Some of the biggest heroes on campus right now are our valiant vaccinators, the volunteers administering the COVID-19 vaccines during Notre Dame’s blitz. Without them our campus would be much further than it is right now from being COVID-safe. What compels a person to give up so much of their time for the cause? A sense of duty? A love of poking things? A heart of gold? I had the privilege to sit down with one of our volunteers to find out.
Nicholas Pesce: Hi, thanks for your time! Could you give just a brief introduction for our readers?
Maxine: Of course! I’m Maxine, a volunteer vaccinator on campus. I love my job! There’s something so satisfying about helping campus get back to normal.
What would you say your favorite part of the work is?
Oh, I don’t know. It’s all great. I love seeing the students beam after the shot because they know they’re one step closer to being immune. Watching them take their vaccine selfies is a hoot too! Golly, so hard to pick ... I guess my absolute favorite part is the actual sticking, you know, like administering the vaccine to the student.
So you like sticking the syringe into the students?
Oh, yeah. Absolutely. The action of, you know, poking, it’s such a rush. I always tell the students to loosen up, so there’s less resistance. I hate having to work the needle in there, ugh.
Gotcha, gotcha. So when you aren’t busy on the job, what do you like to do?
Well, I don’t get much free time these days, with all the appointments. Usually I take my breaks in the staff lounge. They’ve got a dartboard there; it’s great.
Yeah, well technically it’s mine that I brought. I love playing with the darts during break. Definitely my favorite pastime.
You play with the darts, or you just play darts?
Oh, a little of both. When I get bored of, you know, sticking the board, I’ll see how far I can poke the darts into something else. I’ve found the plastic-backed chairs to be very giving.
Ok ... moving on, some questions about you outside of Notre Dame. Do you have any pets?
Well of course! I’ve got a lovely prickle of porcupines at home, three total. Sometimes I’ll take some detached quills and, well, poke around.
Poke around at what?
Whoever wants to get stuck!
You stick other people with the quills from your pet porcupines?
What’s with the accusatory tone? It was great practice for giving the vaccine. The other volunteers were super jealous when they saw how good I was at using the needles.
You all compete over your needle skills? Shouldn’t this be a team effort?
Well, you’ll just have to keep this our little secret then!
This is all on the record.
You journalists sure are a swindling, nosy bunch. You’re a trickster!
Ma’am, respectfully, you agreed to this interview.
Have you recieved a vaccine yet?
What concern is it to you?
My appointment is set for this weekend.
Well, aren’t you in luck! I’ve got a syringe ready right in my purse! Hold still.
Ma’am, I can’t let you inject me outside of my scheduled appointment.
It’ll take two seconds, now stop being a wuss.
Don’t touch me with that needle. You stole it from the vaccine center! How many other needles are in there?
Hee-hee! I won’t tell a soul!
Ok, enough. This interview is over.
Ohhhh, come on. Let me poke you just once! I just need a little poke, that’s all! One time!
As you can see, we here at Notre Dame owe a huge debt to our valiant vaccinators. Make sure you give a big thanks to whoever pokes you on your vaccination day!