May 6, 2006

Summer tasks

As Profgrrrrl has noted, the space between terms can be odd for rhythms, and May is like that for me, even when I'm not teaching in the summer. This morning, I'm one student's late-final tech-glitch away from finishing grading, and then I will see what's on my data-recovery disk, and then the May crash hits for me. It's the last month of the school year here in Florida, so all of the parents-must-be-there events are now, plus two birthdays, an anniversary, and this year a 20th college reunion over Memorial Day weekend.

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I'm definitely looking forward to a summer without teaching. Last year I taught for the first summer in a few years, and while I enjoyed the class, I didn't enjoy the summer as much. I know a bunch of financial folks would tell me I should be working as hard as I can to squirrel away money before my children hit college (at which point I should cut back for financial-aid purposes), but I'd rather have a relationship with my children. So I'll probably be working as hard as I can while they're in college.

That doesn't mean I won't be busy with work-like stuff. I'll probably work 3-4 hours a day. This summer, I have the journal to keep me busy, a few grants to write, one of my two book ideas to work furiously on, the college's governance and constitution committee, and a maybe even get some pleasure reading in. But May comes first. And I need to remember to enjoy it instead of fretting about the work I'm not getting done. Yesterday, I saw a colleague in another department for the first time in months and found out why—she had two deaths in the family and her husband is under treatment for cancer. As fellow historian of education Carl Kaestle said a few years ago, at the end of life who says, "Gee, I wish I could have put in a few more hours at work"?

And now I need to shower before I take my daughter to a science study review at school, my son to his Little League game, shop for a picnic later, go back for the game and chat with my wife and mother and mother-in-law, either transfer my daughter from the study review to the last-minute youth orchestra rehearsal downtown or take the son, mother, and mother-in-law back home for lunch and changing, change, head back downtown for the youth orchestra concert, hang around a bit at the reception, head over the bridge for a picnic and pops concert by the Florida Orchestra and fiddler Eileen Ivers. No, my Saturdays are not usually like this. But it fits with my typical May.

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Posted in Random comments on May 6, 2006 7:33 AM |