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Sarah Maxwell

The paths we took

Four years ago I was entering my last semester as a college student at the University of Iowa. I had one more course to complete before I reached my journalism major and three more courses to finish before I reached my sports studies minor. 

The course load wasn’t crazy by any means. I was challenged by my last journalism course, web design, and pleasantly intrigued by my sports courses. School was always something I loved. But that last semester featured a new source of panic — the job hunt. 

It felt like I spent 95 percent of my free time looking on various sports hiring websites searching for any and all teams hiring someone in sales — for the Mister — and someone in marketing or community relations — for me. The potential of a future where we could be separated by multiple states was not appealing, and I was bound and determined to do everything in my power to make sure that wasn’t the case. 

We met as interns at the Quad Cities River Bandits. He was a ticketing intern, and I was a member of the Street Team. It was about a month or so into the season when we finally met after a game handing out coupons to Dick’s Sporting Goods and pocket schedules. He was kind, good-looking and smart. We spent the summer keeping our relationship under wraps because we didn’t want it to impact our work or get either of us fired. At the end of the season, he went back to University of Iowa for classes, and I went back to Wartburg College, where I was attending school. 

About a month and a half into the semester I realized I wasn’t getting what I needed in terms of educational opportunities and wasn’t feeling challenged by my classes. So I began the process of transferring to Iowa. I received a lot of flack for that decision from family and friends who thought a boy was the only reason I was choosing to transfer. Years later I can finally say, he was part of the equation but not the sole reason. 

We went back to the River Bandits for a second season and began to imagine a future working somehow in the industry. It was an idyllic type of dreaming, working our way through the office structure to someday running our respective divisions — always there to cheer the other on. Had either of us realized this would be our last summer in sports, I wonder if we might have done it differently. As it would be, we spent the next summer working in Iowa City and taking some summer courses. 

Finally we entered our last semester of school. It seemed like every week I was sending off five or six applications to different teams at every level. It didn’t matter if it was baseball, football, NASCAR, hockey, basketball or anything else as long as they had positions available in both departments. Those were slim options. Then it became about finding teams in the same city with opportunities. And still those fell through. After almost eight months of searching, the Mister received an offer to come back to Princeton to work with the family, and I received an offer to be a copy editor and paginator at the Quad City Times. Thus we settled into a normal life leaving behind young dreams for something more practical — a paying job. 

Then turmoil struck, and I was out of a job. As chance should have it, there was an opening here, and I was lucky enough to get it. Life settled again. We fell into a comfortable pattern, but change was once again on the horizon. 

The Mister and his family decided to leave Pioneer this summer and take on a new avenue of seed and chemical sales with the Hefty Seed Co. With this new adventure it was determined I would come along and lend a hand in expanding their presence in the community. 

It amazes me that almost six years after my first summer working in the community and finding my passion I would be going back to it just in a different industry. I never thought our young hopes would come to fruition and never in the manner they are. So while I’ll be leaving the BCR Friday, Aug. 21, I won’t be leaving the area. Life takes many twists and turns for sure. You’ll never know where you’ll end up, but you have to enjoy the journey. 

Thank you for accepting me into this wonderful community. I appreciate everything I’ve gained from you all. So long and until next time.

BCR Design Editor Sarah Denton can be reached at sdenton@bcrnews.com.