There is a lovely volunteer at my office once a week.  She is  quite a lot younger than I am and extremely stylish.  She makes her clothes and they are wonderful.  Baggy overalls, oversized jumpers, paired with stylish jackets and sneakers….she looks like a page in a fashion magazine. Her smile is beautiful and contagious.

I enjoy having her in the office.  (Not just because the style factor goes way up when she is there.)  I enjoy having her in the office because I consider her my friend; I don’t make friends easily.  I am socially awkward.

We talk while we work. We talk about our children, families and pets. I like to hear  about her sewing and knitting projects – she knits much more complicated things than I would ever attempt.

We talk about strange English idioms (she is from Japan)….We were trimming some papers one day – her eyes got very wide when I told her to “eyeball it.”  We have a lot of conversations about those kinds of things.

As a volunteer, she is remarkable. If she can’t come, she often arranges for one of her friends to fill in for her.  She learns quickly and I am always amazed at how fast and accurately she completes the tasks I ask her to do.  Whether I ask her to help run copies, or assemble booklets, or ask her to help me water the plants, she does so cheerfully.  The office is a brighter place when she is there.

I find it amazing that someone can come from halfway around the world and navigate all the things that are different here – not the least of which is the language.

She asked me a couple weeks ago if she could read my blog. I hope she reads it today.




One thought on “Sense of Style

  1. I used to work in the Writing Center at Cleveland State University. I was endlessly impressed with students from Taiwan and China who set regular appointments with me to help them. At first, their English was so limited that even asking them to tell me what they were trying to write was difficult. But they tenaciously persisted and by semester’s end made huge progress. They were all women. (p.s. I think the Japanese have the patent on style with flair. Also on uber cute things, i.e., Hello Kitty.)

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