It’s been 19 years since I had a school teacher’s summer off, but the rhythm of the routine is  coming back to me.  Today, July 4, marks the more-or-less mid-way point between the last school year’s glorious release and the tension of the upcoming school year’s ramping up.

“How’s it going?” I ask at this half-way juncture?  I spent some time today reflecting on the answer to that question.

Photo on 7-4-16 at 1.00 PM

Summer vacation is the season of patio-dwelling.

Basically, the time has gone gloriously well.  Unlike summers over 19 years ago when I got off from teaching for June/July/August, I wasn’t really off because I had to work and/or go to graduate school.  And the last 19 summers at LSUE, of course, were work as usual in the relentless administrative grind of higher ed, which afforded no time off for summer.

This summer, by comparison, is totally a lark.  I rise each day (without the annoyance of an alarm clock’s demand) with a plan to do more or less what I want to do when I want to do it.  The routine I’ve cultivated includes work out/sweat in the morning, followed by chill-out in the afternoon when the sultry Gulf Coast’s inhospitable summer heat and humidity spoils any enjoyment of the outdoors.  We run to Lafayette at least once a week and raid our favorite shopping places, especially Rouse’s market where we look for weekend patio fare.   I have thought little—if any—about school next year.

The routine will begin an evolution from this point on.  I’ll continue the laid-back activity pattern, especially for most of July, but I’ll also begin thinking some about school next year.  I’ve already calendared some school meetings later this month, in fact.  The determined disdain of all thoughts pertaining to school and school work that prevailed in the early weeks of June will evolve into thoughts, ideas,  plans, and even excitement for the upcoming academic year as its advent rises on the horizon.  Recalling the early years of my teaching career in the 1990’s, I now recall that familiar rhythm of the school year, which gives teaching quite an advantage over other occupations that don’t have beginning-and-ending cycles, including a 2 1/2 month season of renewal during the summer.

Yes, I like this rhythm.  Especially since I am collecting two pay checks throughout the summer months—-one for retirement from the State, the other for active payroll—-without having to report to work.

So in  final analysis, the review of Summer 2016 at this mid-point concludes  “Thumbs up.”  This is a good lifestyle—-I wear it well.