A 12-year- old once told me, “I love big words. They taste delicious.” I couldn’t agree more, but I am not as discerning. I love all words. I love the power of words and the difference just the right one can make in a story. So, let me help you with any writing or editing projects you have. I’ll help you find the most delicious words.
It is a late September afternoon. Eighteen-year-old Johniesha Deberry is in labor. Her child wasn’t growing as expected, so birth is being induced. A fine-boned woman, with beautiful clear, black skin, Deberry wears a well-worn hospital gown. Her black hair, tinged with red, is tied in a high ponytail with a bright plastic hair elastic. She looks tiny and scared.
While diversity issues, from affirmative action to bilingual education, have garnered plenty of attention over the past several months, they have recently registered on the monitors in a different arena: medical school.
A survey conducted at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, the first such study to examine the attitudes of medical students themselves, overwhelmingly indicated diversity was a critical factor in their education.
What if there existed a simple object found in everyday life that could relieve stress and anxiety, promote healing and increase powers of concentration? It appears likely that such “magic bullets” do exist, and that they come in the forms of trees or shrubs or even philodendrons. Just as plants lift their leaves to the sky, they likewise lift our spirits — helping us de-stress, recover faster, concentrate better and control impulsive behavior.
First appeared in Illinois Alumni magazine in March 2003
Barry Bearak, MS ‘75 COM, doesn’t like to talk about himself.
“It makes me self-conscious,” he said. “I get flustered.”
On the other hand, he is very good at telling other people’s stories. Bearak, a New York Times staff writer who received the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting for his coverage of the devastation of Afghanistan, has been telling other people’s stories for close to 30 years.
First appeared in Illinois magazine in December 2002
The dawn is dull, the day trying to decide if it will be spring or remain winter. The houses in this Champaign neighborhood are faded and worn, the sidewalks cracked and dingy and in this gray, muddy, early spring day there is little vegetation to enliven the scene.
First appeared in Illinois Alumni magazine in May 2002
Once upon a time, Lynn Schreiber Price ‘77 COM was like every other kid in her Skokie, Ill., neighborhood. She attended Miss Kurzweg’s second-grade class at Middleton Elementary. She had two best friends, Barb and Darleen. Price’s mother, Jackie, was a homemaker. Price’s father, Alex, worked as a glazier, and his handiwork — art glass pieces and fancy mirrors — decorated their otherwise simple home.
The 1950s were somewhat of a quiet time in the United States. On the University of Illinois campus at Urbana, majestic elm trees graced the Quad; women wore sweater sets, pearls and bobby socks; men were mostly clean-shaven; and shirts were button-down. The idea of walking on the Quad grass, wearing one’s hair long or dressing casually was unthinkable.
It is 9:30 a.m. when archaeologist John Kelly’s pine-green Jeep Cherokee lumbers across the grassy field and comes to a stop at two tarp-covered trenches blocked by barricades and yellow tape. It’s quiet except for the whirring and buzzing of crickets and the distant, dull whine of traffic from Highway 70 nearby. Kelly, 56 years old, tall and lanky, with a narrow face and high forehead, eases himself from the car, cup of coffee in hand.
From the first day the law school students arrive on campus, Mark Smith, J.D. ‘86, associate dean of student services, works to get to know each one. He introduces himself at the welcoming assembly; he wanders the hall checking in with students as they change classes; he talks to them about what kinds of fields they are interested in. And, when the time comes, he takes the mystery out of getting interviews and parlaying an interview into a job offer.