Summer Vacation…It’s Slipping Away!!!

Ahh…summer vacation. Sleeping late…reading the newspaper…drinking coffee…leisurely walks. Okay, maybe taking a few seminars…cleaning the basement…organizing papers…throwing things away. Still, the change of pace for the summer is dramatic. Earlier this summer, as I was enjoying the last days of June, I ran into my colleague, Kris Nelson. She also basked in the glory of summer vacation, and particularly June. Then she told me something I will never forget. She said summer vacation is like the weekend. I asked her to explain and here is what she told me.

ImageJune is like Friday night: the beginning of an extended break. The time to relax and not worry about anything. Time expands out indefinitely. Sometimes we relax because we’re tired after that long stretch of work. Sometimes we let loose and go wild because we’ve been structured for so long. June is like Friday night.

July is like Saturday: the middle, a full day of open time. Getting a little used to the change in structure and just going with the flow. Lots of time left, why it’s only just started. We can play, complete projects, run errands. It’s our choice because we have the whole day! It’s glorious. July is like Saturday.

That brings us to August. August. August is like Sunday. Yes, the day is still open but we can feel obligation and responsibility creeping up on us again. We try to enjoy the open time we still have but we can’t help but look ahead to what’s coming. The next long span seems so far away. We don’t want to waste any of this wonderful freedom by thinking about all of this too much but we can’t resist preparing ourselves. The day ebbs away and then…we’re back. August is like Sunday.

In truth, most of us love our jobs. I look forward to returning to school at the end of August and even on Mondays. I feel lucky to have a job that I enjoy and kids and adults who I value seeing each day. Those of us in schools, we get to push the reset button every year. Who else gets to do that? But I can’t shake that feeling of freedom slipping away as the days get shorter and the sales advertisements creep up earlier each year.

I need to start going to bed earlier. It’s almost Monday.


August 1, 2012. Uncategorized.

One Comment

  1. Dave B. replied:

    I love the analogy to a weekend and find it so true. So many people seem to be jealous of the fact that teachers have summers off. I believe that the only person who would begrudge a teacher that time to recharge his or batteries is someone who is totally clueless as to what teaching entails. Many of us would love to work 12 months and be paid for 12 months, but if we did, the teacher burn-out rate would be astronomical.

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