozy room lit by LED lights and a large flat screen HDTV. The two have made Stage 7-KTV, the only high-end private-room karaoke TV lounge in town, their weekly hangout spot. “Sometimes, when school gets really stressful or there are a few hours to kill, we would even come twice a week,” Wang said. “It’s our top choice when we can’t even think about studying anymore.” The senior University of Florida College of Dentistry student types in her go-to song, a cover of Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love” by Birdy, on the state-of-the-art touch-screen karaoke system that holds more than 100,000 songs (in different languages, including English, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean and Tagalog).

As the music video starts and the lyrics flash across the screen, she grabs the microphone, stands up and closes her eyes. “Come on skinny love just last the year,” she sings. “Pour a little salt you were never here.” Her voice, a mix between the sultry sound of Lana Del Rey and the angelic high pitch of Amanda Seyfried, draws forth a smile from her one-member audience Many students and Gainesville residents have found a new form of entertainment at this Asian-style karaoke venue, where customers sing karaoke — privately. “I think a lot of people have the misconception that karaoke is limited to singing in front of people you don’t know, and some people might be too shy to do that,” Wang said. “But that’s why you have this concept of karaoke, where you’re only singing in front of your friends, so there’s no pressure.” Founders Martin Elkins, a 25-year-old UF

MBA graduate, and Wei Fan, a 25-year-old UF masters in entrepreneurship graduate, opened Stage 7 in February of 2013. “This is a multi-billion dollar concept in both China and Korea combined,” he said. “We’d like to take it to mainstream America. It’s just getting over that cultural boundary in teaching people new concepts.” Elkins said it has been a hit among East Asians and international students like Lili Chen, 30, a junior Ph. D. student at UF. She feels like she’s in a karaoke bar back in her hometown of Taipei, Taiwan, when she’s at Stage 7. Chen goes to Stage 7 at least once per month, if not more, to foster her talent and alleviate her homesickness. With her family and friends a world away, Stage 7 brings her back to her native country. “I get a taste of home,” she said.




n a rural farming village in the north Volta region of Ghana, Bryan Gelles is famous. He arrived on the back of a scooter last December to document Animere, a language only spoken by about 30 people in the world. “Just by being present, the entire village gets excited,” said Gelles, who is a Ph. D. student in the University of Florida linguistics department. “ I was practically a local celebrity because I was the white guy who was working on Animere.” The language, which has never been written on paper, wavers on the verge of

extinction. Conservatively, half of the world’s languages risk disappearance. About every two weeks, the world loses another language. Most of these languages have never been recorded. “Once they’re gone, they’re gone,” said Brent Henderson, assistant professor of linguistics. When Gelles arrived in Ghana, he asked the Animere speakers what they hoped to gain from his time there. Their answer: a dictionary to provide a writing system for their language. The village has a high level of multilingualism — by the time Gelles left, he could

FAMOUS LAST WORDS UF’s linguistics department races to document world's dying languages.


Ashira Morris

greet people in four languages — and Animere is shifting to resemble the surrounding languages. Most linguistic research is done on Indo-European, Japanese and Chinese languages. Currently, linguistic theory does not cover what exists outside of these language families. In order for linguistic theory to reflect all language, gathering data from other regions, such as Africa, is vital. Gelles received a grant from the Endangered Languages Documentation program to spend three months in Ghana to begin documenting Animere. “You’re just some random outsider,” Gelles said. “They’re doing a favor letting you in.” The documentation process begins at square one: point to an object. Learn a word. After about 100 words, patterns form and the focus shifts to sentence structures. The documentarians take audio and video recordings, then analyze and transcribe the language down to the last phoneme. Creating a writing system, or orthography, is a common aspect of documentation. “Every language is a repository of human knowledge,” Henderson said. “Every language has a unique way of looking at the world. As these languages are lost, we lose those views.” Indigenous languages store practical information: plants with medicinal values, how to farm the land, the characteristics of fish species. “You can imagine if half the world’s mammal species were endangered what we’d be doing to try to save them,” Henderson said. Although some linguists work on language preservation or revitalization, these efforts are rare. They require funding and support from the local government. More importantly, the population must value their own local language over a more global one. Back on campus, Gelles’ celebrity star is dimmer. The post-trip work is much less glamorous: hours in front of a computer in the basement of Dauer Hall, discerning the different phonemes and translating hours of audio into IPA. A minute-long recording takes about five hours to transcribe. Ultimately, he will file a digital archive of the Animere language and send a physical copy to the local government and the University of Ghana. “It’s the one way that I can give back,” he said. “Maybe [the language] will die slower, if I want to be morbid about it.”

O&B Quick Reads

American Dog Language Deaf dog learns to communicate with new owner WRITTEN BY

Sarah Loftus


hen Kristen Brush opened and slammed the front door, Roscoe stayed curled on the bed. No reaction. She walked into her bedroom, screamed in his ear and still — not a peep from Roscoe. She then leaned down and kissed the top of his head. Instantly, his big black eyes opened up and saw Brush. He began licking her cheek. Roscoe never responds to noises the way most dogs do. That’s because the American bulldog was born deaf. “I never have to worry about waking him up,” Brush, his foster mom from August to September, said. “He sleeps longer than I do sometimes.” Six-year-old Roscoe was found on the street about five years ago, and he’s had multiple foster moms since. But on Oct. 5, he finally got a permanent home when Crystalina Rosales, a Santa Fe College pre-vet freshman, adopted him. Roscoe has white fur and black speckled skin, which his vet believes is the cause of his deafness. The more white fur a dog has, particularly on its ears, the higher the chance it’s deaf, according to the Deaf Dog Education Action Fund. Since he’s deaf, you can’t use your voice to command him. So Roscoe’s learning sign language, even though he only knows “sit” and “come here” — so far. Rosales said she’s learning American Sign Language and plans on teaching him some basics, such as “The food’s ready” and “Do you need to use the bathroom?” Emily Sorensen, Roscoe’s first foster mom, said when he first arrived, Roscoe seemed right at home. “The second you get close to him, he licks all over you,” she said. “He would just lay all over everyone on the couch. He literally thinks he’s five pounds.” Her children, especially her 4-year-old daughter Kristin, quickly took to Roscoe.


Kristin loved Roscoe so much that after he was there two days, she asked her mom if he could sleep in her room. That marked the first time she slept through the night. She used to wake up 10-15 times a night because of her night terrors. Now, one of their other three dogs

always sleeps with her. Roscoe, of course, still sleeps on the bed. It’s just now Rosales’ bed. He puts his head next to hers if she’s upset and licks her tears. “He’s so intuitive,” she said. “I think that’s the best part about him; though he doesn’t hear me, he understands me.”



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Aundre Larrow

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Phillip Heilman

Mill, Rick Ross, Jay Z. Some others, too.” O&B: We have to know how you feel about Kanye.

O&B: We hear you can do a little singing yourself.

PY: “Not a Kanye fan.”

PY: “I was in chorus in high school — ninth through eleventh grade. I always loved to sing just growing up as a kid. I had some natural talent. In high school is when I actually did some organized singing for the first time. I love it.”

O&B: Not a fan of the voice of this generation? PY: “No. Just his personality — nope.” O&B: Fair enough. Who are some of your favorites then? PY: “Always classy — you have to go with J.T. [Justin Timberlake]. I love Bruno Mars. No one can sing like him. Drake can actually sing a little bit, too. I love a lot of R&B guys. I like Robin Thicke when he’s not singing about blurred lines.” O&B: So you’re into R&B more than hiphop?


O&B: Any solos? PY: “I did. In high school, I sung ‘My Girl.’ It went well. I was pretty nervous at first. But actually, it turned out pretty good.” O&B: You were a part of No Southern Accent this summer? PY: “I was. It was good. I was a little nervous. I didn’t know if they would think I could actually sing.”

PY: “If I listen to rap, I like lyrical stuff. I like intelligent stuff, not just talking about girls all the time.”

O&B: The big man on campus was nervous?

O&B: Who does that?

O&B: How long were you with the group?

PY: “This is in no order, but I like Drake, Meek

PY: “I could only do it for a week with bas-

ketball, what I do at church and just my whole schedule. I couldn’t balance it all at the same time. I was leaving my house at 6 a.m. and getting back at 11:30 p.m. That’s a long day, man. Every day.” O&B: Put on the spot right now, what are you singing for us? PY: “‘Mirrors.’ It’s just an instant classic. That’s just the song right there.” O&B: What music do you listen to before a big game? PY: “I like to listen [to] a lot of Christian music, as well. It helps me get my mind focused on the right things as to why I play the game and where my talent and abilities come from. I give God the glory for everything I have and I am to this day. I like to think about that and have a heart of gratitude before the game. It would be anything. It could be Hillsong United, Anthony Evans, Fred Hammond. All of those guys get me in the zone.” O&B: Better basketball player or singer?

PY: [Laughs] “Yeah, a little bit.”


PY: “If I was as good a singer as I am a basketball player, I would be in Hollywood right now.”

O&B Departments

For Pete's


The struggle of an esophageal-cancer-affected bluegrass singer and his journey back to the stage after losing his favorite instrument: his voice



ete Hennings followed his normal Saturday morning routine: He labored through some early-morning yard work, then scuffed inside his Floral City, Fla., home to make a refreshing breakfast still dressed in his worn-down clothes. Before eating, he stopped to take his usual dose of nutritional supplements. The gel cap sat lodged in his throat. He couldn’t cough it up. He couldn’t swallow it, either. He wasn’t having problems breathing — the pill was just stuck. He thought back to the times this had happened before; the times he had casually waived away his concern, attributing the difficult swallowing to the pill’s size.

