How real life can be a comic book

I’m a nerd and I’m very proud of this fact.

One of my favorite parts of “living la vida nerdco” is being able to turn anything into a superhero analogy. I’m not talking just about obvious things like me being a reporter from Kansas, who rocks a mean old school newspaper hat similar to vintage Clark Kent (Superman), but other aspects as well.

A few recent events in my life make for perfect superhero analogies.

Effective immediately, Matt Nosco is no longer a staff member here at the Daily News and is pursuing an opportunity with the AmeriCorps to help out nonprofits. If you ever met Nosco, then you would know this job is right up his alley. He’s one of the most selfless people I’ve ever met and cares about the greater good above all else.

These traits are what made him such a fantastic journalis.  These same qualities will ensure he will be just as successful with the AmeriCorps, as he was in helping grow our readership by overseeing our sister papers in the Jasper County Tribune and Prairie City News.

My superhero comparison for Nosco is Green Arrow. Green Arrow is often overlooked, fight’s for the little guy and is all about things being fair for everyone. While Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman are the heart and soul of the Justice League, Batman himself said it best when he acknowledged that Green Arrow is the League’s conscious.

Nosco, like the Green Arrow, speaks his mind freely, is a huge hippie (don’t deny it Nocso) and isn’t afraid to question the powers that be — whether it’s elected officials, administrators or even his coworkers and superiors.

I’m a better person for simply having been able to spend significant amounts of time with him and having been able to learn more about his views and how he came to be well, simply put: Nosco.

Don’t worry though, I’m not about to start wearing “mandals” year round or referring to all sports as “sports ball,” I’ll leave that up to him. I’ll miss you buddy and it’s been a pleasure working with you.

My second superhero analogy is about my Grandpa Rushing, better known as Papa.

He is without a doubt the rock for the Rushing family and my mom, who was my Superwoman, and various other relatives have always referred to him as our Superman.

Until the past week, none of us have ever actually seen Superman sick.  

Unfortunately, Kryptonite has found its way to him and he has been facing some serious health issues — including an emergency surgery. He’s been in the hospital since he checked himself in the Saturday before last.

It’s incredibly hard to focus on work when you know the guy you idolize is laid up in a hospital room and in a condition you’ve never seen him.  This is on top of the events that transpired a few weeks ago with my dad’s side of the family, in which I lost my paternal grandfather and had health scares with my grandma and uncle.

As much as I would like to compare myself to my all-time favorite superhero the Dark Knight himself, Batman, my life seems more like an early Spider-Man comic.

In those days, Spider-Man was trying to juggle his job at the Daily Bugle, take care of his frail Aunt May, maintain some aspect of his social life and all the while, keep saving the city of New York. While being a newspaper reporter isn’t quite as dramatic as being a superhero (actually, on second thought, it is), I do equate keeping the citizens of Jasper County properly informed to saving a city.

I can fully admit that it’s been a difficult few weeks for me and in my opinion, it has reflected in my work. I hold myself to a very high standard and I’ve noticed a lot of little mistakes — mistakes I don’t normally make —in some of my stories.

My body has been in Iowa, but my head and heart are in Kansas City. Like Spider-Man, I’m struggling to find a proper balance between everything being thrown at me right now, but I promise I will find that balance.

However, unlike the iconic 50th issue of “The Amazing Spider-Man: ‘Spider-Man No More,’” I won’t have to walk away from doing what I love to find my balance. I fully believe in the power of the press and the importance of good journalism and I know that I can make a difference.

Both of my grandpas have always given me great advice and let me know how proud they are of me and what I do for a living, but I think Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben has some wise words I should abide by to help me fully regain my focus:

“Remember, with great power, comes great responsibility.”