Inspire, Fall/Winter 2011

Serendipity is a space featuring your stories about the delightfully unexpected ways our Cedarville roots bring us together. Essays can be humorous, heartfelt, or surprising. Please limit your story to 500 words and include your name, class year (for alumni), city, and state. Submit your essay for consideration to Inspire , Cedarville University, 251 N. Main St., Cedarville, OH, 45314, or . Meeting in the Middle by Dr. Elaine Gregory ’79 I was drawn to teach physical education for the opportunity to prepare future teachers, be active in the classroom, and because it’s fun to spend time playing in the gym. I began teaching in a Christian school, although I have spent the majority of my career teach- ing at the college level — 20 years at Syracuse Univer- sity and five at Roberts Wesleyan College in New York. Even with more than 30 years of teaching experi- ence, I value opportunities to stay current with issues that affect my field. For the last 25 years, I have attend- ed the annual conference of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AAHPERD) to connect with physical education colleagues across the United States. Professional conferences don’t often provide opportunities for reunions with old friends. Several years ago, I was pleasantly surprised when this confer- ence reconnected me with a former classmate! In 2006, the AAHPERD conference was held in Salt Lake City, Utah. The conference drew thousands of attendees and offered several choices for breakout sessions in each time slot. Like every other participant, I mapped out my selections and meandered through my day. I entered the session I had chosen right before lunch and chose a seat in the middle. The speakers had not brought enough handouts, so they passed around a pad of paper for the partici- pants to record our names and email addresses so they could send us the handouts later. I dutifully filled out the required information and, without really looking, slid the pad across some empty seats to my right toward the woman sitting at the end of the row. Just a few minutes later, I saw a piece of paper being passed back toward me. I picked it up and read these words: “Are you the Elaine Gregory who went to Cedarville?” I turned and really looked at the woman to my right and discovered that it was Crystal (Anderson) Spicer ’79. Not only had we graduated together, but we’d played two years together on Cedarville’s field hockey team — Crystal was our goalie. We panto- mimed “hello” and “great to see you,” trying not to be too distracting to others, since we were in the middle of a lecture. I had a few flashbacks while waiting for the session to end. I was a fullback on the field hockey team and was supposed to be the last line of defense so Crystal never had to field the ball. As the occasional bruises on the backs of my legs attested, I was not always successful — she often had to get my attention by wielding her stick with impunity! Crystal and I were co-captains in our senior year, but we hadn’t been in touch since graduation. We caught up over lunch after the session was over. Crystal had come up to the conference from Tucson, Arizona. She taught physical education in Ohio for several years and earned her master’s in administra- tion before taking time away to raise her children. She has been teaching middle school P.E. in Arizona since 2004. It has been fun to get reacquainted with a former teammate. We have kept in touch through email and Facebook, and we met up again a few years ago at the AAHPERD conference in Indianapolis. What a blessing that God allowed our paths to cross! I hope God brings us together again in the future. Dr. Elaine Gregory ’79 is an associate professor of education at Roberts Wesleyan College where she directs the physical education program. You may contact Elaine at gregory_elaine@ . Crystal (Anderson) Spicer ’79 teaches physical education at Billy Lane Lauffer Middle School. You may contact Crystal at . Cedarville competed in women’s field hockey from 1965–1981. Standing in the back row, Crystal (Anderson) Spicer ’79 is on the far left, and Elaine Gregory ’79 is fourth from the left. serendipi ty