Tuesday, July 5, 2011


NORMALLY UNDERSTATED student Jeff Abel went from mild to wild in under thirty seconds last night after unleashing his bountiful locks in a public display of long hair. Abel, who normally keeps his hair bound in a tight samurai-style top knot amazed onlookers when he revealed long, luscious hair that extended to waist-level.

"It's always just grown," Abel said. "I haven't cut it in six years. Well, I've cut the bottoms, but rarely. My mother says I need to clean it up, though."

Asked if the Italian weather plays havoc with the Florida-based longhair's mane, Abel responded that it sometimes did: "It's less humid here," he told me. "I find my hair doesn't have as much volume some days."

"I love it!" exclaimed student Brittany Taylor as Abel unfurled his locks and twirled them to and fro in the cool summer breeze. "It almost touches his booty!" she cried in delight.

"It's great," agreed student Dianne Conlee. "Jeff's the most individualistic man on this program, and that's a good thing."

Lab tech Darcy Caputo found that Abel's thick, opulent hair reminded him of New Jersey rocker Jon Bon Jovi. "Jeff could be a member of Bon Jovi's band," Darcy told hangers-on.

Abel was not impressed. "For all the mouthing off Darcy does, that's the best insult he could come up with?" he asked, shaking his head.

"It's no insult," was Darcy's comeback. "I just read in Forbes that they're the third richest band in the world after U2 and Elton John."

Whatever the case, Abel admits his days of long hair may soon be up. "I'll cut it eventually," he said. "And when I do, I want to donate it to Locks of Love." Asked when said mop might be chopped, Abel was evasive. "It could happen anytime," he told me with a wicked smile. "Could be three years, could be three months."

As Abel piled the luxurious 'do back onto the top of his head, student Dianna Stratton smiled and noted in satisfaction: "Jeff wraps it up pretty tight."

Thursday, June 30, 2011


GONZAGA STUDENTS were treated to a delightful class trip to the Renaissance town of Urbino on Wednesday, enjoying a visit to the Duke's Palace and a tasty pizza lunch into the bargain.

Student Emily Gagel was especially impressed by the many rooms and galleries in the palace, which dates from the 1400s and now houses many works of art. A giggly Gagel enthused over the royal digs. "The best part was the basement- it was cooooooool! It was my favorite part. I liked all the secret passageways down there. If I lived there, I would make a hot tub in the basement. Maybe I'd make a new horse trough too, but for me that basement would make a great hangout spot."

The above-ground floors similarly impressed Gagel. "They had a 'boom-boom room'!" she cried. "Did you see it? It had a big bed! Those people got nuts up in there! People didn't live as long back then, and if you only live to be 32, you better make the most of it!"

The students visited Urbino via public transit, piling on a sleek local bus whose driver navigated the many twists and turns along country roads with a practiced hand. "That bus was great compared to the buses we have in Phoenix," Gagel confided. "Those are a wild ride. But here, this one was classy. AC, wow! It was luxurious-- I could have ridden it all day."

Did the myriad twists and turns bother the students at all? "No problem for me," Gagel said with a smile. "And I ate two big sandwiches before I got on. Some students were taking dramamine by the handful- but I wasn't even queasy."

Overall, Urbino recieved top marks from the Gonzaga students. "It's neat here," Gagel concluded. "Beautiful, and lively-- lots of people walking around."

The group rounded out their trip to Urbino with a pizza lunch at hilltop restaurant Il Ragno d'Oro, where Gagel found herself at the center of a storm of controversy after accidentally eating a slice of someone else's pizza. She later made amends by buying rounds of birra rossa in the piazza.

Not everyone went to Urbino for palace tours and pizza lunches, however. Student Victoria Caswell took the opportunity of a trip to Urbino to pile a series of small pebbles on the leg of a sleeping Patrick Snyder, who was seen slumbering in the late afternoon sun near the bus stop. "It's sort of what you're supposed to do to someone who's fallen asleep," offered an unrepentant Caswell.

Monday, June 27, 2011


FOUR OF GONZAGA UNIVERSITY'S most rugged student bodies made local history yesterday after being asked to march in Cagli's annual Corpus Cristi procession. The Catholic event, which commemorates the Eucharist and the Last Supper, is celebrated in Cagli with a solemn procession complete with a brass band and megaphone-wielding priest.

