No, not the “End of Days,” in a biblical sense, nor the Schwarzenegger flick of the same name (that movie was pretty bad, but we do learn that Arnie’s character puts his faith in a Glock 9mm, because he tells us, directly).
I’m talking about the last days, or to be more specific day of school. Three short hours stood between me and sweet, sweet summer break–And Midwestern summer breaks are all the more sweet because we don’t go back to school until after Labor Day.
Every year as I move toward the end, I marvel at the paradoxical nature of the school year. When I’m in the thick of things, teaching up a veritable onslaught of Language Arts, my days feel relentlessly draining, dragging on and on. A goddamn desert of blank stares and incomplete assignments. But concurrently the year manages to progress, hurtling forward at an alarming rate, and suddenly it’s June and I’m waving goodbye to the students, wishing them luck in their future endeavors, encouraging them to have a tremendous summer (H.A.T.S. vs. H.A.G.S), and occasionally drawing a wizard in their yearbooks. My wife said that she’s read about this before, and that it’s referred to as, “Long days, short years.”
I think about this and reflect on everything I did manage to squeeze in this school year, but then perseverate on everything I didn’t teach that I wanted to. But I suppose that’s the way it is with most things in life. We tend to focus on the negative, much to our own detriment.
I am looking forward to my summer. I get to spend more time with Audrey, Erp, Alp, and Grizz. We have some camping trips planned. I get to read more–I finished Patrick Rothfuss‘ The Name of the Wind and am quickly working my way through his follow-up, The Wise Man’s Fear,and up next I have John Dies at the End and the first in Eric Powell’s The Goon series.
We are also going to play a shit ton of board games. In a three-week span, we acquired Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan, and Forbidden Island.
I bought Ticket to Ride for my wife and me as our three-year anniversary gift–I know that sounds like a strange anniversary gift and not very romantic at all, but we both like playing board games and this is something we can play with just two people.
Settlers of Catan was a complete surprise. Dropped on our front stoop, a gift from my father-in-law. I have wanted to play this game for a long time, but it just didn’t happen. No one I knew really had it and I couldn’t justify spending the hefty $45. I’m stoked to play and we only need a third (for the game I mean, not a third in the other sense of the word…er…).
Forbidden Island is another game I saw on Wil Wheaton’s Tabletop (in fact, I saw all three of these games played on Wheaton’s show…you should watch that show). I ordered it because it looked fun, had a high replay value, and could be played by two people (Audrey and I aren’t against playing with other people, we just don’t get together with other people too often).
Finally, I look forward to getting a significant amount of writing done this summer. School’s out, so there’s no real excuse to not put words on the page. I’m going to set up a writing schedule to ensure that I have the time carved out stay on track for completing stories. This will also allow me to get writing done, but also have more than enough time in the day to spend with Audrey, Erp, and Alp (which is priority one).
Alright, I’ve rambled enough, and not entirely eloquently. Enjoy your summer. Read a book. Play a game. Write. Spend time with your children (if you have them).