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Zipping into a New Career Lane

By Jean Storlie / November 12, 2019 /

Sewing machines buzzed around me, as I quickly loaded another zipper and started to sew. My co-worker at the next station was sewing like a whirling dervish. Her hands flew up and down, back and forth. She installed zippers on sleeping bags at a rate of 90-100/hour. The handlers, who kept supplies stocked and removed…

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Holding My Breath … To Release My First Album

By Jean Storlie / October 7, 2019 /

The late-November afternoon sun cast a gloomy mood on Jackson’s day. The Sunday Scaries haunted him. His dad and he were listening to classic rock on the radio on their way to the grocery store. At 12 years old, he had been taking guitar lessons for three years. His second guitar teacher, Toby, had recently…

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The Dietitian Who Sounded Like Charlie Brown’s Teacher

By Jean Storlie / August 6, 2019 /

In the middle of the night, my husband, Jay, was rushed to the ER by ambulance with a kidney stone emergency. I couldn’t go with him because at the time our kids were too young to leave them home alone. I found him the next morning in a shared room with the curtain drawn. His…

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Broccoli Girl Finds Her Tribe

By Jean Storlie / July 8, 2019 /

In a quiet, remote lab in the basement of a building at the University of Minnesota, Mimi was making gluten balls—and going crazy. She had been doing the same mind-numbing task for months. Her mood darkened with the shrinking daylight hours as winter loomed. A graduate student in food science, she was lucky to have a job and…

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Weathering a Tornado with Target’s Customer Service

By Jean Storlie / June 5, 2019 /

We were heading toward the check-out line when an announcement came over the PA: “Attention Target Shoppers! Due to a tornado in the area, all customers must remain in the store. Please make your way to the back of the store and stay away from windows.” The announcement was unwelcome news at 7:30 pm. I’d…

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When You Find Your Tribe … Reach for the Sky

By Jean Storlie / May 1, 2019 /

Signing a petition changed my life. It was the fall of 1981. Leafing through the member newsletter from the American Dietetic Association, I saw an announcement that some dietitians were forming a practice group in Sports and Cardiovascular Nutrition. The group would be called SCAN, and they needed signatures for a petition. I was finishing…

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Rescued from Skating on Thin Ice

By Jean Storlie / February 5, 2019 /

Overwhelmed by the throng of people whooshing past me, I drifted to the outer edge of the pond, unaware that I’d wandered onto thin ice. Suddenly, the ice gave out under me—the next thing I knew I was up to my armpits in water, clinging to the edge of broken ice. The blue sky and…

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Why Does a Jock School Need a Computer?

By Jean Storlie / November 5, 2018 /

My father fumed as he came out of a meeting with the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents. It was the early 60s, and he had just pitched the need for the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (UWL) to install a computer system. The Regents had summarily dismissed his proposal. One of the Regents had scoffed at…

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Left-Handed in a Right Handed World

By Jean Storlie / June 5, 2018 /

After writing signatures with our non-dominant hands, we agreed that the action was clumsy, unnatural, inefficient—and our signatures turned out distorted. I was taking a certification course to become a facilitator in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) with a group who primarily represented the helping professions (social work, education, counseling). One of my innate, left-brain preferences came vividly…

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Grief Walk from New York to Wisconsin

By Jean Storlie / May 3, 2018 /

George Asa Sprague felt numb as he turned his back on his home where he had lived with his wife, Lydia, and baby son, Oscar, on the shores of Lake Skaneateles near Syracuse, New York. It was the summer of 1854, and his young family had been destroyed a few months earlier when Lydia and Oscar…

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