Kelsey Meany

As he prepared to drive himself to the hospital, Hennings happened to burp, and the pill loosened from his throat. But the episode, and the lack of control he felt in those few minutes, scared him enough to go to the doctor. After multiple specialists and weeks of uncertainty, the results from an upper endoscopy became an even tougher pill to swallow. Hennings, 62, of the Tampa-area-based band 2 PM, was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 2010. The disease’s growth had gradually narrowed his esophagus, causing his difficulty swallowing the gel cap that one morning. Hennings’ severe condition would require an esophagectomy, a risky surgery that could lead to pneumonia and blood clots. There are a lot of nerve endings near the esophagus that had to be removed and he risked his vocal cords being affected. As the lead singer of a bluegrass band, his voice was his instrument. “Once you’re told you have cancer, it’s a scary trip into the unknown,” Hennings said. “I devoured all the information I could, got a second opinion; went through a brief period of ‘Why me?’” Dr. Steven Hochwald, a surgeon at the University of Florida, was assigned to Hennings’ case. The singer didn’t have much of a choice but to go through with the surgery. Hennings had almost 85 percent of his



“I was tired. I was sore. I had absolutely no energy. I was fatigued,” he said about the early weeks after surgery. “It took everything in my power just to walk across the room.” Caught in an early stage, esophageal cancer has a survival rate of 38 percent, but those are just the lucky ones; the ones like Hennings who don’t ignore the little signs that something may be off. When the cancer spreads to the organs or lymph nodes, the survival rate is just 3 percent, according to the American Cancer Society. The surgery is tricky. Surgeons take a patient’s stomach lining and stretch it up to the chest, replacing the esophagus. The surgeon creates a new passageway for food. To make room for the stomach lining to be moved, surgeons have to collapse a lung, which requires intense recovery and runs the risk of chronic pain. The procedure was so invasive that it still causes Hennings problems today — more than three years after he first noticed symptoms. He still has to take sick days from work because of unbearable acid reflux he gets when he doesn’t sleep in a perfect upright position. He changed his diet and can never

again dream of eating acidic food. But it’s a small price to pay for his health, he said.

When Hennings waltzed into the impeccably clean, crisp office of Judith Wingate the summer after his surgery, she was dazed at his resilience. He was tanned with some biceps — courtesy of his at-home Bowflex machine. “He was the picture of health,” said Wingate, a clinical associate professor of speech and a language pathologist at the University of Florida. Sometimes, patients who have had their esophagus removed don’t even regain their ability to swallow, she said. Wingate told Hennings, as she does with most of the patients she’s helped over the last 30 years, regaining the ability to sing or speak is like training for a marathon. “You don’t start running 26.2 miles,” she said. “You start with a manageable feat and keep trying to add to that. With voice, people assume that it’s just going to do whatever; that we don’t feel pain unless it quits working, and everything’s fine.” Their goal was to get him through a re-

hearsal. Wingate said she, like a personal trainer, had to “troubleshoot” his individual problems, and her patients always have to be aware that some things can’t be fixed.

Hennings arrived at the McLean Folk Festival in Brooksville, Fla., a few months after his first surgery where his bluegrass band would be performing. “I was glassy-eyed, half-there,” he said. “Of course we could have canceled if we wanted to, but it was a goal for me.” He could sufficiently play his instrument, and despite his decreasing stamina, he wanted to show himself he could perform again. He began to harmonize with the band — the band in which he used to be a lead singer. His friends in the audience began to cry. Now, more than three years since his initial surgery, Hennings is still making progress. He tours the Sunshine State with his band, which has just released its second album, “Let’s Just Play One More.” For Hennings, the chance to play one more is something he feels lucky to be able to do.

Hennings (right) has a collection of about 30 mostly fedora-style hats that he’s made his performance signature. PHOTOGRAPHED BY


Amy Stuart


O&B Departments

Where the Wild Things Are Animals from all over the world seek shelter in the heart of Gainesville



amer the lion lounged in his lush pen, his tail whipping in a lazy wind as he stared regally at the enclosure before him. Ed, the young cub, bared his yet-to-grow fangs and growled. In response, Samer gave a mighty sneer, his snout snarling and a deep rumble bellowing from his throat. For weeks, they had gone back and forth — Ed mewling as roughly as he could, while Samer showed him what a true King of the Jungle sounded like. Finally, days after his arrival, Ed paused and breathed deeply. His open jaws revealed a thunderous roar. Welcome to Carson Springs, where guests can explore the globe — one species at a time.

Mary Elysee Velasco

The wooden sign at the entrance is deceptively humble. When driving through, the gate reveals nothing but a rugged, dirt path. Around the bend is a corral, a quiet stable and the occasional grazing horse slowly swishing its tail. A little farther is a house cat scavenging for scraps. And a second kitten. And then another. Chicken coops and free-roaming hens cluck and peck into view. Creep a little farther down the trail, and tall cages and chain-link fences rise from the ground. The house cats become big cats. Lions, tigers and cheetahs sit patiently, ears twitching with curiosity. The free-roaming hens become free-roaming peacocks, fanning open their flashy tails, and 5-foot-tall emus prance around in delight. At the end of the road is the Jankses’ home. Three-year-old Cricket, one of their four dogs, trots over from the door on her brown and white-tipped paws and greets visitors with a hanging tongue. “We have animals from just about every continent,” Christine said. And that’s no surprise, considering the Jankses share their property with the likes of antelopes, lemurs, giraffes, cougars, foxes and owls. The married couple and cofounders are like a modern-day Adam and Eve living in their personal Eden. Funded entirely on private donations, Carson Springs is a nonprofit animal refuge in northeastern Gainesville owned by Christine and Barry Janks. Its mission is to rescue exotic animals, while serving as an



distinguish each creature, Christine and Barry can recognize their furry friends by faces alone. Sunflower, the sweet Bengal tiger, was saved from euthanasia after her failing eyesight made her useless to her traveling circus. Now, she playfully enjoys splashing guests by leaping into her trough of water. Major and Sugar Bear, a happy-go-lucky pair of red-ruffed lemurs, were housed in a windowless, metal building and had never seen the light of day. Now, they swing happily around their wide, breezy home. Another one of Caron’s special guests is Siri, an Amur leopard who is less than a year old. “She is the rarest cat in the world,” Christine said, staring at the feline sprawled gracefully in her enclosure. There are only about 30 Amur leopards left in the wild and perhaps as few as 200 in existence. Christine and Barry are honored to protect her and will later receive a male to have them breed. They hope for the leopards’ return to the wild. The relationships Christine and Barry have built with their animals are evident in the way once-feral cats, rescued from hoarding cases, meow contentedly with trust as they wind affectionately between the couple’s ankles and stroke them with



Amanda Cohen

Samer, a fierce lion, licks his cute, fluffy paw.

and community groups. The animals at Carson Springs are living the good life. They live in pens complete with natural trees and grasses that are at least 10 times larger than the space required by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. For example, cheetahs in Carson Springs roam 15,000 square feet — roomy, compared to the standard 240 square feet. The journey to opening Carson Springs began in 2001 when Christine and Barry took a step back from the horse raising and training business. That same year, they traveled to South Africa to visit the premier breeding and conservation facility for cheetahs — her favorite animal and, fittingly, the star of the Carson Springs logo. After working with renowned cheetah breeder Ann van Dyk for years, the Jankses opened up their own facility in 2007 when they and van Dyk amicably split because of different philosophies. “Back then, we could take a vacation because we didn’t have 100 animals living with us,” Christine said lightheartedly. “People think I’m kidding, but I’m literal when I say 100 animals.” Despite the full house, Christine and Barry know the name and story of each of their rescues, because each one is treated as an individual. While the outsider can barely


their coarse fur. It can be seen in the way Cricket dashes ahead of Christine, only to peek eagerly back to make sure her master is following. It is clear in the way potentially dangerous, massive beasts lean up against the fence and seek the warmth of the Jankses’ touch whenever the pair passes by their cages. It’s even apparent in the name “Carson Springs.” Carson was a petulant but loving cat whom Christine treasured. She saved him as a malnourished and abandoned kitten, and he lived to be 20 years old. But mostly, it’s in the way Christine and Barry work 24/7 to keep the animals happy without pocketing any profit. “The reality is your children may never see these animals alive in the wild, or even in existence,” Christine said. “And that’s a tragedy, to allow animals to go extinct because humans can’t make room for them. They have a right to be in this world, too. People should be allowed to see them.” For more information, visit, or contact 8528 E. County Road 225, Gainesville, FL 32609

O&B Departments

Live! From Gainesville A musician’s guide to making it big in Gainesville WRITTEN BY

Mike Llerena

Step One: Get a Band... or Hack It Out Solo If you plan on playing shows Bob Dylanstyle, you can skip step one. Quite simply, you can find a band to back you from the comfort of your laptop. Checking Craigslist as well as local Facebook musician groups like “Drummers in Gainesville & Alachua County” can maximize the amount of potential bandmate candidates. Once you stumble onto a suitable candidate who doesn’t vaguely resemble a serial killer, shoot them a message. Then, audition all of your potential bandmates and draft your new roster.

Step Two: Record an Album



ou’re a musician who has just moved to Gainesville to attend UF. You grew up on the Gainesville sound, idolizing bands like Against Me! and Less Than Jake. You have your heart set on forming the next great Gainesville rock band with a group of likeminded, passionate musicians. There’s just one problem. You tossed out your dreams of pursuing music the second you stepped on campus. But fear not. As a college student in Gainesville, the local music scene has more than enough amenities to guide you on your path to success. Here is a crash course to success in Gainesville:

OK, now you have your band together and you’ve written some semi-decent songs. But where in a small town like Gainesville will you find a recording studio to make your debut album? Below are some notable Gainesville studios: Black Bear Studios offers a relaxed recording environment and charges a $30 hourly rate for recording and mixing. Rock-oriented acts on a budget should check out this studio. Medusa offers similarly priced rates. They record everything from punk rock to jazz.




