Sunday, August 13, 2006

Finally, some room to breathe!

It’s mid-August and grad school is done. Well, actually, it’s not done. It’s more like halftime. I’ve got two weeks to get to the locker room, cool off, regroup. Maybe get some orange juice. Then, it’s back out onto the field for one more semester. Going into the locker room, I can say I’m ahead—by a healthy margin. That’s good. Protecting the lead, though, means doing a whole lot of research over the next 3-4 months. I’m looking forward to it, but it’s going to mean a lot of crazybusy and I am very determined to be finished by Christmas. There can be no overtime. My constitution won’t take it. I’ve been doing this for two years while working full time, coaching, being a papa and surviving a more-exciting-than-necessary near death experience (it sounds weird to say that, but it was). I’m tired, and I want the game to be over when the whistle blows.

Hey! That soccer analogy wasn’t so bad!

I have had to let a great many things slide over the last 8 months—certification review, school prep, house work, yard work, paperwork, a partridge in a pear tree... I’m not excited about everything that’s going to be waiting for me during Christmas vacation to catch up on, but I’m just not interested in doing anything that I have to work too hard at during these two weeks I have off. Blog writing, at least, does not qualify as taxing. Truth be told, it’s kind of therapeutic. I’ve always enjoyed being able to get things out of my brain through writing and it’s been tough not to really take the time to do that properly the last little while.

It’s so great to finally have this time! I’ve been reveling since Wednesday (the day I submitted the Review of Literature for my thesis) in being able to do some of the most mundane things. I cooked dinner for the first time in, like, six months. A nice dinner, too, if I do say so myself. Of course, the kids didn’t like the summer squash. Apparently, you just can’t put enough butter on summer squash to make it appealing to the under-5 set. I mowed the lawn before it threatened to overrun the house, and I mowed it at a time that wasn’t the hottest part of the day. I got to rent a movie and actually watch it. The Name of the Rose. A classic of literature by Umberto Eco that was made into a movie in the 80’s. I read the book when I was in high school, but I haven’t seen the film in a long time. Christian Slater is in it and he looks about 12 years old. It has the campy look to it that all movies from the 80’s now do (what does that say for ME??!), but the attention to detail is incredible, and it’s great fodder for the fiction writing I play with. I even got to go disc golfing yesterday. There’s a course about 30 minutes away, and I was able to get in a round while my kids were off with Suzanne. I’m going kayaking on Monday. I got one for my birthday in July, but I’ve only had time to go out briefly once. I have two weeks to go out 3 days a week, and I’m totally looking forward to it.

That’s the extent of my vacation. A lot of people claim that it’s unfair that teachers get their summers off. I try not to get on my soapbox about it, but in the 10 years I’ve been teaching, I have NEVER had more than 3 weeks off from school. I can’t vouch for the rest of the people in my profession, but I, for one, don’t get to just walk away from my job during vacations. I’m always reworking lesson plans, searching for materials, trying to do things better, faster, stronger. I’d much rather do that and have the nine months of teaching go smoothly than I would relax for those few short extra weeks and have the rest of the year be a disorganized pain in the butt. The 10 weeks I was out this past year, for example, made this the most stressful, frenetic school year I have ever had. It absolutely wore me out! I hope never to have to repeat that.


etalstra said...

how is it that you and I never saw "Name of the Rose" together?? More D&D ideas anyone???? That's how to build a castle..I hate you-disc golfing without me--upstate NY just does not know how to play....Just wanted to check in to the family...

Wayfarer said...

I miss you! I hope all is well in your world! Disc golfing is just not the same (and there is a course nearby now, so when you come over next...!!)