Thinking about what I am doing these days with a new company under my belt and a writing group I mentor twice a month, I have to compare my life to a time when I was young and equally happy to be doing what I was doing.

It was the summer when I was 18 and began teaching summer school on an island off he coast of South Carolina. The area was poor, many of the houses lacking glass in the windows, doors in the doorways and even the basic indoor plumbing I took for granted.

As a teacher I was housed in a group of rooms built on a dock that jutted into a small, quiet, protected bay. The first night I was there I fell asleep listening to the lap of waves against the pilings below the room. Later, I would learn to tell high tide from low by the sound of those waves. But, that first night I was content to just lay there and listen as the water thrummed its quiet beat, lulling me into sleep.

Before the sun had peeked its lazy eyes out of the blanket of horizon the next morning, I was awaken by the sound of feet running down the covered dock’s wooden planking. The slap of bare soles against the wood sounded loud as if someone was in the room with me.

I jerked awake at the sound confused as to where I was and who would be in my room. Realization dawned and I quietly got up and padded out to see what the disturbance was about. I found a young man standing at the end of the dock pulling in a fishing line for an elderly man. Both were dressed in stained clothes that had been mended several times. They shyly introduced themselves to me and it dawned on me that the young man was actually one of my students!

They explained that they were fishing to help supply the meal for a party held every Friday for the teachers on the Island. Intrigued, I watched as they struggled together to land a stingray from the blue water of the bay. As they yanked it over the rail they ran out of reach of its flailing tail. The elderly man explained that the tail had to be treated with respect because it held “much venom that can make you sick!”

That summer I learned as much from these people about enjoying life and understanding its rhythms as I taught their children about reading and math. It was an adventure I never forgot and combined my love of teaching with my love of the water.

These days my sense of adventure is for the writing group and the new company I helped to form and the possibilities they present to me every day. They combine my love of teaching with my love of creating both in design work for games and writing.