Summer is hurtling by at an alarming rate. My students have been out of school for two weeks already. Many of the upcoming seniors have already gotten their yearbook portraits taken. I’ve moved from one room to another (what an awesome way to ensure I’ve cleaned out every single little corner of stuff I have acquired over the last eleven years in Room 216!). I participated in a day of animated debate and discussion as part of a work group on ESSA. I’ve gotten my eyes checked and ordered my first bifocals. I’ve gotten my Penn State faculty ID. I’ve done some writing (though not nearly as much as I’d hoped – I’m working on that!). I’ve put in time working on my curriculum and general planning for next year. I’ve worked on really cleaning out the piles of stuff at my house that have acquired over the last eight years here – because it isn’t any less clogged than my classroom was. (In fairness, I have a little extra help filling the space here.)
We’ve celebrated the beginning of summer with B’s school’s splash party at the pool, celebrated the end of soccer with a tournament and then ice cream. We’ve celebrated my dad by creating a quilt square for The Caring Place’s quilt. We’ve celebrated my parents’ 44th wedding anniversary – the first without Dad. And we’ll celebrate Father’s Day tomorrow. (And next weekend – B decided his dad’s present would be a fishing trip.)
It’s been a busy couple of weeks. I did take the morning off on Thursday to read through an entire book (Kasie West’s forthcoming P.S. I Like You).
And I’m up early today – thanks, in part, to an early-rising dog barking to go out at 5 am. I decided not to waste the uninterrupted time so I was sitting here reading for my class that starts Monday. I looked up and saw the cat sleeping next to my feet and the boy sleeping on the couch. My husband and the dog are sleeping downstairs and there are guests sleeping in our bedroom. The house is quiet. My brain is not.
It’s ticking through a thousand thoughts of what I’ve been reading (Digital Storytelling in the Classroom by Jason Ohler) and how it seems to be connecting with the curriculum notes I’ve been scribbling for both English and Journalism. And ideas I have for my blog. And how it intersects with Ready Player One which I just started listening to yesterday. (So far, I love it. Added bonus: Wil Wheaton narrates. Teenage Me is delighted.)
This is how it is. I start the summer with an endless to-do list, prioritized and organized. My brain truly feels like it has 87 tabs open at any one time. I flit from project to project, trying to think of what still needs done.
Until I have a Thursday morning where I decide I just am not getting out of my jammies until I have finished a book that I just want to read. To close all the extra 86 tabs and the endless to-do list for just a few hours and relax.
I felt better. I needed that break more than I knew.
And this is my favorite thing about summer: the freedom and ability to take those breaks to recharge when we want rather than where we can squeeze them in.