If you follow me on Twitter, expect to see #summer a lot over the next two months.
While I enjoy the many rewards that come with my career in public education, there's not much that I enjoy more than summer break. Today is my first full day of the 2012 summer break so let me tell you year-round workers what's so awesome about summertime.
1. The call.
Every year when I finish my last day of work, as soon as I pull out of the parking lot I call a good friend of mine from college. The first words from my mouth are always: "Guess what time I have to be at work tomorrow." For the first year or two, he'd authentically contribute to my conversation and play perfectly into my punchline: "August." It's been almost ten years now and I still call every year. It's still funny to me. Not so sure about my friend.
2. The drive home.
Once I've made my annual phone call to my friend, I enjoy the commute home after that last day of work like no other throughout the year. My drive is about 20 minutes each way. There is no 20 minute commute that is more satisfying than the one where you know you don't have to do it again for two months.
In the summertime, I can stay up late if I want. I can get up early if I want. My kids nap in the afternoon. So can I.
During the school year, I leave for work about the time my kids get out of bed. By the time I get home, there's usually enough time for dinner and about an hour or so of hanging out with my wife and kiddos (mixed in among all of the other things I need to do around the house). During the summer months, there's nothing but spare time.
5. Pretending I'm going to get something accomplished.
Every summer I have a huge laundry list of things to get done. I'm going to work in my yard more. I'm going to exercise more. Usually none of that happens and the end result of my summer is something like me watching the entire series of Silver Spoons (yeah...summer of 2005).
6. No socks.
I put my socks away during the summer and don't get them out again until I return to work. If I don't have on flip-flops, I've got bare feet. Sure my feet are hard and caloused as a result -- but there's nothing like walking barefoot in the grass.
7. Songs about summer.
Much like Christmas music, there are certain songs that can only be properly listened to during the summertime. Try putting on Boys of Summer in the middle of a snowstorm. It just doesn't work. There's a chance that I might enjoy the next several weeks and a future blog post may have to detail a list of these songs that are only appropriate during the summer. In the meantime, please realize I am listening to Pigeon John and the Summertime Pool Party as I type this.
Usually I'm all about baseball season. I'm a Cubs fan and go into every season with the mindset of every other Cubs fan in the world: "I know we're supposed to be crappy this year, but maybe. Just maybe." This year I knew they'd be awful. And guess what. They've been awful.
9. Losing track of time.
This one is my absolute favorite (okay, second favorite to the wife and kids and stuff). After a few weeks of summer break, you could ask me what day of the week it is and chances are, I'll have no clue. I'd probably be able to come up with it but initially, I'd have no idea. I completely lose track of time during the summer and couldn't care less if it's Monday or Friday.
Educators may not make but a fraction of what those in the "corporate" world earn in a year, but while you're sitting in your cubicles and the sun is shining, please think of me. I'll be in a lawn chair listening to baseball on the radio.