Michael Thomas, 22, plays the drums in a practice session. Thomas, a first-year law student at the University of Florida, is a drummer for the local Gainesville band The Pale Ales, which formed in August 2012. PHOTOGRAPHED BY

Lauren Adhav

Goldentone, known as the “home of the Gainesville sound,” has recorded bands like Against Me! and Hot Water Music. If you love those bands, then check this place out. Skylab, one of Gainesville’s more highcaliber studios, charges $60 per hour. They also do mastering, the process in which all of the sound levels in your recording are balanced and given the necessary tweaks or enhancements to ensure the album sounds crisp and cohesive. If you’re looking to go big on studio quality and can afford it, check this place out. Less Than Jake fans can get their music at Moathouse Recording Studio. Moathouse’s does not charge by the hour, offering musicians to create without the pressure of working against the clock.

lantic, Loosey’s, 1982, The JAM and Backstage Lounge. Email the booking manager and ask to play a show.

Step Three: Play Shows

Step Five: Get Signed

There are a ton of venues to play shows at in Gainesville such as High Dive, The At-

You’ve developed a pretty strong local following. At this point, you may consider


Step Four: Sell Yourself Cultivate your online following. Make social media pages, sell your music on and post updates regarding shows on an official band website. When trying to get your music sold in local retailers, check out local record stores like Hear Again Music and Movies and Arrow’s Aim Records. Don’t neglect old school promotional tools either. Put flyers up around town and make sure to hit campus spots like Turlington Plaza.


the prospect of signing with a record label to strengthen the band’s exposure. While you can’t find a major label outlet in Gainesville, you should definitely check out No Idea Records and Paper + Plastick Records. No Idea has been an independent music vanguard for nearly three decades, putting out records from groundbreaking Gainesville bands. Getting signed is awesome, but you should know that not all bands need a label to thrive. Try self-releasing your material by selling digital downloads.

Step Six: You've Made It... So Try Not to Blow It At this point (signed or not), you’ve made it… kind of. Tour relentlessly, engage with your fans and keep making the music you want to make. Who knows — you might just end up as another Gainesville success story.

O&B Departments

The Decision During an attack, a student was forced to choose between running or staying put. Now, she uses her story to empower other women



ec. 9, 2011 SW Fifth Avenue, across the street from Norman Hall Hana Green stood uneasily at the door and asked five of her sorority sisters if they could walk her to her car. Everyone shrugged, sighed and snuggled farther into their nooks in the couch. She walked out of the house – alone. As she shut the door behind her, she yelled, “Well, if I get raped or murdered, it’s on you guys.” Green hurried down SW Fifth Avenue one block to her blue-gray Hyundai Sonata parallel-parked right in front of the Campus USA Credit Union. Keys in hand, she opened the back

Tova Miller

left passenger door, tossed her bag behind the driver’s seat and slid into the front seat. She saw someone out of the corner of her eye and thought nothing of it. As she pulled the door shut, a man in a ski mask threw it open. With a knife in hand, he forced her into the front passenger seat. She complied. There’s no one way – or even right way, – to respond to an attack. How someone defends himself or herself from an aggressor depends on the person and his or her location. Essentially, out of human nature, a person has two choices: fight or flight. Christina Lamb, Florida director of Rape Aggression Defense (RAD), encourages people to use their voices as their own personal weapons. Raising your voice can mentally reinforce your decision to fight back. It also allows the attacker to let his/her guard down. In such instances, the victim could say, “I’m not going to fight you,” or “I’ll do whatever you say.” These assertions ease the attacker and present more opportunities for the victim to defend himself or herself. Strong verbalization paired with self-defense moves helps to center the victim’s power, Lamb said. Sound strengthens kicks and strikes, simultaneously creating a witness-rich environment. Causing a scene reduces the chances of the attacker knocking the wind out of the victim, Lamb said, and fighting through verbalization also denies



the attacker the power and control he or she craves. The fight or flight reaction readies the body to either approach and aggress the threat or to flee from it, psychologist Anthony Greene said. In the moment of danger, excess adrenaline accumulates and muscles tense. The heart pumps fast, and blood pressure is increased to prepare the individual to choose. A person reacts by assessing the situation and evaluating his or her ability to be successful in aggressive confrontation, versus cutting his or her losses and getting out of dodge. Picking fight or flight is based on his or her learning history or past experiences. Do they have the skill to be successful when fighting, and if not, do they have the necessary speed and agility to escape the situation? “It was very surreal,” Green said. “I felt like I was watching it the whole time. And for some reason, even though I was freaking out and crying, it didn’t feel real.” She lost the concept of time. The rest of the story – a bit hazy. She remembers handing him her wallet, saying she would withdraw cash from the bank ATM right outside of her car. She cannot recall her exact pleas – just that she tried to reason with him. She could have kicked at him, but in the moment, she wanted to use her head.

The tears flowed. She couldn’t breathe. “I felt like I was hyperventilating,” she said. “So for some reason, from the grace of God, I was like, ‘Oh my God – my inhaler.’” She needed to buy time. Diagnosed with asthma in high school, Green typically carries her inhaler with her in case of an emergency. Little did she know it would save her from this one. She pleaded with the man that she needed her inhaler. That she could die without it. This time, he complied. Slowly, she took fake huffs. “Then it was automatic,” she said. “My left hand reached behind me, and by another miracle, the door wasn’t locked. I literally don’t remember doing it. I truly blacked out. I don’t remember.” Green sprinted, shrieking at the top of her lungs. It wasn’t words. It was a cry for survival. She ran toward SW Fourth Avenue by the ATM. The man didn’t follow. Green quickly pivoted and dashed back toward SW Fifth Avenue and 13th Street. A couple in a truck stopped when they saw her running frantically. The young man asked what happened. “I’ve been attacked,” she whispered.

When Flight's the Option Sept. 24, 2012 Location: Beaty Towers Lindsey Backman had just dropped her friend off after a night of studying in the midst of exam week. She lived at Beaty Towers, and as usual, she pulled in to the Red 3 lot and parked in front of the building, her car aligned with the building’s door. Before getting out of her car, she clicked on her interior light, fumbled to get a few things in her bag and dashed in flip-flops – laptop in hand – for the entrance to Beaty. “I was pretty close to the door and didn’t think much of it,” Backman said. As she hurried inside, she noticed two middle-aged men sitting on the bench watching her. She kept walking straight toward the door, swiped her access card and entered. She pressed the button and waited


for the elevator. She heard the door swing open. The men yelled. Backman sprinted for the staircase. They followed. “Get back here; get back here. I know you can hear us. Get back here now,” they yelled at her. She sprinted – flop flop flop – and they followed her up the stairs to the sixth floor, which was halfway to the eleventh floor where her dorm room was located. She could hear them catching up to her. Thinking fast on her feet, Backman switched staircases and ran the rest of the way to her room. “I didn’t make a single noise,” she said. “It was fight or flight, and I was definitely flight. The second I heard them coming I just ran. I was not thinking, honestly. It was my instinct to get away.”


Four Safety Tidbits



Scream “no” in a situation in which you feel threatened. When you yell “help,” what you are really doing is asking for someone else to come to your rescue, as opposed to trusting your capability. The “no” not only creates that witness-rich environment, but it solidifies a sense of control. It reinforces the message that this thing is happening to you, and it is not OK, but you can stop it.







Hold your keys between your fingers. Keys can act as a weapon if used appropriately.

Do not get out of your car to retrieve fliers off your windshield. If you do not notice a flier on your windshield before you open your car, do not get out of your car to get it. In some instances, people purposely place the fliers there so you will get out of your car and unsafely leave the door open.

When running or walking, always make sure your music is low enough so you can hear your own footsteps. This will help you be more aware of your surroundings. If you cannot hear your own footsteps, how would you be able to hear someone coming up behind you?

O&B Departments


Out Our writer exhaustively searches for Gainesville’s mysterious Violin Boy WRITTEN BY

Brock Seng



away. That was the last time I saw him. Now, months later, I still have many questions. Who is he? Why does he stand on the corner and play his songs? Where are his parents? But, even more importantly, where the hell has he gone?

t was a Friday last summer when I first saw the boy. He stood expressionless on a downtown corner – his back to the Mochi frozen yogurt shop. He wore a navy blue T-shirt and a pair of khakis. Though a child, he didn’t smile or respond to the world around him; he just played his violin, intensely focused on his songbook. I christened him Violin Boy. The next day, on a walk back from Dragonfly Sushi, I saw him outside Mochi again – this time packing up his instrument. He didn’t talk to anyone. He didn’t look up. He simply put away his violin, ever so delicately. He closed the clasp with a snap, picked it up and walked

People other than me have, in fact, seen him. Therefore, I know he’s not just an apparition, a figment of my imagination. It’s rare, but possible, to find someone who knows who he is. Chelsea Chavez is one of those people. Chavez, 21, first saw him in late August 2013 when she was walking around downtown. “From far away he looked like a tall, skinny white guy with an afro,” she said, “until I got closer and realized he was a young boy with short blond hair.” She said he was standing by the exact Mochi I saw him playing his violin at. “I think he’s cute,” she said. Chavez only saw him playing the one time but saw him again the next night walking away from his corner. “He’s a mystical creature,” she said. “He blends in with the walls and only comes out at night.” No one knows his name. No one knows where he comes from. No one knows who the Violin Boy is beyond the persona he projects when he plays in downtown Gainesville. I had to find Violin Boy.



