Every Christmas around this time, I remember and appreciate a girl that I actually don’t remember at all.
It was my first semester in college, I was a measly 17 years old (incidentally, the age my oldest will be in just a few weeks, and who just finished her first dual enrollment class on the very same campus). My favorite class that semester was Speech 107 with Mrs. Dudchock. One of our assignments was to give an informative speech, teaching the class about something on which we were an expert, or at least competent. I remember that I informed the class about my twelve years of being homeschooled (therefore labeling myself right off the bat as That Homeschool Girl.) I don’t recall all of the details of my own speech, but the speech I do remember was from a girl who had worked in the gift wrapping kiosk at a department store. She taught and demonstrated for us the simple tricks and proper ways to wrap presents. I was already a passable gift wrapper, but what she taught us stuck with me, making everything neater, easier, and prettier.
I have no idea what her name was, or what she looked like, or anything about her at all, and it’s not like present wrapping is a life-changing skill. But 24 years later, every time I wrap a present I remember her and appreciate her, and it would be cool to thank her for that.
Of all the things we learn in college, the things that stick with us are often not the things we were actually tested on.
And the impacts of people that I don’t remember and will never see again is a life truth that is well worth keeping in mind as I go about my daily life.
I wonder if, years later, anyone in that class decided to homeschool their kids, and regularly but vaguely remembers the girl who talked about her bizarre educational upbringing in their speech class.
Or what other strangers I have passed along the way and have made a memorable impact on. Both in good and <inwardly cringes> bad ways.
…Or maybe present wrapping is just one of those mindless activities that gives me too much time with my thoughts and I’m overthinking everything.
But it wouldn’t be so mindless if that girl hadn’t taught me all of her tips and tricks.