As a result, we communicated more than usual by text message.
Here’s an edited version of what we talked about through the week:
Me: What’s up today? I’m in Chicago waiting for the next plane. No Jay Cutler sightings yet.
Riley: Driving to Charleston for fall break with my homies.
(Late the next night)
Riley: What do you think is U2’s most popular song?
Me (welling with pride that he’d have such a question and think that I was worthy of answering it): “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” follow closely by “Pride.” You?
Riley: We were discussing that. I thought it was “Where The Streets Have No Name” or “One.” [My friend] was trying to tell me it was “With Or Without You.”
Me: “Streets” is up there for sure.
Riley: Bono is a beast lyricist.
Me (still welling with pride): And vocalist.
(Another time during the week, one I received during one of the teaching sessions in Indiana)
Riley: I’m meeting today with ___________ today because he’s struggling with his faith so just pray for me that the Holy Spirit moves through me when I speak.
Me (starting to cry and having to leave the conference room & thinking, “how did I get so lucky?”): So proud of you. Will pray.
Me (later): How’d that conversation go?
Riley: It went really well. I think I helped him some.
(Saturday evening as West Virginia is getting mauled by Kansas State)
Me: Geno Smith ain’t gonna win the Heisman now. Who do you think is the front runner?
Riley: Colin Klein.
Me: What about that linebacker from Notre Dame?
Riley: Klein first then Manti Te’o.