Friday, July 18, 2014

A Teacher Summer

Every summer I get asked by friends, family, and strangers alike, “So what do you do during the summer?” This is always asked in an interesting tone. Like, “You’re so lucky you have all that time. What could you possibly do with all that time?”

I think a lot of people have images of me or other teachers just sitting on their couches in the summer.

If you’ve ever had a weekend to spare as an adult where you didn’t really have any solid plans, you probably understand what it’s like when a day kind of runs away from you. If I’m being perfectly honest, some summer days are just like that for me. But I also need it. I need things to slow down, and I need to have nothing to do. The level of stress I carry during the school year is indescribable, so I and my fellow educators need to just have nothing to do.

The truth is though, that most days aren’t like that. In fact, a lot of teachers spend their summers in trainings and classes, for what? To become a better teacher, of course! We have to keep our teaching licenses current by continuing classes. So I already did a Common Core Academy (my third summer academy to date). I spent three weeks of one summer in a writing class. Also, I really need to learn to use my SmartBoard.

Not all days are spent on the couch, wasting time. And not all days are spent in teacher trainings. In case you’re interested, my typical summer day for me looks like this:

-Wake up at 8:15 AM
-Eat a small pre-workout snack (such as a banana or Buddy Fruit packet)
-Read a chapter in the Book of Mormon while eating
-Get dressed to exercise
-Do some kind of workout or go to a group workout class (I live in BodyCombat and Step class in the summers)
-Come home and eat a more substantial meal
-Put on bathing suit
-Spend an hour at the pool
-Come home and shower
-Spend time reading, or go to the dollar theater, or write
-Sometimes take a nap
-Make dinner or go out to dinner with Patrick
-Watch The Office or a movie
-Every Wednesday watch So You Think You Can Dance with Kristen

But I mostly keep myself busy with a variety of things I wish I could do during the school year. For example, I go shopping for unique grocery and health items and try to use them in new recipes. I enjoy going to Whole Foods and Sprouts just to browse for cool items (coconut water latte, anyone?).

I also have spent many hours this summer in a plasma donation center to earn some extra money. I’m not sure if I’ll go back in next week or not. It is really time consuming, and my veins are difficult to find because they roll and they are small. So it’s always a huge ordeal.

This summer I've had a couple of campfires with friends or with Patrick where we ate unhealthy food and had fun. I’ve driven up the canyons a couple of times to walk around Silver Lake, and we tried to go on another hike, but the trail was closed still.

I usually try to go home to southern California at some point, which I did last week. I went to Newport Beach and San Gabriel Mission and read a lot of Jane Eyre and went on a lot of walks with my family. I practiced a lot of piano too, which I’d do here in Utah if I had a piano.

I enjoy going to Big! Lots or the Dollar Tree once in a while and finding awesome deals. You guys! I spent less than $14 at Big! Lots last week in Covina on so many awesome things, including a large package of PB2, some Justin’s peanut butter cups, $.60 Luna bars, etc. I’ve been to Barnes and Noble to use coupons, and have gotten some great deals at Gordman’s, Kohl’s, and Payless. I just can’t let good deals go to waste.

The point is, I find things to do. I am of the opinion that, “If you’re bored then you’re boring.” I love to think of things I want to do or see, and then just do them. I enjoy having time to do things I love. I had to learn how to make myself happy in many years of being single and having time in the summer for myself.

I love my summer vacations and find them to be a relaxing time where I can be at the top of my fitness game, and get super tan. And though I love my summers, I’m still trying to figure out if these summers are worth my sanity and health the other 9.5 months of the year. But that’s a post for another day.

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