M was one incredible person I came into contact with, but so was another girl who made a lasting impact on me. My first day of this camp, I was late. Being a perfectionist and always being early, walking into a room full of unknown companions late is not the way I like to start out my day, I feel it immediately gives me a bad reputation. Of course this situation was not what I had planned as the Taste of Chicago was going on and the buses had been rerouted and I ended up seven miles past my destination. After arriving 30 minutes late, I was embarrassed to walk into the classroom. Of course no one said anything to me about my late arrival, but judgments were already being formed. There was one girl in the class that seemed extremely nice. Throughout the morning I didn't have an opportunity to talk with her. She gave off this positive vibe. As if she was a comforting person and accepting of everyone.
Let me step back a second and explain to you this weird characteristic I have. This characteristic is strange, maybe it is hindsight bias, but when walking into a room, I can pick out people I will get along with and others I will not. I often can walk up to a person and within a minute know if I will get along or become friends with that person. This is the feeling I received about this girl (we will call her T for the purpose of this blog).
Anyways, as the day wore on I finally was able to talk to T. We were doing some sort of experiment and we were matched up as partners. As we began talking, she mentioned how she had seen me this morning and thought I looked lost but she had no idea I was going to this program too. We later figured out that we had the same direction of travel and she got off the train system one stop before me so it would work great to travel back together. This made my day, being I was extremely frightened of getting lost once again in the crazy rerouting of the buses.
Traveling back with T I learned quite a bit about her. She had grown up in Chicago and went to probably the biggest high school in the city. Her parents had divorced when she was younger and her father was not the most positive influence in her life. Her mother had recently had a hip replacement surgery that failed and was forever scared with a limp. The limp required her mother to carry a cane at all times. The high school T attended had a diverse range of people in different economic levels. T told me all about her friends and how different each one of them was. As we passed by the graffiti in the city, T explained to me about how beautiful it was, and how it made the city of Chicago, Chicago. Being a constant rule follower and always abiding by the law, I guess I had never really noticed the graffiti that way. Looking at the city through the eyes of someone who has had different experiences than myself gives me new thoughts to keep in mind.