A year ago, on April 9, I was at Dunning Field waiting for the start of the New Canaan-Wilton boys lacrosse game and could not find the assigned photographer. There was a miscommunication and I had no one to shoot the game.
I quickly called Kayla Heber, my social media specialist and occasional photographer. Kayla was having dinner at Chick-fil-A in Norwalk but offered, if I didn’t mind her showing up late, to go home to Wilton and get her camera and then drive to New Canaan.
Which she did. There are many stories like that I could tell about Kayla but it is the one I used when I wrote her a college recommendation because it most typifies both her work ethic and the kind of person she is. Kayla is also one of the most genuinely nicest people I have met.
Kayla has worked for me since she was a sophomore and I am pretty certain only one other student has worked as long for The Ruden Report over six and a half years. She is both extremely talented and committed to every task — she has come close to getting hit on the football sidelines several times (and was once by an errant pass) trying to capture the best video.
Kayla also has a sports background: she was on Wilton’s gymnastics team before becoming the boys basketball team’s manager the last two years.
Kayla will be attending Miami of Ohio to major in business.
I interviewed Kayla yesterday for a new Senior Moments.
TRR: What has been the most difficult part of the last six weeks?
KH: I think the hardest part is not being able to see my friends. Since it’s the end of the year this is when we were supposed to be doing all the fun things. All the senior things were planned, like a senior breakfast at school. Just not being with all my friends and thinking about all the things we are missing.
TRR: What is better or worse with online school?
KH: I think it’s a lot harder to understand some of the concepts sometimes. For math they just post videos of them teaching it so you can’t really ask questions on the spot, you just have to continue rewatching the video to try to understand it. And I know a lot of teachers posting them are not supposed to post tests and quizzes, they have been assigning a lot of big projects so it’s hard to keep up with time management if you’re home all the time. I know teachers have also been assigning group projects, which has been really difficult because sometimes you’re not friends with all the kids in your classes.
TRR: Have you been doing anything new that you haven’t done before?
KH: I actually started tye-dying shirts. That was kind of fun. Before this started I went to Michael’s and picked up a few things. It was my friend’s birthday the other day and I made her a tye-die shirt with her college colors on it.
TRR: Any favorite TV shows or movies to recommend?
KH: I watched Tiger King. That was a big one. It was interesting. I watched Love is Blind. It was a very odd show but it was OK.
TRR: Do you spend a lot more time with your parents now than you normally would?
KH: I do. Usually during the school year we never really sit down and have meals together or watch TV and now every night we sit down and have dinner together and then either watch TV shows or a movie together.
TRR: At 4 you would normally be working for me a few days a week. What are you doing at 4 now instead?
KH: Typically I’m probably outside with my brother. Him and I will usually toss a ball. He plays baseball. He’s a freshman right now. He probably is not going to have a season. But we’ve been outside playing around. Sometimes I’ll just sit outside with my dogs or take them for walks.
TRR: What made you choose Miami?
KH: I loved the atmosphere there. I know people tend to say it’s such a Fairfield County school but I didn’t really see that when I went. I just enjoyed the atmosphere and the campus is beautiful. I thought I would fit in really well there. They have a good business program, which is something I’m interested in so hopefully it will help me figure out my path.
TRR: Ten years from now when you are getting ready for your reunion and your classmates bring you up what do you hope they will be saying? How do you want to be remembered?
KH: Hopefully that I was a good friend to as many people as I could be and I was always fun to be around. Just a nice person I guess.