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.
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.