One of the best things about teaching is its cycle of open and close, renewal, and fresh starts--every year a new chance, a change. As the season turns and another school year closes, my mind turns to new opportunities and summer studies.
It's hard to refute the stereotype of teachers getting "three months off" a year, especially since I have worked in the private sector and know the pain of an entry-level job that accrues a mere week or two of "Personal Time Off," or PTO, a year. For most, PTO time is intended to cover both sick and vacation leave, and the corporate lackey also receives, grudgingly, a few national holidays, which stud the calendar like raisins in a pudding (an image I think I just stole from Louisa May Alcott. Or someone).
That said, my husband and I have had very few summers "off." Either he, or I, or both have taken classes, worked a second job, or some combination of the two every summer for the past twelve years.
This summer, though, marks a milestone: No classes. No summer work. Just family time, and lots of it.
All this freedom? Oh no!
My summer could look like this:
- Read classics I've always meant to read; study Anna Karenina with friend Michelle
- Bike or run every day; look amazing
- Finally develop that rhetoric/linguistics unit for my AP class that's been half-baked in my mind for two years
- Refinish bedroom dressers (only 12 years late) and finally get rid of horrific yellow wallpaper in master bedroom
- Weed-free garden; clutter-free home; healthy organic meals daily
Or, it could look like this
- Eat crap, gain (more) weight
- Futz around on computer, wasting hours per day
- Procrastinate on school because "I have so much time until September"
- Dither over house projects and end up starting many, but leaving several half-done
How do I make option A happen and option B go away?