Sometimes Life Throws You Curves...

in , , , by Erin Lynne, August 29, 2010

I love the movie Field of Dreams. And when I say that I love it, I mean it's my favorite movie in the world. Obviously you know I love sports, plus it has a great father/son storyline, and as an added bonus, Kevin Costner was really cute when he was younger! =) But I always loved the character of Doc Graham. For those of you not familiar with the movie, I shouldn't fill you in on his back story, I should just tell you to go watch it, but I'm feeling generous, so... Archie "Moonlight" Graham was baseball player when he was a boy, got called up to the majors but hadn't seen any action. At the bottom of the last inning of the last game of the season, he got to play right field, but never got to bat. He was called back down to the minors after that and quit baseball to become a doctor in Chisholm, Minnesota. He was the kind of small town doctor everyone knows and loves, and everyone has a story about (you know, the one guy talking about the boxes of hats in his office is the part where I predictably cry every time). Kevin Costner's character, Ray, meets him late in his life, and this conversation ensues:
Ray:...if you could have a wish....

Doc Graham: And you're the kind of man who could grant me that wish?
Ray: I don't know. I'm just asking.

Doc Graham: You know, I never got to bat in the major leagues. I'd have liked to have had that chance, just stare down a big-league pitcher. Stare him down, then just as he goes into his windup, wink. Make him think you know something he doesn't. That's what I wish for. The chance to squint at a sky so blue that it hurts your eyes to look at it. To feel the tingle in your arms as you connect with the ball. To run the bases, stretch a double into a triple...and flop face first into third. Wrap your arms around the bag. That's my wish. Is there enough magic out there in the make this dream come true?

Ray: What would you say if I said yes?

Doc Graham: I think I'd actually believe you. 

Ray: There's a place where things like that happen...and if you want to go, I can take you.

Doc Graham: This is my most special place in all the world. Once a place touches you like this, the wind never blows so cold again. You feel for it. Like it was your child. I can't leave Chisholm.

Ray: I understand. I do. But I really think you're supposed to come with us.

Doc Graham: No.

Ray: But your wish?

Doc Graham: It'll have to stay a wish. I was born here, I lived here, I'll die here, but no regrets.

Ray: Fifty years ago, for five minutes, you came this close. It would kill some men to get that close to their dream and not touch it. They'd consider it a tragedy.

Doc Graham: Son, if I'd only gotten to be a doctor for five that would have been a tragedy.

This weekend, I was home for a funeral of one of Grayson's favorite residents: Jack Calhoun. Some knew him as a great coach. My dad knew him as a great friend. I knew him as one of the greatest teachers I ever had. Before the visitation Friday night, I was reading an article about him from the Ashland Daily, and they told of how he'd been a promising shortstop until a car accident injured his shoulder. Dad says Jack was definitely headed to be a ball player before the injury. As I saw the hundreds of people filing into the East Carter gym for the visitation and funeral, I couldn't help but think of how that injury changed his life, and there are thousands of his former students who are better for it. On my way back to Lexington today, I started thinking of Field of Dreams, and the similarities between Big Jack and Doc Graham. Both small town legends. Both loved by all who knew them. And I am sure Jack had the same wish: to bat in the majors. But just like Doc Graham, I think if you'd have presented him with the opportunity, he would've said "If I'd only gotten to be a teacher for five that would've been a tragedy."

Our loss is Heaven's gain. And to borrow from a fellow Raider's Facebook status, I sure hope the Angels have their hall passes. ♥

Close Second

in , , , by Erin Lynne, August 18, 2010
I know I said the email I got about being accepted to the ETS Technology Praxis panel was the best e-mail I'd ever gotten, but then this morning, this was in my Inbox:


We wanted to let you know that your 2010 Football season tickets were sent to you on Tuesday, August 17, 2010 via 1st Class Mail.

I've got to say this one was a close second!

Garden State

in , , by Erin Lynne, August 17, 2010
Several weeks ago, I got an email forwarded to me from our Curriculum Department. The Educational Testing System (ETS) was looking for nominations of teachers to be on a panel for a Technology version of the Praxis (the test you have to pass to get your teaching certificate). They wanted to nominate me, so I filled out the information, had them sign it, and faxed it to Frankfort. Today I got an email from someone at the state level that I'd been chosen to participate in the state panel in March. I replied and accepted, thinking that was a pretty cool thing to get to do. Then this afternoon, I got another email. This one was from ETS. I have also been selected to be on the national panel. Which is in Princeton, New Jersey next month. There was a number for a travel acency to book my flight through so ETS would be billed directly. And a list detailing what they'd reimburse ($15 breakfast?!? Are you kidding me?!?). By this point I'm pretty pumped about things. Then I see a note asking for me to send them my cell phone number. I think it's odd until I see why. "It will only be used in the case of a delay and the limo driver needs to contact you." Umm, I'm sorry, LIMO DRIVER?!? This is officially the best email I've ever gotten! Look out Garden State, here I come!

Wonder if I'll run into Danielle Staub... :)

ABCs of Happiness: J

in , , , by Erin Lynne, August 02, 2010

In a weird timing thing that I couldn’t have planned better, summer is ending, the new school year is beginning, and I am writing about the letter J. So here are the J things that make me happy:

June and July—I know I said that I was bored early into the summer, but I do love being off of work. Mostly because I am totally a night person, and I like staying up crazy late and then sleeping in until noon. However, it's not that hard to go back when I also love my...

Job—I have loved every job I have had in my teaching career (I am a firm believer that you can’t be a teacher if you don’t love it), but I really love my job now. I love being in all of the schools and meeting new people. I love being able to leave for lunch. I love not having to deal with irate parents. And I love…

JCTC—Basically lack of space has placed my office with the Administrative offices of our Career & Technical School in Jessamine County. There is no room at Central Office or DTO for me, but you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way. The staff has accepted me as one of their own, I have made new friends, and I swear they have more potlucks than a country church.

And last, but certainly not least (in fact, most):

Jenny—I know that she goes by Jen now, but she will always be Jenny to me. I love this girl. There is something deeply comforting about having a friend that knows all of your secrets (and was present for some of them) but loves you anyway. We’ve known each other since we were eight, so we have been through some pretty rough stuff together: poor fashion choices (shoestring hairbows—who thought these were a good idea?), poor love choices, and heartbreaking loss, but through it all, I have always known she was there for me. We have so many inside jokes that sometimes we can just say one word (i.e. “Paintsville” or “Daffy's”) to each other and we will start cracking up. Some days we will talk on the phone for hours, and sometimes we will just send a few text messages, but we are always in touch. She makes me smile, she makes me laugh, she makes me feel good about myself, she makes me happy. It's cheesy and I may sound like a Hallmark card, but I can't imagine my life without her.

These pictures make me laugh so hard. This one was taken too soon (or maybe too late) by my self timer in a movie theatre in Philadelphia. We are were having one of those moments when we could not stop laughing.

And here's how excited we were about her marriage license. We are weirdos.

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