A Montanan's Outlook

Hoe 4 Huckleberries

Category: Stories (page 1 of 2)

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?]

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.]

Non-Fiction Text Review for Hella Nation

Evan Wright’s book Hella Nation centers around Wright’s experiences with unique groups of people around the country. Wright’s purpose in writing this book was to find what he considered to be the “lost tribes of America” and report on their unique lifestyles.

Wright uses his skills as a reporter to infiltrate into the lives of these outsiders and tries to understand their nature and their actions. The book is about his experiences with groups ranging from sex workers/taxi-dance halls to Hollywood directors.

Evan Wright is an American-born writer who has worked for Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone reporting on subcultures. He graduated from John Hopkins University and Vassar College. His first writing gig was interviewing a South African Political leader, though the job did not pay.

After his stints in non-paying jobs, Wright was able to begin his career of immersion reporting. While immersing himself into the lives of different subcultures, he began to write long features based on what he experienced.

This experience led him to be able to immerse himself into the cultures for the book Hella Nation. His career in journalism prepared him for his authorship and gave his book a more real, tangible feeling to it.

Wright wrote Hella Nation in order to display the subcultures of the United States in their raw state. He wrote this book to introduce to his readers the differences in American life and the complexities of those in what are sometimes deemed “countercultures.”

Wright’s book is meant to make the reader think. He has specifically designed the book to lay out different ‘characters’ chapter by chapter that explores untamed portions of American life.

Wright used multiple different tactics in order to write this book. Most importantly, and most often, he used methods of participating and observation. Within the first chapter of the book, Wright makes it clear that the story of the Fifth Platoon Delta Company was told through his perspective and observations.

Wright immersed himself into the surroundings of the people he wrote about, and then he watched them. He listened to their vernacular and described their hygiene. Everything from the way their hair was parted to the amount of alcohol they consumed a day to their amount of times they could say ‘fuck’ in a day was recorded.

In the chapter “Dancing With a Stranger,” Wright uses participation to understand his subjects best. He chooses to dance with the ladies in each taxi-club in order to learn about who they are as people and who they are as clients.

This is one of the spots where Wright’s participation becomes crucial to understanding the people of the story. In order to learn about each taxi-club, Wright must interact with females from each spot. This leads to his direct participation.

These two methods, along with brief interviews from people in the subcultures or outside sources, make up the majority of the book. This creates subjectivity in the story because these characters and experiences become a part of Wright’s life.

Personally, I enjoyed the set-up of the book. Each chapter was a new story dedicated to a new group which kept the book interesting. My favorite chapter is still “Dance With a Stranger” because it was interesting to hear about the different levels of dancing and intimacy that are offered for money in certain cities.

This book has caused me to think a little deeper about unique cultures within American. Even though they “don’t fit in,” they are what help make America different. They are the groups that set America apart.  

Sing-Songy Final

I looked down into my lap and traced the outlines of the flowers on my dress with my pointer finger. My legs were crossed at the heels and pushed under my metal chair, along with my backpack. My heels dug into the fabric of the pack but I didn’t notice.

Amy Jackson was sitting to my left looking at the itinerary for the celebration. I lifted my eyes from my dress to her. The white lace of her outfit made her eyes pop. They looked fierce, outlined in black eyeliner and touched by bronzer. They sparkled as she scanned the paper in her hands.

Her hair was brushed behind her ears and it only fell to the nape of her neck. She was able to make her pixie cut look sophisticated without much effort.

“Hey, look. It’s you,” she said as she pointed to my name. It fell under Tyler Nordstrom and Anna Zetterland’s and was preceded with Lyrics written by. I stared at where she was pointing.

 

Today has been a very bad day,

Scrounging and scouring and lying in wait.

Running and scrambling, searching for a way

by dreaming and panicking, staying up late.

The night sky, twinkling and rolling

while the thoughts in my head are painfully scrolling

Attacking and splattering,

Ripping and shredding.

Today has been a very bad day.

 

Yesterday was a very bad day

with blood-stained thoughts and dreams.