It was a week after my first Violin Boy sighting that I decided to find out what his story is. I loaded up my Hyundai Veloster with my voice recorder, a pad of paper and a pen. If I saw him, I would get his contact information. I drove down Main Street and turned down Second Avenue. I saw nothing. No Violin Boy. The next day, Friday, I did the same thing. Still – no Violin Boy. Saturday, Sunday and then Monday, the same thing. Still no Violin Boy. At this point, I could have given up, I could have called it quits and I could have moved on. But I didn’t. After days of driving around downtown Gainesville searching for the mysterious Violin Boy, I decided to branch out. I called the downtown Mochi, his usual stage, to see if anyone had seen him. Let me start by saying there is nothing more awkward than being a 21-year-old man calling a store asking if a 9-year-old boy is outside playing his violin. Especially when you forget to open with “I’m a reporter for Orange and Blue Magazine.” The first person I talked to, the manager

person you speak to about Violin Boy brings up the violin-playing duo that just happens to perform in the exact same spot. Beyond mention of the duo, the weekend manager gave me nothing that could be of investigative use in finding Violin Boy. I wondered: Is there a turf war between Violin Boy and the duo? I decided phone calls and drive-bys wouldn’t cut it anymore. So far, they had gotten me nowhere except frustrating failure and minutes on my phone bill. It was clearly time to start questioning the people on the streets. It was time to walk downtown Gainesville. Naturally, Mochi was my first stop. I walked in and, of course, the weekend manager who had seen him and the weekday manager who knew of him weren’t there. The girl behind the counter was oblivious to the existence of the Violin Boy. Except she knew of the duo. Figures. She didn’t know there was a Violin Boy, and once again, I questioned my own sanity on whether he even existed. By this point, only a couple of people had seen him, and few had heard of him, but not one knew his name or when he would show up next.

Saturday, Sunday and then Monday, the same thing. Still no Violin Boy. on shift, had heard of him. She had never caught a glimpse but claimed the weekend manager had. A lead, at last. I left my contact information with her and a note saying, “If you see the Violin Boy, call Brock Seng.” This was the first of three notes that would line the counter of the frozen yogurt shop. Disheartened and losing faith in all that was good and holy, I moved on to the next day. I called Mochi to speak with the weekend manager, to ask if he had ever seen the elusive Violin Boy. “Do you mean the duo?” he asked. This was the first time I heard the question, but far from the last, as almost every


I left my final Mochi note with her and walked outside into Florida’s scalding summertime heat. I began to make excuses as to why he wasn’t around. Maybe it was too hot. Maybe his story was complete, and he got what he wanted. Maybe he woke up one day and didn’t want to play the violin anymore. But I couldn’t give up. For my own sanity, I had to find Violin Boy. I made my way downtown to walk the street and look at the other shops that were around – wondering if, just maybe, Violin Boy had moved away from his usual corner.


I saw the restaurant Vello and the Hampton Inn and Suites hotel. By this point, because it’s Florida, the sky fell out and rain poured down. Even though the chance of him coming out to play that day was slim, I still had to go down there to see if anyone else had seen him. I approached the Hampton Inn and Suites front desk. The two people behind the counter had never seen him. The lady didn’t even want me in there asking questions. One male employee was useless but liked the idea of the story. The conversation, lasting a whole 10 seconds on Violin Boy and five minutes on his “talent” for magazine design, reached a dead end. I left a note with him to call me whenever, if ever, he saw Violin Boy. As per usual, I never received a phone call. I walked outside into the still drenching downfall, which I figured was God’s metaphorical disappointment at my Violin Boy progress. Wet, disheartened and hopeless, I headed home. I was done with the in-person visits to downtown Gainesville. I was done with the phone calls around town. It was time to resort to the Internet. Ah, the Internet. Such a great source for all information. Except, of course, who the hell Violin Boy is. I Googled every possible combination I could think of to find Violin Boy: “violin boy downtown gainesville”, “violin downtown gainesville”, “mochi downtown gainesville violin”. The list went on and on. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. None. I went on Twitter and Instagram and looked at the hashtag “#downtowngainesville.” I went on Facebook and did the same. Nothing. I posted on people’s Instagrams who had posted photos in #downtowngainesville asking if they had encountered Violin Boy. I received only two responses, both being no. One person just apologized and said no while the other invited me to church. Regardless, my Internet extravaganza of searching for the evasive Violin Boy ended up like Tim Tebow’s NFL career: a total bust. At this point, anyone with half a brain and some dignity would just scrap it and call it quits. But not me, no. I continued on with the only viable next step: call every single business and teacher listed when you

Google “Gainesville violin.” When I called Gainesville Violins, I believed I finally found a lead. Jan van Rooyen, who works on violins, said he knew someone who played the violin downtown. I asked him if it was a young boy, and he said yes. Finally a lead. Finally someone that can get me somewhere. He went on and on about his violin work. I was patient because he had said he knew of a boy who played downtown and his name was Don Austin. Minute after minute, van Rooyen went on about crafting and repairing Austin’s violin. I listened patiently because Don Austin was Violin Boy and Jan van Rooyen was going to lead me to him. I could barely wait for him to finish his rant. I was ready to contact Don Austin and get this show on the road. But then, Jan van Rooyen said the worst thing he could have ever said about 9-yearold violin-playing Don Austin: his wife’s name was Cindy. As anyone would know, the chance of a 9-year-old boy having a wife was impossible. And so my apparent success was once again a failure. My progress shot to nothing. I had found him, and in one word, I lost him. I took to the streets of downtown once more. This time, I was determined to find anything and anyone who had seen Violin Boy before. I parked in the two-hour parking and looked at all the businesses surrounding Mochi and the Hampton Inn and Suites. And then I saw a business with the best name I could imagine for my quest: Lillian’s Music Store. I walked over to Lillian’s Music Store readying myself to talk to the manager about the Violin Boy who played across the street. I mean, it’s a music store. How much more perfect can that get? And then I walked inside and saw that it wasn’t a music store at all. In fact, it was a bar, and I felt extremely out of place standing there in lime-green shorts, a black V-neck and a black and white snapback hat. The staring was expected. I took a deep breath to prepare myself for the encounter, only to inhale a couple packs worth of cigarette smoke, and walked up to the counter. The bartender asked if he could help me, and I proceeded with my spiel.

“He is just a 9-year-old violin extraordinaire that may or may not be a figment of all of our imaginations.” PHOTOGRAPHED BY

The people inside the bar had seen him. Some got really excited talking about him. An older man critiqued his playing style, claiming he is usually off-pitch. One girl with a buzz cut and tattoos took down my name and number with the promise to call me if he ever showed up. She works downtown and gave me the best information on the mysterious Violin Boy yet: He walks blocks away from where he plays, always alone; he is no older than 9 years of age; and she has never heard him utter a word. He just plays, packs up and leaves. She had only seen him on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays -- usually after 6 p.m. but no later than 9 p.m. But the worst news she could have ever said, and something I was expecting at this point, was she hadn’t seen him in a good while. Just like everyone else. But, on a chilly Friday night in October, I drove around downtown Gainesville one more time to see if Violin Boy made an appearance. Peeking around a corner, I saw a violin. My heart caught in my chest. There was a violin on the corner. I pulled up to the stoplight and looked to my left, and there stood the duo.

Amanda Cohen

The duo. The bane of my existence. The people I never wanted to see. I had to speak to them. I parked my car and walked up to them. Maybe they’re friends? They’re older – maybe Violin Boy is one of their brothers looking to get his siblings’ approval. Maybe there really is a turf war. I spoke to Violin Girl. I rambled off who I was, whom I was searching for and then asked if they knew him. “Violin Boy? Nine years old?” she asked me. My heart was racing. My breathing labored. This was it. “Yes. He plays right here in the same spot,” I said. “Oh yes. I killed him.” I never received a call from any of the Mochi employees or the Hampton Inn and Suites. I never received the promised “Yo, dude, he’s out here” call from the girl at the bar. I never received anything about Violin Boy because no one saw him again. He is just a 9-year-old violin extraordinaire that may or may not be a figment of all of our imaginations.




e tend to think of post-traumatic stress disorder as a condition that’s reserved for people who have seen atrocities — soldiers, rape victims. But the reality is many of the 3.5 percent of Americans who have PTSD suffer from it for other reasons. Each person has their own threshold for trauma and any experience can trigger onset. A mother who is involved in a car accident qualifies for the same diagnosis as a veteran who has seen massacres. A child who survived a tsunami falls into the same category as a child who’s been raped. PTSD is a diagnosis defined by anxiety, flashbacks, night terrors, avoidance and insomnia. It is not defined by its cause. Here, we talk to three people who suffer from PTSD about what trauma led to their diagnosis and how they deal with the aftermath. ___________________________

THE CHILD THE BEATINGS Katelyn Hill watched the shaving cream bottle leave her mother’s hand and strike her father’s head. He retaliated. He pinned her mother to the floor — his knees pressing into her shoulders — ripped off her clothes and punched. Closed fists, no mercy. Katelyn stood crying as blood painted the scene red. By the age of 6, Hill had seen her father arrested for domestic violence seven times. She would stand screaming, helpless in the living room as her parents battled with alcoholism and each other. When a fight was brutal enough to lead to a hospital visit, her grandmother would pick her up and drive her away — only to return for another fight another time. The only proof lay in the aftermath of the blood trails left behind. Now a wife and mother of three, Hill remembers little but the blood-stained scenes of her childhood. She is working through post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of scenes she cannot erase. She remembers her father slapping her mother’s face, spattering blood onto the car window as he broke her nose. It was just another fight and a different drink. They would pull over, clean up and move on. Hill is still trying to drive away from the memories of those days.

