This time of year is always a bittersweet one for me. Today, I began my last full week of summer. Next week will be packed with unpacking my classroom, meetings, and getting things ready for another school year. On the one hand, I love this time of year. I truly love my job, and I miss my students during the summer. I love the anticipation of this time of year, wondering what the year will hold, what my new freshmen will be like, and how classes will go. I already know some new and different challenges lie ahead. We're adding two new books to our English I curriculum this year -- Elie Wiesel's Night and Sherman Alexie's awesome The Absolutely True Diaries of a Part-Time Indian. I'm adding Catcher in the Rye to my English Fundamentals class. I will also be hosting a student teacher this fall for the first time ever. She's a student from my alma mater. We've exchanged some emails, and I am meeting with her next week. I hope I'm a good mentor!!
On the other hand, there's also this part of me that is devastated to see the summer end. Because nine months of my year are so packed with teaching and directing and coaching, these months of summer are a welcome respite of blissful nothingness. I do love sleeping in and staying up late to read. There's also this sense of disappointment in that I often start the summer with such high hopes and plans, and then I get to these last days and realize I've not done much of what I intended. Did I paint my storage shed in the backyard? Nope. Did I undertake the Herculean task of organizing my library? Not a chance. Today, I did break down and spent two hours in the kitchen cleaning and organizing cabinets. I'm hoping later this week to tackle my linen closet which threatens to bury me under towels and sheets every time I'm brave enough to open it. I have to admit, though, that a lot of what I thought this summer would involve has not come to pass . . . and try not to beat myself up too much over that.