A Montanan's Outlook

Small State to Big City, Here it Is

Heroes Come In Scrubs Draft #1

“I was actually the one holding him when a nurse came in and said ‘We need to take him,’” Bailey Powers, a second-year nursing major, said. She had leaned forward in her chair and placed her elbows on her knees.

It was a hard topic to talk about. Her head bent forward till she was staring at the ground and her big toes moved in toward each other. Her hair was still damp with sweat from soccer practice and her backpack was still on her shoulders. Tired, she looked tired.

“My younger brother was born with a condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. It’s basically where he was born with a hole in his heart and he wasn’t getting enough oxygen. So, he was technically born a blue baby.

He was fine when he was born but his skin started turning blue because he wasn’t being oxygenated,” Powers recounted.

Her face was taut as she continued her story.

“He probably would not have been alive if that nurse hadn’t have found his condition.”

Powers’ story is not uncommon for the many nursing majors on Morningside College’s campus. Personal stories of ‘heroes in scrubs’ dot many student’s stories for why they joined the department.

Shelby Stratton, a second-year student as well, was also lured toward the nursing world because of a personal tragedy.

“My cousin was diagnosed with cancer when I was younger. When she passed away, I decided I wanted to help people,” Stratton said as she sat straighter in her chair. The cushions made a hollow sound as she shifted her weight.

The question hung in the air. Looking at Stratton and the lines drawn in her face, it was easy to see that she was thinking. She sat quietly, but her eyes glanced across the room as she talked. She didn’t want to reveal detail through her words, but her uneasiness was noticeable.

Losing her cousin, just like the fear Power’s felt about losing her brother, was balanced by the presence of nurses.

These scrubbed heroes brought hope and peace into times of fear.

Haley Mathes, a fourth-year nursing student, said that she joined the program because of the nurses that had once been in her life as well.

“The nurses were always the ones that would cheer us up. Originally I wanted to be a doctor but then I realized that the nurses do a lot more of the personal work,” Mathes said smiling.

Nurses are the ones that hold hands when the sick are scared, or who come in after a surgery to offer you water. According to Powers, Stratton, and Mathes, nurses are the ones who make the real difference.

Two Shots for the Price of One

The waiting room was the same as it had been for almost twenty-two years. Reilly knew she was going to have to change doctors soon but didn’t really want to worry about it right now. She was more worried about the really big needle.

“Reilly?” She looked up, stood, and walked toward the nurse, “How is your day?”

“I just got out of class,” Reilly answered, expecting that to be enough to tell the nurse about her day. She wasn’t scared per say, she just didn’t really like needles and that made her not very talkative.

“Can you step on the scale, please?” Reilly did, and she watched as the numbers crept upwards and stopped at 180 pounds. She winced. “So you’re a Senior this year?”

“Yes, and I already know that I need a new doctor soon. I’m working on it,” Reilly replied. She just wanted to get the shot and leave.

“Do you want to get your flu shot while you’re here?”

“Do I need it?” Reilly answered. Her question was met with a look of disapproval where the eyebrows were raised and bunched together. “I guess, if I need it.”

She hadn’t planned on coming in for two shots, but here she was. She sighed. She followed the nurse back to where she was going to get her shots and sat down. Bracing herself, she watched the nurse prep the needle. It definitely wasn’t short; it was probably about three or four inches she guessed.

The first needle went into her left shoulder. She winced and it stung as the nurse finished with the flu shot. She groaned as she thought about the next shot…in her butt.

Walking out of the office she was sore and numb in her left arm and the right, fleshy side of her hip.

“Do I need to pay for these?” Reilly asked as she approached the front desk.

“Nope, your insurance covered it. Also, don’t forget that you are almost out of time with us here.” Reilly nodded, and turned to walk away, rubbing her arm as she went.

Heroes Come in Scrubs [Script]

“That’s a hard one. I’m not sure,” Shelby Stratton said. She looked down to her knees that were crisscrossed and squinted her eyes. As she was deep in thought, her blonde ponytail slipped over her shoulder and covered her eyes. “I just want to make a difference in their lives.”

The air was tense. Looking at Stratton and the lines drawn in her face, it was easy to see that she was thinking. What did she want to accomplish in nursing?

It was an open-ended question of opinion, but that didn’t make it easier. Nurses are what make the medical world-go-round, as they say. They provide joy and comfort to families.

