hawkeyowa: (stfu i'm beautiful)
[It's not hard to tell that things have gotten tense in the Midwest, starting with protests in Wisconsin, and now coming to protests in Iowa. In lieu of it, Jack has decided to take as much of the edge off as he can, in the form of bundling himself up and toting a sled up the highest hill in town, Mitch loyally at his side and far too excited for his own good.

Yes, the hill is a bit daunting, and he'll probably end up with his fair share of bruises and humiliation by nightfall, but it should be worth it in the end. One he gets to the top, he poses momentarily like a king about to take on an opposing kingdom. He is Macduff, ready to teach Macbeth a lesson. He is William Wallace sans face paint and kilt, replaced with a beanie and jeans. He is Napoleon, Alexander, and Caesar all in one tall, skinny, farm boy form. He has his mighty companion barking and rolling in the snow at his side. This hill is his battlefield, his Tannenburg and Hastings and Antietam all in one.

As he finally sits on his sled and pushes, he flies down the hill with a mighty screech of questionable masculinity battle cry, his dog running after him and barking happily.
]
hawkeyowa: (this is so awkward)
[Back home, Iowa, like most states in the 2,500 mile snowstorm line, have been completely thrashed by waves upon waves of blinding snow. Sure, this winter has been harsh, and the Plains states tend to get plenty of snow, but this is particularly bad. Iowa already had to report that every major highway had ice and snow on it. Snowfall records are almost record-beating.

Of course, this leaves Jack freezing, burrowed in his house, and specifically burrowed under a pile of fleece blankets with his space heater cranked up. Mitch is curled on his couch next to him, and for all anyone knows, Maddie is also burrowed in the blankets, but it's much more difficult to spot her.

Though, one look around his house and it's pretty clear he was preparing for this. There's soup packets and boxes of any number of cracker-related things everywhere, along with another mass of blankets and pillows, and an endless supply of movies he dug up. Unfortunately, all he has to drink is Spring Grove and Olde Main, in which he's chosen the latter to drink. While the weather around town might not be as godawful as the weather back home, Jack is sure acting like it.
]
hawkeyowa: (You're something else entirely.)
[It might seem like a perfectly normal sight. Jack in a winter coat walking Mitch along a path in a snow-filled park. The dog barking at everything that resembles a squirrel. Jack stopping to sit down on a bench for a moment, working on tying a loose lace on his boot. Well, that's as far as the normal gets, because hanging from his other wrist is a little pink line, and if one is to follow it, it would lead down to one very tiny white mustelid, who would almost blend into the snow if it wasn't for a very pink ferret-sized sweater and a very pink harness and leash. While Jack hums to himself and ties his boot, she gets busy tunneling in snow drifts and appearing somewhere else, no worse for the wear, with a pile of snow on her head and nose.

It's all rather cute, but it's slightly disturbing to see a grown man and a manly-looking dog walking with a tiny sweater-clad ferret. Bless what ever makes you happy, you could probably suppose?
]
hawkeyowa: (At least wait until my eyes are closed.)
[Jack kept himself relatively busy today. He knows with spring high in the air, there's cleaning to do...and flooding. It's got him nervous, certainly. Even in HQ, he still has some kind of paranoia, so he re-caulked his bathroom just in case. It's been a big job, especially what with checking for cracks and whatnot in his room, and going so far as to check the plumbing because god forbid anything gets through.

So when Day One of the flood preparation project is done, he slumps down on his bed for what he thinks is a well-deserved rest. Rolling on his side, he yanks off one of his work gloves and going to put it on the bedside table beside his alarm clock. However, he spots a slip of paper just at the base of the clock...something he doesn't remember seeing earlier, and he's walked by that area countless times today. Maybe someone thought he wasn't in and left him a note? Curious, he picks it up, reading over the contents. Suddenly, his face goes pale and he feels an icy sensation creeping in the pits of his stomach. His hands start shaking as he reads it over again.
]


[This had to be a joke. Someone had to be playing a sick...sick joke on him. It was a part of his history he wanted to ignore more than any other part. Considered to be one of the top ten worst human experiments of all time...and one of the very worst psychological experiments, the Monster Study took dozens of orphans around Iowa and examined their ability to learn speech. Positive remarks and rewards were given to half the group of orphans, and the other half were belittled and punished for even the smallest speech flaw. Many developed horrible stutters, and some went mute.

And he was a part of it.

He remembers it all too clearly, and he doesn't--

Wait, he remembers it. He's never remembered anything so negative before. Usually all the traumatic experiences--being war, fighting, bad storms--all went past him and into that demented fallback he had cackling somewhere in his mind. Then why, of all things, does he remember the Monster Study? If it was Hyde who did all the fighting and killing, and picked up on all the horrible things of his past, how come Jack is left with something so sick as this?

'Shit, Jackie. I've done some shitty things before, but to orphans? Now, that is messed up.'

Not even bothering to shut his other side up, it disgusts him deeply that there was one thing he actually did. Even from something in 1939, it reverberates through him now, and images of children--barely even adolescents yet--crying and apologizing in shivering stutters for things they didn't even do wrong...it's haunting him now.

Then there's another thought that stings deep and causes that cold nausea feeling to intensify. Is he any worse than Hyde, really? Is there a crack in that mild-mannered farm boy persona that hints that all is certainly not well?

His first response is to crumple up the paper in his hand (his scarred hand, as if he needed insult to mental injury) and fold one arm across his eyes, fighting back the nauseous feelings shaking him. Sleep certainly won't come easy now, what with these realizations and the memories he hoped so badly that he would forget. One comment from a spokesperson for the school where it was conducted haunts him:

"This is a study that should never be considered defensible in any era...In no way would I ever think of defending this study. In no way. It’s more than unfortunate."
]


[ooc: Okay, basic summary here: in 1939, a professor at the University of Iowa wanted to see if positive and negative remarks would cure children of stuttering. They took orphans into the study, believing that no one would care, and ran the tests. They rewarded half the group, even if they slipped up. The other group was punished rather harshly for even the tiniest slip up in their speech. Yes, a lot of kids developed stutters or chose not to speak at all, and some of those orphans were committed to mental institutions later in life, where some still are.

What I think makes this a little disturbing and why it's considered such a terrible human experiment is because the children ranged from ages 5-15, and were almost disregarded as people and more like little tests. It's a little frightening that it practically happened in our own backyard, and the University just apologized about it in 2001. That, and now the type of study that the professor used is called the 'Iowa Study Method'. I think that would mess Jack up quite a bit, for being a state where supposedly nothing happens.]
hawkeyowa: (Peace-love and all that business.)
[Sore. Still sore. Jack has healed up mostly, save for a persisting soreness in his hand where the scarring from the stitching is a fresh, glossy pink and sometimes, if he moves his head wrong, the base of his skull and his neck hurt. However, he knows the meaning of exercising his wounds and has been doing a few head rolls every hour and flexing his hand, no matter how much it seemed to sting.

So perhaps this has been one of those moments of 'what timing!' when he gets this news. He knows he shouldn't be surprised, since the issue has been going all around his government for years now. But it does surprise him without fail. Part of him is saying 'how did I get away with this?' and another part of him is saying 'this is awesome!'. It feels strange, like a half of an effort where so many other places around him take so much time trying to make things like this happen.

However, this is a pretty good victory. In a few short pushes, the drug should be fully legal in no time at all. So while leaning back on his bed, laptop humming away on his lap, he looks over the article again, a crooked sort of amused smile on his face.
]

Hah. Sounds good to me.

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Jack Ellis

February 2011

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