Granted, Gulf Coast weather in this climatological peak of summer is as sultry as sweat. And lots of sweat. We call this season the “dog days.” Not really sure what it has to do with dogs, but somehow the figurative intent of the expression makes a sensible connection.
In the profession of education, though, the season is doubly harsh. Yes, the weather is insufferable, but so is the saddening prospect that blissful days of summer ease are numbered. In days rather than weeks, harsh-sounding school bells will clarion the end of vacation and the beginning of one more nine-month grind. Those who have never taught don’t understand it. In fact, many accuse those who profess the teaching arts of childish, selfish, even unappreciative behavior, since other professions don’t get two-plus months of liberty in the peak of the holiday season. Whatever conclusion or judgment the public would voice either for or against the profession, such is the culture and rhythm of school work.
As a 12 month administrator in post-secondary, the change in season is not as striking, because I’ve punched the clock every day all summer. But even so, my summer routine rages not nearly as tempestuous as regular semesters; the soft season provides a reposeful island amid the chaos and delirium that so often rules the academy during the other nine and a half months.
So now, how sad: the peaceful ease and tranquility that attended June and July will evaporate as jittery, stressful days of August turn to planning, starting, and managing crises that erupt moment-by-moment until mid-September. Yes, in the profession of education, August is a long Sunday night in the ebb and flow of school routines. At all levels, we feel the lonesome soulness that tends this back-to-school season in these enduring “daze” of preparation.