School seems to be ending for the regular school crowd in this and next weeks. There’s a feeling of release and FINALLY having the time to do all that stuff studying and teaching won’t allow. A sort of annual do-over for at least two if not three months (with multiple starting dates of school in August or September these days, who can say?).
I’m not a little bit jealous. My teaching job takes very few breaks. A few days at the end of the year, the Friday after Thanksgiving, and some time around Easter. Fine, if for the full-timers; they get paid holidays. Not so much for us part-timers. To wit, in short, if I don’t work, I don’t get paid. Some holiday. But it was my choice to go this route. So it goes.
I still can’t shake the desire to switch things up, however; to do something new and different during the summer months. The standards are set. Winter clothes have gone back to the recesses of the closet. Spring/summer cleaning has had one attempt. The grass and the mower have interacted more than I have with the weeds, but that’s another story. My garden’s in and doing well. There are some blossoms and baby peppers on the deck plants and nothing has died or been eaten off in my new enclosed garden. The brassicas in the clay around the deck are not so healthy, but I suppose not much can grow in that. Plants either suffocate or drown in that muck.
Which is not unlike the quagmire I’d gotten myself into with the stuff that teaching 20 hours a week wouldn’t allow. My list for the summer is written, but fluid. Now I need to shuffle time and givens to have at it. After the initial, “Oh, dear G-d, what the freak was I thinking?” reaction, I did what has come to be the saving of my sanity. I took a mental step back and appraised things.
First realization (and let us all say, “DUH!”):Something’s got to change.
Or some things.
It reminded me of a type of toy I had when summer vacation was real and school didn’t start again until after Labor Day: a plastic frame about three inches by three inches surrounding three-eighths’ inch square tiles that were tongue and groove, but had one of the nine or sixteen tiles missing. The goal was to move the assorted tiles so that what was on each tile formed a sort of order. Numerical was one, another got fancy by wanting me to set up the Fibonacci Sequence, and I had seen and worked with others that created a picture. The point was, only one tile could move at a time.
So I tried inserting a little more writing and a little study into the regular chaos of the week. And I switched around days that regular chores were to be done. The chores were done. The studying went as well as could be, considering I had to search for the books again. And a chapter is about finished.
Now, none of this got the needlework or the extra cooking that step out first in orange and green on my list. The list will not bear strike-throughs in any quantity after only one week. But that’s OK. Maybe the tiles can shift a little more. Some in a different direction. But they will always shift one at a time.
And besides, summer has only started.