Monday, June 18, 2007


The first official day of Summer Vacation is always a little bit disorienting. Now, before I lose ten of my thirty readers to utter disgust over what they perceive to be my complaining about having a summer vacation, please understand that I am not fussing about it. I'm just explaining is all.

It doesn't really matter how much time I devote to counting down the days or marking the calendar. That first day always goes a little something like this:

Step one: Wake up sometime between 6:00 and 7:00 in the morning. (Yes. I am one of those disgusting Early Risers that you hear so much about). Think to self, "How nice that I can just lay here in bed for a bit longer! I think I'll just snuggle with the nearest kitty and plan my day..."

Step two: Begin to doubt. What if I've made a mistake? What if today was really the last day of school and I should have actually gotten up and been on my way by now? Can they fire me if I don't show up on the last day? Do I have some sort of medical claim here, what with my inability to read a calendar? Should I actually be on disability for this? If I did that, I could sleep in every day...

Step three: Painstakingly review the events of the last few days and confirm that this is, in fact, the first official day of summer vacation.

Step four: Suddenly realize that I have a whole day ahead of me and that I am slothfully lying abed rather than enjoying it.

Step five: Rocket from the bed leaving a plethora of startled kitties in my wake. I still don't have a clear plan or anything...but that isn't going to stop me from racing around trying to get ready for whatever the heck it is that I should be doing...

From there, I always sort of alternate between frantic activity of the cleaning and creating varieties then sitting whilst assuming a rather alarming vacant stare. Little gets done.

This year seemed worse, though. I know that I've been talking about this day for a while now, but I was really rather unprepared, it seems. I know that part of the problem here was that I left school last Friday in something of a hurry. I needed to grab a quick shower then leave for the Relay For Life event. That took some planning beforehand and resting afterhand. I didn't really have much time for thinking about Monday morning.

And the last day at school was somewhat overshadowed by a rather unfortunate comment made to me by a colleague once the students were gone. I'll preface this by saying that this individual is not really a bad guy...he means well most of the time. I honestly think he was trying to be witty. And, under other circumstances, it might have been a chuckle-maker. Had we been in a bar, the Playboy Mansion or a Crude Convention, it would have actually been highly appropriate.

It was not so appropriate at the staff luncheon. It was less appropriate given that it was said while the entire staff was standing in line to partake of the delightful cafeteria fare that was being laid out for our enjoyment. I made a good effort at responding in a snappy and equally witty manner. But, I was so taken aback, that I really didn't do a very good job. Once we had all retreated to our tables, my teaching assistant ( a very kind and gentle young man) said, "That was really uncomfortable for you, wasn't it? Doesn't he have daughters, for crying out loud?"

It was awkward...and it sort of cast a pall over the whole end of school thing for several people. Fortunately, this individual has transferred to another school for next year so I will be spared any further thoughts from him with regard to my...well, why don't we just leave it at that? God help me and the rest of the female half of the race because I honestly think he was trying to be complimentary. But it wasn't and it was the cause of a bit of angst as we all packed up our teacherly wares for the summer.

So, with all that going on, it took me a while to find my groove today as far as the whole Sheepie Of Leisure thing went. I did a little of the spinning, a wee bit of knitting and even started crocheting myself a scarf just in case the winter snows should return to this hemisphere in July. I also stained a shelf. That wasn't even on the list of things I wanted to get done this summer! I have no idea why I wanted to stain a shelf. It looks rather nice...but it isn't on the index cards. And the index cards are the things I said I would use as the guide for all projects this summer. I checked them several times. There were no shelf staining directives writ upon them anywhere.

It took me a while to get a handle on this whole vacation thing. I finally settled myself down to one project and made sure that it was one of which the index cards would approve. I relaxed and allowed myself to breathe normally for the first time all day. Summer is the time to relax and finish things at a reasonable pace. There is ample time to get a great deal done and no need to frantically flit from project to project trying to get it all finished. The school year is really over, tomorrow is yet another day of vacation and time is plentiful now. I actually felt the muscles in my neck creak as they relaxed into this new found knowledge.

I then realized that I was going to be late for a meeting at job #2...the pulse rate went back up, suitable shoes were located and I shot out the door, once again leaving startled kitties trembling behind me.

I'll get the hang of this eventually. I'm going to practice again tomorrow.



Sheila said...

The shelf staining may have been the rebel (or one of the 1/2 minds?) in you asserting that you can transgress from the index cards if you so choose!

Your new spindle is lovely, by the way. I never did sell off the fiber I have. I'll probably try to sell it on Ebay....someday.
Happy Summer '07!!!!!!!!!

crzjane said...

Please savor your vacation for me. I don't see a day of rest for me until some time, perhaps, late July.

trek said...

Summer vacation reality has set in here - and a Neatnik who just wants to GO. There is Vacation Bible School this week, fortunately.

Beth said...

It's weird that it takes a while to get into the summer vacation groof, isn't it? I don't remember that happening over Spring Break. I'm sorry that the final day was ruined by the other teacher.

April said...

Have a very wonderful and well deserved Summer Vacation, Sheepie. And if you get a hankering to visit the West Coast, you know where to find me. :)

Mia said...

"sheep of leisure" hehehe.. sheepie.. you keep yourself so busy I don't know how you even have time for coffee :)

And whatever Mr. Sleeze had to say.. I sure hope you had something good to say back!

Anonymous said...

Sadly once you get really good at the summer vacation thing it's time to count down the last few days before school starts. Enjoy the days while you can.
Hopefully karma will bite that teacher guy on the ass.

Debbie said...

Funny how events like this make one realize how time passes -- I think I started reading your blog just before summer vacation last year!

I'm a firm believer that some benign neglect of the scheduling is good for summer vacations. Have a great one!

lobstah said...

Hooray for summer vacation--enjoy! Wish I had one too but I'm guessing that your job is probably 10x more tiring than mine!

Cathy said...

You can always write shelf staining on one of the index cards. Visiting a greenhouse/nursery could be several more. Oh. Maybe I shouldn't help.

chris said...

I understand completely - I add a slight bit of panic at the thought that I won't get a thing done that I planned on doing - and really - it's a nice chunk of time off!

Cursing Mama said...

I think the sheepie is a tease. As a person who is all too familure with crudeness I think I deserve to know what he said so I can think up quick comebacks just in case I find myself in a similar situation. Quick comebacks that will instantaneously leave my brain and only reappear long after the moment of use has passed.

I guess there really is no reason for me to know since I clearly wouldn't know what to do with the information anyway.

Happy 2nd day of Summer Vacation.

Donna Lee said...

I taught in a self contained classroom for a year and then in a high school classroom in a "special school" (euphemism for the school for kids that others don't want or can't teach). I had high school boys ages 14-17 and I loved it. I loved the summer vacation and miss it. I think everyone should get a month straight off from whatever they do to get themselves refreshed and put back together. Now as a social worker, I could use a month. I love my job but it is draining some days.

Jeanne said...

Yay summer vacation! Keep having fun. That's what it's for.