Memorial Day weekend, Labor Day weekend – the bookends of summer. Recently I mentioned to a colleague that we started school after Labor Day when I was a kid in part because schools weren’t air conditioned. She was astonished. She was even more amazed when I told her we still had residence halls that didn’t have air conditioning when I started college. I’m sure she knows air conditioning didn’t always exist, and maybe she thinks I’m younger than I am, but she’d never thought about attending school with no A/C.
Even though the school year no longer lines up perfectly with the two holiday weekends, summer is still its own experience. Much as I don’t love the heat, I still enjoy the long days, warm nights and more time to be outside. According to the songs I grew up with, summer vacation meant going away for the entire summer. That was never my experience or anyone around me, but summer was still idyllic. When I was about nine or ten, I rebelled against going to Y Day Camp. It was not fun. From then on I was home by myself so summer meant a few chores, lots of reading and a fair amount of television. I started watching the soap opera “All My Children” about then and I loved the original “Dark Shadows”, not to mention all the daytime game shows. But no matter what your summer traditions were, it was still different from the school routine, so it was special.
Summer was also the time of reruns when I was growing up. The start days for the new TV season were as scheduled as the start of school. And during the summer when most people were outside, there was no reason to show new programs. Though, on rare occasions, they would have a summer replacement show to try things out.
It may not be the summer solstice, but it is summer and so I’ve decided I’m going to take a bit of a vacation. I’m also going to follow the old television model of summer reruns. I’ve written this newsletter almost weekly for just short of four years and think a bit of a break will be a good refresher. In addition to reading lots of books, I plan to spend my writing time working on a new book. I’ll send out a weekly newsletter but it will be a rerun. I’ll pull some of the articles that people seemed to respond to and repost them. Then once the semester starts up in the fall, I’ll be back with a new season.
I hope each of you have plans for a great summer and that you find a way to take care of yourself so that you will be refreshed in the fall. And for those of you who lead summer programs like orientation, I hope you’re able to find some time to enjoy the long days and then find some way to take a break as soon as possible.
Take care, and I’ll see you in September!