This oral history interview is an intimate conversation between two people, both of whom have generously agreed to share this recording with Oral History Summer School, and with you. Please listen in the spirit with which this was shared.
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This interview was conducted with Nancy Winch on June 27, 2016 in Hudson, New York. Nancy Winch is a mother, grandmother, master gardener, and registered nurse by trade. She grew up on a dairy farm just a few miles outside of Hudson along with her three siblings. During the interview Nancy discusses her experiences growing up on the farm and the impact working on the land alongside her family has had on her later life and profession. As a nurse, Nancy worked in a neurosurgical unit as well as a staff member in an emergency room. She speaks fondly of her time working in the emergency room in a time pressure environment where it was necessary to act quickly in order to save lives. Nancy describes the emergency room as understaffed and goes through various scenarios of learning on the job and calling in for backup doctors and surgeons when difficult and time sensitive cases came in. She reflects on her decision to enter the field of public health and the evolution of her interactions with patients over the course of her career. Specifically, Nancy addresses navigating the pressures of educating her patients while at the same time approaching patient interactions with kindness and empathy. After retirement Nancy trained as a master gardener. Towards the end of the interview she draws parallels between her roles as mother, nurse and gardener and sees her primary life role as one of caretaking.
Kaitlyn Schwalje is a graduate of The Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design as well as Carnegie Mellon University where she studied Physics. During graduate school in Copenhagen she investigated the science and design behind efforts to preserve our world’s agricultural diversity. Kaitlyn has also worked as a research associate at The Walt Disney Company building and designing wearable technologies. She is currently a contributing producer for WNYC’s The Leonard Lopate Show where she produces segments primarily of topics of science and history.
This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.
Oral history is an iterative process. In keeping with oral history values of anti-fixity, interviewees will have an opportunity to add, annotate and reflect upon their lives and interviews in perpetuity. Talking back to the archive is a form of “shared authority.”