THE WOUNDS When Hill turned 6, her mother quit her marriage and the abuse. Her father never quit his violent ways. He continued for years to beat his girlfriend but never laid a hand on his children. Hill struggles to understand her childhood and the denial and lies that engulf the past. Her grandmother, who once picked her up and pulled her out of the bloody mess, denies any of it occurring. She both refuses to acknowledge her son’s problem and justifies the action as something Hill’s mother deserved. “When people deny it to your face when you know they saw it, it’s traumatizing,” Hill said. “When people deny, deny, deny, it’s traumatizing all over again.” Today, Hill is actively working to file away the demons

of her past. Every once in a while she writes to her father. Sometimes the letters get sent. Sometimes they never leave. “He is a can of worms that I will not open,” Hill said. “That’s not my problem. At some point he is going to have to face his kids. He’s never done that, and I don’t think he ever will.” She has not seen her father in three years.

THE RECOVERY Hill combats her PTSD with therapy to relieve herself of pain, confusion and questions unanswered. She is mostly angry at both of her parents. “I feel like my mom could have stopped it,” Hill said. “She had more control in the situation. I blame her. ‘Why did you stay?’” Hill is now working to alleviate her inner 6-year-old from fear of abandonment. She relives these emotions in her nightmares, flashbacks and sensitivity to hostile situation; all manifestations of what she couldn’t understand — a childhood that is forever present in her mind. “You felt like your mom was going to leave you. I thought she would be dead. What if he kills her, and we would never know? Then we’d be alone, or worse, stuck with my father.” She is learning to rationalize her emotions. “I now recognize that I can have a feeling, but it’s just a memory of a feeling. It happened at a young age. I’ve had time to process it. It becomes just a part of life after a while.” Hill has made the decision to embrace her past and look forward at her future. She believes that she appreciates what she has now because of her blood-spilled past. “If it’s dark outside, it’s because there is no light. It’s not just because it’s dark. Without one you can’t have the other.” ___________________________

THE PATIENT THE BEGINNING David Harrison awoke in a small pool of spilled blood in the middle of a busy and cramped Starbucks. It was not an unfamiliar feeling. He had done this before. Last time it was in a shower, the porcelain smashing his head and tearing part of his ear. The doctors found indication of liver damage, and they brushed it off as a side effect of youthful alcoholism. They looked right past the actual cause. Two weeks after he hit that floor, he would be hit with his diagnosis. Not long after that, he would be diagnosed with PTSD.

THE DIAGNOSIS Harrison pulled into the parking lot at the University of Florida. He was already running late to his teaching job and had no time for his morning coffee. Nine a.m. loomed as he reached into his pocket to answer his phone. The voice echoed through his phone and would hang in the air for days afterward. He sat listening to the doctor’s



doctor’s demoralizing delivery of the potential death sentence Her voice seemed almost giggly to him. The imperfect and impersonal phone call. Later that day he would return home to punch a wall and spend an hour screaming down the phone at his father. His anger would spill over and replace the giggly voice in his head. But for now it was only her voice that filled the silence of the parking lot in the early hours of the morning. “Guess what? You have hepatitis C.”

THE TREATMENT Six months of self-administered chemotherapy was prescribed to fight the hepatitis. Friday night came the shot followed by three days of fever, a raw throat, chills, burning skin and nausea. Two Ambien. Ten hours of sleep. Another two Ambien. Ten hours of sleep. Another and another until Monday rolled around and work called. Every Friday he pinched his thigh or stomach, applying enough pressure so just fat remained between his fingers. He slowly punctured his skin with the needle and carefully pushed, each time turning the injection site rough, the scabs of his disease. It was a miserable sixth months of chemotherapy, drug-induced sleep and an academic career that he would not let fall between the cracks. When Monday rolled around, he went back to work. There was little happiness in between the sleeping pills and shots, but nevertheless, six months passed by in an Ambien haze.

THE FALLOUT Six months and 30 pounds later the depression set in accompanied by insomnia. It was a new diagnosis, PTSD; his mind’s reaction to losing his health in one phone call. “The feeling is equivalent to a castle with a rusty gate,” he said. “In the movies they cut the line, and that gate comes crashing down. It felt like that. That gate closes. That door to the way you thought your life was going to be is forever shut. Now life will be more defined by those days where you’re sick. I couldn’t get into that castle, into that safe place. I was left out.” Coming to terms with mortality and


the restructuring of his life spiraled him head first into PTSD and a life paused by the helpless, desperate “fog of depression.” When the fog came, there was no way of seeing through it. His psychiatrist noted his symptoms as insomnia, depression and thoughts of suicide. Her response was a cocktail of Lithium, antidepressants, sleeping pills and steroids — a doped up stupor to mask the pain; a different kind of fog. “You just don’t feel anything at all,” he said. Despite his heavily medicated state, Harrison decided to pursue his PhD to make up for lost time and hold on to his medical coverage. He began to decrease his medication. One year later, at the start of his recovery, he met his wife. Her support has played a crucial role in his acceptance of the disorder. “If I felt like it was my job to make him happy, it would be detrimental to our relationship,” she said. “There is a lot of compassion in our marriage and a lot of laughter. When we have to cry, we have to cry; but we cry together.” Now Harrison is used to the weather patterns of his mind, and when the clouds roll in, he meets them, accepts them and allows them to pass. His acknowledgment and understanding of the post-traumatic stress offers tempered relief. To this day, any mention or sight of needles flips the switch that cues darkness. Crowded places remind him of his first fall, and every now and again the fog sets in with no trigger. But for the most part, it has cleared. Harrison said it took five years to build from the bottom up. He allows himself the days he needs in bed and focuses on the days when he is not. “ With PTSD, a world ending event causes it,” he said. “The entire conception of the world you’ve built up, you realize is no longer the way it is. You have to rebuild and decide to rebuild. Some feel like there is really nothing left but suicide because the world they have found themselves in is not a world they ever really want to be a part of. That is a decision only you can make.”

THE FUTURE “You’ve got to recommit to moving on, and that decision can ultimately only be made by you,” Harrison said.


He has accepted that the PTSD will most likely outlive his hepatitis. There is a small chance of the hepatitis returning. Harrison does not believe a cure exists for the PTSD it caused. However, five years after the fallout, he has truly committed to rebuilding. “The world I’ve lived in had become this horrific experience,” he said. “I have to find the good in that world. It’s not all sickness and trauma.” Piece by piece he has recreated a world to replace the one that crumbled at his feet in that parking lot. He started work on the reconstruction through a metaphysical grounding in Buddhism. A new outlook on life itself meant questioning all he knew before his world turned. The merging of Harrison’s family with his wife’s has created a support network, and today, he leans on their love, his religion and intellect to help him through his fogs. Harrison spent five years accepting an imperfect world and his imperfect phone call. Now he says his greatest battle is just having patience with himself in a long journey of recovery. “That’s the long-winded process with PTSD. You have to recreate the world. But it will evolve, it will change.” ___________________________

THE SOLDIER Sgt. Johnson sat behind the .50-caliber gun as the Humvee rolled through the dusty Iraqi landscape. His eyes — at gun level to protect him from the bombs and snipers — scanned the scene ahead of him. His hands clasped the very weapon that would both protect him and doom him as the largest target in the convoy. Hands still, eyes fixed, mind ready. Soon, a blinding flash of light replaced the road ahead, and silence fell like a heavy blanket, muffling the screams of his comrades below him. Forty-five seconds of terrorizing silence. Johnson grappled to find a pulse, and pressed his fingers into his neck. He patted himself down to assess the damage. The explosion had not penetrated the ballistic glass around the vehicle. Not a single piece of shrapnel punctured the skin or ricocheted off a helmet. No visible damage, just the silent kind. Brain trauma and a diagnosis of

PTSD were to follow after that tour, but for the time being, Johnson filed away the memory with the many others he had no time to deal with in combat. “On our convoy to Baghdad, we followed right behind the Marine Corps, and they don’t stop to pick up casualties,” Johnson said. “Our job was casualty collection — picking up bodies and putting them into bags. I think after the dust settles and humanity kicks in, those images are scarred. They’re burned.” Once home, there is silence to fill. Iraq is no longer the fiercest battle zone — the mind wages a much more torturous and personal war.

his body wakes him up like clockwork. When panic sets in at the shop, he puts on a smile and pushes through it. The busyness of his job relieves him of his symptoms — just as fixing and maintaining weapons did overseas. If his hands are busy, his mind is not. He no longer fears attack or warfare; though he sees it in his mind often. Far more threatening to him is the possibility of his mind taking control and never handing it back. Every day he is frozen in his panic, certain he can’t get out. And then he snaps himself back to his day, back to the shop, back to America.

float through my fence.” The combination of side effects from the drugs and the service leave Johnson picking up the pieces back at home. “My anxiety controls my behavior, which controls my personality, so I don’t really know who I am when I come back,” he said. “When you’re mind messes with you, there is nothing worse than that. You don’t know what is real, and it’s a terrifying feeling. There’s nothing worse in the world.” Now, Johnson is permanently un-deployable. No matter how much he asks, he cannot go back. There will be no fourth deployment.




