This week I realized that I have yet to tell you about a very important person in my WISE experience. Her name is Trish and she is my WISE mentor whom I meet with once every two weeks to discuss the progress of my project. A few months before our project began, we were asked to put in our request for the teacher/staff member we want to work with the most. Always being one to enjoy meeting new people, I requested to be given my mentor at random. Then, a few weeks before the start of our project, we were given a piece of paper with a name. I read it and said “who the heck is this?!”, I had never once heard of this person before! Mr. Poling quickly informed me that she was the schools ‘bookkeeper’. Oh no, I thought, I had gotten the librarian. But Mr. Poling corrected me, telling me that a book keeper was like a financial planner for the school. Oh no, I thought again, she works with numbers and money, she will have no interest in fashion. But how wrongly I had assumed.
Two days after I was assigned to work with Trish, I went to meet her in her office. I entered an office filled with colorful photos and a woman with blond curly hair smiling at her desk. Ahhh, she has curly hair, and instant indication that we weren’t as different as I had previously assumed. She offered a chair across from her and we got write to talking. It was amazing how quickly we connected. She was enthusiastic and extremely excited about my project and even mentioned her own interest in photography (all the photos on the walls were taken by her!). I knew I had really lucked out and gotten a great mentor.
Now we meet every two weeks, spending some time talking about my project and some time talking about the rest of our lives. Trish always begins our meeting by asking me how WISE is going (and I think I’ve replied either ‘good’ or ‘awesome’ every time). At our last meeting we discussed what I could do when my class at AAU ends in order to make up for the hours I will no longer be spending in the class. We thought about the possibility of getting a job at a clothing store, but I’m skeptical about my success in getting one considering there are thousands of college educated adults that can’t even get a job right now. But I will certainly try! After all WISE related business has been discussed; Trish and I will often simply talk about school or recent activities that we have engaged in.
Being able to talk to Trish in a mature and casual manner has showed me the progress I am making in becoming more comfortable around adults. I hope I can keep this confidence as I meet other adults and look forward to continuing my friendship with Trish.