Friday, June 08, 2007

Summer Breaks

One year from today, speaking of today not necessarily as June 8th but as the day of UW's commencement, I will be graduating with my second master's degree. I will be done with school--possibly for the rest of my life but at least for a while--and I will actually have a useful degree and plenty of practical experience to get me a decent job. A real job. I look forward to a paycheck that stretches farther than the rent for a dinky apartment and other bare necessities and to days when I can come home and leave work at work.

The thing that stresses me most about school is the perpetually looming assignment, the feeling that whatever free time I have is not truly free time because there's always reading or writing or research that I'm putting off. Perhaps this is why most students take a break during the summer. Here is how my summers have played out since starting college:
  • The summer after my freshman year I worked full-time and took a missionary prep class.
  • The next two summers I was a missionary in Madrid; while the locals took month-long vacations in Andalucia and Barcelona, we wandered the streets looking for investigators in 100-degree weather.
  • The next summer I took a full load of classes while working full-time to save up enough money to get married.
  • The summer after that I just worked full-time.
  • The summer after that I had graduated, so again I was just working, so I guess this list isn't going to be as impressively masochistic as I thought it would be.
  • But the summer after that I was back in school, and I did take classes. And worked, of course.
  • And then I graduated again. And that summer, as I recall, I only worked somewhere between half- and three-quarters-time.
  • But the next summer I worked like fifty hours a week between two jobs, so we can count that as a breakless summer too.
Which brings us to this summer. I will be working ten hours a week at the library, doing another ten hours of cataloging internship at the library, possibly picking up another ten-hour job, taking eight credits of distance courses, and spending two days a week with my kids. To be honest, I'm looking forward to it. After the last three quarters of eleven- to thirteen-credit loads and nearly forty-hour work weeks, this will be nice. And most of what I'll be doing--the cataloging internship and the Daddy days particularly--will be fun. And who knows what kind of schedule my post-graduate life will bring?

So I think I'll enjoy my summer while it lasts. The future will come when it comes.

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

It's impressively masochistic to ME, if that's any consolation. My summers during college were mostly spent taking one or two easy or independent study classes. And chillin'. It was completely indulgent. I am in awe of people who do as much as you have.