Johnson’s first term of service expired one month before his unit was set to return. Few weeks went by before he learned that his lieutenant and the 16 others in his unit were shot down. They would never make it home. The man who replaced him had four children and a pregnant wife. He would never forget that fact. “I felt guilty,” he said. “Lucky is a good word, too. I just got settled, and it ate away at me. I didn’t sleep for months. I was on three different types of antidepressants, antipsychotics; they had me on sleep medicine, Xanax. I was a walking zombie, but even with all that I was miserable.” Within four months, survivor’s guilt, financial burden and a sense of brotherhood sent him right back overseas. At the time, PTSD was not a common term. He got out with little help, and he got back in just as easily. With his return from each tour, he was given medication to keep the PTSD at bay — medicated and “un-deployable.” When America called, the PTSD came second. “They took him off the antidepressants, gave him a gun and said we need you,” Mrs. Johnson said. “You become a piece of property. But he wanted to go. He would still go.” The medicine itself induces more problems. Hallucinations are a part of the mix, one of the many reasons he was pulled off of them cold turkey before his second and third deployments. “I think it was medically induced, but I had a visual guy in my backyard,” he said. “I grabbed my gun. I realized this is some sort of hallucination when I saw him

When night fell over the Middle East, Johnson plugged in to listen to the music that would transport him home. “One more day. One more time. One more sunset, maybe I’d be satisfied. But then again, I know what it would do, leaving me wishing still for one more day with you.” The song would send him home to his wife and keep him looking forward. “One more day” was transcribed at the top of every letter sent home. The song was a hope for the future. Now, Johnson and his wife wait patiently to let time heal his invisible wounds. “The post-traumatic is a deep thing,” he said. “There’s rage, there’s guilt. There are so many different layers of issues. It’s hard to believe I’m even going through it. Denial is one of them too. The VA gave me a pension, and I felt guilty — like I don’t deserve this.” Johnson credits the hospital for his gradual recovery. His family and the team of medical professionals have given him a way to work through the rubble. “The VA are awesome,” Johnson said. “They are absolutely fantastic. The medical team that they have: they’re unbeatable. The people are there for the veterans. When you self-isolate it gets bad. That’s what you’re trained to do, when it gets bad, block it out.” Part of the process for him is the acceptance of what he has seen and what has still yet to come. His wife encourages him to face his demons in order to let them pass. She believes he still has a long road to walk; she will be the one walking it with him. Johnson is working on it. Day by day. One more day.

Now home after three tours — to Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq — he is left to face the anxiety he once filed away. It now manifests itself in panic attacks, insomnia, paranoia, flashbacks and night terrors. It takes 20 minutes to get from his house to the shoe repair shop. It’s a smooth drive through countryside. The landscape is the polar opposite of Iraq, but one look, and his mind takes him back. The drive becomes a mission. It’s all bullets and explosions in his mind. A box on the side of the road transforms into a hidden bomb, because in Iraq, it almost always was. “I foresee things happening before they happen,” Johnson said. “My wife cut somebody off and they gave her the finger, and I’m thinking I literally saw him ‘ch ch boom’ (gun noise) in my mind. I’m getting at the ready when that’s not your rules of engagement as a civilian. [In the military] your rules of engagement are to attack using lethal force. I don’t engage hostile people at all because it will resort to lethal force.” About 15 times a day his chest tightens, he begins to gulp air, lightheadedness sets in and he feels certain his world will collapse. There is no room for logic. He is afraid of his mind. It’s only a matter of time to him before he is lost to it. He seeks solace in two glasses of wine before bed and familiarity in a delicate balance of a small amount of violent video game play to keep the night terrors at bay. Strategizing with teammates over headphones and mindless gunfire brings him back to a place of comfort; too much takes him back to Iraq once he falls asleep. Every morning at 4 a.m.



I’m Home Life’s always buzzing for Florida’s baron of the bees

Mallory Schindler PHOTOGRAPHED BY Amanda Cohen WRITTEN BY



As a thick blanket of moisture suffocated

the air, Chappie McChesney hopped from the seat of his white Ford utility van. He swung open the side door, revealing a cardboard box of glass honey jars, protective jackets and gloves, and a few dead bees scattered around the interior. The day before, a honey jar shattered, spilling the sticky syrup down the side steps of the van and into the crevices of the running board. But Chappie didn’t bother wiping up the mess. If he left his van out in his yard with the doors propped open, the bees — ever-hungry for the nectar — would do the work for him. “The bees’ll lick that clean within an hour,” he promises. Even from the van parked 30 feet away, Chappie could see a semicircle of 15 wooden crates of various shades and heights. He could also hear the hum.

After rummaging through the vehicle, Chappie grabbed an oversized white jacket with a wide brim hat and shoulder-length face veil attached. “You wouldn’t want to get a bee in your bonnet,” he says. Without heed to a seemingly severe warning, Chappie marched into the Chiefland, Fla. clearing in his brown lace-up boots and washed out jeans, meeting Byron Teerlink just past the vehicles. Once upon a hive, Byron, Chappie’s mentee, wedged a small piece of curved metal under the lid of the box, breaking the sticky seal the bees created. He pried the crate open, gripped an old-fashioned hand smoker and pumped pine chip fumes onto the open frames of the first box. The buzz became deafening. It sounded like a raging mosh pit, a robust engine or a court out of order. The hive, which serves simultaneously as a factory and a home, had been disturbed. At least 30,000 bees rapidly vibrated their wings as they struggled to both cool the hive from the hot smoke and threaten whoever was compromising their livelihood. But the men weren’t there to impose. Chappie, a seasoned beekeeper based in Alachua, Fla., traveled to the clearing to help Byron check his hives. Mentoring budding beekeepers in his “Save Our Bees” program is just one of Chappie’s bee advocacy activities. He single-handedly established a strong bee keeping presence in North Central Flor -ida and is the unofficial spokesman for the local industry. Throughout his home county of Alachua and those stretching far beyond, Chappie is known as the go-to guy for all things bees. Opening the hive boxes was comi -cally reminiscent of a stint on “Let’s Make a Deal.” As Chappie and Byron cautiously pried the hives open, they were unsure as to whether, behind door No. 1, a hive would be bustling, empty, or worse: angry. Fifteen hives, but no two alike. Shuffling from one humming home to the next, the men popped open each hive and checked for general health and honey production. Chappie advised, and Byron listened. Though he busted Byron’s chops, Chappie enjoyed assisting his mentee, whom he says has come a long way under Save Our Bees. “Byron is the best S.O.B. I know,” Chappie says. Due to Florida’s unapologetic obsession with all things citrus, it’s natural that other

state industries are overshadowed. But the tropical region lends itself to the success of several other agricultural industries. Surprisingly, beekeeping ranks high on the list. The value of Florida’s beekeepers to the state is upward of $2.3 billion, says Dr. Jamie Ellis, associate professor of entomology and head of the University of Florida Honey Bee Research & Extension Lab. The lab houses the UF Bee College and Master Beekeeper program and focuses on assisting the health of the honeybee species by studying RNA interference and pesticides. And, since Florida is home to 15 percent of the nation’s bees, the lab’s research findings are highly valued by the state’s beekeepers, whose incomes depend on the longevity of their hives. But research isn’t everything. Keeping the industry alive requires ample promotion and education of the trade. According to Ellis, individuals like Chappie have undoubtedly improved the industry’s status and growth by spreading the word and urging people to hop on the beekeeping bandwagon. Straight from his home, which sits on five grassy acres, Chappie produces candles, beeswax lip balms and, of course, honey. He sells his honey, complete with his business’s gold “Chappie’s Bees” logo, in 12-ounce bearshaped bottles for $5. It’s a product of the bees that occupies the small cluster of hives in the middle of his yard. The hives buzz safely behind white fencing, but the bees themselves are not afraid to venture from home, bolting from their boxes and gliding over Chappie’s peach, pear and persimmon trees. Within a 5-mile radius, they will scout out blackberry plants and wildflowers to pollenate and collect nectar for honey. And they always return to the hive — to their honey factory. But for Chappie, keeping bees is recreational; having fresh honey in his kitchen cabinets is just a bonus. For him, it’s always just been about the bees. “I just love bees,” he says. “And I’m doing my best to save bees.” Bees, however, aren’t doing so well. Honeybees have been a hot topic in the media and research on the species has increased, as over the last several years, they have decreased in number. The colony collapse disorder that countless hives have been diagnosed with is purportedly a result of the varroa mite, a nasty parasite that infects hives and feeds on honeybees.

“Let nature take care of itself; it was designed to survive. If you took human beings away, the bees would be fine.”

Yet, Chappie is convinced that chemicals are mainly to blame. Too many beekeepers introduce pesticides to their bee farms and weaken the bees, he says. Chappie attributes his blue-ribbon honey to his chemical-free practices. Man shouldn’t be introducing new substances or playing God, he says. “Bees are destined to do what bees do,” he says. “Let nature take care of itself; it was designed to survive. If you took human beings away, the bees would be fine.” This intense desire to preserve nature isn’t new for Chappie. As a Christian, he believes in maintaining the planet in its original form. “Many people don’t believe in God, or they believe in different gods,” he says. “That’s their business. But my business and what I believe is, it’s my job to take care of the garden that I live in now. So this Earth is our Garden of Eden.” His religious work extends beyond bees and conservation. Years ago, Chappie founded Cross Under the Bridge Ministry, which aids the homeless. Today, he continues to grace his resumé with good deeds—employing veterans to work in his bee yard. The name “Chappie” is a moniker that came from the religious work that Wayne McChesney did as a chaplain. Once just a nickname for the compassionate minister, “Chappie” is now the only thing he responds to. He even signs his checks with “Chappie.” As a boy in Pennsylvania, Chappie didn’t mean to stumble upon beekeeping. At only 7 years old, he wanted to stick up for his dad, who was constantly quarrelling with the neighbor. On one particular occasion, little Chappie sought revenge on the neighbor, who kept bees. He stomped into the neighbor’s yard and knocked over one of the hives. The enraged bees swarmed and circled Chappie. He bolted across a creek and back to his home, wrapped in a cloud of bees. He had so many stings from the sabotage that


