In class, we had the assignment to interview a partner about a gift they had recently given. I sat next to Haley Beach this day, so I was privileged with the opportunity to interview her. The question we both started with was “What was the last gift you gave?” Haley and I both sat for a minute pondering what the last gift we gave was, but then Haley smiled and perked up because she was excited to tell her story.
Haley began to tell me about her friend Kenneth, who had a birthday about a month ago. Over the summer, Kenneth worked at a kids camp where they had themed days every now and then, and one of Kenneth’s favorite themes days was when they had a Star Wars day. Kenneth loves Star Wars, and he loved getting to dress up for it. So when Haley was shopping for a birthday present for Kenneth and came across a Chewbacca onesie, she knew it was the perfect gift.
Haley went on to describe how Kenneth wore it for the rest of the day and he carried a sign that said “Free Hugs” because the onesie was so soft. When I asked her how she felt, she said “it made me feel special, because he wore it all day so I really felt as if he genuinely appreciated it.”
We then went deeper into the conversation and I learned that Haley met Kenneth last year at the UGA Baptist Collegiate Ministries were they worked together. She said that Kenneth and her are now in one big friend group together an they even live in the same apartment complex. She said all of her friends call Kenneth “dad” because he looks like he is 40 years old, and they call her “mom” because she washes their clothes, cooks for them, and takes care of them when they are sick. The way Haley described her friendship with this group was so admirable, and it proved to me how much she really cared about her friendships and the people she affects.
Haley and I kept talking, and she told me that she worked at a camp this summer. I asked her if it was the same camp as Kenneth’s and she told me that Kenneth worked in California over the summer, while she worked at a camp for deaf children here in Georgia called Camp DOVE – Deaf Outreach through Visual Effects. This was extremely intriguing to me because I have never met someone who had done this. Haley wants to be a speech pathologist when she graduates, which is why she spent her summer working at this camp. Just like she had when she spoke of the Chewbacca onesie she gave Kenneth, she lit up with sparks when she spoke of this camp. It is remarkable to me that Haley is so passionate about helping others and putting smiles on their faces.
So as we concluded the interview, we were posed with stating goals and wishes of our interviewee, coming up with a statement/solution for our interviewee’s goals and wishes, drawing the solution, and then reflecting on the entirety of the sequence. For Haley’s goals, I wrote that she has a desire to leave a positive legacy in this world however she can. Haley is constantly looking to see how she can put a smile on someone’s face and make them feel important. I was able to see this through the way she spoke of her interactions with her friends, and the students at Camp DOVE.
From her goals that I wrote, I came up with the statement/solution that says, “Haley needs a way to brighten people’s day because she wants everyone to feel loved, but she does not realize how much she actually does make people feel special.” I wrote this statement because the only problem I see with Haley is that she is so humble about the work she does. In reality, this is not a problem, but a good quality to have. Going off of this, I drew five pictures to show how Haley can feel as if she has affected the people around her.
After the drawings of her solutions, Haley and I gave each other feedback on our discoveries of each other and came up with a final solution. I told Haley how I was impressed with what she does for her friends and children that she works with, and showed her my final drawing of her teaching students sign language, because as I mentioned above, her dream is to be a speech pathologist. I know that with Haley’s kindness and care for others, she will be able to fulfill her goals of being a speech pathologist, and I hope that she is able to recognize the impact she has on other’s lives. Haley’s goals evident to see after speaking with her. She is selfless and determined to help others.
I left the class feeling inspired and grateful for the chance to talk to her about this. My biggest take away from this assignment is that I have been in this class with Haley for almost a month, and I probably never would have learned this information about her had we not been assigned to do so. This goes to show how many incredible people surround us on this campus every day, and I am glad to have found this realization.