Thursday, July 29, 2010

Summer Doldrums

My summer list of things to do is - as always - far longer than what is accomplishable.  In the late days of the spring semester, among the crush of meetings, reports to read, and and papers to grade, I like to prune my office plants, flick the dusty lady bugs off the windowsill where they've been hiding, and write my Summer List.

To a teacher, as with any kid, the idea of summer is seductive. All those unscheduled days, when I can wear jeans to work, come in late or take time off when I want, and go home with nothing in my briefcase.  Best of all, I can tackle projects I've been wanting to do...such bliss to anticipate the feeling of accomplishment!
And then the summer days fly by - a short family trip one week, an afternoon of hooky another, projects being harder or less fun than they looked, colleagues requesting help with writing or editing or just wanting to chat... and then July is here. 

July is not a good month.  It's still summer, but it's a big reality check, because August is the Month When Classes Start which means No More Summer.  No More Freedom.  No more Self-Directed Days.  July is when I start comparing how much time is left with the length of my summer list.  And I have to decide what isn't going to get done (again) this summer.  Like pruning my flowers back hard - it'll be good for them (and me) later, but it's sad and seems means and small and brutal for now.

So, instead of doing my summer projects, I like to prune my plants, pick the paper clips off my floor, and start daydreaming about my fall classes....