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More journeys start today

Jordan Giddings had to explain actuarial science to me Wednesday at Sauk Valley volleyball practice.

For those that don't know, it is the discipline that applies mathematical and statistical methods to assess risk in insurance, finance, and other industries and professions. That answer comes from Wikipedia, but is almost exactly what Giddings told me.

For those that can't believe I didn't know that, you've got to realize that I was an English major, and actuarial science never popped up in Shakespeare's iambic pentameter sonnets. Not once ... and Shakespeare wrote a lot of those things.

Giddings plans to pursue actuarial science in college, and then as a career after that, which probably means she'll be making more money than me in 3 or 4 years.

Before that, she'll make a decision on if competitive sports will be part of her college experience in the next couple years. She'll likely have some options in volleyball and basketball. I won't even wager to guess which one.

There probably would be a couple softball programs that would still have interest in the girl that broke Rock Falls' career home run record during her freshman year.

I am not going to spend much more time on Giddings here – you can read all about her in the Sauk Valley volleyball preview that starts on B1.

But, I bring this exchange up at the beginning of a new school year because it reminds me how fast time goes.

It doesn't seem like that long ago that Giddings was crushing all those home runs as a freshman, and we were getting calls from excited fans from Rock Falls about this phenom.

I watched her grow as a player in all three sports. I've met her parents and talked to them on sidelines multiple times.

There was the elation of big wins, and the heartache after postseason losses. There were home runs, strikeouts, spikes, blocks, shots and misses.

Giddings is one of those rare talents that we meet as a freshman, and follow all the way through high school.

We'll meet some more this fall, and most likely, most of them see college and careers as something very far away.

But it isn't.

Time flies, and before they know it – and before I know it – they'll likely be explaining some vocation to some dense sports reporter like me.

But that's the destination, and while destinations get plenty of love in our section, they are dwarfed by journeys.

Over the next 10 months or so, area kids take more steps on journeys, and we'll be there from time to time to document them.

There will be wins and losses. There will be times they'll want more coverage, and probably times when they'd wish we'd go away.

But that's our job, and the best part of this job is watching these kids grow – not as athletes, but as people.

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