Wednesday, October 01, 2003

A couple of weeks ago, I went to see Pirates of the Caribbean (Arrr!) with my sister and some friends. Before the movie we had coffee and cake at the nearby bakery.

A young girl took our orders at the counter and we sat down outside. While the coffees were being made, she approached us.

The way she said, "Excuse me, are you uni students?" was almost like you might ask someone who you think is a celebrity if they were who you think they are – if you do that sort of thing.

She was in year ten, and she was certain she wanted to go to university. She wanted to study criminal law. She was very determined that she wanted to go to university but seemed less certain that she could. But then she said her teachers encouraged her and she was getting straight As. She seemed to be seeking our approval. Maybe going to uni was not the most obvious choice, either in her family or her group of friends. We all encouraged her, saying she had plenty of time and would be sure to go to uni if she really wanted to.

One of our friends is a teacher, and she recognised her from relief work. After the girl left, she mentioned that sometimes the quiet ones you don't notice in class can really surprise you when you talk to them outside.

She was just so unaffected and honest and keen that she really made an impression on me.

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