Theme Based Personality Profile

Katelyn Vierk

Richmond High School

Personality Profile: Erin Gaskins

Theme: Location

The small town high school experience has become one of legend. People don’t doubt its existence; they are well aware of its prevalence in cornfield covered Midwest towns. Nevertheless, something about it is still somewhat shocking, or maybe fascinating is the better word, for those fortunate enough to live in close range of a Starbucks or decent mall. They often wonder: what does one do when there is nothing to do? Are the oceans of corn, the omnipresent scent of cow manure, or the constant encounters with camouflage tiring?

        To seventeen-year-old Erin Gaskins, these questions have become routine. She is a small town kid. Her location has been a defining factor of growing up. She frequents Chili’s after basketball games, knows the names of 75% of her student body, and has to drive an hour to the nearest city.

        Gaskins is a senior at Martinsville High School, located in rural southern Indiana. She is short, blonde, and bubbly, and recognizes how perfectly her high school fits the small town cliché.

“It’s what you would expect,” Gaskins said. “Rumors spread so fast, and if something happens, everyone in the whole school finds out.”

        She also recounts how the majority of Martinsville natives plant their roots so deep they can’t escape.

“Most kids stay. They say they want to get out of Martinsville, but it rarely happens,” Gaskins said.

        Is this lack of migration negative? Positive? It seems to be a mixture of both. It’s important to remember that many positive aspects of the small town cliché counterbalance the negative.

“You know the people around you and can build trust,” Gaskins said. “We know our neighbors, and my grandma is good friends with our mayor. Stuff like that is cool.”

        Would she consider one day raising her own family in a similar atmosphere? She is definitely open to the possibility.

“You know who your kids are playing with, who they’re riding their bike with, and that’s nice.”

At least for a little while however, she’s ready to get away.

“I want to go to IU,” she said.

Although it’s only twenty minutes away, Indiana University’s student body of roughly 48,000 would be a momentous change from Martinsville’s 1700.

“I’m ready,” Gaskins said with a smile.