Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Last Day of Classes

Today marks the last day of classes for me. Final exams are next week and then the reporting of grades, and then...hello summer vacation. The balmy weather is a perfect signifier of the shift in the year - too hot for my black, wool blazer, or my boots, or any sort of sweater. Grey skies made summer seem impossibly far away.

The other morning as I walked from the classroom towards the car, I smiled at another professor in the outside hallway and she smiled back, chiming, "Two more weeks!" I laughed out loud because I understood her, I was a full-fledged "teacher," not being able to fathom a year where work never ends and there's only a two-week vacation to relieve the Groundhog-day-ness. We have fourteen weeks! Or something like that. I haven't worked it out. How special though to belong to that club where we are not alone in marking the days for the long summer vacation. Every year my husband (a teacher of junior-high-school) periodically tells me the number of days left of the school year, 140 days, 98 days, 60 days, the best saved for last, "Two more days!" On some level, the anticipation of the "end," is sweeter than finally getting there.

As I listen to the ticking off of days remaining, I envision a prison wall's scratched lines, or a calendar with the days violently x'd out (in red of course).

At the same time, I'm saddened a little at this ending. In the year-long classes I teach, I get to know students more personally than in one semester. I know these students' pains, their struggles, their goals for the future. Most likely I will never see them again, I may even forget their faces and names. In these last days, I try to memorize my "favorites" and wish them well. There is an awkwardness in this final separation. How does one say goodbye to someone who will disappear into the busy forever? A pretense is what happens, "Let me know when you get your first paralegal job, send me a picture of the baby, don't ever hesitate to e-mail me if you have a question about the law or school."

So summer is almost here and there is much to think about. Much to do.

1. Clean up my office, top to bottom, side to side.

2. Clean the garage.

3. Paint the inside of the house.

4. Do early preparation for classes which will start in September (hahahaha!).

5. Read all the books on my nightstand.

6. Write some short stories.

7. Play with the children.

8. Take a museum trip every week.

9. Swim in the pool several times a week.

10. Work on the children's scrapbooks.

11. Work on my novel.

12. Print out my blog.

13. Be happy.

14. Breathe.

15. Sleep.

Things to repair:

1. Two broken windows.

2. Light switch in the boys' room.

3. Dead television in the family room.

4. Heartfelt wounds.

5. An angry soul.

6. A myriad of misperceptions.


Brenda said...

WhooHoo! And don't spend too much time on what 'needs repair' (o) Repair to the beach instead!

Carolyn said...

My summer list went out the window now that we'er possibly moving. I feel like I'm starting all over.

narrator said...

Done with one semester already, but about to start another. And in the fall teach two courses I've never taught (and one that has just been "invented"), so, too much here, but you enjoy...

And yes, recovering, and finding my way back. thanks.

David N. Scott said...

Man, I gotta get in on that...

Jennifer said...

I always wondered if the teachers counted down with as much vigor as we did as students.

And now I know.


Open Book

Adriana Bliss said...

Brenda, yes! The beach will be lovely. I'm determined to more of that this coming summer.

Oh Carolyn, that's so rough. But just think of the day when the new place will finally become home.

Narrator, I'm so glad to know you're on the way back. I peeked over at your site and was so happy at seeing (and sorry to have been missing) new posts at your blog. Excellent.

David, the only down side: no money when you're off of work. On the other hand, money has never been my priority even with $94 a tank for the SUV. [groan]

LOL Jennifer!

Lori said...

Hey bud...that's a long to-do list. You need to shorten that thing up. Maybe try just breathing, sleeping and writing...wouldn't that be great? :D