“My favorite part is helping people and seeing how much they appreciate you,” Stratton continued. “The studying hasn’t really cost me anything, but it does make me busy. Really busy.”

Busy seems to be the common word around the nurses.

“Outside the hospital, {nursing} has really killed my social life. I have to spend so much time studying, and when I’m not studying I’m at the hospital,” Haley Mathes also commented, “I don’t really have time for my friends anymore. My friends back home, we’re not really friends, and my friends here I don’t really see that much.”

Though studying hasn’t really hurt Stratton at all, Mathes believes it has hurt her friendships, as well as her relationships.

“My boyfriend hates it,” she said with a chuckle, “I’m never really home and when I am I’m usually studying.”

Bailey Powers also stated that studying has hurt her relationships as well.

“It gets very difficult, time consumption wise. When school started I actually had a breakdown. I didn’t know how to incorporate the social aspects with the whole nursing piece.”

“It actually almost broke one of my friendships here. Luckily, that friendship was strong enough that we just sat down and we talked about that we had been pulling apart and it wasn’t just because of soccer or anything but also because I had been studying.”

Both Powers and Mathes want to pursue work in the NICU. They believe that their struggles will be worth it, though all three of them have thought about quitting at some time or another.

“Oh, everyday. Seriously, I think about choosing something different everyday,” Stratton laughed, “But I’m glad I’m doing it.”

Cookies, Cookies, Cookies!

Free Food. We all like the sound of “free” attached to other words, but “free food” tends to interest college students quite a bit. In this case, it was free cookies.

We were given a box of 12 packs of cookies. Plain and simple. Our mission: to give out free cookies where no one had before. But seriously, our goal was to give out free cookies. I ripped open the box of Scooby Snacks and headed over to the activities fair.

It was pouring pretty heavily outside and the number of students walking on campus was pretty small. I hid my box close to my body so that it wouldn’t get soaked, but there wasn’t a soul around to offer cookies to.

After reaching the student center, which is off of Peters Ave, I headed inside to the Yockey room. It was furnished with tables in a U-shape along three walls, with more tables in the center. There were people at the tables talking about their organizations. I set my opened box next to our Alpha Lamba Delta sign and sat in the plastic maroon chair.

There were few people milling about, but Professor John Helms approached my table. I said,

“Good morning Professor Helms. Or afternoon, I guess. I don’t know anymore. do you want some cookies or a glow stick?” He looked at me like I was crazy, then shrugged and said,

“I’m walking around and collecting lunch right now, so I guess I’ll take some cookies.” He picked up one of the purple pouches and dropped it into a plastic cup he was holding. He smiled as he did so, looking up from the cup that now held his cookies. He didn’t look at me like I was crazy anymore but as a normal student.

We’re all crazy though, I guess.

The rain outside stopped a lot of students from coming in, so my box sat untouched for a while. Finally, one student was beyond excited to be offered cookies.

“I’ll just take one…box!” He said as he grabbed the whole thing. His black hair fell in front of his eyes and covered his darker skin as he laughed.

“No, um please just take one,” I stated.

“I know that they are basically our childhood, but don’t take them all. That’s rude,” Grace Russman said. She was laughing a bit too as she sat next to me but made sure he knew that he could only take one. He did, but he looked back at the box as he walked away.

Few people told me no outright, some said yes but then changed their mind when they say the cookie type, and I even had people like Tony Michalski who got way too into the whole “free” idea. Michalski took two during class and threw one at a kid and yelled “Baldy Award!” Not too sure what that means, but he sure enjoyed the free aspect.

All in all, free cookies are easy to give away. They are welcome in the “free food” community around college students and the questions of “do you want some free cookies?” was nearly always met with

“Heck yeah! I love free cookies.”

Rewriting the Lede for Couch Comfort

Original: What are the brothers of the Sigma Chi house hoping to accomplish with the crafty (and perhaps bizarre) placement of living room couches on their front lawn?

Standard Take: The Sigma Chi brothers choose comfort over practicality when it comes to their lawn furniture and choose to leave living room couches in their front lawn, just for the fun of it.

Whimsical Take: Sagging cushions on living rooms couches always seem to perk up in the sun, and the Sigma Chi brothers wouldn’t want to “chill” anywhere else.

