Advanced English students at Caribou HS share essays

12 years ago

Descriptive essay

By Renee Pooler
Senior, CHS

Clink Clink Clink is all I hear as the belt starts to run. We wait, what seems to be a long time, but it was really only thirty seconds until the first sighting of potatoes appears. They start coming slowly. In the beginning we are relieved to only see a few rocks and dirt chunks, but then suddenly our relief goes away when massive piles of mud and potatoes come swarming up the belt. Picking a million miles a minute, even with three girls manning their own section of the belt, it’s impossible to get all the rocks out. My fingers are cold and starting to cramp up as the cool morning continues on. It was horrible having a stuffy nose so I had to breathe through my mouth. Every time I clenched my jaw, I could taste the gritty dirt in my teeth. I was smart and wore sunglasses; even though it was sunny it was still a good thing that I wore them because if I wouldn’t have, my eyes would have surely been itchy and bloodshot.

Each row takes about fifteen minutes to complete. After each row we get a minute break as the tractor changes directions and lines up to another row. The year that I worked harvest was actually a fairly good year weather-wise. It didn’t rain too much, but enough that we got a day off every once in a while and it helped the ground stay semi-moistened to keep the dust down. I worked for Morrell farms, which was convenient because his son was my friend. I originally was working with four girls; one was my best friend and one girl named Ashley. She was fired because she just stood around and lollygagged the whole time, I didn’t mind that she got fired though because it’s not like she did much of anything to actually help us anyways.

The other lady who I worked with was named Michelle. She was awesome. I thought she was forty-five years old at first glance because she had no teeth. Besides her toothless grin, she had crow’s feet around her squinty eyes and gray hair. She was only thirty, so I was relieved when she told be me her age before I had a chance to ask. She used to tell my friend and I crazy stories about how she would trip on acid and see ghosts, or angels, or anything else she thought of she said would appear right in front of her! I thought it was amazing. Not like I’d ever do acid or anything, I still thought it was neat listening to her stories. I bet the drugs had something to do with her toothlessness…anyway, we became good friends and still to this day, three years later, when I see her walking around Shop ‘n Save or Sleepers, we still spark up a conversation.

I enjoyed being able to take our lunch breaks right in the field. On nice days, it was beautiful outside with all of the trees beginning to change colors and the brisk air felt so refreshing. The light brown fields and listening to the birds chirping were the best part of the day. It was a time to just relax for the hour and enjoy nature’s beauty. At the end of our lunch, we’d stuff our pockets full of gum, munchies, extra gloves and cigarettes so we wouldn’t have to climb off the harvester during our next break. During every break I would shake the dirt out of my filthy clothes and hair; it felt like I was ten pounds lighter as I hustled back up the ladder back to work.

Picking potatoes on the harvester is a great job. You might argue this opinion but I loved it. Being outside is much better than being in the stuffy potato house. Plus, we were making $8.50 an hour starting pay! When you’re 16, that’s darn good! I think my experience was better than most but there was one thing that was worse than anything else I have ever experienced before. Anyone who has ever worked harvest knows exactly what I am talking about. The dreaded rotten potatoes. The purple, foul-smelling, maggot-filled rotten potatoes. The juices would seep through your gloves and I swear my hands would smell for days! We all knew they were coming before they even appeared on our belt. The rows were dark colored and the smell just reeked. The rotten potatoes were worse than the dead fox that came through…we just left it for the potato house to clean out because for us girls, making us touch rotten potatoes is one thing, but a dead fox? That’s out of the question.

Harvest for me only lasted one season because the next year I had a job at the Nursing Home. I wish that I would have kept working for Morrell farms because it was a fantastic new experience, and not to mention, the paychecks were amazing! The fat paycheck after a hard week’s work was the icing on the cake.


Scoliosis Surgery

By Mariah Mockler
Senior, CHS

When I was in the eighth grade, I was told by Dr. Green at Eastern Maine Medical Center that I had one of the worst cases of scoliosis that he had even dealt with. My spine had a 70 percent curvature. In January of 2008, I was told that I was going to have to have a major surgery: physical therapy and a brace would not be enough to correct my back.

At the beginning of March, Dr. Green called my mom, “Hi Sherry, this is Dr. Green from EMMC. I am calling about Mariah’s scoliosis.” My mom replied, “Yes, how are things?” “Well, Mariah’s back is going to need surgery quite soon. I’m thinking within the next three weeks, which is a major surgery and she will need to spend about a week here in EMMC for recovery.”

From that day on, until I was going into the surgical room on March 28, 2008, I was extremely scared, not having any idea what to expect. By the time of my surgery, my curvature had increased 15 percent since first finding the scoliosis, which meant it was 85 percent by the time of my surgery. I was told that in the recovery room, while waking up from anesthesia, I was freaking out because I didn’t know where I was and who was around me. Six nurses had to hold me down on the bed and if it weren’t for them, my back more than likely would not have healed correctly.

The day of surgery, my nurses would come in and check on me. They had me walking already. It was the most pain I had ever experienced. When I say worst pain, I mean a 10 on a 1 to 10 pain scale! Between sitting up in bed to standing up, and sitting back down on my bed to lay back down, those were the hardest moves to accomplish.

After being in the hospital in Bangor for a week, I was ready to go home to my friends and family. Once I was home, I didn’t want to take the extreme pain medications. I took ibuprofen in replace of them, which was not the greatest idea. I was having a bad reaction from the anesthesia so I didn’t have an appetite to eat. The ibuprofen in my empty stomach caused me to get very ill and I ended back in the hospital at Cary Medical Center for another week. I had been rushed to the hospital by ambulance after passing out six times at my house from the loss of blood that I had thrown up. I had become anemic so quickly that my iron level dropped from a 14 to 5.

Now that everything is back to normal, I am very thankful. The turn out after everything healed correctly is helpful. I rarely ever have any back pains at all, and it’s actually an interesting story that I can tell basically anyone! It’s my way of saying I am unique. They only negative thing about the situation is the mitral valve prolapse that I have in my heart now. People can see my heart pounding through my shirt because the blood has to pump twice as hard as normal. The reason my heart developed this problem is because my back was so curved that it was turning my hips and ribs which were putting pressure on my heart and lungs. Now that my back is corrected with fifteen screws and rods holding everything in place, I have some minor imperfections with my heart, rather than the major disease I had in my back.