The first day of clinicals did not start off well. I was still asleep when my dad started screaming at me from the bottom of the stairs.
“Brenda are you kidding me?! How will you be successful if you can’t even get up for your first day?!”
It took no more than a second for me to become coherent, realizing immediately why he was yelling. It was already 6:45am and I should have been up thirty minutes prior in order to make it to class. Even if I had woken up on time, there’s a pretty fair chance that Dad would have found something negative to say. In the midst of his yelling he also woke up my sister Catherine, who was laying directly across the room from me in an identical twin bed. I glanced over at her and rolled my eyes, and she looked back at me with a calm smile.
“Don’t let him get to you. Everyone wakes up late sometimes, even him.”
I couldn’t help but to smile. She was always so encouraging- in complete contrast to our pessimistic father. She was actually the one who encouraged me to join the dental hygiene program, and without her there’s no way I would have made it this far.
I planned to put myself together nicely for my first day working on patients, but the most important thing was that I made it on time. I quickly threw on my uniform, clipped my bangs back, and threw my hair in a bun. Just as I tied my second shoe I heard a beep outside.
“See, Jenna is never late!” Dad shouted from the kitchen.”
I grabbed my backpack, and ran out the driveway, not bothering to respond or say goodbye. As soon as I swung open Jenna’s car door, we both squealed.
Jenna exclaimed, “Oh. My. God! You look so cute!”
“Thanks girl! So do you.” I replied.
It was absolutely surreal seeing each other in our uniforms for the first time. I hadn’t had a moment to appreciate it as I rushed to get ready, but now that I’d seen Jenna all put together it really hit me. Today was the day we would work on real human teeth.
“Are you nervous?” I asked.
“Oh for sure. But more than anything I’m excited.”
It was relieving to know that Jenna had nerves too. I had barely scrapped by on my courses, but she had gotten A’s from beginning to end. I took selfish comfort in the fact that she had some anxiety as well.
We pulled up to our building where our classes would be taking place in the basement. The basement wasn’t the most luxurious classroom setting, but we just felt grateful there was a dental program at CPCC at all. When it’s all said and done a degree is a degree no matter where you take your courses! We walked downstairs with our heads held high- ready to take on the day as dentists in training.
Dental Hygiene students during their clinical sessions, 1966. Classes were taught in Central High during this time. AR.0036 - Academics.
The soft rain sings to me
Comforting me with its constant rhythm
My Perkins Brailler is waiting for me, I remind myself
Walking back inside, my umbrella is dripping wet as I set it aside
The sweet scent of fresh cookies permeates the kitchen
Taking a bite, the sweet treats slowly melt
Anticipation has kept me on edge
I make sure the paper is loaded and feel around the keys
My mind is eager to see what awaits me today
So I turn on the radio
For my poem, I chose the picture "Copy of radio-reading-for-blind-1981-12" I found it really neat how assisted technology was used to help students.
An employee of the Radio Reading for the Blind program. This was part of the College's effort to provide diverse educational resources throughout Mecklenburg County to help raise literacy skills for adults. Methods used were radio, television, telephone, and the newspaper. AR.0036 - Programs and Services.
"The End of the Journey"
Fighting for my life
War after War
Battle after Battle
Not for me
But for us
I fought for my country
Never letting go
I stand forever brave
I stand forever strong
I stand forever with my country
The Spark Newsletter photograph of unidentified solider. AR.0035.
With a camera and some power
One can capture the most magnificent shots
Videos of people mourning for their loved ones
Pictures of people celebrating their joyous occasions
With a camera and some power
One can capture the façade of humans
We smile for a camera
To hide our pain
A picture can tell a thousand words
But the story behind it tells a million more
"CPCC Television" camera controller in 1982. AR.0035 - Events
Please don’t be confused.
I draw you in my class,
But my feelings, I can no longer bypass.
My drawings cannot convey your beauty,
So my hands must do double duty.
From the way you pose,
Or how you stick out your nose,
It all makes my heart race.
I just hope you can’t see it on my face
The way you look at me,
I can only imagine what you see.
A small time artist taking a class,
Or maybe a future artist of a higher class.
I think of you all the time,
But it’s always so sublime.
You give me all my inspiration,
But I’m not saying this out of desperation.
I don’t want to be misconstrued,
But will you forever be my muse?
The Spark Newsletter photograph, AR.0035.