A Montanan's Outlook

Hoe 4 Huckleberries

Nacho Best Idea Final

The cracked upholstery of the bar stools in Brewskis’ stared back at Taylor and Tara Van Vliet. They slowly walked toward the stools and the high top table. Their feet dragged slightly on the dingy, carpeted flooring.

The reality of what they were about to do, again, was sinking in. They climbed their stools and sat erect, each one breathing slowly while trying to settle the food in their stomachs.

Screens of every sport imaginable surrounded their table. The bright lights illuminated their menus in the dark restaurant even though they both knew what they were about to order.

Taylor looked at Tara and nodded as the waiter approached. Tara’s shoulder-length brunette hair bobbed as she nodded back.

“Can we get the shredded chicken nachos, please?” Tara said. She watched as the waiter wrote down her order, smiled, and walked away without judgment. Both their shoulders dropped as their stress was released.   

Brewskis’ was the second stop in the Van Vliet sisters’ “Nacho Tour,” as they have chosen to name it. They wanted to try Lincoln, NE’s best and worst nachos in the span of a single day in honor of Taylor returning to college.

Lincoln, where Tara would be staying for her senior year of high school, and Sioux City weren’t that far away. Taylor promised she would drive back and forth whenever she could, and Tara promised to visit Morningside to watch her march with the Mustangs.

But they knew it would be different being separate. They were basically inseparable.

So, nachos were their parting.   

“We always make a list of things we want to do during the summer, and we had remembered #hashbrownhuntdown2k15 from BuzzFeed,” Taylor said. “This was the biggest regret of my life.”

“We started by going to the bank and turning in all our change so we would have funding,” Taylor continued. “Is that right?”

Tara’s high-pitched mechanical voice came through the phone speaker. “Yes, that was what we did first. We are both so broke.”

“We tried to go places of varying price points,” Taylor said.

The girl’s first stop was Granite City for some ‘Idaho Nachos.’

“People on Instagram fought us about these. They’re actually french fries, so people said they weren’t real nachos,” Taylor said.

Tara added, “The waiter was also judging us because we wouldn’t get any more food.”

“Yeah, he asked us like three times if we wanted anything else. Like, no bro, we don’t,” Taylor laughed.

The Van Vliet’s felt mildly uncomfortable in Granite City. It was 11 am and they were the youngest in the establishment. Banter from older couples droned on in the restaurant as they waited for the first of many nacho plates.

“If you did a Google search, Granite City was probably like two to three dollar signs. It’s fancy,” Taylor explained. They noticed people were drinking during early business hours, and finished the Idaho Nachos quickly.  

They held them over. They turned to each other and decided on their second destination: Brewskis’; the fries and cheese dip settled into the pits of their stomachs.

“Brewskis probably had the best nachos of the tour, in my opinion,” Taylor commented. She recounted the story. “We got the chicken nachos and they were delicious.”

“They had tri-color chips which are definitively better than normal chips. Chip diversity is greater than white chips.”

“Oh, and the waiter didn’t judge us. But sour cream is nasty on chips and I knew that beforehand,” Tara said.

The nachos, including the ‘gobs of sour cream,’ also had jalapenos that Tara “lived for.” Taylor laughed and smiled as she described the bright orange fake cheese dip that was the heart and soul of the nachos.

“There were also diced tomatoes which added some nice vegetable flare to the plate of saturated fat,” Taylor laughed.

After the second stop, the girls could feel the dairy hitting them and decided they needed a break. Feeling ill, they went to Target. Tara, being in the nostalgic mood, bought some pinata socks after conducting an Instagram poll.

Up next, the sisters decided on an American favorite: Taco Bell.

“The regular chip nachos were gross, but their fry nachos were good,” Taylor commented. The American fast food restaurant was a disappointment the Van Vliet’s agreed.

“It was the hottest week of the summer and we were sitting there eating sweaty nachos,” Tara commented. The disgust dripped from her words through the phone speaker and the grimace that Taylor sported spoke volumes to the memory. “They were definitely the worst nachos of the whole tour.”

They quickly moved past Taco Bell, as the nachos there were what really added to their already-nauseous stomach pits.

Their final stop was Amigos, and the Van Vliet sisters were already being dragged down by close to $30 dollars in processed cheese and toppings.

The food coma was setting in, and the monotony was following so they ordered Crispos instead.

“Crispos!” Tara exclaimed.

Crispos are an Amigos statement desert of fried tortillas and cinnamon-sugar in a flimsy, American-made pouch.

