How the Break Winds Down

Unlike most educators, I work during the summer. I was hired at the college under this arrangement. At the time I was a little chagrined, not knowing how that scheduling might affect both my personal and professional life. In retrospect, it's been such a blessing that I've foregone the opportunity to switch to a traditional schedule in recent years.

The benefits are abundant. First and foremost, Northeast Florida is beautiful in the winter. From December to March, the humidity drops, the temperatures moderate and the days are mostly clear and bright. For a fellow who enjoys running in the woods and on the beach, playing golf and fishing, this is the best time of the year.

Secondly, it's nice to have the run of the college in the summer. My first assumption was that the college would be eerily quiet, but there are four of us working in the summer. We get a great selection of classrooms and facilities, and the place has a nice energy to it--which leads to productivity. Summer student populations are very laid-back, and I've grown to appreciate working indoors during the heat of the day.

I usually take time off from mid-December until the end of February, and then I teach an abbreviated eight-week schedule prior to a full load in the summer. This year, I boosted my load in the hopes that I could earn some extra money.

Now let's just hope I can get into graduate school to justify the savings.

But I just started five classes today, and it's great to be back at work. I'll be at the college on Monday and Tuesday, and then begins the five-day weekend.

In terms of my break, I:
  • ran about 220 miles;

  • played about twenty rounds of golf;

  • wrote five short stories;

  • wrote 20,000 words on the 2010 novel;

  • completed draft zero of the 2009 novel and sent it to Bernadette;

  • watched my daughter every morning of every day growing into a young person. I've seen it all (walking, eating, pooping, talking, laughing, hugging, crying, sleeping, asking questions, being human), and she is the central light in my life--the most amazing blessing that Jeanne and I could ever hope for.

On a related note to that final bullet point, I'm pretty much through wiping her nose. It's a universal truth that all children despise the parental nose wipe, and Lyla is no different. I thought about it today and, if it's not impacting her respiration, why should I wipe it away.

So she looks like Regan in The Exorcist when I drop her off at daycare. I've arrived at the conclusion today that the nose wiping is mostly a parental conceit.

See, my child is free of snot!

But the kids hate it and it's not bothering them and all it does is make the nose irritated, so why the incessant boogie wrangling?

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