he ended up in the hospital, where the doctor plucked countless stingers out of his skin one by one. His brothers nicknamed him “Spot” for the marks left long after the stings. Punishment for damaging the hive was to work for the neighbor, and that was it— Chappie knew he wanted to keep bees. Now, at 67, with a graying beard and crinkles at the corners of his eyes, Chappie still exudes the same fresh passion for bees — a fervent interest that drives his hyperactivity in the industry. He gives bee talks at schools, presents at conferences and mentors new beekeepers. He even responds to emergency calls from local fire departments and removes bees from inside buildings. Along with the Save Our Bees program, he teaches people about the species through Chappie’s Learning About Bees (L.A.B.), where the curious observe a beekeeper at work. Add teaching at UF’s Bee College and the American Beekeeping Federation to the list. And, since National Honey Bee Day began, Chappie has served as the Florida representative for the event. He attends any and every event there is for beekeepers. Yet, Chappie’s most famed accomplishment is founding the North Central Florida Beekeepers Association, through which he has established more than eight bee clubs in northern Florida counties. He averages about four hours of sleep a night and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. With his busy schedule, Chappie is constantly carrying his bees on short road trips. On one such occasion moving bees from one yard to another, he had bee-filled hives in his van. They got out. The boxes weren’t properly secured, and nearly 50,000 bees found themselves partying outside their box. They zoomed around the van, flooding the windows as they looked for light. Chappie laughs as he


recalls the escape. “I couldn’t see out of the back window,” he says. He had to brush bees off the front windshield to even see where he was going, he says. A cop saw the swarming, blackedout van and pulled him over. The officer requested Chappie’s license and registration, not considering the consequences of opening the window. “I got bees in here,” Chappie yelled through the window. The officer wouldn’t budge. Chappie cracked the window just a hair to slide the documents through. A bee immediately flew out and stung the cop— right on the nose. “Go, go!” the officer cried, waving Chappie on. When Chappie does encounter a spare moment, he doesn’t waste it. A Vietnam veteran, he served in the Marine Corps in a region doused in Agent Orange, an herbicide sprayed defensively by the U.S. military. He has had multiple cancerous spots on his skin removed, has the beginning stages of glaucoma and, due to the wartime chemical, is classified as 100 percent disabled by the Veterans Affairs. But don’t let that fool you. Chappie is no prisoner to any physical ailments he may have. Beyond the clubs, mentoring and demonstrations, he somehow carves out the time to even help with an alternate side of the beekeeping industry. When rarely unoccupied, Chappie will head out in the van to High Springs, Fla., and spend the day laboring at Dadant & Sons, Inc., a beekeeping supply company. According to Tom Dowda, a former apiary inspector and a current employee with Dadant, the company has experienced the rise and fall of the industry right along with the beekeepers. If the honeybee is in danger and beekeepers can’t produce, Dadant has no one to supply. “It’s a lot more challenging now for the beekeeper,” he says. “If they can’t make it, nobody does.”

At Dadant, Chappie constructs hive boxes and frames, the wooden trays that line a box and allow bees to build honeycomb within a hive. The crates, along with bee suits, smokers, hive tools and honey extracting machines, are purchased for both recreational and commercial use in North Central Florida. But Dadant doesn’t just outfit the state— it’s the top beekeeping supply company in the world. Located off an unassuming dirt road in a tiny small Florida town, Dadant produces at least 7,000 frames each day — enough to outfit 700 hives — to fulfill hefty orders from customers around the globe. And Chappie gets right in on the action. Dowda is quite familiar with Chappie and has witnessed his continuous efforts at the warehouse. “He goes above and beyond,” Dowda says. “He’s been quite a mover (in the industry).” But Chappie’s heart clearly lies with education. Preschool-age children sat outside B’nai Israel Community Day School mid-September with their legs crossed on the chalk-plastered pavement. Donning bee caps made of construction paper, the toddlers stared up at Chappie while he held up equipment and laminated photos of larval stages. Then, he brought out the bee box. Crouching down toward the pavement, Chappie invited the kids to approach the wooden and glass case. “Do you see the baby bees?” he asks, pointing to the single frame inside. While some of the children scurried to the box, pressing their noses to the glass in wonder, others shied away. One boy in blue plaid approached the box, took one look at the bees, and bawled. “They won’t hurt you,” Chappie assured a blonde girl eyeing the box cautiously. He told the preschoolers to rest their ears over the box’s sound holes, to listen for the buzzing. Then, a human-sized bee ambled over, waving to the children. They pushed around each other to give the bee mascot high-fives and hugs. “Early Bee’s a really big bee,” Chappie says with a grin. “But he loves children.” “Can everyone say, ‘Thank you, Mr. Chappie?’” a teacher coos. From pre-K to college, Chappie’s oneman bee caravan has visited all ages. He has presented at schools for 40 years, hoping to educate the public. The cost of traveling to

schools and teaching comes out of his own pocket. “I enjoy just sharing bees and beekeeping with the public,” Chappie says. Oftentimes the preschool children don’t have a clue what’s happening, he says. But he enjoys teaching them anyway — if only to impact a few. Sometimes, he says, students will recognize him years later and say, “Hey, you’re the bee guy!” It’s a label Chappie welcomes wholeheartedly. Since that fateful day decades ago, he has been enamored with the species. He even affectionately calls the female bees “little girls.” Working as a child in the neighbor’s bee yard sparked what would become a lifelong duty to save the insect Chappie claims to be the only to provide man with food. “I appreciate what they do for us,” he says. “If they disappeared, our lives would drastically change. You’d live on gruel.” Dedication to the species persists, despite the incalculable stings. Though tallying ceased long ago, Chappie estimates about 20 to 30 stings each day for the past 60 years. “Can’t count that high,” he says. He doesn’t begrudge the species or harbor any fear of it though, despite the “bad rap” he says they’ve received. He deeply understands and respects the honeybee. “Let bees be bees,” he says. In the wet, heavy heat, Chappie and Byron moved from hive to hive, checking for the presence of a queen, the absence of pests and for honeycomb construction. Byron held up a honeycomb-encrusted frame from a hive. “That’s not working good, Byron.” Chappie says, critiquing the comb. “Spotty pattern.” “Spotty pattern,” Byron murmured in agreement. Once finished with all 15 hives, the men sauntered back to their vehicles. Just as Chappie slid into the front seat of the van, an enormous swarm of bees raced out of a hive and headed for the trees. Not a good sign, Chappie says, for a swarming hive means a lost hive. Immediately, Chappie grabbed his Canon Rebel DSLR camera, threw the door open and hurried toward the buzzing swarm.

website to foster more education of the species and its behavior. He wore no suit, no veil, no protective gear. He doesn’t need to. For Chappie, being around bees means being home.

Meet the

members of the hive

Worker bee: In the hive, the women do everything. They’re the multi-taskers. Without breaking a sweat they raise the babies, take care of the men, serve the queen and fulfill the hive-keeping duties. Yet, their main responsibility is producing honey. They will leave the hive to gather pollen and nectar only to return home and slave over the honeycomb 24/7 to concoct the sweet syrup. Drone: Much like its human counterpart, the male bee is specialized in being served by women. Drones make no honey and are coddled by the worker bees. Sedentary and unemployed, they can’t even feed themselves. The gluttons will serve one purpose: mating with the queen (should they outdo the other males). Queen: Minus the grape-dangling and fan-waving, the queen of the hive is given the usual royal treatment. She doesn’t work or go out of her way for anyone, which makes sense because she was carefully selected to wear the crown. Other than sitting pretty and running the show, the queen has one sole job: to lay eggs. Thus, she will venture on a mating flight. She’ll copulate with multiple partners in one outing (without shame) just to secure their sperm. She then returns home to the hive, where she will lay more than 2,000 eggs a day. These new bee babies will work in the hive when they mature.

He will put the photos on the association’s



, e m l l Ca

? e b y a



a Heilm p i l l i Ph ftus & n o L h ra ohe Y Sa nda C TEN B a m A WRIT BY PHED


Male peacocks show their feathers to get a lady. Female tigers roar and moan to show

the men they’re ready for a little hanky panky. But for humans, universal signs don’t exist. There’s no one distinct way to impress a potential love interest — or is there? Sarah Loftus and Phillip Heilman aren’t looking for a hookup. They have a different goal: write a dating article that will make you laugh your ass off and, provide some sound advice to turn you from living your life at Library West to living your life like Ryan Lochte. Phillip, a journalism senior at UF, spent most of college in a relationship, but now he’s on the prowl and ready to meet the ladies. Well, more like, this article is forcing him to be ready; he’d really rather stare at a blank wall for three hours. But that’s OK. Sarah, also a UF journalism senior, spent the majority of college alone. While there are many benefits of being alone, such as sleeping diagonally across your bed curled up in the covers, she’s ready to put her (many) awkward dating moments behind and flirt it up.


Get as many ph one numbers as possible and ge t a date.


1. Don’t break character, no m atter how awkw 2. Complete ever ard the encount y task in its en er is. ti re ty . 3. Perform each task at a differ ent bar.


1. The “Smile, D rink, Flirt” - Ea ch will send a their liking. drink to a pers on of 2. The “Simple Compliment” Sarah and Phill someone with ip will complim a “normal” com ent pliment — noth plain strange. ing over the to p or just 3. The “Hey, W ill You Be My W ingman?” - The person to be th y will find a ra eir wingman and ndom work his or he r magic.

Phillip Heilman The “Hey, Will You Be My Wingman?” Location: Outside The Swamp Restaurant Time: 11:50 p.m. Using a wingman (or wingwoman, for you more adventurous readers) is a great tactic. Being introduced to someone by a mutual friend immediately builds a level of trust and allows for free-flowing conversation. When you aren’t talking, listen. It makes it easier to interject playful comments before the real challenge begins—unless, of course, that person is waiting on their boyfriend. “Well, it was really great meeting you. Seems like you have a terrific personality. Maybe I could get your number and we could meet up again another time,” I asked, fully expecting my second attempt to score me a number. Nope. “Oh, sorry. You seem like a good guy, but I’m waiting on my boyfriend and some of his friends.” Aaand goodbye.

Awkward meter: 6 out of 10. Use it or lose it: Definitely use it. Although the results were sour, the process was pretty sweet. I worked my way into the conversation quickly and comfortably before an unfortunate demise.