The students in question, Frank McCloy, Patrick Snyder, Matt Machia, and Dan Paholski were approached by some locals who, in the words of Frank McCloy, needed "four burly young Americans". "They saw us as cheap labor," McCloy explained. "They saw us as four burly, husky mules."

The four young men were promptly decked out in flowing robes and stood at attention during a morning mass. "I had an idea of the process since I was an altar boy back home when I was younger," McCloy said. "Also, there were some guys pointing at things and mumbling some things in Italian."

The mass was followed by a grueling two-hour walk through Cagli in the scorching summer sun. The four young men held a heavy tent over their heads as they walked. "Dan Paholski had a few problems with the pole," McCloy said with a good-natured smile. "He needed a little help. So did two of the Italians marching. In fact, I was the only one who didn't need any help."

The four young men sweat it out for hours. "When you're walking that long, the poles get heavy," McCloy said. "But I loved it. Maybe I'm a sadomasochist, but it was great. People were awestruck. You hear how deeply religious the Italian people are, but seeing it in person is a different thing. Old women were kneeling down as we passed. They had trouble, but they sure as hell did it."

"Overall, it was awe-inspiring," McCloy told me, gently stroking his chin, deep in thought. "People were genuflecting in front of me. I'd like that back home. I'd be set if I could achieve that kind of status."

He stopped, his eyes focusing on a pigeon dipping its beak in the piazza fountain.

"You know," mused McCloy, "I almost think this whole experience should count as some sort of extra credit."

Sunday, June 26, 2011


GONZAGA UNIVERSITY STUDENTS made it safely and soundly to the quiet town of Cagli early Saturday afternoon, and were immediately offered free alcohol from area men in formal dress.

The students in question, Caitlin Bletscher, Amanda Brings, and Emily Gagel were comfortably seated at popular piazza hotspot Caffe d'Italia, determined to enjoy a few refreshing beverages in the cool shade. All that was to change, however, when the trio was approached by a few local men.

"They were about thirty or thirty-five years old," Caitlin and Amanda explained. "One was wearing a yellow suit, and he didn't really speak any English. But one of them spoke fantastic English, and he really spoke for the group."

Who were these mysterious men, and what was their method of operation? "They were in town for a wedding," Caitlin and Amanda confided. "They walked up to us and asked if they could buy us a few beers. We're not sure where they were from, but somewhere about an hour away."

After downing a few cold ones, the men apparently became a bit cocky. "They told us they could teach us better Italian than any Italian teacher ever could," Amanda explained.

"Overall, they were really nice, and a gave a good impression of the area," Caitlin told this reporter. Amanda concurred: "They were not creepy at all. I think we might see them later tonight. We have their phone numbers, but we don't know their names."

And how was the beer offered by these mysterious yet strangely generous locals? "It was good beer," the ladies said in unison. "It was the same kind they served us on the airplane!"

Friday, June 24, 2011


GONZAGA-IN-CAGLI'S 2011 summer session got off to a rollicking start on Thursday night when the group of over thirty graduate students invaded the posh Florentine restaurant Mimmo's and devoured course after course of fresh Italian cooking. The group, spending a few days exploring the Renaissance wonders of Florence before decamping to Cagli early Saturday morning, was reportedly "famished and fatigued" by international jet travel, some having barely exited customs before finding themselves seated at Mimmo's before a plate piled high with chicken, pork, horse, and ham-draped cantaloupe.

The real stars of the night, however, were the appetizers. These tasty antipasti were scarfed down in record time by the enthusiastic students, who continued raving about the delectable morsels even after only crumbs and oily traces were left upon their plates.

Dr Heather Crandall (associate director) was particularly enthusiastic about the cheese course, exclaiming "I think I like this brie business!". Student Erin Wilson concurred.

A new twist on Italian dining was inadvertently created further down the table when your editor managed to knock a glass of wine over onto a plate of meat, inventing by accident 'drunken salami'. Student Brittany Taylor found the cured viands gently infused with Italian table wine to be "delicious. More than delicious. Couldn't be better!". She continued: "Anything that has a little bit of wine in it is good. White, red, Chianti, Syrah, Chardonnay: it doesn't matter. You wanna try some drunken salami?" she asked, holding out the plate to your editor, a vegetarian of longstanding who politely declined the offer.