8. Tales of a Student Nurse: Extracurricular Lessons

Oh, how gorgeous he was; he had dark hair, clear skin, blue eyes and a charming smile. I was the only girl he looked at. The handsomest, most desirable guy at the party was interested in me! My heart fluttered up into my throat and I blushed. Surely, he hadn't noticed. Small talk proceeded to flirting and I felt myself float up to Cloud Nine.

He took my hand and said "let's go where it's more quiet."

I was more than happy about that suggestion. He led me to the bedroom, closed the door and began kissing me gently as he pulled me down on the coat-strewn bed. How could this be happening to me? All my romantic dreams were coming true!

Several kisses later, he began groping. His kisses were no longer soft and gentle. He roughly pushed himself down on me. As I pushed his hands away, I remembered experiences I'd had with my high school boyfriends. They had never fought me, and had always stopped at my first request. Rob was not like them; he was much more persistent and didn't stop when I asked him to. I liked his kisses and kissed him back with pleasure, but he would not stop groping me, no matter what I did. After several minutes of this struggle, he pushed me away, got up, called me a disgusting name and left the room.

"You're a real c..k tease, aren't you?" He was angry and I was ashamed, confused and saddened.

It was 1967, the image of the Slutty Nurse was alive and well. No Means No was still decades out of the public psyche, and I believed this ugly experience was my fault. I was also terribly disappointed that this man hadn't been interested in me, at all. There had been no romantic attraction: he had seen my naiveté' and thought he could exploit it. I had been nothing to him but a new conquest. That extracurricular lesson, its bitterness and pain, stayed with me throughout the rest of my life.

Post Script:
My cousin, Ruth Loewen (Alice), graduated as a Registered Nurse in 1969, accepted a position in one of the Toronto hospitals, and re-located there later that year. While in Toronto, she met and married her husband, Pat Hill, and together they returned to her home town of Leamington, Ontario to build their life together. They enjoyed a forty-three year marriage, raised three children, and Ruthie continued her nursing career until her retirement in 2007.

On September 24, 2017 my cherished cousin passed away after an heroic battle with cancer. She left behind Paddy, two sons, a daughter, two daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren.

Ruth Loewen Hill (Alice) 1967

Ruth Loewen Hill (Alice) 1967

 

Big Sister, Zoe, married her boyfriend and had a baby boy. Hers was not a successful marriage and ended in divorce years later. Zoe didn't lose her passion for a nursing career, and having completed one full year of Registered Nurse's training was eligible to write, and successfully completed, the Registered Nurse's Assistant (RNA) exam. She had a long career as an RNA.

Read more Tales of a Student Nurse stories!

author
Barbara Tiessen is a retired RN who lives with her husband in southwestern Ontario but winters in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. She researched her genealogy, wrote and self published The Schoenfeld Russlaender: A Mennonite Family's History in 2015. More recently her interest have focused on writing short stories.
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