Okay, that title is an exaggeration, of course. But it is true that I am now embarking on the final two weeks of free, mostly unscheduled time for the summer.
We got back home last night after a week-long stay with my mother-in-law. Some good moments, some stresses. I think it will take D some time to recover, actually, because of course her relationship with her mother is more fraught than mine is with her mother. (NOT more fraught than mine is with my own mother, naturally!)
And two weeks from tomorrow, I fly to South Africa for two weeks. When I return, I have a mere 60 hours before opening meetings.
So this is it. And here's what needs to get done in that two weeks:
- Prep for South Africa. This includes getting gifts for the folks at the school where we'll be staying, figuring out how to pack for South African winter, possibly getting a new suitcase (since the faults in our current luggage were quite clear on this last trip), etc. Plus I've assigned myself various reading projects in preparation for this trip; I need to finish the books I've committed to and give up on the others. Plus I should do some thinking/prep work for the project I'm collaborating on while I'm there.
- Revamp our 9th-grade English final exam into a brand-new non-exam thing. I'm meeting with department colleagues tomorrow morning and one other time in the next couple of weeks.
- Finish reading Ron Ritchhart's Creating Cultures of Thinking and meet with folks from school to discuss the book on Monday.
- Relearn all the Hebrew that I sort of learned this past spring. This has been on my to-do list since June, and I have done exactly zero work toward that goal. But now my advanced Hebrew group is meeting next Thursday, so I've got serious work to do and a deadline.
- Do all of the household projects that I've ignored all summer: paint the bulkhead doors, replace the smoke alarms, etc. Just normal household stuff, except that I tend to ignore things like that.
- Do necessary prep for the start of classes. Mostly this means re-reading The Joy Luck Club, Their Eyes Were Watching God, and Tess of the d'Urbervilles, all of which I've taught before but need to reread. Some of that rereading can happen during the tedious international flights, but I should get started.
- Plus, I rejoined Weight Watchers last night. I've had "lose weight" on my summer list but have mostly ignored this project since I've been out of town so much. I've walked a lot this summer, but my eating has basically been "eat whatever I want, just don't go crazy," and that is not doing the trick. It seems stupid in a way to join Weight Watchers when I'm going to be out of the country for a couple of weeks, but I'm going to be on a school campus, so in that respect it will actually be pretty close to "normal" life. So tracking my eating and exercising are now part of my to-do list every day.