“We got each of us a bag because we didn’t know how big they were. We regretted that decision,” Taylor commented.

The cinnamon-sugar tortilla chips cut through the cheese, chicken, and toppings and put a sweet little ‘cherry-on-top’ to the end of the sister’s escapade.

Though the Nacho Tour was unique for the Van Vliet sisters, this idea of buying the same type of food from different places is not so uncommon.

“Me and my best friend did that with chicken nuggets,” Zue Alvarado said. She said that they traveled around Sioux City and bought chicken nuggets from fast food establishments.

Food tours have become increasingly popular. Finding the best version of someone’s favorite food has become more than just a pastime, but a trend.

The Van Vliets have plans to continue their fun of trying foods.

“Next summer we should do a coffee tour of Lincoln,” Taylor suggested.

“I don’t know, I think salad would be best,” Tara countered.

At the end of the day, the sisters had consumed enough dairy to last a lifetime.

“We spent $40 on chips and cheese that day,” Taylor said. “We were upset about the amount of dairy we consumed, but it was a fun day.”

Nacho Best Idea

The cracked upholstery of the bar stools in Brewskis’ stared back at Taylor and Tara Van Vliet. They slowly walked toward the stools and the high top table. Their feet dragged slightly on the dingy, carpeted flooring.

The reality of what they were about to do, again, was sinking in. They climbed their stools and sat erect, each one breathing slowly while trying to settle the food in their stomachs.

Screens of every sport imaginable surrounded their table. The bright lights illuminated their menus in the dark restaurant even though they both knew what they were about to order.

Taylor looked at Tara and nodded as the waiter approached. Tara’s shoulder-length brunette hair bobbed as she nodded back.

“Can we get the shredded chicken nachos, please?” Tara said. She watched as the waiter wrote down her order, smiled, and walked away without judgment. Both their shoulders dropped as their stress was released.   

Brewskis’ was the second stop in the Van Vliet sisters’ “Nacho Tour,” as they have chosen to name it. They wanted to try Lincoln, NE’s best and worst nachos in the span of a single day in honor of Taylor returning to college.

“We always make a list of things we want to do during the summer, and we had remembered #hashbrownhuntdown2k15 from BuzzFeed,” Taylor said. “This was the biggest regret of my life.”

“We started by going to the bank and turning in all our change so we would have funding,” Taylor continued. “Is that right?”

Tara’s high-pitched mechanical voice came through the phone speaker. “Yes, that was what we did first. We are both so broke.”

The girl’s first stop was Granite City for some ‘Idaho Nachos.’

“People on Instagram fought us about these. They’re actually french fries, so people said they weren’t real nachos,” Taylor said.

Tara added, “The waiter was also judging us because we wouldn’t get any more food.”

“Yeah, he asked us like three times if we wanted anything else. Like, no bro, we don’t,” Taylor laughed.

The Van Vliet’s felt mildly uncomfortable in Granite City. It was 11 am and they were the youngest in the establishment. Banter from older couples droned on in the restaurant as they waited for the first of many nacho plates.

The Idaho nachos held them over. They turned to each other and decided on their second destination: Brewskis’; the fries and cheese dip settled into the pits of their stomachs.

“Brewskis probably had the best nachos of the tour, in my opinion,” Taylor commented. She recounted the story. “We got the chicken nachos and they were delicious.”

[I want to add another scene somewhere, which means I need to talk to Taylor again. I also want to continue it. I’m not sure how to add a third source, any ideas?]

Non-Fiction Text Review #2

John Hersey’s novel Hiroshima discusses the atrocious act of the dropping of the first atomic bomb. Through his story, he follows the stories of six different characters. Each character counted themselves lucky to be alive that fateful day and Hersey told their stories.

Hersey was an American writer and journalist who was born in China. Upon return to the United States, Hersey began attending school in Briarcliff Manor, Yale, and the University of Cambridge.

During World War II, Hersey worked as a journalist and covered fighting in Europe and Asia, as well as the Allied troops in Sicily. After the war, Hersey was in Japan reporting on their reconstruction. During this time, he was introduced to the people who would later become his award-winning characters.

Hersey fathered what would later be termed as “New Journalism.” He worked to take non-fiction stories and weave them into fictitious-sounding works of writing, exactly like Hiroshima.

I believe that Hersey wrote this piece in order to tell the truth of the devastation in Japan after seeing the destruction of the atomic bomb. His writing was new; he took the story and created it into an article that could be read as a story. He wrote to bring awareness to the realities of what the United States had done.

