Open Mic

Open Mic: The Next Stage

Apr 26, 2016

 Mother's Day is coming up. It's a time to reflect on how much our moms have done for us  -- and, with the passage of time, how much we can do for them.  It's not easy assuming the role of caregiver, but Douglass Hopkins -- a veterinarian from the Upper Shenandoah Valley -- is doing it with a smile.

Ode to Earl Hamner

Apr 7, 2016

Before Earnest Hemingway, John Updike, or Breece Pancake, I read books written by Earl Hamner, Jr. His most notable titles, Spencer’s Mountain and The Homecoming, centered around one Appalachian family. Named the Spencers in print, they were later called the Waltons on TV.

Open Mic: A Nursing Student Shares a 'Quality Meal'

Apr 5, 2016
Anne McGinley/Creative Commons

Snow slowly began to rise along the windowsill. Outside, the frozen flag lapped against the frigid pole, the rope clanged against it in the wintry winds. My gaze turned inward, looking away from the harsh cold and back towards Ms. Morris. 


Open Mic: Bleeding Ink

Mar 31, 2016

I look down at my paper that was once crisp and white, fresh from the printer, and now it is so covered with writing that I struggle to find space to write down the vital signs. The folded edges are now dull as the paper fibers are softened from the alcohol and dampness from my recently washed hands.

Caregivers Write: A Lesson from Palliative Care

Mar 17, 2016
Creative Commons

To Be Alone with Agnes:  I didn’t want her to die. I stood on the other side of the curtain with my eyes squeezed shut and listening hard. I could hear the gentle whir and click of the IV pump against the local weatherman’s spiel detailing the day ahead, and I could hear Agnes. I counted only six deep, slow, and jagged breaths in the minute that I hid behind the curtain.