100 Strangers: #1

Today, despite my nerves and shaky hands, I met my first stranger.

First off, I contemplated chickening out of the project several times. In fact, my entire twenty-minute walk back from class consisted of talking myself out of actually approaching and singling out a stranger. What if they looked busy? What if they gave me a creepy answer and started stalking me? What if they laughed at me? Or worse, what if they said… no?

Trying to tune out the typical war between my brain and my heart, I began to pace around the lobby floor of my dorm. I had nearly asked three people outside if they had a moment to answer some questions for a project of mine, but my voice shrunk back down into my throat before I could even open my mouth.

I was about to turn towards the stairs to begin the defeated trek up to my room, when I saw a girl coming through the main doors. A sudden burst of confidence propelled me forward, and I met my first stranger of the project: Maddie Olson.


Besides having an awesome name, I found out that Maddie is a Kansas native, born in Paola. She is also eighteen years old, and told me about a childhood memory from third-grade that involved leaping off of a table. “I was trying to fly, but I ended up breaking my wrist,” she said. A random fact to note is that she no longer has a gallbladder- it was removed four months ago. To wrap up the conversation, I asked Maddie to share her favorite thing about herself. “I’m very outgoing,” she said energetically, to which I replied with equal enthusiasm, “Yes! That’s exactly why I chose you!”

My first encounter with a stranger (who is no longer a stranger anymore) may have taken some courage and guts, but I am determined to complete the project and create a few familiar faces along the way. I’m hopeful that by day 10, I’ll have mastered an approach and become an easy-going blogger/interviewer. Again, key word is hopeful. We’ll just take this one day at a time.

Yours truly,

Maddie Rheinheimer


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