Summers are special times for professors. At the start of them, we make implausibly grandiose plans about what we are going to accomplish during them. At the end of them, we wonder where the time has gone.
Here are some of the things I did this summer:
- Took students to Israel.
- Finished work on translating the chapters I was responsible for in the Mandaean Book of John.
- Worked on an encyclopedia article on “monotheism” (Almost done…)
- Began work on creating an online version of my course on the Bible.
- Took a family road trip to Pennsylvanian and New York.
- Cut down broken limbs from maple tree after storm, and cut up those plus our fallen apple tree for future use as firewood.
- Bought an electric guitar, and played it in church (“40” by U2).
- Sang the lead vocal part on “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel in church. (No, I don’t sound anything like Peter Gabriel.)
- Wrote a song
- Worked on learning to play jazz, and on learning Ravel’s “Pavane pour une infante défunte.”
- On the day before classes started, I fixed a broken garage door and television.
- Oh, and I also blogged quite a bit, but presumably that is not a distinctively summer activity.
I find it helpful to look back and review what I did and didn’t do over a particular period, since by the end of a summer or a semester or an academic year, what I did at the start of it often seems like such a long time ago. It is easy to forget how much one did, or that one did in fact make time to relax and rejuvenate in ways one doesn’t find time to during the semester.
What did you do over the summer? Or, if you are an educator or a student, are you still in denial that the summer – in the sense of the time without classes – is over?