Labor Day is in its twilight, which means summer is officially over. Technically, there are three more weeks. Less technically, this is now the third week of the school year, which by most standards means summer is long gone.
Geographically, I live in Florida, so summer is more of a state of mind that never really goes away. I mean, I’ll be wearing shorts and flip flops on days off for at least 3, maybe 4 more months, and then its Christmas.
All of this is a convoluted way of re-entering into regular blogging, thus ending my summer off. I usually take a month off, but I decided to make it 3 this year. There were several reasons for this. I needed break and I didn’t feel like blogging constitute the main ones. In addition, I had a fairly massive researcher project which took up any conceptual space I had for blogging. 1 In the end, I thought it best to just wait until I felt like blogging again, and well, here we are.
Since I haven’t had too much to say, I thought I’d give you a rundown of the summer. We’ll go month by month.
I had high hopes for June, but for some reason also decide to take a month off coffee after mildly abusing it all through May (8 shots a morning to be exact). All went well for the first few days and then I started having withdrawal symptoms. Mainly I felt really weird (i.e. dead inside) and had no motivation to do anything. One thing I didn’t feel was tired, but I just didn’t feel like doing anything (which was a problem given the aforementioned research project). I recanted giving up coffee and tried to get back to work.
In the midst of all this, my wife’s twin sister and husband came to visit and we had some quality family time (including a trip to Sea World). I made it back to a Rays game for the first time in 10 years, and also despite my defensive driving skills, got into a car accident. It was low impact, but also in the pouring rain. Not my fault, thankfully, but I needed some body work done. I surprised myself with how un-stressed I was through the entire deal. Not the best way to end the month, but then again, June wasn’t the best month.
Unlike June, July was much more what I envisioned for a summer break. I establish a bit of a routine and flow with the research project, made it back to another Rays game, and did some very spiritually formative reading.
Mid-month, I turned 30, and Ali threw me, what I thought would be a family dinner, but turned into a surprise party, which included my parents down from Knoxville. The next day, we got away for a beach weekend on the Gulf Coast and managed to not get incredibly sunburned.
By the end of the month, I was starting to feel energized for the fall, which is good because I had teacher orientation. My car finally got its body work done, and I had my second rental car experience. At the end of orientation, Ali and I went back to the beach for an anniversary weekend. We had originally planned on taking a stay-cation (which is more exciting when you already live in Orlando), but decided to just take a long weekend and sit around the beach. It was glorious.
Technically, the beach weekend overlaps into August since our anniversary is on the first, but because of our departure date, it was equal parts July and August. I had been frustrated at the beginning of the week because my car was not ready for our trip like the body shop had promised. So instead, we took Ali’s Sentra. The last time we had taken Ali’s car on a trip was when I totaled my first Camry in 2009. We were picking up a new one in Tennessee during our Christmas visit.
Ironically then, this turned out to be the farewell trip for Ali’s car since she totaled it two days after we got back. She was thankfully already braking before impact and wasn’t hurt at all. It was unfortunately for our insurance rates later this fall, her fault. More importantly, we were able to replace the car in under a week and now, hopefully done with car issues for a few months/years 2
Mid-August I would have started Ph.D studies at Southern, but because the orientation for that was the same week as orientation at the school I teach at, I deferred to January. It is only mildly disappointing and instead mostly a relief. I would have taken on too much and run myself into the ground otherwise. Now, I can get a flow going with classes I teach before adding in a class I’ll take.
As far as the rest of August goes, school has gone well in the opening weeks. I am enjoying it more so than this time last year. I’m finding myself enjoying teaching music more and more and have several new students for the fall. September-October are I think my favorite months, so for the moment at least, optimism is running pretty high. Football is basically a bonus at this point. But oh, how great a bonus it is!
- If you’re curious, and you’re probably are, my summer job was creating book summaries of N. T. Wright’s Christian Origins and The Question of God, which effectively condensed the 3700+ page series into about 800-900 pages of money quotes that chart his argument. I think I’ve read enough Wright for the time being. ↩
- I failed to mention earlier my car also had $800 worth of repairs that had to be done unrelated to my accident. At least my battery that died was under warranty. ↩