Hersey worked to piece together a masterpiece of survival with one of fear and pain. He wrote through scenarios in a tone similar to Ernest Hemingway: clear, concise, and clean.

Hersey wrote this story through copious retellings and interviews. He met his first victim, Father Wilhelm Kleinsorge –a Jesuit priest– who then introduced him to the remaining five victims. Precise recollections were necessary for Hersey to construct his graphic, realistic scenes.

One of the many times in Hersey’s book where this is shown in full happens within the beginning of the story. Miss Toshiko Sasaki describes the pain and fear she felt after the explosion.

Within this passage, Hersey tells of her coming in and out of consciousness and in and out of pain. In order for this to be effective, Hersey would have needed to ask the right questions of Miss Sasaki, beyond that of “What do you remember?”

He paints a picture of bookshelves falling into each other and books themselves littering the floors. The sound of footsteps atop their heads and the clawing through to be freed. In this section, it seems as if Hersey could have been there, but he wasn’t.

His interview tactics got to the meat of the story. He described scenes as the survivors, though he only knew everything secondhand.

Personally, I was intrigued by the story. It takes dedication and careful decisions to write a story from the perspective of a person that is still alive. Hersey did this in an incredible fashion.

This book was set-up so it was told from the perspectives of six individuals. Each story was told through their eyes. It was interesting to see so many emotions evoked, even though there was a single author.

I love history and its implications, and John Hersey made me see it from a different light. The atomic bomb not only won the war, but it destroyed people.

Profile Sketch

Taylor Van Vliet and Tara Van Vliet:

a look at their attempt at what they have called “Nacho Tour” this summer before school started. The ins and outs of the “best nachos” in Lincoln,  NE and what this unique experience taught them. This will look at their nacho tour specifically and then the idea of trying one type of food across a city.

A Happy Day

My phone is constantly in my hand. I don’t think I am any different than most college students when it comes to this; we don’t like to be disconnected. I moved across the country to study in college and now I like to stay in touch with my friends and family.

A snapchat usually catches my eye when it pops up on my phone. The yellow box surrounding the white ghost is just part of my everyday routine. It’s a part of everyone’s. I end up turning my head away.

The “iPhone blue” that pops up on my screen from a text surprises me tenfold compared to a snapchat. It’s usually my mom or my dad, or sometimes my friend Mallory. I pick up my phone and wait for the face recognition to unlock it.

The white Gmail icon floats down from the top edge of my phone and catches my eye.  The From: line is filled with the name of one of my professors and the subject line is labeled “Today’s Class.”

My heart jumps a bit. Could this finally be the day? I check the time: 7:33 am – plenty of time to go back to sleep if it’s what I think it is. I click the notification and hold my breath.

The first line is all I need to read:

“I am canceling class today because…”

I need nothing else for happiness to swell through my system.

A minuscule fistbump from underneath my comforter shows my excitement as I hit the lock button on my phone. I reach above my head and set my phone down as I settle my head back on my pillow.

This is what true bliss is.

Paradise in College Culture is a canceled class and extra sleeping time. I feel my heart getting happier just thinking about it.

My America Pictures

“My America”: The ‘I Voted’ sticker, iconic for general election days in the United States, mixed with the subtle hint of drug culture as well.

“My America”: Crocs, Pixar, Vines, The Office, and the rest of the accumulation of stickers on a college student’s favorite piece of technology: the Mac Book

“My America”: Beer. Is there anything more American?

The Roommate Problem Final

Scavenger hunts, snowball fights, football games – College Culture is composed of so many things that make the college experience unique. Though students everywhere experience this Culture differently, there are some things that are included in College Culture in most places; roommates are one.

Roommates can be great, and awful. Blind draws can find a student their best friend, and analytical choices can make a students’ greatest enemy.

Sheri Hineman, the Director of Residence Life at Morningside College, has had years of experience with college students and roommates. Hineman believes that there are both positives and negatives in this aspect of College Culture.

“I think having a roommate helps you communicate with someone whom you haven’t grown up with. They make you feel not as lonely and isolated,” Hineman said.

Hineman believes that roommates are one of the reasons that more students stay in school. Without them, she believes the loneliness would impact students to where they wouldn’t leave their rooms or build connections with other people.

“Meeting someone different, who could be socially different, different ethnic background, race, upbringing…gives you somebody outside your social circle to talk,” Hineman also said about the benefits of roommates.

Though roommates offer potential friendships and bonds, there are also negatives that play into this aspect of the culture of college.

“It can be difficult to get to know someone. You both have to put in effort to build a relationship,” Hineman commented.