Infiltrated by fear that just won’t go away

and painstaking acuteness it seemed.

Blinded and battered,

pushed until my heart shattered.

Seeing and screaming that

everything is beyond dreaming.

Yesterday was a very bad day.

 

Tomorrow will be a different day

where this deafening silence will finally be broken,

where the world will finally pay

and words will not be left unspoken.

I will finally sleep a dreamless sleep

and the world, with all my secrets, will keep

living and loving,

uncrippling and forgiving

because tomorrow,

oh tomorrow,

tomorrow will be a different, maybe better, day.

 

My lips tugged into a small smile.

“Yeah, it is. Tyler said that he and Anna are really excited,” I said.

“Have you heard it yet?”

“No, I haven’t. Anna asked if I wanted to hear it yesterday but I wanted to be surprised with everyone else.” My eyes darted to the piano in the corner of the room and back to Amy. “I’m nervous, but I know that they’ll make it sound amazing no matter what.”

I folded my hands in my lap and kneaded them together. I pulled my right thumb down between both hands and folded it into my palms. I chewed on the corner of my bottom lip.

“Mari!” I heard from behind me. I looked over my shoulder and my lips turned down at the corners. “Mari, this is your poem on the back.”

I sighed with relief as I turned and realized it was only Professor Triezenberg. My smile returned. She was perched on the very edge of her seat, leaning forward while sweeping her fingers down the words I had written a year earlier.

“Yes,” I chuckled, “Tyler and Anna are going to perform it today.”

“I didn’t realize you liked to write poetry,” she said. I merely smiled and nodded my head and turned around. Not many people knew my interest in poetry.

Professor Werden walked to the podium and began to announce the winners of that year’s Kiosk prizes. I sat glassy-eyed as we heard the champions read their pieces to the audience. One-by-one they took the stage, and one-by-one they left.

I shook my head and the room came back into focus as I heard my name.

“I was reading through the poetry selections for this year’s Kiosk and Mari Pizzini’s poem just grabbed my attention,” Anna was saying. I looked up and waved as everyone turned in my direction. My cheeks reddened.

“Her poem is written on the back of the brochure if you want to follow along as I sing. I hope you enjoy,” Anna finished. Her smile was almost as bright as the plastic-y gemstones that covered her knee-length skirt.

She stepped back so she was in line with the piano and turned to nod at Tyler, who was sitting on the piano bench. He dipped his head down and ran his fingers across the keys, coming to a stop at Middle C. Then he played.

Our song flowed with key after key, and Anna’s voice soon joined the serenade. With each word, my head moved slowly towards my hands in my lap.

Painfully scrolling brought my hand to my cheek. Bloodstained thoughts and dreams broke my heart again. A tear streaked down my cheek and my neck, landing in my lap. I brushed it away as I remembered when I had first written the words that were being sung.

My paper had been wrinkled and tearstained. Drop after drop had flowed onto the lined page that day in January of 2017. I couldn’t stop the tears, and I couldn’t stop the words.

I squeezed my eyes shut, tightly, as Anna continued to sing. I wanted to remember this piece without thinking of Julie’s face.

My heart was up there with Anna and every word showed it more plainly to our attentive audience.

I spread my fingers through my bangs. Poetry had always been my way out, and music had always been my way of connecting with other people. Here I am, letting other people hear my pain.

Creation had always been important to me, to my family, to my friends, and to most people in my life. It had always been a way of communicating pain and hope.

Abby Koch described creation as her “mental relief” and it shows who we are today. Who people are and who they become. I sat watching Tyler as his hands drifted over the keys and how Anna’s eyes slowly closed as she sang each note.

Creation can’t be just for me. It has to be for someone else. Our song was for everyone in the room. My eyes drifted from chair to chair, landing on Amy, and Christina, and Leslie.

This song was for Julie. For the pain she felt and the pain she left when she died. This was my creation. This was my mental relief.    

Anna’s voice trailed off as she sang tomorrow, and my breathing hitched as Tyler echoed her words with his keys. I sighed out as the music died, and lifted my head.

