Next week I go back to school. The transitions from break to semester and semester to break are always hard for me. I’m very routine-oriented (if you know me, you might have noticed this just a tiny bit), and I like things to just stay the same. Getting a new semester started is hard and stressful, with all the planning, scheduling, meeting new students. And getting your brain readjusted to multitasking and keeping track of a billion assignments and appointments and duties, in contrast to vacation which is simple: write, work out, see friends and family.
But changes in my schedule are good for me. They are good practice in not turning into a robot. And there are tons of good things about going back to work: my old students, my new students, my exceptionally awesome coworkers, getting paid to read books and discuss them with people, getting paid to read about other people’s thoughts and ideas and lives. Also I have a very nice office which my office-mate and I vacated of unnecessary furniture and filled with art and couches and tea.
Sometimes bitter, jealous people will begrudge teachers our vacations: It must be nice to have summers off, they say. Which it is, and that is why our teaching programs are overflowing with America’s most promising young people, eager to get in on some of that sweet, sweet vacation time. I think all jobs should have three months off. Imagine all the awesome gardening and traveling and knitting and exercising and art all those people would do. Imagine how relaxed everyone would be.