It wasn't all about basketball. But there was a lot of basketball.

In which I say goodbye to dear friends.

In the fall of 2007, I was an English teacher struggling to make it through a semester at a high school in upstate South Carolina. Among my challenges: teaching an Intro to Theatre Arts class whose students had desperately little interest in theatre. Even more challenging was a trio of exasperating young women in the class named Faith, Hope, and Tequila, the latter of whom was particularly more adept at managing my class than I was.

This wasn’t the first time in my life I’d contemplated leaving teaching, but it was the most serious. I wasn’t making much money, and I had little clue what else to do with an English degree, but soon enough I began Googling job openings at colleges around Statesville, and read with great interest the job description for one Annual Fund Gifts Officer position.

I had no idea what I was applying for, but the job sounded fun—it meant working for a college, a good one at that. It meant traveling around the country, something I wasn’t able to afford much as a young teacher. It meant no more Faith, Hope, or Tequila. (Although the drink makes an appearance before the end of the story.) So I applied and interviewed, and over the course of what felt like an eternity but in fact was only a modest Davidson hiring cycle, I one day opened my flip phone to hear Maria Aldrich on the other end offering me the job.