It’s All In the Lede

I was scrolling through the New York Times tonight looking for a lede that would grab my attention. I wanted to stay away from the opinion pieces, and the pieces about Trump, and finally a title caught my eye.

I had been looking into the case a tiny bit earlier in the day, and then became ecstatic as I read the lede. It reads, “The morning after her upset political victory, Ayanna Pressley ascended a stage in Dorchester a few blocks from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, greeting activists who had gathered to unify the party and to see a trailblazer — black, female, Bostonian — now poised to assume the old J.F.K. congressional seat.” It’s from the article Ayanna Pressley’s Victory: A Political Earthquake That Reflects a Changed Boston. 

For me, this lede worked. I am a female fighting for a change in American politics, and here is a female of color doing just that. This lede made me excited. It made me proud of the work we are accomplishing, and it made me want to follow the story more.

In honor of this lede, I am going to try to rewrite it. Bear with me, here goes:

Ayanna Pressley — groundbreaking, black female — upset the Boston political world yesterday and ascended the steps of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library this morning to greet party-unifying activists.

A Look into the Shaggs: Characters, Narrative, and Themes

The Shaggs, in this story, are three young females that formed a band in the late 60’s. They sang together, even though so many of their acquaintances believed that their music was awful. They are described as melancholy looking characters from the 1969 album cover picture they posed for. The girls, managed by their father, lived in Fremont, New Hampshire, a town known for its dull and boring demeanor. They were forced to find a way to claw their way out of the dark, lonely depression of the town.

Later in the story, the Wiggin’s girls are characterized again. Years after their father died and they were finally free to move away and live their lives, they were interviewed. Susan Orlean explains that they are still living close to where their childhood home was, though Betty is described as not having time to care about appearances. They work hard, though the youngest sister Helen still suffers from depression.

The characters in this story are written closer to that of a news story. They are introduced through common names and titles, and the narrative is lacking a dialogue. It does detail the story of how the girls began singing, the fear that their father placed in them if they even thought about quitting, and how they started from nothing and were jeered senselessly. later, the dialogue between Orleans and the sisters becomes more common and begins after the beginning anecdote. The narrative story begins with the story about the characters and their father and then continues into the interview and the after story.

This story tells of a trio that was forced to participate in something they hated because of a father that they feared. That begs the theme of fear itself, and the prison that it can place people in. Fear is a true strength and a weakness, as it is a theme throughout this story. Destiny is another theme within this story, stemming from Austin Wiggins Jr’s belief that the band was his destiny and what he was supposed to do.

This story returns to the beginning. It states that Dot still tries to approach her father’s dream and still participates in music performances, just not with the Shaggs. Orleans concludes her story by stating that the song the girls could never perform to their father’s satisfaction also stated that “you can never please/anybody/in this world.”

Story Ideas for Health and Entitlement

Health:
  1. Nursing career on the lives of the actual nurses
    1. Tell the story from their point of view, and how it affects their lives.
Entitlement:
  1. Do you use the radio, or do you use a music streaming source
    1. Entitlement to be able to listen to the music they want, when they want.

Spin the Story

According to the Article “New U.S. Sexual Misconduct Rules Bolster Rights of Accused and Protect Colleges” from the New York Times, rights of accused sexual predators are being increased and colleges are being released of some of their responsibility to the victims. Sexual misconduct, especially on college campuses, has become a widespread issue in today’s society. There are so many directions that this story could go, from an emotion pull on the heartstrings to completely factual and objective.

  1. Story on the different attitudes men and women have about campus sexual assault.
    1. Is it a problem? Rights for the accused are being raised, so an emotion/opinion piece on that perspective.
  2. Story on (if willing to share) the process of reporting sexual assault.
    1. It is not easy to reach out, and now that accusers rights are being increased it may be more difficult.
  3. How do you feel about narrowing what is considered sexual assault? A female opinion piece.
  4. Why is sexual assault an issue, especially on college campuses?
  5. Is bolstering rights a way to stop sexual assault at colleges?

5 URGENT Questions

  1. Why can we make steps forward in plastic reduction, but not in the reduction of natural resource use?
  2. Why does hot air rise?
  3. What does racism accomplish?
  4.  Could we go back to a bartering system?
  5. What superhero power do the majority of people wish they had?
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