Candy Rant

"I killed a rat with a stick once."

Thursday, April 22, 2010

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.


  • At 5:22 PM, Blogger Citlali said…

    Hang in there, Candy, it's almost over! It sounds like a very wise plan you have going for the summer. I find that it's indeed hard to break out of habits we reinforce year after year and it sounds like you found a way to get out of your rut. So, "Good on ya, mate!!" as they say Down Under. lol. BIG undersea HUGS. Love ya. = ]

  • At 5:31 PM, Anonymous Gail Storey said…

    Candy, I admire teachers more than anyone--it's a tough job and you should get big chocolate medals on a regular basis! I've done my share so I have a sense of what you're going through. You totally rock!

  • At 12:03 AM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    HA! Undersea hugs.

    Undersea hugs and chocolate medals.

  • At 12:03 AM, Blogger Candy Rant said…


    It remains to be seen whether or not I can actually carry out my plan.

  • At 7:35 AM, Blogger jknierim said…

    Summer? You mean that tme period that shrinks every year - at least for public school teachers? I shall try to follow your example this summer - decide on just 3 things to accomplish! BTW - a bat turd is guano - and it's great garden fertilizer!! Take 2 bat turds and call me in the morning! (Google that one!)

  • At 2:26 PM, Blogger laurazim said…

    "Bat turd on a cracker" = Pretty much the best visual EVUH. Ha! And double ha! HA!! :)

  • At 10:54 PM, Blogger E. said…

    What a totally sane idea. I've just realized in the last couple years that my lists have nothing to do with what's possible to get done and everything to do with my wildest fantasies of what I want to get done. I'm trying to pare down, too.

    My word verification is disco. Beat that.

  • At 9:01 PM, Blogger Chilebrown said…

    Is it summer in your neck of the woods?

    I will be retiring very soon. I plan to go back to school. My goals are not very high. I would like to get my second serve in more often.

    Serious, Do you do a podcast of your classes. I was just reading about that.

    Scott, Arizona is in the newa a little too much!

  • At 1:05 PM, Anonymous Belle said…

    I would love the job of personal coach!!!! Wish we were closer. Does it pay well??? I suppose the coach shouldn't be addicted to Tootsie Rolls and banana Laffy Taffy though, right???

    If you need movie or book suggestions, you know who to ask!!!


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