By Libby Nook
Everyone has a nickname in high school. Whether given by an upperclassman on a sports team or because of a silly incident, these nicknames are crucial to your high school identity. They can make or break you. For the most part, I have avoided obtaining a horrifying and
identity-crushing nickname. ...Until this week.
Before I set the scene, I must provide some background information. I am going on my third and final year as captain of my school’s JV field hockey team. As captain and an obnoxiously
competitive human, I take JV field hockey extremely seriously.
It was my first game back after a minor ankle injury, which occurred during preseason.
Therefore, I was hungry for a win. The game was a battle from the start. However, it did not get bloody until the second quarter. Like soccer, in field hockey, we have penalty corners. The
defenders' and goalie’s job is to ensure their opponents do not score.
I am a defender. And I definitely did not let them score.
Here’s the scene:
Girl on the other team launched a fast-flying ball toward the cage. On a high from my halftime
“Show no mercy” speech, I, captain, decided to swing my stick in the direction of the ball in an
attempt to block it from going in. Instead of hitting my stick, the ball actually hit my finger, then
my stick, and as a result, was diverted from the cage; the other team did not score. The crowd
and my teammates erupted into screams. I was ecstatic. It truly was an ESPN-worthy play. I
went to high-five one of my teammates and realized that I was drenched in blood.
The next thing I knew, I was shipped off to the emergency room, where I received a bunch of
stitches and learned that my finger was broken... the worst is still yet to come.
The following day, I was the celebrity of the school. My athletic endeavor the night before was
the talk of the town. I had random teachers and underclassmen come up to me asking about the incident, asking me to confirm the various rumors circulating.
Rumor #1: My finger exploded. In fact, I overheard a freshman in the hallway refer to it as the
“Hiroshima of JV field hockey.”
Rumor #2: My finger fell off onto the field, and I had to pick it up and take it to the hospital with me in a plastic bag.
Rumor #3: A girl on the opposing team bit my finger off. Yum!
I did indeed confirm each of these rumors to anyone who asked... You know what they say: all
publicity is good publicity.
That afternoon, I went to the finger specialist, a beautiful and charming middle-aged man who
confirmed exactly what I was informed in the emergency room: horrible crush injury, broken
finger, definitely needed those stitches. He then decided it was best for me to put my finger and my neighboring middle finger into a cast for maximum protection and support until I got the stitches out.
I did, indeed, get to choose a color for the cast. However, my color choices were extremely
limited: red or green. I thought he was kidding, but alas, they were waiting on a restock
shipment. I despised the color green, and my school’s color happened to be red, therefore
prompting my decision to choose red. THIS WAS MY MISTAKE.
For some reason, I assumed I was getting a full wrist cast of some sort. False. My beautiful and
charming finger specialist proceeded to wrap my two fingers in the cast material. At first glance, it looked like I was wearing a mitten on top of my middle and ring fingers. Once I returned to school, I learned that to others, at first glance, my finger cast looked like a used tampon.
And so...my horrible high school nickname was born.
Now, at school, I am not known as the captain who sacrificed her life for JV field hockey.
Instead, I am known as Tampon Fingers. When I walk down the halls, friends, enemies, and
acquaintances all now refer to me as Tampon Fingers or Tampy for short. I know very well that I will never escape this tragic nickname during the rest of my high school career.
I just pray every night that “Tampon Fingers” does not follow me to college.