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American History
Blood of the Viking


      Nothing could have prepared me for the scene I was to walk into that morning. It looked like a wind storm had gone through my office. On the floor, all over the desk, on top of the file cabinets, everywhere there was paper strewn all around and about.  Brown folders holding students names and medical records had been in alphabetical order.  Now they were tossed all over.  Some of the contents stayed in the file but other papers were strewn about the little room.

      The shock of seeing the work I had so laboriously created looked to be now no more than rubbish. The anger of it raced over me. Could this woman be so childish?  If I had of said one word a torrent would surely have come out and I wasn't going to let myself slip into that position with her.  Instead, I began picking up all the white papers to stack in one pile. The brown folders I proceeded to place in another pile. First I had to get the brown folders with names at the top, back into alphabetical order all 1000 of them.

       There was such a silence with the nurses.  No telling how much they had endured from this Norwegian lady who apparently had Viking blood. She had patiently waited until I had my work completed. Then, in she had come just at the right moment. Tossing and throwing the files around evidently was to let everyone know she had the authority to do something like this. The scheme worked. The nurses were quiet and sober. There was no friendly chatter with the patients or each other. These were dedicated women who loved their job of treating the students. They didn't want to do anything to jeopardize that goal. I was on my own with this.

     I knew it would take me some time to get the files all back in order. Literally I had to file again, most of the scattered paper work. The head nurse never made any comment, explanation or apology as I worked. She had a superior, self-satisfied look on her face though. Her level stare could make a person know she was the victor.

      For some reason, suddenly I was more mature. The fun and games were over I could see that. This woman was cut out of another mold and it was one I could not understand or comprehend at that time. She obviously had no respect for me or she wouldn't have done that to my work. The years I had gritted my teeth through the military regimen of the school, the time I had in a lonely way struggled to get through college at Arkansas City, and the place I had to humble myself because I was among people who were of greater intelligence and education, none of that meant anything to her. It registered in my understanding now but didn't make me afraid of the woman as the others were. There was anger. However, this wasn't so much toward the woman but for the circumstances involved.

      The days to follow must have really been a thorn  in the woman's side. I went about my work with a happy outlook while continuing doing what was outlined in my job description. One thing after another she played out in a crafty, insidious  way but did not deter my progress. The office at Oklahoma City seemed to be satisfied and this was all I cared to accomplish.

      The nurses held a new respect for me and they treated me with a kindness that was touching. My father was progressing well with his back injury and was back at work. In spite of the rattling, childish ways of the head nurse I enjoyed my job with a feeling that my world was becoming brighter and better. Mother was needing less and less extra money to help with the family. This gave me an opportunity to save or spend my money as I wanted to do.  Life was, indeed, pleasant.


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