I realized today that I have been having difficulty getting out of the house before 9 o’clock; in less than two weeks I will have to be in the classroom at 9 o’clock. Yikes! Summer is coming to an end and teaching is imminent. I have checked out my classrooms, checked that the books are in the bookstore, checked my enrolment numbers (low in both courses for reasons unknown), drafted syllabi, ordered a documentary film, and thought about what I will talk about during the first week. What I have not done is:
- made an appointment with the hairdresser
- figured out which teaching clothes I need to purge from my closet
- figured out which new teaching clothes I need to buy
- found old lecture notes to reuse
- written new lecture notes
- polished up my Blundstones
I always feel ambivalent about late August/early September. For we nerdy types who liked school it’s exciting. New books, new clothes, new pencils and pens and notebooks. There’s a frisson in the air as students begin to come back to town. People are moving in and out of apartments and residence dorms. It’s still warm and sunny, but there’s a chill in the early morning air and heavy dew on the outdoor furniture. For we nerdy types who like school it’s also hard to let go of the extra time to read, think, and write. It’s hard to let go of the unscheduled days. My rhythms, at least since coming back from Croatia, have been to wake up without an alarm clock, check email, go on Facebook and see who’s posted what, play a few rounds of Scrabble (often with strangers in ‘public’ games), read the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star on the iPad, read bits of whatever novel or memoir I’m currently absorbed in. All this at intervals punctuated by shower, looking after the cat’s needs, standing outside to see what the day feels like, drinking tea, and eating breakfast. You see how busy I am in the morning! But soon I will have to set the alarm, think ahead of time what I will wear, make a lunch, pack my briefcase and rush out the door.
So, what can I do to maximize my appreciation of these last days of the summer non-teaching term?