Emily works at the same school my wife works at doing the same job my wife did when she was working toward the same Master’s degree in Special Education at Drury University.
Emily also went to the same high school I did — Kickapoo! — although she was born the year I graduated.
I visited with Emily briefly at the Field of Dreams screening on Monday. Of course, it was her first time seeing the movie on the big screen.
“It was quite the emotional experience.”
Watching Field of Dreams is always an emotional experience for me too. Emily brought her parents to the movie and the three of them sat in front of me and my family. It was after the movie when she affirmed that she wanted to play catch.
I got to the school before the end-of-the-day busses and played catch with students in Jamie’s room while Emily helped students find their rides in the car line.
Once the busses and cars had left, I met Emily on the front lawn and celebrated the 85-degree weather and the 30-mph winds.
(Side note: It took multiple rounds of editing for me to see that I had typed “300-mph” instead of “30-mph.” Some of the gusts, however, were quite strong.)
“I think it’s been about two years or so since I last played catch.”
And then I learned something that warmed my heart.
Emily is a Royals fan. She grew up going to Royals games with her family and enjoys watching baseball.
I so love meeting Royals fans in Springfield. Whenever I see someone wearing a KC hat or t-shirt, I always make sure to say something.
Emily earned her undergraduate degree at MSU in Hospitality Management and burned both ends of the candle at her first job, coming home exhausted and emotionally overwhelmed.
Her parents suggested she try substitute teaching. I tried that and found it ridiculously difficult. Emily tried it, loved it, and got her current position shortly afterward.
“These kids have definitely changed my life — the joy they have is contagious. By no means is the job easy, but it is so rewarding.”
Emily’s big dream for 2018 is to graduate with her Master’s degree in December and land a job as a head teacher.
Reiterating the lesson of Day #86: Teachers are saints.