Anyone who knows me well know a simple truth about me: I hate summer! There, I said it. I cannot STAND hot weather. It bothers me on every level. I would rather be freezing cold than broiling and dripping with sweat any day of the week. So much of life is centered around the summer. It is the time of vacations and barbeques and picnics and the beach. But I want none of it. I hibernate in the summer. I want to be ensconced in fans and air conditioners in the summer.
As the joke goes: what are the three best things about being a professor? June, July and August. I agree with that sentiment, but just wish the weather was not summer. Maybe we can change break to the winter? Maybe that’s why I always have grand plans for the summer in terms of projects and almost never finish them. The weather can have such a high impact upon people. It can make you feel poorly and make you less motivated. For the longest time I have wanted to write some kind of a memoir. I always plan to write it in the summer when I am off from work.
This coming summer is do or die. I can’t keep putting it off. It is a life goal and it is something I have wanted to produce for a long time. I am going to have to find a way to work with the summer and still be productive. This will include working only in AC spaces and in spaces where there are not a lot of people around. I also want to enter with an outline and with notes. It is going to be very difficult. I had a heck of a time writing my dissertation. It took me way longer than the rest of my cohort. Summers were and are easy to squander away. Part of it is that we get so exhausted from the regular school year. We cram into 8-9 months what should take 12 months, or more!
I have been on the academic schedule for my whole life since age 6. I can’t say I am a big fan. Everyone is always: but you have summers off! First off, we don’t really have summers off. We are usually prepping or writing syllabi or doing other administrative tasks to get ready for the school year that starts in the fall. Second, it goes SO fast. I don’t know what it is, but the summer is gone in the blink of an eye. Yes it is a privilege to have it “off” but it’s not all it’s cracked up to be, especially when you have no extra money to go anywhere. I wish I could go on a trip or a retreat during the summer but there is no budget to do so.
On the upside, the summer sunshine is beautiful. While I hate the heat and humidity, I do love the sunshine and think it is good for my moods. While I burn easily and don’t stay out too long, I like the sun on my face and the brightness that abounds. Overall, summer is very complicated for me and engenders a variety of emotions and moods for me. My one hope for this summer is to write my memoir or make significant progress on it. Send me some good and productive energy!