There was nothing more I could give. No more strength, no more hope, no more pain. I had laid it out one-by-one, A-B-C, key after key after key.

I smiled.

Sing-Songy

I looked down into my lap and traced the outlines of the flowers on my dress with my pointer finger. My legs were crossed at the heels and pushed under my metal chair, along with my backpack. My heels dug into the fabric of the pack but I didn’t notice.

Amy Jackson was sitting to my left looking at the itinerary for the celebration. I lifted my eyes from my dress to her. The white lace of her outfit made her eyes look fierce. They sparkled as she scanned the paper in her hands.

Her hair was brushed behind her ears and it only fell to the nape of her neck. She was able to make her pixie cut look sophisticated without much effort.

“Hey, look. It’s you,” she said as she pointed to my name. It fell under Tyler Nordstrom and Anna Zetterland’s and was preceded with Lyrics written by. I stared at where she was pointing.

My lips tugged into a small smile.

“Yeah, it is. Tyler said that he and Anna are really excited,” I said.

“Have you heard it yet?”

“No, I haven’t. Anna asked if I wanted to hear it yesterday but I wanted to be surprised with everyone else.” My eyes darted to the piano in the corner of the room and back to Amy. “I’m nervous, but I know that they’ll make it sound amazing no matter what.”

I folded my hands in my lap and started kneading them together. I pulled my right thumb down between both hands and folded it into my palms. I chewed on the corner of my bottom lip.

“Mari!” I heard from behind me. I looked behind my shoulder and my lips turned down at the corners. “Mari, this is your poem on the back.”

I sighed with relief as I turned and realized it was only Professor Triezenberg. My smile returned. She was perched on the very edge of her seat, leaning forward while sweeping her fingers down the words I had written a year earlier.

“Yes,” I chuckled, “Tyler and Anna are going to perform it today.”

“I didn’t realize you liked to write poetry,” she said. I merely smiled and nodded my head and turned around. Not many people knew my interest in poetry.

Professor Werden walked to the podium and began to announce the winners of that year’s Kiosk prizes. I sat glassy-eyed as we heard the champions read their pieces to the audience. One-by-one they took the stage, and one-by-one they left.

I shook my head and the room came back into focus as I heard my name.

“I was reading through the poetry selections for this year’s Kiosk and Mari Pizzini’s poem just grabbed my attention,” Anna was saying. I looked up and waved as everyone turned in my direction. My cheeks reddened.

“Her poem is written on the back of the brochure if you want to follow along as I sing. I hope you enjoy,” Anna finished. Her smile was almost as bright as the plastic-y gemstones that covered her knee-length skirt.

She stepped back so she was in line with the piano and turned to nod at Tyler, who was sitting on the piano bench. He dipped his head down and ran his fingers across the keys, coming to a stop at Middle C. Then he played.

Their song flowed with key after key, and Anna’s voice soon joined the serenade. With each word, my head moved slowly towards my hands in my lap.

Painfully scrolling brought my hand to my cheek. Bloodstained thoughts and dreams broke my heart again. A tear streaked down my cheek and my neck, landing in my lap.

I squeezed my eyes shut, tightly, as Anna continued to sing. My heart was up there with her and every word showed it more plainly to our attentive audience. Her voice died off as she sang tomorrow, and my breathing hitched as Tyler echoed her words with his keys. I sighed out as the music died, and lifted my head. I met Anna’s eyes and smiled.

Heroes Come In Scrubs Final

“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 leaned forward in her chair and placed her elbows on her knees.

It was a hard topic to talk about. Her head bent forward until 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 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 reasons for why they joined the department.

Lauri Sells, a nursing professor at Morningside College, spoke of this as well.

“Nursing students usually have some sort of situation prior to their deciding to become a nurse. Whether that be a family member, friend, or self. The interaction led them to want to become a nurse.”

These interactions continue on.

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.

Anything from familial tragedies to personal experiences shaped the paths for these students. They each have a main goal for their future careers as ‘heroes in scrubs’ and Sells puts it as such:

“To help as many patients as possible. To impact others’ lives for the greater good.”  

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.

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