I was beginning to believe this day was never going to arrive, but it has and it is today. This is my last day of classes, which for the most part means that my obligations at the university are over until September. There are a few snags along the way, but minor ones. Throughout my 25 years of teaching, I have never failed to have all of my grades completed and ready to turn in by the last day of school. This year, I stumbled somehow. For my Creative Writing class, I put the last class date as the due date for their last and lengthy 12 page short story. Students being who and what they are, nothing arrives earlier than the due date and a handful ask for an extension on top of that.
Not only do I have to hold off on end-of-term celebrations, but I have to read all of these stories this weekend to polish off the grades.
The other minor hiccup in my spreadsheet of empty days are a few complications called May 26th, June 2nd, 16th, 23rd, and 25th I have to put in a half day’s appearance for what they call State Exams. We call them thesis defenses and oral comprehensives.
So I have this whole great canvas of time to fill up with things to do. It is like New Years all over again. I make a list of resolutions about what I am going to accomplish that summer and then never get to a fraction of that wish list. Last summer, I was researching and writing my book, making any other project impossible. Three summers ago, it was the same story: research and write.
This summer, I hope to write and read, read and write and there were some other things that floated through my mind like dust mites travel past our eyesight, but for now they are gone. If they return, they will be duly evaluated and triaged by order of importance, perhaps to also be acted upon. After all, when I return in September, I need to fill an essay of “What I did on my summer vacation”.