She knew what she was doing. Unfortunately, what she was doing was leaving. “Aw, thank you. You’re really sweet, but me and my friends were just leaving.” Oh. Your stuff still sitting over on the table suggested otherwise.

Awkward meter: 7 out of 10. Use it or lose it: Use it in moderation. The key

The “Simple Compliment” Location: Gator City Time: 1:08 a.m.

here is a simple compliment. Don’t overdo it—and make sure there is no exit in sight.

After working my way into a conversation and getting rejected twice, I decided to swing for the fences and approach the cutest girl I saw in the bar and pay her a compliment. Compliments can be great to set the tone of the interaction — they prove you are paying attention to the other person, you have the confidence to approach them and you’re not wasting any time. What could possibly go wrong? Timing. “Hey, I just wanted to tell you that you look amazing in that dress,” I told a cute, 20-something Latina. And she did look great: light pink dress that was tight in all of the right places, showing just enough skin.

The “Smile, Drink, Flirt” Location: Envy Nightclub Time: 1:31 a.m. With less than half an hour before the bars closed, it was crunch time. I knew I needed to use my most trusted tactic to score a date or, at least, a phone number given my lack of success during the evening. I needed it for my dignity. My ego was bruised and my confidence was wavering. But it only got worse. Offering to buy someone a drink is safer than even paying him or her a compliment.



Whether it is T-shirts, pizza or an alcoholic beverage, college students don’t turn down free. They just don’t. Use that to your advantage, but also make sure you find someone who looks interested in drinking. I scanned the room for my target. Because it was so late, there were many people way too drunk to even bother with. I needed someone who still had the ability to stand up straight long enough for me to talk to them. I spotted her: tall and blonde. Her eyes did not appear to be glazed over and she didn’t have a drink in her hand. Perfect, right? No. “I would love to buy you a drink right

now,” I leaned over and whispered in her ear. As awkward as that sounds, it was pretty smooth. I grazed her shoulder gently with my hand. She smiled. My heart raced. “I’m not drinking tonight,” she said. “I’m sorry. Maybe another time.” In this situation, keep going. Offer to buy a soda or get her some water — anything. Just keep the conversation going. Instead, in what should come as no surprise, I stammered awkwardly and nodded my head. “Sorry about that,” I blurted out before leaving. Nice going, buddy.

Awkward Meter: 9 out of 10 Use it or lose it: Use it, but be prepared for a game of cat and mouse.

Phillip’s Conclusion: When Sarah and I went out, she had incredible success, while I was just off. Admittedly, I was a bit more reserved than she was and couldn’t quite hit my cues. Although I didn’t get a date — or even a number — I stand by most of our mating call choices. Offering someone a compliment, buying them a drink or having a wingman talk you up are scenarios that will work more often than not. If you are like me and have an off night, get back out there and try it again. This love thang ain’t easy.

Sarah Loftus The “Simple Compliment” Location: Street corner in front of UF Plaza Time: 11:58 p.m.

After busting out his feathers, Phillip, sadly, had no lady peacocks return the mating call. PHOTOGRAPHED BY


Amanda Cohen


Phillip and I were on the corner of University Avenue and NW 17th Street when he said I should go talk to the bike taxi driver and say, “If you give me a ride, I’ll give you my phone number.” “Umm, no. We’re not even in a bar, so it doesn’t count,” I said. “Yes, it does. Just go talk to him.” “No.” “Yes, just do it. Please. I want to see you do one; it’ll give me more confidence.” What could I say to that? I knew he’d been dreading this, and he had just hit on a girl who had a boyfriend. So, I decided to take one for the team. With a big smile on my face, I giggled out, “Hey, so what’s this? It’s cool,” gesturing to his bike. He had to think I was a complete idiot. But instead, he seemed interested. Maybe Phillip was right. We talked some. His response to “my major’s journalism” was, “Oh, that makes sense. It kind of seems like you’re interviewing me.” Red alert. I know he didn’t know what I was doing, but it still felt far too close for comfort. After that comment he kept talking to me and offered me a ride. He seemed impressed by my courage. Thanks, Phil. After the ride, he asked for my number

and to hang out on Sunday. Unfortunately, I couldn’t. Ironically, I had to work on this story, but we said we’d hang out another time. Success.

Awkward meter: 4 out of 10. Use it or lose it? Use it! Here’s a tip, ladies: Think about how much you like to get a compliment, multiply that by five, and that’s how much men like to be complimented.

The “Smile, Drink, Flirt” Location: Rowdy Reptile Time: 1:23 a.m. I walked up to another one of Phillip’s picks, put my hand on his back and, in my best flirty, sexy drunk voice, said, “Hey, can I buy you a drink?” And, please, don’t ask me what that voice sounded like because I honestly don’t know. I think it was just my drunk self telling me I sounded flirty and sexy. But I must say, he seemed impressed. “You want to buy me a drink?” “Yeah, sure,” I said. Luckily for my bank account, he already had a pitcher of beer. In a drunken slur, he said, “You’re so beautiful” about five times and asked me if I would be tailgating for the game and going out the next night. “No, I have to study,” I slurred back. “You’re too beautiful to study on a Saturday night. How are you so beautiful? Does it just come naturally?” “Ummm, yeah.” He asked for my number and we parted. Twenty minutes later, he texted me this gem: “hey, it’s the cute black guy from rowdy, what’s up??”

Awkward meter: 5 out of 10. Use it or lose it? Use it! You’re showing initiative; you’re no longer that girl who just stands around bars waiting for a guy to buy her a drink. No man can resist that kind of confidence.

The “Hey, Will You Be My Wingman?” Location: Rowdy Reptile Time: 1:38 a.m. I rubbed a guy’s shoulder blade and said, “Hey, I think your friends are really cute. Can

Our writers brave the romance jungle and pick out their latest prey. PHOTOGRAPHED BY

you set me up with one of them?” I added, “And you’re cute, too.” I didn’t want him to, be you know, feel left out. He told me which of his friends was single and then said to one of them, “This is Sarah.” This is where things get a little fuzzy, but we somehow ended up with my new wingman asking me how old I was. I told him I was 21, and he told me my potential new beau was older, which I thought was great. The two exchanged strange looks and then my wingman announced that his friend only dates 18 year olds. He then asked me if I wasn’t really 18. Guys, don’t talk about age, especially if you’re telling me I’m not young enough. It’s not ever a turn-on—to any woman.

Awkward meter: 7 out of 10. Use it or lose it? Use it. You can have so much fun with this one; just relax and make sure not to offend your new wingman. I give you permission to use my “and you’re cute, too” line.

Amanda Cohen

You’re welcome.

Sarah’s Conclusion: Simple is better. The three C’s—compliments, confidence and courage — go a long way. And ladies, offering to buy a guy a drink will get you major points. Seriously —when men don’t have to pay for you and you’re offering to pay for them, you become infinitely hotter. Although we both broke every single rule multiple times (personally, I feel we set our standards a little too high), it was still a good experience. The most important thing I learned and the best piece of advice I can offer is this: If you feel like you don’t ever have success with dating and don’t know why, think about the guys you’re going after. Bring a friend out, preferably one who’s talented at reading social cues like Phillip, and have him pick guys for you. Maybe your luck will turn, at least slightly, up, like mine did.



Dana Burke and Karina Cuevas PHOTOGRAPGHED BY Meaghan Cloherty



mid the Gator frat tanks, running shorts and sweatpants, a few fashion-forward students choose to stand out from the sea of orange and blue. We tracked down six students with standout style. Chances are you’ve seen them on campus because—let’s be honest—they’re hard to miss. BRETT WESTMORELAND, 19 Major/year: Marketing/sophomore Hometown: Pensacola Favorite store: Rag & Bone Credibility: Oscar de le Renta international sales intern. __________________________________


Brett Westmoreland

O&B: If you could only wear one brand for the rest of your life, what would it be? BW: “I’d like to say Balmain because it’s my favorite designer, but I just don’t think it’s practical to wear samurai jackets and leather jumpsuits for the rest of my life so, I’m going to go with American Apparel.” O&B: Any advice for those looking to spice up their campus attire? BW: “Mixing neutrals in general is one of my favorite ways to style an outfit. My motto is: It doesn’t have to match as long as it goes.” O&B: What would you never be caught dead wearing? BW: “Crocs because I like to let my feet have their dignity.”

STREET STYLE SARAH SUMMERLIN, 22 Major/year: Public relations/junior Hometown: Williston, Fla. Favorite store: Zara Credibility: Blogger at __________________________________ O&B: What are your thoughts about fashion in Gainesville? SS: “It definitely isn’t a thriving industry, if it is an industry at all. But I know there are students, like myself, and some members of the community who are trying to create a fashion presence in this small town. However, I think that if you have a strong passion for working in the fashion industry, you need to be in a bigger city.” O&B: How would you consider your style different than others? SS: “I am consistent with my style and, although I am aware of trends, I don’t necessarily follow them. I like to wear an outfit that represents the way I feel a certain day. I just like to be unique with my style. It’s important for me to always put an effort in what I’m wearing, even if it’s just for class.”

DARSHAY DAVIS, 22 Major/year: Political science/senior Hometown: Miami Favorite store: Credibility: Has her own line of T-shirts and denim shorts called Off White Apparel __________________________________ O&B: What’s new with your clothing line? DD: “I’m actually going through the long process of trademark-ing my logo so I can do more items. At the moment, I’m creating and choosing new labels and working on three T-shirt designs dealing with linguistics and phrasing.” O&B: In addition to designing, you’re also a member of UF’s track team. How does your style translate into your athletic gear and vice versa? DD: “During competition, I’m usually wearing a bright lipstick and round-frame sunglasses. And being an athlete, sometimes it’s too much of a hassle to change clothes before practice, so I wear my flats with a regular outfit to spice things up and save myself from having to go home to change.”



Want more noise? Check out O&B’s digital issue at

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