Tell us about the best gift you have ever given someone or that someone else gave to you. What was the gift? Why was it special? I received a tool set as a high school graduation gift, and it was really how I made friends in college. Students bring computers, chairs, televisions, bookcases, and beds, but they don’t remember tools. Maybe there’s a set of tools for the whole residence hall to use or parents who remember a hammer and nails. However, I was the one who had the wrench, the screwdrivers, and the glue gun. You just never know when you’ll need a glue gun. Quickly, I was known as “that girl in room 205 who has a tool set.” It is a practical gift for any person leaving home and I still use it frequently.
If you could give one piece of advice to upcoming high school students (on any topic), what would it be? Listen and watch. Listen in class, in the hallways, on the street, in your house, on the bus, and anywhere else you happen to be and watch what is happening. You have two ears and one mouth for a reason. You might know a lot, but what others know is different than what you know. Go someplace that’s new to you and just listen, especially if it’s a place that makes you uncomfortable. Some good places to listen and see people are coffee shops, homeless shelters, street corners, hallways, and cafeterias. People have stories and their stories make you think about your stories, which helps define what you want for yourself and for life.
What is the most romantic thing that you have ever done or that someone else has done for you? I dated someone once who let me know he thought about me on a daily basis. He absolutely blew me away one day. I walked out to my car and there was a yellow parking ticket! I was so angry after workshops all day and I had specifically parked in a safe place. I ripped the ticket off the windshield, started to read it, and the anger dissipated instantly. It was a fake ticket, written out on my brown 1979 station wagon as violating an ugly car standard, and signed by my boyfriend. He knew my sense of wicked humor and took the time to think of me. It was a non-traditional romantic moment I will never forget.