Thanks to an adjustment to the academic calendar, teachers were granted three bonus days of summer. Alas, today is the final weekday of my summer break. I report back to school on Monday with the kids arriving a week later.
It was not the summer I anticipated in several ways. The pandemic meant plan after plan was jettisoned or modified. I wrote, I read, I watched, I rested, and was still productive.
The highlight, of course, was writing Children of Tomorrow while also beginning to assemble the contents for the second volume of Thrilling Adventure Yarns. I managed one short story and the second one, which has proven elusive, is slowly starting to coalesce in my mind.
As a favor to a friend, I read her first novel, all 179,000 words of it, which was interesting. I also read the revised manuscript for a friend’s novel, after he incorporated modifications I suggested and I am told his agent is circulating it.
It wasn’t all work. We had our week away in West Virginia, an isolated cabin as our base as we explored various hiking trails and parks with the dogs. Each afternoon we’d return to the cabin where I read and each night we cooked and watched some television.
I also took an unscheduled trip to Florida to help my mother prepare for hip replacement surgery. She was having some issues prepping so within 24 hours of hearing her distress, I risked it and flew to Covidville, FL for a week. After settling her in the hospital, I did some decluttering around the house and certain left things in better shape than I found it. She’s recovering just fine, thanks.
Last Friday, we scheduled a quiet day off, touring Antietam with the dogs, which was interesting. They liked the walk, we loved the ice cream at Nutter’s as our treat for a long, hot day.
And I read. There were exactly 20 works of fiction and nonfiction consumed in addition to 44 graphic novels. I am currently listening to one on audio, one on Kindle, and one in print so my mind has certainly been nourished.
I’ve been home every day since March and have come to love the extended time here with Deb and the dogs. The long morning walks followed by coffee and the Washington Post before heading to my desk by 8 to do whatever was needed. For the last month, a few hours of each day was spent on tutorials or building lesson plans, readying myself for the return.
I will miss the simple routine as much as I look forward to working with a new crop of freshmen. I am both curious and filled with trepidations over what hybrid teaching will be like. The one guarantee is that the new academic year will not be boring.