Tuesday, July 29, 2008
70: Shake Loose the Sugar
Yesterday and today: it's as if I cannot complete a thought. I start emails, find myself confused and lost in the middle of them, the sugar still floating around a little bit, the heat drawing me down.
My father emailed me a draft of my M.Ed thesis all marked up in red, his comments and suggestions increasing the page count by five. I used to email my literature analysis papers to him all the time as an undergraduate, the shuffle between our computers constant, his corrections and suggestions always in red, between my awkward black phrasings, my stumbling syntax. So now I face this vastness, this fifty three page monster, and I hope to have it completed, to send it off to my adviser, mow the lawn, clean the fridge.
Summers for teachers are so strange. For nine, ten months of the year, we are propelled through our days, weighed down by student essays and planning the next few days, spinning like a top. There's a strange lack of peripheral awareness during the school year, where certain obligations are thrust onto the empty spaces of the calendar: NEA weekend, holiday breaks. And then summer arrives, with a sort of smack into the wall momentum. We've made these lists, in the margins of our planning books or in our minds, turning them over, ranking by importance, and there is a bit of befuddlement. The alarm clock no longer rules the morning, we can read for pleasure, and our partners are somehow, strangely, still leaving for work in the mornings.
Sadly, I'm much better at getting things done when I have only small pockets of time as opposed to these long expanses. I'm not advocating for me to actually have some sort of occupation over the summer; some day, I keep hoping, I will be more productive in this free time. And I'm enjoying the near-book a day pattern I have going, the methodical pull of weeds, slowly discovering what's beneath the piles of paper in the second bedroom. But now, I look out the window at four o'clock, and I know the lawn is growing shaggier and there is still another month left before summer vacation is over, and I hope there is something at the other end that I have to show for it.
On to the thesis. Do you think I'll really, truly submit it tonight? Oh, I hope so.