The sound of blenders and dripping espresso fills the library as the line begins to spiral out of control. More students finish class and come to the Spoonholder for a mid-morning pick-me-up.
Behind the counter more cups slide over so the baristas can create the pretentious coffee drinks. Like a well-oiled machine she grabs a cup and brews the coffee. Grabs a cup, pumps in the syrup. Grabs a cup, tosses ice into the blender.
My turn finally comes to take my well-blended coffee and espresso.
"Thanks," I say in my most chipper voice.
She doesn't respond with words. Just smiles, nods, and giggles softly and continues on with the task at hand.
That first sip of coffee opens up a whole new world and because of her I get to experience it.
It's easy to think that a good cup of coffee is all there is to Jackie Mazurek, but like any rich blend, she has many layers.
I steal her away from her work for an interview and she comes somewhat reluctantly.
"I'm not very interesting," she says.
"Don't let her fool you." Her co-worker Mary is still hard at work behind the counter.
Jackie has been working at Morningside College's coffee cafe for eight years. She's quiet and, as she puts it, naturally nervous.
"I've always kind of been that way," she says. Her trademark giggle follows the remark. She uses it like customized punctuation.
Before coming to Morningside she worked at a lumber store for thriteen years. She attended college in Missouri for only one semester, but that hasn't stopped her from creating greatness. That greatness isn't only in a mug.
"I have a nine-year-old son." Her smile is a little wider than before and her giggle goes up another octave. "He's a blessing in my life."
That's what everyone says about their kids, right? They're blessings and sometimes unexpected. For Jackie, her son Joshua was the second biggest shock of her life. The first came when she was eighteen-years-old. After a series of female issues, Jackie underwent a battery of tests. The final verdict?
"They told me I would never have children.... It was sad in the beginning," she says. "But I was young and didn't needs kids then."
A couple years later things caught up to her and she realized, while attending family gatherings, she would never have children to bring. Her story didn't end there.
"My husband was forty-nine and already put three kids through school. I was forty-two and found out I was pregnant with Joshua... I was scared at first and I cried."
However, she collected herself with a smile and realized she was finally old enough to have kids and had years to gather enough time and patience.
Her dreams were to live her life with her husband and to be happy. Kids were never part of the plan. Although, after she saw her son for the first time she realized sometimes values and goals change.
Looking back Jackie says, "I wouldn't change a thing. Not one."