Alyssa Miller agreed with Hineman on her position on the benefits of a roommate.

“They can add support and friendship, especially in the beginning. You start talking before school starts so you start creating that connection,” Miller commented. Though Miller agreed with this position, she also realized that roommates sometimes don’t work out.

College relationships begin with roommates, but sometimes “you get a dud,” as stated by Hineman, which Miller discovered her freshman year.

Miller went through three different roommates within her first ninety days of college. Her original roommate was never in the room and tended to party, and the next two switched quickly. Caitlin Makovicka was the roommate that stuck.

Miller spoke of the stress of constantly changing roommates and how it felt to finally become settled.

“She was in the room every night. That’s where the friendship-roommate thing came into play. Your room has to feel like a safe space, so changing to Caitlin made it that way while still having someone in the room,” Miller said.

Haley Lampe also spoke about having the option to pick your roommate, and how that changed the culture associated with roommates in college.

“I already knew what I was getting myself into,” Lampe commented, “I was more anxious to begin the year when I didn’t know.”

Roommates that begin as strangers are common, and choosing your roommate changes College Culture. Students that pick their roommates have already made connections, but they must continue to work with another person in order to live in cooperation.

No matter what, roommates are the necessary evil of college. They change everyday life of a student.

“I had to change how I interacted in my own room,” Alex Badger said. “I had to start to be considerate of the other person at all times”

Adjusting to a roommate can be stressful. Sleep schedules don’t always match up, friends sometimes stay over too late, and arguments can break out between the students.

Badger says that sleeping with white noise is a ‘no-go’ with his current roommate, and that figuring out how sleep in dead silence has been a constant struggle.

“I have to adjust most everything in my day accordingly. He sleeps at a different time than me. He goes to bed at midnight, while I go to bed at one or later.”

Challenges with when to turn off lights, how long to allow Playstation screens to glow, and talking too loud on cell phones add to the roommate culture in college.

Roommates create different experiences for each person, but they are a common aspect of College Culture. Roommates create friendships, facilitate certain issues, and force students to learn give-and-take.

Without roommates, College Culture would be different and without roommates the college experience would be missing one crucial aspect.

The Roommate Problem

College Culture – with a capital C – is different for every student and campus. As culture is different for people depending on religion or ethnicity, it is different for students.

Scavenger hunts, snowball fights, football games – College Culture is composed of so many things that make the college experience unique. Though students everywhere experience this Culture differently, there is one thing that makes College Culture in most places: Roommates.

Roommates can be great, and awful. Blind draws can find a student their best friend, and analytical choices can make a students’ greatest enemy.

Roommates are the necessary evil of college. They change everyday life of a student.

“I had to change how I interacted in my own room,” Alex Badger said. “I had to start to be considerate of the other person at all times.”

Adjusting to a roommate can be stressful. Sleep schedules don’t always match up, friends sometimes stay over too late, and arguments can break out between the students.

Badger says that sleeping with white noise is a ‘no-go’ with his current roommate, and that figuring out how sleep in dead silence has been a constant struggle.

“I have to adjust most everything in my day accordingly. He sleeps at a different time than me. He goes to bed at midnight, while I go to bed at one or later.”

Challenges with when to turn off lights, how long to allow Playstation screens to glow, and talking too loud on cell phones add to the roommate culture in college.

[I want to also talk about being able to choose roommates, how adjusting to roommates can affect college life, and I want to conduct more interviews.]

My Morningside

Lewis Hall is what makes Morningside special to me. It is where I live, basically, and where I study. Three flights of stairs ain’t got nothing on my favorite place on campus. This is My Morningside.

Cultural Article Sketch

Culture: Roommates

Roommates are a college guarantee. If you move onto campus from a different city, or town, or even just to get away from your parents, you will most likely be assigned a roommate. Morningside fills out a questionnaire in order to match up roommates with people that are similar to them.

For this article, I can talk to my roommate now about what it was like to be able to choose a roommate for the second year on campus. I can discuss the implications of roommates with an RA, such as Tessa Renze or Dylan Ferguson or Bailey Powers. I can talk to Alyssa Miller about having to change roommates in the middle of a semester.

Bad roommates, good roommates, silent, loud, messy, clean, all types of roommates change a person’s college experience.

Sharing your room, but more importantly your life, with a stranger is hard. This is how college usually starts. I want to discuss the relationships that roommates have, and how this can change how a person interacts and participates in school. I also want to talk about the idea that after college you don’t usually have roommates, or you do only because it is cheaper.

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