The End of the Semester Cometh!
Scott describes it this way: When the semester starts, Candy gets into a submarine and submerges, and occasionally comes up for provisions. This is exactly right.
I have two more weeks of class, then a few days to breathe, then a pile of final papers lands on me like a cement truck dropped onto an inchworm.
My plan for just after turning in my grades: 5 days of full blast slothery. I'm going to watch movies, read books, roll on the floor with my legs kicking in the air like a cockroach, and ignore everything to do with teaching. My students will dissolve into an Icelandic mist of angst and float to their hometowns.
One problem with summer is that each time it comes along, I delude myself into making an ungodly impossible list of things to do. Everybody I know who teaches does this. We see the summer as a vast, beautiful Utopia that will allow us to become everything we've ever dreamed of becoming. We will be unrecognizable when school starts in the fall. The extra few pounds will have fallen off like an ugly banana peel that's been hiding our true, thin selves. We'll devour every single book on our reading lists, both reading lists (the one for fun and the one for teaching), we'll write so much that we'll be sending out fifteen separate manuscripts in September, we'll have long, meaningful dinners and talks with each of the (formerly) good friends we've been forced to neglect while trying to keep our heads above the academic water. We'll pray and meditate so faithfully that it'll feel as though God lives just down the block. Oh, and we'll visit all family members, finally unpack the 100 or so boxes in the garage, and have crazed rabbit sex with our spouse until we surface again from our dazzled, happy, serene, nirvana state at the bitter, horrifying end of August.
I'm not getting fooled this time. I'm not falling for the bullshit list that makes me feel like a a bat turd on a cracker when the summer is gone. I've done this to myself over and over. I'm picking two things to focus on. OK, three.
1. Writing. My goal for the summer is to finish a first draft of the book I'm working on (I gotta long way to go).
2. Dropping the hideously bad habits I've picked up. These are the same habits I pick up at the end of every school year:
a. Going to bed at 2 or 3 in the morning and dragging myself out to teach the next day.
b. Giving in almost fully to my chocolate cravings. Almost fully. If I gave in fully, I'd be wearing a muumuu and daydreaming about being able to cut my own toenails.
c. Filling the house with stacks of papers. Graded papers, papers that need to be graded, poems I've found online and printed out, stories that current and past students have given me to read, my own writing, class plans, lecture notes, old TV guides, missing electric bills, etc. I become a schizophrenic little bird who is trying to nest all over the house at one time.
3. Spend lots of time with my family.
And that's it. That's plenty. I will pray for help in focusing because I suck more and more at that. I need a personal coach who follows me around with a whistle and orders me to the next task. And while we're at it, a personal masseuse, a personal trainer, a personal organizer, and so on.
In the meantime, full steam ahead for two weeks. Periscope down.