Best of Freshman Writing

Volume 17

Table of Contents

Christopher Young 

Bradley Neighoff 

Chelsea Hafner 

Chelsea Hartzman 

Madelyn Koch 

Kristy Offenback 

Cody Bressler 

Emily Brown 

Ebony Ford 

Steve Hamel 

Daniel MacIntosh 

Chris Watts 

Matt McClure 

Kyley Mickle 

Shatisha Diggs 

Taylor Bury 

Joanna Evans 

Alyssa Gradus 

Cindy MacIntosh 

Abbey Miklitsch

Lisa Morrison

Hailey Schuchart

John Ritenour

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Last updateded July 2, 2012.

Emily Brown
English 15
PSU – Brandywine

Seeing the Unseen

She knows my name; nevertheless I do not know hers. She knows where I reside, but again, I would not have the slightest clue of where she might live. She gives me something new everyday although I have never given her anything. She is nearly invisible from my point of view, but she is always there. It might sound like I have a stalker, or maybe someone who is a little bit obsessed with me, but I promise, it is nothing like that. I am actually describing someone that many people know about or have seen in their daily lives, but never actually think of what that individual does for them. I am talking about the postal carrier. Thinking about it, all she does is hop into the signature boxy, white vehicle that everyone can identify as belonging to the post office, drive to each house and drop off letters into mailboxes. She travels by foot and car everyday, rain or shine, all around delivering bills and packages that people most likely need more than they will admit. It is difficult to really grasp how one would admire someone like her as much as I do. Doing her job without ever becoming upset while she never receives a thank you is beyond me.
    The day I noticed her happened quite recently when I was on my way to work. As weird as it seems, reality seemed to stop, and I was able to absorb every minuscule detail about her. This nameless woman is not the thinnest, most attractive woman in the world. She is a plus-sized woman with a head of graying hair that looks as if she fought birds out of it when she awoke that morning. She uncomfortably wore the required light blue, buttoned-up shirt tucked into navy, straight-legged pants. Focusing on her facial features, behind her thick-rimmed glasses I noticed her tired but committed eyes pointed towards the ground. She looked as if she had more personal burdens on her back than just the weight of the mailbag hoisted over her shoulder. As my eyes traveled down the length of her face, over the copious number of wrinkles that have taken place over the years, I was taken aback that her mouth was turned down into a frown. Noticing this, I was hoping that she would glance up and make eye contact with me so I could give her an appreciative nod because maybe that would put a smile on her face. I began to wonder if people drive by her and give her a hard time. When I had that thought, I became perturbed and a million questions started flying through my head. Why would people give her a hard time? Do they give her a hard time about her being overweight? Do they know what she is doing for them? Do they know that, ultimately, she is making their lives easier? Do they? After all these years of that same woman being my mail carrier, that was the day I finally saw her and not just what she does for me.
    Now, most readers might say, “Why should we care what she does? She was not forced to take the position as mail carrier.” It is a very true statement, but when thinking about it, no one ever notices the postal carrier. When we are driving and see the white car pulled off to the side, we are aggravated that her car is in our way. To avoid collision with her and approaching vehicles in the opposite direction, we quickly speed up to pass her before she starts moving to the next mailbox. We don’t stop and think about how happy we are that we will receive our mail that night; we just care that the mail carrier’s vehicle is in our way, thus making our lives that much more difficult than it already is. We, as human beings, take so much for granted, and we never stop and think about all the things that people do to make life effortless. And when I saw my nameless mail carrier with her eyes directed towards the ground, that is all I could think about. She believes that no one is grateful for her actions, and so she feels obligated to stay out of the way as much as possible. She has no reason to think that. She is more important than she thinks she is. If the world of computers and smart phones crash tomorrow, people will not run to the major technological companies to question what is going to happen now. They will wait by their mailboxes for the postal carrier to come by with letters from the major technological companies with news to the people of what is going to happen. She is very important, and next time I pass her walking on the street, I will honk my horn so she looks at me, and I will wave to her to let her know that there is at least one person who has noticed and appreciates what she does.

Emily Brown's essay appears here with her express written permission and cannot be reproduced in any manner or fashion without her express written permission.